New Beginnings

Welcome September.

I love the beginning of a new month: fresh starts, new goals & personal challenges, new routines & new beginnings.

Of course September is in a league of its own when it comes to new beginnings. We’ve got the kid’s back to school routines to well…get back into. We’ve got new fall activity schedules (swimming lessons, gymnastics, etc). Then of course my new school term starts and the regular every-other-weekend-at-Dad’s schedule for the kids starts again. It’s an entire month of new beginnings whether we want them or not!

Of course I’m the type of person who enjoys taking on far too much at once. I don’t feel quite myself unless I’ve got too much on the go and challenges that outnumber the hours in a day. And because of this I’ve got plenty more new beginnings to incorporate into this September.

First of all there’s the spending. To be specific it’s the needless spending. There’s no need for a new jacket or pair of jeans (even if they are the cutest colour I’ve ever seen – my latest additions to the jean pile were mint coloured & faded purple!!) I really do have an issue here. I am absolutely addicted to shopping. When I feel down it always picks me up. But it sure doesn’t help my bank account! At this exact moment in time there is not a thing my kids or I need. Their back to school necessities have been purchased – as well as a few little tidbits for me! I am challenging myself to an entire month of no shopping and sadly, this will be ΓΌber challenging for me!!!

Second challenge: dinner. This one is almost as tough as no shopping. It’s been a breeze during these past few weeks of summer but with all the changes made to our routine, activities the kids participate in, and my school schedule, dinner is difficult! There’s no time and no energy. The only way to combat this is to plan ahead and be prepared! I can’t wait until arriving at home from our respective schools, starving and with next to no time until we’ve got to be out the door. This leads to pizza from the fabulous grab & go joint right next door – or some other form of fast food. This is not the lifestyle I want! I grocery shop and buy great things to eat delicious healthy meals at home, I’ve just got to cook them (I’m already groaning).

I do enjoy lists and following plans. What I need is to create meal plans as I used to. A Monday to Friday play by play if you will. It makes shopping simple – buy what you need – and prep is pretty straightforward – use what you have & follow the plan. Of course there is always “off” days where I know I’ll say screw the plan and we’ll have scrambled eggs. Or maybe it wouldn’t even be the worst thing if once a month we ate that delicious pizza from next door. No it wouldn’t be but it would be awesome if we didn’t as well! As I said, the key is planning ahead.

I’ve already taken small steps in this direction. Remember how I was desperate wanted to bake healthy muffins? Well not only did I bake them, but they were great (check them out!) AND we baked loads of them! My freezer is full of zucchini, pumpkin, and carrot muffins! Sure those are just muffins and now meals but it’s all the same principle. I’ve already started digging out my soups, stews, and crock pot recipes AND there’s already been a few batches of spaghetti sauce made and froze for when it is needed! I do enjoy making & freezing meals (meatloaf, chili, spaghetti sauce, Basically anything made with ground beef!) I’ve already been collecting mass amounts of produce from our local farmers market (it’s not only amazing but practically famous too). The fresh, locally grown produce there is mostly brought in and sold by Mennonites who live in the surrounding countryside. It’s fresh, delicious, and local πŸ™‚ It only takes one long day in the kitchen and we’ll be stock piled for fall! Totally worth all the effort.

And finally, the last challenge I’ve decided to take on this month is the continue my new found exercise regime! I’ve been consistently exercising over the last two weeks. It’s a Monday to Friday plan with weekends as rest days – which works well for my schedule. The exercises I do are high intensity and short duration. Just a quick shot first thing in the morning! I plan to continue this, the only catch is that my mornings are going to get much earlier next week. This means that my workouts will have to be even earlier…..I’m not a real go-getter in the morning! At least not until about 9:00am but this will not do considering the kids start school at 8:30! My alarm clock and I are going to become best friends.

Well folks that’s it (haha) for my new beginnings for September. Are you taking on any new routines or challenges this month? How do you get yourself motivated to meet your goals? And most importantly I’d love to know, how the heck do you get dinner ready on weeknights?!!

Happy trails in September πŸ™‚

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5 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. I have the same challenges as you. I have to get used to my new (low) income as a grad student compared to my old (5 times higher) income as a teacher. Yikes! So no shopping for me either. As for weekday meals–we’ll see! This is a new adventure for me as I have been living with my parents and my mom always cooked. Now that we are on our own, I will have to provide dinner. I think the approach I’m going to take is similar to yours–cook/bake huge batches on the weekends and freeze for the week. I do love spaghetti sauce, chili, Indian curries… although I am switching to grass-fed beef for health and environmental reasons. Even though it’s more expensive, I’m going to use less–just enough ground beef for flavor. I hope you have a good month! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you – and good luck to you as well! When I first started this raising children-while going to school adventure grab & go food was my best friend! The kids and I ate out several times a week simply because our evenings lacked any spare time for Neal prep. I’ve since learned that spending time beforehand makes it much, much easier! Now I know, but doing it is another story πŸ˜‰

  2. We must think alike just made meal plan for the whole week over the weekend, and purchased all ingredients. The weekly meal plan saves me a bundle and the hubby loves to look and see what will be for dinner on the plan. Isn’t it unreal how much the meal plans cut down on grocery costs?

    • It doesn’t just make shopping cheaper but easier too! When you know exactly what you need, only get what you need, an only use what you’ve gotten it’s a much better approach to meal planning! My oldest child likes to draw charts and fill them in with what we’re eating for dinner each night. Great activity for her and keeps me organized too!

  3. We NEED to start planning our meals – Husbandio and I talk about this ALL the time. Usually in the evening after deciding to just heat up some Jamaican patties for dinner because it’s too late to make real food.

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