Refrigerator Prepping: Mission “Eat These Groceries”

Since returning from Guatemala my eating habits have been horrendous.  Just plain gross.

I ate so healthy in Guatemala, the land of daily farmers markets and cheap produce-Hey, did you know that all the local goodness at the farmers market in Coban is not all grown by the farmers selling?  Did you know that some of the people selling aren’t farmers at all?  Shocking right (as I clench my chest struggling for air).  I looked back on photos taken while exploring the market and some of the bags of apples had PRODUCE TAGS ON THEM!  Like the tags they scan AT THE GROCERY STORE as you stand at the register!  Or could the vendors also sell to local grocers and whatever they don’t sell at market, they just send to the store?  Nope.  Doubt it. […]

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Hello!

If you’re one of my amazing followers/subscribers you are probably looking at the notification or email thinking wow, another post so soon from the infrequent blogger?  Why yes.  I’m on a roll.  For the time being.  A few months ago I fake committed to an overly ambitious challenge.  To blog every day for 30 days.  Stupid, right?  I blog when I feel motivated and have something I think is worth sharing.  

I initially started blogging with the thought that everyone was going to read my amazing bodies of work.  Companies and brands would fall out of blog heaven and send me free stuff.  Collaborate.  Pay me.  Love me.  I was gonna be in bloggy bliss and a fan favorite.  YouTube makes it look so easy (as I think of the video titles I’ve seen this week; “Look I bought a house, My first Range Rover, How I make $5000 a week on YouTube”).  

I’ve come to realize that I enjoy blogging.  A LOT.  My site is where I share my struggles, my life, my journey, and the quirky side of Ashley the world doesn’t get to see.  I’m a pretty awesome, brave, goofy girl on my blog!  

“Okay Ashley, great job and… CUT!  Roll to the next scene”

Since returning from Guatemala my eating habits have been horrendous.  Just plain gross.

I ate so healthy while in Guatemala, the land of daily farmers markets and cheap produce-Hey, did you know that all the local goodness at the farmers market in Coban is not all grown by the farmers selling?  Did you know that some of the people selling aren’t farmers at all?  Shocking right (as I clench my chest struggling for air).  I looked back on photos taken while exploring the market and some of the bags of apples had PRODUCE TAGS ON THEM!  Like the tags they scan AT THE GROCERY STORE as you stand at the register!  Or could the vendors also sell to local grocers and whatever they don’t sell at market, they just send to the store?  Nope.  Doubt it.

I have enjoyed many, many, many delicious Oreos-both the mint and original kind

Xtra Xtra hot Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (and several other variation of Frito Lay hot chips)

Sour Skittles-lots of sour Skittles

Fast food

Ramen Noodles-but I make them seem fancy with a homemade broth, savory veggies, sesame oil, and soy sauce

I also scarfed down plenty of other CRAP!

As a result, my stomach is upset with me

Very upset-like brown stew factory galore in the toilet, upset

I hear my intestines communicating with me.

We’ve come to the understanding that I need to get back to eating better before I implode

Deep down inside, I appreciate stomach bugs

I see the opportunity as a free detox, a jump-start to eating well. The kick in the butt I need to springboard me into action!

I went to the grocery store and as always, bought groceries like I was someone else-the person I long to be deep down inside

The health conscious woman

It fascinates me to fill up my cart with leafy greens, shiny-chemically glazed apples, organic grapes, avocado, real juice, and other pretty vegetables.

The looks on people’s faces when you stand in check-out with no meat and a cart full of skinny people heaven is priceless-especially if you are standing next to someone with an oxygen tank pushing a cart full of hot dogs, Pepsi, tv dinners, chips, and the “chef’s special” meat, looking super grody (translation: gross) is the white cellophane container it calls home.  Animal blood oozing through the plastic wrap used to contain it.

Makes me feel so accomplished.

