august groceries, part 1

So! My big project this month is to cut back our food budget, preferably without eating total junk. I was trying to think of an easy way to a. keep track of what I buy and b. make this slightly more exciting than a pile of receipts or a Google Drive spreadsheet and realized hey, I can blog about it! This is probably going to be THE MOST BORING BLOG SERIES EVER, unfortunately, but hey, it’ll keep me accountable and all that jazz.

If I get really  motivated later, maybe I’ll blog about what we make with all this food?

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and so ends july

// So, Keith lost his job the beginning of July. Not counting the semi-purposeful stint as a stay at home mom on my part for the first four years of parenting, this is by far the longest either of us have gone without a job since we started dating 10 years ago. It’s really, really weird having him around this much. It’s also…kind of nice. Hopefully he finds a new job soon, but I’m glad the interim time hasn’t been horrible.

// The kids start school next Monday, August 4th. Which sounds really early, but summer break has honestly been long enough and I think we’re all looking forward to getting back on a better schedule. Reid is going to have Levi’s kindergarten teacher, and Levi is going to have Sydney’s 1st grade aide, who has been promoted to being a teacher. We’re pretty happy with that. It’s still a mystery who Sydney will get…we should know by Friday.



flying out of Los Angeles on Sunday – I love how you take off over the Pacific Ocean

// I went to San Jose last week for BlogHer ’14. The weather was so nice, and it was fun to reconnect with people. My flight to San Jose was two legs – Atlanta -> Phoenix and Phoenix -> San Jose. That quick layover was my first time flying into Arizona and while I know I have no interest ever living in a desert, I now want to visit the area. It looks interesting. Granted, maybe I’ll visit in, say, February…July was hot.


// I also got this really good vegan pizza from an Italian restaurant while I was in San Jose, and I think I’m going to try to replicate it at home. It was topped with baby spinach, broccoli, red onions and tomatoes, and it had fresh basil and Daiya cheese. No red sauce. I’m not quite sure how they got the Daiya cheese to melt as well as they did, I’m guessing a very hot pizza oven? But I think even in my not-a-pizza-oven it will be good…

thriftin’ it up

Sometimes thrifting is good, sometimes it is really bad, and sometimes you hit the freakin’ jackpot.

I hit up Goodwill today because my wardrobe has gotten a bit sparse lately, and I wanted to wear more than just shorts and an Old Navy t-shirt to BlogHer next week. Luckily for me, today was a jackpot trip. I actually found too many things and had to weed through them and only keep the best pieces. At one point I was texting Keith from the dressing room – what do you think of this? What about this?

IMG_5029 copy

One of the crappy selfies I sent him…I ended up buying this particular dress.

I ended up walking out of Goodwill with:

  • two pairs of jeans
  • a pair of slacks
  • a pair of athletic pants for running/yoga
  • an Ann Taylor Loft, new with tags
  • a more casual shirt
  • a cute little black purse
  • a pair of heels that are totally impractical…but I may wear them to a BlogHer party just for fun
  • an awesome pair of flats that I think will work really well for BlogHer
  • two dresses
  • a name brand Spanx slip for only $6 that was in perfect condition.

I think I need to scout out more of the thrift shops around here…apparently I’ve been missing out on some good finds!

what I did on my summer vacation

niagara falls

Niagara Falls! And it was AWESOME.

The actual state park was crowded and definitely a total tourist trap (we did the USA side) but the falls were amazing. We did Maid of the Mist, and then walked along the river down to the spot where you can overlook the Horseshoe Falls.

The rest of the trip, we spent camping on the shores of Lake Ontario in a little state park called Golden Hill State Park. We had been planning on doing some shorter camping trips with the kids before this big trip, and due to various issues with my husband’s work schedule, they never happened. So we basically drove to NY with our fingers crossed that the site would be nice and our kids would do okay sleeping in a tent for 5 days straight.

The site was gorgeous. We had a campsite on the edge of Lake Ontario and it was just beautiful.

sunset over lake ontario

I took that picture our first night there from our campsite. Gorgeous, eh? It was a huge camp site in a well maintained park about 45 minutes from Niagara Falls. The bathrooms were quite clean, the people running the park were very nice – it was a great experience all around.

The kids did fantastic camping – we were genuinely impressed at how well it went. They slept well, they (mostly) played happily, they stayed a lot cleaner than I thought they would (seriously, I was expecting them to be filthy) and it was a really fun family experience. I’m so glad we went.

On a personal note, I’m shocked at how much I enjoyed camping with them. I am not outdoorsy and I thought I’d hate it, but I loved it. We do need to get a better system going – we had so much stuff! but I don’t think it will be too hard to streamline things a bit…

bah, food allergies

Blergh, you all. This has been a rough allergy season and I’m so very over it.

It snuck up slowly – you know, an itchy nose here, a sneezing fit there. And then one day my body just went crazy and my head felt like it was going to explode and I went oh yeah, maybe time to be more consistent with taking Zyrtec, hmm? And figured that was it.

But then my milk allergy started acting up. Thennnnn, two weeks ago and again this past week, I ate something that caused my tongue to itch and feel like it was swelling, and the reaction lasted for hours. Long story short, I’m now also off soy and obvious corn until I can get into the allergist and get tested, because those were the two ingredients that were consistent between both reactions, and I’ve reacted to corn in the past (although never like this!)

This was the offending food this last time. They’re actually really good, as long as they don’t make your tongue itchy.




This is definitely helping me understand why my daughter (who is allergic to egg, tree nuts, and milk) is so cautious and constantly asks me if certain foods are safe after her last reaction. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated and am like “I am your mom, I love you, do you think I’d feed you something that would make you sick?

But you know, I was the one who gave her the cashew that caused us to find out she was allergic to tree nuts – so if the roles were reversed? I’m not sure I’d trust me either. Mom or not…


Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


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