Monday, October 31, 2011

Day #2 - Computer Desk

Clean the TOP of the computer desk only.  What a relief to only have to clean the top, but I'll be honest, I did the drawers anyway.  I had cleaned them out a few months ago, so it wasn't too hard.  (Plus, Luke let me watch Felicity at the same time :)

Next up:  the dreaded tupperware drawer. 

PLEASE let me know if you have started organizing.  I think it would be awesome to see what you all are doing!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fun things to come NOVEMBER.  I am excited to share some pinterest with you.  It'll be a good month!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Organized in 21 Days

I have a hard time with organization. Like a really hard time. I LOVE being organized, BUT I have a hard time doing it. Junk drawers? I have about 3 or 4...or 5. I wouldn't say they were 100% junk drawers (I know where the batteries are, the pencils, etc), but they still hold stuff.

Here is a great challenge:

First challenge: Junk Drawers

My Photos:














To grab the button: click here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway

Who doesn't love a good giveaway?  Peaches over at Positively Peaches, is giving you an opportunity to win some cleaning supplies:  Shaklee Basic H2.

Pretty excited about this, since they are natural.  From the website:
"For over 50 years, generations of families have counted on us to do what no other company can do quite like Shaklee—make products that are naturally safe AND proven effective.
Every product that goes into every Shaklee bottle is designed to improve health, work without compromise, and be gentle on the planet"

Go to Positively Peaches and enter to win!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween, Good intentions and Planning

A little over 3 weeks away is one of my favorite holidays:  Halloween. 
To me, it marks the beginning of the other amazing holidays like Columbus Day and Veterans day and Thanksgiving and Christmas.  (I had to include the first 2 because Luke gets them off! :)

Anyway, over the years I have wanted our family to dress up in a theme.  One year we were all punk rockers, down to the cat collars.  Livi.was.adorable with her hair spray painted purple and her collar.  I can't find a picture, so you get to see a picture of her dressed up for another party that year.

2005:  We dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood, the Grandmother, and the Big Bad Wolf Grandma.  We won first prize at our ward party.  It was awesome.

The next year,2006, we had S and they dressed as a pumpkin patch.  It was a costume bought at Target and I thought I was a failure.  We had moved to a new state and I was taking care of two kids and just wasn't up to it.  Not creative, but effective.

2008:  I was a bit more creative with S.  He was the Chik-fil-a cow "Eat mor chikin"  My somewhat creative streak was back...poor Livi.  She dressed up as an angel.  She LOVED it. And let's be honest, she was perfect in that costume.  Between the blonde hair, blue eyes..she glowed a bit. 

2009:  Although not creative, cute:  Pirates

2010:  Reusing a costume.  Not an issue since we moved to a different state!  :)  Always a cute one.

I figure not having them all matching (Darth Vader, Fairy & Cow) was ok since they had a great time.

After Halloween was over, I bought about 8 costumes on the 75-90% off rack. (Very picked through, so mostly just boys stuff)  They were about $1-3/piece.  SCORE!  I just made sure that I bought a size bigger for the next year.

2011:  I figure that it doesn't matter what they are or where I bought the outfit, as long as they enjoy it.  Alright, who am I kidding?  I wanted us all to be the Incredibles this year, but was a little nervous to don the spandex!  :)

Also, we got a Halloween magazine in the mail and I had the kids go through and circle the top 4 costumes they wanted to be.

How to plan for Halloween:
1.) When the kids are old enough, ask them what they want.  If you really have a 'theme' in mind, try and see if they will do it.  Or at least have them wear something different from school vs. trunk-or-treat vs. actual trick-or-treating.  Sound like a bit much?  It might be, but to keep everyone happy, it's something to look in to.
2.)  After Halloween is over, go back to Target and Walmart.  They have some killer deals.  We have been doing this for the past several years and it's great.  That way, you can mix and match outfits if needs be.
3.)  If you are one of those die-hard themers plan ahead! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Menus and freezers

I'm trying something new. 

For about 4.5 years I have been planning out our meals monthly (sometimes it is biweekly).  I make a calendar in Microsoft Excel and then each month I fill it out, print it out and then change it for the next month.  I'm not very good at having anything planned other than the main meal, but whatever, right?

This is what my October Menu looks like so far.  I have the next 2 weeks for sure (it's been a busy weekend!) and I'll get the rest done pretty soon.

Anyway, there is a great concept that I am going to try.  Freezer cooking.  I know that EVERYONE has heard about it and is probably doing it....Anyway, my great friend, Jennifer, has been doing it for years.  She picks one Saturday a month and cooks for the ENTIRE NEXT MONTH! 

I am not that good.  What I have decided to do instead, is find recipes that will freeze well.  When I make it, I'll just double the recipe and freeze it for the next month.  There are some recipes that I will triple.  Just make sure that if you decide to do this, you are prepared. (see below)

Also, to make things a bit easier (this may not be for those that like variety) I have 'assigned' food types for each day.  For example:  Chicken Mondays, Crockpot Tuesday, No Meat Wednesdays, Ground Beef Thursdays, Pizza Fridays, Breakfast Saturdays.  Let me tell has made this so much easier and I don't have to have too many all chicken or all beef weeks or all cereal weeks :).

I have found some AWESOME websites and there are tons of books if you are interested. 
When looking for recipe ideas some key words are "freezer meals" "OAMC" (once a month cooking)...

I have been making Lasagna Rolls, instead of Lasagna..genius I tell you, PURE genius.  When dinner is over, instead of having to finagle the lasgna..I wait for it to cool,  wrap the rolls in foil and put in a freezer bag. 

Anyway, there really are a ton of places to find recipes.  Let me know if YOU do the same thing.  Do you have more ideas on recipes?

  1. Plan out your meals ahead of time.  Weekly, monthly, whatever.
  2. Go through your fridge, freezer, cupboards and food storage and inventory.
  3. Make a shopping list.  I like to go through and make a master list of everything that is needed for a recipe.  Then as the next recipe comes around, I can either put a tally mark (and how much is needed) or add a new ingredient to the bottom of the list.  THEN I break that shopping list up either by where it is located in the store OR in different genres (Chicken, Beef, Canned Goods, Produce, Misc.)
  4. BUY FREEZER BAGS!  They have to be freezer bags.  Otherwise the food won't stay good as long. 
  5. Make sure that your family will like the meal.  Don't make seafood for a family that doesn't like it=waste money and time.