$aving Money

I’m working on learning to budget better, to save money, and spend in better ways. But we have to spend money on certain items, like food. And we want food that is appetizing and tastes good. But I was sure there was ways I could spend less while still creating delicious meals. I found this article on EatingWell.com: Ways to Save Money and it was extremely practical. Just using chicken on the bone once a week instead of boneless and skinless chicken breasts will save you $78 a year! And if you have tofu once a week instead of sirloin you could save over $200. Now that’s definitely worth it. And it’s just little changes once a week or so… nothing drastic. Check it out. I’m definitely going to start trying this method!

I’m also attempting to make myself be more organized and task-oriented. I’m learning to set goals and then pick out the most important goal that I need to focus on. And hopefully that one success will then help me in reaching my other goals. 🙂  On my iphone I downloaded the Any.Do app for writing To-Do lists. It’s great. Sets reminders, you can use the calendar, and you just swipe to erase your to-do once it’s accomplished… always a great feeling. :]

Canola instead of Olive…

Who watched “The Magic School Bus” growing up? Ms. Frizzles catchphrase is “get messy, take chances, make mistakes…” and have a great time doing so. I need to have that attitude more in my life. It’s so easy to get uptight. But instead of doing so I simply need to smile and laugh things off. Learn from my mistakes and then just let go. Not always easy to do, but a very helpful school to have.

This week was a crazy one… especially one day in particular. The window in my apartment bedroom had a bad leak, and I went to let my puppy out at my boyfriend’s house and found that he learned to jump over the gate in the kitchen and had ripped apart the living room. He also decided that the guest room made a good bathroom.

 I have continued to try different recipes cooking… and am learning ITS OK if things don’t turn out perfect, or if people do not like what you cook. I attempted to make some garlic noodles with the Maple Salmon recipe I posted before. Right after I poured in the oil the recipe called for in the noodles I realized I had used Canola Oil instead of EVOO. And I had used TOO Much. Oops. A little extra EVOO wouldn’t have been bad. But noodles covered in and dripping Canola oil… that wasn’t the tastiest thing I’ve ever created. I also made my own version of a carrot/apple salad, because I needed to use up those ingredients. I only added mayo and black pepper, and while I enjoyed it others did not. So that meal was a dud. However I allowed myself to laugh about it. I’m learning it’s very very important to stay light-hearted when I cook. It’s something I enjoy and I don’t need to make it into something that’s stressful, or something that defines me. Just because people don’t love my carrot/apple slaw creation does not mean that they don’t love ME.

Life definitely can be messy, and things do not go as planned. Smile, let your dog dig in the dirt, and the wash off the mess later. Live your life to the fullest, don’t put limits and boundaries on the possibilities that are out there. Make the memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life and forget the days that don’t go like you planned. They are just part of the journey.

Adventure: Good for the soul

Adventure: it’s good for us. It’s so easy to get caught in routine… doing the same thing over and over. Doing things the easy way. Never stopping our busy lives to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation around us. And we don’t go seeking it. Compared to Oregon, where I grew up, Texas terrain is much less green, lush and the lack of mountains can be saddening. Today I took a drive with my dog and ran across beauty here in Texas. I found a place only 10 minutes from home that was silent. When I opened my car door and stepped out, no noise greeted me but the quiet wind and the slightest movement of water.

We walked around, exploring and soaking in the sights (and smells) and just enjoying the brisk weather. I love people out in the “wilderness”, they are so friendly. Both trucks that drove by waved politely as they passed. Why can’t we acknowledge those around us in the store? Or as we’re driving through town? Or waiting in line somewhere? Why do we always ignore each other instead of taking the chance to brighten or bless someone’s day? Take this year to revamp the way you live, the way you define life, the way you interact with those around you. Make sure you go on little adventures. Mine took less than 2 hours today. Do not make excuses 🙂

On a different note: COOKING!
 Found another great recipe for Salmon last night. Dijon Salmon. I also made some cheesy potatoes and severed steamed green beans. It was quite tasty, although the salmon was a little fishier than I usually like. Check it out, it’s very simple and makes a delicious meal.

Trying {New} Things

There are a whole group of people out there who LOVE bacon.
My boyfriend is one of them. I am not so much, but am willing to try it out in some recipes. I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com for Bacon Spaghetti! It was very tasty… a nice light taste, not too much bacon flavor, which I appreciated. It made me happy to see him enjoy the meal so much. That’s love right?
I’m going to make a couple changes next time I make this recipe. It calls for 1 lb of bacon and 1lb of noodles… depending on how many people I’m feeding I would just go ahead and do 1/2 lb of noodles. And make sure to crumble the bacon really well so it sticks to the noodles! Be brave and try it, it’s the new year, and the bacon lovers in your life with thank you!

Here’s the recipe! Let me know if you try it!     
 Bacon Spaghetti

Something else I love… but only once in awhile:
 Triscuits, dill pickles and cheddar cheese.
 Making fun little snacks makes me happy, and these are very unique and tasty. I do not eat pickles on anything but these. 
Again, just try it 🙂