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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

I have questions for you all, and I’m hoping you have some answers! Those answers will inform my next steps in a way that I hope will be of benefit to you.

I’m batting around the idea of separating my meal plan from my normal Sunday posts. The way I think of it, if anyone is looking for ideas for what to have for dinner, Sunday is probably too late at that point. If I were to post a weekly meal plan on Friday, it would give you the weekend to grocery shop and prep. But I realize that is making a lot of assumptions about how you meal plan (or don’t), grocery shop (or don’t), and prep (or don’t). Hence the poll. Could you please help me out and leave the answers to these questions in the comments?

a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

  1. Weekend
  2. Weekday
  3. Who plans that ish? I go when I need stuff.

b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

  1. Traditional grocery store (including Costco, Sams Club, Super Target)
  2. More specialized grocery stores (including Whole Foods, Trader Joes)
  3. Online delivery service (including Amazon)
  4. Co-op or health food store

c) Do you meal prep?

  1. Yes!
  2. B, you’re crazy

d) When do you meal prep?

  1. Saturday or Sunday
  2. During the week
  3. B, you’re crazy

e) Would you be interested if I posted weekly meal plans on Fridays, and included a printable menu AND shopping list? For free of course.

  1. Yes!
  2. Nah, keep your Sunday posts as is. And the pass the Nutella.

I appreciate your answers in advance! My goal and hope is to make this blog user-friendly for ya’ll, and I think this may be a way to serve a need.weekly meal plan

Jack is out of school this Wednesday, and I am borderline freaking out. Currently, I work on blog stuff while Bennett is down for his afternoon nap. He dropped his morning nap (whaaaaaaaa), so I now crunch hard for 90 minutes when he is sleeping. I am always working once B is asleep, and the afternoon work time is vital to me. I feel like I am finally getting traction on taking this space to where I want it to go, and having Jack home is going to put a damper in the routine. He’s signed up for a few activities and camps this summer, and we plan to be at the public library summer program almost every other day. But day in and day out, I am still faced with having him around and bored during my critical work time. He is a wonderful independent reader, but I feel like if I want to work without interruption, he’s going to be watching more television than I am comfortable with this summer.

I have already reworked my early mornings to hopefully accommodate an extra hour of work time. Currently, I get up between 4:30 and 5 am to help my mom. I then shower, eat breakfast, and try to do some blog work. Bennett is now waking up by 6 am most days, which further compresses my ability to get computer work done. For the summer, when Troy is home, my plan is to get up at the same time, but instead of the doing rest of the stuff, I’ll just do computer/blog work. Having Troy around in the mornings means I can shower and get ready when everyone is awake. When Troy is at work, I’ll do my normal routine, and just try to add extra time at the end of the day. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Oh hey, happy Father’s Day all the dads out there! Hoping your day brings some sleep in time, a great breakfast, wonderful hugs, and thoughtful gifts. We are headed to Troy’s parent’s house today, along with my parents and Troy’s sister. We’ll be giving my dad his gift this afternoon. I’ll post a photo of it on Facebook and Instagram later if you want a good laugh. It cracks me up any time I think of it. Troy found the inspiration for it months ago, and my sis and I had it made for him recently.

Hey, for any podcast fans with kids out there, did you know NPR now has a podcast just for kids? It is called Wow in the World. Frankly, it makes me roll my eyes in the way that those horrid Disney channel situational comedies make me cringe, but I am not the target audience. Jack loves it and looks forward to new episodes each week. Guy Raz is one of the hosts of Wow in the World, and I just love another podcast he does called How I Built This.

My feet are healing nicely(ish), and I hit 10k steps almost every day in the past week. There is no more crawling on the floor, and I can wear normal shoes again. Still no bare feet around the house and flip flops are a no go for now, but I am happy to feel like I am headed towards normal. When I saw the foot doc for the second time, I asked him for new walking shoe recommendations. My current pair is almost shot after a year of walks with Bennett. He gave me a list of a few, and most of them were not really in my price range. However, these Asics that he recommended were super reasonably priced and were Amazon Prime eligible. I ordered a pair, but need to wait until my feet are totally 100% before deciding if they have found their forever home.

