Monday, November 26, 2012

Big News....

First, it's officially Winter. Okay, not officially, but according to me it is. We've got snow on the ground. The snowploughs were running around last night. And I shoveled off our deck this morning. Sounds like Winter to me. ;)

Second, I have a free day today. Was supposed to play cards today but the hostess has no water in her house so she's got to get that fixed today instead. Oh well, gives me time to do stuff here.

Third, so my plans are always good but don't necessarily work out. I've now got friends coming over on Tuesdays to knit so Technology Tuesday ain't working out too well. But I still want to get stuff done so I'm going to start moving my Task Days around rather than have them assigned to Tuesday and Thursday.

And finally, the real big news... We are moving!!! Not yet, but it's in the works. We're aiming for the Spring or Summer. We've got a realtor and he's on the right track for properties we would be interested in. We've outgrown our house and our yard so we've started looking. No fixer-upper this time, just some paint and flooring and be done. 

So my new plan is this: Two days a week for two focused jobs. One day is going to be focused on Technology - I have commitments and priorities that need to be completed on the computer. The other day will be focused on Moving - I need to get the basement sorted and packed up. I think I'm going to start on the kids' clothes (past and current) and toys since a lot of it will go. The more I can get out of the house, the better.

So time for me to get moving today.... Have a great day!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Organizing my Christmas shopping

I am a list-maker. There, I've said it. I've confessed. In some ways this can hinder me - too many lists, not getting enough crossed off. But other times, being a list-maker is the best thing ever. See, being a list-maker keeps me organized especially at Christmas time.

I prefer typed up lists so that I can edit them and save them for next year. Also it saves on the paper filing. ;) The following year, it's easy to see who I bought for, what I bought, what I spent, etc.

On the first page of my Christmas shopping lists, I have the people I need to shop for and what to get them or at least ideas. Some things will remain on the list every year because we always get them (like an ornament for the tree and our favourite stocking stuffers). Other spots are left blank to fill in as I go. I also make sure to include how much I spent on items as I go so that I stay on budget.

The second page of my Christmas shopping lists has our meal plan for the important days including some breakfasts and lunches, and a miscellaneous shopping list for those extra items I need (like Gingerbread house, candy canes, wrapping paper, etc.).

I've added in something else to my organizing this year. Normally I just keep the receipts in an envelope in case I need to return or exchange something. This year though I'm using a coupon organizer. Last time I picked up one at Michaels I decided to grab an extra one for when  mine wears out. But when I was going to put away my reciepts, I thought of the coupon organizer. Why not use that? I can add my list to it too. AWESOME!!! I've got the receipts organized by store in the sections and keep my list with it. Now next time I go, everything is together. And if I find something better on my next shopping trip, I know where the receipts are to return other items.

Have you shopped yet? How do you keep organized with all the extra stuff you have to buy? Good luck! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Let the Christmas shopping begin!

Yep, that's right! I started my Christmas shopping today and have crossed a few things off the list already. My daughter had a PA Day and was off school so I took the opportunity to have her join me in some shopping. I like to have her pick out presents for people and learn more about giving and not focus so much on herself. Plus it gives me an opportunity to see what she is interested in and add some items to her list. My son spent the morning with my MIL and we all had a good time. I've still got a long list of things to purchase but at least it's a start.

Have you started shopping for Christmas yet? Have you at least made a list and jotted down some ideas?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas - is it a four-letter word???

Okay, the word "Christmas" is way more than four letters, but lots of people feel like it is. That word can bring people a lot of stress because it means a lot of extra work. Extra food to cook, extra events to go to or host, presents to purchase  and wrap, homes to decorate, etc.

This stuff doesn't stress me out for one reason: I'm organized. Well, mostly organized. Over the years, I've learned to write things down: what did we eat, what did I bake, what did I buy, what did we do, what did we enjoy. From these lists, I'm able to prepare for the next Holiday Season. I start Christmas stuff early. After Canadian Thanksgiving (middle of October), my sister and I plan our Christmas baking and get started. I start my shopping list, ask people for ideas for presents, and start budgeting how much I want to spend on each person. I split up the shopping and keep track of what I'm spending. I decorate a little bit at a time and keep the decorations to a few rooms and a minimum, just the stuff we like.

