Arugula SaladSo, dinner last night consisted of a really yummy salad of mixed greens with spinach, arugula, sunflower seeds, grated Parmesan cheese and some lardons dressed with some freshly-cracked pepper. What are lardons, you ask? It’s basically a fancy French way of saying little strips of fried bacon.

It was delicious, and it was another let’s-use-whatever-we’ve-got sort of kitchen sink meal. I had bacon leftover from a previous salad, we wiped out the Parmesan, I love throwing sunflower seeds into all of my salads for that salty little crunchy surprise, and we dressed it simply with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Not bad for using what you have on hand, if I do say so myself!

Have any of you ever heard of The Grocery Game? It’s basically a voucher site, but something about this one I like better than other voucher sites…well, actually, I know what: Its design is more catchy, you can view all of the products on sale/with vouchers from your local stores at once, you can sort by product or store name, Sainsburys is included, you can print your list…

But you have to pay £5 every eight weeks after your free trial of 28 days. At first I thought it was £30, which I don’t think would have been worth it but yesterday alone I gathered £10 worth of vouchers, for stuff I actually normally buy/use — even the healthy stuff at Sainsburys, like Seventh Generation dish soap and facial tissue! And I’m behind the game because I just started keeping my voucher inserts whole and dating them (most sites, like these two, tell you what insert by date and name the voucher is in, so if you’re like me before and cut them and sort of leave them all over the place, I can never tell now, for example, if I’ve already clipped and/or used an Always voucher from May 15th). I’m really excited about this one. I have four weeks to try it, so we’ll see how it goes. I do believe that sometimes you have to spend money in order to save money.

Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying your week. We took a nice long walk to our local Dairy Queen last night — a once-in-a-summer sort of thing — and there’s only one other place I have on my to-do list to go with the baby another night to kind of get it out of my system, but bagels have also always had a summer sort of connotation for me (dating back to my secondary school volleyball days!) so hopefully we’ll pop over to a bagel shop and surprise Daddy one morning. Also on my summer list is an outdoor mall with a splash pad for kids, a walk in the forest preserve, hitting a museum on a free day, going to the beach, going to my dad’s golf club pool and possibly joining a local group to make more friends around here. The days just fly by if you don’t up and decide to Just Do It, so maybe we’ll knock another item off this list today.

What are your plans now that summer is in full swing? Inspire me!

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