checkinwednesday

Check-in Wednesday

I’ve finally started exercising again and I am very happy about that. I finally found a jogging stroller that was both affordable and doesn’t look cheap. I had my heart set on the BOB brand jogging stroller but to he honest I am not a runner, yet, and might never be. So it didn’t seem wise to spend so much money on a stroller that is so clearly geared towards actual runners. Jogging strollers must have a wrist strap and a front wheel that locks straight in order for them to be safe at high speeds. Since I am only planning on walking and doing some light jogging I decided that a suspension system was not something I need. The City Elite jogging stroller was another that I liked and it was a little less expensive than the BOB. I liked everything about it, the rubber handle, the size and feel of it. In fact, I liked it better than the BOB. In the end we went with the Eddie Bauer Endurance. Target had it on sale for $149.00. It’s a lot more compact than other jogging strollers we looked at. So many of them just feel huge and bulky. The stroller came with a parent tray (for keys and drinks) and a child snack tray. Diego has already enjoyed propping his feet up on it. 

The air filled tires glide along smoothly on the sidewalk and our sidewalks here are very uneven so that was a difference that I noticed immediately. It handles just as well as our Britax B-Agile in that it is light weight and responsive. I don’t feel like I am pushing something heavy. The canopy is smaller than I would like but it does the job. On the negative side, some of the things that are lacking/lesser than more expensive strollers. Firstly, the spokes are plastic rather than metal. The seat isn’t as comfortable looking and the harness is just ok. It’s not a perfect stroller by any means but it is perfect for my purposes. 

I thought about getting rid of our other stroller but this jogging stroller has huge wheels and would take up to much trunk space if it even fits at all. Also, it’s just big in general and I don’t like to bump into things when we are out in a crowded place so our of consideration to the world (and because we can afford to keep both) I am going to have two strollers for now. 

Food-wise we have been very bad this week. I have cooked some but we’ve also gone out a couple of times. Tonight, we ended up at Chuck E. Cheese’s  and had pizza. I was expecting some soggy mess but it wasn’t bad at all. The crust was crispy and I love a crispy crust. One of the things we have been trying to do is find kid friendly places where we can take Diego so he can run around and not bother anybody. He much prefers to walk on his own rather than sit in his stroller to be carried. We try to take him to the park as much as we can but sadly there aren’t any nice parks near us. I scoped one out the other day and was disappointed that a) it was sand and b) it wasn’t enclosed with a fence like the other parks we like. I will probably still take him there just to see how he does since he has shown a dislike for sand. 

Back to Chuck E. Cheese’s, I had never been to one before tonight. I liked that upon entering they stamp both parents and child(ren) with a unique number which they check upon exit to make sure you only leave with the kids you brought with you. The place was really clean and the staff were friendly and attentive. They had an area for small kids that includes rides and a play structure like the ones you find at some fast food restaurants. The three of us had a really good time spending the tokens that were included in our combo. It had been a while since I played skee ball and I still suck, ha ha. 

This post is much longer than I anticipated but I guess I have a lot to say! I made really good risotto style rice with leeks and asparagus on Sunday. Diego and I finished the last bit of it today. I also made whole grain mac and cheese with chicken italian sausage. I can’t remember what else I have made so far, we’ve been eating left overs a lot. I love that because it means less time in the kitchen. 

The mess never ends around here, between the daily picking up of toys, folding clothes and keeping the floor crumb free (an impossible task) I feel like I never make a dent in the work. At the same time I am thankful to have the mess because of who makes it. I’d rather have our messy house any day than be without the two that make it. 

Check-in Wednesday

We started off the week with Diego finally being one hundred percent congestion free. No more runny nose and no more cough! It has made for happier days and nights. 

Our Sunday paper was missing the circular for our grocery store so I went in blind on Monday morning when I went to do our shopping. There were a few things we absolutely needed, like bananas, veggies, and bread, but by and large I didn’t have anything specific in mind. I was planning on purchasing some meats but only ones that were on sale or that I had a coupon for. I decided that our menu would have to be assembled as I shopped. I know this can be dangerous! In order to safeguard ourselves from junk food impulse buys Diego and I had breakfast just before heading out s little before 8am. 

Now let me just say how much of a fan I am of early morning shopping. The store is pretty much empty, employees are still fresh and cheerful, and they are likely to be in stock of discounted meats. I was able to buy a pack of cubed steaks for around $1 and I’ll get two meals out of that. That’s pretty good in my book. 

Whenever I shop for the week I obviously don’t always need much since I already have stuff in the freezer and pantry. On Monday I made pasta bolognese. This fed us for two days. 

On Tuesday I made guacamole again since avocados were still on special. My husband and I both had late lunches so we found that sharing a bowl of guac with chips was sufficient enough and so I didn’t cook anything else. Diego had some banana and a little bit of left over pasta from the night before. 

I cooked the cubed steak tonight. Tomorrow, I’m making whole grain macaroni and cheese with a sneaky butternut squash in the sauce. I might also add broccoli. That will be our meatless meal for the week. 

I have some pork for friday but I haven’t decided how to cook it. I also have a bag of kale, Romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. I’ll whip something up with those. 

We might end up going out for dinner on Saturday or staying home and having sandwiches. 

So far, I’ve stuck to the meal planning but I think that’s pretty much the only goal I’ve worked on so far. I have been reading a lot but finding time to read is hard because by the time I can relax and read I’m also tired. So I haven’t read as much as I would like but I’m reading every night. 

I’m on the hunt for a jogging stroller but I’m hesitant to pay so much for one. The good ones are rather expensive. I’ve tried looking for a used on on Craigslist but there are some dirty looking ones that I wouldn’t want even if there were free!

Here are a few pictures from the week so far:

Check-in Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and it’s time to review which goals I’ve worked on this past week. I have been doing a good job cooking every night but I haven’t stuck to the pre-planned menu. I am perfectly fine with this as my goal was to simply cook dinner every night not to stick to the planned meals. 

Yesterday I made sautéed beef with onions, cilantro rice and guacamole. It was a big hit with my husband. 

For the guacamole I used two small Haas avocados, some diced onion, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and a the juice of one small lime. One of the things I like about guacamole is that you can modify the recipe to suit your taste. You can add things such as chilli powder, jalapeños, or tomatoes for a different flavor. You can also make it as chunky as you like. I like my guacamole to be a mixture of creamy and chunky which is why I reserve some of the ingredients and add them in one I’ve mashed up the rest to my liking. 

Tonight I made stir fried beef (I used the rest of the package of beef I used yesterday) with broccoli and served it over penne pasta. 

Going into the kitchen with a plan is so much better than staring at my open fridge and pantry hoping that inspiration will strike me. Now that I have a few recipe ideas already planned for I feel confident rather than stressed out when it comes to figuring out what we are going to eat. 

Planning dinners has already proven to be a great time saving method. It’s also been a great help at getting organized this week. I have been feeling very industrious these past few days. It’s almost as if I am trying to harness the power of the new year. Today I took down our Christmas tree and decorations. The house looks and feels very bare. It always makes me a little sad to put it all away until next year.