Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Random Thoughts & Tidbits: Part 22

Resolutions schmesolutions, aka, it's about to get real up in here.

I've never been a resolution maker.  Who wants to set themselves up to fail?  That being said, I'm an obsessive list maker and I believe in making goals for yourself, whether it's the first of the year or the middle.

My to-do lists contain obtainable things like: laundry, organize junk drawer (done!), clean baseboards, touch-up paint, make meal plan, kitchen backsplash, etc.  But I also have to-do lists that are more like wish lists.  New Kitchen was on that list for years.  It wasn't something planned for the immediate future, but it was a want and a hope.  Lucky for me, we had a major leak and a massive amount of mold in our wall and floor studs, which led to a complete DIY gut and remodel.  Ha!  I also had New Car on my to-do list when I found out I was pregnant with Baby #3.  Again, lucky for me, I was in a nasty car accident while 6 months pregnant. My car was deemed totaled and the insurance settlement paid for almost all of a used minivan.  Life always seems to work out that way.

So with that in mind, some of these are things I think about, but don't necessarily write down as actual to-do's. They're more just personal goals.  Things to be aware of and/or things that I need to remind myself to work on:

  • Quit smoking.  
  • Duh.
  • It's something I think about on a daily basis.  I've had a packet of Chantix in my cupboard for months.  I had big plans to start it in December.  I sat down and read through all the paperwork, aka fine print, that came with it, and psyched myself out.  
  • I have total anxiety that it will be like the Welbutrin I tried several years ago.  It made me so high I could barely function.  And didn't do a thing for helping in the quitting department.  Not my idea of a good time.
  • It needs to happen and it's on the list.
  • Stop yelling.
  • That has been on my list for years.  I feel like I've had a really good start this year. I'm conscious of it and checking myself when it starts to get out of hand.
  • Stop nagging.
  • Again, something I'm very aware of.  I think, again, I'm off to a good start.
  • Be more affectionate. 
  • I'm not a hugger.  I take that back.  I like hugs, but I don't like to initiate hugs and I don't like to admit I like hugging while hugging.  It feels awkward and I don't know how to act.
  • I'm pretty sure baggage is to blame for my lack of affection, but I'm trying.
  • I could psychoanalyze myself all day, but I'll spare you.
  • Spend more time "doing" with the kids.
  • It's hard to find spare time.  You would think a stay-at-home mom has all the time in the world.  Not at my house.  I'm constantly mapping out my chores/to-do list in my head.  Anytime I sit down and do "nothing" with the kids, I'm thinking about what I could be accomplishing.  If they ask to do something with me, my response 98% of the time is, "In a minute."  The Girl wants to color.  The Kid wants to play a game.  Baby wants to play kitchen or read.  I'm "busy" putting a load of clothes in the dryer, writing a grocery list, cleaning the stove, vacuuming, prepping dinner, taking pictures, watering the yard, etc.  
  • The goal is to let something go every day so I can say yes to them.  And not to feel guilty or stressed about what I didn't get done.
  • Track grocery spending.
  • I started this last January and didn't follow through. The plan is to write the amount spent on the calendar every time The Dad or I make a run to the grocery store, whether it's a big trip or just for potatoes and milk.  I feel like I'm really good at feeding a family of five on a budget, but it would be nice to know exactly how much is being spent every month.  So far this month, I've been to two stores and spent $62.  
  • Any sort of fast food or restaurant outing will be included in the total.
  • I do not plan on including wine in that calculation.  
  • Ahem.
  • My goal, once I can get a good idea of what's going out each month, would be to implement the envelope method.  Have any of you done it?  I've brought it up several times over the years, but it hasn't come to fruition.  I'm a fan of the idea.  You put cash in different labeled envelopes for the month, and if the money is gone, too bad so sad.
  • I didn't use a single credit card for Christmas this year and I'm feeling pretty damn good about that.  I'm (The Dad is) still paying off a visa from my single days, so the idea of charging anything at this point in my life makes me cringe.
  • Apparently we've moved onto the subject of money.  I don't feel like it's a sore subject at our house, but I will say, we don't have any.  At all.  Three kids, one income, translates to: paycheck to paycheck.  The bills are paid and that's about it.  
  • BUT, the bills are paid, and that's sort of a big deal.
  • Annnd speaking of money, I know the ads on my blog can be annoying, but the $12 - $20 dollars a month they generate is kinda awesome. I saved every penny and it helped pay for this year's Christmas presents, including contributing to the pot that got The Dad to the Rose Bowl.  So thank you.
  • Moving on, I'm in a food frenzy right now.  After a month of sporadic home-cooked meals, I want to make ALL the things.  I'm kinda mad at Pinterest.  It's responsible for taking me away from my beloved cookbooks. 
  • For about a year now, I'm been considering cooking my way through at least one of them.  Julie and Julia-style. Start at the beginning and try them all.  Okay, maybe skip over the egg/corn/mushroom/olive/shrimp pie recipes, but try making the majority of them.  Whatdya think?  I could post a poll and the most popular cookbook chosen would be the one I start with.  I think it sounds fun.
  • That leads me to another question.  Does anyone have any opinion, or care, what I post about?  Not that I can guarantee I'll listen - ha! - but it would be interesting to know what you like best about my blog and why you come back.  Glutton for punishment, clearly.  Obviously, in our growing season, it turns into a full-on garden blog, but I go through some major food-heavy posting sessions at times, as well.  I throw kid stuff in on occasion, and family pics, mainly for my own benefit. The house projects show up now and again, when we're actually working on them.  (That's another thing I'm adding to my list...see below).  I'd just like to hear which are your favorites.  Or what you'd like more or less of.  Be nice.
  • Finish all the started projects.  The Kitchen.  The Master Bathroom.  Those are the two major ones.  Then there are all the little things that I keep meaning to do, but haven't made time for.  I'd like to finish all of them before starting anything new.  What a concept.  That includes purging and organizing every room of the house.  I'm on a roll.
  • Okay, that's probably enough rambling for one post. Off to heat up some leftover pulled pork and turn it into soft tacos.  Mmmmmm.


