Jan 102017
 

This post contains affiliate links.

At the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 I did not write down official New Year’s Resolutions.  Instead, I spent December reflecting back on this past year and all the craziness it held, trying to get a grasp of it all:

  • the conclusion of a 2-year home remodel, which I initially thought would take 6 months (we saved thousands of dollars, though in exchange it took a lot longer)
  • my husband graduating with his MBA, going to class at night while working during the day
  • the subsequent job change
  • parenting for several months on my  own
  • and a move to a place with no current support network.

Not only did we move, but we moved into a rental house; a temporary situation we decided previously was a good decision while we learn the area.

Reflecting back on the year, there was a lot to take in.  My reality from this time a year ago till today is vastly different.  A year ago, I could not have even guessed we would be at the point we are now.

How am I then to look forward a year and know anything at all about what will happen?

I can’t.  I couldn’t if I tried.

5-love-languages-of-children

What I can do is think of habits or areas of life I would like to work on, setting myself up for success, hopefully, no matter what the future holds.  Here are a few of the areas I would like to work on this year:

  • Putting the “home” part back into “homemaking”.  Increasing the laughter in our home, decreasing the ‘stuff’, making it feel calm and uncluttered, these are all areas which need improvement and would provide beneficial results in other areas.
  • Being more consistant in use of my early morning hours – writing blog posts, visiting Swagbucks, getting a load of laundry ready to begin washing, etc.  Along with this would be going to be at a decent time, so as to be able to wake up at 5 a.m.  While it may seem early to some of you, I really do like those early hours better than the late one; I am more productive during those times.
  • Planning ahead consistently for those normal life events – whether this is a meal plan, a school lesson plan for the month, or a plan for when to do laundry, having these aides in place will reduce the amount of decisions I need to make every day.  I will gladly take any extra brain power I can get.  My consistancy this past year with these areas would ebb and flow, depending on what else was weighing on my emotions and calendar.  I want to get back to setting aside certain days or times for these events, rather than doing them as they happen to pop into my head.
  • Challenging myself to do some of the things which have scared me, things outside my comfort zone but which really are more ‘new’ than ‘scary’.  Or even things I have for too long said, “I am not good at that … This is an area I am really bad at..”  While I may never be someone to dive to the deepest trench in the ocean or become president (of the country or of a large business), that does not mean I should not continue to challenge myself.
  • Be more optimistic in terms of how I view myself.  Okay, maybe “optimistic” is not the appropriate word; what I do know is that I often find myself referring to negative aspects of my personality or apologizing for things which others may not even notice.  Instead of working to improve, I am so focused on my failures I miss what is going past.  Instead of sharing sunshine and flowers with others, I am focused on how I scuffed the floor last time.  Who cares about the floor?!  Move on, already!  Open the windows and let some sunshine in!  (Enough, I will stop with the exclamation marks.)

In general, I want to get back to the roots of who I am, of who I want to be.  That is something I feel I have lost these past several years while feeling, instead, like I was only trying to survive the day/week/season of life.

While I hesitate to call anything a “New Year’s Resolution”, to set a theme for the year, or to give myself yet another thing to feel guilty over, there are items which happen to be starting now.  This is in large part to due to the timing of the move, no more home remodel going on, or that fact that my normal month to feel this way (November) had enough of its own going-ons that it did not need any more.

One of the items under “Challenging myself to do things I said I couldn’t” is to get down a routine with Swagbucks, and other similar sites, in order to not only pay for this next year’s home school supplies, but also the cost of hosting this blog and gardening supplies, albeit limited compared to years’ past.  I do not have set number on hand right at the moment, though I will begin to gather them soon.  What I do know is that all together this will come to a few hundred dollars.  ($100 being the equivalent of 10,000 points, called SB).

Whatever activities I choose to do, in order to earn SB, will have to fit into my normal life.  I can not take an hour or two every day to sit clicking a screen, babysitting a point counter.  This is where having a smart phone has helped.

rotary phone with border

Years ago, my husband suggested we switch from our flip phone to a ‘smart’ phone, I bulked.  We no longer were on a set contract with our service provider, the phone we had made good calls, and if I wanted to see the internet, I would use a computer. “If someone wants me, they can call.  At least they should be polite enough to think me worthy of a few minutes talk time rather than a quick note written in bad english.” (a.k.a texting)  Why spend hundreds of dollars for something I found caused people to be rude and annoying. I did not need a ‘smart’ phone.  I did not want a ‘smart’ phone.

