Thursday, March 31, 2011

March De-Cluttering ReCap

Even though I spent some time this month de-cluttering and cleaning up spaces I never got around to writing about it.  So instead of a recap with links to the post, I’m doing it all in one.

Saturday, March 5th
I started with my cake decorating tool box.

The top tray…

Under the tray which didn’t look too bad…

Everything out of the box…

Cleaned up and organized…

What didn’t go back in the box, but did go in with the other cake decorating stuff I have…

That same afternoon I for some reason opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink and found two bottles of carpet cleaning stuff for the steam cleaning and a bottle of carpet stain remover.  Since all of my carpet was removed in January I decided I didn’t need them any more.  I actually pulled these bottles out and closed the doors, then actually came back and decided to clean out the cabinet while I was at it.

The before…

I’m not going to post the yucky before I wiped it all out pictures.
This is the after…

The ‘to go’ pile is on the left and the trash pile is on the right…

Last but not least for that day, one of the kitchen drawers…

The drawer before…

Everything pulled out of the drawer…

The organized and containerized drawer…

The pink container went into a different drawer a few drawers down.  I didn’t do away with anything in this drawer because while some of it may not be used often I like having it.

Sunday, March 13
Because I could not put off washing clothes any longer I needed to rescue the washer machine from being the catch all of the moment.



I'd hoped to get more done inside but I didn't manage too.  I did spend some time outside de-cluttering the yard though, which made a huge difference. 

I'm linking up over at A Slob Comes Cleaning.  Check it out to see more decluttering adventures.

March De-Cluttering: The Outside Addition

Last week in this post about dealing with my outdoor mess I had mentioned that I was doing some cleaning up.  I’m not sure if this counts to other people or not, but since it made a big difference in appearance and I got rid of things, I’m counting it as a de-cluttering adventure.

All of my flower pots ended up in a big square in my front year.  This square was at one time a flower bed, because of rotten timbers I just had them removed so it could become yard again.

I’d actually removed a few pots before this picture was taking, since it was an after thought.  I also did take the pictures with my cell phone, sorry.

This would be the trash after day 1. 

The pots shown are cheap pots.  The bonus of cheap pots is that they are, well cheap.  The crappy thing about cheap pots is that they usually don’t lost more than a summer in the Texas heat, they get brittle, crack or break when you pick them up.  I’d also whine about how people seem to have a habit of weed eating right against the pots, but I won’t.  First because I didn’t have to do it, and second because really they were stuck in the middle of the yard, then never moved because I never did that ‘I’m gonna’ that I had thought I would do.

The bag of trash is mostly the weeds and grass that were pulled out of the flower pots.

This is another area that I needed to work on.  This is also an after thought picture.  The large orange and green pots off to the left, as well as the two larger white pots on the steps were beside the steps. There were also some smaller pots along the front of the house.

This is the trash from day 1 and day 2.

Are you ready for some after pictures?  Hmmm?  I feel like I need a drum roll for this one!

This picture is why it is nice to take before pictures.  The after picture just looks like a normal yard huh?  But when you see the before picture you realize how much work was really done.

I pretty much weeded any pot that had dead flowers in it.  I was lucky enough to have some flowers that were come back so I weeded their pots, and in a few causes give them more room to spread.  I also planted the dahlia bulbs I bought, the one ‘flower’ I’ve allowed myself to buy so far.

I have learned that fire ants love potting soil, so if I find them in the pot, I totally ditch the potting soil.  Other wise I had to kill them, then be sticking my hands in potting soil with ant poison in it.  I had to do that with numerous pots this year.  Unless the pots were very large the potting soil got dumped into a couple of tubs so I can put it in the pot size I need and use it later.  I’ve got a pile of pots hanging out if I need them.

Of course I had a nice pile of trash when I was done.  And yes I know I could have carried the trash over after each day, but doesn’t this just look like I did so much more work? *wink*

Here is the pile of sticks I gather from the yard.  Sadly there are more out there that I will need to pick up before we can mow.

After 10 trips to the dumpster this is what I had.  I ended up keeping one of the buckets so that I could carry it around the yard to pick up sticks later.

