The Farmer’s Market

I do Christmas with a vengence. I completely immerse myself 100% into the holidays with nary a crack to let the real world seep in. I have Christmas music playing in every room of our condo, all different stations, all different styles. The Christmas tree is on at all times whenever we are home because a dark Christmas tree is creepy to me. All flat surfaces are covered with décor and everything I do is related to Christmas somehow.

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So, when it’s all over, I go through withdrawals. I’m having the symptoms. Something changes in me during that time and I haven’t quite put my finger on it, but regular music annoys me and I’m fresh and ready to make some changes. Which is good, because that’s what the new year is all about, making resolutions, a fresh new start, except I’m ready to do it now. So I am!

My first resolution is to drink 8-10 eight ounces of water every day. I started yesterday. And I’m behind today… thank goodness it’s just a practice run for the real shebang in three days!

Another resolution is to do things that give me a thrill. Like crafting, designing, and blogging. I love it. The only problem is that there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get it all done! I gotta figure out what isn’t making me happy and get rid of it to make room for the new happy!

Yet another resolution is to eat better always. I eat really well, except for when I don’t. Which isn’t very often, but during the holidays, is way more often than not. I feel like my life revolves around being healthful and doing the right thing for our bodies and I need to continue to focus on it.

Today I went to the farmer’s market. I’m not sure about my feelings related to the farmer’s market. I want to love it and I love the idea of it and I love other people’s blog posts about it, especially their pictures, but when I go, there is no magic. I want the best deal, I want it to be organic and I want it to be local (well as local as you can get around here).  Our farmer’s market is SO big. It’s grown leaps and bounds since I used to go so it’s more confusing than ever:

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Do they have a certified organic sign up?

Do they have their prices listed?

Woah, that cheese looks tasty!

Where’d that guy go I used to buy from?

Free sample, yes please!

Why are there strawberries in December?

Hey, there’s a big jug of Kombucha!

Wait, how much were those tomatoes back there?

There are too many people here.

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Those are pretty earrings!

Oh, I need cauliflower that isn’t $5.00 a head like at Whole Foods.

I will NOT be lured into buying a fresh baguette… stay strong, stay strong!

Tomatoes are $3.50/lb. which sounds good, I’ll get them here.

Matching little girl and doll dresses? No. We just had Christmas!

Hydroponic Japanese cucumbers are not organic. Don’t fall into that delightful sounding trap again!

Why are the walkways so narrow?

Ooooooh, fresh soaps and lotions…

FOCUS!

Fruit, we need fruit. $7 for a bag of Asian Pears? Geez. $.79/each at Trader Joes x 10= it’s cheaper here. Relax.

Fresh fish! Wait, what?

Tomatoes! Why didn’t I buy those tomatoes back there?

Dang, it’s hot out here in the sun!

Tamales for lunch, that sounds yummy.

Sweet peas! Ohhhh, that’d be nice… wait, why are there sweet peas right now?

NEVERMIND! I’LL JUST GO TO THE GROCERY STORE!

See what happens when I go? Too much distraction, too many non-fruit and veggie places to spend my money on, too many people, too hot, and then, is it really cheaper than the grocery store? Maybe I just need to find a smaller one, in a smaller town, where the stuff is actually grown.

I went. I saw. I didn’t exactly conquer, but I did buy some things we needed.

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And I managed not to make eye contact with anyone who wasn’t selling a fresh fruit or veggie. That was super hard! In order to keep up this new year’s resolution, I’m going to have to hunt for a different farmer’s market with a different vibe.

I still have three days to figure out all of my New Year’s Resolutions. The main one is still: FINDING 30 FIVE STAR RECIPES!

