Friday, April 30, 2010

Cloth Napkins

We love our cloth napkins! Not only do they save us money because we're not constantly buying the disposable variety (although I do have a cheap pack of paper napkins on hand for hosting large groups), but they are also just so much nicer to use! Not to mention not generating so much trash.

I had several comments on the cloth napkins in last week's  green and frugal post so I thought I'd devote a whole post to the subject of cloth napkins today!

But don't they require so much care?

Not in my experience. We don't wash ours after every meal but instead use the same ones for several meals or days or until they are noticeably dirty. This may gross some people out, but it works for us! Some families use napkin rings to keep everyone's napkins separate. I throw them in the wash with a load of towels so they don't really create any extra laundry.

I iron napkins for special occasions, otherwise I don't bother with ironing. Linen napkins really look and feel much better if ironed and/or starched.  So I don't use those kind. :-) Plain cotton works well and is very low-maintenance.

What about cost?

At regular department store prices, cloth napkins can sometimes be a little on the pricey side. But they don't have to be! Every napkin in my collection has either been purchased on clearance, at yard sales and thrift stores, given as gifts or handmade.

After several uses, the napkins will begin to pay for themselves because you will no longer be buying paper ones.

How do I go about making my own cloth napkins? 

Napkins are one of the simplest items to sew, even for a beginner seamstress. I've used small pieces of leftover fabric to make ours. You can also make napkins out of a sheet from the thrift store or an extra sheet that you have around the house. Pretty much any cotton fabric will do!

They are so easy to make! Basically, you cut a square of fabric then hem the edges or you can make cute no-sew napkins like these.

My homemade napkins that you see at the top of the basket are reversible. These would be really cute to make with a stylish "adult" fabric on one side and a kid-friendly print on the other. I was going to do a tutorial on how to make reversible napkins but ran out of time so I found these instructions for you.

--Reversible napkins with matching napkin rings.
--Reversible napkins with adorable rick rack edging.

Some other cute cloth napkins I've found:
-- Five different styles of cloth napkins. I love all of these. The retro prints! The rick rack! The embroidery! The applique!

Alright, I may like cloth napkins a bit too much.

But they are fun! And cheap! And easy to use! Try it!

**This post is part of Frugal Fridays.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Do You Do All Day?

Since becoming a homemaker, the question I hear most frequently is "So what do you do all day? " This is usually followed up with "Aren't you bored?"

I sometimes answer this question with a lighthearted "Oh, I mostly just lay around the mansion"-- which usually gets a smile and a laugh out of people.

But really, it's a valid question. And I treat it as such since most folks ask out of genuine interest and curiosity, not in a spiteful or critical way. There's no reason for me to respond defensively or get embarrassed. 

What do homemakers, stay at home wives and stay at home moms do all day? Believe it or not, most people have no idea. Many have never seen a homemaker in action.

So what do I, a homemaker with no children,  do all day? 

As I alluded to in this video, I am busier than one might expect! I'm an early riser and I start with quiet time with the Lord, exercise and breakfast. Several mornings a week are reserved for working on projects for my Etsy shop. The other mornings are filled with cleaning, laundry, running errands and sometimes cooking and baking. Afternoons are a little more laid-back. Since I am a morning person, my energy starts to disappear in the afternoon. I often will sit down for a short rest because I need it! Most of my blogging is done in the afternoon as well as any tasks that did not get done in the morning. Currently, I babysit two children one afternoon a week, which pretty much fills the time that day!

I am the cleaning lady, the chef, the financial manager, the receptionist and secretary. My primary role as Operations Manager of our household is to keep my household running smoothly. I stretch our income as far as I can while still planning for the future. Time for clipping coupons, scouring the sales ads for great deals, shopping at yard sales and thrift stores are important to my role as I can save us so much money through these venues!

For fun, I listed all the things I do around the house. All of you, whether a full-time homemaker or not, will be able to relate to these tasks. I list this, not to brag about all I accomplish, but to show the similarities of our lives.

