Food Revolution and a Giveaway!!

***ETA – This post is “stickied” until the Giveaway is over, please scroll down for new posts!!!***

I’ve posted this before, but please watch this video. It’s 21 minutes and 53 seconds long, but the message is important.

Jamie Oliver has done some great work. He has points that are valid not just for kids, but adults too. As a parent I know I am guilty of not providing the best options to my family at all times. It’s hard sometimes. We have busy lives. David starts two college classes tomorrow, Girl Scout cookie sales are in full swing, plus meetings, it’s also illness season and our family has not been spared. Sometimes the solution is to run to Little Caesars and get two of their $5 pizzas. Convenience is the key more often than not, and it shouldn’t be. I’d rather pull something from my freezer that I got at Trader Joe’s, and while it’s still a packaged meal I can add a frozen veggie and give my family something that offers more nutritional value.

A few years ago I did a food challenge and I did good for maybe a week, and then I slipped, and slipped some more, and by the end of the month I was like “That’s it, I suck!”. Going all out from the start did me no favors. I did it to myself, and honestly I let my slips discourage me too much. I can’t make a promise to only eat home cooked meals from scratch every single day for any length of time, but I can make better choices when I do go out. I can also make a few small changes at home that become a habit, and then change a few more things. For example..

I’ve been buying loaf bread lately. I have a grain mill, and a recipe that my family likes. I need to make bread at home.

I got a new Vitamix for Christmas, and smoothies have been requested almost daily. I know I can make yogurt at home much cheaper.

I know I won’t be able to get all organic food, but I can keep plenty of fresh healthy snacking options available for the whole family.

That brings me to…

FoodRevolution

The simple things I mentioned above to take steps in the right direction to eating better will be implemented by me for Food Revolution starting March 1, 2013. Yes, I know it’s a whole month away, but I want people to join me! I also want time to plan, because I’m a list maker (David says OCD). I want to see tons of other blog posts!

You don’t have to go all out, just change a few things. Eat out less, make something at home that you’ve been meaning to start doing again. Eat more fruits and veggies.

So please join me!! If you decide to participate please feel free to add this little badge to your page, and of course comment right here on this page. 🙂

Also, since Jamie Oliver deserves some well earned credit I am going to do a…

Giveaway

Yes, a giveaway!!

There are rules and stipulations though, of course.

1) Like Gingham Apron on Facebook.

2) Comment here confirming that you completed #1.

3) The drawing will be open from the moment this post is up, until 12:00pm (Pacific) on February 28th. I will put the number of comments received into a random generator and announce a winner soon after both here and on Facebook.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I will be giving away… Well I did say I would be giving Jamie Oliver some credit, so I think that his book Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals is a perfect prize!

Giveaway is over.  Congrats to Elizabeth on her new cookbook! 🙂

FoodRevolutionBook

Good luck, and I hope to see people participate!

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“Is pizza junk food?”

That was the question asked at dinner last night.

Dinner consisted of Boboli pizzas we topped with cheese, black olives, and turkey pepperoni. While we were eating Sophia asked if pizza was junk food. I told her that yes, pizza was junk food. That was cause for an exasperated remark of “We’re eating JUNK FOOD?!”. Yes, honey, we are. What do you think our “Family Dinner Out” to Buffalo Wild Wings was? David piped in at that point with “Do you think mac and cheese is junk food?”, and I pointed out the french fries. She seemed a bit disgusted with this revelation. She may have even said “ew”. I was already plotting though, which I am excellent at.

“How about, no junk food for 2 weeks?”

Starting today, we will not have “junk food”. No eating out. No pizza. No mac and cheese. And no ramen. David even agreed to it.

A caveat. My parents will be in town as of the 6th, and if the only opportunity for them to go to dinner with the girls is before Monday the 11th, then I will just tack a day on at the end. Grandma and Grandpa being here is very special because it was not expected, and honestly I wasn’t sure when we would see them again. So I am willing to cut some slack on that one, but I will encourage the girls to make some healthy choices.

This has me thinking though. Two weeks is a good start. I want to push myself again. I attempted to do a real food challenge 3 years ago, but I didn’t do as well as I know I could have. I want to try again. Later today I will get some details together. I do not want to do this alone though. So fire up your blogs, your kitchens, and yourself!

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Shiney!

I finally got around to making the blog look decent, and I like it! I hope everyone who had been here in the past will enjoy the changes, and I am aiming to be better about blogging. Will it be every day? Certainly not. Will I aim for a few times a week given that no one in my house is suffering from some plague or virus of doom? Yes, that’s my goal.

The new year has not been as kind to my household as I would like. I got something that I will only describe as Norovirus minus the puking (being nauseated the day before it hit full force meant that I was spared that nasty side effect). David and the girls have also been under the weather. Lots of sneezing, coughing, and an entire box of Kleenex has been demolished in the span of a week. Everyone has to be feeling better by February 6th though, no excuses.

Why?

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Oh hey there!

