Tag Archives: Happiness Project

Project: Food Budget Week 4

It was another weird week.  I spent the weekend in Johnstown, PA, my mom’s hometown, retracing her roots.  We did the incline plane and the Johnstown Flood Museum.  And, we stayed in a great little bed and breakfast called Heritage House.  The two women who cared for us, Ginny and Maryann, were wonderful.  Maryann is a great cook, so I spent the weekend full of her delicious cooking.  Ever looking for a weekend away?  Put it on your list for a great B&B experience!

On the way home on Sunday, I made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for pizza crust, multigrain crackers, and english muffins.  I’ve been eating the muffins and crackers, but pizza is on the list for the weekend.  I also bought two basil plants, one for me and one for a friend.  I love having fresh basil around.

And on Monday night, I broke down after a pretty intense massage and got a pizza.  Monday’s there’s a $8.99 special here in town, so for the first time in over a year I got the pizza I wanted.  It lasted into the week.  I did a little Yoga on Tuesday for the first time since last January.  And I caved today and got lunch out – mostly because I didn’t plan well this week. But the weekend is very close.

Week 3 Budget: $30
Week 3 Actual: $31.34

Week 4 Budget: $30

I fully expect to come in under next week, because there is A LOT of food in the fridge and I have a normal weekend to plan and prepare.  I might need some pieces to connect it all together, and I’m also going strawberry picking this weekend, but in general, I feel like things are really under control budget wise.  I can’t believe I’ve been working on this project for nearly a month!  I’m so happy about not only the money I’ve saved, but the positive choices and changes I’ve been making!

Want to jump in where you are and get started with Project Food Budget?  Check out this link for all the details: http://emilylevenson.com/blog/project-food-budget/details.  There are some really great people participating in the challenge, so to learn more about the project, check out their efforts:

Week 36 Participating blogs: 


5 Things

I was feeling pretty low last night.  I was tired, was working when I would have rather been relaxing, and was pretty determined to do my own thing (anti-social).  But I wanted to set myself up for a good weekend by doing more than just going to bed early.  Here’s what I tried, and so far, the weekend if off to a pretty great start.

1. I went to the store with a shopping list that included 8 items.  Those 8 things will make 4 really yummy meals this weekend that will feel me well into next week.  I also splurged on a new mouthwash (never said I was a typical girl – seemingly insignificant things make me happy).  Getting my shopping out of the way was a great way to set up a more relaxing weekend.  (I won’t mention that I forgot to buy 1 thing that I’ll have to go back for… no, we won’t talk about that.)

2. I cleaned up the apartment before bed.  It didn’t take long, but after a week of busy days and rapid comings and goings, things get pretty out of place.  The hall closet becomes the dumping ground for socks, receipts, mail, movies, more socks, winter weather wear and other misfit toys.  Straightening that chaos closet made me feel a lot better.

3. I checked my birthday calendar on facebook.  As I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I keep picking up little tips and ideas that I may want to try.  Birthdays seem like a pretty easy way to stay connected with my friends, so I was excited to see that a few of my closer friends and a few of my mentorees have birthdays coming up soon that I can remember.

4. I bought wine.  I have determined that I drink just the right amount of wine.  A few nights a week, moderately priced bottles, when it will have the greatest impact, or when I have something to celebrate.  Having a glass of wine to take the edge off is one of my simple pleasures.  And I also decided that if I get this new job, I’m going to enjoy the special bottle of ice wine that I’ve been saving.

5. I bought myself flowers.  I didn’t intend to do so, but while picking up onions and lemons at Whole Foods, I spied my “happy flower” in a bouquet across the room.  Gerbera Daisies make me happy.  Their big, smiling faces often make me smile, and so once they were arranged last night, I made myself smile each time they caught my eye.  I put them on my dresser and they were the first thing I saw this morning.  And on this grey winter day, there is nothing better than colorful, cheerful flowers to brighten the day.  Here’s to a great weekend!

Gerbera Daisies - My Happy Flower

What I’m Reading & Listening To Tonight

A sound reasonable approach from Gwen Ifill.  I really like this woman.
Of Symbols and Meaning | via Gwen Ifill @ Washington Week

A great podcast about music that is relevant, digs deeper than the Top 40, and is well hosted.
iTunes Weekly Rewind | Podcast

A really short list, but mission critical in my opinion.
Five Things You Should Make Time for This Year | via Life Hacker

After talking to Lori today, I found the whole interview in 4 parts on YouTube.  I’ve shared the collection.
J.K. Rowling Interview | via Oprah

This beautiful piece from Miri Ben-Ari

And finally, The Happiness Project.  I started reading the book and honestly – this girl’s got something.  You should really check it out whether you think you’re happy or not.  There’s so much you can discover through this process.
The Happiness Project | Gretchen Rubin