Then my husband came home with information about a phone service provider option.  All my reasons for not doing it began to pale in comparison to the cost savings.  We could save 60% on our phone bill. Each month.  No contract.

After discussions back and forth, running the numbers to see how long before we would be saving money, we became the owners of a ‘smart’ phone.  It took some time for me to figure out how this new gadget in my life might begin to work for me, rather than against me.  And, yes, texting has won me over for the most part.

Using my phone to help me earn and save money has been one of the best features I have enjoyed.  It has taken some time, but I have found things that work well for me.  I have also found things that did not work, but they are no longer on my phone and so I do not really remember what they all were. 😉

christmas-tree-baden-springs

Now that the holidays are over, a lot of us have gone into savings mode again as we rebuild our bank accounts from all that gift buying! Some of us have already started saving for the 2017 holidays! If you’re looking to extend your budget or just stay within it, Swagbucks is a great resource for that.

You’ve probably seen me write about Swagbucks a lot on here. It’s a site where you earn SB for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

While you may not grow so rich you lose the sense of the value of a dollar, it can help ease your budget. Whether you use it to pay for today’s needs (utility bill, groceries, restaurant outing …) or tomorrow’s wants (rainy day fund, Christmas/birthday gifts, …)

To make the impact on your bank account even greater, you can earn a bonus when you initially sign up.

Here’s how you get your bonus:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 2/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you’ll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you’ll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)!

That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real.

So far this month, during the past 10 days, I have earned over $10 (1033 points).  This has been spread out between points earn for shopping online, a lot of video watching, several surveys answered, daily polls, bonuses for reaching daily goals, bonuses for finishing my Daily To-do list (on the left side of the home page), searching the web, and Swag Codes.

As I have begun to incorporate it into my daily routines, I have learned what works for me and what does not.  For example, I do better at finding surveys in the morning.  It also helps for me to start with a search first thing, followed by the other items on the To Do list.  After that, I focus on watching SBTV on my phone, then short clips on other apps.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Sony PlayStation 3, 2009)Combining earning from this month and some from last, I was able to redeem for a PayPal gift card, which was then used to pay for several items on Ebay. (The particular item shown definitely falls into the category of A Want.)  Of course, I clicked through on Swagbucks before finalizing the purchase on Ebay and will earn more SB back in the near future.  Every penny counts, and soon they begin to add up.

*You must receive your shopping SB before March 1st

Dec 192016
 

This post contains affiliate links.
One of my favorite things about using Swagbucks are all the ways to earn points, called SB, which I can redeem for gift cards to some of my favorite retailers.

Getting rewards for searching the web through their search engine is an easy activity.  It is an activity I would be doing regardless; why not get rewarded for it?!

Every now and then they have “Collector’s Bills” worth SB points that you can collect by simply searching the web. Collect them all, and you get an SB Bonus! Once you’ve collected enough SB, you can redeem them for gift cards to stores like Walmart, Target, and many more!

Here’s all the information for this week’s Christmas Quenchers Collector’s Bills:

Search the web through the Swagbucks search starting Monday, December 19th at 12:01am PT/3:01am ET through Saturday, December 24th at 11:59pm PT/Sunday, December 25th 2:59am ET, and when you get a search win, you may get a special Collector’s Bill valued at either:

  • 5 SB

  • 7 SB

  • 9 SB

  • 15 SB

  • 24 SB

When you get a Collector’s Bill you’ll receive the value of the bill and the bill will be added to your “Collector’s Bills” ledger. Collect all 5 Collector’s Bills and you’ll instantly earn a 20 SB Bonus!

By either setting my search engine to default to Swagbucks, adding their tool bar to the top of my screen, or going to their site in order to perform a search, I can be adding to my SB total.  Each SB gets me closer to my goals for the up coming year.

Why not start the year off right, either paying off debt you have or saving ahead to avoid it?  Don’t wait for the New Year to begin working toward your goals.  Today is as good as any.  Besides, this method makes it even more fun!  I am pretty sure we could all do with a bit more fun in our lives.

Oct 022014
 

this week in the garden october 2 2014

What a week this has been.  Today has been the first morning that was relatively “free” to do with as I please (read: canning, finally!)  Then a call came, “You haven’t dropped off the plans yet this week.  I can come pick them up or were you coming here?”  So, again, plans change and the canning gets delayed.

