Monday, August 30, 2010

Twenty Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday

The following comes from the blog  Marc and Angel Hack Life.  As a very goal oriented person I think these questions would definitely keep me living my life in concert with my goals.
If you would like to maximize the benefits of self reflection, I have 20 questions for you.  These questions should be reviewed every Sunday morning or sometime during the weekend when you have some quiet time to think.  Remember, reflection is the key to progression.
  1. What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.
  2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment.  It’s also an effective way to track your progress.
  3. Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting.
  4. What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such.  Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks.
  5. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself.
  6. What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters.
  7. What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future.  Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.
  8. Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.
  9. What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done.  For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning.
  10. What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week.
  11. Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester.  Always keep an open line of communication to those around you.
  12. Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you.  Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
  13. How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  If you help them, they will remember you when you need help.
  14. What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself.
  15. Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change.
  16. What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole.
  17. What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation.  If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to.
  18. What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them.  It’s all about taking baby steps.
  19. What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of.
  20. If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short.  Spend more time with the people you care about.

Friday, August 20, 2010


If you follow my blog you probably already know about my obsession this summer with gazpacho.  Just as I was obsessed with shrimp ceviche last summer, it seems to be gazpacho this summer.  The good news is that this is so very easy, fresh, and healthy!  It is a great way to get your veggies in.  I cannot sing the praises of my gazpacho enough.

I have made three batches this summer and it is just so yummy! The first time I made it I used a food processor, the second time I only did a couple of the veggies in the processor, the third batch I chopped everything by hand. It is so chunky and delicious and a great way to get some veggies in. I was able to use cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and tarragon from our garden.

This is the original recipe I use with a few modifications. Gazpacho

I use two 11.5 oz cans of V-8 vegetable juice in place of tomato juice. I use a red onion, two or three cloves of garlic, no sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, I sub cilantro (because I LOVE it) for the parsley, and I have been using fresh tarragon and basil.

My gazpacho:


  • 2 11.5 ounce cans V-8 juice
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (I use fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (I use fresh)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I use cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

The amazing cast of characters

You can see the coarse chop of the veggies.

With the herbs added in.

Fresh healthy fabulousness in a bowl!

If this sounds good to you I strongly urge you to make it.  I need to make myself another bowl this weekend (it only lasts a few days).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pantry Organization

Well the family reunion/50th anniversary party was a raging success!  We had such a great time and everything went so well.  All the hard work and effort Greg and I have been putting in to getting the house and everything else ready was well worth it.  People were completely impressed with the house and extremely grateful for us agreeing to host.  My boys met their cousins from NY and MN and all got along fabulously.

I We did manage to get several organization/home decor projects taken care of this summer.  I will be posting photos of several of the things we accomplished this summer so keep checking back for new posts.

Now on to the pantry!  This project took took less than a day.  I started by going through all the Tupperware storage containers and throwing things out that were outdated and consolidating things into the proper sized containers.  The blue bins (I am not a fan, but my dh bought them and they work for now) hold snacks, baking supplies, granola bars, pudding and applesauce containers.  We keep them accessible so the boys can grab snacks when we need them.  Sorry for the quality of the photos as I used my iPhone, but you can get the idea of what the pantry looks like.

It is amazing how well the clutter can be hidden behind the pantry doors.

Ben wondered why on Earth I was taking photos of the nasty pantry and wanted to be in the photo.  

Scary, I know!

Much bettter!

I love my tupperware containers!  Yes we have an absolutely ridiculous amount of cereal (not all of those have cereal in them, but most do).

Look at those fabulous potatoes we got at the farmers' market.  That empty shelf is where we keep our bread (as you can see we it was time for a trip to the grocery store).

It was such a necessity to get the pantry organized prior to having all our relatives descend on our home. That empty shelf was soon filled up after a trip to Sam's club and a major purchase for feeding all our company.

I am so thrilled that the pantry is looking so great.  I love getting everything organized before school starts.  Greg put up a nail so we can hang our plastic grocery bags that we end up using for all sorts of things.  It is so nice to have them neatly organized instead of shoved in on the side.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the newly improved pantry!  :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 8-2

Monday:  Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce (cheese ravioli for the boys), garlic sauteed spinach (beans for the boys),  chopped salad, french bread

Tuesday:  (GNO for me) Venison roast in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, wax beans

Wednesday:  Garlic lime chicken, brown rice, corn, fresh fruit

Thursday:  Dinner out before church

Friday:  Frozen pizza, salad

Saturday:  Grilled shrimp, grilled veggies, grilled potatoes, fire and ice salad

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

Chocolate chip cookies
Homemade ice cream