July 5th, 2014 Now Easier To Read: The Blog Redesign
It's been a couple of weeks or more since "anonymous" left a comment saying she had a hard time getting past the "ugly layout" of my blog. Honestly, I didn't care. I've never worried about having a "good looking" blog. My perspective has always centered squarely on content. If I were a little more computer savvy, I probably would have done something to change it along the way, but I'm not and it didn't seem to matter. The content was important to me, not the aesthetics. It's what's on the inside that really counts.
Then I starting reading several very friendly comments saying similar things, "I enjoy your blog but it is sometimes hard to read." This got my attention! Perhaps a redesign was in order, not because "anonymous" called the blog ugly, but because it needed to be easier on the eyes. I have great respect and admiration for fellow blogger Loretta. When Loretta offered to do a redesign, I jumped at the opportunity. She's a very talented artist too! Her idea for the redesign wasn't just a whim, she put some careful thought into what you're seeing now. Every element, from colors to design, has a carefully thought out reason for being. If you haven't visited Loretta (Or as the blogging community calls her, Retta), I highly recommend her honest and real account of her journey. Visit her blog at www.lorettasjourney.blogspot.com/ Retta has been a wonderful supporter of my blog and journey for several years and this gift she's given me is greatly appreciated!
Part of this process involved backing up everything. When Loretta suggested doing it before the application of the redesign, she mentioned how sick she would be if any or all of the blog was lost. The mere mention of it sent chills down my spine. This blog means the world to me. I love it dearly, because it is me. Inside the archives is my life story, including the stories, in part--of the people I love in my life. I didn't realize how much this blog meant to me until I opened it up to see this redesign today.
I immediately became emotional. It was perfect and I was so proud. Suddenly I realized how emotionally attached I am to these writings. All of the positive effects this blog has had on me came flooding into my mind as I strolled around, checking out the new design as tears rolled down my face. If one of the ultimate goals of an artist is to summon emotion from the viewer, Loretta my friend, you did, beautifully. Thank you.
I prepared some wonderful food today, had a great workout at the Y and spent some time tonight as a designated driver for a friend. It was a wonderful day. Tomorrow is poised to be even better. My grandson Noah turns 1 year old tomorrow and we're planning on a big party to celebrate. I'll be traveling to Stillwater to pick up mom and bring her back for this wonderful occasion. I'm bringing a few things to help out with the party supplies including: The ice cream. How wonderfully ironic! I'm not worried. I have my plan in place and I'll write about how I handled the party foods tomorrow night. I'm not sacrificing my abstinence from sugar for cake and ice cream, believe me. My focus will not be the party foods. My focus will be on family and for the most part, squarely on my little grandson.
Becky asked a good question in the comments section of yesterday's post: "Do you have any thoughts about saving money on one's food budget? I notice that when you post a picture while grocery shopping, you typically have only a few items in your cart-- probably few enough that you can go through the express lane at checkout. And yet, your meals are always so delicious-lookiing, and varied. Do you tend to buy the same types of things, and if so, is it working well for you, tastewise and wallet-wise?"
Great question Becky! I prefer smaller, more frequent trips because if I buy too much at one time, I'm worried some of it might go to waste. This approach has likely saved me money along the way. I might be spending less on groceries than I once did on fast food and restaurant meals. I still eat out occasionally, but 90% of my meals come from cooking. This hasn't been easy. Before I started taking better care, I would regularly go three or four days without using my kitchen--except for breakfast, I've been in the breakfast cooking habit for a while. Seriously, there for a while almost every lunch and dinner was in a restaurant. In comparison, I'm saving money. When I was in full-on binge mode, it was nothing to hand over $20 to $30 dollars in a day through a drive through window.
I'm fortunate in that I'm buying for one. I spend approximately 40-70 dollars per week. I buy stuff on sale all the time too. I recently went through a sirloin steak phase (notice I haven't in several days) made affordable by a special meat sale I found at a small grocery store 20 minutes north of town. I buy most of my produce at our local Aldi store. They often have pineapples for 1.19 each and avocados for 49 cents. The one thing I splurge on is Tilapia loins from Schwan's home delivery service. I don't usually buy anything else from them because of the cost. I make an exception for the Tilapia because it's the best I've found and I've looked everywhere.
As far as the variety, I don't know. I try to get creative in my meal planning within the bounds of what I have. You can always count on cheese, Jospeh's Pitas, eggs, avocados and loads of fruit. The fruit has gotten expensive for me--but again, I look at Aldi first. Measuring everything has helped too. I'm saving a bunch of food from the trash by only measuring what I'll be cooking at any one time. I think a key to this, for me, is making smaller, more frequent grocery shopping trips and making sure I use what I buy. Taste wise--oh my, yes!! I'm slowing down and taking great joy in the process of planning and preparing, then enjoying my food.
I hope I answered your questions, Becky!
Thank you for reading,