Mar 162018

This post contains affiliate links.

January has a reputation for being a recovery month.  Coming off several large holidays, one may find they are feeling a bit down, are having a rough time with cabin fever due to colder weather, or perhaps feeling overwhelmed by their goals for the upcoming year.  While January was, personally, an odd month, I did not find myself struggling through it.

My slump came during the last half of February and the beginning of March.

I suddenly felt like I was spinning my wheels in a spot of slick mud, not gaining ground yet exerting a lot of energy.  My actions were taking me this way and that without a clear direction.  Looking back I realized that I was heading in a direction, that it took working on a bit of this and that and trying different things to find the firmer ground.  Or so I hope.

My main focus so far this year has been on homemaking, personally following routines and habits to help me run our home better and feel a certain way.  While I want to have the kitchen picked up before bed, that does not mean I need to spend all my waking hours at the sink waiting for a dirty dish to appear.  Instead, I also can work on something else.  Some of the areas I have been tackling are:

  • finding a new rhythm for grocery shopping
  • trying a few new ways of saving money, and joining online groups to help in learning
  • sticking to a laundry routine
  • keeping the house picked up, or picking it up once at minimum
  • focusing on one main garden activity each month (compost tumbler, rain barrel, new flower bed)
  • finding a bedtime routine which works for everyone, and writing it down to post on the wall
  • participating  in one or two home school playgroups each week
  • offering to help others, in general being a friend who actually thinks about others and acts on it
  • having music playing throughout the day
  • clearing out unneeded items – donate to others, give away, recycle, reuse, or throw away
  • compare insurance quotes before renewing
  • encouraging kids to take along a book, instead of an electronic, when running quick-ish errands
  • make small changes in how I approach and plan our school week/month
  • begin to think about school over the summer, implement some of the routines now
  • send the kids outside to play, “and don’t come in till supper”

A lot of small things, which add up to a larger, hopefully positive, change in the feel of our home.  It is not perfect, far from it.  What it is is better.  I may spin my wheels more than I like, but I am heading in the right direction.

 My mother-in-law was also able to come for a week long visit.  Jack enjoyed having her here all day. She would chat online with her sisters in the morning, Jack sitting right beside her doing whatever it is Jack could get away with doing because “Grandma is here and we should not have school”.  Let’s just say that picking up his room was not high on his list of priorities.

We also took a few days to get away to a city we had never visited before.  While there was nothing wrong with the trip or the location, the timing was not the best.  It took us all a few days to identify what we had all been feeling, we just wanted to be home.  The last day we cut short possible plans and headed home, all sleeping better that night.

The next few weeks might see my husband traveling some.  Or perhaps not.  It is all up in the air.

What I have decided to do is set a goal for myself and tell you all what I plan to accomplish.  When I did this a few years ago I was amazed at how much I was able to accomplish.  Not only then, but in the time following.  Momentum begets momentum.  I have been lacking momentum as of late and am starting to feel like I will never get unstuck from where I am.

While I am not ready to share it all right now, it will be coming soon.  As in the next week or two soon.  If I delay too long I wouldn’t be surprised if a few seasons pass before I gain motivation again.  🙂

Something I have been working on a bit each day, which has paid for my compost tumbler and rain barrel, is Swagbucks.  This is another area I have been trying out a few new things, as well as joining an online group in hopes of increased learning and earning.  So far it has worked well, though I did ease up a bit this past week as my focus needed to be elsewhere during those early morning hours.

Every little bit helps

Want some extra boost for your budget this month?

If you haven’t tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up as my referral in March. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called 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.

When you sign up through me, you can earn an additional $3 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 4/1/18. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you want even more bonuses, you’ll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That’s in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend.

My earnings for this month are a bit shy of 1,200 points called SB.  That is equivalent to $12.  This time around I am working toward reducing the cost of building a flower bed and purchasing seeds.  While my costs may not be covered completely, every little bit helps.