This may be a blessing in disguise.  As I was reviewing how I made blackberry syrup last time, I came across a note where I said I would not do it again unless I had a jelly bag or the right amount of cheese cloth.  Perfect.  I plan on stopping by Walmart for a few things, so I will add a jelly bag to the list.

The blackberries I am going to use are actually from last year.  I have 2-3 gallons in the freezer that I have been wanting to use up.  1 gallon will remain there to use for glazes this winter.  Last year I was able to pick berries from bushes belonging to a friend of a friend.  The bushes were huge and more than that family needed.  My friend has also already picked there and had more than she needed.  At the end of last summer, the family decided to mow down the bushes and let them regrow this year.  They really were huge and made quite the bramble.

I am glad now that I froze the extras to use as needed later.  By using these up now, turning them into something we are short of, I am also freeing up space in the freezer for  other things we may be needing.

frozen blackberries

The garden has slowed down.  It has not stopped, but is not growing as quickly.  I was able to pick a few strawberries yesterday, something I have been unable to do with the unexpected warmer weather these past few weeks.  First it got cooler, than a spell that was warmer than it has been all summer.  So goes the life of a gardener.

There are still some okra to pick, as well as cherry tomatoes.  I am going to leave the larger tomatoes to see if they will turn red.  If not, I will pick them green, puree them, and freeze the results for green tomato bread in the upcoming months.

salsa in unwiped jars

Yesterday I was able to process 21 jars of salsa.  The picture above shows the results.  If you notice how messy the tops looks, well that is due to our water.  I added vinegar to the water bath canner, though I think it could have used more.  I will remove the bands, wipe the lids and label them before storing them away.

At the end of the evening I was looking back on the day and trying to figure out why it took me all day to get the salsa completed.  That is when I realized I was viewing the day wrong.  It was not solely a “canning day”.

  • I dropped my car off in the morning to have work done
  • Met with yet another contractor to talk about the house
  • Made several calls (to the utility company, to the city building office)
  • Did some laundry
  • Had Olaf come in the afternoon
  • Walked the mile or so with Olaf to pick the car back up
  • Picked up the kids from school then proceeded to deal with the frenzied excitement when they found out that Olaf was having a ‘slumber party’ with us
  • Handled everything from after-school through bedtime all by myself as my husband has class last night.  I even was able to get all 3 kids to sleep by 8 p.m.!
  • Finished unraveling the first sleeve of the first wool sweater, resulting in 9 cores for wool dryer balls.
  • And to top it all off, all the dishes were clean when I was done … well, except the coffee cup I used after finishing the kitchen to reward myself with a homemade cappuccino.

Canning 21 pints of salsa while doing the rest was actually a great accomplishment for me.

Sep 172013
 

Weekly Menu Plan May 2013

 

What?  Oh, you didn’t see this up this morning.  Well … you are so observant! You earned a gold star.   This time it was because of procrastination.

The meal plan has actually been put together since Saturday.  Then my husband suggested a movie (the kids were all asleep), I suggested made-at-home cappuccinos and an impromptu date night was in order.  How could I say no?  So, the meal plan wasn’t posted on Sunday.

Sunday we left the house for church and didn’t return until 6:30, at which point supper had to be made and bed times quickly followed.  I fell asleep around 8:30.

Monday involved canning tomato jam and beginning to paint the porch ceiling.  That night, this is the procrastination part, I mentioned to my  husband that season 2 of “Call the Midwife” was now on Netflix.  Instead of doing the correct thing and turning on a manly, things exploding movie so I would go post the menu plan and do the dishes, silly man turned on the first episode of season 2.  I was hooked.  He went to bed.  :)  I did show some restraint and not watch a second episode.

This morning was taken up by processing about 25 lbs of tomatoes into sauce and beginning the cooking down process, a trip to the produce auction, lunch and then a doctor’s appointment that took over an hour longer than it should have.  Back home to clean up the tomato mess from this morning, put a snack on the table, pick up some before my husband came home, and find out what was for supper.  It was at this point that I decided the dishes can wait a bit longer and I really need to come post the menu plan.

And I wonder how it is that the weeks have flown by.  It really seems like everyday is taken up by this or that and nothing that I had planned on getting done is actually getting done.  Well, except the canning.

