Happy, Happy

31 Days of Eating at Home

Okay! Next Tuesday is the day my eat at home experiment begins. I’m excited and already have two meals semi-prepped. Only 29 more to go! O_o


Even though Mikey had strep throat, we caught it so early he was better in no time. This was a big load off my mind.


I had the day all to myself so I was able to catch up on some projects I didn’t really want to do. Paying bills was one of them, but it ended up giving me the push I needed to start my eat at home project, so I can’t complain.


Every week I get new TV show recommendations. The 7th grade is bound and determined to get me to watch TV just like I am bound and determined to get them to read books. Most of the time, it’s stuff like Pretty Little Liars (girls) or Duck Dynasty (boys). This time, a boy suggested I watch Sons of Anarchy. I almost slid out of my chair. Isn’t that show supposed to be incredibly violent? Of course, what do I know. There was a 1st grade boy who asked me the other day if I had any “Walking Dead” books. WHAT?! Buddy, we don’t even have Twilight. Get out of here with your Walking Dead. Then, on the same day and in the same 7th grade class another boy asked me to order more Charles Dickens. The range of 7th grade personalities and interests is best represented by walking up to a soda fountain and fixing yourself a Suicide. (Tell me that’s not just a 1980s California thing.)

Observation: parents everywhere will let their kids watch movies about zombies or read a book about kids killing kids, but they’ll freak the hell out if there is kissing or bad words.


I was unproductive all day but was able to pull it together late afternoon and make some pizza dough using a recipe from Jessica’s cookbook. I popped them in the freezer and boom. Two meals for next month now ready to go.

Some answers to a few questions:

Go ahead and use the #eatathome tag on Instagram. The more the merrier! The cookbook I will be using for freezer meals is the one I have mentioned before and linked to above. It’s great, and I highly recommend it. If you don’t feel like buying anything right now, check out Jessica’s websites: Life As Mom and Good Cheap Eats. Both are a great source for menus, budgets, and meal plans.


I just found out my favorite flour might be sold at Walmart super centers. Say what?! I’ve been buying it at health food stores, no doubt at a premium. I’m going to Walmart and buying at least two bags if it’s true. If it’s not, I’ll go tot he health food store and buy one bag. That flour makes the best cakes!

The Weekend

The Mister comes home! Yay! It’s only for a couple of days, but we’ll take it. I’ll use some of that time to make same meals ahead of time and do some meal planning.

Have a happy, happy weekend, everyone.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    A Suicide is not just a 1980’s California thing. We used to make those at the local skating rink in the 70’s in SC. 😉

    My jaw dropped when you mentioned the titles your 7th graders are requesting you order/watch. Wow.

    • says

      Not all of them–just one boy who I suspect has older brothers and sisters. That’s another thing I’ve noticed. Those with older siblings are exposed to more mature content earlier. I can say the same about Nico, unfortunately.

  2. says

    ” WHAT?! Buddy, we don’t even have Twilight. Get out of here with your Walking Dead” – I’m dying on that one! So true! I saw a fraction of one Sons of Anarchy episode and almost fell over – I just can’t take that stuff in my head, so much violence and weapons and twisted relationships. Freezer meals make me happy – especially simple stuff like batches of rice and grains and beans. Oh, and sandwiches!! So nice to make a bunch at once and have them to pull out when we are running late.

    • says

      Kids today have grown up with video games that are all about war and battles and crime. They are completely desensitized to violence. I gave them all a lecture about that and about what the zombies they love so much symbolize. They were speechless.

  3. says

    Have been out of the loop online, and one reason is that I’ve been making a much bigger effort with food. Won’t lie: It is work. But it’s worth it. I’m looking forward to seeing how your experiment goes.

  4. says

    A Suicide is not just an 80’s California thing….we were doing the same in Kentucky in the 80’s! And fortunately (unfortunately?) the tradition still lives on – without me even mentioning how this concoction was made in my heyday, my teen began filling his cup at the soda foundation with all the drinks. Must just be a teen thing.