I may not have listed everything, but here's what I was able to recall:
  • cleaning
  • cooking
  • meal planning
  • grocery shopping
  • preserving food
  • stretch our income
  • pay bills
  • increase our income
  • decorating
  • organizing
  • hospitality
  • gardening
  • researching health and nutrition
  • event and appointment coordinator
  • giving gifts
  • laundry
  • errands and shopping
  • help with yard work
  • assist my husband with his business
  • take care of dog
  • planning
  • holding our household together! :-) 
So, are you ever bored? 

Bored, no.

Unmotivated, yes.

While some days I really want to get out of the house (which I do), I honestly haven't dealt much with boredom. I have way too many interests, hobbies and things to do to be bored. There is always something to do and I don't feel like I have enough time to do every little thing I'd like to accomplish.

I do, however, have days where I feel generally unmotivated. I have days where I poke and piddle around and cross very little off my to-do list. I certainly do not do everything every day and I am not super-woman! On days like this, I usually make myself start somewhere and sometimes, I'll do the basics and then take a little time off to do something I enjoy, like sewing or crafting something fun for me, going to the library, the park or even out for ice cream or lunch.

I really love my role as a homemaker. And for the most part, I find it fun and challenging!

Somewhere along the way, I found this list of questions to ask myself when I am bored at home. You don't neccessarily have to do all these things, or feel guilty about any of them. The questions are there to help us realize just how much there is to do at home! This list is not original with me.

1. Are your floors clean?
2. Are your windows clean?
3. Are the beds made?
4. Are the dishes done?
5. Are there extra meals in the freezer for emergencies?
6. Do you preserve your own foods?
7. Do you bake from raw ingredients (from scratch)?
8. Have you entertained at least one person from church in the last month?
9. Is your front porch clean and attractive?
10. Is your yard clean and free from debris?
11. Have you grown a  garden this year?
12. Do you make your own clothes?
13. Has your husband had to ask you to iron a shirt for him this week, or hunt for a clean one somewhere?
14. Are you caught up on your correspondence?
15. Do you carefully shop for bargains?
16. Have you rearranged your furniture in the last three months?
17. Do you make your own gifts?
18. Do you write in a journal, scrapbook or create crafts?
19. Do you bake your own bread?
20. Are your closets organized?
21. Are you well rested and healthy?
22. Do you study a chapter in the Bible each day?
23. Are you finding ways to help younger women learn about caring for husbands and home?
24. Are your photographs all organized and put into albums?
25. Have you made  a quilt?

As you can see from the above list, there is no shortage of things to do at home. Your current season of life will dictate how much you do. Right now, I have more time to do some of these things that are "non-essentials"  than I have or will at other times. Each persons life is different!

For all of us, whether we are at home full-time or not, let's make the most of wherever God has us, doing our very best to fulfill the purpose that He has placed in us and seize the day!

Now it's my turn to ask the question...

What do YOU do all day?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Kitchen Prayer

My Kitchen Prayer

God bless my little kitchen
I love it's every nook
And bless me as I do my work
Wash pots and pans and cook. 

And may the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy great blessings and Thy grace
But most of all Thy love.

As we partake of earthly food
The table before us spread
We'll not forget to thank Thee, Lord
Who gives us daily bread.

So bless my little kitchen, God
And those that enter in
May they find naught but joy and peace
And happiness therein.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cooking With Beef Fat

When I made beef stew last week, I skimmed the fat off the broth and saved it.

Nothing new there. I've read how wonderful it is for cooking and that it's a good fat, so I always save it. Since I am frugal and all and can't bear to throw anything away that might possibly be used for something.

But this time, I actually used it!

I cooked scrambled eggs and sauteed green peppers in the beef fat instead of butter. I put  a generous spoonful into cooked pinto beans and used it for Friday's stir fry. 

I must say it added delicious flavor to everything I used it for. I plan to save it and actually use it again. It's a frugal alternative and stretches my butter and coconut oil supply.

