What’s in Your Pantry?

I plan to do a lot of cooking today, so I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner this week. Before I started cooking, though, I decided to reorganize the kitchen pantry. My pantry can only be described as a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t go in the refrigerator. I wish I had taken a “before” picture. There were bags and boxes strewn everywhere without rhyme or reason, and I honestly didn’t know what was there anymore.

I also know I’m buying items I already have at the grocery store – like taco shells. So many taco shells. I’m all set for at least a month of Taco Tuesdays.

When I took everything out, I found many expired products from the pandemic lockdown, like an enormous box of pancake mix from late 2021 and some oven-ready lasagne noodles from 2022. And then, there was a pile of random boxes that I purchased in duplicates and, in some cases, triplicates. Like, what am I doing with three different containers of granola, four boxes of Swiss Miss instant hot chocolate packets, five bags of croutons, and six cans of tomato soup?! Not to mention all of the kosher for Passover items I swore I’d make good use of and never did.

I intended to spend about half an hour going through everything and putting it back neatly. Two hours, three trash bags, and one full bin of recycling later, I now have a beautifully organized pantry.

Now, it’s time to start cooking for the week.

How are you spending your Sunday? Let me know in the comments.



Another First

Jenna is leaving for her first business trip tomorrow. She is headed to St. Louis for a three-day training. I bet this is the first time she will have a hotel room all to herself. No brother to share a bathroom with, and she doesn’t have to hear me snore in the bed next to her. Her job will cover food and travel; she will have to remember to save her receipts and submit an expense report.

Wow! Baby’s first business trip! So bizarre, and yet actually happening. She is already well-traveled, having spent part of her summer in Israel and on her own in Greece. When he returned from that trip, she told us she had become just like her Dad, a Type-A traveler who has her paperwork at her fingertips and makes sure not to pack an entire tube of toothpaste in her carry-on bag.

My first business trip was to Portland, Oregon. I worked in a publishing company as an editorial assistant and was tasked with organizing a retreat for 30 teachers to learn about a pilot program called “new math.” I planned the logistics for the trip and answered everyone’s questions beforehand. I was thrilled when my boss asked me if I also wanted to attend. At that point, I had never been west of anywhere. My family stuck to east coast vacations.

Portland was awesome. We were in the Mount Hood area, which was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time ensuring the food and the buses arrived on time, so I didn’t get to explore beyond my hotel. I realized on that trip if I wanted to be a tourist in the places where I was traveling, I’d have to go a day or two early or stay after the conference ended.

My next business trip was to San Diego. I arrived two days early and hopped on a double-decker tourist bus to see the sights myself. I remember feeling so grown up, and for the first ten years of my career, I traveled around the country to Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto, Orlando, Las Vegas, and many more cities in between. When I came home, I gave my parents cool refrigerator magnets as a souvenir from my adventures. When I go home to visit them, they serve as colorful reminders of where I’ve been.

So where did you go for your first business trip? Let me know in the comments. 



July Q&A

TGIF, everyone! It’s been a long week, and I’m a little behind on my blog posts. I still have enough time to make it up to you, though. In tonight’s post, I’m answering some of your most pressing questions from your comments on past posts. Enjoy!

Family Matters

Question: You are doing no book buy July, and your son is doing no shave July; what is the rest of your family doing?

Answer: My husband, son, and I are all doing a step challenge through our swim club. My husband’s team is in second place, while Andrew and I are fighting not to be in last place. I finally bought a FitBit during Amazon Prime Days, so my steps have increased dramatically. It’s incredible how a fitness watch can really motivate you.

As for Jenna, I don’t think she is doing any challenges right now. She is busy working two jobs, and we are moving her into her new apartment next weekend. She also commented on several of my blogs this week and approved of me buying a writing desk for her bedroom. She just asked that I donate her old desk to charity. 🙂

First World Problems

Question: How did you fix your phone?

Answer: Andrew and I looked at my storage and realized that my Apple podcast app was set to automatically download many episodes to my phone. There were over 200 podcasts downloaded that I had no idea was even there! Once I deleted them, my storage magically returned to a standard setting.

Question Have you ever tried to go a week without buying anything?

Answer: This question was a comment from my “No Book Buy July” post. The answer – no. I don’t even know what that would look like. Sometimes, I work all day and have no time to make dinner. This happens at least once a week. If I didn’t buy dinner at Wawa once a week, I think I’d feel deprived. It’s one thing not to buy books, but hoagies?! No thanks.

On Writing

Question: Is writing therapeutic to you?

Answer: Definitely! First of all, writing is how I make sense of the world. When I get my thoughts down on paper or posted here, I feel like a weight has been lifted. What’s even better is when you, as the reader, can relate to what I’m saying. It’s the best feeling to know that I’m not the only one in the world feeling this way. And knowing this makes me feel a little less alone.

Have a great night! See you tomorrow.


1 2 3 4 5 6 137

%d bloggers like this: