The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


Wordless What-is-it Wednesday

October 14, 2009 - 12:30 PM

what is it?

*Tho I am not technically adding words to the photo, I simply wanted to say that I feel like I am on a good run with my blog this week, so I wanted to keep it going by reposting the image I put up on FB this morning.  Happy Whiskey Wednesday!

Baby Steps to Healthy Eating

October 13, 2009 - 6:08 AM

Over the last year and a half our family has been slowly purging our diet.  It started with an experiment in getting our kids to eat more kinds of foods and me to be more financially frugal and from there it morphed into getting out major negative, artificial culprits in food and from there it morphed into food/mood/behavior/allergy studies and from there it morphed into its current state of making wise and healthy yet fiscally responsible decisions for the food our family of 5 eats.

Now, I am not a model for healthy eating or for made-from-scratch-mama or for strict-diet-due-to-necessity-mama or for total-localvore-organic-mama BUT we have implemented baby steps over the last year and a half that I believe have been better for us and what we eat (if you want a break down, I can tell you) and we are continuing to do more baby steps along the way. 

BUT the one thing I had not switched was all organic meats.  WHY?  Because of the price.  Seriously, $8/lb for chicken breast... ouch.  THEN we watched Food Inc. and I was finally stirred.  Walking home from the theatre, Josh and I decided to baby step once again and financially swing organic meat (the hopes of baby step to more, etc.). 

I bought my first $8 lb of organic, free range chicken breast from the Coop to use in making a meal for our house church.  However, neither the label or the guy at the counter, could guarantee me that it was gluten free.  Worried for our GF friends at church, I went over to another grocery store and picked up my regular package of $2.50 lb of all natural, gluten free chicken breast, just so I could make two separate batches of my main dish.  I wasn't initially planning on comparing the two chicken breasts but...

Wow!  Even upon sight, what a difference!

The organic was very light, white-ish pink and the all-natural was brighter pink.  The organic was soft and light and the all-natural was dense.  The organic sliced like softened butter and the all-natural was tough.  The organic had no fat to trim off and the all-natural had a 1/4 cup of yuck.  And the taste?  I cooked up both the exact same way and the flavors were unmatched.  The organic was absolutely delicious!

Wow!  What a difference!

Will I buy organic meats for all my meals now?  Um, no, but I'm working up to it.  Seriously, $8/lb for chicken breast... ouch.  But, I definitely see great value in the theory that if the collective we buy it, even once a week, the collective they will change their ways. 

Now, if only IC would pass the chicken coops in backyard bill...

Getting to know: Online Grocery Shopping

October 11, 2009 - 9:00 PM

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to order your groceries online?  Well, let me tell you!

Back in February due to my broken foot, I was not able to do the grocery shopping, or walk, or drive, or do much of anything for that matter.  Thankfully, Josh was Super Husband and stepped up to the plate beautifully.  However, he realized that it would be worth his time (the 4+ hours it takes him to go grocery shopping) and money (the store's $13 gathering/delivery fee) for us to try online grocery shopping.

Little things to note: Strange but true, I am not a big fan of shopping on the internet.  I actually enjoy going to the store to buy things and I especially like grocery shopping.  Strange but true, I am not a coupon goddess, or a drive-around-forever-and-find-the-best-deal kind of goddess, but I am a hardcore Fareway girl (an economical food store here in our area) and I love staying in budget with my groceries.  The only grocery store with online shopping in our area is the more expensive grocery store and shopping there I inevitably spend one and a half to two times as much.

"Me" preferences aside, this is how it really went...


- Not every item in the store was on the website.
They tell you this before you get started so you are prepared.  For the most part everything major is there in some brand.  More specific brands / items were missing to varying degrees: various organic aisle items, fresh bakery items, fresh meats / fish, as well as random on sale items and larger varieties of different items like cereals or breads, etc.

- You have to know your ingredients.
Because you can't very easily check the "Nutrition Facts" on the back, you have to be very familiar with the items you purchase.  It is easy when you stick with your regular meals, but if you want to add in an item you don't buy that often or never, you just have to hope for the best at the nutritional content.

- You are at the mercy of the store employee & their thoughtfulness.
Even though the list is fairly detailed, mistakes were made every week, generally 3 each time.  Not that they were bad mistakes simply inconvenient, like 2 - 32oz bags of shredded cheese instead of 2 - 16oz blocks of cheese that were on sale.  (Disclaimer: I was just so happy to have groceries & Josh was so happy not to have gone grocery shopping, that we didn't mind.)  Some weeks items would be out and this is where the thoughtfulness of the store employee would determine your fate: either they would just skip it and you'd have to live without your half gallon of Organic Valley milk OR they would actually call you and suggest a substitute 1/2 gallon of another brand of milk.  (The ones who called were definitely a positive!)

- The website is painful.
It only runs on a painful browser and it chunk-chunk-chunks along.  So slow and so painful, so mixed up and so painful.  (Probably more for me since building websites is our business and oh, how I wanted to send them an email and ask them if they would hire us to rebuild their site!)


- Saved grocery list
The website actually saves your info from week to week, so the items you regularly buy are already on your previous week's list and you can simply click on them to add again.  This also made using their website faster as you didn't have to always refind an item on their (painfully slow) in site search engine.

- No missed items on my end
Employee mistakes aside, I would come back to my order throughout the morning and make sure I didn't forget anything before the 11AM deadline.  Coming back to my order on the computer was much easier than shuffling the kids back and forth between aisles.

- Online ads from participating store
One big perk to the more expensive grocery store, was they always had their ad online.  While doing my shopping I could switch between websites and specifically buy things on sale (as long as I could find them on the shopping website).  Even if the price was not correct online, it always rung up correct in the store.

- The thoughtful employees
I used this system for about 4 months total, or 16 weeks.  About a third of the time I had the employee call to ask about a substitute or actually offer an on sale item as a substitute (generally the item that I had initially wanted to buy but it did not show up on their website).  And every week, the delivery person was incredibly kind!

- Paying by check
Instead of paying online, I would always pay by check.  I was not sure about trusting the chunk-chunk-chunk site with my credit card info and while I am sure it would've worked out, it was always nice for me to see that the total was always $15-20 less than expected (yet another reason why I didn't mind the mistakes as much).

- Soooooo great when needed!
All the negatives aside, it was so nice to be able to still do "something."  It was also so nice to simply do it when convenient for me, have it ordered by 11AM and at 4PM have a friendly clerk bring the groceries in my house and straight to the kitchen table.  Seriously worth the $13 gather/delivery fee!


Overall, I would say it was a good experience (for us) shopping online, one that I would recommend to someone if asked (tho' I would warn of the negatives).  However, because of the initial mentioned "me" preferences, I have not gone back to shopping online since I was given permission to walk and drive.  I know it is there if I need it but for now I am happy to enjoy walking the aisles again, even the back and forth... and back and forth... and back...

Truthful Thursday

October 8, 2009 - 10:12 AM

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

"And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."  Matthew 5:43-48

Truthful Thursday inspired by Loved Like The Chuch (I love you too, Sarah!!)

Truthful Thursday

October 1, 2009 - 2:24 PM

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."  Matthew 6:19-24

Truthful Thursday inspired by Loved Like The Chuch (I love you too, Sarah!!)


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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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