I use mostly grass-fed and good quality meats so I feel more comfortable using the fat from those than the typical grocery store variety.

I remember my dad talking about a time he bit into a delicious-looking piece of pie at a potluck only to discover that the cook had used chicken fat to make the pie crust. I can only imagine how that tasted! Ewww!

That being said, I think it's important to match the fat with the type of recipe I'm creating. A meaty flavored fat or lard will probably not be the best flavor combo for most desserts. :-) I'll continue to use butter or coconut oil for those. On the flip side, some folks may not like the flavor of coconut oil in their meat or main dishes.

Just in case anyone is concerned!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- Eat From The Pantry Week

It's the last week of the month so we're eating up what we have on hand before I grocery shop again!

Busy week ahead so I've tried to create a fairly easy menu plan. We'll see how I did as the week goes on!

Today is National Pretzel Day so we're taking a break from a healthy and balanced supper and having homemade soft pretzels with cheese sauce and hot dogs instead. Yum! Kind of a fun way to start the week. :-)

** indicates freezer meals.

To do: soak oatmeal, start bread, soak lentils and rice
B-grilled pb and banana sandwiches ( My attempt to salvage 2 pb sandwiches that we didn't eat on Saturday. The bread was  a little dried out but the grilling and adding banana slices did the trick. They turned out crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside!)
L- leftover buffet
S- homemade soft pretzels with cheese sauce, hot dogs

To do: bake bread
B- oatmeal, bananas
S- Crockpot- lentil and rice pilaf ( new recipe), green salad with vinaigrette dressing

To do: thaw beef stew, make yogurt
B- eggs, toast
L- out for lunch
S- mac and cheese, salad

B- oatmeal, bananas
S- beef stew**, mashed potatoes (crockpot)

To do: plan and prepare food for Sunday
B- banana applesauce muffins, yogurt
L- leftovers or peanut butter sandwiches
S- steak, baked sweet potato, green beans

B- quick breakfast before leaving to visit family for the day
L and S- with family

** To check out more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Out And About

Here's a little weekend reading to enjoy as you're out cruising around the blogosphere!

I write about my Grandma and her clothespin bag pattern at The Gingham Cottage.

10 Ways To Instantly Become More Attractive is a good reminder of true beauty @ Simple Mom.

Don't these dyed play silks look fun to make? @ Health, Home and Happiness.

As I clean out and declutter my house in preparation for an upcoming move, I can relate to the desire of Learning To Live With Less @ Keeper Of The Home.

As soon as I find washing soda, I'm going to try this homemade powdered laundry soap @Farm Home Life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Barter and Trade

We just acquired a very nice Canon S2 IS camera without paying any money.

How was that possible? 

By doing a trade.

We'd been looking for a new camera and some friends of ours (who I do part-time babysitting for) had a camera they weren't using anymore.

We worked out a trade that works for both families. We got a nice camera in exchange for several afternoons of babysitting their two young children.

The camera does video and takes awesome photos that won't need as much touching up and manipulating as our old camera required. Just what we were looking for!

It's a win-win situation!

Other situations where trading and bartering have taken place:

  • While in the mountains last fall, my sister bought several bags of apples for me. I was prepared to pay her for them, until she mentioned looking for a bread machine. I had one I wasn't using. She got the bread machine and I got bags of apples for applesauce. 
  • I've done some babysitting and baking for Mary Kay products. 
  • We have friends who are chiropractors. My husband downloaded about 18 hours worth of praise music for them to play in their office. In exchange for his time, they gave him several complimentary adjustments. 
  • When my husband hurt his foot last fall, instead of running out to Urgent Care and spending lots of $$ just to find out if it was serious, we called the same chiropractors to ask an opinion. They offered to do X-rays for us at their practice. While we were prepared to pay, instead, we traded X-rays for a private session of me teaching them about coupon shopping. 
  • At a vendor fair last fall, a children's book vendor wanted some of my crayon rolls for her kids. She mentioned working out a trade. I took a look at her books and was able to trade two crayon rolls for a couple of books for Christmas gifts for our niece and nephews. We were both happy!
  • My sister and I are always swapping things. I pick up clothing for  her kids at yard sales and she gives me dog food she gets for free or very inexpensively. We trade coupons and food and household products from our stockpiles.
Naturally, trading doesn't work for everything. Businesses need to make actual money and we need money too, in order to pay our bills and survive.