What do you do to make your Holiday Season easier and less stressful?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Computer time - it wasn't the plan for today...

I've been thinking about my schedule lately and how I'm cruizing along with keeping up with the daily household chores pretty well but not making progress on anything else. I want to make more progress on my to do list and live a more balanced life. So I thought I would make an effort on two days a week to do some things I would like to catch up on.

Technology Tuesdays will include working on the computer and the things that relate to that. I do some volunteer work for our women's group at church. Most of that work involves time spent on the computer. I've been struggling to keep up with it so it's no assigned to Tuesdays. As well, there is desk work that always needs doing and overloaded browsers sometimes so hopefully I can work on those too.

To Do List Thursdays will now include working on the Basement that's full of stored items, extra cleaning that I'm not getting done, and sorting stuff like kids' clothes that need doing. Hopefully attacking these areas one day a week, I'll see and feel a difference.

Now I know today isn't Tuesday, but I've been working on desk and computer stuff today. I'm waiting for some input from a few people for a newsletter I need to complete. So I started working on stuff here while I wait and in case it all comes in tomorrow. ;) As well, I haven't been feeling 100% today so it was nice to have some sit down jobs.

What was my progress today? Well, I've updated my Meal Ideas list with those suppers we've eaten and liked. I also got through my FireFox Browser today and looked at all the pages I have saved. Some of them were recipes to save or print, other were information to keep. Now I'm down to just a few that I use regularly. I've also sorted my Supper folders. I have 5 now - Beef dishes, Chicken dishes, Pork dishes, Other, and one called Suppers to Try. My next step is to go through the folders and pick out dishes we eat as well as ones I would like to try and put them into the Suppers to Try folder. This will help in preparation for January. :)

That's it for today. I'm going to try to relax a little before it's time to get rolling again.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I couldn't fall asleep last night...

I was trying to get to sleep last night but just couldn't. I had menu planning on the brain. Why does menu planning bother me so much? Why do I find it so hard to put together a menu ever? So as I was lying there, I realized the following: There are (approximately) 30 days each month. That's 30 suppers. Most of the time we eat beef, chicken and pork meals. That's 3 meats, divided into 30 suppers, means 10 suppers per meat. Well there are other meals to eat too so let's go with 7 per meat. That gives us 21. Add how about 4 nights of leftovers so we're at 25. Add 5 meals of other kinds of suppers. That gives us our 30 meals for the month. That really doesn't sound so bad does it?!?

If you've been following me for a while, you know I started a list of suppers divided up into 4 sections: beef, pork, chicken and others. It needs some updating so that will be my first task in preparation for January. In recipes I've got printed off, they are also divided this way. Task 2 will be to go through my files and orgainze them a little better (I've got a pile that need to go in the right folders).

Task 3 will be to print off recipes from my computer and file them. Task 4 will be to pick the 52 new recipes to try. And the last task before January will be to pick meals for the month including 5 from the new recipes.

I've added all these things to a To Do List in Cozi. Hopefully that will help keep me organized and get stuff done. :) 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


So I've already started by Christmas baking. Every year, my sister and I get together and do it over a few days. But today as we were chatting, we were talking about how we're surrounded by recipes but we only make the same dishes over and over again. We both struggle with being creative when we come to cooking, tending to make what we know and most of our families will eat. My sister said "Why don't you use your blog?" What a great idea!

There are lots of blogs out there where the writer posts their weekly menu plans. I don't want to copy everyone else. I'm not good at menu planning anyways. I tend to just try to figure out something each day rather than planning ahead. It's going to take me a while to get into the recipe zone too. I've got a pile of printed out ones, lots saved on the computer, new showing up in my Google Reader each day, and good old fashioned recipe books. So I'm going to start this with the New Year. Here are the goals:
  • Write down (on the family calendar) meals I want to/plan to/need to make so that it will give me some kind of rough menu plan.
  • Find a new recipe for every week (so 52 recipes) to make for my family and review it.
Wish me luck!