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Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

No Dine Out February, Again

Let’s pretend I post here regularly, and that my last substantive post wasn’t like 8 months ago, mmk? Deal.

For the second year in a row, we’re doing a “No Dine Out February.” We don’t pay to eat out, drink out, have coffee, grab a scone, nothing, from February 1st through the 29th (leap year!), and we’re only allowed to eat what we pack and plan. No pity meals, no free food at work….just packed breakfasts and lunches, planned dinners, and meals at people’s homes.

Why? It saves money. It forces us to be more cognizant about what we’re eating and how we’re planning. It encourages sharing food in a home setting rather than out for a change.

February is a short month so it’s not too scary.

Last year, we figured out that we saved an embarrassing $1,500.00. We eat out a lot, but not because we’re lazy or can’t cook (on the contrary: I love to cook and I’m not half bad). We eat out a lot because we live in a city with fantastic food and drink options, it’s how we socialize most of the time, and we love it. We don’t spend time and money on movies, sports, whatever else people spend money on; we spend time and money traveling, eating, and drinking.

So today, this Sunday before February begins, I’ll prep some lunches and breakfasts for the week, get my dinner plans in order, and hope for the best.



To Do: Spring is…Here?!

With the wonderful passing of Chapeau Weekend (“Easter” to the uninitiated) this past weekend, Spring is officially here. In my mind, actual real legit Spring starts on/after Easter. And boy, is the weather cooperating. Well, mostly.

Easter itself was sunny and warm (albeit a bit windy), perfect for chapeau wearing and outdoor day drinking. Yesterday–Monday–was 75F and sunny and glorious, and I walked both to and from work. Today is low to mid 70s, but humid and threatening rain/thunder all day, so the bus had to do. But walking to/from work took the same amount of time as waiting for the bus, riding the bus, and then walking home from the bus, so as long as the weather holds out (and by “holds out” I mean “isn’t an intolerable swampy DC mess”) I’ll aim to walk to work and back a few times a week.

My power meal prep of two weekends ago was super helpful last week–we ate nutritious easy lunches and dinners every day!–but it didn’t hold up this week, because we spent the weekend reveling. So, a little prep tonight is in order, as is trying to use up some of the more random things in my fridge.

So, the list!

  • Make a scooter plan. The roads are looking significantly better, so perhaps I’ll brave a quick parking lot lesson this weekend. Baby steps scoots.
  • Stop focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what to enjoy. This is hard, but I’m progressing. I’m trying to look at it this way (specifically with re: my closet): the crap that I’m ambivalent or meh about is blocking my way–literally–to the clothes I like. Or, the meh stuff is giving me too many choices when I simply don’t want or need them. I don’t need three meh green dresses, I need one great one. So, the process of culling the closet goes along. It’s helped me to see the true holes in my closet and fill those, and only those, with purpose.
  •  Get a pedicure. This weekend, seriously. I’ve been avoiding slingbacks this week, and I can’t do that much longer.
  • Weekly meal prep. Prepping the steps for a great meal has been helpful: roasting some chicken thighs and lean pork, cooking a big batch of a whole grain, having chopped and portioned veggies and cheese on hand, hard boiling eggs at the beginning of the week. I can prep some good lunch parts tonight for the rest of the week, but this should really be a Sunday morning task.
  • Round up donations and drop off at Opp Shop. I have a huge pile of clothes–mine and Steve’s–that needs to go, but unfortunately we’ve accumulated a larger pile on top of that of stuff that simply needs to get put away. So, I need to do that. And I need to pull out summer-ish stuff, finally. I think the fleece-lined leggings have seen their last wear this year…!

This, I realize, is all “To Do” items and no “Done!” items. Which is motivating and a bit daunting, for real. But none of these items is world-stoppingly-important, so that’s nice. But I still should do them!

Off to do!

To Do: Go Green!

Nope, not a post about my budding environmentalism.