Breakfast:

  1. Fried Pancakes with Maple Creme Syrup, bananas
  2. Cereal
  3. Eggs, toast
  4. Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
  5. Shakes
  6. Oatmeal with diced apples
  7. Traveling

Lunch:

  1. Eat Out
  2. Salad
  3. Eat Out (Subway with gift card)
  4. Sticky Blackberry Barbecue Pork Ribs, grilled potato slices with salt and vinegar, steamed carrots
  5. Pulled Chicken with Apple-cucumber slaw, fried potatoes and onions, vegetable
  6. Chipotle Chocolate Chili, peanut butter sandwiches
  7. Traveling

Supper:

  1. Leftovers
  2. Pizza
  3. Watermelon, soup?
  4. Curried Chickpea Yogurt Dip, veggies, watermelon
  5. Salami Sandwiches, watermelon
  6. Leftovers
  7. Traveling

There you have it.  This week’s menu.  I’m trying to use up what we have in the freezer, one week at a time.  So far it hasn’t been too bad and is going a lot better than when I planned it a whole month at a time.  As for the watermelon, we got it from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday.  The leftover watermelon that was in the refrigerator was put into a bag and added to the freezer.  It will be turned into Watermelon Sorbet at some point in the future.  What ever is left of this melon at the end of the week will join the ‘leftovers’ already in the freezer.

Weekly Goals collage May 2013It has been a while since I wrote out my weekly goals.  Instead of dividing them out by categories, I am going to list them according to how I hope they get done this week.  I have three days of no where to go, which I hope translates into getting these items done or greatly progressed towards their completion.

  1. Can tomato jam
  2. Paint porch ceiling
  3. Can remaining tomatoes (from last week)
  4. Scrap porch floor
  5. Paint porch floor
  6. Scrap porch railing
  7. Make and freeze one batch of muffins
  8. Make and freeze 3 months worth of one of this week’s soups
  9. Start and finish laundry (put away as it finishes)
  10. Read 1 hour to the kids – I realized that this is something dropped once the school year began.  They seems to really miss it.

There you go.  #1 has already been done.  #2 and #3 are started.  If I can keep up the momentum tomorrow, then the rest of the week should follow and these will finally be completed.

It has been a while since I’ve done a freezer meal session.  My Wednesday breakfasts are sorely repetitive because of it.  It used to be so easy to go grab a muffin from the freezer.  Now I have to make french toast or do cereal because I didn’t plan enough time that morning to actually make muffins.  And there are just so many yummy ones to make.

What is your favorite muffin recipe?  Do you prefer to make them fresh, freeze the batter to bake fresh, or freeze muffins already made?

 

May 262013
 

Weekly Goals collage May 2013

This is going to be a week of few goals.  With cool, damp weather lately there hasn’t been much happening in the garden.

  • If the weather is nice enough on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning I am going to plant more tomato plants.
  • Buy sand for deck container (it goes in the bottom to weigh it down) and potting mix.
  • Bring remaining seedlings up from the basement and place in a sunny location inside.
  • Take in paper and glass recycling.

See nothing too hard, but that is what life calls for sometimes.

What are your goals this week?

Apr 272013
 

calendar coffee computer

The first produce auction of the 2013 season starts this week.  I can’t believe it is here again already.  The first one should be pretty short and contain mainly plants, but it is still the first one.  Due to other responsibilities that day I’m not sure I will actually be able to make it.

I’ve been thinking over how I do some things here on the blog.  Mainly I’m reevaluating if I am keeping to the purpose and if I’m providing the content you all may be wanting.

My first decision was to refocus my weekly goals.  Nothing has changed as far as my housework.  The goal to stay on top of it will be ongoing.  There will always be laundry to keep up with and a Zone to work in.  However, to keep the list uncluttered I see no need to list them every week for you.  They may still appear on my written to-do list, as motivation for me to continue the habits I have.  I would like to make the list on  here more about gardening and other projects.  The 2013 garden season is about to get into full swing and I will be focusing on it more and more each day, even if it is only in the back of my mind.