The trays and stacks of little flower pots are going to be passed on to someone else to use, after I finish gathering the rest from off the porch.

I do still have more work to do but this was a great start and it make a big difference in how things looked out there.  I will also confess that I didn’t do anything out in the yard this weekend.  *frown*

But I’m not giving into that *I’m gonna* just yet.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egg Roll Wrapper Chips & Carnita Nachos

A year ago or so I was told about the wonderful other things you can do with egg roll wrapper sheets.  I can’t and won’t take credit for this idea, but I did want to share it with others.

I love making these because they are pretty quick to make and they have a different taste than regular chips. 

3 egg roll wrapper sheets are 170 calories. 
That is about 57 calories per sheet. 

I first start by cutting an egg roll wrapper in half then in quarters.  

 These quarters get cut in half again, on the diagonal.  This will give you 8 larger chips per sheet. 

For smaller chips I just give each triangle another slice and you will have 16 chips per sheet.  I generally do one and a half sheets which would be 85 calories, but sometimes I splurge and do two sheets, which is what is pictured above.

Next up I pull out the cooking spray and give the cookie sheet a quick spray, then lay the triangles out in a flat layer and give them another light spray.  I’ll then sprinkle them with salt.  The ones in the picture got a little cumin dashed on them, as well as garlic powder.  I’ve also done garlic salt for another tasty chip.  You could probably bake them with out the cooking spray, but to me it helps the salt stick.

I bake them at 350*.  I’m not sure I have ever timed it, but you are going for a slightly golden color, and flip them halfway through.  Watch them closely, because they will burn fast.

This is the yummy chip you get when they come out of the oven.  These were slightly on the darker side.

This time I decided to try out an idea I had seen online about carnita nachos.  Guess it was a good thing I had some carnita meat in the freezer.

For my nachos I sliced the thawed meat up thinly, crumbled it up, and then topped the chips with it and some cheese.  That went into the oven to melt the cheese.  The rest of the toppings were some green onions, avocado, a little salt and a squirt of lime.

These were totally yummy and I will definitely be making them again!

I'm going to link this post up over at...

and at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Cash Experiment, my version.

One of my Big Three is Budgeting.  Maybe I should have termed it saving since that is the main goal, but I guess they do go hand in hand.  I’ve decided to come up with a plan to make this happen.  I can easily say I want to save money, but unless I really make a step by step plan, all I am doing is saying it.

This is my plan, at least for now.  As with anything, there will be adjustments I will need to make along the way.

Part 1:  The Accounts
These are four things that I feel are important for me to do at this point.

  1. No more pulling money out of savings account (1) to beef up the checking account. 
  2. Put a certain amount* in to savings account (2). 
  3. Build a ‘cushion’* in my checking account. 
  4. Build savings account (1) up to a set amount*.  Once I get to that amount I will start putting the ‘extra money’ into savings account (2).
* I have numerical amounts written down in my notes, but I decided to keep them personal.

Savings account (1) is for extra money if/when I need to make big purchases. If I had this money in my checking account, I would want to spend it.  With this account the money falls under the “if I don’t see it, it isn’t there” thing.

Savings account (2) is money that I won’t currently allow myself to touch at all, unless I have a damn good reason.  This is money that I know is there, but pretend it doesn’t exist.

Part 2:  The Cash Experiment

Has anyone else read about the cash only envelope system and thought, yeah that sounds great, in theory, but would I really do that?  That is how I am feeling.  I think it is the dividing it all out that just throws me off.  It just seems like a lot of guessing and a lot of work.  I know me I’d get lazy and not do it.  How horrible is it for me to say that?  I’m just trying to be realistic and honest with myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the cash only envelope system works for many people out there.  I’m just not a one size fits all kind of girl.  I love the idea of using only cash.  I know that as long as I can keep my debit card in my wallet when I run out of cash it will help me spend less money.  I just don’t love the putting it into a dozen envelopes.

Dividing the money:
- Bills will be paid with checks. 
- Gas for my car will be paid for the debit card.
- Set amount of cash for ‘spending’ money.
- Any money that is after the first three will go into the savings/checking accounts as listed out in Part 1.

