Goal #78 is to come up with my own food journal.  I say “my own” because I have tried a few in the past, most recently the Weight Watchers version.  I didn’t like any of them.  Aside from the problem with any food journal (that you have to actually write down all you eat, lol), for some reason they just didn’t keep me motivated.  I had purchased the WW 3 month journal and I think it was a little overwhelming.  It’s small in size but thick.  The thought of filling the whole thing up was a bit much.  Also, because it is small, there is not room to write much besides the name of the food and the points value.  I think I might want to write a little more, like my mood at the time of eating and what I am doing at that time too. 

Every time I go to the library I stop at the featured books and just do a little browse.  The last time I was there I found a book called The Daily Fix by Alexa Fishback, MS, RD.  It’s mainly geared toward the working out of the home woman, but I found a bit that I could apply a lot of the information to myself.  The biggest thing was her ideas for a food journal.  I am going to try it, it seems to incorporate everything that I want.  She suggests a five column format with a column each for time, food/drink, portion, calories, and notes.  Everyday you journal what you ate, when, how much, and what you were doing/feeling at the time. 

Then she takes it one step further.  Apparently there is a common dietary assessment tool called the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ).  I had never heard of it before.  The point is to analyze your eating over the week for any food types that you might not get enough of or getting too much of.  It’s basically a recap of the food you ate so you can see on one page what you ate too much of or not enough of.  With all of my other journals I always looked at each day individually.  I like the idea of looking over a longer period of time for trends.  To me it seems better to analyze a total behavior rather than a behavior for a day.

I have found a new composition notebook (I love those things!) and will be starting my journal today.  My refined goal for #78 will now be to keep a food journal for 1 complete week.  Somehow I think now is when the real work on this goal starts, lol.


Every month I am going to post the family financial goals.  Ideally they will line up with my 101 goals, but this is the first month and I’m still retraining my brain to think that way.

  • Cash flow D’s smog check on the Tahoe.  We are really unsure if it will pass or not, so this could be a really easy goal to attain, or could end up requiring a lot more thought.
  • Keep within our Christmas budget.  This should be easy enough as we are totally on cash envelopes.  Which leads me to our next goal…
  • Keep detailed track of where and how much we spend from our envelopes.  We have been doing a lot of stealing from one envelope to pay for something from another category because that envelope is empty.  It makes it very hard to review the budget.  So this month we are writing down everything.
  • Eat at home all month.  This is always very hard for me.  I tend to get a little princess-y and not want to cook in the evenings.  I am trying out some new-to-me tricks that I will post about later.
  • Put something (anything) into the Emergency Fund.  I have tweaked the budget a little and so far it looks like we will be able to deposit $39.  Not good.  Which again, leads me to the next goal…
  • Try to come up with $100 of random, extra money.  We have cans that need to be recycled and change that needs to be rolled, as well as I’m expecting a couple of $15 rebates. 

 I will come back weekly and update on my progress.  Wish me luck!!

Tacos in Pasta Shells

This is a recipe that I got from Allrecipes.  I tried it once earlier this month and it got raves!  It will be a definite regular in our menu plan.  I have altered it a smidge to (I think) make it easier.

Tacos in Pasta Shells

1 lb ground beef

1 pkg taco seasonings

3oz cream cheese

18 jumbo pasta shells

1 cup taco sauce

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 ½ cups crushed tortilla chips


  1. In a large skillet, brown beef over medium heat until no longer pink, drain.  Add taco seasonings and simmer according to directions.  Add cream cheese and mix in, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Fill shells with beef mixture and arrange in a 9×13 inch baking dish then pour taco sauce over shells.  (I don’t measure the sauce, I just pour it on.)   Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
  5. Remove dish from oven and top with Cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.  Return dish to oven and cook for 15 minutes more.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Thanksgiving is over and we are on to the holiday rush!  Hopefully we won’t be sucked in too much.  D and I will be Christmas shopping on Friday so the boys will go to my MIL’s and have dinner there.  Also, we have a birthday party to go to on Saturday and have been invited to the family party/dinner afterwards as well.

  • Monday – Tacos in Pasta Shells and a salad
  • Tuesday – London Broil with roast carrots and potatoes
  • Wednesday – Creamy Tomato Pasta and salad
  • Thursday – Minestrone Soup with homemade bread
  • Friday – Christmas shopping (bring sandwiches?)
  • Saturday – Dinner at friend’s birthday party
  • Sunday – Breakfast for dinner

 I need to come up with two meals to freeze this week as well, so I can stay on target with my 101 goals.  I am going to try to use up food that is already in our house so I don’t have to go to the store again.  I will post about them later, IF I come up with them!

Visit Orgjunkie’s Meal Plan Monday for more menu plans from other bloggers.

101 Goals in 1001 days

Lately I’ve been feeling like I have a lot of things I want to accomplish but no real direction or organization on how to get them done.  Then I found a couple of posts on list making and goal setting on my new favorite blog, The Simple Dollar.  The one that intrigued me the most was one on 101 goals in 1001 days.  Basically you come up with 101 goals that you want to accomplish in 1001 days (roughly 33 months).  The goals need to be specific and the results need to be measurable or clearly defined.  It is also suggested that the goals be realistic (I would love to save $50,000 in 1001 days, but that’s just not gonna happen!) but at the same time stretching.

