Saturday, August 31, 2013

Goals Check-in: August

Here's my end-of-the-month wrap-up regarding my 2013 goals:

Friday, August 30, 2013

2014 Travel Plans

As my wife and I discussed household plans and timelines the other day, I suddenly realized that we have a lot more plans to travel next year than we usually do. I'm a major homebody, but I enjoy the vacation planning process quite a lot. Guess it's time to start working on that savings goal! And book some reservations as well, in the next couple months. I'm glad I have enough vacation time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Food This Week 8

Finishing out the month and using up odds & ends... it's another week of pantry and freezer cooking, which is how I like it! We had a ton of eggs to use up, so I hardboiled a dozen for proteiny snacks. That means I can pack one for lunch and not have to be near a stove. The rest will keep (uncooked in the fridge) until we manage to fry them all up. I found a different brand of almond milk on sale, but it proved unsatisfying -- definitely thinner and less creamy than the store brand we've gotten before. I won't use it to make pudding... but it's an excellent excuse for cocoa!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Earworms of the Moment

I'm unloading my current earworms in the hope that it'll make them stop... a futile hope, perhaps. Feel free to share your own songs of the moment!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ban kids from reading "too much"?

On my virtual desk today (although it's from last week) was this article, in which a public librarian discouraged a 9-year-old from participating in the reading contest he's won for the past 5 years.

That's right, a librarian who tried to ban a child from reading.

I'll wait.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food This Week 7

Happy circumstance: Mint categorized a purchase of school supplies at the grocery store as Groceries; once that was corrected, I have about $30 more to use for food this month. *cheer* I'll be restocking butter and flour, I think, and maybe getting some apples for applesauce. And treating myself to almond milk. (Cocoa! Pudding! No lactose!)

Freezer Inventory: August

Since starting to keep track of what we have in the freezer, I am starting to see cycles of emptiness and fullness. This is helping me plan grocery shopping and our weekly menu, and I think it's preventing odds and ends from being lost to the icy depths for all time.

Here's an update on what's in the freezer right now:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Children with Incarcerated Parents

Today I read a frightening statistic. 1 in 28 children in the U.S. have a parent who is serving a prison sentence. That's an average of one or more per classroom (though probably more concentrated in urban areas like mine). Many more who know incarcerated people -- family members, neighbors, etc.

Okay, this settles it: This year I'm using Visiting Day in Read Aloud.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Food This Week 6

Like my new feature image?
I made it at with a blackboard background from Erin.
Then I made it clickable by adding a URL to the image.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Making a Weekly Menu Plan

I thought I'd write a little about my process for planning a weekly menu and shopping list. No, it's not particularly library-related, but it does relate to organization of information and efficient systems. Plus, it's my darn blog and I'll post lots of stuff! Some of it will be home/life-related. Enjoy the links!

CC by LizMarie_AK (Flickr)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Food This Week 5

One part of menu planning that I've had to work on recently is flexibility. Last week, a lack of leftovers, forgetting to thaw frozen entrees, a rescheduled dinner invitation, and more unexpected changes caused a major reworking of the weekly menu. It's okay! I moved the meatloaf dinner over to this week, we ordered pizza once, and the last bit of tater tot casserole stayed in the freezer. (That's a real benefit of cooking ahead and not planning around all-fresh foods!)

(However, these fresh foods are yummy)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Choosing Books for Read Aloud

Although I get the summer "off" from bookbuying, I still do some work on the Read Aloud program. The bigger headstart I have at the beginning of the school year, the less pressure there is each month, I've found. So even without making purchases until the end of August, I've kept up my list of possibilities and I explore them in person when possible. (A library trip is great for this!)

CC by San Jose Library (Flickr)
The Read Aloud program I volunteer with is not affiliated with SJPL. These photos are for illustration only.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Food This Week 4

This is an off week for the produce box; we have a couple overripe nectarines and the two potatoes left from last Tuesday's box (and the white corn I bought earlier in the week), but will mostly be eating frozen veggies unless I come across a very good produce special. I've started splitting lunch into two meals most days, because we're not eating together during the week and often have some leftovers to use up that will only feed one. My wife doesn't seem to mind, as long as she gets fed.

Is leftover meatloaf ever a bad thing?
CC by rick (Flickr)