January 2013 Food Challenge!

jan 2013

Okay, yes. I know I owe you some big time updates on the house. We’ve done some huge, marvelous things! Hardwood floors! Garage! Baby! I’ve been away too long, and I’ve got a SERIOUS case of catch-up to do. I promise I will! But first, I want to tell you about what we’re doing here at Seven Ten Clark for the month of January.

We’re doing a food challenge! We will not be eating out (the food kind, not the dirty kind) for the entire month of January. No restaurant food*, no fast food, NO JUNK! Looking back over our finances (because I’m the money-watcher in our household), we spend wayyy too much money on food. Money that would be better spent elsewhere. Hello, daycare-that-costs-a-mortgage-payment! Hi there, giant-student-loan-debt! While we don’t usually spend our shared household account money on eating out, between the two of us, Kevin and I will definitely see a big leap up in our bank balances if we’re not going the easy route and grabbing what’s convenient.

It’s just not healthy, either. We’re vegetarian, so it’s not like we’re guzzling grease-encased fried chicken bits, or lardburgers. But still, our go-to delivered food is pizza, and that does not make us good vegetarians. We’re not honoring our bodies by filling it with cheese and bread 90% of the time, and we’re both coming to the conclusion that we want to be in a healthier place. Kevin has started riding his bike back and forth to work every day, and the trip will be easier when his body’s fuel is higher quality. Obviously, I could stand to get down to a healthier weight.

I’ll admit it, we’ve had a pretty good excuse up until now (her name is Clare). But we can’t milk that excuse forever! And now’s the time to make the change, especially before she starts eating solid foods. It’s time to meal plan, grocery shop, and have some fun in the kitchen!

So, I’ll be writing up our meal plans here, taking pictures of particularly delicious homemade foods, and showing you our progress! We’re already on Day 3 of January, and we’ve been eating up stuff from the pantry to prep for shopping tonight.

Wish us luck!

Floors, floors, floors!

When we moved into our house in October of 2008, we were greeted with the same poo-brown carpeting, that you can see here, that Kevin’s parents had installed when they bought the house back in 1988. We were also informed that, unlike other midcentury pillbox ranch castles of that era, ours had no hardwood floors under the carpeting. THE HORROR. So, we’ve lived with the poo-brown floors, always with the plan of replacing it with brand new hardwood.

Last year, we did one of those home equity loan thingies, with a whole list of renovations planned out, including the garage teardown and rebuild (oops, still need to blog about that), getting our basement walls fixed, and hardwood floors on the main floor! We waited for a really awesome sale at Menards, and finally picked up enough for the house. I was at clinical the day that K finally started ripping up the carpeting, and he texted me in a frenzy. Hardwood under carpeting in all of the bedrooms, and in the hallway. It’s in good shape. He wants to cry. AIEEE! This is what I came home to that day:

Best fucking surprise yet during our home reno travails
Glorious, glorious hardwood floors

The only room on the main floor without that under the carpeting was the living room. So, back to Menards those prefinished packs of wood went, and we came home with enough unfinished wood for the living room and plans for Kevin to refinish the whole main floor himself.

Yeahhhh, about that? Apparently, it’s a lot of work, and kind of a highly-specialized type of work. I have no doubt as to Kevin’s abilities to get the job done, but he’s an auto-body man, and his propensity for picking apart his own work was sure to drive me crazy for the next 10 years of him complaining about whatever it was that he messed up as he was learning the process.  I’ll have NONE OF THAT. So, we’re hiring somebody local who comes to us with good recommendations, and the work is set to begin on June 28th! Less than a month before my due date! It’ll be okay!

It’ll be great.

Baby List!

The pile keeps growing.

We’ve got a whole passel of things that we need to get done, with a tentative deadline of July 23rd. Totally abandoning the “official list“, there a much more urgent roster of items that really needs to be done before we’re graced with Baby Smannon. Like to hear it? Here it go:

  • Finish electricity in the garage
  • Tear out house carpeting (gross and really old)
  • Build a wall in the living room to close off the basement from the upstairs of the house
  • Install wood floors
  • Replace interior doors
  • Insulate outer wall of basement
  • Repair or replace basement exterior door
  • Insulate floor of kitchen and bathroom
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Paint/decorate nursery

We also have a list of “things that would be nice to finish but aren’t as urgent”:

  • Rebuild basement stairs
  • Paint/prettify basement stairs
  • Install ceiling fan in living room
  • Paint office

There are a few items we want to buy, too, like a new dishwasher, but those will probably be at the mercy of the projects that actually need to be done ASAP. Meanwhile, we recently bought all of the flooring (goodbye, tax refund!) as well as a new couch and chaise lounge, which Kevin is modeling above, and which will probably become my nest during my maternity leave.