On Thursday I went shopping, and I mean 'big' shopping! Each year this time, after we get our tax refund, I start stocking up on things we use a lot of throughtout the year. because of our new 'healthier eating' efforts, I will not be stocking up on beef from our local butcher, however I will still go to the local chicken plant (Tyson) and buy boneless skinless breasts from their 'company store'. This time I got 20 pounds for $30, and that is only $1.50 per pound! For boneless skinless breasts! Such a great price. I also am stocking up on boneless pork loins at Kroger. I have some cut into roasts and some cut into thin chops. We had the chops for dinner last night in a dijon mustard, garlic, ginger marinade and then grilled, that was just delicious!
I also stock up on paper and plastic products, staples like rice that I keep in the freezer, and detergents and cleaners. Oh, and I bought 9 big cans of coffee, and no, we don't drink a ton of coffee! I drink a cup or two a week, and hubby drinks a cup or two each day. But coffee, in metal cans that are sealed will keep for ages, and Kroger had their brand on sale for $5.99 per can. That's worth stocking up, don't you think! Besides, I store the cans on shelves in our garage, and they stay pretty cool most of the year, so that helps, too.
Buying things like that really helps because it keeps our food and household expenses down throughout the year, and if I run out of coffee (or rice or paper towels) all I have to do is go visit my little market in the garage!
But that's not really new! Here are a few things that ARE new . . .
Cooking and eating better - I am thoroughly enjoying this new focus in our lives! I love to cook, but I had gotten bored with doing the same old things all the time! Now I am looking for new, healthier recipes, and finding some really good ones! Last night I had grilled pork loin chops (very lean!) and sauteed veggies (asparagus, carrots and onion) with chopped jalapena peppers that I roasted and chopped, fresh garlic and ginger, Meyer lemon juice, etc. It was a delicious meal, and we thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors in the food! And as an example of how well things are going, my hubby went to the Dr. on Friday to have blood drawn, and his BP has lowered some, but he has lost about 12 pounds!!! How is it fair that men lose weight so much easier than women do??? But I have to say how very, VERY proud I am of my sweet hubby; he really is trying to do better, and it's showing!
Buying more veggies and herbs - part of my new cooking style is adding lots of flavor, and when at my local Kroger the other day I bought a package of live, hydroponically grown basil! It came from this company which is in my own 'home town' - or the town I grew up in, and where most of my family still lives.
I bought a 'pouch' of live, growing basil, and it is so beautiful and smells SO good, that you won't believe it! I look forward to trying it in many recipes in the future!
I placed the 'plant' into a small glass pitcher that has a narrow enough neck to support the stems, but allows for plenty of water for the roots. Right now it is sitting on my kitchen table where it can get sun from the windows.
Isn't that just amazing??? Here is a picture of the puch it came in. I just love that I can (hopefully) keep this alive and well in my kitchen, then when the ground is warm enough, plant it outside!
So, that is definitely something new!!!
Recycling - Recently someone took our large, wheeled garbage can (provided by the sanitation company) from in front of our house. I mean, SERIOUSLY! Who would do something like that? Especially in the middle of a subdivision! Anyway, I called our sanitation company and they said "no problem" and brought us a new one. And when I was talking to them I asked about their recycling program. Hubby and I have talked about starting recycling, but just hadn't done anything about it, so this was a great chance to start! It costs $1 more per month, and they brought us a large wheeled cart - just like the other one, but with a pink top - just for our recycled items. And the great part? We don't have to sort it! They accept over 40 different types of recyclable items, and we just put it all into the large bin and they sort it after picking it up. They pick up recycling every other week, which saves on gas and traffic in our neighborhood. And they support Breast Cancer Research, which is even better!
So, anyway, we are now recycling. I bought this trash can . . .
. . . just for our recycling and have taped a list of the recyclable items on top, so it's easy to know what goes in there. And it's amazing how much is going into that bin! In just a few days I've over-filled it once, filled it again, and now it's already over 1/2 full! This is definately new, and a 'good thing'.
Gardenia - Last fall my Mama gave me a couple of blooms from her gardenia, and told me to keep them in fresh water and they would root. And one did! It had such huge roots on it and I knew it needed to be potted, so I finally got it into a pot. As soon as it's big enough I will plant it outside in my yard. For now, whenever there is a sunny day, I put it out on the deck so it can get sunshine. I can't wait to have my own gardenia blooms!
Joy - Yes, I said JOY!!! I am feeling so much better, and once again finding joy in doing things around my home! Yesterday (Friday) after having shopped all day onThursday, I had TONS of things to put away. And the top shelf in my pantry was WAY overdue an organizing! So I straightened the pantry, put (almost) everything away, put a fresh tablecloth on my kitchen table, washed a pretty bowl I've had for YEARS but never use. I filled it with grapefruit (our new favorite dessert after dinner), pears and Meyer lemons. I think it's beautiful as a centerpiece!
And speaking of grapefruit, hubby's doctor told him he should try to eat two a day, so we are now on our second 18 pound bag of Texas red grapefruit in three weeks. At night I peel and section them (aka supreming) and put them in a bowl, and that is our 'dessert'. Can I just say how wonderful they are??? They are full of fiber and vitamins, AND are very filling. Not to mention the fact they are a great palate cleanser and don't leave you wanting something sweet after a savory meal. We are both really loving this new addition to our evening!
Little Gifts Campaign Update - Have you noticed over in the sidebar that there are now FOUR people who have joined my Little Gifts campaign??? One earlier this week, and one just this morning! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me! I'd love it if you would visit their blogs! And please join us on this journey to spread smiles to others, all the while being more grateful for the little gifts we receive! A few little gifts I've received lately are . . .
- a visit with my friend, Sue
- lots of birds visiting my feeders
- the joy of doing little things around the house
- my hubby once again cracking little jokes and acting like he's going to be okay
- finding a little pitcher I thought I'd 'lost'
and many more! Won't you try to start putting more emphasis on finding and spreading joy? I think you will find it is so very rewarding, and will change your outlook on life in general!!!
So, new is definitely good! And things are really looking up around here. And I am so incredibly grateful!!! Will you please leave a comment and tell me what's 'new' with you??? Blessings friends, and . . .
Be Joyful Always! Becky