To Whom it May Concern: The Update
I started blogging in earnest at the beginning of 2013, after a long and healthy hiatus. I got all smug and full of myself, and started writing posts about the ways in which I wanted to challenge myself–posts of the “bucket list” variety. I also had a few posts about different changes Vin and I were making in terms of our health and our finances. For readers who’ve been around a while, here is some follow-up info. In case you’re new around these here parts, you may want to read the original post first. Or skip it. You do you. I can respect that. But you’re already here, so you may as well read the originals.
The Monthly Food Budget Challenge
Back in the spring, I started getting really concerned about how much money we’ve been spending on food, so Vin and I began tracking all of our food and drink purchases on a spreadsheet. We both felt a little barfy after reading the monthly total for April ($1,041.57), and vowed to start doing better. We tracked the month after that, but I never reported it here. I’m pretty pleased to report that in May we brought our total monthly spending down to $723.01. This also coincided with our 30-day challenge where we were not buying any processed foods. Pretty nifty, huh?
In June we went to Paris and just started throwing euros at every loaf of bread within a 2-mile radius and completely lost track. We’re not keeping tabs as closely these days, but our overall food spending is less than it used to be, and we’re definitely more mindful about our choices.
The Whole 30 Challenge.
When you’ve been with the same person for nearly 11 years, you start thinking that they can no longer surprise you. After Vin and I completed The Whole 30 challenge (In truth, we made it 20 days before heading out for vacation), I can honestly say that’s not the case. Nothing has surprised me more than the changes Vinny has made in his diet since doing the Whole 30 challenge in May.
We both felt so great after doing the challenge for 20 days that we’ve used a lot of the benchmarks of the paleo diet as a framework for how we eat. We definitely still eat everything–and I will never (ever!) be able to abstain from sweet milky coffee–but most of our meals are based around protein and veggies, and our intake of processed and packaged foods is way, way, way down. I don’t have the stomach pains after meals I used to have either. Vin used to bring bags of chips and boxes of Entenmann’s into the house for late night snacks. Now he buys bags of oranges and apples. I’m telling you–I never thought I’d see the day. We definitely still enjoy a bit of everything–especially when at restaurants and out with friends–but we’re much cleaner eaters these days, and it feels great.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
(post is here. It’s fresh and squeaky clean.)
Did anyone else attempt to make homemade laundry detergent? If you haven’t, I highly recommend! I made my first batch of homemade detergent on April 29th and it lasted until September 25th! As a reminder, I paid $10 for the required supplies, and still have pretty full boxes of both the washing soda and the borax, enough to make at least 6-8 more batches of detergent. Clothes are clean, and we’re no longer having skin irritation due to harsh chemical cleaners either. I’ll be making this stuff foreva.
*Addendum: I add Bounce sheets to the dryer, since the detergent is unscented. This helps adds a little springtime step to your fresh duds.
(post is here. try it. you might like it.)
Hahahaha–I didn’t scratch squat off this list. Not one thing. But don’t I look jaunty (and like I’m schilling for Tampax) in this picture? PS: I’m not that skinny. When I resized the photo, it shaved off about 15 pounds. On second glance, probably more like 20. If any local friends want to help me get to work on this list, there’s a sign-up sheet in the lobby (my fb page).