new year’s resolutions: UPDATE

Well, it’s been a month since my obligatory New Year’s Resolution post so I thought I’d post my progress.

1. Begin composting and start a small garden — UPDATE — It’s still really cold here, so not a lot of actual progress has been made. But, we went to the library this week and got a couple books on organic gardening, and these posts over at Keeper of the Home have been extremely helpful as well. I ordered my Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog, and have written down what things we would like to try this year based on what I have looked at on their site. I love me some fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes in the summer, and feel that they might be hardy enough that I won’t kill them that they’ll survive my tender loving care. So I have plans to try a couple different varieties of tomatoes. Tim wants to try peppers (he loves spicy food) so we’re going to try a hot variety (purple jalapeno) and a sweet variety (sweet yellow stuffing peppers).  We’re also going to try some green beans (not sure what variety yet) and I have some interest in growing a few herbs as well, but I think I might do those in containers on our patio. Thai sweet basil sounded yummy, as we love Thai food, as well as lavender and thyme. Experienced gardeners: your thoughts? Does this sound like too much for two very inexperienced gardeners? What would you recommend starting out with?

2. Start running again. — UPDATE — Uh. Well. As it turns out, Sam refuses to nap at my friend’s house, so the whole plan of running on her treadmill a couple times a week during Sam’s nap didn’t really work out. I’m a little discouraged, but I’ve been researching what other options I might have for exercising without a gym membership. I have several DVDs I could pop in, but the problem with DVDs is that I grow bored of them quickly. Plus, many of the ones I have run too long (an hour or more) and are currently beyond my fitness level (sad, but true). So, I have started looking up bodyweight exercises I can do to get back into shape. My new plan is to work on total body conditioning through calisthenics. When am I going to embark on this new plan, you might ask? In the morning. Before Sam wakes up. That’s right, I am going to start getting up and staying up after Sam wakes up to nurse at 6:30- to 7, rather than going back to bed after he goes back to sleep for a couple hours. I’ll have time to do 20 minutes of exercise, spend time with the Lord in His Word and prayer (most important thing), have an uninterrupted, peaceful cup of coffee, get some housework done, take a shower, etc. I really think it will be a beneficial time not only for my soul to start out the day with the Lord but also for my family as well as I seek to bless them through my mad cleaning and organizing skillz. With a z.  Plus, with exercise, I’ll look foxy for spring. OK, well, perhaps not foxy, but I will be healthier and in better shape. If foxiness happens, well…so be it.

3. Start FLYing. /4. Declutter — UPDATE — This is one area where I feel like I’ve done pretty well. My house is not perfect, and there is still lots of organizing and decluttering and cleaning to be done, but it’s not overwhelming as it once was. Even if things aren’t picked up currently, it’s nice to know that in 10-15 minutes, everything could be picked up and where it belongs for the most part. If someone suddenly stopped by I wouldn’t feel totally embarassed. So those are all good things. I am learning. There are areas where I want to move forward though, as just the basics are pretty much covered for now. I want to start menu planning (as a part of Menu Plan Monday) on a consistent basis as a means to stick to our food budget and to start eating healthier. I mean, we already eat fairly healthy, but there’s definitely some stuff that could improve (i.e. cutting back on refined sugars and flours, and stepping up the fresh produce). The problem with menu planning is that I feel I get stuck in cooking ruts where we have the same 4 meals over and over again. I want to branch out more. What are some of your favorite frugal and healthy meals?

So that’s the update. All in all I’m encouraged by my progress. I feel that the Lord is stretching me in many areas, and it’s been a good thing as I seek to mature in the faith and as a human being.

Look tomorrow for my Menu Plan Monday post!

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4 responses to “new year’s resolutions: UPDATE

  1. Growing peppers, green beans and herbs is not at all too ambitious, and is probably a good place to start. Green beans are easy-easy, and peppers take a little more pampering but aren’t bad. Herbs in containers are pretty easy as well, and can be brought inside when it gets cold, so they’ll last longer into the fall & winter.

    We’ve been on a major decluttering/rearranging kick since Christmas, and are really excited about how things have turned out. I took a look at FLYLady a long while back & it just didn’t seem to be for me. Menu planning is another thing I’m not so good at, but when I do make the effort to do it, dinnertime goes much smoother. Good luck!

  2. What great resolutions! That is too bad about the naps at your friends house. Well a work out I loved (prior to becoming pregnant and getting morning sickness) is Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred. I rented it off of Netflix and loved it so much we just bought it. It has several work outs on it. What I love about it is that I haven’t gotten bored yet and they are 25 minutes long! Seriously the entire work out! I love it. I seriously feel great after them and I can tell I have worked really hard. So that’s just a suggestion. You might be able to rent it from a library and see what you think.

    Oh I wish I could share a recipe but I can’t bear to think about food.

    You sound like you are so on top of stuff with getting ready for gardening. I want to have one this year but it is probably going to be a pretty tiny one! I think I am going to try to stick to the basics like maybe 3 things? We’ll see. Can’t wait to hear more about yours as things progress.

  3. I was going to recommend the 30 Day Shred too. If you want, you can borrow my copy to see if you like it.

    My only suggestion about the gardening is to get a pole variety of beans, not bush beans. Pole beans can grow up on a trellis or rack or can even be trained around the tomato cages so they take up less space. I’ve tried bush beans, and they take up more space while giving less yield.

    • Tim and Alissa Birkel

      sure, catherine, i’d love to try 30 day shred out. i’ve heard other good things about it. i hope i like it (and that i can stick with it). 🙂

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