  1. First off I know you can quit! Man you are a tough cookie...I have no doubt that you can rock this one! And I love everything about your blog because you have so many topics!! From the garden to your posts like's all awesome! I'm with you on writing things down. That is so scary that you got in an accident when you were 6 months pregnant. Glad you got a car out of it at least!!! I do the envelope method every month...I watch my brothers kids so I use that money for groceries and extras. I put the cash in labeled envelopes for each week of the month and do all of my grocery shopping on Monday other shopping is done for the week unless I have to run to Target for paper goods. You make that much from your ads??!!?? That is AWESOME!!! Man!!! Maybe I should try that! Keep up the hard work friend! And best of luck on this list.....I know you will knock it all down!! Nicole xoxo

  2. I think you should post what you like. You are very good at what you do here. The grocery bill here is out of control and it's our biggest monthly expense. We drink a ton of milk and a lot of fruit and it seems like I need to stock up on both every three days. And then a bunch of other stuff ends up in my cart. But I keep it healthy except for my chai. Smoking cessation will be a journey but you can do it. A lot of people love you. And you are going to save a lot of money too.

  3. Mindy,
    I've been following you for a long time. In fact, I sent you the recipe for the crackly pear cake. Yours is one of my five favorite blogs. Why do I like you. First, your saying at the top is so true. You make the most of what you have, and because you are so talented, everything is lovely.....whether it's your home, your garden and your fabulous cooking. Your husband and kids are so fortunate. Your writing isn't bad interesting. So keep doing what you're doing. I'll follow you as long as you're around. A long time, I hope.
    Niki in Santa Cruz

    1. NIKI! I totally just wrote a whole response to this and then accidentally closed my tab and lost the whole thing. :(
      That crackle pear cake is famous at my house because of you! We love it.
      I'm so glad you commented. I ramble to no-man's land and never know if more than five people are actually reading. It is free therapy, though. Your words totally made my night. Really. My selfish ego thinks you should comment more often. :) Thank you so much. Happy New Year!
      P.S. I want to know what the other four blogs in your top five are. Clearly you have good taste. ;o)

  4. I have so much to say to you regarding this post and the last few, so on the top of my to do list is, email you!!! Its really weird that you write exactly....EXACTLY.....what I would write. I can't believe how much I have in common with you!!! #1 reason I love your keep it real, your truthful, your not fake!! I hate the blogs where someone acts like everything is just perfect all the time.

  5. I would read your posts if you were reciting the phone book,..or something like that. I adore the random thoughts ones probably the best, but I also love the mix of topics. I think really it's your voice that is so appealing.

    Yes, quit smoking, just do it. Of course you can do it, you are a woman, you can do anything. :)

    I love to hug. I practically hug strangers. My husband is not a hugger at all and finds this absolutely mystifying. lol

    Ah guilt, yes, guilt is such a comfortable old friend. Ditch that bitch. You heard me,...get rid of that guilt that keeps you from enjoying moments with your kids. The house does not (does not! not! not!) need to be spotless at every moment, or any moment. (I know this is a hard one, I struggle with it all the time, but have successfully allowed doggie nose prints on the patio doors for,....well, for a long time).

  6. No credit cards at Christmas? BRAVO! That's huge, girlfriend! Congratulations.

    Boy could I relate to your conflict with the kids. I always felt guilty for not spending more time with them. But when I did, I felt like I should be doing chores. Motherhood is so not for wusses. There is always that push to do more, do better, be better. It can be exhausting.

    You are a doer, Mindy and I really admire that about you. The projects you accomplish amaze me. However, I think it's okay to go at a slower pace and not feel so compelled to always be in go-mode. You mentioned working on your yelling and nagging which is great but I didn't see, "take more time to breathe and listen to the birds chirp and hear the kids' laughter." Or "take more bubble baths." Be sure to include some Mindy time in there. :)

    I wish you much success in your desire to quit smoking. Nicotine is so addictive as I'm sure you know. I've heard it's harder to quit smoking than it is to stop doing heroin. I think your concerns about the medication are valid. I would talk to your doctor and get a referral to talk to a smoking cession therapist or clinician. Get help. You don't have to go it alone. Keep me posted, dear heart.

    I wish I had a favorite cookbook to recommend. It will be interesting to see what you decide. Now that I'm working from home, I've been watching Rachael Ray. She's very inspiring. Do you watch her? (When you're not doing 500 other things. LOL)

    And good luck with tracking your grocery expenses. This is a great idea. I should do it too. I think we all should. I've always said I'd be rich if I didn't have to buy food. :)

    As for your blog, just keep doing what you're doing. You're awesome. Your blog is a reflection of you and your many-facets. And celebrating that is what makes your blog so fun to read. Happy New Year.

  7. I love your random thoughts and tidbits posts! But I love all your posts, so...I've been tracking our food budget for about four years. And wine isn't part of it ;) I believe you can quit smoking. You can. Honestly, the people I know who've had the best luck have gone cold turkey. Good luck!!


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