I am SO behind this week now. Monday I started the week with the house caught up, lots of baking bread, and feeling like I would conquer this week. Tuesday after making some bread I got a phone call from my mom saying they were just about to my house. I forgot they were going to be in town! Crap! So Tuesday afternoon was spent with Sophia and my parents. I’m not complaining because my parents leave in 11 days to move to Ecuador.

While my mom and I were waiting in the atrium of the Montessori school for Nola to get out of class Nola’s teacher approached me about chaperoning the field trip the next day. I agreed. That night Nola had soccer practice, and it was our end of season party.

Wednesday morning was spent at a pumpkin patch. The afternoon I took Sophia to a few thrift stores to mill about that are right around the corner from the school. I need to save gas, because the van is a gas hog. Wednesday afternoon Sophia had soccer practice.

Thursday morning I agreed to help Nola’s teacher get her address book in Outlook cleaned up and cross referenced with what she has on file to ensure parents are getting the e-mails. Before I even got started on that it was discovered that one of the class rats had died. There was questions, theories, crying, and concern by the teacher as to what should be done. I did though get to see how the teacher and her aid dealt with such things on the fly. Montessori is far different from traditional school to begin with, and to see how something so sensitive was handled was very interesting. I milled around Savers a bit, and treated myself to lunch before getting Sophia. After that we needed to hit up WinCo to get apples for her apple tasting on Friday, and I got all my paperwork in to the Girl Scout office so I can start a troop. I also had PTO meeting that night. Looking back Thursday was a day of pure crazy.

Friday morning was the “Second Cup of Coffee” with the principal of the school, and after that I came home, got the PTO stuff e-mailed to Nola’s teacher (did I mention I’m the PTO class representative, because I am). Then I went to Target to get my free Lindor Truffles (go like them on Facebook and look for the giveaway coupon to print!), and while I was there I picked up the flyers for the Target Debit card to put at the front desk of the school. 5% off, and 1% back to the school of your choice, can’t beat that!

Saturday was the last 2 soccer games of my soccer coaching career, because I have no intentions of doing it again to be honest. I think starting up and maintaining a Girl Scout troop will be more than enough for me from here out. There was also an event at the school for the PTO I attended as a “vendor”. I put out some photography business related stuff and ran a ring toss. Then we came home and had movie night. Popcorn, root beer floats, Monsters Inc., and a Hot Pocket each.

Today I need to get caught up. Laundry, dishes, sweeping, moping, dusting, and using the chicken that has been thawed out for 2 days now. This weeks Baking Bucket List hasn’t been done. I think I’ll likely combine it with another week or two. I still need to order vanilla beans, and my mom has requested a pecan pie for the train portion of their move to Ecuador. So pecan pie on week 11 will switch places with apple pie on week 4 (which is when I think I’ll do vanilla bean ice cream).

I have other things planned too that will be keeping me busy for awhile. Trying to make things easier in the long run means putting some time and effort in now, and of course my life wouldn’t be normal right now without chaos. 😉

Throwing in the flag!

It’s Tuesday and I QUIT!

I knew that I’d taken on a lot, but hey, I’m a mom.  It’s sort of in the job description, right?  Soccer camp – which requires quite a lot of running around on my part since Sophia is only half day, and Nola is full day.  Soccer practices – every day but Friday this week.  I have to wash soccer uniforms every night since Sophia only has one pair of shorts that fit really well, and well, I don’t want sweaty soccer gear laying around my house.  The shin guards and cleats are odoriferous enough on their own.  O_o

Here is where I admit that I could not possibly do this without David.  The last two days have proven that the little things help SO much.  He’s made sandwiches the last 2 nights, started the dishwasher (I forgot for a solid 36 hours, bowl and spoon status was hitting critical), helping Sophia get her shin guards/socks/cleats on in the morning … and even making dinner last night.

Just thinking about the last 2 days makes me tired.  Only 2 more left, and then Friday will seem easy.  This weekend I don’t know if I should be productive, or just relax the entire weekend.  All I know is this is already the longest week ever, and I only have one weekend in the next 2 months that will not be totally crazy, and as luck would have it – my birthday lands on that weekend!

I’m off to bed, and will update with somewhat relevant material soon.  Maybe.  If I make it through the week.  😉

Summer Trip!

It’s time again for us to visit David’s dad in Washington. This involves driving. For 15 hours. With a 4 year old and 7 year old. The only saving grace here is that we may in fact leave at like 10pm on Saturday so we get into Washington around lunch time. We’ve driven this once before with the girls 2 years ago. Sophia had just turned 3, and was newly potty trained. Nola was 5, and far less likely to sit still and amuse herself like she can now.

I had planned then, and I even went as far as to get a portable potty (which I still have, and it’s already in the van). The problem was that when we needed to use it in the worst way we were in the middle of a construction zone with no shoulder to pull off onto. *sigh* There was of course and accident in the back seat. I’m hoping that this trip will go a little bit smoother. I have been planning and prepping for the last 2 weeks. I talked to my sister (who is leaving for Maryland in 2 days!) last week and asked her what I’m forgetting. A few outside opinions can really help. She mentioned getting cups for the girls to put their crayons in to keep them from getting all over the van…

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