    Good luck with your eat at home challenge! Preparation and predetermined menus will be key!

  5. Shannon says

    Love it! The Suicide was called The Graveyard here in Seattle and it was such a treat to go to one of the crunchy (for the 80’s) stores that sold bulk food, candy and soda and make a few 2-liters of it for sleepovers. :)

  6. says

    Even us midwesterners made our Suicide’s back in the day. Made me smile to remember it.

    You got me thinking about the Hunger Games/Eleanor and Park thing. I think as parents we tend to let the fantasy things slide because it’s all just pretend, but when we read things – even in fiction – that are truly horrible (like Eleanor’s step-father situation) we want to shelter our children. They are just too real for US to face so we want to keep our kids from them as well.

    It’s too bad about what happened in Minnesota – as parents it’s a great opportunity to talk real world issues with children in a safe way.

    • says

      I agree. A lot of the kids at school have seen the scary shows, and quite a few of them have watched The Walking Dead (!!) and I think it’s because it’s so obviously fake that we tune out and forget that it is horribly violent. I know we’re guilty of it, too. My husband likes to watch Transformers with the boys, which I can’t stand. I think it’s way too violent and not appropriate, but it’s a battle I lost this summer.

  7. says

    Many things to say here:
    1. I almost spit my water all over the computer I can’t afford to ruin. Suicide! Yes, I totally get the reference, but I’m SoCal, circa 1980s, so I can’t help you there.
    2. The flour comes in 5 and TEN pound bags at my Walmart. I think the big bag is in the five dollar range — when they have it — it’s quite popular. Also, the bags have a tendency to break when a male checker is dragging it across the scanner. It’s happened TWICE, once when the guy forgot his blue apron and was dusted in flour all day.
    3. I’m honored that my book is going to escort you through #eatathome. Wow.
    4. I am going to do my 31 days on DIY convenience foods, so let me know what mystery you want solved. :)

    • says

      I just got back from Walmart with 3 bags of flour. (Three bags of other stuff, too, which is why I try to avoid Walmart.) I’m so excited! My life has become one where I’m excited about the price of flour.

  8. says

    Oh, if only such high-quality ingredients could be found at a Walmart near me. It won’t happen. But it’s nice to dream. I can barely find produce there outside of the basics. Ah well. Can’t wait to see how the 31 days of eating at home goes!

  9. says

    Oh no, the Suicide soda is very much a real thing here too. I always thought it was gross, but a lot of boys I grew up with were big fans…connoisseurs really. They all had their own special combinations.

    My 6&8 year old nephews watch The Walking Dead, and it baffles my brain that their parents still don’t know why they get nightmares and have anxiety attacks any time you mention zombies. Oh well, what do I know – I’m just some idiot with no kids who thinks she knows something (their words). 😉

    Glad to hear the cooking at home challenge is off to a great start! I’m considering some make-ahead meals for my lunches this week, and hopefully I’ll have time to share them on my blog next week!

    Have a great weekend!

    • says

      Suicides are total boy things. So were Garbage Pail Kids. Don’t know if anyone remembers that 80s nightmare?

      I couldn’t believe there were 7th graders who watch The Walking Dead (most of them don’t, thank goodness) so you can imagine my shock when the 1st grader told me it was his favorite show! Nico and Mikey don’t even like to watch some episodes of Scooby Doo because it’s too scary. O_o

      • Phaedra says

        I DO remember Garbage Pail Kids. Wow.. that’s a blast from the past (that I have apparently blocked out of my mind. eeww :) )

