Monday, August 31, 2009

Command Central Round-Up

When you first enter my laundry room from the garage you would see this shoe shelf that my husband put together for us a while ago. At the bottom is 6 square cubbies which are filled with only my husband's and my shoes. We have 3 cubbies each. We put our every day shoes there. Ones in which we wear all the time. Okay, enough about my shoes. Let's get to all the baskets and file holders.

Top shelf (which I cut off in the photo as this isn't what you wanted to see) but let me tell you what's in them. Start from left. First long basket is filled with black socks. Since I don't match socks I put my husband's socks in this basket and when he's getting ready to leave he picks out his socks and pulls out his shoes and he's off. In the middle is cards that I made at a Stampin' Up camp that I just don't know what to do with. Next to that is another basket. This basket is filled with CD's filled with children's music. I really need to get them onto my ipod which I never seem to remember to charge. Anyway, that's another story.

Okay now we are in our command central part of the post. First black tray on the right is my incoming box. This is where I put the mail when I come into the house. Sometimes I will look through the mail and purge and get rid of stuff that's if I have time. Some days I just put it in that box and wait till Sunday when I do my bills to go through the mail for the week. On Sunday that box is emptied out to nothing!

The black box to the left. I put my uncut coupons, my unread magazines, and my flyers for grocery stores. Sunday's I cut my coupons and on Mondays I plan my grocery shopping as I make my menu plans. Magazines are taken with me to the gym, dance studio, doctors offices, gymnastics, etc. As I read my magazines I tear our papers of articles I'd like to read again, websites to go visit, recipes to try, craft ideas for the kids, etc. etc. Once I take out all the stuff I want to keep the magazine is then thrown away.

The 2 black bins below that. Okay, this is where it gets scary. You just read that I take my magazines and I tear our all the pages I want to keep. Well, guess where it goes when I come home. Into those 2 black bins which are now very very full. I need to find time to actually sort through those and file them into my filing box. Maybe I'll work on that next week when the kids are in school.

That big black mess to the right of the shelf is grocery bags that I have earned free from shopping. Now, if only I could remember to bring them to the store so I can get my 5 cents back for each one.
Now, we move into my kitchen. This is my desk to the right of my computer. Last week I did a post about the left of my computer. Hanging on the side of my fridge is the family calendar. The boxes are about 2 inches each. I write on there every appointment, play date, school, sport, dance, library, etc. At the back of my calendar is paper clips where I hang the schedules of school, soccer games, t-ball games, etc. To the right of my calendar is a white magnet board where I keep doctors phone numbers, consultants numbers, synagogue, etc. Below that is a little cup to store pens and below the calendar is cork board where I can tack things like doctor appointment cards and Vietnam Vets donation reminders.

Here's a close up of the 3 plastic draws I have on my desk in front of the calendar. This I got at target. It's great because it fits 8 x 11 paper size things. Top draw is bills to be paid. Middle draw is my husband's business bills. Bottom draw I keep things like school notices, bus pass, things that need to be read or acted upon but are not bills. Every Sunday I go through these draws to pay our bills.

Behind this I have files. I keep all my MOMS Club rosters, MOPS Addresses, Receipts from all the stores I shop at, Coupons (these are not grocery coupons) but coupons I receive from photography places, restaurants, ride tickets, and season passes. As I get new coupons for certain stores I purge the expired stuff and replace with the new coupons.

In the front of that file box I have my composition notebook. Yes, I have one just like the kids have them. I have a tendancy to use post its and they were finding themselves all over my desk. So I went and got myself this book. With the Stampin' Up tab punch I made tabs on the book so now when I have to write something down while sitting at my desk I just grab that book and put it in the appropriate category so I can find it later.