Calling the cash spending money is a little misleading, but I’m not sure how else to word it right now.  The cash is for anything outside of my bills/gas that I buy.  It really doesn’t matter what I call it, as long as it is a limited amount and when I spend it I’m done. 

The cash will be in just one singular envelope, called my wallet.  HaHa!

Part 3:  Buying/Spending Less

  1. I am putting myself on a clothes buying hold for the moment.  The only items not including will be socks and unmentionables, if needed.
  2. Anything I buy for the house must be something that I LOVE and have a home for.  No random buying some thing just because it’s cute.
  3. Cut back Walmart trips to twice a month (every two weeks), unless it can’t be avoided.
  4. Shop with coupons for healthy/beauty/cleaning items and for food items when it really is a deal.
  5. Not carry money to work, so I don’t give up to getting fast food at often.
I’m sure I’ll think of other ways to spend less money or have to make adjustments along the way.  This is just the start of my Cash Experiment and my attempt to save more money.

Disclaimer:  As I said I’m not a one size fits all kind of person and I fully believe that everyone has to do what works for them.  The above is my way of trying to find what will work for me.

I work both a full and part time job.  I am very fortunate not to have any past debts that I have to pay off.  The only payment I have is for my car and I am lucky to have very few monthly bills.  I am also only accountable for myself.  I do not kids or a husband that I have to factor into the money equation.  This changes my situation considerably when compared to others. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan for March 28

Yesterday I spent time in the kitchen making a cookie I grew up on.  It's called a Buffalo Chip and it is like a kicked up chocolate chip cookie that has coconut, oatmeal and cornflakes in it.  Very yummy!

Instead of breaking my menu plan down by days this week, I’m just going to pick from the choices each day.  Since the roast/beef was cooked this weekend it is a matter of going to the freezer for it.  I’ll be cooking the chicken in the next day or so.

Bagel Thin with cream cheese (170), a yogurt (80) and fruit
Bagel Thin with cream cheese (170), a cheese stick (90) and grapes (55)
Toast with honey or jelly, yogurt (80) and fruit
Peanut butter and banana sandwich (235ish), with fruit
Breakfast burrito (180ish) with yogurt (80), with fruit

Roast with Carrots and Potatoes
BBQ Beef Sandwich with coleslaw
Beef and been tostada
Shredded chicken taco salad
Chicken salad with chips and fruit

Carnita Nachos
Shredded chicken and black bean tostada
Chicken lasagna with veggies using egg roll wrappers and cream cheese sauce
Tilapia with veggie and salad
Beef and Bean burrito

Be sure to go to and check out other menu plans for this week!

Buffalo Chip Cookies

They are a crisp cookie with a unique taste to them and are great to dunk in milk.  The original recipe had you make large cookies, but I make them average size now.

Buffalo Chip Cookies

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup Crisco/shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup crushed cornflakes

Preheat oven to 375*.

Cream the margarine, shortening, and sugars together.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Sift and add the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Blend in the oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips and crushed cornflakes.

Drop spoonfuls on to un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weigh In Friday – Week #1

Starting weight:  156.8

Current weight:  156.2

Pounds lost:  0.6

1st Goal weight:  127

Pounds to go:  29.20

Even though 0.6 is not a grand loss, I’m actually okay with it. 

I’m still working on the eating better part.  I never got around to making a menu plan for this week, but since I had some stuff left from last weeks I’ve sort of used it as a guide.  I did only eat fast food once for lunch this week and did have one dinner out.  That is way better than the 4 to 5 times of fast food a week that I have had in the past few weeks. 

I have already started working on my menu plan for the next two weeks.  I plan to go to the grocery store tonight and stock up for it.  Then the rest of the evening will be spent on food prep and catching up on my daily/weekly tasks, which I haven’t been good about keeping up with. 

I still have a lot of things to work on and improve upon, but I’m at least making the first steps to get to where I need to be in the future.  I’m okay doing my baby steps.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm Gonna & The Flower Bed

Ignore the weeds in the picture! :)

A phrase I use a lot is “I’m gonna” and being the procrastinator that I am, the “I’m gonna’s” rarely end up happening.  I forget about them or just keep putting them off.

