Monday, October 26, 2009

November Projects

  • Christmas wrappers for zucchini bread gifts
  • Christmas wrappers for canned gifts
  • Christmas cards
  • DVD
  • Photo book
  • Thanksgiving invitations
  • Thanksgiving meal plan

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zone 4 this week... master suite

Today starts the week of Zone 4, the master suite. I spent more than 15 minutes on it today, but it's been a LONG time since I've deep cleaned our room! So today I started with the bed, stripped it, washed the comforter, bedskirt, sheets, and pillowcases. Then I flipped the mattress, since I think you're supposed to every 3 months and I KNOW I haven't done that in the last 3,6,9? months! (By the way, flipping a queen size mattress is NOT a one woman job. I always forget that. I always do it anyway, but next time I should remember to employ Leif's help.)

I cleaned out underneath the bed (wow, there was a lot of "lost" stuff under there!) and replaced the bedskirt, then made the bed with new, clean sheets (flannel, because it's chilly out!). 

I also cleaned the shower this morning. Woohoo!

The whole bedroom isn't clean just yet, but I've got a week to work through it, 15 minutes at a time. In the meantime, it's nice to know that I've gotten some things accomplished today!!

My new laundry system...

I am back to doing Flylady, and that means a load of laundry a day. I am notorious for leaving the clean laundry in a pile to fold and put away "all at once." Instead, what usually happens is that it comes time for bed and there's still a load in the washer or dryer so I haven't dealt with all the clean laundry yet - it's still piled high on the bed! For some people, Mt. Washmore is a pile of dirty clothes. For me, it's a pile of clean clothes that are now all wrinkly and overwhelming! So, I do what any normal person with a deep down need for order is and I... dump the pile onto the window seat to deal with later. It, of course, spills onto the floor because there are too many clothes to fit on the window seat!

So... when I wake up in the morning, not only do I have to remember that I have clothes in the washing machine, but I am greeted by a giant mound of clothes on the floor. It's too overwhelming to deal with, so I just make Leif fish his clean underwear out of the pile for the next week and pretend like it's not there.

But it is.

And it weighs me down, keeping me from doing anything I really want to do. I feel too guilty about the pile to do anything fun, but I am overwhelmed by the pile and avoiding it, so I sit around and do nothing but eat to soothe my stress.

But last week I went back to Flylady and started tackling my problems 15 minutes at a time. And do you want to know something? For a week now, my laundry has been under control. I'm not saying every article of clothing we own has been clean and in the closet every day, but the laundry is not hanging over my head. I started doing 1 load a day and I established a new laundry system for my home.

I got one of these:
to keep next to the washer and dryer, and I got 3 canvas bins to go with it. Here's the theory... dirty laundry comes downstairs in a laundry basket. I load 1/2 or 1/3 of the laundry from the basket into the washer, because we have giant laundry baskets that I love. Because I'm only doing a load a day of laundry, the rest of the dirty stuff stays in the basket. But where does the clean stuff go? Well, the hanging stuff gets put on hangers immediately, and hung on my new laundry rack. Then, the rest gets sorted and folded based on which person it belongs to. One bin for each family member, or to use however works best (e.g. Leif, Elizabeth, Towels, if I don't have any of Ellie's laundry in that particular load). Then, the hanging items and baskets go upstairs one at a time to be emptied and brought back down. If there are any empty hangers in the closet, they go back in the basket to head downstairs and get stored on the laundry rack. I can deal with one small basket of clothes at a time. That is not overwhelming, and it takes just a couple minutes to put everything away. I don't have to do all 3 loads of laundry in one day, because it's fine if the dirty clothes stay in the basket until tomorrow to do the next load. Dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, clean clothes go in the canvas totes. It's great!

And so far, it is working wonderfully - and my laundry's all caught up!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Updating the control journal...

I'm updating my control journal.

I'm tired of my house controlling me.

I'm tired of the clutter.

I'm tired of the lack of focus.

So I'm going back to the only thing that has ever worked for me. Flylady.

Why do I keep getting away from it?

I went to bed last night with a clean house. Shiny sink. I didn't go to bed early, but I went to bed with a clean house. It made a big difference this morning, so I am working on updating my routines and printing them out for my control journal. Thankfully, I can do it in stages because the old CJ is still intact, but I'd like to get it done. It's my project for today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Make Bed

* Strip and change the sheets every Monday.
* Tuck the sheet in at the foot of the bed and pull the top edge of the sheet flush with the head of the mattress.
* Lay the comforter on the top of the bed, top edge flush with the head of the mattress and the bottom edge as far as it will hang down without touching the floor.
* Place the maroon or cream smooth pillow cased pillows at the head of the bed, leaning against the window sill.
* Place the maroon body pillow in front of the propped pillows.
* Place the pillows matching the comforter in the front, pillows touching in the center with the extra casing draping toward the edges of the bed.

