Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 The year of the Organizing Diva!

There are many areas of my home/life that need to be focused on and organized in 2010. Here is my master list that will be revamped along the way.

Budget/Bill Paying
(Dave Ramsey plan)
Filing System



Menu Planning
Grocery lists
Organizing recipes

School Papers Binder
Homework kit


Personal life
Healthy Eating

Professional life

Spiritual life






Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas to all my blog followers. I promise to have lots of ideas in the works for 2010. I have a lot I plan on accomplishing in the new year and much of it involves organization around my home. Have a blessed holiday with your loved ones and stay tuned for some exciting things in 2010!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas to do list:

I have a huge to do list of Christmas prep this weekend.

Take photo of boys for Christmas cards (√)
Order cards (√)
Address and send cards (√)
Christmas shop: (√)
Mom (√)
Dad (√)
Greg (√)
Cooper- (√)
Jenny- (√)
Tom (√)
Ryan (√)
Jake (√)
Taryn (√)
Gabby (√)
Jeff and Diane (√)
Kim (√)
Mary & Linda (√)
Mr Fish (√)
Mrs Leuck (√)
Wrap gifts (√)
Bake cookies and other goodies: (√)
Make sugar cookie dough (√)
Rolo pretzel turtle/m&ms (√)
Rudolph cookies (√)
Finish inside Christmas decor:
Foyer (√)
Living room (√)
China cabinet (√)
Kitchen shelf (√)
Put bows on tree (√)
Decorate tree (√)

ETA: It's all done!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 12-7

Monday: Leftovers from BD Mongolian's for the boys and me (Greg at a meeting)

Tuesday: Homemade pizza w/ Trader Joe's dough and sauce

Wednesday: Chicken fried rice, fruit, toast (I have a meeting) *I think they had leftover pizza

Thursday: Spicy shrimp, biryani, arugula salad * We actually ending up going out for mexican at Jalapeno Loco with my parents after we picked my mom up from the airport

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Garlic lime chicken, brown rice, corn, fresh fruit *We had italians (sausages that is, not people)

Sunday: Meatloaf, baked potatoes, squash, green beans *We did the garlic lime chicken menu from Sat

Sunday, November 29, 2009

December Menu Plan

Spaghetti and meatballs (12/14)
Pizza hotdish
Sloppy Joes
Grilled burgers
Steak fajitas

Garlic lime chicken (12/13)
Crispy Chicken
Rotisserie Chicken (11/30)
Bacon wrapped chicken

Baby back ribs
Pork tenderloin
Pork roast
Pork fried rice
Parmesan crusted pork chops

Spicy shrimp
Shrimp tacos
Swordfish salad

Venison roast (12/1)
Venison steaks

Cheese ravioli (12/3)
Macaroni and cheese

Pizza (12/8)
Grilled Cheese
Brats/Italians (12/12)

Turkey dinner with all the trimmings

NYE Dinner

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 11/16-11/22

Monday: Rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce

Tuesday: Chili w/ crackers or fritos, scallions, cheese, and sour cream

Wednesday: Pork Roast in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Greg and Ben gone hunting. We will eat out

Saturday: Dinner w/ my mom

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Life has been crazy

Hi readers,

I know I have been slacking off on this blog, but trust it me it's because I have NOT been slacking off IRL. School started back up and I have been crazily busy with everything it takes to teach 7th grade math. I have a SMARTboard in classroom due to a grant I wrote last year. It is a fabulous piece of technology, but that also means I have a lot more work adapting all my lessons to use with the SMARTboard.

If that wasn't enough my two oldest boys played tackle football (practice started in Aug) and my oldest played on a fall baseball league. That meant that we had practice or games SEVEN days a week for the last couple months. CRAZY! Fortunately they both played their last football game yesterday. Can I get a YIPPEE!

I plan on getting myself back on track with menu planning among other things. I am hoping to do some posts on getting yourself organized for the holiday (although Halloween is now over and done with). Stick with me ladies and I will be bringing this blog back to life. I plan on doing a Menu Plan Monday for the first time in months.

Monday, August 31, 2009

School starts tomorrow and we are ready!

I have not had time to keep up with both blogs and this is the one that suffers. I will tell you that I have been a busy bee getting things organized in my classroom and at home. I guess it is better that I am actually doing this rather than just posting about it on my blog.

If you are about to start school and feeling overwhelmed or disorganized here are a few tips for you. First of all start with laundry and menu planning. These both encompass two major areas in your life/household and if you can keep on top of them everything else should fall together.

