real life

Birthday Checkup & Countdown

Birthday Goals

We’ve officially entered my birthday week, where I get to experience my 28th year of life again.  I’ve never been big into my birthday celebration.  My birthday, September 3rd, almost always falls in the brouhaha of Labor Day weekend, the unofficial start of Fall, and back to school time.  I had one birthday party growing up, and it was about 3 weeks after my birthday.

So I like things to be low key.  I’ll go out to dinner, but we don’t even do presents.  The one thing I do love is setting new goals for myself.   I figured now was a good time to check in on my birthday goals for last year.

Learn to cook with cast iron.  SUCCESS!  I am a New England girl to the core, and I didn’t know anyone who used cast iron.    My old set of pans were breaking down, and I wanted to buy something that would last a long time and was eco-friendly.  I kept coming across cast iron and decided to take the dive.   It took me a long time to understand seasoning and I’m still learning, but I love it.  My pan is now so well seasoned that I can cook eggs and fish in it.

Spend more time gardening.  SUCCESS!  I convinced my husband to build me raised and elevated garden beds.  It’s made me love my vegetable gardens so much more.  This fall I’m even going to start a butterfly garden.

Learn photography, relearn piano. FAIL!  I was doing well with photography, then I made the decision to go back to school and finish my bachelor’s.  I’d say that was a good swap out.  When I finish my degree (within the next year!), I can’t wait to take up both of these.

Try more foods.  SUCCESS!  This past year, I wanted to make more of an effort to try new foods.  There are foods that I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to it.  I’m also the type that will blow off something and be all, “Oh no.  I don’t like that!” even if I’ve never had it before.  This year for the first time ever I’ve had:  fish tacos, eggs benedict, sushi, scallops, risotto, and frog legs.  And guess what, I loved them all!

Do you make yearly birthday goals?

Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

This week I have a schedule change at work.  Then it’s my birthday and the long holiday weekend.  I’m just going to try to get through this week the best I can.

Lunches
Salad with grilled chicken, cheese, and garbanzo beans

Sunday
Steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus

Monday
Grilled chicken with my favorite marinade of all time with a side salad.

Tuesday
Taco tuesday!  Beef tacos with lettuce, tomato, and cheese

Wednesday
Blackened salmon with mashed potatoes

Thursday
Penne in meat sauce

Friday
Probably eating out somewhere

 

Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Plan

Once upon a time (aka at the beginning of the year), I had my meal planning down.  Then I had a work schedule change, went on vacation, and just got lazy.  It’s definitely affecting my budget, my waistline, and my sanity (never knowing what’s for dinner, arguing about what to have for dinner).

This week I have a mixture of meals.  I have lots of lettuce, tomatoes, and summer veggies to use up from my garden.  We’re having some salads for meals at home, and I take salads for all my lunches during the work week.   During the work week, I try to have easy meals that I don’t really have to cook.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday Lunch
Steak salad with a homemade vinegarette

Sunday Dinner
Steak, potatoes, asparagus

Monday
Chicken Cobb salad

Tuesday
Chicken tacos

Wednesday
Grilled chicken with veggies and potatoes

Thursday
Fish sandwiches and chips

Friday
Chicken sandwich with chips

What are you having for dinner this week?

real life

The Neverending Question: Is Blogging Dead?

A couple times in the past weeks, I’ve seen people on Twitter ask, “Is blogging dead?”  For me, that’s such a simple minded thought and I always end up shaking my head no whenever I read that.  I’m pretty sure blogspot and WordPress would also agree that blogging is not dead.

I think with all written works, they wane and wax.  A couple hundred years ago, poets were like rock stars and highly regarded during their time.  Now, if you asked me to name the five most influential living poets, I probably couldn’t name one.  Does that mean poetry’s dead because it’s not as popular as it once was?

I will admit, I don’t like the way the business of blogging has taken shape.  Someone will go from having this great blog with amazing, thoughtful content into a site where it’s just sponsored post after sponsored post.

Can you imagine how Paradise Lost by John Milton would have been influenced if a company paid him to write that poem?  Or if a sponsor tried to encourage JK Rowling to rewrite sections of Harry Potter to fit the brand more than the story?

So, no.  Blogging is not dead.  But I’m hopeful that the business of blogging does change soon.