monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

Well, I can’t say anything unexpected happened this past week.  But it was a good week.  I finally got around to making the mobile for the nursery I’ve been thinking about doing for almost two years.  Better late than never.  The husband and Toddler L both seem to really like it and I think it worked out quite well.  In true artist fashion I can’t get overly effusive about my work, it could always be better but it’s good enough to put up in the house.

I can’t say the same for Sunday’s dinner.  It was supposed to be crock pot brisket from a chuck roast.  I liked the idea of it but unfortunately didn’t quite get the proportions right.   Because I cook smaller quantities as it’s just husband and I, I’m usually adjusting recipe amounts and cooking times.  Unfortunately, leaving the house to go watch the Lakers’ game threw off my cooking time adjustment.  What was supposed to be brisket was headed towards beef jerky.  Not that I don’t like beef jerky, it just wasn’t what I was planning for supper.  Good thing we were having mashed cauliflower with it, that can save just about any meal.  Hopefully this week’s experiments will have better results.

Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Monday:  chicken strips, chicken rice-a-roni (I know this isn’t even real food but I love it, so about once a year I make it)

Tuesday:  yellow curry

Wednesday:  pizza (not sure if I’ll be going thin crust or deep dish yet)

Thursday:  penne w/ spinach and sausage, artisan bread

Friday:  whole wheat pancakes (didn’t get to these last week)

Saturday:  we’ll be out at an adults-only birthday party (probably my last for a while, so I’ll savor it)

Sunday:  HOHO (husband on his own)

I got a great deal on a used pizza stone on Ebay (you’d be surprised how hard it is to find used stones), so I’m really looking forward to starting a home-made pizza tradition.  And I’m even going to make more bread in the oven.  I’m not sure I won’t use the artisan bread dough or bread machine for the kneading but it will come out of the oven and maybe even be the shape of a loaf pan.

I think that’s my only complaint about the bread machine.  Bread just isn’t a square block that’s 9 inches tall.  Well, mine is.  But it kinda rubs me the wrong way.  The husband already knows I’m keeping my eyes open for another machine with a horizontal pan.  You may have no idea what I’m talking about.  That’s okay.  Sometimes I just talk for the sake of it.

felix

In the continuing ups and downs of our budget, we are under this week.  I’m feeling really good about that but I’m also wondering at what expense am I doing this?  Let me explain.

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $47.42 (savings = $0.15)

Vons – $17.44 (savings = $8.58)

Trader Joe’s – $13.78

A grand total of $78.64.  This week I didn’t buy any meat and I didn’t even buy several things I had coupons for.  Now, they weren’t things we specifically needed this week but they were good deals on things we would use.  If I had purchased them, along with a couple of things I would have liked to buy I would have been over budget.  So I didn’t get the frozen peaches to make smoothies with.  I didn’t get the Nutella that both husband and I love to indulge with occasionally.

How do I get everything we need plus allow a few (not over the top) indulgences and still feel good about the money we’re spending – or not spending?  I have said before, there are a few things I’ve decided are worth the extra money.  Typically that’s buying organic when I can.  We buy only organic milk and eggs.  A gallon of whole milk (for Toddler L), a gallon of 1% milk (for the husband and cooking) and a carton of eggs is $15 of any given week’s budget, if they’re not on sale.  Ouch!  I’d like to buy organic produce more often but it’s just not financially feasible.

How do you justify what you spend versus what you buy?  Or do you not bother and wonder what I’m tying myself up in knots over?

felix

I don’t have an art budget because my projects just don’t happen as frequently as I’d like.  That’s probably a good thing, at least as far as the checkbook goes.  My creative energy can get a little backed up though without an outlet.  I’m sure it helps that I rearrange the furniture every 3 months.  (I blame Toddler L and his ever changing needs, but it’s probably just my needs.)

What I’m trying (slowly) to get at is my need for another project.  A project that requires fabric.  Fabric that I can create and custom print.  I don’t really sew but I’d like to change that too.

Spoonflower

I know it’s not entirely Compact to have more fabric made than already exists, but sometimes what can be had at the local thrift store just isn’t going to meet the needs.  When that’s the case, turn to Spoonflower.  Upload your napkin doodles, illustrations or patterns and get your own custom fabric in the mail in a few days.  There’s no minimum order and a price per yard higher than I would typically pay ($18-32), but within reason for a truly special project.

Would you consider having your own custom fabric made or is this just my design voice locking my Compact voice in a dark room and telling it to shut-up?

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