Wake Up / Take Temperature

Ideally, I should be waking up at 5am. That's the goal, at least. It doesn't always happen.

The temperature part is kind of sketchy, too, because I'm not tracking my temperature right now. When I am, though, I track it on Fertility Friend.

I also have a paper form I can use to track, but I'd have to find it. Right now FF is better...


Right now I am participating in a weekly challenge and accountability group with my director. It has really been eye opening for me! This week we wrote out Frustrations / Solutions lists for our businesses and personal lives. In doing that I realized that my most basic frustrations come down to not having systems in place for getting things done. My frustrations are not with the special things that pop up, but with the every day items that I can't seem to keep up on. Things like...

Writing Thank You Notes
Cleaning the house
Bible Study
Meal Planning

... see where I'm going with this?

So... I need to build some systems. I say "build" because they will take time. They will grow into what I need them to be, but I need to get them into place first. So... back to flylady, methinks. I'm going to pick the 3 most important things to do every morning, day, and night and do them. Just 3 things, I think. Let's see...

Morning Routine:
1. Make bed
2. Empty dishwasher
3. Bible Study

Daytime Routine:
1. Exercise
2. 15 minutes of cleaning / decluttering
3. Laundry

Evening Routine:
1. Skin care
2. Dishes / Shine sink
3. Items for tomorrow in the car / ready to go

I'm fighting with myself over a physical notebook or this blog again... I get sucked into the computer when I try to use the blog, but a notebook is large and gets in the way and drives Leif crazy. So... I need to have a solution one way or the other. Perhaps I'll put it out here, then shrink the routine list and just have a copy of it in my MK binder to go off each day. Maybe that's a good solution...

Monday, September 7, 2009


I spent the day canning apples today. ALL DAY. Tiny tart apples I got off freecycle. 75 lbs of them. And I only got through about half of them today! I was hoping to get through all of them, but it didn't happen. Here's what DID happen...

3 quarts Apple Jam
4 half-pints Cranapple Butter
7 pints Red Hot Apples
4 quarts Apples in Light Syrup (for making Apples Pie at Thanksgiving!)
2 pints Red Hot Cider Mix
3 quarts Apple Sauce

I tried 5 recipes from my new canning cookbook. I love it! Now to do the rest of the apples... (and I had already done a batch of apple butter and a batch of jam before this. Sheesh!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

A month later...

... and I'm much more organized!

- I had a garage sale.
- We have new bedroom furniture.
- I'm working on some routines.
- I'm saying no to things that are not priorities.
- We put Eliana in morning pre-school two days a week.
- I refilled my hormone prescription.
- I have been scrapbooking regularly.
- I am taking care of things that have been hanging over my head for a long time.

Things are going better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Getting Organized




It's sort of freeing.

We are looking at some furniture for our bedroom since the cheap-o dresser we have been using is now down to one functional drawer. Not exactly helpful. So... we're looking at REAL furniture. Oooh. Real wood. Stuff that would live in our bedroom and not in the closet. Oooooh. We've got a couple options, and I'm not sure exactly which route I want to go right now, but at least the discussion is in progress.

Aside from reorganizing the bedroom, Mom and I went through the kitchen cupboards and got rid of some stuff we never use, too. A couple boxes worth of stuff has been culled and it looks like I might have enough stuff for a garage sale, especially once I'm done going through the basement and the rest off the bedroom. Wow.

The craft room is on the docket, too. That's a big undertaking, but mom is helping me go through everything. So far I'm just organizing, but the purging will happen very soon! I am looking forward to having a place for everything and not being overwhelmed by all the stuff I just HAVE. If I don't love it or use it, it's time to lose it!

Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm going to have to set some priorities for the Fall, so that I don't get overwhelmed. Right now, here is what I would really like to be a part of, either for just me or for Eliana, too.

- Friday Morning Bible Study
- Wednesday BSF
- Awana
- Ellie at a sitter one day a week (preferably in Belgrade)
- Mary Kay TNL
- Worship Team

These are the things that I really want to do. They are really important to me in one way or another and can provide a schedule to provide an external framework for my week to hang on. There are some things that I would like to be part of, too, though we'll see. They are...

- Kindermusik
- Women's  Bible Study
- Weekly playdate/CMB playgroup
- Ruby come over one or two afternoons
- Aerial Dance
- Friday Crops at Kristii's
- Craft Night
- Julieen playdate

This is why my plate gets so full. I have so much I want to do! BUT... I can't do everything, be everything, and have everything  all at once. I have to set limits. So...  first off.. the priorities.

I need to find out the details on Awana. Where, when, cost. I need to talk to Michelle about watching Ellie one day a week.

I think I'm going to say no to Kindermusik, Women's Bible Study, Julieen's Playdates and weekly platydates/CMB. Kristii's Crops will only work if I can have Ellie watched on Fridays. Ruby is going to have to fit into the schedule after everything else is figured out. Craft night will be once a month.

