Sunday, January 24, 2010

Too Pretty to Eat

Here is the cake that will never be eaten...not really because we can't bear to cut it, but because we fear for our future if we do. You see...just a few short hours after Hannah finished icing and assembling this cake, she came down with a nasty stomach bug. We might have thought it was just something she ate, except Patrick came down with it too; all just a few days after Alyssa was down with it.

Victoria's birthday present was tickets to see the ballet, Cinderella in Atlanta. So, in keeping with that theme, Hannah designed this cake:

She put in so much time and effort, I can't bear to throw it away; but neither can anyone bear to eat it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saving and Losing

So, here I am, the second week of the new year, and it's hitting me why I don't plan menus. I'm not convinced that it saves me time.

Here's what my planning time has looked like so far. I noticed on facebook earlier this morning that Terri Lynne at Pleasing to You mentioned loving $5 dinner mom. I'm thinking…all right…score – dinner for $5! I google $5 dinners and find the website. Snoop around there for a few minutes, look at recipes and follow links to various other websites, including but not limited to: Frugal Dr. Mom, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest (to get a coupon), Life as Mom, and Coupon Teacher. I've now spend thirty minutes on the computer and still don't have a menu for next week. I have, however, increased the guilt I already feel over not being more frugal. By the way, I suspect the $5 dinner lady doesn't have four children, three of which are teenagers. I'm just guessin'.

So I have to ask myself…is this worth it? Or am I better off pulling into the Publix parking lot with no menu planned and only the bare necessities (you know, eggs, milk, chocolate) on my list and just winging it. You know…let the sale circular inspire as you wander aimlessly through the store. While it sounds fun, and I'm fairly adept at that method; I do know the drawback. In the middle of prepping tomorrow's dinner, I will realize I don't have one critical ingredient and another trip to the store is necessary.

What to do, what to do. Am I saving money? Losing time? Can't decide.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Attempt #1

We're about to see if the FLIP is as easy as everyone says it is. Here's a clip from Hannah's most recent riding lesson.

I think it worked. One goal down! Another goal is on hold. My phone has been having issues, so Verizon is replacing it with an upgrade. It will be here Monday, so I'll be starting from scratch. Good grief...this from a gal who rarely upgrades her phone...two new phones in 8 months. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I hereby resolve...

Hmmm....I don't make New Year resolutions any more. I think the lackadaisical attitude comes with being 40ish and having seen so many unsuccessful resolutions come and go in my younger years. However, this year I'm going to set some goals...some big, some little, and some just plain silly; but here is the beginning of my list.

1. Learn to use my phone. Yes, I know...most of you talk to me on my phone and I CAN use it to call people, but I really am going to use the features on it. I selected this phone so I could consolidate gadgets and not have to take my mp3 player AND my phone into the gym. I tried to upload some podcasts, only to have just the first few minutes of each one actually show up in the play list. Grrr....I WILL conquer my phone.

2. Learn to use my Christmas presents. Yes, I must have been a good girl this year... I got a Flip! Isn't that fun?! Supposedly they are amazingly simple, so I should be in good shape, but we must never underestimate my ability to be a complete technology dunce. You'll know if I succeed here...if I post videos. I also received a French press coffee maker from my daughter. I'm still perfecting my skill at getting just the perfect brew, but stop in any time and I'll make us a pot.

3. Plan menus ahead. I have been trouble shooting some issues in my life. For many years I was on top of things (or at least I was compared to now) and felt much more at peace. Then the kids grew up, schedules got complicated, we weren't eating the things the way I had planned and the pendulum swung the other way. I gave up planning (well...the plans never worked out so why continue) and now I rarely know what we are eating at the next meal. Thus, we end up eating out more than we should, simply because I am paralyzed in the kitchen. This year, I'm going to try to plan flexible meals that will work into our schedule if we are home or can be made at a later date without wasting ingredients. I may even try to cook ahead and freeze some meals.

4. Blog more. I saw that for less than $20 I could have my blog from last year made into a book. I would love to do an annual "this is our life" book to pass on to my grandchildren some day. But let's be real; at this point, those grandkids would just see how scattered I am and how inconsistently I post here.

5. Decorate, really decorate for Christmas next year. I've only given it a half hearted effort for too many years. Next year, I'm going all out. If I say it all year long...maybe then it will happen.

That's all I can think of right now. I reserve the right to add to my list. How 'bout you...what are your goals for the new year?