Weekly meal plan

I rarely wear running shoes with jeans. I feel very Seinfeldian all of the sudden.

A few months ago, my friend Angela sent me a small bottle of Plant Therapy essential oils. I think she was sick of listening to me talk about not being able to sleep, and thought the Sleep Aid blend might help. I have been using it, and I really like it. I put one drop on a cotton ball at bedtime and put it on the little nightstand next to my bed. I don’t sell oils, I’m not part of any oil referral program or anything, but I wanted to share it for all the other crappy sleepers out there. If you sell oils from another brand (that may or may not rhyme with toDerra or LoungYiving), please don’t feel the need to link your shop and tell everyone that your sleep blend is better. I have next to zero energy for tolerating the single silliest battle around – essential oil wars.

Weekly meal plan

Weekly meal plan

As you may have seen on Facebook, we made these burritos on Thursday for dinner, and they were a big hit for everyone. Bennett will eat anything that contains black beans, and even picky Jack enjoyed them after turning his nose up at first. I didn’t include the peppers it called for (Jack is always on the alert for things that look remotely spicy), didn’t use any chili powder, but did add smoked paprika. I used fresh garlic and minced onion and cooked it with the beef. And the end of cooking the beef, I added a bit of cream cheese to make the filling kind of creamy (I can’t stand sour cream). I really wish I had flavored the rice I used it in, as plain white rice wasn’t too exciting. I topped each burrito – except Jack’s – with my Homemade Smoky Avocado Dip. I will definitely make them again, but I think I would prefer it with shredded pork or chicken. I tend to just not be a huge ground beef fan.

Weekly meal plan

Weekly meal plan

(Click here to copy and navigate the meal plan below) I tried to make the links on this document open in a new window on desktop, but alas it wasn’t in the cards.

Smith Brother’s Farms – $19.84Weekly meal plan

Local grocery store – $16.65. The rice was on the clearance table for $1 each, and it doesn’t expire until 2019! The Noosa Yoghurt (our absolute favorite) was free with the store app, and the YoBaby yogurt was on clearance for $2, and eligible for a $.75 rebate through Ibotta! The lemon and bananas were free, because there was a $2 off coupon on the store app. Weekly meal plan

Costco – 69.12. I was so excited to see organic grapes at Costco this week. They’re called Cotton Candy grapes, and holy snikeys, they DO taste like cotton candy. We went through all three pounds in five days.Weekly meal plan

What are you having this week?

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

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38 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. Hi Sarah ☺
    Answering the questions:
    A1, B2, C1, D1, E1*
    *Nutella sounds so good right now

  2. I answer (1) to all!

  3. I grocery shop on my Sunday whether or not that falls on an actual Sunday.

    The bulk of my grocery shopping is done at a traditional grocery store.

    I plan an outline of dinners for the week on Sundays. I adjust mid week. I do bulk meal prep twice a week – usually my Sunday and Wednesday.

    I like reading your meal plans. I do miss the old format. I have a hard time following the links with the new printable menus.

    Those burritos look really yummy! I think I need to try a bean only version soon! Right now my favorite thing to go with burritos is a purple cabbage slaw from Vegetarian Times. https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/spicy-orange-slaw It

  4. I meal plan on the weekends, but shop during the week (day varies). I use the AnyList app for my shopping list and I love it, and I recently upgraded to their premium version to meal plan, too. I’m still on the fence because I like the paper menu outline a lot.

    I do not meal prep, but I always think I should. Or at least snack prep.

    I shop at traditional grocery stores unless I’m sick or my kids are sick and then we do delivery.

  5. Meal plan goes up on sunday with monday’s dinner whatever I can pull from the freezer. Shop at Whole Foods or Sams during the week.

  6. Hi from the UK. Answers to questions a2,b1, c2, d3, e2. I hope that helps.

  7. Gosh, now that I put it on paper, I feel soooo inefficient, but I have two excuses to plead: a) I am no longer allowed to drive (I’ve had trouble maintaining consciousness, and I don’t want to be THAT PERSON who mows down the local high school cross country team, out for practice) and b) my husband, being a man and all, cannot make more than one stop with me on the way home from work (although he’s generally a nice guy, he has low tolerance for shopping).

