Friday, January 05, 2024

5 on a Friday: Big New Year Energy Edition (1/52)

 1. New rhythm I am trying out: ERRAND FRIDAYS. I have a bunch of nagging things I need to do (non-essential Target pick up, Target returns, Kohls cash expenditure for Cooper, back pack repair), and I saved them all up for Friday this week. I am going to watch Dorothy, Harry, and Jack leave, deposit Minnie and Cooper at school, buy myself a fancy coffee to go with the Cliff Bar I am packing and just run the heck out of those errands. To make this work, I need to be ahead on laundry, so Friday should not be a sheets day, and Friday’s dinner needs to be pretty prepped, so I won’t get all bent out of shape home with Minnie in the afternoon and feel kitchen trapped. BUT— if I can plan backwards from errand Friday, I think this might help me condense tasks into a single day instead of taking little bits of time out of more days. The library would be a good thing to add to this list, for example. I can even try to schedule kid appointments on Fridays and just mess up one single day.

2. Question for you all about batch meal prepping: Is this something you do with any consistency or success? Does anyone make one and freeze one when you cook things? Do you have designated times to chop and prep ingredients during the week? I want to make cooking ahead not suck. You might remember I tried doing it at night for awhile, but we are just SLAMMED with evening activities right now, and it feels very cumbersome there. (It is Thursday right evening now. Ben is making mashed potatoes for Friday dinner, and I am writing this post and still managing to feel put upon-- I AM A DREAMBOAT).

3. I have been accidentally fasting intermittently, and I like it! I generally am done eating by 7 or so at night, and I haven’t been having breakfast until 9. I also bought delicious coffee, so I haven’t been putting chocolate milk in it (lol). I start my day with water and black coffee. I could probably do this regularly. But of course sometimes we will eat later or make a delicious snack or want to have wine, etc. I am not going to be precious about it, but I do like the pattern (for me, in terms of how I feel, not weight loss, etc).

4. THIS BOOK was lovely, as was THIS ONE. THIS BOOK was hilariously, wonderfully awful. I hated it. Then I loved to hate it. Then I just loved it. Wild ride.

5. I put spring semester on my calendar(s), and I am SO excited tp teach my new class and see all my TAs again-- even meetings sound fun again. Every job should come with a lengthy winter break.

Domestic bliss sans children (IS THAT REDUNDANT)

I promised myself I would not waste childcare hours on orthodontist appointments, but I made Cooper's final 2 for times when Minnie is in preschool because today was a lot.

Post-ortho tradition-- we will miss it. Harry is done with braces, and Dorothy is, too (unless she needs them again). Jack is all good naturally (LIKE HIS MOM). So that leaves Minnie--- when I will qualify for a senior citizen's discount everywhere. Except the orthodontist's office.


  1. Sarah, I too inadvertently became an intermittent faster! It happened when I moved here, because Rex needed to be walked so early in the day to beat the heat. We have dinner around 6:30, and then in the morning I drink 1000000 cups of coffee, do my yoga and workout, walk Rex, and come back for breakfast. Sometimes my breakfast isn't until 10! TEN O'CLOCK. But I haven't noticed any difference in my energy, good or bad, and it works well for me, so I'm keeping this weird schedule.
    I like reading about how you plan your schedules. I am a schedule oriented gal. Good luck with your errands today!

  2. I love having a day/time dedicated to powering through errands. It's more efficient and takes up less mental head space.

    I love leftovers and definitely freeze things regularly. I don't really do any big veggie prep anymore, but I used to do this on Sunday afternoon (and always made a soup or casserole on Sunday that would be all ready for Monday's supper). I can't imagine cooking for 7, though. I'm sorry, the sheer thought of the amount of food (and groceries) overwhelms me!!! Eeks!

    We just hopped on the orthodontist train and I suspect Child #2 will also need them. I have basically perfectly straight teeth (with a gap, so room to spare), but my husband is the opposite and wouldn't you know it - THE KIDS GOT HIS JAW. WHY GENETICS? WHY????????

