On Simplicity?

Last month a fun group of ladies started a challenge based on the book  

It’s a super concept where you take 7 months, 
identify 7 areas of excess in your life,  
and make 7 choices each month in ways to cut back. 
Our first month was FOOD.  (You can insert a scream here.)
I really didn’t participate last month except to try and NOT eat out.
We are always on the go with kids activities and if I don’t plan ahead every day we end up grabbing something for the kids or getting a chicken or other quick fixes from the grocery store.  
I’ll have to say I did really good- 
and then made up for it this month by already eating out WAY too much.  
It’s made me aware of how much money is wasted when a family of five gets anything out (even snacks or drinks.) 
This month? 
This I have in the bag.  
I AM a jeans and t-shirts kind of gal.
 My choices of clothing for the month:
  1. Pure Charity T-Shirt (Thanks, *Pure Charity!)
  2. Jeans 
  3. Park Hill T-shirt
  4. Black Yoga Pants
  5. Bird Shirt by Erin
  6. Heifer Project shirt
  7. Purple tie-dyed shirt 
I’m not counting some things like shoes, pjs, or undies- 
and not counting jackets because AR weather is crazy and some days I might need one and others not.
The funny thing? 
I was apologizing to my daughter for picking her up from dance looking like a bum with paint all over my clothes and she said “OH!  I didn’t even know you were doing the challenge, you dress in 7 things anyway I think!”  Maybe after this is over I can get a makeover…

What I’m realizing is that even though I try to live 
the fact is that I am accustomed to excess. 
We are moving and as I go through the piles of “stuff” that I will never 
use I realize that it’s crazy how much we can accumulate over time. 
Even giving away an average of 2 bags a month I have a houseful of things I really don’t need.
We got broken into last week and I was almost grateful.
Crazy, I know
but I was thinking
Maybe he will take it all away so I don’t have to deal with it. 
Not the right attitude. 
I’m baring and paring
Stay tuned…
*On Pure Charity

Rewards Network Promo from Pure Charity on Vimeo.

Challenge Report (or, I am a failure)

Okay, I failed.
I think we ate out more this past week than we ever have, which was strange. 
I was fine on Monday, the busiest of days.  We had homemade pizza!
Then Tuesday came and we were running late again and ended up
eating Chinese one night, and one lunch…
Chick-Fil-A one breakfast, trying a new local Mexican joint another,
and then on Friday we were in Memphis so the
challenge couldn’t even work and we of course ate both lunch and dinner.
Oh well.
I swear we NEVER eat out like this.  
I told the kids this next week the challenge would be in full swing so not to even ask.
On the bright side today was the kids’ “graduation” from science classes at the 4H center.
They are so sad that the classes are over.  Emily’s class did a soil study where they collected information for UA’s County Extension office.  (The rock climbing and canoeing was a bonus!)
The data will be used in a study for the entire state so she was a little proud.  She also learned how to type blood, which I thought was pretty cool.
Max got to learn more about bats (they were studying habitats this year.)  He LOVES bats so that was a big hit also.  I’ve been so impressed with the classes out there.  They also do summer camps which are really fun!  Check out your local 4H offices!

Eating In!

The Green Phone Booth had a post about the Huffington Posts’ “The Week of Eating In.”
It starts today!

The Challenge?

See if your family can NOT eat out for an entire week.
Beyond that,
see if you can make your food from scratch (not a box!)

We are in!

We are in the minority I think because we don’t eat out very often.   I like to cook (sometimes) and like to know what is going into my family’s tummies.  Also, we are always disappointed when we eat out it seems. 

on Mondays we ALWAYS eat out due to the fact that the kids have: school, dance, guitar, until 7pm, which makes us get home around 7:30PM.  Makes for a long day for little ones.  I’m going to attempt to throw some snacks in the van and then have pizza dough rising at home so we can make fast pizza when we walk in the door.  Not sure if it will work but we’ll try!

It seems that once you start planning meals, that the rest comes much easier.   No stress as to “What’s for Dinner?”  No questioning on the kids’ (and hubby’s) parts.
It’s so expensive dining out with a family of five, even if you are eating kids’ meals!  Eating out three times probably equals two weeks of groceries for us.

Some great sites for meal planning/recipes and such are:
Farmer’s Daughter
Feeding Five for Fifty
Make it From Scratch
Meal Planning
*My recipe blog isn’t great yet, but I have some recipes here.

Post a comment if you are in on the challenge!  Also we’ll have an update next Monday to see how it went (if I made it through today without caving…)