Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grown Up Day

A few weeks ago I looked back at my progress since starting this blog. You may remember that I'd grown a bit stagnate in my journey. I fell back into the same traps that I always do, namely, procrastination. I am the king of putting off shit that I don't want to do. I'm brilliant at convincing myself to hit the snooze button and stay in bed (I think my record is 4.5 hours of hitting it every nine minutes). There is a bag in the corner of my bedroom that is full of Christmas stocking stuffers that I really just can. not. be bothered to find a place for. I found a magazine in the back of my car from 2008 that should have been removed at some point while cleaning it out.

I don't claim to have a monopoly on procrastination. I know it's something everyone struggles with, but couple it with my extreme forgetfulness, and we've got a problem. 

My apartment was really getting out of control because of this forgetfulness. Not only did it need a good cleaning, but there were all kinds of little jobs that would take a second to complete that I'd been putting off for weeks.

So decided that a jump start is exactly what I needed. A full day of being a grown up! I was going to clean, organize, go grocery shopping, do my laundry, cook, and do all of the little odd jobs I'd been putting off.

Spoiler alert: I didn't do all of these things.

In retrospect, it was a little silly of me to expect that I'd be cool with waking up at 8 am to start cleaning. I'd been up half the night laughing at gifs from Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 and The New Normal. And I mean, it is my day off after all, I deserve a break every now and then (Morning Chris wasn't remembering the two day vacation to the cities I'd just taken). I hit the snooze for a few hours, caught up on my Facebooking, contemplated my outfit for the day, looked at my junior year High School yearbook, took about 73 selfies trying to show off my ridiculous bed head while still remaining adorable (a total failure), and then got up to shower and start my day.

I was out the door by noon to get some cleaning supplies and the groceries I needed. As per usual, it took me four stops to get everything I needed because I refuse to just make a damn list. Trying to be financially responsible, I made my first ever stop at Aldi. I hated it. It was crowded with mostly old people who were not walking as fast as I was. I'll pay the extra $5 for a regular grocery store, thank you very much. After about an hour (and a stop at Shopko, HyVee, and Cub) I was home and ready to get started.

Before I could do anything else I needed to get prepared for the tasks at hand. I took my pants off immediately, they would just get in the way. I put on an old USF Softball shirt, and donned a bandanna...cleanin' clothes.

Every time I put on a bandanna I feel like I'm serving up Sons of Anarchy, motorcycle gang realness. In reality, though, I'm pretty sure I just look like a less muscular Rosie the Riveter.

My first order of business was replacing light bulbs. Yes, that is a plural "bulbs." There were four that needed to be replaced. I'd been living in near darkness for weeks, sharing the same bulb for two different rooms, moving it around wearing an oven mitt (not even the first time I've done this). I also took the chance to put batteries in both the carbon monoxide detector (that I'd removed months ago to put in my DVD remote) and the bathroom clock (that had been dead for well over two years).

Shielding my eyes from the harsh glare of 4 new 60 watt bulbs, I started cleaning.

The bathroom really needed the most attention. I'd been putting off cleaning in there for awhile, and it was starting to look like a frat house (if a frat house had a sink coated in hairspray and glitter). Part of the reason I put off getting stuff like this done is that when I clean, I f#%!ing clean. I'm talking on my hands and knees, scrubbing the baseboards with a toothbrush. It took me three and a half hours to get it done to my liking, and now I can't stop running my hand over the clean white sink (I apparently forgot what it felt like without the hairspray crust).

I moved onto the kitchen next. The oven needed to be tackled after the last time I cooked, a task I hadn't completed in probably three years (and by probably three years, I mean most assuredly at least three years).

You guys, cleaning ovens is disgusting. I'm pretty sure I sprayed way too much cleaner, and I'm definitely sure I inhaled too much cleaner. The burnt remains of three years of cooking came off in a horrific black liquid that ran down my arms, dripped all over the floor, and threatened to stain my beautiful, beautiful fingernails forever. It took me about twenty minutes of serious scrubbing (and another ten to clean off the various black fingerprints I'd left around the kitchen). I did the dishes, swept, and took out all the trash.

Now, I was only done with two rooms, but I was f#%!ing over it, and decided to skip ahead to phase two: dirtying up the kitchen again.

You may remember my previous goal of preparing a week's worth of healthy meals on Sunday and keeping them in the fridge so I wouldn't have to figure it out last minute (and end up eating out 5 days a week). I decided it was high time to actually put this plan into practice, and found a fairly simple recipe that I wanted to try.

My friend Beth bought me a cookbook full of 4 ingredient recipes, and the one for Lemonade Chicken jumped out at me. It was super simple. 1 can frozen lemonade (thawed), a half a cup of soy sauce, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and six chicken breasts. Combine the ingredients, pour over chicken in 9" x 13" baking pan, cook covered at 350, uncover, pour liquid over chicken breasts again, and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.

It was delicious. I put each breast, along with a serving of vegetables, into a tuperware container for me to reheat for supper the rest of the week. I bought bananas for breakfast each morning and grapes (which I separated into five baggies) for lunch at work (I know, not a real lunch, but I usually just skip lunch, so it's better than nothing). I also got a box of Wheat Thins (also separated out into five portions) to take to work for a snack in the afternoon. Theoretically, I wouldn't have to spend any  money on food for the rest of the week!

I didn't get the rest of my apartment clean, and I didn't do any laundry, but I feel pretty damn great about my progress! With the apartment returned to a (semi) clean state, only minimal upkeep should be needed to keep it that way. I also felt good about my new money saving/healthy eating plan.

So good, in fact, that I rewarded myself with a box of cookies.

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