Friday, January 06, 2017

Dinner's in the mail

The bad timing of our first Hello Fresh delivery was not their fault. Who would have known almost a month ago when I scheduled it that there would be seven people in the house, instead of the two that I ordered meals for, and that five of them would be throwing up?

There are currently a number of companies offering delivery of ingredients and instructions for meals. They offer a variety of options for number and type of meal.  I thought that this might be helpful in my quest to learn to cook for two. After looking at several and comparing menus, cost, delivery options, and reviews, I decided to try Hello Fresh.

Each week I have a choice of six possible entrees. I have opted for Thursday delivery, since my husband is out of town during the week. I need to decide what I want in the next week's box, or pause delivery, by Saturday night.

I spite of the bad timing, I was excited to see what was in my box.

The box was nicely organized, with the ingredients for each meal in a separate smaller box, and the meat alone in the bottom of the box. Everything looked very attractive.





I'll report back after we get to try the food. Everything looked very nice, and the produce was in good shape. Although my report may not come until I get my next box. I don't think that the tummies here are ready for these recipes, so we'll just use up the ingredients elsewhere, for the most part. (It's all pretty normal stuff, which makes that easier.)

By the way, if you use the link above, and decide to try Hello Fresh, you will get $40 off your first box, and I will get $20 off of my next one. Everyone wins!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Joining the bullet (journal) train

Several months ago my daughter started talking abut her bullet journal. I did some cursory  investigating and decided it was not for me.

Since then, I've seen more people talking about it. I've read blogs beyond the bullet journal basics that I originally saw. I've come to the conclusion that the flexibility of it may be exactly what I need, and what is always lacking in the planners I buy.

So I ordered this.


It's a Leuchtturm 1917. I chose it because of the dot grid inside. I have always liked to use graph paper, and this is like the best combination of graph paper and a blank page.


As you can see here, I went off track on the first line I drew. I had to get over the fear of making mistakes quickly!


I like the concept of a future log. I think this should be a good amount of room. If not, part of the appeal for me was how elastic this concept is. The later months are all on one page, with a blank page next to them for notes or things that need to be noted for 2018.


I decided to do my month on the page sideways. I don't think I need the two pages, but if I decide I do, that can change next month. I have space for notes about the month, plus room for a tracker for habits that I want to develop. Birthdays are going to go in the space below the calendar.


I am planning a page for each day. Again, this can be adjusted, depending on how much space I need. Right now I don't have a page for each week. That, too, can always change, if I decide I need it. The washi tape is also serving as a tab on my page for recommendations.

The recommendations page will also help me with another goal of mine, which is to look at my phone less.

So, this is what I'm trying. I think it will last longer than most of my planners do. I look forward to using it, and I'll be sure to report back.



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A little change of plans

Last night I had an almost completely sleepless night of worry about the when, how, and how much of the kitchen project.

I was worried about how busy our fall is and how we weren't going to have time to get things done.

I was worried about how the timing of everything was going to make our vacation stressful, make my fall scrapbooking retreats stressful, make everything stressful.

I was worried about the outflow of money for the kitchen and vacation coinciding, and causing more stress.

I was worried that being in a hurry was going to make the project cost more than it would otherwise.

So I decided to give us a break. We aren't going to do the bulk of the kitchen until early spring. We are going to enjoy our busy fall. We are going to enjoy the church dinners, weddings, family get-togethers, and even a little motorcycle trip. I will be able to focus the needed time on preparations for my fall scrapping frenzy. I will be able to prepare for our long-awaited anniversary trip and come home to a house that isn't all torn up. (Because there isn't much worse than returning from a vacation to a mess.)

I might even have the opportunity to make some money, allowing me to have more of what I want in my kitchen.

We are going to go ahead and take out the ceiling, move the door, and continue with the electrical work that Colin has been doing. Then, in late-winter or so, we'll order the cabinets and get ready for the big job.

I feel so much better.

Monday, August 29, 2016

There is some good news

I have my floor. It's in a pile of boxes on my front porch, but I have it.

 That's especially exciting because when we were ready to purchase, I discovered that it had been discontinued. A few cartons were available spread over a 100 mile radius. I was picturing a couple of days of driving from store to store buying 1-3 cartons at a time. 

Then I remembered that the husband spends all week in the 'burbs. The 'burbs have LOTS of stores, and a search showed me that one of those stores had 70 cartons of my discontinued flooring. 

So he went and bought it. On clearance.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

One step forward, four steps back

As I promised, this kitchen thing isn't going to be quick.

After getting cabinet prices from a local family-owned place, I decided to compare what the big-box stores had to offer. Sticker shock, mainly.

Our kitchen presents some challenges. It is small. The measurements are such that the most standard cabinet sizes don't fit without leaving more space than we ideally want to leave. We are planning to have the cabinets run to the ceiling to gain space, but that also limits the availability of cabinets other than high-end. So, yeah. Pricey.

And then there is the plan to move the basement door, which is filling me with more than a little trepidation. It would add two feet of counter space, and room for the dishwasher on the perimeter of the kitchen, but, if not well-executed--or finished promptly--could leave me with an ongoing unsightly opening in the center hall of the main floor of my house. (Did I mention that my husband, who doesn't live here during the week, wants to do the work himself?)

(My main bathroom is unfinished after almost five years.)

You see my problem.

Trying to stay within my budget, figure out all of the details of something that is way outside of my comfort zone, and fear of making a huge mistake are all contributing to a certain paralysis.

But those holes in the ceiling are calling for progress.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It has begun

My long-awaited kitchen remodel is not going to be quick. It is going to happen in small increments interspersed with bursts of activity.

This happened Sunday:
There are actually two more like it now.

We can see the original plaster ceiling above the lower ceiling that was put in in the late 1940s. We can see the water damage that happened in one corner of that ceiling sometime in the last 70 years. We can see the wiring for all of the outlets and lights in our kitchen that runs between the two ceilings.

It is helpful to know what we are dealing with.

What I don't have a picture of is the aftermath of this job. After Colin pulled out the power tool. After the cloud of drywall dust covered the contents of the main floor of my house. After COlin left on his motorcycle.

Thank goodness for my friends Jacqui and Effie, who--fueled by margaritas--helped clean the mess up while the men were out riding. I'd still be cleaning.

I've decided that this much-neglected blog is the best way to document this process, so any of you who are interested can be along for the ride. Hang on. This could get bumpy.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hanging on

The photo above is of a couple of paragraphs from Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup. If you have trouble with clutter or organization, you may find her books helpful. I have. And her website is packed with money-saving ideas.

These paragraphs have been so helpful to me, and I keep returning to them to remind myself that getting rid of things isn't getting rid of my memories of the person who they belonged to. I am very sentimental, and getting rid of anything that belonged to either of my grandmothers is really hard for me, no matter how much I don't need it.

And things that remind me of my kids' childhoods. SO hard to part with. 

We have a rummage sale coming up at church, and being able to donate things is good motivation. And every time I get ready, out of sentiment, to hang onto something that I really don't want, I remind myself of these ideas.