Tag Archives: health

Sunday: Plan and Prep!

11 Mar

Since yesterday was all about budgets, I have spending on my mind today. Sundays are typically when I do the grocery shopping for our household, but I haven’t always been the greatest at planning. I generally make it to the grocery store each week (not always!) but most of the time I just nilly-willy buy whatever I think sounds good in that moment with no clear direction. Sometimes I end up with enough meat and veggies for 14 dinners; sometimes I get home and am like, “what in the world are we even going to have for dinner this week?!”

It’s so ridiculous. You know why it’s extra ridiculous? Because my chosen profession is a personal chef, where my specialty is to plan and prep a week’s worth of food for my customers. But, it goes to show you- even if you have all of the skills, tools, and knowledge, if you don’t plan ahead, your meals for your week are likely going to be a struggle.

Now mind you, if I had an abundance of will-power, we’d be okay. I’d buy x amount of chicken and y amount of veggies and we’d just eat the exact same meal day after day. But, like most people, I think that sounds lame. And even if I fully intended to do that throughout the week, I’d get to Tuesday and be like, “you know what sounds better that chicken? Pizza… or Chinese… or Indian… or literally ANYTHING else.*

Today I decided to step up my game, make a quick plan, and get to the grocery store. Yesterday I browsed around at some recipes and had some good ideas in my head, but I decided to do something a little different than the norm. Now, if I was really pressed for time, I wouldn’t mess around with this nonsense that I’m about to tell you. But, today I didn’t have any cooking commitments for any clients, so I knew I had a little more time to focus on myself.

So, as I went into the grocery store (early in the day, because I cannot stand crowded grocery stores!) I knew the types of food I wanted to make. For instance, I knew one of the meals would be sort of like a Mexican style stir fry with lots of veggies. Instead of making a set list, I let the prices of produce dictate what veggies would be in that recipe, and I repeated this process for the 5 meals I wanted to have this week.

I do have to say, I believe my plan was a success! I ended up spending $51.73 today on produce, a couple of dairy items and pantry items that I’d need for breakfast, lunch and dinners. I even got 2 items that each cost about $5 that are staple pantry items that’ll last a long time!

Now, that total doesn’t include the main proteins that would be in each meal. About a week ago, I decided to try out ButcherBox, so I have those meats in my freezer to use. So far I’ve LOVED the selections and quality I’ve received, so I think we’ll continue getting those boxes each month, and I’ll carefully plan them into our menus.

Here is my referral link to get 2 free filet mignons and free bacon with your first box!

Note: Since it’s a referral link, I do get credit on my account with ButcherBox if you click it and purchase! And then you can refer your friends too with your own link!

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ButcherBox! Free Bacon!!

I told my husband this morning that my plan is to (obviously) use those meats and also be mindful of protein sales that go on in the grocery stores here. Then, if there’s an incredible deal, I’ll stock up and add those to our freezer collection and use them as I can. Good plan, right?!

So, after I got my groceries, I came home and immediately prepped them as much as I could so that my week would be as prepared for as possible. This is usually what I do for clients as well, and not something I always do for myself. But, I have to remember, my service is a blessing for those that want to save time during the week, want to waste less food, want to spend less on ‘eating out’, and want to eat healthier meals. And I decided that we deserved that blessing too, gosh darn it!

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Prepped food for our week!

 

And there you have it. Groceries have come in low on my budget (win!) and food is prepped and ready for our week. I think that all counts as a major success!

Now, let’s look at this week coming up and plan out the next set of goals, shall we?

  • Home Cleaning/Organizing: Last week I made my deep clean and weekly clean lists. This week I’ll actually implement the deep clean part!
      • I’m also going to add another task to that: keep my freaking car clean (on the inside)!
  • Impact on the World: We’ve successfully implemented our recycle bin in our kitchen and even the convenience of it has helped us to increase our recycling! Yay!
      • This week: my goal is to actually use up all of our prepped food and leftovers for this week. Food waste is no bueno.
  • Financial: I’ve created my budget and my “logging” plan. I’ll continue to log purchases and see how my week goes!
  • Career: I didn’t officially get signed up for my ServSafe class, but I will do that this week.
      • Another goal is to set aside 30-45 minutes every day this week to learn more about this online shopping club that I just joined and the benefits/income potential that come with that. Side hustles are where it’s at! If you haven’t heard of residual income, you should really check it out.
  • Self: Last week I tried to blog more often, and it was a success!! I do feel much better when I get to write about my thoughts, feelings and goals.
      • This week, I’m going to make sure I’m drinking 80-100 oz. of water every day.

Thanks for reading!

Have the best week!

Laura

*I think it might be a “stubborn” thing too. Like, “don’t tell me what to eat, Motivated Laura.”

Budgets Smudgets

10 Mar

Oh budgets. Why-oh-why must we talk about budgets?

Well, Laura, we must talk about budgets because you have some dandy student loans to pay off. We also must talk about budgets because traveling and experiencing new cultures are important to you, and guess what… that costs money! And.. AND.. you’re not making a million dollars a year, FYI.