But in many situations, trading goods for goods, services for services or goods for services really works and can meet the needs of both parties involved. And it can save you money!

**This post is part of Frugal Fridays!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kermit, it is easy being green!

Kermit came out of the toy basket to celebrate Earth Day!

To celebrate Earth Day, I'll be sharing some green living tips that we practice. More than "living a green lifestyle", I believe it's important to be a good steward of God's creation and what He has given us.

Stephanie wrote an awesome post today on why they celebrate Earth Day from a biblical perspective. Well worth the read!

When I stop and think about it, most of my "green" practices originated out of frugality and have progressed to more of an awareness of living sustainably. And so far, everything has been pretty easy to implement! 

Simple ways that we reduce, reuse and recycle:

1. Buy beef and milk from local farmers.
2. Buy groceries in bulk rather than tiny packages.
4. Wash and reuse Ziploc bags.
5. Make many of my own cleaners using vinegar and baking soda.
6. Line dry laundry. In addition to this drying rack, we also have an outdoor clothesline.
7. Clean with cloth rags, rather than paper towels. 
8. Use newspapers for washing windows. 
9. Think of ways to recycle old t-shirts
10. Use cloth napkins at mealtime. Mine are stored in a basket for accessibility.

11. Shop thrift stores and yard sales.
12. Use reusable grocery bags. 
13. Use plastic grocery bags for trash can liners. 
14. Share one vehicle. 
15. Use a Brita filter and reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water.
16. Use reusable lunch bags and containers.
17. Take steps to reduce energy consumption. We recently stuffed insulation up inside the chimney and covered the fireplace opening with a piece of plywood cut to fit snugly in the opening. We've already seen a  big difference in our heating and cooling bills. (Not a working fireplace.) 
18. Repurpose used and thrifted clothes.
This placemat and napkin were made from old jeans and scrap fabrics.
19. Repurpose food containers
20. Make my own storage containers instead of purchasing new.

What are some ways that you practice good stewardship? 

**This post is part of Frugal Fridays!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our $20 Couch

This is the $20 love seat that we found at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. It came complete with the slipcover which washed up pretty nicely.

We'd been checking thrift stores, Craigs List  and yard sales for a love seat because our old one was broken and had become more like a rocker than a couch!

We were so happy to come across this one for such a good price! And they were glad to deliver!

(I didn't notice until I uploaded the picture here how rumpled the slipcover looks! Clearly, I should've straightened it better before the picture. Oh well... it's the "lived-in" look!)

I always amazed at the great deals we are able to find second hand.

Have you scored any amazing thrift store, yard sale or hand-me-down treasures recently?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My First Video!

I'm trying something new today and posting a video of myself.  I'll admit, I'm somewhat nervous about this! Can't quite get used to how I look and sound!

In this one, my husband conducts a short interview with me, giving you a closer look into who I am and what this blog is about.


A Blizzard In Springtime

One night last weekend, my husband took me out for ice cream at Dairy Queen.

While there, I noticed a sign announcing that this year is the 25th anniversary of the blizzard.

25 years!!!

I remember when blizzards were new. I remember the first blizzard I ever had.

I was in 4th grade, which means I was 9. Our Sunday School teacher had told us a few months earlier that if we memorized Matthew 5, she would treat us to ice cream at Dairy Queen one day after school.

This was an exciting deal for little Mennonite girls!