The same goes for compost – “every little bit helps.”  This is how I was able to turn shredded documents, coffee ground, kitchen scraps, and other compostable items into something that resembled black gold.  No one part was large, often I doubted if I was even making a difference.  As I added the not yet fully composted mix on top of cardboard for a new flower bed, I no longer had my doubts – I was thrilled with “free” organic matter to utilize.

What are you working toward currently?  Do you have a plan to accomplish it?  A timeline?

Jan 022018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Needing extra encouragement with your meal planning resolution? Looking for new ideas? Are you more of a visual learner? Then you do not want to miss this 3-hour live Meal-Plan-Along with 5 Food Bloggers on Wednesday January 3, 2018.

They’re dealing with the same responsibilities as you: laundry piles, bedtime stories, snow shoveling, bill paying, work stress…

And still they get delicious, wholesome (and even pretty) meals on the table? What gives?

Well, you’re about to find out by going behind-the-scenes, and right into their kitchens!

It’s called the Meal-Plan-Along, and here are all the can’t-miss details:

Five VIP bloggers are joining forces with Ultimate Bundles on January 3rd from 4-7 pm ET/1-4pm PT. 

You can curl up with a warm drink, and maybe a basket of clean laundry, and join us virtually through your computer or mobile device.

Wardee Harmon of Traditional Cooking Schoolwill be spilling her time-saving secrets using the slow cooker and pressure cooker to meal plan.

Does meal planning feel stressful? Get this: Katie Kimball from Kitchen Stewardship will be talking about how meal planning can reduce your stress.

If the whole idea is a bit daunting, fear not… Kresha Faber from Nourishing Joy will be sharing meal planning techniques for beginners.

One big reason for meal planning is to save you money! Susan Heid from The Confident Mom will be dishing out her tips for meal planning on a budget.

If any member of your family has allergies, don’t worry! Elise New from Frugal Farm Wife is going to drop some knowledge bombs on how to meal plan around food allergies.

And to finish it out, Stephanie Langford from Ultimate Bundles will be hosting the whole event and will be chiming in with some ninja batching and freezer cooking secrets (when you’ve got five kids who want to eat every day, you find shortcuts).

Follow along to see how six different women feed their families using simple strategies to stay more organized, make meals come together more easily, spend less time cooking, and ensure healthy meals make it to the table even in the busy times.

2018 doesn’t have to be the year of food waste, sky-high grocery bills, unhealthy meals, and last-minute takeout. You can do this, and we can’t wait to show you how to make it all easier and more doable!

Register for the FREE live event on January 3rd right here.

Dec 312017

This post contains affiliate links.

What if there was just one thing standing between you and a healthier life?

I know it seems hard to believe but hear me out…

Healthy meals don’t just happen.

(Wouldn’t that be nice!)

You have to decide what you are going to eat, make your list, buy the ingredients, and then prepare everything.

And the domino that starts it all is knowing what you’re going to eat.

In other words, the path to health begins with a plan.

Today, you can get your hands on ready-made meal plans for just the way you eat – complete with shopping lists and fresh recipes – for a ridiculously low price.

It’s called the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and here’s how it works:

It’s a complete meal planning solution made up of 10 mini-bundles.

Each bundle contains digital cookbooks, fresh meal ideas, and ready-made plans (and even grocery lists!). No matter how you eat, there’s a mini-bundle that’s perfect for you and there are two buying options:

Option 1: find a mini-bundle that works best for your life right now – quick & healthy, budget-friendly, Instant Pot & slow cooker OR diet-specific options like vegan, real food, paleo, keto, gluten-free… there’s one that’s right for you.

Option 2: For less than the price of two mini-bundles, get the ENTIRE package with over 3,000 recipes and 100 weeks of made-for-you meal plans, so you’ve got total control no matter how your food needs change.

You really can get healthier, starting today.

Not sure which mini-bundle might be right for you? Each mini-bundle is linked to a full description of what it contains:

Budget Meal

Freezer / Batch Cooking

Gluten Free

Instant Pot & Slow Cooker


Paleo / Primal

Quick Meals

Real Food / Clean Eating


Meal Planning

Make those dominos fall and start your New Year right by picking up your copy of the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (or any of the mini-bundles) right here.  This offer disappears after Friday, January 5th @ 11:59 p.m. EST. 

