Reality Check & Staying Humble

I watched the bill on the register add up “$5…$10…$13…$18.59..” I politely stopped the woman at the cashier who I’ve known for years. I was at Reams, our neighborhood grocery store I went to with my mom growing up.

Can you please remove the most expensive items in order to drop the price to $17.00?” A year ago this would have made my heart stop & my eyes possibly well up with tears from embarrassment. There were at least 4 people in line behind me. Instead, I gave them a warm smile & apologized for the delay.

I’m two days from pay day & this is normal. I’ve planned for groceries & gas until then. I watch my budget carefully each month & I only purchase the things that I need. Let’s just say there aren’t any random shopping splurges or moments that lack gratitude in my life. At first this was an adjustment for me. But now I remember that living on my own is a luxury, and that this is my reality.

When I was younger I imagined that I would feel some sort of shame and embarrassment in this situation. Thankfully my life has dramatically changed and I have been exposed to the real world and the strict rules my independence casts. And I’m more than okay with it, because my struggles are blessings in others eyes.

As I grabbed my bags of groceries and walked out of the store I did not feel anything negative. In fact I felt proud that I had remembered my limit, made a plan, and stuck to it. The man directly behind me smiled and gave a little chuckle with a nod. It gave me comfort knowing that he understood. It was an overall humbling experience, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I live a very fortunate life. I have a job I love, a roof over my head, warm clothes, a meal on the table, clean water… a family that helps me when they can. I could go on. I swear my prayers turn into rambles because of this exact reason.. I am so thankful.

So many people live paycheck to paycheck (or on food stamps) with children, illnesses, and unstable living situations. And they accept that with grace. I look up to those who make it work, find creative ways to make do, and walk out of the store with their head held high knowing that it doesn’t reflect on them. It’s just life.

When I wake up in the morning and my eyeballs are swollen shut from sleeping so hard I just lay there and think “Wow, this is mine.” And that is what motivates me to work hard everyday and accept these reality checks when they happen (and they happen often) These are the things that keep me grounded.

I found a fantastic new food blog called Budget Bytes. I was so excited when I found it because each recipe is not only delicious but there is a price on all the items it calls for. Tonight I made Garlic Parmesan Kale angel hair pasta. It was guilt-free love, and is now a new favorite recipe of mine. Quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive ($4, as a matter of fact)

Whether you’re on a tight budget or not I recommend visiting Budget Bytes. And don’t forget to welcome moments like this with love and strength, because we all need a reminder to stay humble :)

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What-I-Eat-Wednesday

I have such a bad snacking problem. Often I will wake up in the middle of the night and whisper to Andy, “You know what sounds so good right now?” he grumbles “what…” and then I say the 3 deadly words “Oreos & milk.”

I’ve decided to start What I Eat Wednesday’s where I will post a healthy snack that I love. The recipes will be as quick & easy as possible because I want these to be things that you can turn to in times of desperation. Example: If I don’t have a piece of cake right now I might just die. Solution: If I don’t have some brussel sprouts right now I just might die. See where I’m getting with this? Let’s begin day one of happy snacking. Today we are having brussel sprouts!

My question is this, why do brussel sprouts scare people? I eat them like candy. Honestly one of the easiest snacks and they are so good for you, too. Here is my quick & easy recipe.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Cut the ends off of all the brussel sprouts and peel the first couple of leaves off. Wash and rub with olive oil
  • Cut up some red (or white) onion. Do as much as you’d like. I love onions so I usually use quite a bit but do it to your preference
  • Sprinkle with a little sea salt & then put them in the oven on a cookie sheet with the onions sprinkled on top of the brussel sprouts.
  • Cook for 15 minutes and then flip them over so they cook evenly. Keep a close eye on them, everyones oven is different.
  • I usually leave them in for another 10 minutes or so and then sprinkle a tiny bit of parmesan cheese on them & put them back in until it’s melted.
Snack happy, loves!  If you’re still not convinced… 11 Health Benefits of brussel sprouts via “Eat this!” 

French Onion Soup

My Aunt Kerry is not only the sweetest woman in the world but she is also an amazing cook. When I think of her I think of summer days, white sand, delicious meals & the queen of family time. I am so lucky to have her as my auntie. She recently gave me my first cook book & tonights dinner was the first of many that will come from it. Thank you so much Aunt Kerry, the second I saw all of the delicious recipes I was making meal plans like it’s my job.

The most difficult (& by difficult I mean time consuming) thing in this recipe is chopping & cooking your onions. Give yourself plenty of time, and I recommend buying yourself a Kitchen Aid chopper to make it easier on your eyes. I also bought oven-safe bowls from Smiths Marketplace that are PERFECT.

On the menu tonight: French Onion Soup

You will need:

  • 6 large white, sweet onions thinly slices
  • 3 Tbsp of butter
  • 6 Beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 6 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 6 slices of French bread or toast
  • 1/4 cup of grated swiss cheese

Your Steps

  • Brown the onions in butter in a large deep skillet until tender.
  • Add bouillon (mixed with the water) and seasonings. Heat thoroughly.
  • Place a slice of toasted bread in each soup bowl either before or after pouring soup in the bowl. Sprinkle with (plenty) of cheese & broil for a few minutes. Enjoy!

I’m not a proud cook or anything…. :)