I'll keep pondering and see how things turn out. It will be nice to be not so busy this Fall. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday's To-Do

**DONE** 6:00 am - Meet with Shannon
**DONE** 7:15 am - Shower, get ready
**DONE** 9:00 am - Walmart (Target, actually)
(Decided against, found several pairs at home) * Panty hose
**DONE** * Snacks for the airplane and Seminar
**DONE**10:00 am - Post Office
**DONE** * Mail Flat Rate Box
**DONE** * Weigh and get postage for Julie and Jessica's packages
(She fell asleep and we skipped it) 10:30 am - Ellie at Soccer
(Got a late start on the other errands, so we didn't do this) 11:15 am - Hike with Eliana (in the stroller? Peet's hill? The M?)
(Ate at Target) 12:30 pm - Sack Lunch (or Bento)
**DONE** 2:45 pm - Ellie's 3 year check up
* Height: 3 foot 2 (70%)
* Weight: 33 lbs (52%)
* Approved Medical Consent Form? Yes
* Casein / Glutein Allergy Testing? Probably not useful at this point
**DONE** 4:00 pm - Notarize Medical Consent Form
6:00 pm - Set up for Amber's debut
6:30 pm - Amber's Debut

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Headin' South

Early Tuesday morning Eliana and I are heading to Texas. She's going to spend 4 days with my parents while I attend the Mary Kay Seminar, and then we're going to hang out in Longview for a bit before heading to Kansas for the family reunion.

Monday is busy, busy, busy, so I'm going to have to get a lot of things done tomorrow so that I'm ready for the trip. Here's what I have on my plate for tomorrow:

1. Pack my carry on and suitcase. (My suitcase is done)
2. Pack Eliana's carry on and suitcase. (Ellie's suitcase is done, carry on almost done)
3. **DONE** Pack the Flat Rate Box with MK for Anita's.
4. **DONE** Photocopy insurance card and staple to Medical Consent Form.
5. **DONE** Plan Monday's clothes and makeup
6. **DONE** Plan and pack makeup and jewelry for Seminar.
7. Put away Eliana's laundry.
8. **DONE** Pack panties for Ellie.
9. Put the carseat in the Prius.
10. Deliver orders to June and Dana. (June's is DONE, Dana's is scheduled for tomorrow)
11. **DONE** Put together Seminar File to take with.
12. **DONE** Email directions to Spa to Robert.
13. **DONE** Email itinerary for Seminar (Wednesday) to Dad.
14. **DONE** Mail Thank Yous for Ellie's birthday party.
15. Make necklace for Ellie's birthday in TX.
16. Finish laundry.
17. **DONE** Sweep and Vacuum kitchen / Living room

I'm sure there's more, but it's almost 1am and I'm falling asleep in the chair. Suffice it to say that I'm going to be busy. Lots to do. Lots to do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Planning Ellie's Birthday Party

I feel bad that I haven't gotten Ellie's birthday party invitations mailed and sent. Given that the party is Tuesday and it's Saturday today, I'm thinking they won't get made. Bummer! Guests have been invited, so that's not the issue, I just wanted to do it right! So, in an effort to do the rest of it right, I need to write out a plan for her party. =D

Oh wow! I just realized that we are going camping tomorrow and Monday, then her party is Tuesday. Ack! That means if I'm going to do some of these things, they must be done, um, NOW! Happy 4th of July!

Poo! We're out of eggs! That makes making cupcakes right now very difficult...

- Red Velvet Cupcakes in paper cupcake wrappers (which I already have).
- Hot Dogs and Buns (Count)
- Jello in silicone cupcake cups
- Baked Beans? (We have some in the cupboard)
- Lemonade? (or water)

- Favor Bags from Wenda
- Suckers
- Sugar Cookies

- Inflatable pool
- Hose down the slide
- Table for crafts
- Table for hot dogs/food
- Table for cupcakes
- Canopy for shade / table
- Kids eat lunch at the big table
- Sandbox
- Balloons

- Summer Wind Socks (Need: Streamers, construction paper, foam shapes?)

- New Color Wonder book? (She's more or less already gotten

- Sugar Cookies

- Frosting (2 cans) - yellow if possible
- Sprinkles for on top the cupcakes (Summer themed)
- Sugar Cookie Dough, premade
- Eggs
- Jello
- SAND for the sandbox!
- Color Wonder Book
- Ketchup
- Streamers
- Foam Shapes?
- Hot Dog Buns? (Count)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture

So... we've been wanting to join a CSA for a couple years now and this year we've found one that seems like it will work for us. The others we've looked at are either full, $600, or make you come and work at the farm as part of your subscription. This year we joined a new CSA here in Bozeman. It's $240 for a half-share, which is enough vegetables and herbs for 2 adults, delivered weekly for 17 weeks. Our first delivery was yesterday, so I figured I'd keep a record of what is delivered each week to evaluate whether we'll do this again in the future. So far I'm happy. The delivery comes in a bag, like this:

CSA week 1

The bag was pretty full, though it was hard to get a picture of the produce.