Yea, thanks for the reminder… I mean I get it I…

And also, I don’t know if anyone informed you yet… but you’re a freakin’ grown up now. Like, officially. Sick, I know!! But grown ups (who want to do things like travel and have nice things and, you know, retire one day) have budgets and spend their money wisely.

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggghhhhh.

Okay.. okay… get up off the floor. Lying face down in the middle of the room doesn’t help you have more money. Get up. Make a plan. And move forward. You. Can. Do. This.

Okay I’m back from my third person pep talk. I can’t be the only one that has this reaction when talking about money and budgets right?! I mean, I don’t literally go and lie on the floor* but I do feel a bit frozen on the inside. Like, if I sit so still and don’t talk about it or think about it or even breathe, maybe it’ll all just go away….

But not anymore, right?!? My fellow budget losers**… we must band together and all become big brave dogs. We must keep track of our spending. We must stop impulse buying the CRAP out of weird stuff from Target. We must become (dun dun dun!) responsible adults!!!!

You see what I’ve done here? Instead of wisely using this time to create and track a budget, I’ve managed to write a blog post to postpone having to do any real work. It’s a gift of mine, really. Procrastination.

Okay enough funny business. In this very moment, in real time, I’m switching over to my nerdy excel spreadsheet to think hard about my finances.

Okay, I’m back and I feel decent about my plan. I’m actually really excited to track all of the things I’m purchasing and see where I land. I do believe this will work similarly to a diet. You know, when you start writing down every little thing you eat, you start paying better attention and making better food choices. Which reminds me, I should probably start writing down all of the crappy foods I’ve been eating lately! Maybe that’ll be on my task list for next week…

I feel pretty good about this week and the tasks I’ve been doing. I’ve recycled. I’ve switched over some of my cleaning supplies to be less harsh and more environmentally friendly. I’ve created (but not actually done!) a deep clean schedule to add onto my already working weekly cleaning schedule. I’ve not officially signed up for a ServSafe class, but it’s in the works.

That’s a lot of things that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile and just hadn’t followed through up until now! So yay me!

Tomorrow I’ll write another post about my next goals to work on while still making sure to implement these new tasks into my routine. Along with my budget for this week, tomorrow I’m also going to explore my best options for saving money with groceries and household supplies.

I’ve become a customer of an online shopping company (similar to Target or Costco) but they don’t specifically offer stuff like toilet paper or paper towels… BUT they do offer cash back to other online retailers (like Target and Walmart and about a jillion***) other retailers, so I’m going to find out which is going to be most budget friendly and plan that stuff accordingly as well. Look at me, spending wisely and saving money like a real, live adult!

That’s all I’ve got for the day. I hope it’s been the best Saturday for all!

Love,

Laura

 

*not usually at least…

**I don’t actually think you’re a loser, my friend.

***obviously an exaggeration… but there are maybe 650 retailers that offer discounts and cash back! Whoop for saving money that I was going to spend anyway!

De-Boarding the Hot Mess Express: Step 1. Admit you have a problem.

3 Mar

Have you ever felt “lost” in your life? Like, nothing is going totally wrong… but it’s just not completely right. Maybe you’re still 10 lbs. away from your “goal weight,” just like you’ve been for the past 7 years.

Or perhaps you’re still working at that desk job, you know, the one you started 5 years ago to “have some income coming in while you figured out your dream job.”

Is your spare bedroom/basement STILL covered in piles (more like MOUNTAINS) of CRAP that you “are going to go through one of these days”?! Do you have canned food from 2014* in your cabinets? Do you have shirts in your closet that you haven’t worn since you were in college?

Do you fail to wash your face and/or floss every night, even though you know darn well that you should and you know it only takes like 2 extra minutes in your night but you still fail at doing it BECAUSE YOU ARE A HUGE GIANT MESS OF A BEING THAT CAN’T EVEN WASH HER FREAKING FACE?!?!?!?!?**

If reading this gives you anxiety because you can’t imagine such an unorganized person, you might just want to slowly back away and delete this blog from your browser history.

If you can relate to some (or all…) of the above-mentioned chaos, you’re in good company. This is the place for you. My goal is to use this space to add some thoughtful intention and direction to my life. To set goals, create action plans and actually start to become the powerful, purposeful, dream-weaving, goal-crushing, successful, living-up-to-my-fullest-potential, M-er F-ing BADASS woman that I know I am!!!

And hopefully as I get my life together more and more, YOU, my fellow disaster, will be inspired to take some steps towards your best YOU! It’s time to make some changes. It’s time to feel better and be better. It’s time to make the most out of this one life you are given. ARE YOU WITH ME?!?!?!

Okay, so now comes the super sexy*** part of the blog… I’m going to list out the areas of my life that I want to focus on improving. I’ve chosen to focus on these topics not because of any outside forces or influences, but because I feel like I’d genuinely improve the quality of my whole life by making small improvements in these topics. By no means do I think that EVERYONE needs to focus on all of these topics. I repeat. I DO NOT THINK YOU ARE A LESSER OF A PERSON IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE SAME PRIORITIES AS ME. I also do not think that YOU are lesser of a person if you also struggle with these same areas in your life (but don’t want to change). You do you. All I’m saying is that I know that I will feel like a better, more productive human being if I’m kickin’ ass and takin’ names in these areas. So that’s that.