The day finally came. We had all worked on our verses every Sunday and spent extra time going over them at home. Scripture memorization came easy for me but as a serious little girl, I still worked hard so I wouldn't miss out on the sweet reward!

She picked us all up at school. One of the perks of attending a private church school was that everybody knew everybody else.

Our giggling van load made the trip to Junction City where the closest Dairy Queen was located. Not only was it a treat to go for ice cream but to head out with your friends and no parents or siblings... what a blast!

I believe that most of us had already recited our verses at church, so all we had to do was decide what we wanted.

We could choose anything on the menu.

I remember being so overwhelmed with the choices. I never was good at making decisions quickly and Mom always bought us kiddie cones, which usually came to us via free coupons from good behavior at the dentist.

I had never had a blizzard but they looked good and I was quite intrigued with how they turned it upside down before handing it across the counter. Some of the other girls ordered blizzards, so I did too.

An M&M blizzard.

Delicious! I giggled with my friends, watched the traffic roaring past and savored every bite.

Nowadays, my flavor of choice would be either Mint Oreo or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Which flavor of blizzard would you choose? Considering that you even like ice cream, that is. :-)


This week only, you too can enjoy a blizzard for 25 cents with the purchase of one at regular price. You can also receive a BOGO coupon when you sign up for DQ's fan club. See all the details here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week's menu: 

** indicates freezer items.

B-oatmeal, orange slices
L- leftover lentil soup, corn muffins**, sliced peppers and carrot sticks
D- crab cakes, green beans, cooked carrots, homemade bread
To Do: meatballs and green peppers to freeze, start beef stew

B- poached eggs, toast, fruit smoothie
L- peanut butter sandwiches, carrot sticks
D-crockpot beef stew, mashed potatoes**
To Do: thaw pear sauce

B-oatmeal, pear sauce**
D-Tuna Noodle Skillet Dish, cooked carrots
To Do: soak pintos, make salsa, soak rice

B- scrambled eggs, toast
L- pb sandwiches, carrot sticks
D- pinto beans with fresh salsa and cheese, rice
To Do: cook pintos, soak pancake batter, soak muffin batter

B- pancakes, pear sauce**
L- leftovers
D- chicken stir-fry, rice
To Do: make pancakes(freeze extras), make muffins

B-eggs, toast or leftover pancakes
L- sandwiches
D- ham and cheese crustless quiche**, fruit smoothie, muffins
To Do: plan and prepare food for Sunday

Click on over to the home of Menu Plan Monday for more meal ideas!

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Random

I'm going through a random streak. I can't quite seem to get my thoughts streamlined enough to do a nice well-thought out blog post so here's a few minis.

**Thanks for all your prayers concerning our housing situation! Through prayer, we are pretty certain that we are not to buy this house. We've been looking at rental listings and becoming familiarized with what's out there. We had always imagined that when we moved from this house, we would purchase our first home. However, we don't feel that it's the right time for us to buy. At the advice of our parents and a few other folks, we're going next week to see what we would pre-qualify for. I don't know that this will change our minds but will help us to make an informed decision. Our house is not on the market yet, so we have time. It's not likely that we will be moving anytime real soon. That's what it looks like now anyways. :-)

**We stopped at a farmers' market yesterday and got some strawberries, bananas, green peppers, cilantro and eggs. The bananas were very ripe and on clearance for 9 cents a pound! I bought 3 big bunches and will freeze most of them for smoothies and baking. The green peppers were also on clearance for 99 cents a bag and will be sliced and frozen, too.  I was tickled to see free-range eggs so I bought a flat, even though the cashier had no idea where the eggs were from. This was disappointing, since I'm starting to like knowing where my food comes from! I did see a sign for farm fresh eggs out in the country while looking at houses this week, so I want to go back there and check it out. Can't wait to find a consistent source for high-quality eggs!

**With spring comes more festivals and vendor fairs, so we've been setting up to sell our wares almost every Saturday. My husband sells military-themed products and I sell my handmade items. This week, I made a bunch of these  into pins and barrettes. They turned out so cute!