The problem is, I get all this glorious food home and it sits.  And sits and rots.  This is a pattern.  Throwing the stuff out is a bi-weekly bingeing session

Well this week it won’t be!

I decided to prep my refrigerator!

And that is…..

I cleaned all the fruit, stored it in Tupperware

Washed and prepped all the vegetables

Stored everything is clear containers so that it is all easily identifiable

And stored them on shelves in the refrigerator in a way where I am able to visualize everything at a glance

I bought lots of food, so this took time

Here’s the list of what I did (because I am proud of my accomplishment-remember, I’m a millennial, praise me)

  1. Washed and cut collard greens-stored ‘em in the crisper.  To preserve them and keep them crisp I laid the greens on dampened paper towel
  2. Washed and cut all of the sweet, bell, and jalapeno peppers-stored them all in separate containers
  3. Washed and sliced mushrooms-stored those as well
  4. Washed and sliced onions-found a plastic temporary home for them too 
  5. Washed and cut carrots, stored ‘em
  6. Washed, chopped and stored green onions in a container
  7. Washed and stored grapes-even organic grapes need to be washed!  I just learned this yesterday, I was eating them straight out of the bag!  I have been doing this FOREVER! If there are no pesticides, why wash, right?
  8. Stored strawberries in a container-I learned NOT to wash them because they get mushy
  9. Chopped cantaloupe- you guessed it, put them in a container
  10. Sliced 2 WHOLE PINEAPPLES!  Store those too-after pratically eating half of one in the process
  11. Stored blueberries and cranberries
  12. Washed the cilantro and put it in the second crisper drawer
  13. Washed brussel sprouts, but put them back in the bag they came in because at this point, I was out of containers (I didn’t want to invest in buying more, knowing that commitment and I struggle to see eye-to-eye).

I left the grapefruit and mangoes in the produce bags and stored them in the fridge because they weren’t quite ripe yet and I wanted to speed up the process.  I would’ve also prepped the avocado, but they too need more time.

I stored coconut flakes and chia seeds in small containers that allow me to take what I need with ease.

Now this was no quick task.  It took me about 3-4 hours

But my refrigerator looks so organized!  All the food stored inside is un-intimidating (I don’t think that’s a real word).  Everything is inviting!  Open me, eat me, enjoy me!  Thank God it is all healthy and not just containers full of Flamin’ Hots and sour Skittles.

The prep time on the front end, relieves me of prepping when I am ready to prepare a meal.  Everything is basically already done, I just have to add ingredients to the skillet or pot!

Much of my cooking obstacle has been the lack of time.  With this method, I anticipate grabbing things that are already prepped and getting straight to the fun part

It was actually kind of therapeutic to be in my own little chopping world for an afternoon.  

We will see how effective this strategy is and hopefully it will become a part of my “you better eat those freaking groceries” routine.

Try it out, let me know how it works for you and your family!

So far so good, I ate pineapple and sautéed vegetables for breakfast and the time from refrigerator to table, was less than 10 minutes!

I think I’m onto something here (happy “Lord let me return to the land of skinny” dance)

May your refrigerator become more organized and you never lose precious food items in the belly of the “back of the refrigerator” monster.

Bullet Note booking

Since I’ve been home I have been busy doing, honestly a lot of nothing (in my God honest opinion).  Aside from continuing to travel within the US, I have been private tutoring and struggling to finish my final year as a graduate student.  I am presently pursuing a dual Masters in Exceptional Education and Reading.  I can admit that I am struggling with my graduate studies because I’m not organized.  I struggle because I can’t juggle and am pretending to know how to with my eyes closed while balancing on a unicycle and uploading the video to my Instragram Story.  I am trying to balance

