wfmw: just say no

I had the t-shirt. You know the one, kelly green, big white circle with the words “Just say no.” inside.  I totally wish I still had that shirt, not that it would even come close to fitting, but it would go great on the t-shirt quilt I’ve been working on for 5 years a while. 

More and more though I am realizing the importance of saying, “no,” at the right times and for the right reasons. College was my season of “yes,” I did everything, I went everywhere. It’s midnight and I have a test tomorrow, do I want to play disc golf? “Of course!” ………. Everyone is going out to dinner and I have no money, do I want to go? “Sure”………You get the idea.  In grad school work took precedence and I got better at saying no (though I still couldn’t turn down disc golf at any hour).  Once we were married it got even easier to say no to going out and doing “stuff” all the time, it was great to have time for just the two of us.

I see more now the importance of saying no in so many different areas of my life:

Saying no to things. This covers a huge variety of topics but with increasing gas prices, living on one income, a baby on way, we area learning to say no to a lot of the tangible “stuff” that the world hawks to us. DVDs, expensive foods, fancy new phones every year, fashionable clothes, knick-knacks that clutter up our home, etc. Saying no to these things keeps our budget in check and keeps our lives simpler and free from clutter.

Saying no to “doing.”  I love to go out, Jon is content to stay home and veg pretty much all the time though and this has rubbed off on me some. I’m learning that you don’t have to go to movies or out to dinner or go on a big vacation to have fun, staying at home and being creative can be just as great. Making homemade pizza, renting a movie from the library, reading outloud to each other, going for walks, etc. These are all ways that we avoid the urge to “go and do” and it really gives us more quality time together and keeps life simpler.

Saying no to a spirit of discontent. Sometimes I feel like we say no to everything. Yes, I would love to take an extra trip each month to visit friends or family, but the gas budget doesn’t allow it. Yes, I want that wonderful $5 single scoop of ice cream from the over-priced ice cream shop. Yes, I want to keep that cute little picture even though I have no where to hang it in my home. Sometimes it’s a battle, a fight to be content and happy in saying no, to really remind myself that “things” and events aren’t the makings of a happy life.

On a side note… I am slightly concerned that our child’s first words are going to be “No Finn!” I counted, I’ve told that silly cat “no” 4 times just while sitting here writing this post! Maybe it’s just Finn’s goal in life to give me practice at Just Saying No.

This post is part of Works For Me Wedenesday, hosted by Rocks in my Dryer. Check out more works for me tips.

update on my freezer meals

So last week I made Swiss Chicken as a freezer prep meal for when the baby arrives! I froze each chicken breast on a piece of tinfoil on a pan and then when they were frozen wrapped them up real good. No picture, but they turned out GREAT!

This week I made Chicken Tetrazzini (I think I have spelled this about 5 different ways…. but this is the right way according to dictionary.com). I made three of them in tinfoil lined round cake pans and once they froze I popped them out of the cake pans, wrapped them and stacked them in my freezer.

YAY! Two weeks down and I am on track! Recipes are below:

Swiss Chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup and 1/4 c milk, mix
1/2 stick of margarine, melted
place 3 chicken breasts (I used 4) on a pammed piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Place slices of swiss cheese on top. Spoon soup mixture over each breast. Sprinkle with 2 c herb stuffing mix (the crumbly kind not the cubes). Drizzle with butter. (I decided to wait and will drizzle with butter once they thaw right before cooking. 
Bake 350, 50 – 60 mn, uncovered.

Chicken Tetrazzini

  • 1 whole chicken, cook and save broth
  • 1/2 c. margarine
  • 1/2 c. plain flour
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth (from what you just boiled)
  • 2 1/2 c. milk
  • 8 oz. velveeta type cheese
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 4 oz. grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Cook noodles in broth from chicken. Drain. Using a large pot melt butter and saute onions and peppers. Add flour to make a paste and slowly add broth until smooth. Add milk and both cheeses. Mix until melted and be careful this is easy to burn! Add chopped chicken and cooked noodles. Pam a 9×13 pan or larger (or split into separate containers for freezing). Top with buttered cracker crumbs (1 sleeve Ritz type crackers and 3/4 stick of butter).

Cook uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or at 350 for 45 minutes if casserole is cold. If frozen, thaw completely before cooking!

frozen meals

I have a new goal… actually I have lots of goals… maybe I should write about them sometime. But right now I have a goal to make at minimum one extra meal per week until the baby arrives to freeze so we’ll have some good hearty, healthy food when we’re too tired to make it.  If I don’t do this I can very easily imagine us resorting to cereal and french fries (with cheese and ranch dressing). I can imagine this easily because we have, sadly, resorted to this type of fare for dinner on other occasions. There… I’ve confessed it! At least I’m taking a step toward keeping it from happening again. Though I must say, cheese fries with ranch are one of Jon’s favorites and the news that Outback’s Cheese Fries are the #1 worst food for you in America did not stop him from enjoying some this past weekend… (perhaps I should have brought this fact up again when he was talking last night about how he needs to work out because he can’t see his abs anymore!)

So we’ll see how I do with this goal… and I’ll post what recipes I decide to use as I go.