**This series on envy and comparison at the Girltalk blog has really hit home. Good stuff!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hope you are all enjoying some spring weather!

Today's post is a conglomeration of bits and pieces of news and what-not:

**We got a new love seat! This $20 yard sale find replaced our old love seat which was a hand-me-down when we were married. It was on it's last leg, literally. Sitting on it was becoming a bit more like a rocking chair than a couch. The "new" (to us) love seat is pretty worn but very sturdy and comfortable. It's saving graces were that it came with a slipcover and they delivered for free! The slipcover was pretty dingy and at first, I thought I wouldn't want to use it but some Shout and two wash cycles cleaned it up very nice! Thank you, God!

**All of my seedlings have died. About half never sprouted and the ones that did, eventually shriveled up. I thought I would try replanting but then found out yesterday that we might be moving! Not sure yet if we will or what the time frame would be. So I'm holding off on any big gardening plans. I may still plant a few things in pots and the flowerbeds but nothing more at the moment, or at least until we know more of what's going on.

** Our landlord has decided to sell our house. The house is not yet on the market and he's giving us the first chance to buy if we're interested. As the Spirit prompts and leads, would you please join us in praying about this? We are asking God for His wisdom, clear direction and provision as we move forward in whatever route He leads us in.

**Our azaleas are blooming. So beautiful! Several wisteria bushes are blooming around the neighborhood which I love to see and smell each year. I'll try to take a picture of both to post.

**Just when I thought I was really done with decluttering and that I wouldn't have enough for a yard sale this year, I've begun again in earnest. The motivating factor is the possibility of moving. There is so much I wouldn't want to have to move, even across town. And if we end up buying the house and staying here, my house will be cleaned out and organized!

What's going on in your world today?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Locked Doors

This past week, I finished reading through the book of John and wanted to share a little snippet of what jumped out at me in John 20.

Verse 19: 
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

Verse 26:
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

What stood out to me was that even though the doors were locked, Jesus was able to come in and bring His peace.

Here's what I jotted down in my Bible Study notebook:

Locked doors? Feeling trapped? At a dead end?

This does not stop Jesus!

He can open locked doors. He can make a way where there is none. Nothing is impossible with God!

He comes in and whispers peace to my heart.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Orange Smiles

Even though oranges are really at the end of their season right now, we've been enjoying them recently.

We love clementines and grapefruit, but could take or leave regular oranges most of the time. But a couple of weeks ago, I had a Cara Cara orange while at the women's retreat. Yum! It tasted like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit and was a nice reddish hue inside.

While at Costco last week, I noticed 8 pound bags of Cara Cara oranges for $7.99. I try to keep most of my fruit prices at or below $1 a pound so I scooped up a bag.

These aren't as red as the orange I had previously but the flavor is just as deep and delicious.  I like to toss a few in the fridge so we can eat them chilled. What a delicious cool treat with the unusually warm weather we've been having!

My mom would always cut our oranges into "smiles" for our school lunches. We loved not having to peel oranges but rather being able to eat them right off the rind. Orange smiles were more fun to eat, too, and we would often wedge the rinds up over our teeth for goofy orange smiles!

This is a  simple childhood memory but one I always think of whenever we eat oranges. It's no wonder that cutting oranges into "smiles" is my favorite way to slice and serve oranges!

That's the way Mom always did it!

What about you? Do have a favorite food memory to share? 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Home Manager Evaluation

 Whether we are stay-at-home wives or mothers or we work outside the home full-time, I think we would all agree that we are mainly in charge of the daily runnings of our homes. We are home managers.

Do you think of your role as home manager as you would a job? I do, for the most part. However, since I am on my own with many of the jobs and decisions, at times I can become quite lax and let a lot of things slide.Because of this, it's good to evaluate myself from time to time. Find out what I am doing well and what needs improvement.

I love being a homemaker and most days, I get out of bed excited about the general tasks and home keeping that will take place that day. To me, it is a most fulfilling role and one that I'm always looking to improve on in.