    Anyway, there is no short answer to your questions, at least not for me.

    a) Weekdays.

    b) The local grocery store (Vons) 1/week;
    Sprouts (kind of like a discount cross between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) 1-2/week;
    Trader Joe’s every other week;
    Costco 1/month in the winter and 3/month in the summer (mostly lettuce, ground turkey and avocados)

    c) 95% of the time, I actually cook all three of our meals each day, and we eat a LOT, hence the many trips to the store for only two people, so I meal prep every day, sort of. I do planned left overs and I always, always have cooked chicken in the freezer, which I just cook when I cook whatever we are having that night. Some whole breasts, some shredded, some chopped in various seasonings (Asian, Mexican, Italian) in serving sizes that work for us (1,2,4), which means I can always make tostadas, salads and stir fries without worrying about the protein.

    d) during the week

    e)I don’t care. If I use one of your recipes, most likely it won’t be immediately.

    As for Jack this summer, I will make some suggestions you didn’t ask for and should just shrug and ignore and that’s fine, if that’s how you feel: one of my friends had children much earlier than I did, and her kids were very scheduled. She gave me this one piece of advice when I was pregnant: make sure your kids know how to entertain themselves because they will need to know how to occupy themselves throughout life. I had a mother who would give one warning about boredom, “Find something to do, because if you tell me you are bored again, I will find something for you to do.” And that something was always in the form of something along the lines of: “take everything out of the pantry, clean the shelves and organize everything as you put it back, oldest of each in front (to rotate stock – back in the age of the dinosaurs we used to sharpie marker the month/year of purchase on the top of everything)” or, as she emptied every one of my drawers onto my bed, “Fold these neatly and reorganize it into your drawers, giving me what doesn’t fit,” or “Here’s a bucket. Pick up a bucket of sticky balls (those awful spiky seed pods that grow on what I call sweet gum trees) in the back yard.” We kept busy. Not that you should punish Jack or anything, if this seems punitive to you… Does he have open ended stuff he can do (or stuff that ONLY comes out when YOU’RE busy? My youngest had a few art tubs (where we just put “stuff”) and she would make the most amazing things – things like that–but with whatever your kid might like. A summer suggestion might be to collect the biggest boxes you can find and let them go at it with masking tape (to connect them) to make an amazing box city to live, hide, read in. I helped mine make the doors (between the boxes, so it was like a box tunnel in some areas) and/or windows using a serrated knife. They decorated the outside with construction paper, glue, and markers. It was a week long project that hung around at least another week after that.

    Okay, I’ll stop now.

    Father’s Day, Car museum with youngest adult daughter (she pays), then dinner at a more expensive restaurant than we want to go to, but it’s in LA, so that’s what you get (we pay, of course – goodbye budget). Still, it will be nice.

  8. Hi, I am a live in nanny and I meal plan on a Thursday / Friday for the following I normally eat with the kids so I plan everything the parents for the shopping at the weekend and I tend to bulk on a Monday and Thursday so I don’t have to cook every day and freeze stuff and use another day.

  9. I think separating your meal plan from your Sunday post would be cool, but I also like it the way it is! Answering these questions is going to admit a lot about my finances and embarrass me a little but… I grocery shop when I have money. We get food benefits so once those run out I have to scrounge around our house to make meals out of what I can find. food money is usually gone by the last week or two at the end of the month period. When I first get them on the 9th I go shopping at Fred Meyer and costco. No matter which day it is. I prefer shopping in the mornings on weekdays when the bulk of my children are at school. (Summer I will have one of my oldest children watch the middle children and probably still take the two littlest with me) . I try to stock up on fresh fruit and things I can make meals with, chicken breasts, dried pasta, canned tomatoes , etc. I buy organic when possible. When we run out of milk I go to the store that day. I do not meal plan, though every night I wish I did! It just seems there is always a million things to do and never enough time! But I think it would help save money and my sanity each night if I did. Oh I also shop at the food coop every now and again for a specialty item, and the farmers market. Our farmers market will double your money when you use your ebt card. (Just want to add here for any people who read this, I am not proud or happy to be using food benefits and this wasn’t my plan for life! Please don’t berate me for having so many children that I can’t afford to feed, as I can assure you I’ve heard it already.)

