Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend update/Monthly update (March)

Since I haven't done a weekend update in several weeks, I'm thinking maybe weekly is a little ambitious. I'm going to try a monthly update instead. I'm still working on my PIPs but am happy with my progress on many of them. Here is how I did last month.

Cleaning & Organizing
Last week was spring break for my husband and kids. Why is it that I think I will get more done on a week like that? I wanted to finish regrouting the hall bathroom floor (I didn't even finish scraping out the old grout) and do a lot of cleaning & organizing. Over the weekend, the kids and I didn't have anywhere to be and got several things done. Plus, I got rid of hundreds of magazine pages (see here.) Maybe one day I will learn that having everyone home isn't likely to give me time to do extra stuff.

I'm really happy with how I have been doing on time. All I need to do is figure out where I need to be when and work backward. We haven't been late once to my daughter's softball practice and are usually one of the first families there. That is so unlike me and I like it. I need to do a little work on getting the kids moving without my constant help and I would like them to be a little speedier (especially my daughter.) Lately I have had time to stay on them and keep them moving but it won't always be that way.

Since last week was spring break we did a lot together as a family. My husband has been gone quite a bit lately so, I have been solo with the kids. When that happens, I get really worn down and by the end of the day my patience is about gone. I recognize it after both kids are in bed. That is something I'm going to work on, taking a breath and not letting little things get to me.

I'm still not doing great here. I'm trying, but if everything doesn't go as planned, meals are one of the first things to go. I have requested a book on meal planning from the library. I'm hoping that will help. I'm thinking it won't have any new information (because I have researched this quite a bit already) but I'm hoping it will. What I think I need to do is just dedicate more time to it.

I've been a litte frustrated lately because I have tried a couple new recipes that have just not worked out. They were so bad I didn't save the left-overs. Luckily, my husband isn't a very picky eater and is a good sport. He always happily eats what I make and has never said a negative word about any of it. I can be honest about it though, and they just were not good.

Being Green
I recycled several electronics (see here) at Best Buy. I also made a couple trips to Whole Foods for chicken and ground beef. Those trips to Whole Food were not cheap. After learning about how chicken and cattle are farmed, I am committed to buying from places that put an emphasis on the treatment of the animals.

I'm concerned about all kinds of chemicals that my children are exposed to and lately that includes toothpaste. (I avoid artificial colors in my children's food but then have them use toothpaste that is bright blue and pink, how does that make sense?) So, I bought Tom's peppermint, that tasted fine, but was expensive. I also bought this fennel toothpaste from Trader Joe. Yuck, gross, disgusting. As much as I hate to waste, I was about to chuck it in the trash. My husband ran out of his toothpaste and I decided to try it on him. Luckily, he doesn't notice things like that and he's been using it.

A couple weeks ago I participated in A Bowl Full of Lemons Organize Your Finances Challenge. You can see those posts here, here, here, here, and here.
Before that challenge I thought I had a handle on our finances. All that work really opened my eyes even more.

I have been really conscious of how I spend money. For example, I went to The Container Store to check on a couple products. I saw something I really wanted (here it is) but I needed to use my weekly allowance to pay off something else I previously purchased. I think I will eventually get it (or something similar) but I didn't buy it on impulse. That's huge for me.

My me project has two parts. Run more. Eat better.

I haven't run as much as I'd like but with my half-marathon being a week from Sunday, I feel ok about it. I won't be fast, but I will be able to finish. As the weather gets warmer, I think I'll get back into the swing.

I have been off and on with my "eat better" attempts.

I quit the sweet tea. I didn't have a glass for two days. Then, I was really tired one day and needed my caffeine. My resolve must've been super weak because I bought some at the grocery store. I know I need more sleep. I think if I get that, I won't need caffeine and will be able to stay off the sweet tea.

I had salad a couple days for lunch. I am hoping to make that a habit and have salad for lunch several days a week. I know it's something I need to make a habit then I will be more likely to stick with it.

The processed food is harder to eliminate. I'm not sure what to give the kids for snack if I can't open a box. That is going to take a lot of work. I'm not giving up, I just realize it is going to take a lot of change.

I realized that some of my projects contradict others. When I buy organic (like meat from Whole Foods) it contradicts being frugal. I guess I just have to find the balance.

Whew, that was a long post. If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read it all.


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