Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Florida bound

I have been a busy busy girl for the past week getting ready for our trip to FL.  I have all three boys packed.  YAY!  Tonight I went through my clothes and put together five outfits and about 20 pairs of sandals.  I have a section of my closet devoted to possible clothes to bring on our trip and I need to keep whittling down what to bring.  I have my to do lists so I make sure nothing is forgotten.

I had a meeting after school today and decided to do some baking for our trip when I got home.  I had made the dough for some chocolate chip M&M cookies yesterday and baked them today.
I also made some Special K bars with some decorative sprinkles.

And also some rice krispy treats.  Everything looks better with sprinkles.  :)

I have all three boys packed up.  Holla!  I haven't had time to post any organization tips lately, because I have been focusing on getting packed up and organizing the house.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Planning for a road trip

We have an upcoming road trip planned to FL and I am starting the process of organizing for the trip.  We will stay at a hotel for one night on our way to visit my ILS.

Things to do before you pack:
~Make sure all laundry is clean and put away (this makes packing so much easier!) (√)
~Make sure the house is clean (no one wants to return to a messy house) (√)
~Make a shopping list for food/travel items/toiletries (√)
~Notify post office to have mail held (√)
~Cancel the paper while you are gone (√)
~Plan route on GPS or map (√)
~Get van serviced and fill tank with gas the night before you leave
~Make sure all bills are paid or set for auto pay while you are gone
~Download songs/shows to iPods
~Haircuts for boys (√)
~Get cash from ATM

Make a list of things you need to pack:
~We always pack our own pillows when we travel
~Each family member gets a list of things to pack (if your children are old enough have them make a list of the games/toys/books they want to make sure to bring)
~Each of our boys has a square carrier to keep their travel items organized in the van
~Food/snacks to pack
~Medications and first aid kit
~Pack one bag per person and then have one bag for all toiletries
~If you will be stopping at a hotel for the night pack one bag with jammies/clothes for the next day so you don't have to unpack every bag

Things to do before you leave:
~Change sheets the night before you leave so you come home to clean beds  (√)
~Make sure your house is clean.  It is so nice to come home to a sparkling clean house  :)
~Clean out the fridge before you go and throw out anything that will not be good when you return (√)
~Water plants or set them up in a water bath before you go
~Notify neighbors that are keeping an eye on your house (√)
~Set the furnace where you want it

Friday, March 19, 2010

PON Week #5 "Organize Your Personal Information"

I am following the weekly schedule found in the book:
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 5 is "Organize Your Personal Information" This is the first chapter of the section on Organizing Your Papers.

This Week's Goals:

~Decide where you would like to store this  information.  I have not decided where to keep my master list of where all information is stored.  If I get super organized I will leave a copy with my parents so it anything happens they have a copy of the master list.

~Label each category so it can be easily referenced.

These are the categories the book lists:  I added anything listed in blue
A)  Finances
     ~Credit score
     ~Credit/Debit Card numbers and phone numbers to call if lost or stolen
     ~Bank account numbers
     ~All budgeting information
     ~Net worth statement

B)  Health
     ~Blood pressure
     ~Health issues
     ~Cholesterol level
     ~Family blood types
     ~Insurance EOB forms
     ~FLEX receipts
     ~Immunization Records

C)  Safety
     ~Emergency contact info
     ~License plate and VIN numbers
     ~Current photos of family members with height and weight info
     ~ Photocopies of passports

D)  Just in case 
     ~Measurements and clothing sizes

E)  Other
     ~Children's report cards 
     ~Important school papers/info (I keep these in a separate binder for each of my boys)

Important Documents that should be kept in a fireproof safe:
     ~Marriage license
     ~Birth certificates
     ~Adoption papers
     ~Auto titles
     ~Stocks and bonds certificates
     ~Death certificates :(
     ~Household Inventory List
     ~Valuable contacts
     ~Home deeds and titles
     ~Insurance info

I need to get myself on track with paperwork.  It is definitely an area in my life that needs much improvement!

*Stay tuned for the chapter on "Organizing Your Trip" coming soon.  We will be a doing a road trip to FL in April and I plan on posting about getting organized for the trip.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu plan Monday 3-15

Monday: Pizza hotdish (recipe follows), green beans, fresh baked bread, pineapple, pear, cherry side

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Guinness Corned Beef, cabbage, red potatoes, marble rye bread, irish soda bread

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Garlic lime chicken (recipe follows), brown rice, corn, fresh fruit  We ended up having leftovers again

Sunday: Dinner at PF Chang's

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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

PON Week #4 "Organize Your Priorities"

I am following the weekly schedule found in the book:
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 4 is "Organize Your Priorities" This is the final chapter of the section on Organizing Yourself.

 This Week's Goals:

~Make a list of your top ten priorities.  Your priorities should reflect your core values.  Post this list somewhere where you will see it often.  This is a great idea.  Greg and I did something similar when we did the Living Compass Programs during our marriage enrichment retreat.