    • Erica, I have seen the EBT sign at our local farmer’s market, but I didn’t know they doubled the benefits. That RULES!!!!
      What if your three oldest were responsible for coming up with one meal idea per week? And then one night you had popcorn and snacks or something. That would leave you only two nights to come up with dinner ideas. I’m sure a few of your older ones could even do some of the chopping, grating, mixing, etc. I always loved to cook and thought it was so rad when my parents let my sis and I make dinner. You have a lot on your plate (not a meal prep pun – lol), and this might help evenings run more smoothly.

  10. 2,1,1,1,1,1….but honestly, I tend to go to the store multiple times a week for various reasons.

  11. a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

    Weekend

    b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

    Traditional grocery store (including Costco, Sams Club, Super Target)

    c) Do you meal prep?

    Yes!

    d) When do you meal prep?

    Saturday or Sunday

    e) Would you be interested if I posted weekly meal plans on Fridays, and included a printable menu AND shopping list? For free of course.

    Yes!

  12. Hi Sara, I usually shop on Friday after work or Saturday morning, regular grocery stores (an Aldi’s just opened up 5 minutes from where I work 🙂 !). I prep usually on Sundays. I love the pictures of your meals as they look very inspiring. The one with the quesadilla, asparagus and strawberries looks yummy. I also love the pictures of what you get at the stores. I am nosey like that. When I am standing in line, and the person before me or after me is putting their groceries on the belt, I will look to see what they are buying. Sometimes I will ask what they are making with an item I am not familiar with. And they are usually nice and tell me. I have a question, do you have a crockpot and do you use it often? Love your blog!

    • I uh, have two crockpots. And am in the market for an Instant Pot soon. So yes, I use them often. 😉 I have a giant crockpot that I use for soups, stews, and homemade chicken broth. The littler one is often used for beans, smaller recipes, and holds all my canning lids when I am water bath canning.

      • Thanks, I will have to look in your recipes for those. I have 2 crockpots as well. I love making soups in the winter and use it a lot in the summer instead of the oven, so it does heat the kitchen up.

      • *So it does not heat the kitchen up.

  13. A. 2 Weekday
    B. 1 Traditional and 3. Online
    C. Yes
    D. 2 During the week
    E. 1 Yes

  14. First detail, I am more rural than urban so shopping is always tied to other driving chores.
    A. I shop according to the grocery flyers. I keep a running list of what ingredients I am out of, each week I sit down with the flyers and note what is a really good sale …. butter for $2.88 and shrimp for $5.99 this week. I try to avoid shopping Saturday/Sunday because of the crowds so often it is on Friday but mostly when I’m in the area of which ever store has the best deals that week.
    B. We are part of two different community bulk produce plans so I seldom have to shop for veggies, we also have a huge garden and I freeze lots of it, plus we have discovered a fairly local commercial farm that I can ‘arrange’ to be in the vicinity of when it is seasonally appropriate. Last year and looks like again this year, broccoli was hard to find at the nursery so when it is seasonal I’ll stock up at the farm stand and get it into the freezer.
    C/D. Hubby works an afternoon-evening shift so I try and make sure he eats something healthy before he heads out, that often means doing meal prep the day before…. soup, veggie/pre cooked meat so I can just slide it onto his plate without any great fuss. So, yes it is meal prep but only for 2-3 days at a time because I’m often off and running to various committments myself.

    I enjoy your food plan because occasionally is sparks an idea for future reference.

    I LOVE the pictures of your grocery shops because I like to see the packages and brand names of your part of the world – I’m in Canada.

    Reading all the responses to your questions was interesting too.

