Homemade Mondays week 143

Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle.  We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that.  Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts

How to:
 Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pintrest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we’re pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.

The featured post from last week was From Cedar Stump to Coffee Table by Repurposed For Life.

stump



Meal plan for July 27th – August 2nd

Damn it all to hell, I don’t want to come back to reality.  I want to stay in vacation mode all the time…where I don’t have to go to work, Jack and I are in Denver again with my bestie, and there is so much delicious food in my face at all times.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Mile High City, and would live there in a hot second if we didn’t live here.  Lots of outdoor activities, great transit, tons of people dedicated to healthy living, and the food.  Oh goodness, the food.  I always spend our yearly visit just stuffing my face and smiling.  That’s what she said?  Hmmm, not quite.

This year, Anne and I became ladies of leisure, because for Jack’s birthday present, Anne bought him a week at her kiddo’s summer day camp, and she took time off of work. That means for the first time since we started visiting in 2011, we were free to roam minus the little dude.  And roam we did.  We went hiking, saw a movie (Trainwreck.  Funny, but honestly you don’t want this couple to end up together because the chick is such a dick and the dude could do way better), and went on two, five mile hikes.  My little sea level lungs totally rallied and I was proud of being able to hold my own at 8,000 square feet.

Just so that you don’t think I love everything about Denver, let’s talk about the bathroom situation, m’kay?  No bathrooms in Denver have seat covers.  So you have to build a little toilet paper nest each and every time you’re out and about.  And very few have paper towels, and ALL the doors are pull in, so you have to grab some toilet paper to open the bathroom door.  I’m allllllll about sustainability and not being wasteful, but if you’re not going to provide people in bathrooms with a paper towel, make sure your bathroom door pushed OUT.  Common decency people.  It’s a city-wide conspiracy theory.  Everyone is out to get me.

Hikes:

We did five miles at Falcon Mountain (Mount Falcon?) and it was gorgeous!  Some cool old buildings (partial stone castle thingy anyone?), and amazing views.

IMG_3404

IMG_3405

I usually feel like my build is fairly slight, and then I stand next to someone who is small boned, and then I feel like my shoulders should qualify me for the Olympic 400 meter backstroke.

I earned my ice cream with gummy bears that night.

IMG_3412

Anne (Fitbit) and I (Jawbone) both tracked our steps that day, and even though our movement was very similar, she had 1,000 more than me. We chalked it up to my long stride means she has to take more steps than I do to equal my distance. Dainty little thing.

And then two days letter we went hiking at Red Rocks, which was MUCH steeper, but just as gorgeous!

IMG_3422

And it was fairly windy.  I’ve told you all I have very fine hair before, right?  I mean, um I got struck by lightning during one of Denver’s many thunderstorms…

IMG_3425(1)

The food!

We ate at True Food Kitchen after our first hike.  Anne had this beautiful quinoa and chicken salad with tons of veggies.  And I ate an entire personal pizza.  Crushing it.

Root Down was our only dinner out this trip, and it is always my favorite stop of the trip.  Um, I mean other than Anne’s house…right.  We’ve been hitting this place up each year since I started visiting, and it’s always perfection.  I would love to open a restaurant like this in Washington.

We had lunch at Root Down’s sister, Linger, which is a restaurant in a former mortuary.  Yep, you read that correctly.  I had the street tacos, with a side of miso pickled cucumbers (because I saw them on the menu and couldn’t pass up such a chance to try them out).  Delish!

After Linger, we made ourselves sick at Little Man Ice Cream.  Anne said the rule of thumb is, if you walk by Little Man, you just get in line. Because by time it is your turn, you’ll want ice cream.  It’s an ice cream shop in the bottom of a giant foot tall steel milk can. It was delicious, and I had rocky road topped with fluffernutter ice cream.  Yeah, that happened.

IMG_3418

IMG_3417

Our final lunch of the trip was at Pinche, which has been named one of the Top Ten Tacos in the US.  I had their asada and carnitas street tacos (menu).  The asada was fine (a local place I like to go has slightly better ones), but the carnitas were so tender and I LOVED the crispy parts of the pork that was in the tortilla. Their guacamole was fabulous as well.

Random

Tattered Cover bookstore is an independent bookstore in Denver that has cozy chairs, a hip atmosphere, and the world’s best selection of “what the hell” mugs.  Seriously, everyone I know is getting a mug this year for Christmas!

