Sunday, July 10, 2011

What We Didn't Do This Weekend

For the first time this Summer,we didn't have one dang thing on our to-do list. It was heavenly. We lazed around and exerted ourselves a little bit, but only when absolutely necessary. I worked on my book for a few hours.

We didn't eat out once.

I know this is probably common for many of you, but for us, it was rare. Legendary, even.

Last Tuesday I hauled home fresh corn on the cob, a bucket of blueberries, heirloom tomatoes, yellow squash. On and on and on. This time of year always makes me extra giddy over the dinnertime possibilities.

But without fail, I get lazy and we end up ordering pizza. Or we go out to dinner on Saturday night because that's just what we do.

So there I was, rolling through with a full cart and Crazy, Crazier and Craziest and the thought kept coming to me: Don't eat out at all in July. I'd swat it away. It's summertime! We hang looser in the Summer! We have more fun! We go places!

But the other truths, the truer truth, are that we've been talking for a while about wanting to make it a bigger priority to have friends over or to just be here, at home.

We want to be a better example to our kids that we don't have to be going somewhere to be having fun. They have come to expect eating out. It's not something special.

We want to be better stewards of our money. Eating out with six people is more expensive than eating in, even if it's fast food.

Still, I waffled. We're already five days in to the month. Maybe we should just start fresh in August? (Yeah, right.)

That evening, we had dinner with our friends Chad and Kristen. (Don't they look like they should be famous? We think so. Especially Silas, who has a mad crush on "Kissen".)

We ate good food, then the kids ran wild and stayed up too late for a Tuesday.

That's the stuff summertime - life - is made of. I want more.

Friday evening Holly Dear came and ate barbecue chicken legs and shortcake with us on the porch.

Last night we packed up boring ol' turkey sandwiches and had a picnic in the park. We didn't spend an extra dime this weekend, other than $0.59 McDonald's ice cream cones (our one exclusion).

It was so nice.

I like forcing myself to learn new things. It makes me feel youngish.

Are you trying anything new right now? Spill it.


  1. July is our month to try really hard to have an attitude of gratitude in this self-centered world. Everyday I have to be thankful for 4 different things, definitely makes me appreciate the smalls in life! Good job on your "not eating out" for the month of July, I am proud of you and we are totally with you on how our kiddos expect it and its not special anymore, its time to change that!
    heather :-)

  2. We have scaled back our spending. We put a lot of work into a home theater type room a couple years ago. We don't go to the movies now. We netflix them. If it is a really good movie we might buy it, but it has to be a good one. We make snacks get in comfy PJ's and enjoy our movie night. My boys, 9 and 13 don't even ask to go to the movies any more.

    Our cheap entertainment is hanging out at Barnes and Noble. My boys love it. We might get a snack in the cafe, but they always have a carafe of water so buying drinks isn't necessary. It is usually under $10. They also feel like they are 'eating out'.

  3. I just officially started my couch to 10K running program about 3 weeks ago. It's new, but doesn't make me feel youngish at all... quite the opposite in fact. My in-between-training days tend to be filled with lots of ow's and oh's and aches and pains, but I'm sure come race day I'll be thrilled I stuck with it. Dreaming of the cool opportunity to run across a REALLY BIG and cool-looking bridge with a friend of mine is keeping me motivated. (I've got details and pics posted here:

  4. beautiful.
    best summer ever, for you and your kiddos.
    keep it up!

    i am trying:
    to cheerfully greet my husband when he arrives home from work. this includes lip gloss and a clean top(no toddler boogies). greet him, smooch him and then listen. then give him his space for a bit. after a few nights of this, it is working! he is happier AND will listen to me better! hooray!

    also, i love you.

  5. oh girlie, you're making me feel guilty...and inspired :) i love this idea...maybe i'll follow along with you the rest of the month. we don't eat out that much, but every friday is usually pizza night and we usually do lunch out once or twice on the weekend...but still. it adds up and would be awesome to go the rest of the month without!

  6. i love cooking and the crazy low prices at the farmer's market lately have me giddy for spending every single evening cooking for us! sounds like you had a lovely weekend ... yeah!!

  7. Aww, what a great idea! I've been thinking I need to try something - anything - different around our household. I was NOT raised as an outdoors kid, and I'm thinking we need to have like one or two meals a week outside. That's probably child's play for a lot of other people, but I'm such a spoiled brat that I can't stand the heat and bugs. I don't want my kids to hate the outdoors.