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day week! Yes, a whole week. And I feel awkward pimping out this holiday for the sake of a blog post title, but there it is. Why? Because I actually *am* Irish, and while I love the enthusiasm with which people celebrate the holiday–Irish or not–I have to chuckle a bit. Ladies at parades: not a whole lot of sexy leprechauns in Ireland, FYI…not a whole lot of sexy going on anywhere in Ireland at the time of Saint Patrick, for that matter (people who live in soddies probably smell, ya know?). But yes! Celebrate! Be Irish for the day! Then you’ll go back to being Polish or Italian or Thai tomorrow. Just like I do on….Diwali? Cinco de Mayo? I dunno, I can’t think of another cultural holiday we all celebrate with as much vigor. Go us!

The “green” part also refers to the greening of the season, finally. I actually saw a CROCUS yesterday. A legit FLOWER. Coming out of the GROUND. OUTSIDE. I almost cried tears of joy, but my Uber driver would have given me four stars instead of five so I didn’t. These are actual thoughts I had.

So I’ll enjoy the holiday and the greening this week, but I’m also looking forward to Saturday. Saturday is our one year anniversary of the move to DC (also, my sister’s birthday!). We’ll celebrate with a dinner out, and reflect on the past year and plan the coming year. We’ve already got a lot to do: some work events and travel throughout the year, our trip to London and Paris in June, summer rooftop pool times, our five year wedding anniversary in September (…complete with a trip to the Bahamas that we conceived and planned then booked in about one hour, on Saturday…hungover), heading home for Thanksgiving, and Christmas here in DC again. Finding other things with which to punctuate our lives has been challenging but fun, for sure.

What to do this week?

  • Get back to outfit planning. I have a week of green outfits ahead of me! Today is a green long-sleeved top with camel herringbone pants,  gold, orange, and green jewelry, and my big plaid blanket scarf. Tomorrow, I’ll break out my green peplum ponte dress, ivory lace blazer, and golden kitten heels. Beyond that, I’ll have to look at the weather again. But green, definitely. I’m thinking I’ll throw my yellow pencil skirt into the mix, too…
  • Mail the taxes. Just gotta mail them! I’ll drop them at the FedEx store on my way home Wednesday night. I ask myself “why is this so hard?!” and then I remember it is because the US Post Office has the worst, most inconvenient hours, despite being a wonderful service. So FedEx it is!
  • Again, move the phone from my bedside table. Have not done this, but I’ve tried to be better about it. Moving the plug tonight when I get home.
  • Drink more water. Working on it. I drank a ton of plain seltzer last week, but I feel like that only half counts (…half of it is air?). I’m trying to get back into the habit of drinking a full glass of water–16 ounces–before my coffee, which has helped me feel better overall. It just gets you going and awake–and hydrated–before the caffeine has a chance to creep in. I recommend it.
  • Meal Planning, with a twist. Man, this is simultaneously easy and hard. I can plan all I want, and as long as I buy what I need and stick with the planned meals, I’m good. But then good weather happens and your friends invite you for drinks/apps at their place and you of course want to go, so you shove the planned meal off for another day. I’m fine with that, to be clear, but I have to remember to just GO with it, rather than being chained up by it. I did plan for the week, I have a great selection of meals, and best of all: I can be a bit flexible. Go me.
  • Make a scooter plan. The weather is getting nicer, and the roads are getting swept over the next few weeks. Soon, the sand and salt and crazy potholes will be gone (or at least mitigated), and you’ll see people out on their scooters and motorcycles. I hope to be one of those people, soon enough. I need to work out a schedule of sorts for me to practice the scooter, and to find excuses to ride it up the hill or to our friends’ new place just through the neighborhood (main roads are scary!), and eventually to work. I’m a ‘fraidy cat when it comes to risky things (I blame law school and working in two personal injury/insurance firms), but I need to get the ‘eff over it.
  • CHAPEAU WEEKEND! Ok, so this isn’t so much a “to do” as it is a “holy shit, that’s soon, you guys!” I mean, I do have to get a hat, and we need a brunch reservation, but still. Mostly just on here because I’m excited.

Wish me luck this week as I jig through my to do list…! What do you need to do this week, or beyond?