Healthy Meal Planning

Mar 262016

This post contains affiliate links.

Hippity Hop, it’s that time of year again! Starting to think about how to spread the joy on Easter? Fill up your Easter baskets with Gift Cards and enjoy your egg-stra savings! You might even say this deal is egg-celent!

So here’s the pitch – at MyGiftCardsPlus, the site that gives you Cash Back when you buy new gift cards, has a special offer running from now through March 27th: You’ll earn Cash Back plus a Bonus when you spend $50 or more on Gift Cards to Lowe’s, Gap, Baby Gap, eBay, Game Stop, The Home Depot, Build-A-Bear, and Toys “R” Us!*

The more you spend, the more you earn!

Spend $50 and get a 100 SB Bonus

Spend $75 and get a 125 SB Bonus

Spend $100 and get a 150 SB Bonus

Stack your deals for even more Cash Back:. Say you or your family shop at Gap. By a Gap gift card at MyGiftCardPlus first and get 7.5% Cash Back on your purchase. Make that a $50 gift card and you get a 100 SB Bonus, making your cash back return 9.4%! That’s on top of your credit card’s cash back rewards, on top of whatever great sale you find at Gap and – wait for it, here’s where things get really saver savvy – use that gift card to shop on through Swagbucks and you could get ANOTHER 8% Cash Back on any purchase you make (besides more gift cards). If you do this right, you could be getting $10 back on a $50 purchase you were already going to make!

Make those Easter Baskets extra special this year with MyGiftCardsPlus, powered by Swagbucks.

*The SB Bonus Offers apply to one purchase per gift card listed above (Lowe’s, Gap, Baby Gap, eBay, Game Stop, The Home Depot, Build-A-Bear, and Toys “R” Us). This offer expires at 11:59pm PST on March 27th. Your SB will credit when your electronic gift card is delivered. You must spend at least $50 to receive a SB Bonus.

Nov 272015


With all the activities going on the next few days, I did not want you to forget about the rare sale going on at Plan to Eat.  50% off yearly subscription.  For only $19.50 for the whole year, which works out to $1.60 per month, you can have a quick, easy to use meal planning system right at your finger tips.

This sale runs from November 27 – 30.  Plan To Eat does not run sales often, and this is a good one, so do not let it pass you by.  Happy meal planning!

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for helping support this blog.

Nov 212015


I woke up this morning at 4-something a.m.  However, this time it was my fault.  I told myself last night that I wanted to get up at 4:30 to finish the first coat of paint on the garage ceiling.  Half of it was done last night but I was so tired my bed sounded so much better.  By 8 p.m. I was asleep.  So … 4-something I woke up. Realized I was still tired and went back to sleep for an hour.

Now, I can do math and I know that if I fell asleep at 8 p.m., 5 a.m. means I was able to sleep for almost 9 hours.  That is doing great.  For the past several years 6 hours was all I was going on; not bad, but not great either.  So, when 5 a.m came around I got up.

Intending to tease a friend on Facebook last night about their incoming snow, I had gone to check the weather.  With the news off most days, I take things as they come and not worry about every little drop in temperatures.  Well, unless it is the first or last frost, then it is important.  🙂  That is when I saw snow in the forecast for us today.  Not what I was hoping to have happen.  My plans to paint were for the garage.  With new garage doors and actual insulation in most of the walls, the garage is finally warmer than it has been previous winters.  Does that mean it will stay above 50 degrees if it falls below 30 degrees outside?  I am not sure.  So let’s not test it out with wet paint on the ceiling, okay?

As I laid there thinking about what I could do, I realized I had not shared the great upcoming Black Friday Weekend Sale that Plan To Eat is going to have in a few days.  I really want to share this with you as they do not have sales that often.