One of those I’m gonna’s has been to turn the space between my house and drive way into a flower bed.  That is a year old gonna project.  Before that it was to remake the two strips between the drive way and the fence into flower beds.  I did that years ago, but by the following year it was over grown with grass and weeds.  Two years ago I dug up what was left of the bulbs I had originally planted out there, and put those in flower pots.  Last year I even got 6 rose bushes to go along those two strips.  One of them is still alive and they are all still in the pots that they came in. 

In the past I have been really good about rushing out and buying a bunch of flowers then sticking them in flower pots with the thought that they would be transplanted later.  That never happens. 

This year I am trying something different.  I will make the flower bed first.  Novel idea, huh?  Wonder why more people don’t do that?  Oh yeah, they probably do.

Instead of the I’m gonna, this year it is I will!  Actually it is more of an I am, since I have already started the project.

Sunday afternoon I decided to get out there and start weeding the flower pots from last year.  Seeing what, if anything survived, how many pots had fire ants in them, and how many of the pots were broken and needed to get trashed.  I spent about three hours outside, and while I got some of that accomplished, I still had more to go.

Wednesday evening after work I spent another two hours outside dealing with the mess I left last year.  I love that feeling you get when you start to see your work pay off.  Before Sunday my front yard looked trashy.  Believe me I still have a ways to go, but it is starting to look a lot better. 

I’ve decided instead of spending the weekend inside painting like I had originally planned I will now be working outside.  For one, I don’t want to lose the momentum I have going from seeing the yard go from crappy looking to starting to look better.  Second, I know me, this is the time of year I get antsy and want to go flower shopping especially when you start seeing them pop up everywhere.  If I don’t want this to be another I’m gonna year for the flower bed, I need to do it now.  And last but not least, this is Texas, and we are already getting temps in the mid 80s.  It would definitely be wiser to do it now before it gets hotter.

Unless something else comes up, I plan to work outside tonight again.  I have some more picking up in the yard to do, trying to get it ready to be mowed.  If I get that done before it gets dark then I will probably start working on cleaning off the front porch.  It has a bunch of crap on it as well. 

Friday night I plan to go to Walmart, so no working outside then.  I’ll use the evening to do some food prep, catch up on my daily/weekly tasks and maybe to work on my bathroom arts and craft projects.

The weekend plan is to start removing the grass and weeds from the flower bed area as well as finish cleaning up/off the drive way.  While I am working on that I will have plenty of time to think about how I want to set the area up. 

Oh the possibilities!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh how I wish...

I wish I had the ability to just think up something and make it come to life.  Instead I end up looking up ideas then playing with them to figure out something I can do or that works for what I want. 

An example is me looking up a scroll pattern so I can finish one of the bathroom art projects.  It isn’t like a swirly scroll should be all that hard to draw, but the idea of free handing it scares me!  What if it looks bad when I do it? 

The bathroom art projects as a whole are also another example of seeing something online and using that idea. 

I wish I could make myself do things more randomly and not in patterns or symmetrically.  Visually I *love* the look of random things, like odds and ends placed helter skelter on a shelf, but when I go to putting things on the shelf they are always in groups of two or threes or end up symmetrical or something like that.

I think I’d love a distressed finish on my coffee table, but I don’t think I would be able to do it because I afraid I’ll get wrapped up in symmetry and trying to make it all ‘match’.

I wish every now and then, that my brain worked differently, and that I could be completely creative like others are.  I just don’t know how to get it to switch gears.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weigh In Friday – Starting Weight

Starting weight:  156.8

1st Goal weight:  127

Pounds to go:  29.80

I hope to lose about 1.5 lbs a week, which would be about 6 lbs a month.  This is a realistic weight loss for me based on past experience.

If I lose 1.5 lbs a week it will take me about 20 weeks (5 months) to reach my first goal weight of 127.  I’ve always said when I get to that point I will reevaluate and decided then how much more, if any I need to lose. 

My first goal weight of 127 simply comes from the BMI charts.  This is the weight that would put me at the top of the normal range, rather than the overweight or obese range.  I am not relying strictly on the BMI chart, because honestly I’m not sure I will ever be 100-110lbs, a weight it says someone at my height should be.