Last week’s goals:

  1. Clear off bedroom surfaces
  2. Pick up basement main area
  3. Pick up upstairs and ready for future use
  4. Wash all loads of laundry at least once (whites, darks, colored, towels, reds, microfiber clothes, kids clothes, delicate)
  5. Change toys in the toy room
  6. Work on mulching and edging front walk way (areas: front left of bushes, under bushes on right, under bushes on left, along front of porch) -I have begun on the other areas, but was unable to finish them.
  7. Get out planting container for deck (more explanation on this to come)
  8. Finish organizing shed
  9. Come up with more permanent pest solution for raised beds (not long term permanent, just something to use this year)
  10. Type up May’s monthly menu plan in the calendar form

I was wondering why this past week felt as if I had gotten nothing achieved.  Seems I didn’t really get much done.

zucchini seedlings

This week’s goals:

  1. I have finished edging, laying landscape fabric and mulching the front beds.
  2. I have gathered more mulch for the flower beds in the back.
  3. I set up the planting container for the deck.
  4. I have added fencing for all the raised beds.
  5. I have added fencing for the small garden area under the kitchen window.
  6. I have put up the trellises for tomatoes and beans.
  7. I have planted zucchini, pole beans, cilantro and lettuce.
  8. I have bought basil and thyme seeds.
  9. I have started herb plants.
  10. I have finished reading: Bell Peppers: Growing Practices and Nutritional Value by Roby Jose Ciju

What are you hoping to get done in the garden this week?

Jan 272013
 
In all this was a relaxing week.  Two day I spend at home with no car really showed me how the quick run out to get something interrupts my day.  I have felt like the tortoise in the race against the hare.  However, I am noting things getting more picked up, less cluttered, and overall improving.  And I haven’t really been stressed about it.  I was even able to go through my seed packets and throw out about 10 empty ones.  Not really sure why there were still in the drawer from last year.   (These were not part of the 14 things being decluttered, but were part of the 5 minutes I spent in the basement one day.)
Last week’s goals:
  1. I have spent 5 minutes each day clearing off the hotspots in the kitchen, dealing with the paper clutter and straightening the basement.
  2. I have made my bed each day, and swish and swiped the bathroom 3 times. – the bathroom was wiped down twice
  3. I have vacuumed the rugs and swept the floor in the main rooms 3 times and swept the floors in the bedrooms once – the carpets were vacuumed twice, but the floors were never completely swept
  4. I have posted four items for sale online.
  5. I have decluttered 14 objects (not counting papers)This is getting easier as time goes.  I now look for items to leave the house.
  6. I have put away the leaf blower and thrown away the broken stroller in the garage.
  7. I have spent 15 minutes each day reading with the kids – I did not accomplish this, though I did more than I have done in the past few weeks.  I’m getting there.
  8. I have gone to bed by 9: 30 each night and gotten up at 5:30 a.m. – I did not accomplish this ongoing goal.  Lack of self-discipline.
  9. I have finished February’s monthly meal plan.
  10. I have mailed off a package for a friend.
This week’s goals:
For this upcoming week I have decided to lower my expectations a bit for #2 and #3.  Ideally I would like to do each 3 times.  However, sometimes I don’t even get to it once.  I decided to compromise and go with a  middle number.  After all I have 12 more months to improve on this.
  1. I have spent 5 minutes each day clearing off the hotspots in the kitchen, dealing with the paper clutter and straightening the basement.
  2. I have made my bed each day, and swish and swiped the bathroom 2 times.
  3. I have vacuumed the rugs and swept the floor in the main rooms 2 times and swept the floors in the bedrooms once.
  4. I have posted four items for sale online.
  5. I have decluttered 14 objects (not counting papers).
  6. I have ordered seeds, strawberry plants and blueberry bushes.
  7. I have spent 15 minutes each day reading with the kids.
  8. I have gone to bed by 9: 30 each night and gotten up at 5:30 a.m.
  9. I have finished writing February’s monthly goals.
  10. I have mailed written and mailed two notes of encouragement.
Jan 242013
 

 

On Tuesday I posted about this past year and some of the things from this blog that stood out to me.  It was the first year for this blog and an interesting walk down memory lane.  It is amazing where it first started and where it is now.

Crystal, from MoneySavingMom, often says that public accountability does wonders for her.  I used to say, “It doesn’t work for me.  I only need personal accountability.  Whether people know I reached my goal or not doesn’t matter to me.”  However, now I disagree.  While putting together the links for the “2012 in Review” and remembering where I was this time last year, I do feel like I’ve grown because of writing out my goals in a place for others to see.   This growth has been both in gardening and non-gardening areas.

Over the course of last year, I realized how many of my goals, whether weekly or yearly, I had never actually said out loud to someone.  Posting them on here has been great for me, in that it created a place to write them down and review at the end of the week what got accomplished.  I know I am not always the best at this, but I am better than I used to be.  This is also one area I hope to improve on this year.  I have read through several books this past year, and even since 2013 has begun, which talk about planning or organizing your day.  These have included books such as:  21 Days To A More Disciplined Life, Attack Your Day, and 52 Mondaysicon.

