Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Wallet Watch + Adventure Results

So after my awesome September of no (clothes etc) shopping I am here to share once again, how I did.

My goals were not to eat out alone, not to buy any books or house stuff and to keep the no clothes etc going.


I failed on the not eating out alone, like the first week. So there's that. Lunch is the worst. I look at my leftovers and go wahh and order from my buddy Jimmy who is so bad for me, why do I do it? which I should probably stop doing. 


The things I bought were:


- 1 book with a gift card so that doesn't count, right? RIGHT?

- 1 book for the winter reading challenge, so that definitely means failure. I owned all the others or could get them from the library.
- Halloween Costume. I also had to buy a couple other things for the party, including food.
- 1 cardigan + 1 pair of jeans. Ok, yeah totally failed. 



So I totally failed. But that's ok. Because I wanted that cardigan for almost 2 months and there was only one left so I just had to do it. No, I didn't have to but I thought about the purchase for a long time, rationalized the purchase and made sure I would wear it. I needed a new pair of plain blue jeans as I didn't have any that fit or that I wear anymore for other reasons. These purchases are the kinds of purchases I want to make - smarter, deliberate, versatile - not impulse, looks cute on someone else purchases. I want to have a better wardrobe. So like I said, I'm not mad about it. I made sure I could return both items, and I got them both on sale.

Moving on.


Adventure Results! October was FoodHow'd I do? 

- No eating out for lunch at work - failed. I think I ate out for lunch a few too many times . 
- I didn't mention this in the last post, but October was my second month without soda, going strong!
- Try 10 new (to me) recipes. Success!! It really wasn't that difficult, I am less than a beginner in the kitchen, so most recipes are new to me. Warning: Non food blogger photos ahead.

I made:

1. Shepherds Pie - this was a huge hit with KC, I was pleasantly surprised. I kinda made up my own recipe after scouring the internet. Turkey, lentils, veggies (carrots, peas and corn), onion & garlic, tomato paste so its all nice and coated and top with mashed taters and cheese - I used instant because I'm not quite awesome enough for real mashed taters precious. We ate half and froze the rest for next time.



2. Tomato-Basil & Spinach Risotto - I was pleasantly surprised that KC liked this one, no meat and risotto, I was pretty sure I was pushing my luck. This was the first time I've made risotto, it wasn't easy (for me) and I think next time it will taste better. I need to find something to serve this with as it wasn't enough of a meal for KC but I don't want to serve it with meat. Or maybe I could add something to make it more filling.


3. White Bean Soup - I made it extra spicy so KC would like it, and then it was too spicy for me (d'oh). KC said it wasn't bad, it just wasn't enough. He ended up mixing rice & lentils in so it was more substantial but I don't think it will be on repeat. I'm trying to get more vegetarian recipes under my belt and it's hard with my meat & potatoes husband (who doesn't actually like potatoes that much, but whatever).



4. Herb Roasted Chicken - this was good, and easy. I prepared it beforehand and this will definitely be on repeat for freezer meals. The chicken was kinda dry though, I'll cook it for less next time.



5. Shrimp Saganaki - this was amazing. I ended up serving it over pasta because I could tell it wasn't going to be enough on its own, and serving with veggies on the side wasn't going to cut it for KC. I also added spinach, cause we can never have too much spinach in this family.



6. Chicken Parm - I had a recipe for this but I didn't end up following it because I was too lazy and we were hungry and I hadn't done any prep beforehand. Basically all I did was cook the chicken in the pan, transfer to oven and top with pasta sauce and cook for a few minutes, then top with mozzarella and cook for a few more minutes. It was a huge success and KC loved it, I actually made it again the next week and it was even better. Not sure how healthy it is, though..