  15. a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    Who plans that ish? I go when I need stuff.- I am trying to get back into a better habit, so usually it’s on Monday after we’ve spent the weekend scrounging for food.

    b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    Traditional grocery store (including Costco, Sams Club, Super Target)
    Co-op or health food store- When I remember what day of the week it is on Saturdays, I also try to get to the farmers market.

    c) Do you meal prep?
    B, you’re crazy- though I’m working on it.

    d) When do you meal prep?
    Saturday or Sunday- This would be ideal
    During the week- This is more realistic

    e) Would you be interested if I posted weekly meal plans on Fridays, and included a printable menu AND shopping list? For free of course.
    Either works for me- Most of your recipes are easy enough for me to adapt to our food issues, so being able to print is a nice feature, but not a deal breaker for me.

    I know you’ll come up with something that works for keeping Jack busy and getting your work done. And not all t.v. is created equal, so don’t stress about it if that’s what you need to get ish done. We’ve started doing Nutritious Movement (https://nutritiousmovement.com/blog/) and so when the kid hounds me to watch t.v. I make her stretch while she watches.

    Can’t wait to see what you got your dad for Father’s Day!

  16. a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

    Weekday – I do the list Thursday and shop on Friday

    b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?

    Traditional grocery store – online Click and Collect (but I’m in the UK)

    c) Do you meal prep?
    Only if I’m slow cooking something

    d) When do you meal prep?
    The night before when I’m cooking (so if the slow cooker is Wednesday I prep at the same time as cooking Tuesday’s dinner)

    e) Would you be interested if I posted weekly meal plans on Fridays, and included a printable menu AND shopping list? For free of course.

    Yes – but I’d prefer mid-week as Friday is too late for me

  17. A 2
    B 1
    C 2
    D 3
    E 1

    Maybe with some assistance I can become a meal planner. ?

  18. A. 2

    B. 1

    C. 2

    D. 3

    E. 2

  19. I try to meal plan as the week goes on but it usually happens the weekend and I shop on Sunday. I\’m most likely to cook something if I\’ve seen it recently. I regularly shop at a traditional grocery store but still hit the farmer\’s market on the weekends for fun. I liked your old format for the menu because I read on my phone and it was easier to see.

  20. I try to meal plan as the week goes on but it usually happens the weekend and I shop on Sunday. I’m most likely to cook something if I’ve seen it recently. I regularly shop at a traditional grocery store but still hit the farmer’s market on the weekends for fun. I liked your old format for the menu because I read on my phone and it was easier to see.

    • Thanks for that feedback, I’m going to try to figure out a way to have both the old format AND a printable menu option. I need a full-time tech person because this is not my forte!

  21. I am not going to scroll back up to the questions, sorry!!! I meal plan once every 2 weeks. Then I do a “big shop” at Aldi, another shop at a store for things Aldi doesn’t have and usually a small restock of essentials (milk/bread) one week in. If I go more often, funny thing, I spend more! 🙂 And my meal plan is a list of “options” for the 2 weeks that I make sure I have all the supplies for and then I fix what I’m in the mood for/have time for each day. But just having a list of ideas on the fridge is exactly what I need. During the summer, I usually do the planning on the weekend and hit the store Monday. During the school year, we have our one day of co-op school on Mondays and Monday night is spent planning the week of homeschool…so often I do the planning Tuesday or Wednesday but still hit Aldi up on Tuesday because by then we’re low on E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. How they manage to eat everything on the weekends, I never know!

  22. a) 1 and 3; b) 1; c) 2 very occasionally 1; d) 3; e 2.

  23. Hi
    For when your feet are completely better or for use in other places.
    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/10/make-your-own-sleep-salve-for-sweet-dreams-and-soft-feet.html (Not my recipe/site)
    I make buckets of this(well ok quite large jars). It smells great, slightly spicy, keeps your feet smooth if you use it there and is good for the sleeplessness (I’m relying on the testimony of reliable others here as I am very lucky to not suffer that way). You could just make up the oil and use it on a cotton ball as well I guess. DIY version of the various sleep blends out there.