November 27th – November 30th, all yearly subscriptions for Plan To Eat will be half off.  This means that for $19.50 (or $1.60 a month) you will have access to an easy meal planning site where you can even share your recipes with others, or find new one yourself. They will even create a shopping list for your from the recipes you plan to eat during certain time periods.  How easy is that?!

I have found that I save at least 30 minutes each week in writing up our meal plans, which include all 3 meals.  If I sit down to write out the months meal plans it is even more time saved.  I no longer have to work with an Excel spreadsheet that, while helpful and sufficient, really was clunky and left much to be desired.

Not only have the yearly subscriptions on sale, you can also buy an unlimited gift subscriptions at only $15.50 each.  They would make a great gift for a busy household, someone who lives by themselves and may want help ‘diversifying’ their meals, a young couple starting out setting up home, or those who are going through some hard times and are looking for ways to save money or time. Gift subscriptions to Plan To Eat can be given at any time (like Christmas!) and will not begin until the recipient redeems the gift.

I was hesitant when I initially tried out this service maid of mine.  At the time, it was not at a point in the year to take advantage of this deal.  It was the end of Spring and I needed a way to keep the meal plan under control without taking up so much of my time.  Plan To Eat’s free 30 day trial showed me how easy this was to use, how clunky my previous attempts were, and how much time I could save.  I hemmed and hawed, then asked my husband, “It would cost just over $3 a month.  What do you think?”  He asked if it made my life easier, if $3 was worth my time each month.  The answer was a resounding “Yes!”  I have not looked back.

Over the past few years, I could tell the months where I did not take as much time to meal plan.  How?  Our grocery bill jumped significantly.  I was amazed.  Did meal planning really make that much of a difference to our finances?  Obviously it did.  It meant I knew what was in the house, specifically what I needed to get at the store, and how to use what I did end up buying.

“What about the free 30-day trial? I have one/planning to get one/just heard about it?”  Great question.  You can still sign-up for the free 30 day trial AND get the yearly subscription deal.  They will not overlap, but instead flow seamlessly from one to the other, with your yearly subscription beginning at the end of the trial date.

“I already have a subscription, but it is not set to end till ___.”  That is okay, too.  You can still take advantage of this deal, which will then extend your subscription expiration date by a year.

If you are on the fence, like I was at one point, about taking on this maid, I would suggest signing up for the free 30-day trial.  With a week to go before the Black Friday Weekend Sale, you will be able to test out the site, plan this week’s meals, and see if it is something that will help you out in the upcoming year.

Happy meal planning!


This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through one of the links and purchase something, I will receive a small percent back at no added cost to you.  If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can go directly to their site by searching for them online or typing in their address.  Thanks for helping support this blog.

Oct 232015

What a day this has been! More like what a crazy few weeks. With the workers from our house work gone I really thought things would calm down.  I was wrong.

Between field trips, calls to the insurance and doctors’ offices, visits to doctors’ offices, therapy appointments, school work, house work (painting and all related activities), soccer games and school breaks, in addition to all the normal things we have to do in life, there has not been a calm week all month.  A few days here and there, yes, but otherwise we have been out of the house or had someone come by every day.  I treasure the days that we can stay here, minus taking and picking George up from school.

Earlier this week, while preparing (cleaning up a lot of hot spots) for a home visit, I tackled the kitchen.  This was about the day where I encouraged you, on Facebook, to choose one small job around the house and work on it that day.  This bit was on my  mind as I began working.

In order to sweep I had to pick up the floor.  I had two choices – hide everything or actually put it away.  It took about 30 seconds to decide to take the extra few minutes an put things away.

“While I am at it, I may as well hangs this up to.” I told myself.

It did not even take me 10 minutes (once I found the drill and not counting the break in the middle to go pick up George) to put this $1 new still with tags, garage sale find on the backside of the pantry door.  For about $5, screws were needed, I have added a few more shelves to our limited pantry space without taking up any floor space.  Yes, we have a basement that can hold items, but it is nice to have them right there when they are needed.

pantry door shelving diy

Oct 142015

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you click on them and purchase something a small portion is returned to me, at no added cost to you, and helps with the cost of running this blog.  Thank you for your support.