My weight loss goal has never been to be a skinny mini.  I just want to be healthy and at a healthy weight for me, my body type and height.  In the end it will be less about a number on the scale and more about how I feel about myself and my body.

Fast food, again, sigh!

Have you ever noticed how easily bad habits slip back into place and how long it seems to change bad habits into good ones?  Today, once again I’ve had that one step forward, two steps back felling.  Actually I’ve been feeling that since the beginning of the week. 

Even after I typed all that out last night I turned around today and had fast food for lunch, and this time I didn’t made a healthy choice like the salad yesterday.  My lunch today, when added up, was about a 3/4ths the amount of calories I should have eaten for the whole day!  I could have gotten just the slice turkey sandwich and had about 400 calories, but no I had the stupid extras.  Crap, crap, crap!

No matter how healthy I eat tonight I’ll be over my daily calorie allotment, period.  I’m seriously trying to do that pep talk thing right now.  But I’m just having trouble with the “It’s okay, you’ll do better next time” because I should have done better today.  I have to start doing better now and not next time, because next time won’t happen.

Maybe now that I’ve said all that and put it on paper I can push it out of my mind and just pick up and move on from here.  Even though I ate a crappy calorie packed lunch today, I am not going to let that give me permission to eat bad tonight.  I will eat a healthy dinner.

This weekend when I make my next menu plan I need to make sure I plan things for lunch that actually sound good and that I will eat.  I’ve had ham and cheese sandwich on there for weeks, but haven’t eaten one yet.  Maybe I should reconsider having it there.

Last year when I was eating healthy I had a lot of the frozen meals for lunch, but I got tired of them taking up freezer space as well as not really being enough calories.  I love that they have low cal meals out there, but I wish they would consider that most people need more than 260 calories for lunch.  I do realize that you can pair it with a salad, but I tend to like the higher calorie additions to my salads.

I can make my own ‘healthy’ lunches that I can heat up at work.  I just have to do a little prep work the night before.  It really wouldn’t be much different than what I do at dinner, except I’d have to precook some veggies and mix a few things together.

Let the planning and prepping begin, because honestly next week needs to be an opposite of this week.  Instead of one meal from home and four fast food ones it needs to be one fast food (if that) and the rest of the meals from home. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Three Weight - Phase One

I’ve once again found myself sitting down and having to have that serious conversation with myself.  The one that starts off with a “Look you can do this!  You’ve done it before and it wasn’t *that* hard.  It just takes self control, motivation and keeping the big picture in mind.  It just takes passing up what ever fatty bad for you food that sounds good at the moment, for the idea of a smaller waist line.  And when you are down to pulling out the bigger sizes of clothes or wearing pants that stretch all the time, well you know you have to do something.  That is usually my breaking point, and I’m there.  I’ve actually been there since the beginning of the year.  I just have been stalling on the getting started part. 

The back story would be at the beginning of 2006 I weighed 183 lbs, which for some wouldn’t be to heavy, but I am only 5 foot.  I lost about 25 lbs at the beginning of that year and managed to keep most of it off for the next few years.  Gaining a little and losing a little, here and there.  I started the year 2010 at 153ish lbs.  And in March of last year I was at my lowest weight ever in my adult life (and really at any point in my life that I remembered).  I was happy because at 138.4 I was down 15lbs for the year and a total of 45 lbs since I first started my weight loss journey.  Now only that, but I was with in reach of my first goal weight which was 127. 

I don‘t have a good excuse.  I stopped counting calories, stopped weighing my food, stopped caring about portion sizes and now today, I am sitting around 157ish.  Totally frustrated, because have I gained back what I lost plus some.  I have no one to blame but myself, plain and simple!

I also know that no one can do this for me.  It is up to me.  And frankly I’m tired.  I’m tired of having a closet full of clothes that I can’t wear because they are for a 140lb body, not an almost 160lb body.  You can only squeeze 20 extra pounds into some things.  I’m also tired of avoiding the mirror, of not being happy with myself, or being pissed at myself for being stupid and gaining back the weight.  Oh how I can keep going, but I know that the negativity isn’t going to get me anywhere. 

I must refocus my attention back to that serious talk I mentioned earlier.  I have to be positive, rather than beat myself up for past mistakes.  They are in the past and I have to move forward.  This is me moving forward.

