I went to bed last night very worried that I may have come across as some one with OCD, ADD and a slew of other undiagnosed illnesses with acronyms.
I'm just me.
What's a girl to do.
Today I did my usual morning routine. Today's room to 'clean' was the office.
What I'm becoming painfully aware of since starting this post, is that I'm really not happy with a few of the rooms in my home. I'm going to have to do some decorating. I haven't done that in quite some time.
The 'office' is what I call this room, because the computer and the check book reside here. If I ever get a laptop, I'll use this as a sewing room. This room is used for everything. Utility room, pantry, storage, office, etc. It's the most cluttered room I have, but it just sort of has to be.
I enter, and work my way around, dusting, wiping windowsills, emptying the trash.
I vacuum this room when I do the rest of the house.
Oh, go ahead and laugh at the map on the wall. It still doesn't help me know where I live.
It's a cool old Rand McNally map.
There's nothing fancy going on around here folks. Form is following function.
These old shelves were here when we moved in, and I'm glad I kept them. I just repainted them a couple of weeks ago.
Today my morning routine of chicken tending, house vacuuming, bed making and cleaning the office took 36 minutes.
Then I planned my menu.
I don't time this.
This is a pleasure to me.
A few thoughts on cooking, meal planning and the like.
I really enjoy it.
I know there are lot of you out there that would rather be tarred and feathered.
I really can't think of anything to say to change your mind, or to help you.
So, if you are reading this, and you can think of something to tell someone that doesn't like to cook, please leave a comment!
What I eat is important to me. Ya'll know my food issues, all too well.
Food evokes emotion for me.
I love people with food.
Comforting casseroles in the winter, cool crisp salads in the summer, such are the things life is made of.
I keep thinking of when my parents were in their last year of life, and we had to put them in a nursing home (can't even talk about that), I would see what they ate. I found it so sad that food was just presented to them, like it or not, it's what's for dinner. No choice in the matter.
I mentioned to Glen once how sad I found that, saying
"Can you imagine not having any choice in your meals?"
"You mean, like me?"
Why I oughta.
So I guess I feel that there is a day coming in my life, where I may not get to eat what I enjoy, so dad gum it, I'm gonna do it now.
As with a cleaning routine, I find that a menu planning and shopping routine make life so much more simple and stress-free.
I begin by making my grocery list, and sorting it by department.
Fruits & Veggies/Dairy/Meat/Canned Goods/Boxed Goods/Frozen/Misc.
I like to try and follow the layout of the store. I hate making a random list and having to look over the whole list while your in the produce aisle, only to miss something and have to back track.
I hate grocery store backtracking!
I actually have a binder that I keep notebook paper in, and it's tabbed, and my life is rather organized in it. Under the menu planning/shopping menu, I keep this sheet. It's a good reminder of some things that may need to be re-stocked when I go shopping.
I then sit with cookbooks, and my binders of recipes and choose the week's meals. Now, don't freak out, but I rarely make the same thing twice in one year. I don't know why, I just like trying new recipes constantly. Now, I might make chili four or five times, but it will always be a different recipe for chili.
These are the binders I have in the pantry. As I find recipes online, or in magazines, I print them out, tear them out and file them in the appropriate binder for future use. If I LOVE it, then that recipe gets transferred into the Recipe Keeper folder.
If I don't like it, I pitch it.
Please know that I make this alot harder than it needs to be. Please reference first sentence of this blog post.
So here I sit, sipping tea, pouring over recipes. It's 'me' time. I don't like to rush it.
I do have a little method to my madness.
I follow this guideline:
Soup and Bread Night
Asian Inspired Night
Mexican Inspired Night
It's not written in stone, but it helps me jump start the menu plan, and insure that we aren't eating beef or chicken every night. It mixes it up.
I also bake a lot.
This is what's on the menu for the week:
Black Beans w/Rice & Salad
Beef Tacos w/ Chips and Salsa (I make my own chips and salsa)
Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread
Chicken Florentine Panini & Salad
Little Travelers Chopped Salad (a salad with bacon and pasta)
Asian Beef Wraps with Spring Rolls
Pioneer Woman's Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Biscuits
I'll be baking:
The Best Cookies in the World
Three Day Coconut Cake
Aunt Donna's Broccoli Bread
Misc things I'll cook:
Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Calzones
Biscuits and Gravy
Italian Breakfast Casserole
MeMa's Cream Cheese Jello Salad
This is what it looks like when I'm all done.
I have a sheet with the menu for the week.
A sheet to take to the store.
My recipes are filed in the pocket of my binder.
I don't try and follow a budget per se.
I do buy store brands.
I shop at Aldi for the most part, and finish up at the regular store.
Tomorrow, when I go shopping, I will report to you how much was spent.
Shannan, at Flower Patch Farm Girl has some great meal planning and budget posts here under her food label. Scroll down a few blogs and you'll find her meal planning posts.