Mandi from Organizing Your Way posted on Evaluating Your Performance As A Home Manager yesterday. In her post, she included questions for self-evaluation.

Here is how I evaluated myself:

What are your strengths?
:: What things do you do well? Planning, cooking and baking, staying within my budget.
:: What are you most proud of? Living large in a small home. 
:: What comes easily for you? Cooking, meal planning, budgeting and frugal living.
:: Where have you seen the most improvement over the last year? Time management.


What are your weaknesses?
:: What tasks are the hardest for you to complete regularly? Cleaning, yard work.
:: What things do you always find yourself wishing you could do better? Cleaning, yard work, decorating
:: What things do you know your spouse wishes you would do more?  If I asked him, he's most likely to say "Plan more time for fun" and "Take more time for yourself".
:: What skills do you wish you had that you don’t?  The know-how to implement and complete DIY home improvement projects.


How is your attitude on the job?
:: Do you have a good attitude about the chores/activities you dislike? Not always!
:: How do you approach the tasks that don’t come easily for you? I tend to procrastinate.
:: Are you willing to ask for help to improve? Yes.
:: How do you treat the other people in your home? Hmmm...on a good day, pretty good. On a stressful day, not so good. I can be a bit mean-spirited.

Time Management

How do you spend your time at home each day?
:: What are your biggest time wasters? The computer.
:: What activities take you longer than they should? Sewing and craft projects. Cleaning. Decluttering.

:: What do you procrastinate on that you could get done very quickly if you just did it? Cleaning.

:: What activities are you neglecting?  Deep(er) cleaning. Some decluttering and organizational projects.

Through this little exercise, I see much room for improvement! It's also helpful to see what I do well too.

What about you? How would answer these questions? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!

We cooked a ham over the weekend which we shared with our church family during our weekly potluck lunch together yesterday. My husband ( who does not cook) found a root beer glaze recipe he wanted to try so he cooked up the glaze himself and brushed it on the ham before and after baking. I have to admit it did not sound that good to me. But it turned out quite delicious! Way to go, non-cooking husband! :-)

Most of the ham got eaten up yesterday, but we have enough left to add to 3 different recipes this week. If you are looking for ways to use up your leftover Easter ham, check out this post at Money Saving Mom.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

B- leftover corn meal mush, cheese, pear sauce
L- salads, oranges
S- ham and vegetable pot using the leftover ham bone, homemade bread

B- oatmeal
L- peanut butter sandwiches, carrot sticks, oranges
S- crockpot shrimp jambalaya (new recipe), green beans

B-leftover oatmeal, oranges
L- leftovers
S- tuna cakes, salad, bread

B- eggs, toast
L- leftovers
S- ham and cheese quiche, muffins, fruit

B-muffins, bananas, hard-boiled egss
S- homemade pizza, salad

B-cereal, milk, fruit
S- TBD (something easy)

**For more menu planning ideas, head on over to Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Salad Kind Of Night

It's been lovely and warm here and today the temps were in the mid-80's.

Great weather but not so great for eating the lentil soup that was on the menu for tonight's supper. I felt like it was more of a salad kind of night.

Thankfully, a Costco trip provided us with a small variety of fresh salad greens, veggies and fruit. I raided the refrigerator, pantry and freezer for salad bar worthy ingredients.

The sky's the limit when creating your own salad bar.

Tonight's cast of characters:
  • Chicken breast cut in strips and sauteed with a bit of Pampered Chef's Asian Seasoning Mix. 
  • Hard-boiled eggs.
  • Cheese cubes.
  • Corn leftover from last night's dinner.
  • Frozen peas.
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Mini sweet pepper rings.
  • Shredded carrots.
  • Organic spring mix.
  • Croutons.
  • Homemade salad dressing. Tonight's variety (at the last minute) was simply salsa and sour cream mixed together to a pourable consistency. 

What do you like on your salad?