7 & 8. Crock pot chicken wings & mummy hot dogs for the party. I was so worried about the chicken wings, they didn't look right until they came out of the oven and I was freaking out that we'd have no food - turns out they were fabulous, everyone loved them - I think KC had like 5 before anyone arrived so I made him stop. I will make these again for sure. The mummy hot dogs were pretty popular as well, I got a pack of 10 turkey hot dogs, cut them in half and wrapped some crescent rolls around them. I was running late and freaking out, so I didn't take them off the pan very nicely and I didn't bother with mustard eyes, but no one seemed to care and they were gone pretty fast. Not sure if I can call it a recipe, but it actually took a few minutes to prepare, so I'm calling it one.



9. Shredded chicken with onion and avocado. I didn't get a photo of this, and it's not really a recipe but seriously I have never made chicken in the crockpot and then shredded it, so this was new to me. I can't believe it has taken me this long, it was so flipping easy and KC loved it. I mashed up some avocado and cut up some onions and mixed it all up to make a chicken salad thing that KC had for lunch. 

10. Black bean spaghetti with red lentils and spinach. I almost didn't want to share this one. You know how people say this looks gross but it tastes amazing? This is not one of those times. It was worse than the picture. Honestly, it was just boring and bland. The red lentils are fabulous, they cook into a mush, throw in some spinach and it would have been ok - the black bean pasta ruins it all. I don't know if it's the one we got, or how I cooked it but even KC didn't finish it and he doesn't like wasting food based on it not tasting good. I will definitely try more recipes with the red lentils, but the black bean spaghetti is out. And we love black beans, so super bummer. I got the idea from this recipe, but I didn't add tomato sauce - I will try it again with normal pasta.




Phew! Long post I know. It's almost over, in case anyone is actually reading the whole thing. The adventure theme for November is Organise and I'm not sure if these things fit under organising, but I'm going with it.

1. Purge, sell and organise my closet. I have a super small closet and it's a mess. First I need to get rid of stuff, then I can organise it better. I also want to purge other areas of our home.

2. Organise blog posts. I can't remember the last time I had to sit down the night before and write a post. I have been on the scheduling game. But lately I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with 5 posts a week, so I need to scale back a bit and pay more attention to link ups and things like that, because I forget and then I have to switch posts around and my planner is a mess with the amount of times I have changed posts and whatnot. I just want to organise it a little better.

3. Organise our important documents. I have a binder for all our important stuff. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it's a mess. I want to convert it to something like this:

ORIGINAL SOURCE. Please do not pin from my blog, but rather from the original post.

My main organisation goal for the house is the pantry and laundry. However, that is a huge job and not one I can take on right now. Boo.

Do you have an organisational tips you swear by? 
Image Map

53 comments:

  1. I wouldn't say you failed, I'd say you passed with a beautiful cardigan and 2 new books in tow lol. I'm gonna haveta try some of these recipes b/c I'm lazy and cooking for one is never appealing to me.

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  2. Dang girl! I'm impressed with all your new food recipes for Oct! I'm going to have to try some of those myself... especially the Shepherd's Pie! And I don't blame you for getting the cardigan. Sometimes you have to splurge especially when it's something you've wanted for that long! You would have regretted not getting it and regret it worse that the occasional splurge.

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  3. Definitely not a failure at all! I'm super impressed with your adventures in the kitchen, and I think I'll be joining you in the November organization month since my closet is kind of a mess, and I STILL haven't switched out all of my summer/winter clothes yet!

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  4. Gosh girl, ALL of your food recipes look so good! Especially that chicken parm one :)

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  5. girl you know i gots some org tips. when you tackle your folder shizz, keep all government/tax info for the past 7yrs. the older stuff you can shred. credit card bills i keep the past 4yrs; the rest i shred. all important documents (ie. passports, birth certificates, citizenship etc are in one large envelope clearly marked.

    the way you file going forward is also important; the most recent bills should go at the very front - makes it easier to find things if you ever need to go back and get them. then every year, take each month's statement (ie. credit card statements), and just bundle them together with an elastic band. you can leave them in the file but at least you know that you have everything together for "2013" so you'll have bundles of "2010", "2011" etc so when you go looking for something, you just grab that bundle instead of having to sift through all that shit!!