CSA week 1

In this delivery we received...

* over 1 lb. carrots (sweet, delicious carrots that put Costco's carrots to shame!)
* 2.5 oz. green onions
* 1 oz. Basil, both green and purple
* 7 oz. Mixed salad greens
* 6 oz. Red chard

So far all we've tried are the carrots, which we happily munch on. =D I'm planning on using the chard and onions in stir fry, the salad greens for a large dinner salad, and the basil in some pastas. Any good recipe ideas for these items?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Tomorrow night I think I'm going to a dance concert, Friday night I've got a crop to go to, Saturday night I think we're going to Shakespeare in the Parks, and Sunday Leif leaves to go to CA for a few days. So I was thinking I'd plan meals, but now that I think about it, that might not be as necessary! Still.... I want to make Aloha Kebabs one night (maybe Saturday?) and eat fresh pineapple and have quinoa. I should plan something for dinner for the next two nights anyway, so Leif has dinner even if I'm not going to be home. Rice and stir fry are always good, if we have them? I don't remember if we have any in the freezer. Hmmm.... I'll have to look. I wonder what else we have that would make a good dinner?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Zechariah 4:6

I struggle with keeping my house clean. Really, I struggle with being consistent with anything. But housekeeping seems especially hard. I don't have the energy or I don't have the motivation or I don't have the time or I don't know  where to start or... or... or... I have a lot of excuses.

But here's what it boils down to... I have no excuses. I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and as such I have the power through Jesus Christ to do all that He has commanded me. The Spirit that lives within me is the same Spirit that created the world! And so it is foolish of me to make excuses for why I cannot run a household that is glorifying to the Lord, just as it is foolish for me to try to accomplish the tasks He has set before me by my own strength.

My largest struggle seems to be with self control, in many areas. But we have two natures - one is the sinful nature that we are born with, and the other is the nature of the Spirit we are given by Him. The first nature, the old nature, the sinful nature, seeks selfish ambition. But the fruit of the Spirit is self control. They are contrary. (Galatians 5)

And so, it is not by my might, nor by my power, but by His Spirit that I seek to follow Him and complete the tasks He has given me. My selfish ambition tries to run my home in a way that is pleasing to me, that demonstrates my creativity and ability to run a home. But it's not about me or my ability. And I have well proven that my ability is not sufficient for the task He has given me. So if I am to exercise self control, it will have to come from the Spirit, as fruit of His work in my life.

It's not about me.

There. I said it. So, if my house begins to fall into order, if I begin keeping up with the tasks at hand, you will know that it is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord be glorified in my home!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting SOME stuff done, at least....

I may be moving slowly today at getting things done, but I'm at least getting SOME things done. I hung a curtain in the doorway to the wrapping center / seasonal storage area in the basement, and I hung skirts around the wrapping table and the utility sink to hide some of the clutter and tie things together down there. I think that looks pretty nice now! I am also doing laundry, which means I have one load in the washer, one in the dryer, and another that needs to go in. I also have a couple loads from last week that still need to be put away.

Ellie's watching a video right now, so hopefully I'll be able to get some of that laundry put away in the next 30 minutes. I'd really like to make my bed, too... the bedroom is a disaster.

Monday again...

Why is it that on Sunday night I am so excited to get everything back in order and then on Monday morning I just can't seem to make myself do it? What is up with that?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Weekly Decluttering Tip

This came in my inbox today, and I thought it was good to remember:

Declutter first. Buy containers second.

When it comes time to get organized, is your first step a trip to your favorite store to pick up storage bins? If so, and if you haven't always been satisfied with your organizing efforts, tuck this tip into your back pocket:

Declutter first. Buy containers second.

Here's why:  When you declutter you let go of things you no longer use, need, or love. This gives you a better feel for which items need to be stored and where to store them, leading to smarter container selection – and happier end results!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Tomorrow is Monday.

A new day.

A new week.

I don't have anything planned as far as places I need to be, and I'm thinking Monday and Friday always need to be stay at home days. So... Monday. I suppose if I want to maintain my routines, I should start by just doing them. That means tomorrow's routine is...
  1. Morning Routine
  2. Change Sheets / Towels
  3. Laundry - wash sheets and towels
  4. Weekly Home Blessing Hour (10 minutes each)
    1. Clean toilets / showers
    2. Dust living room, bedrooms, office, bathrooms (Ellie can help dust)
    3. Sweep kitchen, bathrooms, entryways (Ellie can "sweep" too)
    4. Mop kitchen, bathrooms, entryways
    5. Vacuum carpeted rooms
    6. Clean mirrors, windows, doors
  5. Musical Monday!
That should get my week off to a good start. If I have time for other things after that, I'll tackle other projects, but for right now I'll stick with trying to get through my Monday routine. Well, and unpacking from my trip the rest of the way and putting away laundry. That's my list!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I never thought I'd see the day

But I just emptied the last two bags of bread flour and wheat flour into the containers in the house. I'm also completely out of all purpose flour. I'm actually going to have to buy flour! We've had a store of flour in the freezer for so long I was beginning to think we would never run out. Guess we have!

