grocery challenge

This week I have given myself a challenge: Spend as little as possible on food and groceries.

Actually, it started as: Don’t spend any money on food this week.

But we have a weekly social gathering at Moe’s with our Bible study, so that blew the plan from the get-go. Since kids (i.e. me) eat for free, we’ll let it slide. Also, I was really craving oj this week — some mornings I just want water, but sometimes I need juice. So instead of the weekly grocery bill being the usual $80-$130 (depending on the week), it was $4.26 because I bought 2 cans of frozen oj concentrate.

Based on my current fridge and pantry contents, here’s the meal plan I came up with for the week:

As you can see, we won’t be eating super fancy, but it won’t be like Oliver Twist either. I had a good amount of staples so even if we change our minds here or there, we can swing it.

I don’t know exactly why I decided challenge myself with this; maybe to help the monthly budget, maybe to clean out the pantry, maybe just to see if we could do it. If you want to try it with me, let me know! …maybe it’s time for you to use that can of pumpkin that has been in the pantry since last fall. Or that jar of pesto that’s close to expiring. Just sayin.

we’re through, Pandora.

I about had it out with Pandora today. She keeps doing this thing where she cuts out a song right in the middle to go to a commercial. Ok, that’s fine, if it’s a song I don’t like. I don’t pay for it, so there have to be ads.

But today I had this in front of me:

So I was pumping my jam while folding laundry. Really, what else can one enjoy while folding laundry? (If you have other ideas, do tell.)

Here’s my jam. (Previously thumbs-up’d so it would ideally play more often.) She finally got to it after about 10 back-to-back Pit Bull and Usher songs. She dangled it in front of me and then BAM! Commercial. Didn’t even get to the bridge… Before you came into my life I missed you so bad. (Such good logic.)

I got mad and yelled at her (waking the bunny) and told her we’re through. Then she responded with this:

Really Pandora? Trying to butter me up with your wily devices?


We’re not broken up anymore.

real quick

Yesterday I made some kick-a barbecue chicken. But it kicked my crock pot’s a in the form of sauce baking on… then burning on. Guys, I think I have a problem… I saw the burnt on sauce and got excited to clean it.

Here’s the burnt on before picture (plus some sauce in the bottom; don’t worry, it didn’t go to waste).

And here’s the crock pot about 5 minutes later after I went to town on it with my spirinett!

I know it helped that I attacked it within a few hours of the burning-on. But it was so incredibly easy to clean and, since the crock is ceramic, it was safe to use the little pot-scrubber on.

I also thought I’d share about my run today. I decided to go real quick (as in “not for very long;” not to be confused with “I ran fast.”) after walking to the mailbox and loving the weather. I decided to run without music today. It was nice. However, I noticed that with the leaves falling leaving naked trees, my usual run is looking kinda freaky…

You can see way back in there.

I also tried to take a picture of myself while running (a la SkinnyRunner). It’s not easy. Wait for no traffic. Concentrate on running and pushing a button while not making a stupid face. And don’t trip.

Hello flying hair.

And I’m pretty sure I inhaled half a dozen of these white floaty things from these trees.

Also, before I sign off, I thought I would share this lovely picture that my dad took on his cell phone of the lake by their house and then MMS’d to me. 🙂

Happy autumn!


You guys, my house smelled so bad last night. I made shrimp and salmon and they decided to hang around for a while.

{Side note, I got some big fat NC shrimp, coated them in Newman’s Own ranch dressing, and cooked them in a non-stick pan. It was amazing.}

As I was peeling and de-veining and fileting and other such slimy stuff, the noxious fish fumes were filling my kitchen, living room, bedroom… I think I must’ve become immune to the scent. At one point B-money came into the kitchen and declared that it most definitely smelt like the fish market at Pike’s Place.

Well, at one point, when I walked over to the sink to wash my hands, I smelled a-whole-nother kind of stank. Over the fish smell. I sniffed around (I should’ve wafted like Mrs. Loggins taught us to in chemistry class. Would’ve saved me a few more olfactory receptors.) and finally found the source. …turns out we hadn’t washed our dish rag in a few months.

So today I decided to do an experiment. Rather than throwing it away, I soaked it in some of my laundry detergent for a few hours and then washed it like normal.

Here’s a before shot:

I added 10 cups of water and <1 teaspoon of detergent into a Pyrex dish with the cloth. One hour later this is how it looked.

The grease had released and floated to the surface. And I could put my face close to it without feeling the urge to vomit. In fact, I couldn’t smell anything.

After letting it soak for about 4 hours, I threw it in the wash with some other clothes and a tiny bit of Odor Eliminator for good measure. Here’s an after shot:

I’d say it worked pretty well. I pressed it up against my nose and just smelled cleanness. It’s not bright white anymore, but what is, really? Oh right.

Well, all this stinking got me thinking. I enjoyed leaving the windows open and having candles lit, but there’s something I’ve had in the back of my mind… something I pinned a while ago… And tonight I’m going to make it! 🙂