Since I’ve been home I have been busy doing, honestly a lot of nothing (in my God honest opinion).  Aside from continuing to travel within the US, I have been private tutoring and struggling to finish my final year as a graduate student.  I am presently pursuing a dual Masters in Exceptional Education and Reading.  I can admit that I am struggling with my graduate studies because I’m not organized.  I struggle because I can’t juggle and am pretending to know how to with my eyes closed while balancing on a unicycle and uploading the video to my Instragram Story.  I am trying to balance

building a brand

blogging

private tutoring- both seeking and maintaining clientele

traveling

keeping a house clean-it Guatemala I was spoiled and cleaning was NOT my responsibility

and being a domesticated girlfriend (I’m trying babe-a-licious)

My life is a complicated snow-globe and right now I keep shakin’ it up

To help my snow-globe settle into organized compartments I started a bullet journal/notebook

A bullet notebook is a simple way to organize life on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis  

Now, I just started using it and it is still new to me but I’m having fun creating templates that work for me

I am a sucker for art supplies and visited by local art supply store

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Art supplies are my oxygen, my water, my coconut oil, my Urban Decay setting spray, my Nair hair depilatory cream-I live for fine point, vibrant color pens

Durable, overly priced notebooks

Multipurpose, rainbow-hued sticky tabs

Silver, shiny heavy-duty rulers-that I honestly shouldn’t have bought since I’ve learned that I am incapable of drawing a straight line

Gold duct tape that I had to have in my overly ambitious moment of thinking I could embellish the black leather exterior

Fancy shamsy paper and PVA glue that I thought I would be using to further accessorize the gold “look at me” cover

Let me walk you through the process

I duct taped the cover and backing

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I then covered the duct tape in PVA glue

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I covered the duct tape and glue with the fancy shamsy paper

I allowed the artsy looking sales associate at the art store to convince me that I could do a project that was over my head.  She looked so artistic and I thought her art vibes would rub off on me

I get too excited about a task, heart rate increases, glitter chamber in my brain pulses, palms perspire and my wallet opens willingly

On top of the fancy shamsy paper I applied hella (translation: lots of) layers of PVA glue-this may be where I went wrong

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I then set the notebook out to dry

FOR SEVEN DAYS

It dried to a tacky finish

Epic fail

I used my new creation to rip off my leg hairs-literally

As my eyes swelled with tears and my lip trembled-intro to poking out

My heartless-compassion deprived-babe-a-licious commenced to chuckle at my pain

That gave me courage to wipe away those defeated tears and readjust my lip

I decided to simply rip off the tacky, hairy mess of a cover and stick with the classic leather black binding, thank God it wasn’t disturbed by my horrible Frankenstein-ish creation

Sometimes simple is the best way to go

After wasting a week on a failed DIY, I was ready to put some content in this bullet journal

Again, doin the most

I decided I wanted to use stencils and stampers to create a traditional monthly calendar

This is how I concluded that I don’t know how to use a ruler to make a straight line

I started out marking plots, then trying to connect the plots with a straight line

Line, not straight

I figured it didn’t work out because I was too anxious and excited

Attempt 2

I went a little slower

Result

I slowly drew a crooked line

Now I started crying and throwing things around

the genius-of course I can-babe-a-licious showed me a demo after laughing the tears back into their ducts

Attempt 3

I drew triangles at the points and connected the points of the triangles

It was looking hopeful

Result

Fail- Another

Crooked

Line

I concluded I was doing too much

After ripping out 5 pages of expensive, quality, artist fantasies paper

I went back and decided to keep it simple

I did what was comfortable for me, basic bullet notebook format

It slowly started to come together

I’d finished a basic monthly calendar

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Weekly calendar

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And stopped there because it was midnight

I’m off to a good start bullet notebooking!

Glitter is settling successfully into categories that  make sense and will promote by productivity!

Graduate school is kicking my tail!  But getting organized is making tasks do-able and gives me a clear visual

I’m off to a good start, for now!

Yes, I am aware that I haven’t written for two days, but I have been traveling and am in Atlanta.  Wanna keep up with my whereabouts? Follow me on Instagram @ashmvtine

#theBpumwrites