  10. Phaedra says

    Suicides exist here in PDX, too. I remember them as completely gross & nasty personally, but boys always seem to love them and they live on.
    Walking Dead? Really people?! Well, this from the mom of a girl who still isn’t a fan of Harry Potter at age 8 because it scares her ‘just a little bit mom’. I’m with her on scary shows & movies generally, so what do I know? My kiddo has two older (18 & 16) half-brothers and has been exposed to FAR more than she ever should have been because their dad caters to the OLDEST age group when he has them (because that’s what he wants to watch, too) rather than the youngest. *don’t get me started on THAT ongoing battle! sigh.
    Also, why is it ok to let kids watch extreme violence (in any form- video, movie, tv) but when it comes to sexual content we set the bar much differently? (not that I want my child watching either, but it’s been a question for the ages!)
    Love that you’re already got a couple things stashed in the freezer & ready to go for your project month! YAY! I just went out to Jessica’s website and grabbed a couple meal plans because I needed a bump in motivation. Thank you for the link.
    The weather’s turned & fall is definitely here. It’s time for chili & soups and cozy food (which also happen to be great make ahead things! whew!)
    Have a great weekend with the Mister & the boys. Happy, Happy indeed!

    • says

      Mikey and Nico don’t trust Scooby Doo cartoons, so I’m not exactly raising horror fans either!

      If you think about it, if you were to show a movie with as much sexual content as some of the movies we let our kids watch have violence, I bet that movie would approach an X rating.

      I really think Kate really touched on something in her comment above. The violence seems impossible, fake. Could never happen to our kids and we trust them to view it with our adult eyes. The sex? This is when we panic. This seems more real to us.

      • Phaedra says

        Scooby Doo- HA! YEP. Ava likes the old style ones (you know, the ones we watched when we were little) , but some of the newer Scooby Doo stuff? It ain’t happenin’ in our house. HA!

        Very good point about the S E X seeming ‘more real’ as opposed to crazed zombies.(Yay Kate!)
        I also love your point about sexual content level v. violence approaching ‘X’ rating. I think there should be an X rating not just for sexual content, but for violence, as well. That might give our culture a wake-up call, but probably not now that I think about it. sigh. I will continue to have the most uncool kid in school because I allow her to watch TV Y. I’m appalled by some of the TV that’s TV PG so.. clearly I’m not ‘with it’

  11. says

    Wow, my kids certainly don’t watch any of that zombie/vampire/hillbilly duck stuff around here. The surreal world of “Adventure Time” is about it for my 3rd grader. However, my middle schooler is fairly obsessed with a YouTube animation series called “Happy Tree Friends,” featuring cute little creatures dying violent cartoon deaths!

    Also: your 31 day challenge got me thinking about recent changes to our dining out vs. cooking at home habits. Kinda patting myself on the back for realizing that in the last 2 months, we’ve cooked 6 nights a week — (*almost* every week) and dined out just 1x a week. We used to be much, much worse, and our budget was really feeling it. (I buy coffees/lattes MAYBE once a week, so that’s not really a bad habit for me.) Even though I can’t quite join the challenge for 31 days, I think we’re pretty close. And I’ll be following along & hoping to steal ideas! :)

  12. Torey says

    Where I grew up they called those drinks “A Green River”, which kind of makes sense since they look/taste disgusting. We homeschool so my kids are pretty sheltered as far as TV/Movies go. My 5th grader watches I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best, and Gilligan’s Island on Amazon Prime. She’s always begging me to find another old show she can watch. Current TV we watch is limited to PBS. I don’t want them watching violence or sex.

  13. Val says

    OMG to Wednesday’s Observation re: violence vs sex — what IS that?? It drives me freaking nuts! Nobody seems to get remotely scandalized about extreme, disturbing, intense violence, even when it involves characters that are still children! I remember my eight year-old nephew last year telling me that he was “so worried about Sophia, because she’s still lost” and I couldn’t figure out who the heck he was talking about. It was the Walking Dead! What the what? Like, he was up nights troubled over it and then completely devastated when he saw the episode where it was revealed that she had turned into a zombie and then they had to kill her. He could not remotely handle it. And his parents were like, “Meh, he’ll be fine.

    But let there be some random nudity in something and we’ve suddenly got to kill the TV. I’ll never get it.

    Also – Southern kids make suicides at the fountain machines, too. No idea why they’re called that. And the challenge is super-exciting – good luck! I’ve been leaning heavily on my freezer-cookbook lately, too, with great success.

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