After reading the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen I set up my composition notebook with his tab idea.
1. Journaling Ideas/Quotes (great for my scrapbooking and blogging)
2. Kickass (Organizing Paper Ideas, 10 minute tasks)
3. Goals (Budget, Scrapbooking Goals)
4. Projects (Donation places, Photo upload list)
5. Someday (Digital kits I'd like to purchase)
6. Lists (Kids books, Adult Books, Wii Games I want, Toy Wishlist)
7. Actions Now (nothing there now)
8. Waiting (nothing there now)
9. Home (house hunting information as we maybe moving)
10. Think About (nothing there now)
11. Laptop (Websites, Project 365, Digital check list of challenges completed, )
12. Phone Calls (This is where I jot down someones phone number from my answering machine)
13. e-mail (I jot down e-mail addresses here)
14. Things to do in the Car (websites for ideas)
15. Errands (empty at this time)
16. Recipes (empty at this time. I save them to my computer.)

Check out the Command Central Organizing RoundUp at @orgjunkie. Link up & share your own ideas & pictures. Details here

Summer End Add on by Twin Mom Scraps
Fonts: Showcard Gothic and Microsoft Sans Serif

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was bit chaotic with the triplets birthday. We didn't really follow my menu plan except for Monday. All other days were eat out. It was nice to have a break for a change of not cooking. Today I volunteered my son to help prepare dinner. Since I am doing project 365 this is the photo of the day. He was so excited that I let him help out. But, of course, the girls were very angry so I promised them they would help out another time.

Monday: BBQ Beef. (This is a new recipe.) Justin helped prepare the sauce and poured it over the beef. Boy did it smell yummy for 3 hours while it baked in the oven. I also made Calico Beans. I made the Calico beans recipe last week and my husband ate the entire dish. He requested I make this again so it's definately a keeper. I actually saw the recipe in the Taste of Home magazine. I did alter the recipe a bit though. I did not use lima beans and I did not put kidney beans in it. I also used brown sugar splenda 1/2 cup instead of real brown sugar. Since we don't eat pork I substituted the bacon for turkey bacon. It does take a long time to cook but oh so yummy.
Tuesday: Creamy Balsamic Baked Chicken. (new recipe)
Wednesday: Kindergarten Orientation. Beef Stir Fry with Rice
Thursday: First 1/2 day Kindergarten. Easy and Tasty BBQ Chicken in Crockpot (new recipe)
Friday: School. Meatloaf and potatoes
Saturday: Chicken Pasta Sauce (new recipe) and pasta
Sunday: Grilled chicken.

Declutter 1/2 Bathroom Closet - Games

My kids had their 5th birthday party on Saturday. So on Sunday it was time to find places for their new toys and games. I store their games in the top 2 shelves of my 1/2 bathroom closet. They need to be stored up high because if they get their little hands on them they lose the pieces and then the game is useless and wind up in the trash can. Of course, occasionally they will take a chair and take one down without asking which really annoys me because then they are shoved back at the bottom of the closet.

The top two shelves before
. It wasn't that bad the top two shelves but look at the bottom shelves in the next photo. Yikes!

BEFORE Bottom Shelves
. This was a total mess. Notice the games in the 3rd shelf up. Yes, they were thrown away as pieces were not in there. I wound up taking everything out of the closet and purging and rearranging like with like items.

After GAMES: They got quite a few new games for their birthday. Luckily everything still fit onto the top 2 shelves.

After Bottom Shelves: After purging and putting like with like items. I now have a shelf and a half empty. I probably could get rid of some of those plastic bags as well but I use them for the garbage in both the bathroom and playroom and having them there is just convenient because the kids can reach and help out. By the way I don't think I will need toilet bowl cleaner for a very long time. I bought all those lysol bowl cleaners when they were on sale for $1.88 and had a coupon so got them almost free. They are taking up the bottom 1/2 of the closet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Super Cook

My friend Nicole just sent me this website. It's called Supercook. You enter all your ingredients that you have in your household and it gives you recipes that you can make. It's amazing. This will certainly come in handy when meal planning. Oh, did I tell you that it is also free to use and join. There is a great tutorial too so you can see how it works. Check it out. Did I already say it was amazing..........................................

Menu Plan Monday


Okay, it's been a while since I menu planned. I try and try to stay with it but I just get side tracked or I never have the time. Making dinner every night is such a torture for me.