First thing I feel strongly about when it comes to weight loss is that I feel doing things healthy is the best way to do it.  I do not agree with fad diets that give you a list of odd items that are okay to eat, and suggest you stay away from other things like veggies and dairy.  I do not believe in taking pills, shots or restricting your calorie intake to an outrageously low number.

I do believe in the good ole food pyramid, as well as moderation and portion control.  I believe what I do today, this week and this month to lose weight is something that I need to be able to still do in six months or a year from now.  Even though my past ups and downs with the scale may not suggest that, that is mainly is because I got lazy and did what felt good at the moment, rather than looking at the big picture.

While I will say that losing weight isn’t as hard as we all make it out to be, it does take work.  It takes mental work.  It takes self control.  It takes saying no when you really want to say yes.  It also takes exercise.  It gets easier the more you do it.  You just have to keep it up and figure out what works best for you.

I sat down and wrote out some things I know I need to do to help me get back on this adventurous journey.  I believe in baby steps.  Meaning I believe in breaking things down to make them seem more manageable.  If I came up with a list of 20 things to do starting tomorrow, I wouldn’t make it through the day before I screwed up and decided to give in.

I’m going to call my first group of baby steps Phase One.  Phase Two may come along at some point, or it may be focused more on the maintaining the weight loss.  I’ll take that step when I get there.  But for now…

Phase One:

1.  Drink more water and tea and limit myself to one diet drink a day.

2.  Start writing in the food journal daily.

3.  Use up foods (that I cooked) in freezer that don’t have calories written on them.

4.  Start measuring and calorie counting everything I cook from this point forward and mark the calories on the package when I freeze.

5.  Continue to menu plan, but to also include calories and add snacks.

6.  Limit fast food for lunch and choose healthier options.

7.  Exercise.

8.  Weigh weekly.

I have learned that rather than be vague, like I was with exercise above, that you should list out how you are going to do things.  Just saying you are going to exercise doesn’t really help you and you aren’t really sitting yourself up with a productive plan.  You should say something like I will exercise for thirty minutes five times a week.  At this moment, I’m still figuring the exercise part.  I will have to dig my elliptical out from the jumble of my living room before I can even use it.  That is why it is low on the list, because I know that as long as I am doing the items above it, and weighing in, I am doing a lot more than I was doing. 

That’s a start, and a start is what Phase one is about to me. 

Let me just add…
If you have stumbled along and landed on this page out there in the blog world, let me tell you, the three things that helped me lose the first 25lbs were simple.  They were something anyone and everyone could realistically do, with out having to give their life an overhaul.  When peopled asked me how I lost the weight I simply said “I gave up cokes, walked, and watched what I ate.”

I lost 3lbs alone when I switched from cokes to water, and that was before I did anything else.  I walked on a treadmill, started off at a mile and was up to 3 miles a day.  And when I said I watched what I ate, it wasn’t anything extreme.  I didn’t cook special foods, didn’t give up everything in the world, I just tried to eat less and make better choices.  I decided I didn’t need so much butter and cheese on veggies.  I ate smaller portions of fried foods and so on.  Which if you cook for others, this is probably where I would start, so you don’t freak everyone out. 

I had gotten more strict with my food and calories in 2010, but that is because to be at the weight I want to be with my height it shouldn’t take a large number of calories to fuel my body.  If you are taller you get to weight more, meaning you get to eat more.  I’d be jealous of you taller people out there, but then I have to remember I never have to worry about having to find pants and skirts long enough for me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I’m a BOGO sucker!

I use to get so excited when I’d see a BOGO sale at Payless.  Who doesn’t love a buy one get one half off sale, especially when it comes to shoes?  Of course I went in there a couple times only to find they had no cute shoes in my small size so that helped me stay out of there for a little while.

Yesterday I gave in and stopped at Payless and oh did they have a cute shoe, in my size!  They actually had two cute shoes, but one of them was a smidgeon too tight so I put it back.  Good girl, right?

Did you know though, that when Payless is having a BOGO that it includes everything in the store, not just the shoes?  You can buy a pair of shoes and a purse and get the cheaper of the two half off.