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  6. Nice job with the recipes! My husband and I used to try new recipes, but the kids are so darn picky that it's a nightmare to do it now. *sigh*

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  7. Oh my gosh, all of your food is making me soooooooo hungry! everything looks so yummy!

    Lunch really is the worst!!!!

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  8. I don't think your shopping really counts as failure. Like you said, the things you did buy were things you gave a lot of thought to. It's not like they were impulse buys. I need to get on the organization train. My closet is a mess!

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  9. I think overall you did a great job, especially with how great September was for you - so the clothes you bought were totally deserved!! I find that lunch is the hardest to not eat out for...just because I feel like I need to get out of my office for a bit!!

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  10. i love seeing how everyone's results have turned out! i start this month with no spending. yikes!

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  11. I fail with lunch a lot as well! I bring my lunch and then I don't want it. I need to just leave all my money at home and then I won't be able to buy anything for lunch....I'm too worried about something bad happening and needing money for this to work realistically. You can do this for November! Today marks day 1 of no soda for me! I'm aiming for your position! Do you just drink water or do you drink other things?

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  12. I am going to check out all of these lentil recipes! I made lentil filled cabbage rolls this week and I swear it was the best meal I have ever made! Your shepherds pie looks amazing & so sorry the white bean chili was a miss for you guys- my husband likes everything super spicy and me not so much too, so I know it's a tricky balance! Good job on your wallet watch- that cardigan is amazing- definitely worth it I'd say :)

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  13. You're very inspiring with your goals, even when you don't meet them!! And I am so amazed at the amount of blogging that you do, I am almost relieved to hear that it gets overwhelming because I don't know how other people do that much, especially when the content is as rich as yours!

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  14. yummm so much good food! and i think you did pretty good on the no shopping goal considering you bought things you really needed! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  15. Looking at what you bought last month is pretty incredible. Gosh I shop way too much. I'm impressed and inspired! Lunch is hard from me too, (my) KC and I tend to want to get things out a lot too... now that we work in the same building it is hard to resist! My best organizational tips are maybe only helpful for me...? I don't know, but I do best when I get EVERYTHING out. I did an overhaul of all my craft/desk stuff over the summer. I emptied all of my under the bed tubs and resorted everything until I knew where it would all fit. It worked really well. But made a mess for the weekend. Now though, everything is super organized and I'm managing to keep it so. :) Major success! We live in a small space, so I swear by using those over the door shoe holder type things to hold miscellany. We have one inside our coat closet. That way we can store sunglasses, lint rollers, post its, extra check books, headphones... really anything that didn't have a home, but especially things that we might want to take with us on our way out of the door. We have another that we used to use in a very small pantry, but I need to figure out how to use it in our new place. Maybe for laundry or bathroom items. :) I also tend to hoard magazines, so I make a point of flagging the pages that I would want to re-read, tear out etc and tear them out to keep in a binder, rather than keeping the entire magazine. It saves space... but it is hell to start when you already have a year's worth of magazines sitting around.. Good luck! -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  16. I no longer even try to follow along with Wallet Watch. The months I try it, I want everything...and the months I dont try...I end up being responsible on my own. Go figure, right? I would say only two items of clothing was a win :) haha!

    And look at all your new recipes! I usually aim for three to five new ones a season and you did 10 in one month?! go you!

    I will be getting my organizing goals up tomorrow! I need to get my life together!

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    1. Annnnnd I was signed in to the wrong Google account. Not enough coffee!!!!!!!

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  17. That risotto looks AMAZING! And I'm with you - I find that anything with black beans tends to get dominated by the flavor of black beans... So it's best to leave those for Mexican style dishes. And you know what else? High five to you about being honest in your no-spend fails! Way to keep it real.

    When you get a chance, head on over to my blog to check out an awesome Insta link up - it has a pretty sweet giveaway (WITH A BOOK!!)

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  18. I definitely think you should feel good about your purchases! Especially since you needed jeans - I don't love buying jeans but occasionally it's a necessity. And it sounds like you are getting really particular with your purchases which is awesome. Great job on the recipes!! I am hoping to step up my cooking game this winter. I usually cook a lot, but we have been eating out a lot lately and I'm kind of over it!

