Sunday, August 16, 2009
I am still trying to figure out a good night time routine for me. I think before I wasn't having much success because I was trying to do too much. This is my current list of what needs to be done before I head to bed every night.
1) Do one full load of laundry - wash, dry, fold, put away
2) Clean kitchen - load and start dishwasher, wash other dishes, clean counters and table, sweep floor
3) Pick up house - put things where they belong, sort laundry
4) Put meat in refrigerator to thaw for the next night
I've been on this plan for three nights. I'll keep you posted on how I do. I had not anticipated going back to work being so hard for this very pregnant woman. I am so tired and swollen by the end of the day. I miss nap time. My plan is to keep going until the baby decides to make an appearance. We'll see how I do.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
2) A 22 month old boy + a playground to explore = pure little boy joy
3) Sometimes God speaks quietly to my heart and other times (like this morning) he whacks me with a 2x4 and speaks with a megaphone through a wise Christian woman I greatly respect. I needed it.
4) Check registers were meant to be used. I used to just keep track by checking online, but discovered I really need to write down where that money goes. It's surprising to see how many transactions occur on one day. I am being forced to really think about each little transaction.
5) I am learning to cut myself some slack. I need this with baby number two due to arrive in less than a month. Simplifying and de-cluttering mean much easier housekeeping. Bulk shopping and stockpiling mean much easier meal prep. I enjoy having more time to relax and spend time with my husband and son before we adjust to life as a family of four.
6) Finding out I am out of eggs while making pancakes was enough to send me into tears Saturday morning. Apparently this is what happens to women who are 37 weeks pregnant.
7) Preparing for a new baby does not have to cost a small fortune. More to come on this in the next week.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
1) Put all the toys away.
2) Cleared all the flat surfaces: top of entertainment center, tops of end tables
3) Re-tucked slip covers
4) Sorted through our newspaper basket. I pulled out coupons to clip and took everything else to the recycling bin in the garage.
In main living areas it's helpful to take an empty laundry basket to collect items that don't belong. Then you can make one quick trip at the end of your time to put those items in their proper place. You can also take a small garbage bag to collect trash. Most of the trash that I find is paper so I just throw that in the laundry basket and take it to the recycling bin.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
The One Hour Clean Sweep
1) Choose four rooms that need the most attention. I often break this down into kitchen, living room, master bedroom, kids bedrooms. Sometimes I lump the bedrooms together and add the bathroom as the fourth room.
2) Set a timer for fifteen minutes and start in the worst room. This is usually my kitchen.
3) Do as much as you can in that room in fifteen minutes. Do the job that will make the most difference first (more to come on this is future posts).
4) When the timer goes off, go on to the next room. For me that's my living room. Do as much as you can in fifteen minutes. Do the job that will make the most difference first. Keep going until you've spent fifteen minutes in each of the four rooms.
5) At the end of one hour, you'll have spent fifteen minutes in four different rooms and your house will look put back together.
Sometimes I need an extra fifteen minutes at the end to finish my kitchen.
The trick to making this work for you is to stay focused and stay in that one room. Do as much as you can in fifteen minutes.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
1) I cannot keep to my grocery budget and have company for the weekend.
2) I do not have to hit every good deal. I was all prepared to hit this great coupon/rebate deal at Staples and then I looked at my budget for the week and was a little more hesitant. I finally decided to skip the whole thing. The next day I found another package of printer paper that I had forgotten in a box from our basement construction project.
3) Simple Sunday lunches and dinners work well for me. I need to be better about resting on Sunday. I feel a lot less stress about the end of the weekend/start of the work week when we do simple meals. Lunch: turkey wraps, cracker plate, fruit, baby carrots. Dinner: angel hair pasta with meat (Italian sausage) sauce, salad, fruit
4) I am not doing very well with my nightly routine. I do get the dishwasher started every night before going to bed, but if it's been a busy/long day I get little else done. Maybe I should try mornings?
5) 5.5 weeks left of pregnancy does not give me much time to get organized for the little lava lamp that is about to join our family. Thank goodness my mom and my sister are more than willing to help.
6) Actually reading health insurance statements is really important. I wonder how much money I have paid in medical bills that was already paid by our insurance. Tonight, I found a $20 discrepancy.
