Friday, January 2, 2015

Setting Goals

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day! Ours was pretty laid back. On NYE, my hubby and I stayed in and spent time with Bumblebee. We were going to watch the ball drop on TV, but, when we turned it over at 11:45pm, they had already shown the ball drop and were just doing the musical performances and wrap up. Which totally stunk! I just don't understand why they couldn't delay the program an hour in the central time zone so we could see it drop at midnight our time. But, whatever... We still kissed at midnight.
On New Year's Day, we went over to my parents' house, where I cooked New Year's Dinner and did laundry. My mom had surgery on Tuesday and is limited in what she can do. She directed while I cooked. My sister came and helped me finish up the cooking and set the table. We had ham, macaroni and cheese and lady peas (which are a type of field pea and related to black-eyed peas). My mom and hubby also had collard greens. It was a delicious meal and a wonderful time spent with family.

Now is the time we all think about New Year's Resolutions and setting goals to be accomplished in the new year. We're all gung ho about exercising more, eating better, quitting bad habits, starting good habits, being better people, etc. But how many of us actually stick with our resolutions and see them through? I know I'm not the best at this. I get busy or tired or just plan forget about it.

As the new year dawns, it's a great time to turn over a new leaf to a clean page in the book of my life. To start a new chapter. So to speak. There are so many things I want to accomplish this year. Will I accomplish them all? Probably not. Will I let this stop me from trying? Absolutely not. The beginning of a new year gives us all hope and a sense of starting over. We feel we can really change things in our lives, and I believe we really can. I think where we fail, is not in planning for these changes properly. We make a list of resolutions, but we don't make a plan to accomplish these resolutions.

Well, I've decided to change this habit. I have resolutions for this new year, and I'm going to make plans to keep them.

My first resolution for 2015 is to plan my menus. I love to cook and bake, but trying to come up with a nutritious and delicious meal on the fly really just stresses me out. To combat this stress, I am going to make weekly menu plans. To accomplish this, I first had to take stock of my pantry, fridge and freezer. Once I knew what I already had, it was really easy to sit down and plan out a menu for this week. I had most of what I needed on hand, there were only a few things I needed to get like butter and beets. Here's my menu plan for this week:

Monday, December 29, 2014
Curried Quinoa with Peas

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Polish Sausage with Fettuccine in Garlic Butter and Green Beans

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Loaded Crockpot Potato Soup

Thursday, January 1, 2015
Ham with Macaroni and Cheese and Lady Peas (at my parent's house)

Friday, January 2, 2015
Roasted Chicken with Rice and Beets

Saturday, January 3, 2015
Chili and Cornbread

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Leftover Night!

In our house we strive to do "Meatless Mondays", "Crockpot Wednesday" and "Leftover Sundays". This really helps me out because it gives me definitive parameters for these days. My husband asked me yesterday if we could do "Taco Tuesdays", so, starting next week we'll have "Meatless Monday", "Taco Tuesday", "Crockpot Wednesday" and "Leftover Sunday".
"Meatless Monday" helps with the budget. If there is one night a week we're not using meat as the main portion of our meal, we save money on meat, which is always expensive, no matter what kind of meat you buy. I also try to not overdo it with the meat the rest of the week.
"Taco Tuesday" is something new we're going to be starting next week. We love tacos and Mexican food in general. I think this will be a night I can try some new recipes. Next week we are going to do Chili Tacos. I'm making a big pot of chili Saturday, so I'm going to use some of the leftover chili to make tacos next Tuesday. Smart, right? This will enable us to use up the leftover chili without having to eat leftover chili.
"Crockpot Wednesday" is a something we've recently started. I love using my crockpot. My crockpot has a removable sleeve, so I can put all my ingredients in the sleeve the night before, put the lid on it and stick it in the fridge. Wednesday morning, I just get it out and put it in the unit and start it up. Dinner cooks while I do what I need to do. No need to worry about dinner. I just put it on low and it's ready when we're ready. Love it!
"Leftover Sunday" is a lifesaver! I have rehearsal on Sunday evening. I also go to my parents' house to do laundry. We live in an apartment with no washer/dryer hookups, and I refuse to pay $1.25 per wash load and $1.25 per dryer load. If I used the complex's facility, I'd be spending $20-25 per week to do laundry! No, thank you. So, my mom let's me use her washer and dryer in exchange for extra time with Bumblebee. Works for me! Anyway, I go over to my parents' house around lunch time, however, my husband works Sunday nights. So he stays home while I'm gone. I eat dinner with my parents, so he has leftovers at home.
The rest of the week, I cook what I want. For the next several weeks I'm going to do my best to shop in my pantry and freezer. Then, after I make up my menu, I'll go to the store and get what I need for that week, plus staples. Eventually, I would like to plan breakfasts too.

Weekly menus is my first goal for 2015. One way I'm hoping to stick with this is by posting my weekly menus. My goal is for my posts to keep me accountable to stick with my resolution. I'll be posting next weeks menu either tomorrow or Saturday.

Much love in 2015!