When I say menu planning I am speaking of planning menus, grocery shopping, keeping a clean and organized pantry and freezer, and then actually cooking what you have planned. I made sure to clean out my fridge this weekend so we are starting with a clean and organized slate. Groceries have been bought and put away in an organized fashion. I am really lucky that my dh also was bit by the organizing bug recently and defrosted and organized our extra freezer, as well as, the pantry in our kitchen where we store canned goods.

I am still formulating my menu plan for the first two weeks of school. The biggest challenge is that my two oldest ds play football and have practice several nights a week (and not always the same night). August was a challenge to actually sit down together as a family and eat meals. With it getting darker earlier I think practices will end by 7PM and we will just end up eating later than normal, but at least we will have a nice dinner together.

One thing I did with the boys was go through the Sept hot lunch calendar and I had them choose what days they are eating hot lunch. Now this is not set in stone and they are free to change their minds, but at least I will know in advance what days they are taking cold lunch. I have to say there aren't too many cold lunch days for them in Sept which actually makes my life easier.

Moving on to laundry. I made sure that ALL the laundry was done prior to school starting tomorrow. I washed all the bedding and towels today. It is so much easier to choose outfits when there is a multitude of clean clothes to choose from. This afternoon I had each of the boys choose four outfits to wear this week. I hung each pair of shorts and t-shirt on the same hanger and that way they can choose whatever outfit they want in the morning. They tend to have inherited their father's lack of color coordinating gene. :) New tennies were purchased this summer and are ready to go tomorrow.

We took all school supplies along with them to open house the other night so their backpacks will be empty tomorrow. It's nice to have all that out of the way. School supplies are another post I never got around to typing.

Because tomorrow is my first day of school with students I will not be around in the morning. We are used to this routine and even though I would love to be around to send them off, I have my own students starting their first day. This morning we had our back to school breakfast because I had time to make it. I made pancakes, sausage, and bacon. They loved it and I made enough pancakes that they will be able to eat some later in the week for breakfast. We met dh at TGI Friday's for lunch.

Don't worry if your house is not as clean nor organized as you wanted it. At the very least take time before the first day of school to make sure your kids have an outfit picked out, backpack is all packed and ready to go the night before, and lunch is taken care of. Make sure they get to bed at a decent time.

I am feeling pretty prepared for our first week of school which starts tomorrow. Bonus that it's only a four day week! Wish they all were. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to school countdown to do list

3 Weeks Before
School registration- pay fees, put $ in lunch account, buy special supplies from the school store (√)
Rent clarinet (√)
Get a family calendar
Put back to school night on calendar (√)
Go through clothing closets and drawers
Purchase school supplies (√)
Create a family binder
Make an organization plan for school papers (one binder per child)

2 Weeks Before
Sam's club run for snacks/breakfast bars
Wash backpacks and lunch boxes (√)
Label all school supplies (√)
Pack up backpack with school supplies (drop off at open house) (√)
Go school shopping for supplies and clothes (√)
Make a plan for bedtime and morning routines
Plan routines and rules for morning, afterschool, and evening
Plan cold lunch menus (√)
Set up a homework area
Put together homework kits
Plan Cooper's birthday party (his bday is Sept 9th and it's so much easier if I have it planned before school starts)

1 Week Before
Make menu plan for the first two weeks
Buy groceries
Make a rotation menu for breakfasts
Start practicing routines
Make schedule for homework and football practice
Get supplies that are missing
Definitely adjust bedtimes and waking times
Wash all clothes
Finish organizing closets

1st Week
Have lunches and outfits planned in advance
Start off with an organized routine
Organize boys' materials
Buy any additional supplies
Put all information on calendar and in appropriate binder
Fill out any additional forms
Stay organized and relaxed!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Organizing Projects

I can't believe the summer is half over and I have so many "summer projects" I have not even started. I am making a list of all I have to do here and will update with my progress on them.

~Kitchen pantry- my dad is going to build some slide out shelves for me
~Linen closet
~Drew's closet
~Ben's closet
~Cooper's closet
~Master closet
~Boys' dressers
~My dressers
~Nightstand drawers
~Kitchen drawers
~Den bookshelf
~Laundry room
~Recipe binder
~Basement pantry
~Upstairs freezer
~Bedding for bedrooms (need to purchase new sheets due to furniture shifting to different bedrooms)

The list is quite long and the common theme seems to be closets and drawers. I plan on getting this all done before going back to school at the end of August. I should have plenty of time for it, I just need to commit to accomplishing something everyday.

What are you attempting to organize?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Freezer cooking and a yummy recipe

The other day I bought 6 lbs of ground chuck as it was on sale for $1.88/lb. I used my electric frypan to cook all six pounds with chopped celery.