A New Adventure

Why I didn’t start chronicling my adventure when I started, I’ll never know. But it was probably a good thing because it’s been rough enough without having to write about my failures and frustrations. Plus, the holidays… we ate out entirely way too much. It’s neither here nor there at this point. Today I start blogging about our eating adventures! But first, lets get into the background. That’s always a good place to start, the background. Like, what makes a person tick. If you ever find yourself in a socially awkward situation, ask the person about their background. People like to talk about themselves, and unless they’re super shy they’ll start talking up a storm! Here it is (and I’m sure so many of you can relate!): Every night at 5 o’clock I’d suddenly go into a panic “what are we having for dinner?”. Then I’d scrounge around in the freezer, fridge and pantry looking for something to throw together. It was usually boring, but relatively tasty & it filled our stomachs. One day I saw on 100 Days of Real Food a post about an online menu planner, Plan To Eat. I have a friend that uses the Six O’clock Scramble (a menu planner with recipes included). It seemed like a good idea, but I hadn’t made the time to check into it, but when I saw this one, I figured I’d just look into it. I browsed around, saw that there was a 30 day free trial & was intrigued. There are some recipes included, but what was so intriguing to me was I finally had a place to put all of those amazing looking recipes I see on Pinterest, in blogs, Facebook posts or magazines that I always think “oh that looks good, I’ll try it some day” and of course, never do. I FINALLY FOUND A PLACE TO FILE THOSE RECIPES AWAY! I was sold, sold I tell you! And so our adventure began. Admittedly, I invested a lot of hours initially in Plan To Eat. There is a button to add to your Favorites Bar, so when you are online and find a recipe you like, you click it and the recipe uploads in a pop up box, you click “Save to Recipe Book” and that’s it. Unfortunately, recipes on blogs don’t always upload successfully, but it’s nothing a little cut and paste can’t fix. I went to my Pinterest page and saved all of those recipes. Then I grabbed my magazines and looked the recipes up online and saved all of those recipes too. Then as recipes showed up on Facebook posts, on Pinterest and as magazines came in the mail, I saved those too. Another great thing is that if you have friends on Plan To Eat, you can use their recipes in your menu, so you can easily share recipes! Once I invested all of that time, it has gotten much easier time wise. I will either sit down and plan out our menu for an entire month, or if I don’t have enough spare time, I’ll do it by the week. Now I had a ton of recipes and was ready to get started with my menu planning! In order to make things easier on me, I themed days of the week (and have altered some of those themes as the months have come and gone). We have Meatless Mondays, “Taco” Tuesdays (Mexican recipes), Italian Wednesdays, Fish Thursdays, Easy Fridays, Miscellaneous Saturdays and Soup Sundays. I started out with breakfast, lunch AND dinner recipes, but after about a month of that I simplified it and switched to dinners only. Sometimes I’ll have a breakfast recipe for Saturday mornings, but my husband started working Saturdays so I stopped making delicious breakfasts. Boooo! Once I was ready to go shopping, all I had to do was pull up the website on my iPhone (but I wish they had an app…) and voila! there’s my shopping list! I admit, I do miss the paper list somewhat, but I’m adjusting (especially because we are paper hoarders). And there’s no reason you couldn’t write the prepared shopping list on paper. I’ve thought about doing that. You can organize the store categories according to your local grocery store, which makes it so much easier! Oh, AND if you shop at multiple stores, you can sort your groceries by stores. I only shop at two stores. Trader Joe’s is limited so whatever I don’t find there, I get at Whole Foods. Anyway, I started out making all of these amazing recipes and after three months, realized I hadn’t repeated one recipe! My goal was (& is) to find enough fabulous recipes to fill a month and then the recipes will get easier and we won’t have a boring meal again! Not that we’ve had a boring meal in 4 months, but I’m ready for the easier part. My husband complains that we’ve had some great things and he’s never gotten to eat them again. I tell him “in due time, in due time”! Not all the recipes have been great. Either I screwed them up, or they just didn’t taste good to us. I have about 7 recipes that I’d make again and have made a couple of them again recently. But now that the holidays are over, I’m back on my mission to find 31 amazing recipes! Oh, another benefit of this fabulous idea is it saves us money! We rarely eat out when my menu is full and when we do I, no joke, am disappointed because I had some fabulous recipe all planned out that I was excited to try! By the way, I’m not sure how I’ll incorporate pictures since I’m not always a great photographer and don’t have a great camera, but I’ll do my best (thanks Instagram!) and as time goes on, hopefully I’ll get better. And so my new blog begins!