Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1-25-10

Monday: Leftovers from BD Mongolian's

Tuesday: Parmesan crusted pork chops, maple glazed butternut squash,

Wednesday: Crispy chicken, baked potatoes, corn, cranberry

Thursday: BLTs

Friday: Frozen pizza (I will be gone at a church retreat)

Saturday: I will be gone at a church retreat, not sure what the guys will eat

Sunday: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic italian flat beans, antipasta salad, french bread

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1-18

Monday: Glazed meatloaf baked potatoes, squash  

Tuesday: Hair appt for me Tovers  

Wednesday: Sloppy joes, chips, fruit  

Thursday: Taking the boys to my parents for the weekend, not sure if we will meet them somewhere for dinner 

Friday: Boys gone dinner out at Bacchus  

Saturday: Boys gone; My staff Christmas party, lots of great food!  

Sunday: Penne alla Vodka, Salad, French bread

If you are looking for more menu ideas check out Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekend to do list 1/15:

~Find daily devotion book and start using it today
~Church Sunday (√)
~Attend Adult Ed Class "The Peacemaking Church" (√)

~January budget
~Start using
~Expense track
~Find receipts for school
~Organized 2010 bills/paperwork
~Organized household binder
~Find all gift cards and make not of bonus ones that expire

~Track all food in WW journal (√)
~Drink daily water (√)
~Purchase and start taking a daily multivitamin
~Follow good health guidelines

~Start planning Ben's birthday parties/set date (family/friend)
~Play board games this weekend with the boys
~Spend some one-on-one time reading or playing with Cooper
~Lunch out with family Sunday (√)
~Sunday dinner and family chat time (√)
~Have boys finish writing thank you notes (√)

~Work on home decor goals for 2010
~Finish packing away Christmas decor
~Put up Valentine's day decor
~Organize pantry
~Straighten house
~Spend 30 min decluttering the office
~Spend 1 hour on Master closet
~Spend 1 hour on Master bedroom

~Darks (√)
~Colors (√) (√)
~Bathroom rugs

~Brow Wax
~Organize jewelry
~Declutter/organize purses

Menu Planning/Meals:
~Get post read for Menu Plan Monday (√)
~Plan lunches for school (√)
~Try at least one WW recipe
~Try at least on Barefoot Contessa recipe
~Make grocery list for Trader Joe's and local grocery store (√)
~Clip coupons
~Bake (√) and frost snowflake sugar cookies
~Bake banana bread (√)
~Bake apple bread

I copied my list from last weekend and am hoping to accomplish quite a bit.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1-11

Monday:  Roasted pork panini with cranberry walnut chutney, arugula, and brie, bacon coleslaw, chips

Tuesday:  Crockpot Baby Back Ribs, Corn, Baked potatoes, bacon coleslaw, applesauce

Wednesday: Exec board meeting for me, Chicken fried rice, toast, fruit They ended up having leftover ribs and bacon wrapped chicken

Thursday: Chicken fried rice

Friday:  Penne alla Vodka, Salad, French bread We had frozen pizza: pepperoni, canadian bacon, and TJ's ham and gruyere flat bread pizza

Saturday: Venison steaks, mashed potatoes, creamed corn

Sunday: TBD

Check out Menu Plan Monday for lots of menu plans!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Weekend To Do List

~Find daily devotion book and start using it today
~Church Sunday (√)
~Attend Adult Ed Class "The Peacemaking Church" (√)

~January budget
~Start using
~Expense track
~Find receipts for school
~Organized 2010 bills/paperwork
~Organized household binder
~Find all gift cards and make not of bonus ones that expire

~Track all food in WW journal (Sat)
~Drink daily water (√)
~Purchase and start taking a daily multivitamin
~Follow good health guidelines (√)

~Start planning Ben's birthday parties (family/friend)
~Play Clue this weekend with the boys (√)
~Spend some one-on-one time reading or playing with Cooper (√)
~Lunch out with family Sunday (√)
~Sunday dinner and family chat time

~Work on home decor goals for 2010
~Finish packing away Christmas decor
~Put up Valentine's day decor
~Clean out fridge (√)
~Organize pantry
~Straighten house
~Spend 30 min decluttering the office
~Spend 1 hour on Master closet
~Spend 1 hour on Master bedroom

~Whites (√)
~Bedding- 4 bedrooms (√) (√) (√)
~Bathroom rugs

~Brow Wax
~Organize jewelry
~Declutter/organize purses

Menu Planning/Meals:
~Get post read for Menu Plan Monday
~Plan lunches for school
~Try at least one WW recipe
~Try at least on Barefoot Contessa recipe
~Make grocery list for Sam's (√), Trader Joe's-shop there next Sun, and local grocery store
~Clip coupons
~Bake and frost snowflake sugar cookies
~Bake banana bread (√)
~Bake apple bread

This is my to do list and I don't really plan on accomplishing all of this over the weekend.  I like to have it written down as a record of all the things that need to be done.  I will update my progress throughout the weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

School End of Day Routine

If I accomplish the following list of things before I leave school for the day, I am assured of starting off the following day of work stress-free.  It also means if I have a last minute sick day (as happens with three young boys) I am completely prepared for a sub taking over my classroom.

