Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clean, Clean, Clean

Yippee!!!! It's 2 days before thanksgiving and we have maybe 5 hours of housework left!!!!  It has been a profitable year of cleaning and we unearthed $200 worth of gift cards, $10 in checks and $140 in cash!

Today Brian is hanging out at home waiting for the refrigerator repair man and the carpet shampooing guys.  It's nice to have the house clean and organized - we're planning to spend a few more weekends this winter going through the extra stuff to try to get rid of other items we don't need and won't use.  We are almost to the end of the freezer pantry challenge.  I confess - some days I have phoned it in and called a bowl of cereal a success.  The good news is that we can see the bottom of one side of the big freezer, and we have a plan to get through the rest of the food.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We Have Cabin Fever

Even though I love the change of the seasons, and I have nothing personal against snow we have cabin fever!!!!  We are in week two of the polar vortex and I am so ready to play outside without 3 layers of clothes on I can barely stand it.  We have a rule for dog walking that it has to be above freezing but I might push it today so that they can get out some of their restless energy.  

We slept in Des Moines over the weekend.  The Simpson Storm played a hard and snowy game and lost in the last two minutes.  It was an exceptionally hard season but they continued to fight.  

For the freezer pantry challenge update - Friday night we had pasta with pepperoni.  Saturday morning I slugged down a bowl of cereal before we hit the road and Sunday night we feasted on Wild Rice casserole using a pound of hamburger from the freezer and cream of mushroom soup from the pantry followed by Fruit Forrest pie for dessert.  Monday night my mom came for dinner so I made meatloaf (used up the last of the bread crumbs and a pound of ground beef) with mashed potatoes and butternut squash with leftover pie for dessert.  It feels good to get through things and I have spent less than $180 on groceries this month.  If I took out the money I spent on alcohol to get ready for Thanksgiving it's probably less than $140.  

I was motivated for housework Sunday but last night I was a big lump and fell asleep on the couch before 9, Brian shuttled me off to bed when he got home for church and I still hit the snooze a few times this morning.  Apparently I should be hibernating!  

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Have Been a Slacker

But I own it!

Last weekend we enjoyed two cold football games, time with family and some hotel laziness in Des Moines.  Tomorrow is the last Simpson varsity game of the season and it sounds like the weather is going to be rough with snow and plenty of wind.  We are definitely feeling the polar vortex.  There is a chance we'll see above freezing temperatures during the day starting on Wednesday!!!!

Over the weekend I delivered cake mix cookies as part of the freezer/pantry challenge.  Monday I brought a lunch from the freezer and we had sandwiches, chips, mandarin oranges and cookies for dinner.  Since the chips were from the pantry I think it counts!  Tuesday I brought a lunch from the freezer and an oatmeal cup for breakfast from the pantry.  Brian picked up dinner since we had a LONG day.  Wednesday night we had friends over for dinner.  I made broccoli soup, chili and corn muffins so the freezer coughed up a pound of ground beef and I used 8 cans, a quart of stock and 2 boxes of corn muffin mix from the pantry.  Thursday I was a total failure.  I had a meeting that included breakfast and lunch and we had deacons so we didn't eat at home all day.  Since I used so many things on Wednesday I feel like it balances out!  We are starting to get ready for Thanksgiving so I have the cleaning list done - thank goodness I still have 2 weeks to get it all done.

While I am surviving the freezer/pantry challenge my workouts have been hit or miss - I have many excuses related to cold temperatures.  I need to get back on the wagon - so expect to see some accountability here on the blog while I work on documenting my life to meet my personal goals!

Friday, November 7, 2014

She's Crafty

I admit that while I have some natural creative talents they show themselves when they feel like it and I have ZERO power - this week has been a lot of art time with painting wine glasses Tuesday and quilting with my mom Thursday!

This quilt will be for Brian's cousin once it's done - 18 blocks down 46 to go - I have NEVER worked with brown before so it's a whole new experience.

Since we are out of town this weekend I had to pre-plan for the pantry/freezer challenge.  Last night for dinner, my mom and I had egg cups with sausage (from the freezer), then my friend Marche came over and we made a double batch of cake mix cookies so I knocked out two boxes of cake mix and a bag of chocolate chips.  This morning I am having Quaker oatmeal for breakfast from the pantry and I'll grab snacks out of there for Brian and I to eat in Iowa.  Slowly but surely we are starting to make a dent!  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Are You? Chicken?

The freezer/pantry challenge continues - Brian and I had grilled mesquite chicken (out of the freezer) with sweet potato fries and Brussels sprouts (off the stalk).  I think I have whittled away the chicken in the deep freeze pretty well - hopefully by the end of the year we'll have eaten all the meat and vegetables from the freezer and we'll be ready for thaw and clean in early spring next year!  Before dinner we took the dogs for a nice walk and then got Brian packed for some road time.  It's going to be a CRAZY busy weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pizza Counts In the Freezer Challenge

Last night was SO busy!  I worked until almost 4, got home, went for a two mile run (not my best or worst) and was surprised at how out of breath I was (mental note, 6 months is too long to take off from regular running) and Brian made a frozen pizza for us.  We had spinach salads and clementines to round out the meal and then I went to wine glass painting class with my friend Tami.  Not too bad for a first try!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I made it through the pantry challenge yesterday.  Brian and I feasted on salad and Wacky Mac from the pantry pre-game.

Our drive to Simpson was uneventful and we had dinner at HyVee (our new hot spot) and then went to cheer for the storm.  The kids were fired up and the game was FANTASTIC - until the last 4 seconds when Central scored the winning touchdown.  Our boys were heartbroken, but it was nice to see them fight so hard.  Hopefully their last game on Sunday at Wartburg will have a different outcome!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Time for a Challenge!!!

Since I have been neglecting the blog let me start out by saying that my new job is AWESOME!!!! I love all the challenges and I am often mentally exhausted at the end of the day - which is REALLY good for me! I have also been an excise slacker and there is GOOD food in IT so I have gained 5 pounds since August 11 (my official first day). Now is the time to get the weight off, renew my commitment to training and get the house cleaned up!

 I have decided to do the Run Eat Repeat pile on the miles challenge so I'll have to run 3 days every week - and report it - to make me accountable. I am also planning at least one housework task every single day - in addition to regular cleaning. Over the weekend I went through 4 bags of clothes and got them out of the house.

 The biggest challenge with be the freezer/pantry challenge!!! EVERY day in November I have made a challenge for our house to use up an item in the freezer or pantry (both are completely overstuffed at the moment). Saturday I used up 1 item from the freezer (hamburger) and two items from the pantry (pasta sauce and lasagna noodles) to make Erik's favorite lasagna. Sunday I used 1 can of cream of chicken soup and 1 box of stuffing to make Company is Coming chicken. Since we have an away game tonight for Erik I'm going to pack snacks out of the pantry. While this challenge will surely fill us up with preservatives, it will help to clean out the house and make room for healthy food selections. I chose to do this in November since we will be double hosting Thanksgiving and that will help to get rid of LOTS of cans and jars. Watch for daily updates! Hope you had a happy Halloween and are enjoying other social networking challenges!  Maybe at the end my pantry will look like this?