~Make a list of all the activities in which you currently participate.  Compare the list to your top ten priorities.  Decide on activities that can be eliminated to make time for your top ten.  Focus on cutting out activities that take your time, but don't bring you joy.  It's amazing when you look at your priorities and you look at how you spend your time and they just don't seem to mesh.  I am fortunate that I have finished up with graduate classes and now need to only take 6 credits every five years for my teaching license renewal.  Not taking classes leaves much more time to spend with my family.  YAY!

~Right now, schedule time in your planner to contribute to your priorities.  Appointments may include:
   ~Phone call to a friend you need to catch up with
   ~Sit down dinners with your family
   ~Family movie or game night
   ~Exercise time
   ~A date with your partner
   ~Reading time for you
   ~Time to read to your children
   ~Craft time or time to work on a project
     I think scheduling things is really important if you want to make sure you actually do these things.  We now have a weekly date night and it has been amazing after just three weeks.  Before that I cannot remember the last time my dh and I went on a date.  I need to start scheduling my exercise time because it seems that is the only way I will actually do it.  Try this method out and let me know how it works for you.

~Learn to say no, especially when things do not align with your priorities.  You don't have to say no to everything, but you also do not have to say yes to everything.  Keep in mind what works with your core values,

~Honor your priorities each day.  Amen!  Some weeks I have less control over my after school time because of work commitments (i.e. committee meetings or PT conferences).  There are some non negotiables in my job or dh's and we have to plan accordingly for that.

I have gotten lots of comments and emails from people wondering how I do it all.  Trust me I don't do it all everyday.  I have good days and bad days like everyone else.  I fall short of my goals and do not always cross everything off my To Do list, but just by being aware of what needs to be done and keeping my thoughts and goals organized, I am accomplishing much more than I otherwise would.  The more planned I am and the more organized and clean my house is, the happier and more content I feel.  And you all know they saying, "If mama 'aint happy, 'aint nobody happy".  :)

Just remember every step toward organization is a step away from disorganization.  Good luck this week and let me know how it goes!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Master To Do List for March

1) Spiritual
   ~Lenten Devotionals with boys
   ~Attend church every Sunday (√) (√) (√)
2) Financial
   ~March budget plan
   ~Track all expenses
   ~Pay healthcare deductibles
   ~File papers
   ~Set up accounts on Mint.com
   ~Make furniture payment
   ~$1000 emergency fund build up (in progress)
   ~Turn in school receipts for reimbursement
   ~File taxes (√)
3) Fitness/Health

   ~Exercise minimum of 4x weekly for 20 min
   ~Track EVERYTHING for WW (√)
   ~Follow good health guidelines (√)
   ~Take multivitamin daily (√)
   ~Start 30 day shred
4) Family/Marriage

   ~Attend Living Compass class at church (√)(√)(√)
   ~Plan Spring Break (in progress)
   ~Purchase bday gifts/cards for Greg and Dad (√)
   ~Friday night date night- dinner at Bacchus
   ~Make reservations at Bacchus for Greg's bday dinner (√)
   ~Celebrate Greg's bday with family (√)
   ~Celebrate Mom and Dad's bdays (√)
   ~RW Spring carnival (√)
   ~Start boys on chore charts (or chore jar) (move to April)
   ~Family game night
5) Home

   ~ Put up Easter decor (in progress)
   ~Select paint colors (move to April)
   ~Organize home office (in progress)
   ~Organize bookshelf in den (move to April)
   ~Organize bedroom closets (4) (in progress)
   ~Organize master bedroom (in progress)
   ~Organize pantry (in progress)
   ~Organize linen closet (in progress)
   ~Organize coat closet on main level (move to April)
   ~40 day trash bag declutter for lent (in progress)
   ~Purchase new living room couch (move to April)
6) Beauty

   ~Schedule facial
   ~Mani/Pedi/Brow wax
   ~Purchase skin care items
   ~Purchase hair care items (√)
   ~Purchase new nail polish colors (√)
7) Menu Planning/Meals

   ~Weekly menu planning (√)
   ~Try out five new recipes (√)
   ~Make two new dessert recipes (move to April)
   ~St Patty's Day dinner (√)
8) Laundry/Clothing

   ~Wash all new clothes purchased (in progress)
   ~Purchase clothes for FL trip (√)
   ~Purchase sandals for FL trip
   ~Organize closets (master closet-in progress)
   ~Dry clean clothes-coats/sweaters (move to April)
   ~Repair clothing items (move to April)
   ~Replace lining on black wool coat (move to April)
9) Career

   ~Finish up Middle School Review Committee work (√)
   ~Organize binders
   ~Organize shelves behind desk

   ~Scrapbook  (move to April)
   ~Read one book for pleasure  (move to April)
   ~March GNO (√)
   ~Mail Ben's thank you notes
   ~Mail Favorite Things Swap package (√)
   ~Plan get together with Gs  (move to April)