Sorry for the long absence.  Yes, 3 days does seems like a long time to not blog.  Time in the blogging world does not move at the same pace as time in real life.  Sort of like time when you are moving at the speed of light versus time when you are moving at a normal pace.  Please, don’t ask me the math on it, I just know that time moves at different speeds.

While I have not been able to get on the computer to update on the 21 Day Challenge, I have been working and making progress.  Day 5 of 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life talks about making a plan for when you hit a road block.  One of the questions was, “What will you do if you have to skip a day?”  Well, I got to that particular problem on Day 4.  I took the weekend off due to all the activities we had going on in various places.

At first I felt guilty for not doing yet another thing on Saturday.  Then I realized that running myself ragged was not the point to this challenge.  The point was to get back on the path to being more disciplined.  Taking a day of rest was not the enemy.

Farm Market Swap 2015 collage

I made a plan.  I would enjoy the day and pick back up on Sunday.  If Sunday did not work out, then Monday would have to be Day 4.  I was not going to feel guilty for taking some time for myself, by going to the Farm Market Swap, after days and weeks of constant going and craziness for others and our home.

My original plan for Day 4 was to take a day to wipe down the ceiling and walls in the small area at the top of the steps, take a day to do our ‘old’ upstairs bedroom, take 2 days to do the ‘new’ upstairs bedroom and take a day to clean the floors.bedroom above garage collageMonday came and I had renewed energy.  Instead of sticking with my original plan for Day 4, I did the ‘new’ bedroom in one day and swept the floors as well.  I will need to go back and wash them down, but they are much better.  I even did this with both kids at home, which is a small miracle.  It was not lost on me that this little feat would have been impossible a year or two ago.  There were still squabbles, but I was able to do this work with minimal stoppage.floor of bedroom above garage collageTuesday (Day 5) I tackled the ‘old’ upstairs bedroom and the small area at the top of the steps.  This is the point when I realized that I should put on one of the audio books I had recently picked up at a library sale.  Turns out it was the perfect choice for that day.  I knew Who Moved My Cheese had been a huge hit when it came out, but I had never read the book.  I am so glad I decided to listen to it while I worked.  Jack got to watch a documentary on Lewis & Clark, then some Rescue Bots.  And all was happy in our home.

One thing both of these days had in common was that I started early.  Mornings are the calmest time in our household and when I am able to focus the best.  As the day goes on my energy become depleted at a pretty fast rate.  Patience also starts to wain.  By the kids’ bedtime I am exhausted.  Sometimes I can gain a second wind, but it is not something I can count on.

Knowing this, I chose to do the biggest part of the Mega Project on Monday morning.  It stood to reason that I would be able to get the most done while expecting the best behavior from the kids.  Once I get to the next stage, the actual painting, I will try to do this when the household is asleep or after bedtimes.  I would rather wake up an hour earlier and get in some focused time, instead of having to stop to do this or answer that question.  That is the plan beginning this evening or tomorrow morning.

Yesterday found us in Big Town, taking our laptop to a computer repair store.  Of course, I had tackled the day’s Mega Project immediately after taking George to school, so that part was done and out of the way before anything else needed attention.  Jack and I stayed in Big Town, ate a picnic lunch then went to the library to do school work.  This is a great benefit of using the modified drawer system.  I was able to fill his folders, add in my binder and the pencil box, then pick up the crate and take it to the car.  Everything was and pumpkin autumn decorToday we have a field trip to a local pumpkin farm with some other home school families.  Some we have met before, but most will be new to us.  Please pray that Jack will make some friends.  He is often missing his school friends and there are less than a handful of other home schooled kids here in Small Town.

I have been doing well keeping on top of the dishes.  Yesterday morning found me short of time and a clean load of dishes in the dishwasher.  I have to admit that I left the dishes undone while we went to Big Town and only had a small bit of guilt.  I had to remind myself of priorities, that the dishes would still be there when we got back but the computer really needed attention.