7) The Beth Moore Esther Study, It's Tough Being a Woman, is quickly topping the list of one of the best Bible Studies I have ever done. So much applies to modern womanhood.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I did quite a bit of reading and this is the general consensus: toddlers need a routine and a schedule to feel secure. The daily timing of meals, naps, and bedtime on that schedule should not vary more than 15 minutes in either direction.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
1) We've switched to a new system of budgeting that is really working well for us. My paycheck goes straight to bills and savings. We've always done that because I get paid once a month. Hubs' paycheck gets split between bills and what we call discretionary spending (groceries, gas, household items, allowance, etc). Hubs gets paid bi-weekly and his pay is deposited midweek. So, we take the amount we have allocated for discretionary spending and divide it by two. That amount is what we spend each week. This works better for us than trying to put an exact amount on discretionary items. I do try to stick to around $50-$60 for groceries/week. Other than that we just plan out what we need to spend money on that week and work from that amount. It really works for us.
2) My neighbor gave me this great tip. She cuts her baby wipes in half. I've always used half a dryer sheet, but never thought to do this. You really don't miss the other half and the wipes go twice as far. I know I could make my own, but that's one of those things I don't think I'd have time to do.
3) I started getting up before my family. I'm on summer break and it's tempting to sleep as late as the almost two year old Dear Son will let me, but I don't feel ready to face my day when I do that. So, I started getting up earlier, taking my shower, and enjoying a few minutes to myself before the day begins. It makes a huge difference in my productivity throughout the day. And, it's helping me get ready for the early mornings to come with baby #2 on the way.
4) I made the yummiest beef enchiladas I've ever had tonight. I found the recipe on the back of a package of Hy Vee cheese. Even better, it's a pretty frugal dish that would freeze well. There's good stuff on those packages. I'll start paying better attention.
5) I'm not doing very well on establishing a nightly routine. Maybe it's because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and pretty much zapped of energy by 9pm, but I'm just not doing very well. Ideally I'd like to accomplish the following every night before I go to bed: start dishwasher, sort laundry, pick up the house, clean kitchen, and wipe down the bathroom. I always get the dishwasher started and some nights I can accomplish everything on this list. Other nights, nada. Am I trying to do too much? What works for you?
6) I am in love with Aldi's milk and salad prices. No where else is comparable and these two items are hardly ever on sale at other stores.
7) I cannot parent an almost two year old in my own strength. I used to think I was pretty patient. I have seen some ugliness in myself lately as I respond to my precious boy that I have not liked one bit. When I feel myself start to lose patience, I take a deep breath and pray through the list of the fruits of the spirit. This works for responding to Hubs as well.
Best Wishes for A Great Week!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Two of our favorite summer recipes
Zesty Italian Salad
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 box/bag tri-color rotini pasta,cooked and rinsed in cold water
1 package pepperoni, cut pieces in half
1 green pepper diced
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered, and sliced
1 container grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 can sliced black olives, drained
*Omit any vegetables you choose.
Pour 1/2 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing over the top
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Toss together, chilll, and serve
Turkey Bacon Guacamole Sandwiches
On a hoagie roll, wrap, or whatever bread you choose, layer oven roasted deli turkey, mozzarella cheese slices, and thinly sliced red onion. Toast in a toaster oven until cheese is melted. Top with tomato slices, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and ranch dressing. Enjoy!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Then I had a revelation...
Maybe there are women like me who are looking for a blog that helps them, rather than intimidates them. I read lots of blogs. Some are extremely helpful and some leave me with this nagging thought, "That's nice, but how would I ever have time to do that?"
Maybe you're like me. I work full-time because I have to and because I want to. My hubs (husband) works second shift. We have a toddler and another baby due August 29th. Some days I consider it a victory to simply survive the day in one piece. I need tips and encouragement that work for my life situation.
So here's what I want to do: share what works for me and hope it helps someone else.
I'm warning you, I'm not an expert and I certainly don't have it all together. I've had my fair share of frugal flops, my toddler eats M&Ms and french fries like they're a food group, and I often go to bed exhausted with a house that is a mess and a to-do list that is far from finished.
Looking forward to getting to know you.