I’ll list out my “areas of improvement”**** and a brief description of my end goal. I truly believe that in order to make any changes, you have to have clear goals in mind. For instance, of course I want to “make more money” but if I have more specific goals, like, “pay off my student loans in the next 5 years” then I must have detailed steps to get there. I’m not just “making more money” and hoping I’ll be excited about that. Are you with me?

After I dump all of my garbage here on you***** then my goal is to set smaller goals with action plans and write about those in this blog. I know the steps will seem small and slow, but those will all add up to some big change in my life, I just know it.******

And here we go… The Grand List of All Lists!!

  1. Home: Cleaning and Organizing Goals
    • Why: When the house is clean and organized, I just feel better and more “put together” as a human being.
      • I spend less money on stuff we already have (like canned goods or cleaning supplies) when cabinets are maintained and organized.
      • I don’t have to spend hours cleaning the house when we have guests over.
      • If everything stays maintained, deep cleaning is easier to maintain.
      • I also want to reduce the chemical toxins from cleaning supplies for our health.
    • Create and maintain a weekly cleaning list (I already essentially do this)
    • Create a monthly deep clean/organize schedule (like baseboards, kitchen pantry, freezer, clothes/closets, etc.)
    • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products
  2. Goals to Impact the World
    • Why: Right now I do a really crappy job of protecting the environment and giving back, and I know that’s selfish and awful and I want to do better.
    • Focus on recycling as much as possible.
    • Find a regular place to volunteer.
  3. Financial Goals
    • Why: It’s disgusting and overwhelming how much I have in student loan debt right now. It’s also frustrating (to me) to not be able to contribute more to our household and our adventures.
    • Create a monthly spending budget (and actually follow it!) and create a travel budget/fund.
    • Set career goals to influence budget goals!
  4. Career Goals
    • Why: I added a LOT more debt onto my already massive pile of debt to pursue my dream of going to culinary school and it was totally amazing… and now I cook super-duper-uper part time. So dumb.
    • Create a business plan(s) with weekly action plans/goals.
    • Create financial goals with action plans.
  5. Self Goals
    • Why: I’ve felt frumpy, grumpy and gross, and I know my attitude for everything in the world reflects all of that. If I want to be the best version of “me” AND if I want to take care of anyone else, I know I have to take care of myself first. And why wouldn’t I want to feel as good as I can possibly feel EVERY SINGLE DAY?!?
    • Physical goals: Set weight loss/measurement goals. Create menu plans and do weekly food prep. Set exercise goals.
    • More physical goals: Set skin care/teeth routine. Set supplement routine.
    • Emotional goals: Set aside times for self development with books and/or coaches. Explore churches to attend.
    • Chemical goals: Reduce the harsh chemical load in cosmetics/soaps/food

So that’s it. You might be thinking, “Gee, Laura, that’s a giant list of, like, all of the things you do in your life. You sure have a lot of work to do to get your life together.”

Well, yes. You’re right. But I’m not going to let it stop me. I’m not going to let it overwhelm me. I’m not going to say I have to perfectly execute all of the things of this list to have a perfect life. That’s not what this is about. This is about being honest with who I am, being honest with who I theoretically want to be, and exploring how I can find some common grounds somewhere in the middle and feel proud of the person I am. Because at this moment, I don’t feel proud. I feel like the weekends go by too fast… then I look forward to the weekend all week… then I pay some bills… and continue with the cycle. That’s not what I want for myself or for my husband or for our future family (NO I AM NOT PREGNANT.)

That’s all I’ve got for today because that was A LOT! I’ll probably sprinkle these posts with recipes and dog pictures and other fun motivational stuff too, so be sure to follow along and remind me that I’m not the only passenger on the “hot mess express”.

Love,

Laura

(If you didn’t look down here throughout the text when you read a superscript number, you may have missed a lil “somethin’-somethin'”. It’s never THAT important.. sometimes just funny little note.)

* It always grosses me out when I find expired canned food in my cabinet… You know that stuff has like a 5 year expiration date.. so that can of corn that expired in 2012 was probably produce and maybe purchased in 2007. Sick.

**I’m fully aware that I write my blog without following proper grammar rules. My favorite is using run-on sentences galore because I want people to read this as though I’m talking to them and sometimes I don’t pause when I am really excited/passionate about something! And I like starting sentences with “and.”

***Pathetic.

****Disaster areas of my life.

*****And you, without a doubt, judge me for being a big ol’ loser…

******If you know me, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard this from me before. I’m going to make some big changes! I’m going to conquer the world! Perhaps you stopped believing me since I’ve said it so many times… but how sad would the world be if everyone gave up on their hopes and dreams if they didn’t achieve them the first (or second or third) time around?