Instead of buying just the shoes I was suckered in and spent an additional $4 on a $8 pair of earrings.  Yeah I know, I could have just saved the $4 and not bought that second additional idea.  That would have been the smart thing, well the second smart thing.  The real smart thing would have been to avoid going into the store at all.

All of this after telling my self that I really need to stop spending and start looking towards saving money.  Yeah I know I have no self control.  Grrr to me!

To top off the whole shoe buying episode, guess who had pizza for dinner last night as well as fast food for lunch again?  And who didn’t do anything on her to do list or daily checklist?  I can blame the pizza on my parents who know I never buy it for myself and invite me over when they get it.  Since I was there, I ended up watching some TV, which I can’t do at my house in over two months. 

Tonight’s to do list will just be a repeat of yesterday’s list.  I also need make some time to write about the de-cluttering I did two weekends ago, and maybe actually do some more, so when the end of the month comes around I have something to share.  March hasn’t felt very productive to me so far.  I still have 15 days to change that around.  I better get after it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Introducing my Big Three!

First a quick recap and the plan for tonight...

Monday Night’s To Do List was:

Work through my daily checklist.
  -- I did 5.5 of the 6 items on my daily list.  While not perfect, it is much better than the one item I was still doing actually daily.

Do my veggie prep on the stuff I bought Saturday.
 -- Veggies and fruits got prepped last night.

Do any additional food prep to help me stick to my menu plan.
 -- Prepped my lunch for today, as well as precooked veggies for Wednesday’s lunch.  I'll have some more to do later in the week, but this will get me started.

Give the rest of the dining room furniture a good cleaning.
  -- Didn’t do.

Along with the items above that I did do, I also folded two loads of towels.  Both were washed Sunday evening, though one load still needed to go through the drier when I went to bed that night.

How boring was that for others to read?  But I'm posting it anyway, because it helps me to see it in writing, what I did and what I didn't do.

Tonight’s To Do List is:

Really clean off the kitchen bar (which was that .5 item) as well as follow through with the other items on my daily checklist.

Do some of the things on the weekly check list, like empty all the little trash cans and sweep the floors.

Dust the dining room furniture, which is now in the room!

Wash dish towels and dust rags, if I get the washing machine leveled.

As always the list could keep going on and on, but I’m going to just stick with those things.  If one item doesn’t get done I will move it to another day.  If more than one item doesn’t get done then I didn't do what I needed to be doing.  If I do happen to get all four of them done, then I can always add to the list as needed.

And now, Introducing my Big Three, atleast the name for them that is, since I really introduced them yesterday. 
From this point forward I am going to start referring to the things that I mentioned before as my Big Three.  At this moment, daily/weekly (cleaning) routines, weight loss and saving/spending are the biggest things that I am focusing on.  Obviously there are many other things going on in my life, such as all the painting and redecorating, but that’s more cosmetic, and the Big Three are deeper issues I need to deal with.  I’m working on finding balance in my life, to get what I need done and to keep doing things that help me move forward. 

My current plan of action is to really work on doing my daily/weekly routines as I currently have them listed out for the rest of the week.  I will need to add to them, especially the weekly section, but first I need get into the habit of doing the main stuff every day.

While I am focusing on those I will work out how I want to attack the food/weight loss part of my Big Three so that by next Sunday I can start implementing those things.  It will just come down to telling my self no and making my self do the things I know I need to do.

By the following week I would like to have some idea how I will be tackling my spending/saving.  I know there will be an adjustment period, trying to figure it all out, but I can at least make postive moves towards getting started.

I’ve got to change things.  No, let me rephrase that, I am going to change things, starting now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It is time to take a stand…

…against myself, the self sabotager.

I’ve learned that I don’t like the word no.  I’m sure I am not the only one that doesn’t like it.  Not only do I not like the word, I have trouble telling myself no. 

No, you don’t need to buy that. 

No, you have already spent enough. 

No, you really need to skip fast food for lunch. 

No, before you go to bed you need to wash dishes and clean up the kitchen.

In all of those, I know the no is better in the long run, I just don’t think in terms of the long run.  I also realize it is a matter of self control, but I just have trouble standing up to myself when I talk myself in to ignoring the no.