I used 2 lbs to make Sloppy Joe Sandwiches. I have used this recipe before and love it! I like to eat my sloppy joe on a bun with extra garlic powder and a slice of cojack cheese. I will serve it with chips and a yummy fruit salad I made.

I froze the other 4 lbs in two 1 lb packs and one 2 lb pack. I can use the meat for several different things like, chili, pizza hotdish, or calico baked beans.

I was able to get three loads of laundry done today and plan on getting another load done tonight. I started decluttering/organizing Drew's closet and need to get all the size smalls put away into a rubbermaid container.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Home Decor summer to do list

This coming October 1st we will have lived in this house five years. That is so hard to believe. Time sure flies. We have accomplished a lot with the house, but still have tons more to do. When we built we had the house painted by the builder. Everything was "accesible beige". If I had to do over I would have hired a private painter for the interior of the house, but we did what we thought was best at the time.

I have a long list of things that need to be done/purchased. This Spring we bought new tables for the living room and also bought a new bedroom set (as well as new bedding). Those were a major expense so we are focusing this summer on some less costly an simple things to do around the house (although I guess a new couch is neither simple nor less costly).

I need to pick out paint colors for several rooms. I do know what I want in the den, but that is all I have figured out at this point.

Here is my list of tasks I hope to accomplish this summer.

New rugs ~purchased 7-4


Living room:
New couch
Framed photos
Wall art
Decor for bookshelves

Powder room:
Fingertip towels
Wall art

Master bedroom:

Master bath:

Laundry room:
Rugs for floor

Build sliding shelves (courtesy of my father)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm going to start posting again

Be patient. I have tons of things to post about. Sorry I have not been around, but life is busy. Check back tomorrow (or tonight if I am ambitious) for a new post.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Menu Planning Monday 3-23

Monday: Pizza hotdish, green beans, fresh baked bread

Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese, spinach

Wednesday: Crispy chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry

Thursday: Brats, chips, fruit salad

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: T-bone steaks, baked potatoes, salad

Sunday: Spicy grilled shrimp, crash hot potatoes, creamy cucumbers

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 3-16

Monday: Pizza hotdish (recipe follows), green beans, fresh baked bread, fruit salad

Tuesday: Guinness Corned Beef, cabbage, red potatoes, marble rye bread

Wednesday: Garlic lime chicken (recipe follows), brown rice, corn, fresh fruit

Thursday: Ruebens, chips, fruit

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: T-bone steaks, baked potatoes, salad

Sunday: Brats or italians, chips, blue cheese coleslaw


Menu plan changes for the week:

Monday: We ended up having leftovers and tacos for the boys

Friday: We went to Mc D's (yuck!)

Saturday: Grilled burgers, chips

Sunday: Cranberry grilled pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, fabulous salad

Pizza Hotdish:
Brown 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck in an electric frypan. I season the meat with Mc Cormick's Pizza Seasoning Grinder and also add sliced mushrooms. Cook one 12 oz bag of whole wheat egg noodles al dente while browning meat. Once meat is browned drain any fat and then add one 15 oz can of pizza sauce and parmesan cheese to taste. Mix in drained egg noodles. You can also add sliced black olives if you like at this point. Top with 8 oz shredded mozarella cheese and cook until melted.

Garlic Lime Chicken

Mix together:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp thyme

Sprinkle mixture on both sides of:
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

In a skillet heat over medium high heat:
2 TB butter
2 TB olive oil

Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
Turn down the heat, remove the chicken (keeping warm) and add:
½ C chicken broth
4 TB lime juice

Whisk up the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly.

Add chicken back to the pan to thoroughly coat and serve.

Serves 6. Per Serving: 343 Calories; 11g Fat (31.1% calories from fat); 55g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 147mg Cholesterol; 612mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 7 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 3-02

Monday: Parmesan crusted pork chops , prince edward veg medley, salad, applesauce

Tuesday: My last night of grad class. YIPPEE!!!! Leftovers for the guys

Wednesday: Cheese ravioli, beans, salad

Thursday: BLTs, chips, sliced cucumbers, chocolate malts

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Greg's birthday dinner out at Bacchus

Sunday: Ham sandwiches, salad

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Financial Peace University Week 3

We attended session 3 of FPU Thursday night.
Cash Flow Planning
Unlock the secret of developing a monthly spending plan that really works.
You can get more info on Financial peace universityhere.

I am really enjoying the program. I would highly recommend it for anyone married or single. I have been wanting to do this course for a few years now and it never was offered at a location close enough to us at a time we could attend. We go Thurs nights 6:30-8:30 and they offer childcare for only $4 a night for the three boys. The boys actually love going and have a great time with the kids who do the childcare.

