Friday, October 28, 2011

Moving Right Along

October has been a pretty good month for me. When I started the month making goals, I wasn't sure what to expect. I like goals, but I've never been very successful at reaching them. In the past, they have been more like targets--really big targets that I usually don't even come close to reaching. This time was different. The support has been wonderful. I like linking up with the groups and knowing that even though our goals are different, we are on the same schedule. I think blogging my progress has been very motivating too. My successes and failures are forever enshrined in internet land, good, bad or ugly. It's scary but it works. 

October 3 in 30 Goals

1. Drink more water--still doing really good with this goal! In the interest of full disclosure, there is a soda on my desk right now--my co-worker brought it to me and I didn't have the heart to tell her I'm cutting back. It's good, but not as good as it was a month ago. 

2. Keep up with laundry--My washer was fixed late last Friday night and was going strong Saturday. By Sunday evening, I was all caught up and soooo thankful that it was done. The kids are finally putting it together that if they will bring me the dirty clothes from their rooms, I will wash them. Apparently that's a novel concept to them. 

3. Sunday morning meals--We had Sausage, Egg and Cheese Quiche for breakfast and Taco Soup for lunch/dinner. Planning ahead really works well.

One Bite At A Time

This week, I did not tackle the paperless kitchen challenge like I thought I was going to do. I just wasn't sufficiently motivated for that. I did manage to cut down my magazine clutter by quite a bit. The challenge was really magazine and book clutter but most of my books are still in boxes. In fact, I know I have a box of magazines somewhere too but I couldn't find them fast. I tackled just what I had in my living room and kitchen, and managed to toss about 30 back issues after pulling out a few recipes and decorating ideas. I will most likely revisit this challenge when I find my box of magazines, if the husband didn't toss them when I wasn't looking.

Next week, I have no idea what my goals should be. It's time to think about November and I'm not ready for that yet. 

How did your week go? Have you made plans for November yet?

3in30 Challenge Photobucket

Friday, October 21, 2011

You Win Some...

I didn't manage to post or link up with my 3 in 30 or One Bite progress last week :/ It's been a crazy busy week. Maybe I should make a goal next month to actually keep up with my progress reports!  The past 2 weeks, I have been partly successful with my goals:

3 in 30 Challenge

1. Laundry--My goal this month was to not get behind with my laundry. I don't mind doing it if I can keep up but when the Laundry Fairy doesn't visit everyday, I get overwhelmed and ignore it until we run out of underwear. I have to say that I'm doing very well with this challenge and I *love* having a clean laundry room.  Of course, Murphy's Law says that when the routine is going well, something will disrupt it. My something was a broken washer. The agitator broke last weekend and we had to order parts for it. They should arrive today and thanks to my handyman husband, it will be working like new very soon. Unfortunately, I have a pile of laundry waiting for me when it gets fixed. On the bright side, my "one load per day" goal has spoiled me and I can't wait to get back into my routine. 

Just a side note, if you ever need parts to keep an appliance running long past it's life expectancy, I highly recommend PartSelect. Their website allows you to select your appliance by model number, then it gives you a diagram of the parts. You pick out what's broken and order what you need. If you don't know what is broken, they can help with that too. A word of caution, my bank card does not like to let me order from them (I believe they are Canada based). It declined my card several times before I had to verify with the bank that yes, I was indeed ordering washing machine parts from Canada. So if that happens to you, just call the bank and get them to manually authorize the charge (at least that's what works with my bank).

2. Water--Not only am I replacing my afternoon soda with water, I have almost completely cut out soda altogether and kicked my artificial sweetener habit. I am reviewing a book by Beth Aldrich called Real Moms Love To Eat and one of the things she is really adamant about is cutting out artificial sweeteners. Normally I wouldn't give that much thought but this time I did. I switched to 1 cup of coffee every morning (with real sugar) and I can count on one hand the number of sodas I have had in the past 2 weeks--most of them non-diet. 

3.  Sunday Meals--There have been 2 Sundays since I started this challenge and I am 50/50. The first Sunday, I made Blueberry Soup and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast, and Beef Stroganoff for lunch. It really did smooth the process. It was a fair amount of extra work but it was worth it. The 2nd Sunday we went out of town so we had cereal for breakfast and a late lunch at a cafe. 

One Bite At A Time

So I had big plans to make some homemade staples...didn't happen. I still have plans but I really want several hours (in a row) of free time to dig in. When that happens, I will let you know how it goes. Until then, I am going to move on to another challenge for next week. It seems senseless to hang on to this one just waiting for a few free hours. Next week, I'm going for "Paperless Kitchen."

How did you do with your goals this week? 

3in30 Challenge

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday (or Why the TP is Gone)

Do not be fooled by my beauty and charm...

I have anger issues.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blueberry Soup and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Last Sunday, I made breakfast before church--which never happens. I had planned to prepare everything before morning but a late night on Saturday kept me out way past my bedtime and I didn't want to cook when I got home!  On Sunday morning, I made Blueberry Soup and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. Both were delicious and had the husband and kids asking for seconds. The recipes are below.

Blueberry Soup

1 pound frozen blueberries
1 1/4 cups vanilla yogurt
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
canned whipped topping

In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped topping. Blend until pureed. Pour into bowls and serve with whipped topping. **My whipped topping can was defective so the topping was runny--same flavor, it just didn't look as pretty**

This recipe was adapted from a Strawberry Soup recipe from Taste of Home. You can find the original recipe here.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups canned pumpkin
5 eggs
1/2 cup apple butter
2 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins (24 muffins). In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, eggs, apple butter, 2 1/2 cups sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt until well mixed. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add into the wet ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix in. Divide the batter between the muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. 

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found online at In Erika's Kitchen. I didn't intend to alter the original recipe so much but I found myself lacking some essential ingredients like cooking oil and various spices. I had to make several substitutions but they still turned out good. You can find the unedited version here.

If you make either one of these (or both!), I would love to know what you think of them!