Getting it Together: Meal Plans and Grocery Shopping

GITweek1

As previously discussed here and here, I want to work on getting my life more together. I’m doing some self improvement before baby arrives and before it all has time to fall apart again. I’ve decided to do this by working on one area at a time so I don’t get super overwhelmed until I can juggle a few tasks at once instead of failing extraordinarily at all of them at once.

Getting it Together Week 1: Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

So, last week I made a pact with myself to go grocery shopping and stick to the menu plan. Ever since our cruise, but honestly even before that, I had really been struggling with sticking to a meal plan and actually going to the grocery store. And, I know for me at least, the first way to feel more put together and organized is to not have to wonder what is for dinner every night, and also avoid constantly eating fast food or ordering pizza.

So Thursday, with a little help from emeals, I went grocery shopping with a meal plan in place. All week, even when it was inconvenient, we stuck to that meal plan. For the first time ever, every single meal was cooked and nothing went to waste. And it was nice to know what we were having and being able to eat at a normal time.

Monday, we’ll discuss the plan for week 2. I’m excited about it!

So, how do you meal plan and cook dinner every night? Do you have a set meal plan for breakfast and lunch as well? Any tips or secrets for saving money grocery shopping? Not letting food go to waste? Suggestions for quick 30 minutes or less meals?

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Organization: Shoes Purge

On Monday, in my follow up to Getting it Together I discussed one of my ideas for organizing and just helping me feel less stressed. Although I know it goes against all the female stereotypes, I decided to get rid of the vast majority of my shoes. When it comes down to it, my wardrobe needs do not call for heels, and neither do my personal wants. Additionally, I’ve been holding on to all these other shoes on the off chance I ever want to wear them, when in reality that opportunity never actually came around. What can I say? I am a simplistic shoe girl.

So, here are the before pictures.

Before 1 Before 2Before 3Before 4So, there are a couple of important things to note.

1. Those are two separate shoe racks.

2. Shoes pictured are mostly the shoes I do not actually wear. Those were scattered around the house since they had no room on the shoe racks to live.

3. Those pictures do not include all my shoes!

After a very quick de-cluttering session, this was the result

RejectsThe picture does not do the pile of shoes justice.

But in the end, after collecting all the shoes I do wear, I was left with a nice organized shoe rack. This rack is now filled with shoes I actually like and want to wear, they make my feet happy… and there is a little room for some cute sandals (which I figure I’ll be living in this summer considering I’ll be carting around a watermelon in my stomach).

AfterTotal count: 2 pairs of black heels, one opened toed and one closed; one pair of brown heels; 4 pairs of flats; a pair of brown and a pair of black boots; 4 pairs of converse, two grey and two pink but they are all different; a pair of athletic shoes (I have another pair somewhere… oh where are they?) and lastly flip flops and sandals. Just look at how much nicer and neater that looks. So clean and organized and I can already feel the stress from having too many shoes melting away.

And Joseph now gets the old shoe rack… Of course it won’t be big enough for all his shoes!

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The Dresser Story

*This is a long one but there is a nursery sneak peak at the end!*

Joseph and I seem to have started this tradition where on Sunday’s we end up going on adventures. This past Sunday we went to Ikea to get a dresser for the nursery. However, since we were on an adventure we wandered the whole store, even the parts that had nothing to do with bedrooms.

Finally, we get down to the warehouse to get our dresser, we grab our big cart to carry our boxes off in, find the right aisle and run into a big empty bin. I stared at it for a few minutes, as if the dresser would magically materialize. The last time we were at Ikea we encountered the same problem but with our crib, surely this wasn’t the case. However, staring at the empty bin, magically, did not make the dresser appear. After a few minutes the crazy pregnant hormones took over and I started crying in the middle of Ikea.

*Proud moments*

Since we were in Atlanta and 6 miles from a Home Goods we decide to go by there. I didn’t expect to find a dresser but it is always a fun store to adventure in. As I expected, I didn’t find a dresser. However, Home Goods was right down the road from The Dump (a furniture store for those not in the know).

We head to The Dump and start wandering around. I’m not fully impressed because it is a lot of wood colored dressers and we are aiming for a white one. Then, the heavens parted and we found the cutest dresser. It was white, and precious. Joseph goes to find the sales woman, we tell her which one we want. We get to the computer and she looks it up… Not in stock, they don’t get another shipment for a month and the manager refuses to sell us the floor model.

*Sigh*

We head to Babies R Us, just to see if they will have anything we might want. But that store had the tiniest furniture section and unless we were willing to drop $500 on a dresser, we were SOL. We did, however, stand in front of the mattress section for far too long trying to figure out which one to buy, in stereotypical, first time parents fashion. We decide on a mattress, Joseph looks it up on Amazon and it was $10 cheaper, so I was like cool, just order it from there. Out of Stock. “For ten dollars we are getting a mattress now!”

So we go home and I check Amazon, Target, Walmart, any place I can think of. I find a dresser I like on Amazon and check Target 1.5 star rating. I found one on Target that I liked enough, and was all set to order… Out of Stock.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Joseph, very smartly, suggests to me “Perhaps you should stop looking up dressers for a while.”

So for thirty minutes I gave his suggestion serious thought.

And then got on Craigslist. I found quite a few options, Joseph and I decided on our favorite, it had been posted just 30 minutes prior, we measure it out in the nursery and it is the perfect size. Joseph calls the number.

IT IS DISCONNECTED

Now I have been hit with the nesting bug and I am like a dog with a bone. I want a dresser, I must find a dresser, but at every SINGLE turn I am disappointed. By numerous stores and outlets.