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  19. Holy crap, did you do great with the food challenge! Chicken parm is one of my I'm too lazy to cook but we're too broke to go out recipes and I don't think I've ever made it the same way twice. It's always delicious.

    No spend fails are okay. They happen. But nothing you bought was too frivolous so you should consider it a win!

    My blog planner is a NIGHTMARE. I should share a picture of it on IG so you feel better because it can't possibly be worse than mine.

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  20. I love your cardigan! I think you did pretty good, even though you bought some things they were staples that can work with so many different outfits!

    That shepherd's pie looks SO good, I am so impressed by all of your cooking!

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  21. That cardigan is so beautiful and versatile! I think it's a great purchase. I'm so bad about eating out for lunch too. I bring leftovers and then my coworkers want to go somewhere, and I cave. I really need to organize in November too-such a good thing to do before the holidays!

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  22. I don't think you failed - one cardigan left? Come on, you had to. And one book with a gift card + one without is pretty good!

    GREAT job on the 10 new recipes. People are often afraid to screw up in the kitchen - we all do but it's fun to get out there and try new things.

    Great November organizing goals too!

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  23. get out of here with all this delicious food. it's making me hungry!!!

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  24. I failed miserably this month too, you'll be able to read all about it tomorrow. I don't know what happened, I guess a month of abstaining built up into a terrible impulse to shop! Greatbjob on all if your meals though! They all look yummy!! Maybe we can redeem ourselves this month! ;-)

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  25. Well, my organizational tips won't help the no-shopping thing but I love to go to The Container Store and buy cute baskets and bins to make everything look nice and tidy!!!
    Looks like you have done lots of good cooking!!! We do meat with everything here - 2 teenage boys require lots of meat. Interesting that your husband doesn't really like potatoes much- my oldest son is the same and I think it is the weirdest thing!!!

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  26. You did REALLY well for no spending. Totally wondered about the gift card 'rule' haha so I'm sticking to your rule on that one. All of the food (minus the obvious black bean bonanza in a bowl) looks really good, too!

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  27. Oh no!!!! The black bean pasta was a bust? I made mine with a pad thai sauce and it was good......or I made have been just really hungry.....hard to remember ;-) That cardigan was such a must I'm glad you got it!

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  28. Ok, first of all, WOW. Girl, that's quite a list of accomplishments! I mean, all the cooking and the no soda? If you ask me, you totally deserved that cardi, and the jeans. And that edition of Pride and Prejudice – where in the world did you get that? I already have two copies but I want that!

    Second! Awesome organizing goals! I am working on creating a bit of a schedule for myself with this app called "Timeful", hoping to get more stuff done because I give myself free time, but I get reminders for things I really should get done on any given day.

    And pantry organization definitely need to happen over here too, this month.

    Good luck to both of us!

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  29. Also, I am totally going to make that crockpot chicken wings recipe! Just have to find a hot sauce without any gluten or sugar. Fingers crossed :-)

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  30. Gift cards never count as spending! :) You didn't do too bad, you still limited yourself pretty well which is good. Mmm, I love chicken parm. We buy these spicy breaded chicken breasts some times and make it with that. It's so good. And your shepherds pie looks amazing!!

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  31. You did awesome with all the food recipes. I think that cardigan was a total need. It will get a lot of use so it was worth it.

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  32. I still think you did a great job with the challenge! You were still conscious of spending and using a gift card doesn’t count!

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  33. Maybe it was a bad batch of noodles! I really like black bean pasta. Maybe I'm weird. Those are good organizational goals! Good luck.

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  34. I eat out usually 5 out of 5 days at work - so don't feel bad...
    Yep - you HAD to get that sweater if its the last one. Free pass on that one.
    My hubs was a big meat eater too but when I went vegetarian & would remind him of things when he ate meat, he has given it up about 90% himself now... don't think men can't adjust - they can :) Just make little crying moo sounds when they eat beef - it works for my husband :) haha

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  35. Look at you rocking those recipes, girl! I'm saving some of these, for sure. As for organizing... I can help. :) give me some specific questions and I'll help you out if you want! (I have too many "tips" to put here in a comment, my whole life is an organizational tip haha.)