IMG_3431

IMG_3430

While at Anne’s, Jack and I share their guest bed.  For the first few years we visited, Jack slept in an amazing race car bed, but after a few midnight bail outs (he was too big and flopped out), he and I bunk together.  One thing to know about Jack is that he is a giant bed hog.  This is after I got up to pee one night.  Punk.

IMG_3411

The first day we were there, we went to the Wings Over the Rockies Museum and Jack got to ride a missile.

IMG_3389

And pose with Anakin and his ship.

IMG_3387

And then we went skydiving.

IMG_3385

So, all in all, best trip ever.  And I want to go back right now.  Right this second.  And not go to work tomorrow.

:shakes head and gets back to reality:

Meal plan time!

Monday::  Tomato soup (canned from the garden), whole wheat knockoff Red Lobster biscuits, and salad.

Tuesday:: BLTs, cucumbers, and salad.

Wednesday:: Chicken burgers (this was Troy’s suggestion and I have no idea what they actually entail), Troy’s new magical fries made in the toaster oven, and grilled zukes.

Thursday:: Homemade (whole wheat) pizza and salad

Friday:: Popcorn dinner

Saturday:: Troy is in a wedding on Sunday, and we have the rehearsal dinner Saturday night.

Sunday:: Wedding cake for dinner.  Not really, I hate wedding cake.  And about 85% of all other cakes.  They’re have a BBQ place cater the wedding which sounds both delicious and messy.

This week I spent $37.5 at the grocery store, $3.50 at the farm for raw milk, and $32.12 at Costco.

What are you having this week?

 

 

Out in to the world!

Jack and I are headed out tomorrow am on a very early plane to see my bestie/one third of his godmothers – Anne!

We’ll be gone a week, and I won’t be blogging on vacation.  If that is too long to live without crude humor, fart jokes, and stories of a crazy six year old, never fear…I’ll be updating on Facebook and Instagram!

Be well friends.

Why “fun” money can and should be a part of any budget

I’m fairly certain that one of the perks of marrying me was that Troy never had to again balance a checkbook, pay bills, or deal with budgets.  From the start of our marriage, I’ve dealt with all of that crap.  For anyone about to get married, or newly married, I highly recommend having one person be the “head of finance”, but make sure the other spouse is a voting member of the oversight committee.  Our committee was disbanded in a hostile takeover from day one, and it’s all been on my shoulder.  That’s a lot of weight to carry around!

Something that took incredible growing pains for us to learn was the essential nature of “fun” money.  Troy would want to go to the store and get something unhealthy and junky, and would never remember to give me the receipt, and I would get annoyed that our balance was off because of a month’s worth of Snickers bars.

We finally settled on having a monthly allotment of cash for each of us.  The other person doesn’t get to say a word about what you spend your money on. For me, that money is spent on pedicures, my once a week latte, and the rest is saved for my annual trip with Jack to see my bestie Anne.  Troy spends his on fast food and soda from what I can tell.  Barf.

Things that one does not need to spend their fun money on includes: haircuts (since I cut the boys hair, I’m the only one who gets a haircut, but since it’s a fairly essential activity, it comes from the general fund), clothes, shoes, or things that involve all of us or the kid (but I choose to save my cash for our yearly trip so that we can go crazy and do a ton of fun things.  And eat donuts).

Throughout our 11 years of marriage (next Friday!), spending money has had many looks and iterations.  At first, when I was the only one working and Troy was a struggling “artist” working on movies for bagels and granola bars, spending money was about $15 a month.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was ours.  When we lived in Los Angeles and I was making a lot more money and when Troy was working (film work can be both fickle and lucrative my friends), the spending money seemed to flow freely.  Since Troy worked at least one job a month, spending money did not come out of my paycheck, but rather was a percentage of what he brought home.  Some months we felt insanely rich, and other months it was slim pickings.

When we moved back to Washington, and the economy bit us in the ass, we still kept up the concept of spending money, but it was cut down to $5 or $10 a month for most months.  When paying rent and eating takes priority, the fun times slowed down considerably.  But it was important to both of us to still have that small amount of freedom to do something stupid or save it up for something we really cared about.

So, I always encourage any couple or individual to go the route of spending or fun money, no matter what your budget looks like. It’s not always about the amount, but the act of having something that is “yours”.

How about you?  Do you include fun money in your monthly budget?