Pizza Night

Ellie requested pizza for dinner tonight, so I guess that's what we're doing. Today is a stay at home day (which was planned anyway, but especially with all the snow and icy roads!) so we'll be making the pizza together. It should be fun! Maybe we'll make the crusts together during the day and bake them, then let everyone put their own toppings on for dinner. That sounds good!

Now I guess the question is... what do we have for toppings? I haven't done a survey of the pantry/fridge since I got home from TX, so...

* Spinach
* Feta
* Greek Olives
(Those sound like they'd  make a good pizza for Leif!)
* Frozen peppers
* Canadian Bacon
* Onions

I really wish we had some pineapple! But alas, the pantry has none. I guess it goes on the grocery list!

So maybe Ellie and I will have Canadian Bacon pizza and Leif can have a yummy Greek pizza. I'm not big on spinach on my pizza or I'd have it too. I will puree some spinach and "hide" it in the sauce, though! =D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A well oiled machine...

I want my home to run like a well oiled machine.

So does my husband.

So how do I make it happen??? Why can't I maintain a schedule? Why can't I get set in my routines? What is my problem?

Tonight I am going to bed y 10:30. I'm actually in bed typing this right now. Not asleep, obviously, but in bed. The sink is shined. The dishwasher is full and set to run. I've washed my face and swish and swiped the bathroom. The kitchen table is cleared and wiped clean. Breakfast has been laid out for tomorrow. My clothes are set out for me to wear to Bible study at 6am. My alarm is set for 5am.

It didn't take much effort to get things set up for tomorrow and ready for bed. So why can't I maintain my routines?

Is it really as simple as just doing it? Just start by emptying the dishwasher and the rest will follow? I don't know. But something's got to give. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hit the ground running

We got back from Texas after 11 last night, and I hit the ground running today. I ran the dishwasher, had Bible Study at 9:30, then brought Ellie home for lunch and tossed a load of laundry in before heading back over to the airport in Belgrade to pick up my luggage. Then Ellie took a long nap. I wish I could say I got more done while Ellie was sleeping, but I took the opportunity to package up a couple MK orders and catch up on a couple episodes of Bones. =D My plan was to have dinner at 6, and it's 6:05. Dinner is just about ready, Leif should be home in 5 minutes. We've got small group tonight and I have to drop off a MK delivery, but I'm hoping to get all that done and Ellie in bed by 8:30. If we can do that, we'll be doing good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Zone 5 Mission #1

Couch diving!!!

Today's Fly Lady mission was to clean out from under the cushions of your couch. I did the ones in the living room, and hopefully this afternoon I can make my way down to the basement and clean those ones out, too. They are going to be worse. The basement is always worse.

I got up this morning at 6:45 and swept the kitchen and entryways, mopped the kitchen and entryways (remind me to post how much I LOVE my Norwex mop system!!) and vacuumed the upstairs. Right now I'm moving the bedstands in the bedroom and making sure all the junk is out from under the bed. I'm hoping to shampoo the carpets today. That would be great.

I want to get the upstairs all cleaned and beautiful, and then I will move to the basement and get that sorted out. All of the stuff we don't know what to do with just gets thrown into the basement, either in the craft/laundry room or the 2nd guest room. Neither of those are really clean or organized right now, and I'd really like them to be. The first order of business is the upstairs, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clean Car!

I cleaned the car on Monday. I mean, CLEAN. Vacuumed. Seats cleaned. Mats washed. Now only the outside is dirty. =D

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I just received my Norwex order today and I'm so excited! Wanna see what I got???

Cleaning paste - This is an all natural Soft Scrub alternative. I might be most excited about this. It should last about 2 years, according to the consultant and everything I've read.

Liquid Dish Detergent - I thought I'd give this a try, and we'll see how I like it, but about 2 days after I ordered this Leif found an environmentally friendly liquid dish soap at Costco. So I'll do a comparison of the two and see what I think.
Laundry Soap - I've used a sample of this and it works really well. Plus, I only need a teaspoon (yes, a TEASPOON) to wash an entire load of clothes in our high efficiency washer.
Spirisponge - This is a scrubbing sponge.

Spirinets - These are abrasive scrubbers for use on glass or other hard surfaces.
Dry Mop Pad - This is part of the mop system which I wanted SO BADLY! =D And now I have it! This is the dry mop pad that's basically used for sweeping. I've tried it out already and I think it works pretty well! It's machine washable and velcros onto the mop base.