I also subscribe to FlyLady’s daily emails, which help keep me going in the right direction, even if I don’t always get my list of tasks completed.  I like lists.  I like marking things off a list, even if I added it just so I could mark it off. (Thankfully the kids haven’t learned this yet when I say, while in the grocery store, “It’s not on the list, so we can’t get it this time.”)

Attack Your Day is actually a book I’m currently reading.  I may not be a fan of the writing style of the book, but I really like the direction it is going.  They describe what I call “planning backwards” much better than I have in the past.  They put it so clearly that it made me take a second look at the upcoming year.  My 2013 Yearly Goals list was made up when I started reading this book.  However, I decided to restructure the list after realizing that what I needed was to define my overarching goals.  The list had started to get very detailed, which is not what I wanted for the Yearly Goals list.  I plan on saving those for my Monthly and Weekly Goals.  If all the small details were put on the main list, then I could very easily see myself getting overwhelmed and lost in the non-important things.

By changing the layout I decided to give myself general goals (in bold) for each section.  These were then followed up with more detailed ways I could accomplish that goals.  After doing this I realized the reasoning behind several smaller goals was a similar larger goal that I was actually working towards.  So while the smaller goals were nice to work towards, if I missed the forest for the trees then I would have been disappointed with the results.

With all of that said, here is my revised 2013 Yearly Goals list.

Children:

Encourage learning

  • Read aloud 8 books per month from Reading List
  • Help kids learn to count to 50, without missing numbers
  • Teach the oldest to read, or try to
  • Have daily walks or times to explore outside

Encourage the kids to learn more about the Bible and God

  • Morning Bible Times during the week
  • Memorized the Disciples’ names
  • Help them memorize the books of the Old Testament by August  (about 6 per month)

Encourage positive self-esteem

  • Teach oldest to ride a bike without training wheels
  • Swimming lessons
  • Assign 1 habit/chore per month for each kid to work on
  • Keep up with former habits

Personal:

Learn more about the Bible and God

  • Finish reading through the Bible (I’m over half way there)
  • Daily morning Bible (Quite) Times

Take better care of myself

  • Run in a 5K
  • Get at least 8 hours rest
  • Play/practice my instrument weekly (it has been over 8 years since I played it.)
  • Create a book list for myself. Read three books per month
  • Journal 3 x weekly
  • Try new things – Grow

Marriage:

Stay connected

  • Go on at least one date a month
  • Take time to talk each day
  • Say “I love you” meaningfully daily

Homemaking:

Create a schedule that works for the household

  • See “encouraging self-sufficiency” under the children’s section above, as well as my goal of getting8 hours of rest each night
  • Focus on one habit a month
  • Plan meals – menu plan on a monthly basis, do freezer cooking for 3 months at a time of at least 14 meals, organize recipe binder, try 24 new recipes
  • Read 4 books on organization, scheduling, or setting goals

Create a welcoming environment (Finish incomplete tasks and get rid of clutter)

  • De-wallpaper and paint upstairs
  • Repaint porch
  • Replace siding on house
  • Label pantry
  • Finish painting around “new” trim
  • Finish closet in downstairs bedroom
  • Decorate my bedroom
  • Pick up, organize and declutter basement and upstairs closet
  • Declutter – reduce number of cook books, spend 5 minutes a day on hot spots, reduce number of toys out
  • Garage – attach counter top, finish putting up cabinets, organize cabinets, declutter, wipe down walls
  • Find art work or pictures to put up in main living areas

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family:

Keep in contact with family and friends

  • Skype once a week with my mother-in-law
  • Skype at least once a week with my nephew
Encourage those around me
  • Write at least two handwritten notes every month to encourage someone

Stand/Blogging/Other Income Sources:

Create a schedule

  • Take Sundays off (schedule posts ahead of time, don’t put stand out, stay off computer)
  • Create a blog schedule with certain days having themes (Menu Plan Monday, etc.)

Entrepreneurship

  • Earn money each month in Amazon gift cards (from Swagbucks, Bing and surveys)
  • Try new ways of making money
  • Sell what I have – repot aloe plants and sell, make starts of house plants, grow zucchini (something that does very well on our stand), objects decluttered from around the house (Craigslist, Facebook, etc.)