The first thing I did when we got home was to unload and reload the dishwasher.  It was full, so I turned it on to run.  This meant it was still going when supper was finished.  However, we had tomato soup and grilled cheese for supper, so minimal dishes.  This morning, while breakfast was cooking, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher with all 4 bowls, a plate and accompanying silverware.  Once breakfast was finished the dishes were added to the now mostly-empty dishwasher.  I love the look of clean counters welcoming me home.

Today’s application and things to think about were focused on keeping things realistic.  I feel like I have done that this go around.  Maybe I have learned from before or perhaps I am giving myself more leeway in other areas.

How are things coming along with your project?  Having any struggles or finding yourself hitting any walls?

Oct 102015

Last night, the last thing I wanted to do was finish loading the dishwasher.  I had every excuse, one of them being the fact that my back was really sore.  I did stretches.  I laid on the floor.  I did more stretching.  Nothing seemed to help.  So I took some medicine, laid on the floor a bit more, then decided to just get it done.  If my back hurt while not doing anything, it may as well hurt while I was being productive.  Silly back.

Please forgive the bad photo below.  It was late, the only light on was above the counter, and I was too tired to play around with the other lights in the room to get the right effect.  Right after this I went to bed.

What I do want you to notice is that not only is the dishwasher on (and running), but the counter above it is also cleared off.  I really had all intentions of only loading the dishwasher and calling it a night.  What happened, though, was what often happens in this situation – I couldn’t stop.

As I cleared the dishes off the counter and loaded them, I came across an empty bottle that needed to be thrown away.  Then another bottle that went into the cabinet.  Some peppers that needed to go into the fridge were next.  By the time these little, quick things were done I realized that there really were not that many more pans, measuring spoons, and other items left to wash by hand.  “I may as well do those, too.  It won’t take that long.”  And it didn’t.

Now I am on the other end.  In order to run a load dishes in the washer tonight, it has to be emptied this morning.  As the day goes along, dishes will be added to it.  Hopefully the counter will stay clear of clutter that always seems to collect with even a few dishes sitting on it.

This habit, of running the dishwasher at night, is at least two-fold.  Not only do the dishes need to be in there and the washer turned on at night, it also needs to be unloaded in the mornings.  Previously this was one of the kids’ jobs.  With no washer working, that job left the rotation.  (Come to think of it, all jobs left the rotation when that happened.  Hmm.)

In 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life, Crystal encourages her readers to find a bad habit to change or a good habit to start.  This habit should be something that is a life hack, that will boost your energy due mostly to how it makes you feel.  The morning unloading of the dishwasher is something I want to keep up with and have the boys start helping me with again.  This will mean we have items ready for use and a dishwasher ready to be loaded.

Farm Market Swap collageFor yesterdays step toward my Mega Project I wanted to wipe down the walls and ceiling of the stairways.  It was right before supper before I finally was able to do it, but do it I did.  It did not take that long, but did leave another layer of dust on the kitchen floor like I thought it would.  A quick wipe with a damp rag got up the majority of it.  

Today is a very busy day.  Soccer game this morning followed by the Farm Market Swap this afternoon.  I was not sure what my husband’s schedule would look like, so I arranged a babysitter for the kids.  At first I thought about not going to the Swap, then realized that I too was allowed to have fun and be around others.  Self deprivation is no way to live life or have a happy mom/wife.  We all need to be around friends at some point.

Once my husband found out, he decided to take advantage of this and finish up a paper he has due for one of the classes he is currently attending.  This will free up time later as a family.  As of late Saturdays have meant he would go study at a library for a few hours and/or have a group meeting.  It is kind of ironic that the first Saturday where I want to go do something with other ladies, he has nothing he had to do.

With more out of home activities going on today, I am doing a smaller section of my Mega Project.  I want to continue on with prepping ceilings and walls for painting, though for today I aim to do the smaller landing area at the top of the stairs.  This ‘room’ has a new ceiling but only a small wall space.  It is probably the least square footage of all the areas needing done.