I started following a list like this a few years ago and then really implemented it as a sort of check-out list when I had a student teacher.  It was helpful for her to know what the expectations were of her prior to leaving school for the day.  She worked very hard to always have things set up for the next day (in case she would not be there I would have to take over and I did not want to be left in a lurch).  Obviously the list just stuck to school related responsibilities for her.

I strongly urge you to make some sort of list like this whatever your career may be if you work outside the home.  Coming to work in the morning knowing you are completely organized and ready for the day is such a liberating feeling!  (In the future I will share the afternoon list I use during summers/vacations when I am a SAHM).

School-End of the Day routine:

Write out assignment board for tomorrow.

Check tomorrow’s day file has needed copies.

Organize desk and straighten top drawer.

Straighten daily files and file today’s papers in binders/file folders.

Start a TO DO list for tomorrow including list of calls/emails to do.

Pack up laptop and cord.

Organize computer table.

Pack up stuff to go home:  coat, lunch bag, computer, and purse.

Check in basket and put correcting/projects in order of priority for the morning.

Turn off lights.
       *Unplug lights under window

Leave desktop in wonderful shape to welcome the morning.
   Tomorrow’s daily file
   Seating chart/class list binder
   Lesson plan book
   Teacher Edition 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1-4-10

Monday:  Tex-Mex Turkey Soup, served with sour cream, scallions, cilantro, cheese, and tortilla chips
ETA:  This soup was fabulous.  It was a new recipe I made.  It got 5 stars on Allrecipes. 

Tuesday:  Leftovers for guys (I have a meeting)

Wednesday:  Balsamic roasted pork loin, Mashed potatoes, Maple-roasted butternut squash p. 158 barefoot contessa back to basics cookbook, Hot French bread   ETA:  The balsamic roasted pork loin was a hit and super easy.  I baked it in my Le Crueset  Cocoette.  I will definitely add it to my menu rotation.  The maple-roasted butternut squash was fabulous.  YUM YUM YUM!

Thursday:  Spaghetti and meatballs, Garlic sauteed italian flat beans with julienne carrots, Antipasta salad, Garlic bread  We ended up changing up the menu plan and just had ham and cheese or meatball subs.  I wanted to use up the leftover french bread from Wed and some meatballs I had.  Mission accomplished with much less effort and mess in the kitchen to clean up!

Friday:  Leftovers

Saturday:  Bacon wrapped chicken, Crash hot potatoes, Prince Edward Vegetable Medley

Sunday:  Baby Back Ribs (recipe follows), Baked potatoes, Corn, Applesauce

Baby Back Ribs

4 lbs pork baby back ribs 
1/3 cup dark brown sugar 
1 tbsp paprika 
1 1/2 tsp chili powder 
1 1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp ground cumin 
3/4 tsp black pepper 
3/4 tsp white pepper 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
3/4 tsp ground oregano 
1/4 tsp sugar 
bbq sauce 

Combine dry ingredients and rub over the surface of the ribs. Place ribs in slow cooker or crock-pot standing on their edge with the meaty side out. Cook for 6 hrs on low (8 hrs if crock pot is not powerful) Remove ribs from crock pot and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Here is the link to Menu Plan Monday  at OrgJunkie.  You will find MANY MANY links to menu plans.  Enjoy! 

The power of the TO DO list

Different personalities attack organization in different manners.  It does not come natural to me, trust me.  Being organized is something I have to work at constantly.  I guess part of it has to do with my perfectionist personality.  Often if I start a project I become obsessed with the minutiae involved and lose sight of the big picture.  Perfectionism leads to procrastination to paralysis.  Don't get bogged down by perfectionism.

I think a great way to accomplish things is with a TO DO list.  When I have a day off I could easily waste away the day watching TV, being on the computer, and reading magazines and never accomplish a thing.  It is important for me to start my day off with a TO DO list, especially on the weekends.  I am a very list oriented person (not everyone is that way so whatever works for you is the method you need to use).  I am constantly writing myself notes on my iPhone.  I love that I have all my notes with me to refer back to when needed.  Also that way if I am waiting around somewhere I can be productive thinking things out and putting together notes on whatever I need.