So I decided to make my own list.  It is rather overwhelming to look at such a monsterous list!  I have tried this sort of thing before, and not succeeded.  After reading the book,  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I have a renewed enthusiasm.  (More on the book in another post.)  This is something that I can do!

My start date is November 29, 2009.  The end date is August 26, 2012.  It seems so far away, but after putting it in the context of the 101 goals, it doesn’t seem that long at all.  Here’s my list:

  1. Complete the list of 101 goals (101/101)  Done
  2. Come up with an action plan for each goal (0/101)
  3. Buy greeting cards for next month by last day of current month (1/33)
  4. Get important papers put in trust name
  5. Only get books from the library (do not buy any!)
  6. Organize Household management book in a more user friendly way (this needs to be better defined)
  7. Return all library books on time
  8. Get Big I on a commission system
  9. Get Little E on a commision system
  10. Get the boys portraits taken
  11. Update Little E’s baby book
  12. Update Big I’s baby book
  13. Have 10 bookkeeping clients by 12/31/2010 (0/2)
  14. Have 12 bookkeeping clients by 12/31/2011  (0/2)
  15. Set up a regular schedule for backing up files
  16. File at least once per week  (0/142)
  17. Get all monthly work done by the 5th business day of the month (0/142)
  18. Get MOUS certified
  19. Get one clients tax returns done by August 15th each year (0/3)
  20. Get Quickbooks certified
  21. Go through books and sell/donate them
  22. Declutter garage
  23. Organize garage cabinets
  24. Declutter boys toys before each Christmas (0/3)
  25. Declutter boys toys before each birthday (0/3)
  26. Watch one movie per week  (0/142)
  27. Make a list of books to read
  28. Read 25 non-fiction books (0/25)
  29. Save fully funded emergency fund (31% there)
  30. Save predetermined house downpayment (0% there)
  31. Get personal taxes done by March 15th each year (0/3)
  32. Make a Legacy Drawer
  33. Make Saturdays Family Fun Days!
  34. Take boys to Disneyland by October 2010
  35. Take boys to a professional baseball game
  36. Take boys to a professional football game
  37. Take boys to the zoo
  38. Go camping at least 3 times with boys
  39. Establish a set family game night
  40. Go to the park once per week with the boys (0/142)
  41. Keep to our budget each month (0/33)
  42. Buy new lighting for our bedroom
  43. Declutter bathroom drawers/cabinets
  44. Clean out silverware drawer
  45. Clean oven at least 2x’s per year (0/6)
  46. Come up with a theme for Little E’s room and decorate
  47. Come up with a theme for Big I’s room and decorate
  48. Clean humidifiers monthly (0/33)
  49. Fix D’s sink in Master bath
  50. Get all pictures printed
  51. Get all pictures organized by date
  52. Get all pictures in photo albums
  53. Get a storage system for our DVD’s
  54. Hang mirror in bedroom
  55. Hang pictures on walls
  56. Inventory wrapping paper supplies
  57. light candles 1x per week (0/142)
  58. Make homemade bread once per month (0/142)
  59. Make a menu plan for each week (0/142)
  60. Make a concious effort to recycle (this one needs to be better defined)
  61. Eat at home for an entire month 12 times (0/12)
  62. Have 30 frozen meals in freezer by June 30, 2010
  63. Have 30 frozen lunches in freezer for D to take to work by January 31, 2010
  64. Make salsa to can
  65. Compile and print a family cookbook
  66. Incorporate fish into our weekly meals (needs to be better defined)
  67. Reduce the amount of food waste that we have (document with pictures)
  68. Plan squarefoot garden by January 31 of each year
  69. Learn when to plant and harvest veggies
  70. Be able to do 50 pushups at once (Best 0/50)
  71. Be able to do 100 situps at once (Best 0/100)
  72. Run a mile without stopping
  73. Run in a 5k
  74. Do pilates once per week
  75. Do yoga once per week
  76. Do DDR at least once per week
  77. Lose 20 pounds by 12/31/2010
  78. Come up with my own version of a food diary
  79. Eat at least one piece of fruit or a serving of vegetables a day (0/1001)
  80. Learn to play 3 songs on guitar (0/3)
  81. Be properly measured for women’s undergarmets
  82. Buy new undergarmets
  83. Exfoliate face once per week (0/142)
  84. Get 6 manicures (0/6)
  85. Get 6 massages (0/6)
  86. Get 6 pedicures (0/6)
  87. Keep toes nicely manicured all summer
  88. Set up a blog to document my progress with goals
  89. Keep a daily diary of our family activities for the boys to look back on
  90. Learn to speak Spanish
  91. Serve on school PTA
  92. Volunteer more at school
  93. Learn to make a website
  94. Learn to identify all 50 States on a map
  95. Go to bed at 10:30 4 nights a week (Lights out!)
  96. Read local paper every week (0/142)
  97. Create a goals collage
  98. Come up with cheap ideas for date nights at home
  99. Have a date night with D at least twice per month (0/66)
  100. See a play in a theatre
  101. Find a way to get together with friends at least once per month (0/33)

Whew!  Wish me luck!