For now I am going to switch over the laundry, think about lunch plans, begin breakfast and perhaps set out items to make muffins later.  Oh, and I need to get in a shower this morning as I can feel drywall dust in my hair. And so the day begins.  🙂

How are you coming along?  Have you decided to join in and tackle some things around your place?  It does not have to be large or even contain a Mega Project.  Setting a goal to do some of the smaller things around your place will also have an impact.

Oct 092015

It takes 21 days to make a habit, or so the saying goes.  And while it may take more than a day’s resolve, that does not mean it is too hard to do.

Our dishwasher started going out this past summer.  The signs?  It stopped drying the clean dishes and every so often it would take more than one push of the start button for the cycle to start.  This issue was not a new one, as it happened to us a few years back.  At that time we found a temporary fix that worked very well for a few years.

When the issues started to arise again, I did our default action to “fix” the problem.  This time, though, it did not work.  Seems it was time for a new dishwasher.  We waited until the day it would not longer turn on at all, which of course happened when it was fully loaded with dirty dishes late one night.

For almost the past month, my evening routine of loading the dishwasher and doing dishes was disrupted.  I was not 100% perfect in this routine.  More like 75%, but I was working on it.  Now, faced with a counter full of dishes at the end of supper, the time of day when my energy is the lowest, I became overwhelmed.  A new habit began.  After supper we would clear off the table, I would turn off the lights in the kitchen and go sit on the couch in the living room.  “The dishes can wait till the morning.”  And wait they did.

This new bad habit meant that I started every day faced with a messy kitchen.  Instead of using my morning energy to get our day going, I was using it to clean up yesterday’s mess.  By the time the dishes were done, I had no desire to do more.  Guess what happened at lunch time and again at supper time?  That’s right, I put the dishes off till the next day.  No magic fairy came to do them, they were always there the next morning waiting for me.

A good thing that came out of this was the realization of exactly how many plates, cups, and utensils we use in a day.  There are only 4 of us.  There really should not have been that many dishes. When you cook 3 meals a day and most of you are home for all those meals, that tends to happen.  It was a reality that was masked by the wonderful maid called the dishwasher.

This past weekend, our new dishwasher was delivered and installed.  Picking back up where I was a few months ago was harder than I thought.  The layout of the dishwasher was different so I had to put thought into where things went.  The old layout did not work as well in this new dishwasher.  For the last several days I have tried to get the dishes loaded and all the pans cleaned right after supper.  I am doing better, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

To work toward the goal of having the kitchen cleaned after supper, for the next week I am going to work on loading the dishwasher and running it every night.

cleaning kitchen floor collage

Yesterday’s quick project was to mop the kitchen floor.  I did not get to it till last night, the point in the day where my energy is the least.  I wiped down the tile area (10 minutes) and saved the moping for this morning.  I woke up a few minutes early and tackled this job.  It took me all of 25 minutes this morning and is now drying while I type this post

The pictures above do not do justice to the amount of dust that was there and now is not.  It really did look like someone took a sifter full of flour and walked around the kitchen doing a cha-cha dance as they went.  It still is not perfect, but is tons better than before.

washing garage floor

Step 1 toward the Mega Project of painting all of the new drywall was to wipe down the garage ceiling and walls, as well as wash the floor.  I lost track of how long this took, as the kids started to play in the water running off the floor.  I can say that it was easier than I thought it would be.  While not perfect, the garage floor looks a lot better and should track in less dirt to the house.

unpainted stairway collage

Step 2 today is to wipe down the walls and ceiling in the stairways.  I will need to hang up a sheet or some other barrier to keep the dust from coming onto my newly mopped kitchen floor.  Perhaps that order of activities was not the best.  However, I think I will be able to dust mop any dust that finds its way into the kitchen.

How are things coming at your place?  Was there a quick project you were able to take care of yesterday?  If not, why not look around for one today.  It does not have to take as long as mopping the kitchen floor did for me.  Actually, I would suggest something faster.  How about a new habit you want to work on forming?  What small step can you take today toward achieving it?