Mini Mop Base - Also part of the mop system. This is the velcro base the pads get attached to.
Wet Mop Pads - These are the wet mop pads that are part of the mop system. Also machine washable and velcro onto the mop base. They are naturally antibacterial and all you need to use with them is water. Clean floors with no chemicals!
Telescoping Mop Handle - The last part of the mop system. This is the telescoping handle that makes it easy enough for a short person like me to mop the floor and dust the ceiling all in the same cleaning session. =D
Silver Care Dental Floss

Microfiber Face Cloths

Polishing Cloth - I got 3 of these! These microfiber cloths really polish windows nicely! Thanks to these cloths I will never use Windex on my windows again.

Microfiber Cloth - I got 3 of these, too! They clean better than any cloth I've ever used. They get dried on toddler food crud off my dining room table. They get hand print smudge marks off the doors and light switches. These are what first sold me on Norwex. Because they have silver in them, they are naturally antibacterial, too.

Travel Microfiber Cloths - A set of 4 travel sized microfiber cloths.

Kitchen Cloths - lightweight microfiber cloths perfect for washing or drying dishes.

The best part about getting my Norwex order is that because I hostessed a party I got ALL of the above for less than it would have cost me to buy the mop package alone. Isn't that awesome?!

I'll individually review items as I have a chance to try them out in a few different scenarios. I'm excited about the products and I can't wait to see how they work!

It's just not sticking...

For some reason, I just cannot seem to keep this 5am thing up! I really would like to! But again yesterday and today I did NOT get up anywhere close to early! I'm not sure why, except that I'm not making it (or anything else, actually) a priority. I'm not scheduling my time well at all, and it is frustrating.

I think I need to work on using my time well this afternoon before I start worrying about getting up at 5 am.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

5 am again

I got up at 5 am again today. It is now 5: 30 and I am very tired! I need to pack things up for my MK appointments today, though, so maybe I will do that (get everything packed up and ready to go) and then head back to bed. I could use another hour or so of sleep.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

5am Club...

I just set my alarm for tomorrow morning. I'm going to make an effort to join the 5am club again. Of course, it would probably be easier to join the 5am club if I set my alarm for 5 am instead of 6, like I did. I'll be right back....

Okay... there we go. Now it's set for 5am for tomorrow morning. And I'd better wake up to it, too, or Leif is going to put a stop to the 5am alarm, I'm pretty sure of it.

I don't have any specific plans for what I'm going to do when I get up early tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure there will be breakfast and Bible reading involved. Those two make a good start to any day. I hope there will be some yoga or exercise involved, too, but I don't want to pile too much on my early morning plate prematurely... ;)

So for now I'll just plan to wake up early and actually roll myself out of bed. I'm going to bed with a clean house, so that will be a good way to start the week. And if I get to bed in the next 15 minutes, I'll actually get 6 hours of sleep in, too.

Goodnight! See you early in the morning...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Priorities....

Sometimes I feel like my world is crumbling down around me. Today was one of those days. I sort of feel like I can't succeed at anything, and that makes me feel spread too thin. So I'm taking a bit of a time out and thinking about what my real priorities are, because those are where I need to spend my efforts. In no particular order, here are my priorities right now...

Mary Kay

Yup, that pretty much sums it up. My spiritual life has not been much of a priority lately, and I think that takes a pretty heavy toll on all of the other areas of my life. Exercise/healthy living has also not been a priority, and I think that contributes negatively to the other areas of my life as well. I've been eating whatever I want to eat, and that makes controlling my blood sugar difficult, which makes making good choices difficult. It's a vicious cycle. I get lazy and fat and lethargic and I don't do anything well. Then I feel like a failure, and I start to shut down like I did today. So... I need to re-prioritize.

I know in my head and from experience that my first priority should be getting into the Word daily. It NEEDS to happen, yet that's probably the first place I fail. So that becomes priority number one. After that, I am a wife and a mother first, and a SAHM for the majority of the day, so that makes Mother priority number two. The best way I can show my husband how I love him is through the way I maintain our home, which makes Homemaker number three. It's amazing how easy it was to put those in order very quickly. Exercise/healthy living runs closely behind and is somewhat intertwined with numbers two and three, since what I do with my own body is often indicative of how I am taking care of my family's health needs, too. So that becomes priority number four. Mary Kay is an investment that we have made and something for which others depend on me, so that is number five, and scrapbooking falls to priority number six.

That means that I cannot ignore the laundry, my family, or my MK phone calls because I want to scrapbook. They must all fall into line or it doesn't work.

So tomorrow I'm going to try to get up early (5 am! Eek! Kate's doing it, too) and read my Bible, then run on the treadmill. That's how I'm going to start my day. From there I need to be a good mother to Eliana, including making sure she is fed well and disciplined calmly and consistently. I need to maintain a clean house for Leif and make sure that I follow through on a project if I start it. ONE PROJECT AT A TIME! (That's a hard one for me since I'm constantly getting distracted!) IF the house is clean and dinner is planned and Eliana is being taken care of (sitting in front of the TV so that she is out of my way doesn't count as being taken care of...) and I have made my MK phone calls and done anything that needs to be done there, THEN I am free to craft. I need to remember that.

