2011 in one word

As I was catching up on my Monday blog reading yesterday, I came across this post from one of the newest blogs I’ve started following, Keeping Life Creative. And since then, I have seen this idea popping up all over the blogosphere. I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon.

The idea is to pick one word and create a theme around it for the whole year. So for 2011, I am going to chose the word “focus.”

Definition of “focus”(as it relates to me) from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online:

a : focal length b : adjustment for distinct vision; also : the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image c : a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding <tried to bring the issues into focusd : direction

a : a center of activity, attraction, or attention b : a point of concentration

: directed attention : emphasis
All of these definitions speak strongly to me about what I want out of 2011.

 

I want to bring my overall life into focus. I would like to get a clearer picture of what I want out of this year and beyond.
I want to focus in such a way that I finish tasks I start. I’m really bad about starting something and then getting sidetracked. For example, I started crocheting an advent tree the week before Thanksgiving. It was an easy enough project that I should have finished it before the end of November, so it could be hung with the rest of my Christmas decorations when we got back from Dallas after Thanksgiving. It’s still sitting, unfinished, unassembled in a bag at the foot of my couch.

 

The desire to focus on tasks goes beyond my recreational activities. I get sidetracked and don’t fold the laundry when it comes out of the dryer. So it sits, in the basket, next to the couch until I get really fed up with the four(!) baskets of laundry that just seem to keep multiplying. Add in that G now thinks she needs to help me with everything around the house and all of a sudden the dirty clothes and clean clothes are all mixed together.

 

I want to focus on myself this year. This will honestly probably be the hardest thing to direct focus toward. I don’t do much for myself. I just don’t. But I want to get in better shape (and hopefully lose some weight in the process). I want to feel good about myself mentally, emotionally and physically. One specific thing I plan to do is get haircuts regularly. In 2010, I got my hair cut twice. Once in the late winter/early spring using a gift card my mom gave me at Christmas. The second time? The week of Christmas. Yeah… So I talked to the lady who did my hair just before Christmas and she said every two months is what she suggests. I am probably going to stretch it to every three months. That’s four haircuts a year, which is TWICE as many as last year. I think every three months is a feasible goal. Maybe I’ll go get a manicure or pedicure at some point this year just to spoil myself!

 

So I have now mentioned focusing on my crafts, my housework, and myself. But there are two things that are very important that I also need to focus on. B and G. I want my quality time with both of them to be of a much better quality than they have been. I don’t have a large quantity of time, so I want to have highly quality time with them. Sometimes, when I get home from work, all I want to do is veg a bit. But G wants to play, and play and play and play. It kills me to put off her requests just because Momma doesn’t feel like it, or is fixing dinner, or trying to finish eating, or because it’s a little bit cold in the basement. That’s going to change. Yeah, we still can’t go play outside when it’s dark. But I can make up for it and go outside on the weekends. A lot! We can go for walks! And I can put her in her stroller and go on a walk myself (thus taking care of her and my needs!)

 

And once G goes to bed, I need to devote more time to B. Plain and simple. We need more time together. And now that we have a Wii, maybe that’ll help… We are both very different people than we were when we got married, and sometimes I wonder who he has become. We need to reconnect. We need to laugh together. I need to show B how much he really means to me.

 

Finally, I want to focus on this blog. I really enjoy the IDEA of helping people with limited amounts of time to cook instead of eating out. It saves you so much time, money and health to eat what you cook at home. I am going to try to get away from boxed dinners (Hamburger Helper, I’m calling you out!), despite the fact that it is so darn easy to fall back on. I’m going to bring out my crock pot / ahem slow cooker more. I want to expand our menu, and for it to be things that B likes to eat!
So “focus” is my word for 2011. I challenge you to choose a word that describes your goals for the year. There are so many great words out there just waiting for you to dedicate your year to them! Check out the link at the beginning of this blog if you want some more ideas.
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Meal Plan 12/10-12/16

I will write about my Aldi shopping trips shortly. But first I wanted to share our meal plan for the next week:

Friday – Eating out with B and G

Saturday – Lunch=French Toast Sticks (from freezer stash)
Saturday – Dinner=Balsalmic Chicken w/ Caramelized Onions (From my inspiration to blog!)

Sunday – Lunch=Hamburger Steaks w/ Brown Gravy & Mashed Potatoes
Sunday – Dinner=Slow Cooker Fajitas

My Breakfast – Breakfast Burritos
My Lunch – Chef Salad

Monday – Italian Beef Sandwiches (This recipe is one of the reasons I chose to start the Aldi challenge!)

Tuesday – Slow Cooker Chili

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Thursday – Spaghetti

Not letting this go

First, let me apologize to at least the ONE person I know of who is following me here. After I posted the Aldi thing, I starting doing a lot of research and decision making, and also went to points south to have Thanksgiving with my in-laws.

I have made the leap. This week marks the second week in a row that I have shopped at Aldi. I have set a budget of $60/week for groceries, toiletries, and other household things. Not pets. That’s an important decision I made. My dogs eat super-cheap Dillon’s Old Yeller dog food ($15 for 50 lb bag most of the time), and now that there are 8 (yes, EIGHT) dogs living at my house, I go through food pretty quickly. The cats also consume things. I didn’t want to have to sacrifice our menu in order to feed my dogs or cats. So they’re on their own.

I am now on a Friday-Thursday week instead of the Saturday-Friday week I was when I started. I know this is very odd for the blogosphere, so I don’t think I’ll ever go mainstream with this, unfortunately. But I want to help you! So I’m back in the game. Today!

And so it begins

Welcome to my blog! I started this blog because I have had a hard time finding blogs by working moms that focuses on how they get everything done at home, too. So that is my mission.

My “About A Full Serving” page give you a little information about me and what I plan to do here.

I leave my house every morning at 7 am and return home just before 6 pm every Monday through Friday. I am responsible for all the housework and most all the meal preparation at my house. B is in charge of getting himself and G breakfast and lunch during the week. I never very rarely eat out for lunch.

I shop at Dillon’s (a Kroger company) and Walmart. I do not shop at Sam’s Club or any discount stores (I know there is a discount bakery near my mom’s and . I don’t actively coupon. However, if I see something on one of the coupon database websites that I will use, I’ll print it off and use it. The Dillon’s weekly ad comes out on Wednesdays, and I have it delivered to my inbox. I make my grocery list on my lunch breaks on Wednesday and Thursday, and finalize it on Friday. I will buy more than I need when a good sale comes along (peanut butter 10/$10, for instance). I haven’t got it all figured out, though. I don’t know the sale pattern. I know several other bloggers who have, and eventually I will too.

I get paid every Friday, so either Friday evening after G goes to bed or Saturday morning I go grocery shopping and deposit my check in the bank. My meal plan week is Saturday to Friday. So I will post my weekly meal plan on Fridays. I will add recipes after I make the meal, so I can provide feedback if it was a new recipe. At the end of the month, I will post the next month’s meal plan. Once I figure out the cycles of sales at Dillon’s, I know that the monthly plan will help me make the most of those sales.