Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finance Games: The Non-Food Diet, with Drink Recipe

The word "diet" is not my favorite, as I'm typing this a month and a half after having a third baby. But humor me.

The New York Times published an interesting article Sunday about what they termed the Recession Diet. The crux was that over the past year, more so over the past several months, the combination of economic uncertainty and high gas and food prices has significantly changed spending habits. More people are going for generics, eating in, and embarking on lower-priced home renovations.

This made me think about a recent non-food diet I'd put myself on: Books. Phil and I both work in publishing and love love love books. We give each other books for presents, buy books on the bargain table we're sure we're going to read some day, give ourselves a little pick-me-up by purchasing a new book on the Times bestseller list. When I started my maternity leave, I took a look at the books on our shelves and the number of my books I'd bought or been given or received at trade shows, and realized it would be a year or more before I read through the backlog. So I put myself on a diet.

I made a few guidelines. I don't consider myself cheating in the following situations:
  • A book is given to me.
  • The book is truly necessary. So I don't consider a recent purchase of What to Expect the First Year, which replaces the one I gave to Goodwill after we were "finished" having kids, to be cheating. Determining what is "necessary" rests solely on me.
  • The book is purchased with a gift certificate, so doesn't cost me anything.

Since I started my book diet, I'm on my fourth novel that I owned and had never read. Shameful. Note the new ticker on the side of the screen.

Meanwhile, Max, Tommy, and I all came down with strep this week. Three doctor visits, three rounds of antibiotics, feeling crummy. Last night after the boys got to bed, I was feeling poorly and fondly remembering my pre-kids, pre-nursing days when my good friend Kitty passed on a hot toddy recipe, passed to her by a priest. Kitty said it was the best thing for colds and other ailments -- knocked you right out, and when you woke in the morning, you would likely be feeling better. She was right. Like the sleep aid commercials warn, however, you have to be able to devote yourself to a chunk of sleep, which I haven't been able to do in the six years since I've started having babies. So let me pass it onto you, in case someone out there is a little sickly and better equipped to drink warm alcohol:

Hot Toddy

Go put on your jammies. My remembrance is that you'll have energy maybe to brush your teeth before hitting the hay; you might as well be dressed for bed. In a mug, pour a decent amount of honey (maybe a couple tablespoons), the juice of one lemon, and maybe 3/4 inch of bourbon. Fill the mug the rest of the way with hot water. Feel better.


Hooked on Houses said...

Ooh, strep, that's the worst. It'll knock you right off your feet. And it's tough when you're the mom and have to keep going, even when you feel so lousy.

The book diet is an excellent idea. I have books stacked next to the bed, on the coffee table, on my desk, all waiting to be read. Instead, I continue to bring new ones home to add to the piles. I'm going to try dieting for a while to see if I can work through some of the stacks!

Fannie Mae said...

If you aren't signed up at www.paperbackswap.com already, you MUST do it. I'm a book addict and it's the best thing I ever did. You can feed your book habit for the price of media mail shipping. I have four cookbooks coming this week.

Also, regarding your earlier post on missing the $300 economic stimulus rebate for the last kid - you'll get that extra $300 when you file your 2008 tax return, so all is not lost! That one will pay off for you after all.

Fannie Mae

Cindy K said...

Oh, my. I had no idea about paperbackswap.com. Thank you so much for the tip, Fannie Mae! And thanks for the info on tax year 2008 -- maybe I'll file early next year.