    As for the questionnaire I am hugely disorganised but try to do meal prep for work lunches at least. Usually on Sunday.
    TG

  24. a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    I go when I need stuff. I like to keep a variety of things available, so that I can make whatever I’m in the mood for.

    b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    Traditional grocery store

    c) Do you meal prep?
    Sometimes– depends on how busy the upcoming week appears it will be

    d) When do you meal prep? My work week runs Saturday – Wednesday, so for me, it’s usually on Friday.

    e) Would you be interested if I posted weekly meal plans on Fridays, and included a printable menu AND shopping list? For free of course.
    Yes– but I read your posts as much for what is happening in your life as for the menus.

  25. A – 1 Sunday, if I miss my trip for some reason it throws me off for the whole week and we end up eating like crap or eating out!
    B – 1 Kroger or Publix, I live in the southeast. Publix is the most amazing grocery store, but is definitely more expensive so I try to stick to Kroger when possible.
    C – 1
    D – 2, or if my son takes a long nap in the afternoon I will try to do some on Sunday
    E – 1, of course, any resources are a plus!

  26. Hi! I am lazy and disorganized and a terrible cook, in spite of having read your blog for a few years now (love it, in all iterations so far! I probably should comment more often…).

    A – 3
    B – 1
    C – 2
    D – 3
    E – 1 or 2 – either is good, as long as you pass the Nutella.

    Most of my meal planning comes from Blue Apron these days, or deciding what restaurant to hit when I’m traveling. I once in a while go through a meal planning phase, but it doesn’t usually stick. I live with a roommate, and we used to do a lot of meals together, but we’re pretty much never home at the same time anymore – so I’m responsible for feeding myself, which doesn’t always work out in a healthy manner…

  27. a) When do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    Weekday – when it works between work commitments as I work freelance/contract
    b) Where do you do the bulk of your grocery shopping?
    Traditional grocery store – I flyer shop for the best deals and try to hit the store that has the most of what I want n sale. If its a really good sale on something I might make a trip to a second store that week
    c) Do you meal prep?
    sort of ;). I have an idea of what I have on hand and what I might need as well as what activities are on for the week. For instance, if my daughter has a 5 pm practice, I know that she’ll have to have supper right when she gets home from school so I plan accordingly. However, I am not as planned as you are 🙂
    d) When do you meal prep?
    It depends, but I try to be on top of things as I can. When peppers or celery or ground beef (things that freeze well) are on sale, I buy more than I need, chop and freeze them in 1/2 to 1 cup portions so that I can quickly throw them into in a pot if I’m making something like spaghetti sauce or chili. I cook up the ground beef and can.
    e) Sure, I use your meal plan to get ideas. It doesn’t really matter to me when you post your plan,
    I am scoping out Instant Pots as well. I also have 2 crockpots of different sizes and I want a third. You may want to check out this blog https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/going-first-person-hate-instant-pot/
    She’s really funny and puts the instant pot through its paces in a few blog posts.

  28. A) 1
    B) all. 1 more than the others though
    C) 2. I only plan protein, sides are in the moment
    d) 1
    e) 1

  29. Answers:
    A – 1 & 2 – depends on the store I go to. I try to avoid crowds whenever possible
    B – 1 & 2 – most groceries come from Costco & a small fruit & veggie market that also has great imported products (imported pasta\’s and tomato products for cheaper than store brand at chain store)
    C – 1- but I need to do more, especially pre-cutting & washing veggies
    D- 1 – would like to be more organized & do a bit on weekdays
    E – 2

    I really like reading your blog. My ONLY improvement suggestion is to change the color of the font you use. Light gray on a white background just doesn\’t work for my old eyes. When I receive the email, the font is black which is much easier to read. When I click through to read direct from your blog, the font changes to this light gray which is hard for me to see. I WANT to click through to your blog because I have a feeling you get more $ if readers do that, but many times I just read the email because the font is easier to read.

    • Hi Jean, I actually changed my font color over a week ago due to feedback from another reader (and my dad). When I initially changed it, I couldn’t see any difference on my computer. The tech person I was working with had me clear my cache in my browser and then it showed the changes. The new font is easily twice as dark as the old one.

      All browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) have a “clear cache” option. I’d be curious to see if the font is improved for you if you reset yours. If it doesn’t please let me know, and I’ll spend some more time talking with teen tech support in Balkan states. 🙂