Monday, May 31, 2010

One week of Summer ... gone. What's for dinner?

Our first week of Summer is officially over (a little more than an actual week, but Summer is all about loosening up, right?). It feels both like we just started and like we've been Summering for weeks. DD14 began daily swimming (did I mention that swim team will be happening as well?) and after a couple of days of drop-off and pick-up, it already feels like a part of our routine -- packing the suit, the sunscreen and goggles and picking up next to the outside pool entrance.

DD12 gets her cast off tomorrow and once we get her therapy plan from the doctor, can finally prepare what her weeks will look like. For now, she's mastering Mario Bros on the wii and I find the music strangely comforting (I'll attribute that to the years BFF and I worked nights and played Nintendo for hours on-end).

DH spent the week in Mexico City and we learned to how to Skype (and which locations were best). We enjoyed a family breakfast at Puckett's and a date night at Sperry's in Belle Meade (re-opened after the flood) yesterday. Today DD14 and I enjoyed lunch at Zoe's Kitchen and then we had a family movie outing to see Ironman 2 followed by dinner at Jason's Deli. I give up -- I declare it official that eating out is one of my favorite ways to make anything more special ... whether it's a holiday weekend, or the first week of Summer.

I've fought this for YEARS, determined to spend less on eating out. I have set tight food budgets, I've planned menus, I've gone the cash-only method ... and I find that I can scrimp on many things, but having to eat at home is the surest way to make me feel my batteries draining.

Is it because I was raised eating most meals out (by a single mom who was working and going to school full-time)? Or that I'm not a good cook? Or that I'm a picky eater? Is it my orange kitchen (shown above)? My uncomfortable kitchen chairs?

And let's not even mention the quality of the food ... I may consciously want to minimize processed foods, eat more vegetables and eat less meat, but nothing says, "fun" more than a burger and fries eaten on the patio of Five Guys.

So, this week's "plan" will include ways to make things "special" without focusing quite so much on the food (and alternatively accepting that this is one of the things that really brings me pleasure, so why not just find a coupon and go with it?!). Any suggestions?

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