  8. We are trying to cut back more and more. Every time I think we can't cut anything else out or we lose anything "fun" or "good," I another area. Simple things like making my own muffins/pastries to eat before going out for that over-priced-but-oh-so-needed-splurge-latte. Or getting up a little earlier to throw something in the crockpot Sunday morning so we aren't tempted to eat out every week after church. And getting rid of Netflix (sigh) because we don't watch tv enough to justify it, there is always Redbox and the library has free movies. Surprisingly, the more I am cutting back, the easier it gets, and I am enjoying the treats/splurges more.

  9. Last week we had a week of crazy fun. Like crazy to the max. I save up all year so we can do that : ) This week we are having a week of free fun. : ) I am sure the kids will love it just as much. We will see.

  10. I LOVE the idea of not eating out all of July. We decided a few days ago to not eat out till our trip to the big city in 2 weeks. That's not a huge goal, but for us it is. My kids have come to think eating out isn't so special as well, and I want it to be again.

  11. Giosmama26@yahoo.comJuly 10, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    I adore the idea of not eating out all month & living for Summer. Great post in deed. But do you know we pay, $1.89 for a cone from McDonalds in San Diego??? I soooo want the $0.59 cones here too!!!

  12. I love weekends like that. And we too are trying to have folks over more versus going out as much. Your photos are so pretty! It made me want blueberries.

  13. Right now..I am trying to be a tad more brave with my blog. I am taking the challenge that you posed to take more risks in be truthful to who we individually are ..and more importantly -- celebrating it.

    My last post and this one today veers from my normal indulgence of home decor and such...but I did find that I was very excited to write and post both.

    I am also having a love affair with vegetables again...also b/c of you. :)


  14. Do you know that last year when Ry was "sick" with his eye we didn't go out to eat for 4 months straight, except for hospital trips and those were all drive-thru fast food meals. No family eat-outs for 4 months. Law.

    I swear you read my mind in some sort of way. I was thinking yesterday of making it a goal to invite someone to dinner at least once per week.


    I will have to make a really good meal, my house will get cleaned REALLY good and not just regular ole good, and it will be fun. And, since I am a homebody it will stretch me within the comforts of my own home.

    Did I miss Siley in this post? Where was he?


  15. Not 'New' per-say, but 'New' again. After a bit of a dry spell we're 'Having FUN again!' AND that makes us feel youngish! What a GREAT feeling it is! :)

  16. Oh I think you can do it! We just finished a year of not eating out on was hard and full of temptation - but we made it to the end...and then went out for a banana split to celebrate.

    I thought we would be flitting from restaurant to restaurant when we finished - especially since we began on the day we returned home from Japan and this girl has been CRAVING Mexican food since July 2008...but surprisingly we have learned to love meals at home. :)

  17. Kindred spirits! Second to last week of June, Foiler and I made the commitment to not eat out for a month! We did great until out of church late, the only thing easy and quick to fix at home was what we were going to make for our small group tonight. We had $20 in our pocket so we stopped at Taco Bell. But I'm still committed to follow through with the rest of the month even with the one cheat. :)

  18. What I've been trying "new" this summer: My hubby and I make dinner in and eat it on our back patio that he built nearly 3 years ago. It's beautiful, the wine is less expensive and it's still like a date.

    Second "new" thing: Just tonight, during a lizard save (yes, my nephew Andrew just bought a baby lizard with all of his birthday money- cage and all- and he let it out in their bathroom and it got stuck in the wall)while the kids were insane, hanging around the bathroom and yelling "WHAT is going on??" to my husband and their dad (as the two guys were pulling the sink and furniture out of the wall to save said baby lizard) I made up the hat game. It was all I had. A fishing hat. We sat in a circle, and we all tried to gently throw it on to one another's head(s). You had to call out which person's head you were trying to get it on. We all got better as the hour wore on. They were giggling and having fun and it was so sweet. And free. And I told them "You's almost like we're living in 1900!! Isn't it great to use your imaginations?!"

    THAT was new. In a world of too much tv, video games, movies and everything NOW, I was proud of them. They all did really well.

    A hat and five peeps.



    PS: I'm a bit envious as McD's cones outside of Mpls cost $1.20!!!