  3. I like your "mess up one single day" plan, Sarah! It could become an easy bucket for random errands and stuff and declutters all the other days. I could do this by default on non teaching days...

    We don't have room in our fridge (and I don't have the discipline it takes) to batch prep; but frozen veggies are a lifesaver for me to add nutritious color to a last- minute soup/stirfry.

  4. Culver's again. Sigh. At least there are cheese curds.

  5. I take a "prep dish" approach to meal planning. I try to cut up as much as I can ahead of time so that I am just throwing things in when I make the meal. So if stirfry is on the menu, I cut up the veggies and the protein. Protein obv is packed separately, the veggies are combined if they are added to the stirfry at the same time. I do the slicing and dicing on the weekend while Phil manages the kids. But I don't ever do the whole "make a double batch and free half" approach but we have a very small freezer. We have a side-by-side fridge/freezer so the freezer does not have a ton of space.

  6. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I've tried meal prepping so many times but it just doesn't work for me (disclaimer: much smaller family over here). We have one vegan so it's hard for "batch cooking" to make everyone happy and then leftovers go to the freezer to die. I end up wasting food when I meal prep so I guess I just decided I'd rather waste more of my time cooking more frequently than waste more food? I also sometimes buy cut/prepped veggies which I know is not economical but omg peeling and chopping a squash....ughhh.

  7. I have Fridays off from work, which my husband and daughter do not, so it is a mixture of errands and me time, and I LOVE IT. Today I did put in a few hours of work, but then did my yoga, did my 30 day workout challenge, and took a walk to the drug store and grocery store. I came home and watched a movie on Netflix. Then I prepped dinner, and now I am trying to catch up a bit on blogs before starting dinner. I live a pretty chill life sometimes. You too will live this life when your kids are grown! The amount of errands is SO MUCH less now.

    YAY to no more braces! I had them, and they were horrible and I hated them, and of course my daughter inherited my jaw and teeth, and needed them twice. UGH. My husband has perfect teeth, and we were kind of counting on her inheriting those. Rats.

    I don't do meal prep, since I work from home and am not that busy, and there are only 3 of us. I do try to make at least one meal every week that I can freeze and pull out for a meal the following week. We live in a small townhouse, with a small fridge/freezer, so that is what we have room for.

  8. What, the orthodontist doesn't offer a senior discount? Ha ha. Maybe Minnie won't need braces. It does feel REALLY good to be done with them (the monthly payments and all those appointments...)
    I have Wednesdays off, and I love it when I can knock out a bunch of errands. Even if it's not really exciting stuff (picking up a prescription, returning something to the store, etc.) it just feels so good to be wearing whatever I want, getting things done on my own time. Obviously with no kids! I can listen to my podcasts (unlike the old days where we would be listening to Sesame Street of Veggie Tales CDs.)
    I was in a good groove for a while where I made a large dinner on Sundays and Wednesdays, so that we had leftovers on Mondays and Thursdays. Friday is our takeout night, so that left only Tuesday and Saturday, and I would make something really simple for my daughter and me while my husband fended for himself. That doesn't work when my son is home- but when he goes back to school I should get back to that routine.

  9. I work a 4/10 work week exactly for the purpose to run ALL my errands on Friday and be done for the weekend. It's really a good idea.

  10. I don't babysit on Fridays and I was using those days to try to accomplish Christmas related tasks and I just realized that I get those Fridays back this week. My kids go back to school today. I'm babysitting, but if there is a snow day I might lose my mind. I refuse to do any housework or food prep on my Fridays off. They are supposed to be days when I only write. Here's hoping I can stick with that plan.

    I tend to make a big meal in a crockpot (or I make a hec of a lot in two side by side crock pots). After we eat the meal, I combine the leftovers in one crock and I whip it out and plug it in on warm a few days later/later in the week. It's a huge time saver. I am a big crock pot lover and not all meals heat up well this way, but so many do. Life saver.