On weekdays when I am working my TO DO list is a bit different because there is not a lot of time to accomplish extra things (other than the day to day upkeep needed to keep our household running smoothly).  I will be sharing many of my different Master Lists on this blog.  Feel free to share any great tips or ideas you have in the comment section or through email.  Also I would love to have guest posters here if you have an area of expertise.  I think we all excel in different areas of organization (and need help in others).

Here is my TO DO list for today:  I typed it on my iPhone on the ride home from church.
  Boys' outerwear
Now I will most likely not get all these loads done because we have a front load washer/dryer and our washer takes FOREVER, but at least I have the order I want to do loads and I will put one load in before bed tonight and then put it in the dryer tomorrow.  I will put another load in tomorrow before school and then dry it when I get home.
Menu plan/make grocery list/clip coupons (one hour max)
Organize purses
Clean out backpacks
Pack away remaining Christmas decor
Organize master bedroom (one hour)
Declutter office (30 min)
Set up budget/expense tracking

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January Menu Plan

My January menu plan is basically the same as my December plan and I have to say that we did not make many of the meals listed in December.  This month I am going to a better job of weekly menu planning.

Spaghetti and meatballs
Glazed Meatloaf (1/18)
Pizza hotdish
Sloppy Joes (1/20)
Grilled burgers
Steak fajitas
NY Strip Steaks (1/2)

Garlic lime chicken
Crispy Chicken
Rotisserie Chicken
Bacon wrapped chicken (1/10)
Chicken fried rice (1/14)
Tex-Mex Turkey soup (1/4)

Baby back ribs (1/12)
Pork tenderloin
Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin (1/6)
Pork fried rice
Parmesan crusted pork chops

Spicy shrimp
Shrimp tacos
Swordfish salad

Venison roast
Venison steaks (1/16)

Cheese ravioli
Penne alla Vodka (1/24)
Macaroni and cheese

Homemade Pizza (1/3)
Frozen Pizza (1/15)
Homemade subs: ham and cheese or meatball (1/7)
Grilled Cheese

Turkey dinner with all the trimmings (1/1)

No cost organizing-Tip #1 DECLUTTER

With the new year here it is very tempting to try and buy your way to organized (I have fallen into this trap myself many times).  Buying all the rubbermaid containers in the world does not mean you are organized (just check our basement).  My husband loves to buy containers and build shelves.  That is his solution to the problem of how to get organized and for some reason it just doesn't work that way.  You have to be the person putting things in those containers and on those shelves in an organized fashio.

Now so you don't all think I am a hypocrite I will certainly buy things to help organized my life.  Sometimes they are inexpensive and sometimes they can be costly (think CA closets in my dream world!).  Today going to start a series of posts on NO COST organizing.  There are so many things you can do around your house to make it more organized that do not cost a penny.

Today's tip is to declutter your home one step at a time.  It costs nothing to throw things away.  The more STUFF you get rid of the less containers you need to store things.

Set a goal for yourself to declutter everyday.  My personal decluttering goal will be 15-30 min daily depending what is going on that day.  Now this is just a daily declutter that I am hoping to form a habit (what does it take-21 days?).  There are SO many areas around my house that could use a good declutter.  Now do NOT mistake this for organizing.  These declutter sessions are focused on getting rid  of stuff that sits around your house taking up precious space.  It is not about organizing (other than moving things to where they belong.  Remember the more you get rid of the less you have to organize!

Label three boxes:
1) Give away:  Anything you plan on donating to a group or individual.  Have a space in your basement or garage to store this box and write a date on when you will get rid of it.  I suggest you write a date 30 days from your first decluttering session (at the latest).  If you know you will be going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army on a specific date write it on the box so your give away box does not become one more example of clutter in your house.

2) Throw away:  Line this box with a garbage or grocery bag.  After your decluttering session toss the contents of the box into the garbage and never look back!

3) Put away:  This is for anything that does not belong where it is.  Spend 5 quick minutes after your decluttering session putting things where they belong.

You may want to prioritize which room/area of your house in most desperate need of decluttering.  For me it would be the office or basement.  Set your timer for the amount of time you have to delutter and go to it.  It won't be so overwhelming when you have an end in sight.  I suggest 15-30 min, but if you can only spare 5 or 10 it is better than nothing.

I am now off to set my timer and head to my office.  Try it out and tell me what you think.