Joseph, on Monday decides that he is not content by this whole disconnected number issue and he takes another look at the ad. The number has now been changed, it was typed in a digit wrong and he calls the number. A voice picks up, the dresser is available. It is a Broyhill, it is under $200. We borrow Dad’s truck, go and look at it. It is pretty, and white; made of wood and pretty.

So we have a dresser because Joseph persevered. (And I think he was tired of me stressing over it)

NurseryDresser

 

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Getting it Together – a Follow Up

From the feedback I received last week for my Getting it together post, it is clear that I am not alone in feeling like I’m constantly overwhelmed and falling apart. And while I truly understand that no one has it all “together”, I am not happy with my personal level of togetherness. It seems like multi-tasking to pull myself together is not something I’m capable of. While I, in no way, feel the need to be close to perfect or 100% together, I certainly want to feel more put together than I do currently.

Part of this, I’m sure, is the fact that nesting has hit me hard. I want to clean everything, get the nursery together, become organized, use green cleaning supplies, etc and I want to do it all right now.

There is another part of me that knows that if I were to de-clutter my living spaces, it would lead to me feeling more together and less stressed and so I actually have some rather crazy plans in terms of de-cluttering.

One thing I did a few weeks ago was ruthlessly go through my make up. I got rid of FAR more than I kept. In fact, the only things I did keep were the things I use every day. Gone are all the different colored eyeshadows, gone are the remnants and foundation back ups. Then, when I was finished with that, I went through the fingernail polish. Out of the dozens I had, I kept 4. I’m not going to lie, the stress from doing make up has lifted, I’m more content with having a cleaner drawer, less make up and a less complicated morning because I don’t have to wonder or feel guilty for not using some of the more fun eyeshadow I had.

My next de-cluttering project, which I know might make some women (and men) gasp in horror is that I’m going to ruthlessly go through my shoes. As of right now I have a ridiculous number of heels that I don’t wear. I wear flats, flip flops and converse 99% of the time. Besides that I really only ever need 1 pair of black heels. So if you want some cute, barely worn heels, check out goodwill, because they will be coming.

Really though, ever since I wrote that post, I’ve been brainstorming on what it is I need to do, change and implement to make myself feel more put together. Like I said, I’m not looking for perfection, but I am looking to be content. The answer is, one thing at a time, one focus at a time.

So, I’m going on an adventure. A getting it together adventure.

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Getting it together

Ever feel like some days you just don’t have it all together? That is me ever since we got back from our cruise. I have yet to go grocery shopping for real, we’ve eaten out far too much and the house needs a little TLC.

How do people get it together? Is this some sort of special gene they are given that I lack? I’ve never really felt “together”. Not in the sense that I can do all the housework, be organized, cook, run errands, look presentable, enjoy myself, do school, get a workout in, etc. In fact, it seems if I excel in one thing, I will fail in everything else.

How do you people, who have it together, do it? Does it come naturally? Did you work at it?

I really want to know. 

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Five Things Friday

1. So I just finished re-reading The Hunger Games and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before my total girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence, so this link is always worth a giggle or two.

2. And because I’m in a quoting mood. I ran across this buzzfeed article for Daria quotes for every occasion. My teen years consisted of watching this tv show. I think we had similar tactics for playing volleyball.


3. So, I made this meal yesterday and it was OMG amazing. Of course I made a few changes, I used real bacon, not bacon bits; I cut my chicken into smaller pieces and I added ranch dressing mix.

4. So I’m still pregnant. I’ll be 16 weeks on Sunday and we got to hear the heartbeat this past Monday! Those are all exciting and good things for me. In a few weeks, we will also be finding out the gender! 🙂 What do you all think? Boy or girl?

5. So my brother in law, Stephen, who owns the crossfit gym, Cross Fit Boiler Room, in Villa Rica hit a BIG goal this week. Those of you who aren’t in the cross fit know may or may not know what a muscle up is. To me, it is this ridiculous exercise that doesn’t even make sense in how you do it, like AT ALL. And Stephen got his first! (Of course he picks a night I’m NOT there to see it, LAME!)

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So Much Hate

For the loviest day of the year. What’s with that?

Okay, granted, it isn’t necessarily the day of the year where you may feel the most love for someone but the point stands. Why do people feel the need to be so hateful about Valentine’s day? I really don’t get it.

“I love my (wife, husband, g/f, b/f, whomever) every day of the year. I don’t need a specific day to show them I care”

1. That’s pretty insulting and presumptuous towards the people who do celebrate valentine’s day.

2.  I don’t think for most people Valentine’s day is the ONLY day of the year they show their special someone they care.

I mean, I celebrate birthdays, holidays, other special days. Does my celebrating mother’s day mean I don’t appreciate my mother the other days of the year? Does making Joseph feel extra special on 8/5 mean I don’t care how he feels the other 364 days of the year?

No, it means I’m choosing a day to go above and beyond. Because, not to blow minds or anything, but you can’t make every day special. Once you do that, it turns into the norm and is no longer special and in fact, becomes expected.

I celebrate Valentine’s day with Joseph. I make him Spicy mac and cheese, he makes dessert, we exchange little gifts as a simple token of the fact that we’ve chosen this day to go hey “I love you, I appreciate you, I want you to feel special”. Does it take anything away if other couple’s are choosing that same day to also do this? No. Does it mean I don’t appreciate Joseph on 2/15? Heck no!

So, if Valentine’s day isn’t your thing, that’s cool. But don’t insult other people’s relationships because they do celebrate it.

To: All my blog readers. Happy Valentine’s Day from Haymitch and Me. We love you, you keep us young! (meangirlsofpanem.tumblr.com)

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