Crafting is good, when it is done in place.
MK is beneficial, when it doesn't come before my daughter.
Playing with Eliana is good, but not an excuse for a messy house. I can interact with her just as well by teaching her to clean and help me pick up the toys she pulls out. There is more than one lesson to be learned there.

So... tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm going to start with my priorities in order. One day at a time and we'll see how it goes.

We've got Bible Study here at the house tomorrow morning and I've got a MK party at Kristin's house in the evening. That means I have a few hours in between to keep my priorities in line by myself. I think having a busy day will make it a little easier. Perhaps I can keep a few hours under control and gradually build up to more. I hope.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just need to maintain...

Leif and I cleaned up the house last night, so theoretically, all I have to do is maintain it. I think that means I need to put away the stuff from lunch today, then. Ellie and I made a bento. =D

On the plus side, last night we went to bed with the house clean and I washed my face and did my skin care routine. It's amazing how much better my skin feels in the morning! I slept in a bit this morning, but once I did get up I made the bed, so it is all nice and ready for the day. It's amazing how that lifts my spirits to look into the bedroom and see a neat and tidy bed. It's crazy!

We're having chicken tonight of some variety. I asked Ellie what she thought we should have for dinner and she looked at me, cocked her head to one side, and said, "Ummm... how 'bout chicken?" It was too cute! So I have chicken thawing and we'll see what it turns into. I've got some tomatoes I have to use soon, too, so maybe we'll have something with those. We'll see.

It's a beautiful day out... and 40 degrees after snowing this morning. Maybe Ellie and I will head out for a walk, though I have a feeling she is asleep on the couch downstairs. If she is perhaps I'll take the free moments to work on the craft room so Erika can come and actually have a place to scrapbook on Thursday!

I also need to work on my MK flip chart for tomorrow's party! Can't forget about that...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dinner Last Night

was so good!!

The orange chicken from Costco is DELICIOUS, though you have to be careful not to make the whole bag (there are two bags inside), because that would be 6 servings, not two... =D I paid attention and split them ahead, but it means that I have an open sauce packet (inside a ziplock) in the freezer that I hope doesn't fall over and get all messy.

The Cashew Carrot Ginger soup from Costco is one of my attempts at getting a natural/organic soup to replace my glorious Progresso soup, which I learned has MSG in it. I was sort of scared of the soup, quite honestly, because I had some of their (Pacific) soup before and I didn't like it! I think that kind was a roasted red pepper tomato soup. It was too funky for my tastes, so I don't know why I thought the Cashew Carrot Ginger soup would be any less funky. Fortunately for me I didn't over think it in the store and I just tossed it into my cart. It's really good!! Both Leif and I liked it and I think having 1/2 cup with an Asian meal is perfect! Plus it comes in a box with a screw cap so I can just pour what I will eat, then recap it and save it for later. Fewer dishes to wash (because with a can I have to pour it into a second container to store it), which is great! And the box can be recycled, though that part is sort of a wash on the benefit side because we were already recycling the cans. Anyway - good soup. I'm glad we tried it!

All in all it was still a pretty salty meal, with something like 40-50% of our daily salt allowance. I'd love to be able to reduce our salt intake, and I actually think I did with this meal because I didn't add any sauce to the stir fry veggies like I normally do! So I did cut out the soy there and I know that helped with the salt. But really I think that Asian food is just saltier than most. So I suppose we should reduce salt all over and just know that some days we will splurge on the salt front and eat yummy Asian. =D It just won't be every day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dinner Tonight....

Well, the table is set (I very rarely actually SET the table before we eat, sadly) and we are just waiting for Leif to call and say he's on his way home from work so I can get dinner going. So I figured I'd blog what's on the menu for tonight...

Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup
Brown Rice
Stir Fried Vegetables
Orange Chicken

Looks like it's Asian night!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Organic Pantry

I don't know that I particularly feel the need to go organic with our food. At least not right now. But because of where we live, a lot of the things we buy are already organic, so I think that makes it easier for us. I love Costco for that! Still, a friend of mine has been blogging lately about going organic and it has made me think, so I thought I'd just see how many of the items we eat regularly ARE organic already. (Especially of the ones on the dirty dozen list.)

not organic
* organic
** all natural (nothing on the label I don't recognize as food or can't pronounce)

  • Raisins*
  • Pirate's Booty**
  • Fiber One Bars
  • Easy Mac (we just use the macaroni, not the cheese)
  • Pretzels
  • Kidney Beans
  • Tomato Sauce*
  • Oatmeal*
  • Apple Juice*
  • Chicken Broth*
  • Puffed Wheat*
  • Potatoes (not listed as organic, but they are locally grown one town over)
  • V8 Fusion
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Green Beans
  • Applesauce**
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Spaghetti*
  • Whole Wheat Lasagna
  • Rice Milk*