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  36. Those food pics look amazing! I am such a fan of shepherd's pie but hardly ever make it. Using instant helps speed the process up a lot but I haven't used those since I was living with my parents.... I kinda forgot about them. I can't believe KC doesn't like potatoes!

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  37. You didn't fail really - that cardigan is lovely! And all those recipes are making me drool! :)

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  38. And now I'm starving! Thank goodness it's almost dinner time! We made that shrimp saganaki, too and yummmm. Although next time I'm stealing your idea and adding noodles!

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  39. Mmm some of those recipes look great. I like the idea of trying new recipes out. I tried a super easy crockpot chicken recipe this week and it was a hit!

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  40. Uh I promise I just commented and now it disappeared? Anyway, that chicken parm looks soooo gooood, I need to find a veggie version. And my organizing goal right now is emails. My poor inbox.

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  41. I NEED to join in on this organizing month. I seriously need to organize my life! Also, the White Bean Soup looks delish!
    And buying P&P doesn't count. It's a necessity :)

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  42. Totally doesn't count if you bought the book with a gift card! I really need to make monthly goals like this... and stick to them! Top of my list? Freaking de-junk our house (and closets) and sale as much as I can, HA!
    Black bean pasta? I've never heard of that! It sounds like it could be really amazing or really awful... sorry it was awful :(

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  43. Well done for trying new recipes! It is far too easy for me to get stuck in a rut and go with the same options each week!

    And with you on the organising - I need to do this too - I am pretty sure I have old bank statements from 2005 stashed away somewhere!

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  44. You did good on your goals overall!! We tried black bean pasta too, and hated it. The texture is all wrong, I really disliked it and I'm not a picky eater. I really like this Red Bean Curry over rice http://www.pinterest.com/pin/540150549029240377/ as a vegetarian option, I always use the full amount plus a little more of ginger (grated) for a little more kick and usually at least half a seeded jalapeño or more if you guys like spice. Also, keep trying new recipes, the husband will adjust :) P use to never want to take leftovers for lunch and now he complains if he has to "find" lunch. Once we got into the routine of cooking more and trying new stuff he really did start to love it. Also, if you feel like a dish is not filling enough for the husband maybe grab some salad ingredients to have on the side. I think I'm going to do my meal planning for next week, I feel so inspired by all your new dishes :)

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  45. Way to go!! - ps can I come over and you cook for me??? haha everything looks SO good, geez!!!!

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  46. Stop!!! I'm so hungry right now and you made it a million times worse!! I am obsessed with shepards pie!! Yum! And I love that cardigan! You'll have to post how you style it!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

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  47. Oh man I totally hear you on the "looks cute on someone else purchases." The bane of my existence. Just because it looks good on Kate Upton doesn't mean I'm gonna look like Kate Upton IN IT! hahaha

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  48. I don't think you failed too much ;) The food all looks and sounds delish! I just organized all of our paperwork, and I have a little file bin just like that. For me, organization has to be done in cute bins, storage cubes, or color coordinated to make me want to do it.

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  49. you did great !!! All the food looks soooo yummy. And im with you on lunch! Some days I watch my leftovers and say "nope Im buying lunch today" .... it also sucks that my office is so close to good (read: unhealthy) food!

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  50. The chicken with avocado and onions sounds so good! Your shepherd's pie looks great too! I am always looking for new recipe ideas. I definitely need to check out that link on organizing files! XO

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  51. You did good! I love that cardigan, and jeans are a necessity. Definitely not a fail in my book!

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  52. You did sooooo much cooking! And it looks great! Don't get down about failing some of the challenges you set for yourself -- it's not like you binge-shopped and bought a bunch of useless crud. And hooray for you on the no soda for 2 months! I LOL'd at "I'm not quite awesome enough for real mashed taters precious."
    ~Gianni~

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