Homework for this week:
1) Complete the financial snapshot
2) Create a zero-based budget
3) Read Chpt 19 and 21

Other items on my financial to do list:
1) Make a will
2) Order FP Junior for the boys

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2-23

Monday: Glazed meatloaf baked potatoes, squash

Tuesday: Grad class for me (my second last one woo hoo!) Tovers

Wednesday: Steak fajitas w/ pico de gallo, chips and guacamole, fresh fruit

Thursday: Sloppy joes, chips, fruit

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Spaghetti and meatballs, sauteed spinach, chopped salad, breadsticks

Sunday: Celebrating March birthday w/ dinner @ my db's house

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Menu Planning tips

There are tons of menu planning tips and tricks out there. Whole websites are dedicated to helping you plan your meals. The most important thing IMO is to plan your meals. You don't have to get all fancy and organized just write down what you will make and then make sure you have the ingredients to make your meals.

My personal menu planning style is to start with the weekly sale ads. I have four main grocery stores I shop at. I don't hit all four stores every week, but if there is an exceptional sale I try and stock up. I am fortunate because we have a full sized stand up freezer in our basement. We also have a small fridge in the basement that stores soda/beer and an overflow of any refrigerated items that don't fit in our main fridge. One thing I love about my chain stores is that they now do an online grocery list that I can click on items and then print out what to buy right from the sale ad. Easy peasy!

We have a decent sized pantry in our kitchen and a large pantry storage area in our basement. I try to stock up on things when they are on sale and also on things we use frequently. I tend to plan my weekly menu based on what is on sale that week or what I want to use out of the freezer.

Menus for moms is a great website for menu planning. They have tons of tips and links to check out. I also love to print out their menu planner for my weekly menu.

Organizing junkie's menu plan Monday is a link to hundreds (I am not exaggerating) of weekly menu plans that people have linked. If you are bored or looking for something new you could spend hours perusing people's menus. Many people post recipes or links to recipes. If you are looking for some menu planning inspiration start here.

All recipes is my favorite website to search for recipes. You can type in whatever ingredient you are looking for and it will show you recipes for that. I always have them list the recipes by rating and have never made anything with under 4 1/2 stars. If you find a recipe be sure to read the comments as they can be quite helpful. All recipes is definitely my go to recipe site. There are many other great ones out there. What is your favorite?

Hopefully this gives you some ideas as a starting point for your menu planning. Please feel free to add any tips.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My washer and dryer

I think one of the most important keys to an organized life is laundry. If you have clean clothes that are put away where they belong, you will always have something to wear when you need it. You won't be desperately searching for the last clean pair of underwear or socks if you keep up with laundry.

I live in a house filled with boys, three little ones and one big one. To say we generate a lot of laundry is quite an understatement. Managing Mt Washmore is really the bane of my existence. Anytime I feel like I have finally won the war against dirty laundry, a new battle emerges.

I know the sensible thing to do would be to do a load or two everyday, instead of having to do five or six loads on the weekend. I just cannot seem to get myself into the daily laundry routine during the school year when I am working. I am much better at keeping up with the laundry when I am home during the summer. Of course I am much better at keeping up with EVERYTHING during the summer when I am not working outside the home, but I digress.

And now without further ado let me introduce you to my washer and dryer. I love the dryer because it is so much quicker than my old dryer, but I do have to say that the washer takes FOREVER.

Model : WM2688HWMA

The LG SteamWasher™ with Allergiene™. The largest front load washer available.
The power of TrueSteam™ penetrates fabrics for optimal cleaning performance and also reduces allergens by more than 95% with LG’s exclusive Allergiene™ cycle.

Model : DLEX8377WM

The LG Electric SteamDryer™
The LG SteamDryer™ with TrueSteam™ Technology helps to reduce wrinkles and odors practically eliminating the need for ironing.

Only LG’s SteamDryer has exclusive features such as ReduceStatic™ which virtually eliminates static cling, and EasyIron™ which helps make ironing easier and more efficient.

Welcome to my new blog about organizing my life, home, and family

This blog is the beginning of my journey to find peace and tranquility through an organized and well decorated home. Oh who am I kidding?! I live with a house full of guys. This is about maintaining my sanity by keeping order in our sometimes chaotic lives.

There are ten main areas of organization I will be focusing on:
1) Spiritual
2) Financial
3) Fitness/Health
4) Family/Marriage
5) Home
6) Beauty
7) Menu Planning/Meals
8) Laundry/Clothing
9) Career

Thanks for joining me and PLEASE feel free to post comments and questions.