I know that if I keep up with the cleaning daily that it makes things a lot easier to maintain, and yet I can so easily talk myself into putting things off for a day or two or a week.

I know that I can eat healthy, and that when I do and watch how much I eat I can lose weight.  And yet, when it comes to lunch at work, I am often tempted to just give in and wasting money on some fattening, not very good lunch form some fast food place.  You know the lunch where you are afraid to look up the calorie count, because it’s probably more than half the amount you should eat a day.

I know that when my car payment and credit card bill is coming due I can curb my spending because I have no option but to pay them.  I also know that when those are taken care of, I have a bad habit of over spending when I get my next pay check.

I know these things about myself.  I also understand things out there that help you not do these things, such as a daily check list for ‘chores’ or a food journal or a budget.  Yet when it comes down to it all, I end up giving into myself instead of standing up and telling myself no. 

I can’t even begin to express how annoyed and frustrated I am with myself right now that I just can’t seem to keep doing things I need to do.  And to make it worse, I have no one but myself to blame.  It’s all on me. 

Now is the time to take a stand against myself and move on with my life in a manor that will be more beneficial for me in the long run.  I will have days and moments when I will fail, fall of track or will simply ignore the all important no.  Those days will happen.  I just need to make sure that those days come fewer and fewer and that when they do happen I don’t let it derail me completely.  I will need to get up, wipe the dirt off my ass and move forward from that point.  I just have to keep telling myself that.

So I am here, once again, ready to muddle through it all.

The first thing I need to do is pull out that Daily/Weekly list I made for myself of things I want to do around the house on a daily and weekly schedule.

The second thing I need to do is pull out the Food Journal and list what I eat every day.  I can still do this even if I am not closely counting my calories and at least be aware of how much I am actually eating.

The third thing I need to do is work out a budget, that works for me and that I can/will stick to it.  This is the one that leaves me feeling lost.  It should be easy for me since it is only me I have to be concerned with, but for some reason it isn’t, or I don’t let it be easy. 

This is me standing up to myself and doing what I need to do! 

Tonight’s To Do List:

Work through my daily checklist.
Do my veggie prep on the stuff I bought Saturday.
Do any additional food prep to help me stick to my menu plan.
Give the rest of the dining room furniture a good cleaning.

Menu Plan - March 14

A plan, a plan, boy do I need a plan!  Not only do I need a plan but I also need to stick with it.  And really it isn’t just a food plan that I need, I just need a whole life plan.  But we will start with this, once again and see what happens.

I’ve been craving roast for a couple of weeks now, but I keep putting off buying one.  Mostly because I know I would have to freeze a big portion of it, and I have enough, more than enough, food in my freezer.  Last week my goal was to eat out of the freezer and try to help make some room.  Somehow it doesn’t seem that I made a lot of space.  Maybe I will this time.

B:  Boiled egg (70), Bagel thin (110) with cream cheese (60) and strawberries (??) plus coffee with creamer (35) (=325?)
L:  Tuna salad with crackers and grapes
D:  Italian Chicken breast** with broccoli/carrots and strawberry spinach salad

B:  Breakfast Burrito* (180ish), yogurt (80), and a plum (35ish), plus coffee with creamer (35) (=330)
L:  Taco salad with Turkey meat* and black beans*
D:  Salisbury steak* with mashed potatoes* and green beans

B:  Bagel Thin with ham and cheese (250) and orange slices (50ish), plus coffee with creamer (35) (=335)
L:  Spaghetti* with turkey meat* sauce*, broccoli and carrots
D:  Mushroom, bell pepper, onion* and spinach Omelet with toast

B:  Bagel Thin with cream cheese (170), yogurt (80), and grapes (55), plus coffee with creamer (35) (=340)
L: Ham and cheese sandwich (230), Pringles (100) and a plum (35ish) (=365)
D:  Raviolis* with spinach cream sauce* with broccoli and strawberry spinach salad

B:  Toast with honey (150), yogurt (80), and orange slices (50ish), plus coffee with creamer (35) (=315)
L:  Leaving Open
D:  BBQ Ground Turkey meat* with tator tots*, and sautéed cabbage

*  In the freezer, cooked
**In the freezer, not cooked

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