  • Whole Wheat Bread** (and local)
  • Feta**
  • Cranergy Juice
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots*
  • Apples*
  • Tofutti Cheese
  • Celery
  • Whole Grain Flour Tortillas
  • Spinach*
  • Soy Yogurt**
  • Activia Yogurt
  • Orange Juice
  • Unsalted Butter

  • Strawberries
  • Peas*
  • Peppers** (and local from a farm in town)
  • Fish Sticks
  • Green Beans*
  • Sweet Potato Fries**
  • Chicken Breast**
  • Stir Fry Vegetables
The items in bold are items I'm okay with, just the way they are. I don't see any need to change what we're using right now. Some items, like the canned green beans in the pantry, I'm going to use until they're gone, but then not buy because we're switching to the frozen organic beans from Costco. We're really switching for the sodium content difference (there's no sodium added to the frozen beans) but it helps that they're organic, too.

The items in italics are ones that I would like to make an effort to buy organic. In the case of the potatoes, I'd want to buy organic AND local, otherwise just stick with local. Potatoes are a big produce here. I've actually thought about growing potatoes myself, and maybe I'll try it one of these years.

This isn't a comprehensive list of the items in our food storage, but it does give me a good idea of how many of the items we consume are organic/local/pesticide-free/hormone-free. We're actually right at 50% for this list, because there are 43 items on the list, 21 that are organic or all natural, and one that is local, but not organic.

I didn't delve into my baking supplies, but I know that we use local flour, and white sugar. I haven't tackled the sugar yet, but I might in the future. We still have a couple bags, so it isn't worth it until I use that up, but then I think I'll look into using an organic cane sugar, maybe. I think I can get that at Costco.

Really a lot of it boils down to what I can get at Costco. I could get more things organic if I shopped at Town&Country or the Coop, but the parking situation for both is wretched, and that's a big pain when I've got Ellie with me.

I can't give up my Fiber One bars. That's just not going to happen. Nor are we willing to give up I Can't Believe It's Not Butter yet. Maybe I'll look for a butter bell this summer and I'll change my mind at that point, but right now a soft spread is a must for us, so butter in the fridge just won't cut it. We could do without the fruit cocktail. And truthfully, we could probably do without the Easy Mac as well. I would just have to keep cooked whole wheat pasta on hand. And really, that wouldn't be so bad.

Anyway, it's food for thought at least. I've got a few things I can look into when I head to the grocery store this week and I can start to make a couple changes for the better. Really, though, it's pretty encouraging to do a random survey of our food items and find that we're about half way to organic/local/natural already, without really trying. It makes it easier to make better decisions when the change looming ahead isn't as big as I thought it would be.

Fly Lady

I woke up to a clean kitchen this morning, and made my bed as soon as Leif rolled out of it! I'm wearing workout clothes and I did yoga. I took my temperature and weighed myself and I'm considering going downstairs right now to do some DDR with Ellie.

That's progress!

I'm starting to have some routines in place, which is HUGE. My biggest problem is still time management, though, and I seem to be taking MUCH longer than necessary to do simple tasks! But I'm trying to plug away and work toward making those routines stick. It's taking time as I take babysteps, but I think it will be worth it.

I added the flylady tool bar to firefox, so we'll see if that helps me at all when it comes to reminding and keeping on task with my routines. I hope so! If nothing else, maybe I will listen to the blogtalkradio once in a while, as I never have and Erika raves about it. We'll see.

Today starts a new super fling boogie, so I'm going to take 15 minutes to do it. I'm trying to simplify this year, and this is always a great way to do it!

I'm also going to meal plan today for the week and add any items I need to the grocery list. I'm hoping to make it to the store today or tomorrow, so that will be good.

I've written out my 6 most important things and I need to follow that today.

Today is another day of babysteps, and one by one I will take them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waking up and getting ready....

I've actually been waking up earlier lately, which is pretty cool. I found that I can use my cell phone as an alarm clock and I actually wake up to it, which is nice. I don't always get up right away, but I at least wake up to it at 6 and 6:30, which makes it easier to get up at 7 like I have been. Hooray!

And today I was reading on another blog this great little list of 24 tips to becoming an early riser. Some of them are pretty good and I have implemented in the past. It looks like it's time to start implementing them (one by one, slowly) again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas is OVER!

It's January 10th.

And I'm just NOW taking down the Christmas decorations.

How did this happen? Life has been pretty busy since the start of the year, but still... I usually have the Christmas decorations down and put away by January 1st! I leave up the winter decorations and put them away sometime in February. But not this year. No, THIS year it is ALL going away. TODAY!

Because Christmas is OVER and it's time to move on!


I need to put away the decorations in the following areas...

Front Bathroom (DONE)
Eliana's Room (DONE)
Leif's Office (DONE)
Living Room
Dining Room
Master Bedroom (DONE)
Guest Bathroom (DONE)
Family Room

That's what I need to do today.