Gardening:

Preserve produce for upcoming year

  • Can 60 quarts of crushed tomatoes
  • Put up 77 quarts of tomato sauce
  • Can 52 quarts of beets
  • Grow, and freeze, 12 sandwiches bags of green onions.  Freeze their stems seperately.
  • Freeze 30 bags of red peppers; 12 for meatloafs, 12 for soups, 6 for omletes and various uses
  • Can apple/pear sauce, as much as can be done
  • Grow enough basil, parsley and cilantro to not have to buy any during the growing season; preserve herbs

Grow lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers to supplement our weekly salads and zucchini for stand

Redo garden layout

  • Relocate raised beds; seed where beds were
  • Make raised beds deeper
  • Convert or build raised bed for strawberries
  • Create a herb container garden
  • Create trellis for beans under kitchen window
  • Remove weeping cherry tree (plant blackberries?)
  • Create large containers for blueberry bushes
  • Remove brushes and concrete blocks under hackberry tree; relocate daffodil bulbs; flatten area
  • Build 2 rain barrels

 

This list is definantly going to be out of my comfort zone. There is a lot on here that I would love to accomplish, but don’t know if I have the courage to work towards.  The last goal in Gardening for example – “redo garden layout” scares me.  “What if I mess something up?  What if I fail at getting a good crop for all the effort?  What if …?  What if …?  What if ….?”  For those reasons alone I almost left that goal off.  I even went as far as trying to talk myself out of it.  However, if that would have happened I knew I would be unhappy all year.  I don’t want to be unhappy (about these particular aspects of my garden) for another year.  That is one great lesson my front flower bed redo taught me.  “Stop whining and just do it!”  So that goal was added.

Have you thought about the upcoming year?  Are there any themes or main goals you would like to work towards?  Are you already working towards them?

 

Note: Post contains affiliate links.

Oct 232012
 

In all, last week was productive.  There were still a few things on my list that did not get accomplished.  However, the majority did and I am very much okay with that.

Last week’s goals:

Order gift cards from points earned

Find a lawyer to help us make a will –  I called all the ones on our list; we just need to decide which to go with

Request information about opening an account

Call to inquire about getting a credit/adjustment due to water line leak (we had to wait till it was finished)

Place an online grocery purchase

 

Look into a new camera – I decided to save $400.  Instead of buying a new camera, I ordered a new SD card from online.  $15 is much better than $400.

Make pesto

Preserve jalapenos –  canned up 10 pints, and froze several cups worth

Dry zucchini (and make flour?)

Get out winter clothes

 

List 4 things online for sale (declutter)

Daily Zone work

This week’s goals:

Order gift cards from points earned

Request information about opening an account

Make Pesto

List 4 things online for sale (declutter)

Daily Zone work (Master Bedroom)

Process tomatoes (sauce and crushed)

Wash dishes after every meal

Order part for dishwasher

Make a test cake for upcoming party

Test cupcake recipes for upcoming party

Oct 142012
 

Last week I did not post my goals, though I did write them on a paper.  Here is how I did with them:

Wash, dry, and put away all our laundry – I got all of it washed and dried, but I’m still working on the putting away thing.  This is the reason I don’t have a laundry day and instead do one load a day.  And here I thought I was being so smart trying to get it all done before we had our water line worked on.

Preserve jalapenos – still sitting on the counter … yeah, we’ll leave it at that

Make pesto

Preserve basil in salt

List 4 things for sale on Craigslist (declutter) – I posted two things.  The other two I think I’ll post elsewhere

Get out winter clothes

Clear off Kitchen shelfDONE

Daily Zone work

This week’s goals:

Order gift cards from points earned

Find a lawyer to help us make a will

Request information about opening an account

Call to inquire about getting a credit/adjustment due to water line leak (we had to wait till it was finished)

Place an online grocery purchase

Look into a new camera

Make pesto

Preserve jalapenos

Dry zucchini (and make flour?)

Get out winter clothes

List 4 things online for sale (declutter)

Daily Zone work

As you can see, I added a few items to the goals list.  Usually I do not post items like the first 6, since I tend to talk more about gardening.  However, these are things (boring everyday life stuff) that usually are included on my to-do list for the week.  I feel like I have only been sharing half my list with you all, so thought I would try something different this week.  We’ll see how many spam comments I get from this.  =)