  19. :) Does the Chief count??!!? What about the fair??!!?? Good for you, but in your neck of the woods, is July the right month to choose??!!??

  20. I'm on board. Planning meals this week. Seven days of home cooked goodness. I'll give it a shot.

  21. I just joined a 6 week women's online bible study. We're still settling in at our new church and their small groups are on summer hiatus, so I thought I'd try something new for me :-)
    As far as kids go: We've introduced all sorts of "new" chores this summer. At 9 & 6, I think they're more than capable of cleaning "their" bathroom. And do you know what? They did an AWESOME job, even up to mom standards. I was fully prepared for having to clean after their best effort! That's the biggest chore but there have been several more little ones that make this family a little bit happier. Makes me think we should've done this earlier :-)

  22. yay for ya'll!
    we are eater outers on the weekends but love to be at home, especially with a bounty of fresh veggies in the summer.
    your friends are so cute & famous-esque!

  23. We're trying to eat more local food, since it's so plentiful in the short summers around here. We ventured out to pick some U-Pick raspberries yesterday for the first time. It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

  24. We are just trying to cut back in general. But the eating out thing is our biggest struggle. We don't have air conditioning in our kitchen so I can always find a reason not to cook in the summer. (Thank goodness for the grill!)

  25. I have this same eating out argument with myself all the time. I plan all these healthy,yummy meals and then decide I'm too tired to cook. Help me! law.

  26. This is so inspiring to me! I want to have a no-eating-out month now! I would also love to see how it effects our food spending for the month, but I'm sure I can guess :)

  27. I love this! Finding fun at home, entertaining guests and being a good example for your kids. I love how you continually work on bettering yourself. You certainly inspire this girl :)

    New for me?? I hope you're sitting down. I recently started doing a load of laundry a day instead of letting it pile up. It's washed, dried, folded and put away all by lunchtime. I'm sure you must be impressed. How does she do it all is what you're asking yourself. Don't be jealous. I'm awesome like that. Just the way it is.

    I sure do hope you can sense my sarcasm through this computer screen...

    Happy Monday!

    Angie from Ohio

  28. I love the scripture that says, more like commands, "Practice hospitality." - Romans 12:13. The best part is the practice. It is so much easier mentally to go out to eat, but so much richer to linger with friends over a home cooked meal, laughing, talking and cleaning up after wards with Craig saying, "That was a good night honey. You throw a good party." He always calls it a party, even if it's just one other person there.

  29. Love it! Eating at home in the summer is the best - gardens and farmers markets are full of the good stuff! I have 3 kids too, and one is almost 2 years old and he does not like to eat out, so neither do I right now! ha ha! He's THAT kid. ;)

  30. My goal is to not turn on the oven this whole month. It's just toooooo hot. That leads to food purchase that I normally would not make. Like bad ones. That involve microwave foods.

  31. funny, now that I dread leaving the house, and refuse to do it, I run out of milk occasionally but I also have house guests coming out of my ears. It's pretty awesome.

  32. Sounds like youve had such fun, and all that food looks de-lish!
    Cute couple!!
    No eating out for a month...hmmmm sounds like a good idea! :)

    Deborah xoxo

  33. I'm trying to cut down our grocery bill in half. I think I'm on track, but its definitely forcing me to think more carefully about what can be made with what I already have. And I butcher a lot of bone-in chicken breasts because they seem to go on sale more often than boneless skinless. Makes me feel mighty!

  34. I love your idea of not eating out for a month...what a great challenge! We're also trying to get back into the 'habit' of eating healthy, homemade meals at home. It's no easy task when you're busy but SO worth the effort.

  35. Good for you! I've recently decided to stop buy lunch out on work days. Usually my husband and I buy our lunches and it's such a waste of money! So, I've pre-made a bunch of sandwiches, snacks, and planned some meals to give us left overs....maybe I should join you and make it a month long commitment - but instead of icecream allowances mine will be for coffee!

  36. Good for you! Eating out is a rare treat for us, becaause with two little ones it can be quite disasterous some days! I wish you luck on your new challenge, I bet you'll feel great in the end!!!

  37. We are eating out a lot less often since we moved in to the house. We splurge on those cones several times a week though!

  38. I'm blogging! I just started on the 4th of July weekend when my friend and her family were visiting. She blogs and I had been thimking about starting one. She helped me take the plunge and get all set up while our little ones napped. Check it out...