Monday - BBQ Meatballs in crock pot. (luckily last week I made meatballs and I froze them). So this afternoon I threw in my frozen meatballs, one bottle of BBQ sauce and 1/4 cup of ketchup. I turned it on low for 4 hours and went out for a playdate. I also made pasta with peas. This was supposed to be my lunch but we had a bit of an issue with my stove and wound up calling the gas company to come. Yes, very long story! I watched a video by Clara yesterday. Our financial situation has been getting worse so I found these recipes that doesn't cost much to make.

Tuesday - chicken parm with pasta

Wednesday - Will be at my moms for the day.

Thursday - Take Out

Friday - Chicken burgers and fries

Saturday - Kid's Birthday Party Pizza

Sunday - Stir Fry beef with white rice

Accomplishment - Zone 3 Desk

Remember my picture from the other day? This was before. I had 2 big piles on top of my printer and another pile was starting to accumulate under my tissue box on the bottom of my desk.



It now looks like this. My husband was really excited because behind that tissue box is a light switch. He can now reach the light switch which he hasn't been able to do in months.

What was in that 2nd big pile that I removed. I had some books, the kids birth certificates that I never put back into the safe after registering them for kindergarten back in February. Along with lots of print outs from my printer. What did I print out? I had map quest directions to different places, phone numbers that I now have put into my control journal, knitting and crocheting projects I'd like to complete one day, MOMS Club information, and recipes. I tend to print out recipes every time I see one I'd like to try.

So while putting all that stuff away I took out my recipe binder and this is what I saw. It is the index to my book. Every time I add a new recipe into my tried and true recipe binder I jot down the recipe on this page. It has so much stuff on it that I was running out of room and adding arrows. I was finding it hard to find a recipe that I wanted to cook again.

So I typed it up in excel and now each category has it's own page. The reason I write the recipe down is because I file the recipe in a, b, c order so I know what letter to look the recipe up under.

This is the binder that I use and it has the abc tabs that I sort my recipes in. These are recipes after I have used them and like them.

On the back of each letter tab I write down the recipe in that section. So I am writing the recipe down 2 times. Once on the very first page (index) and then also on the a, b, c tab page.

The recipes that I print out and pull out from magazines are then filed into my recipe box. This box I have folders that have pockets in it. I sort it by category. When I'm in the mood to cook something new I just pull out that folder or I search the internet via ingredient and that usually brings up more recipes that I can try. I tend to make lots of new recipes as I get board from the same old stuff and nothing really is so great to make again and again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kitchen Desk Mission - ZONE 3

Today I did Monday's mission. To the left of my computer is my printer. Above the printer are two stacks of things. The first pile to the left is misc papers that need to be sorted through and filed away (another day). To the right of that pile is a metal basket that I used for collecting Christmas cards during the holiday. Yes, that basket has been there since December.

Today, I tackled the metal basket. Months ago I purchased an 8 x 8 red scrapbook. My goal today was to get the photo cards into the scrapbook that I plan on using for holiday cards each year. Of course, this mission took me way more than 15 minutes. Actually it took me close to 3 hours. Why? Well, in order to do my scrapbooking I had to make my way through my craft room and organize a bit so the kids could create while I worked on this project. I didn't want to lug all my supplies down stairs. My craft room is a disaster. That will have to wait for another time.

While I sorted through all the cards I jotted down addresses into my control journal and changed addresses of people who moved. After sorting the photos by family and friends I was left with this box full of recyclable paper that I tossed in the trash can. You can see the trash to the left of my metal basket.

Okay, what did I do with all the photo cards? Here is what I did in about an hour. The pages are very simple. It was kind of hard to work with paper again since I am so digital now. I found that some of the photos would have been better resized but I worked the best I could with what I had.

Holiday Scrapbook
Page one. This is the photo card that we sent out this past year. It was done digitally.

Page 2 and 3. Family photos. Cousins. It says, "Together We Make a Family"

page 4 - My best friends children. Page 5 - Various friend photos.

Page 6 and 7 - MOMS Club Friends

Page 8 - My kids with Santa.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Trying to Fly Again - ZONE 1 KITCHEN

I have been so overwhelmed lately. My house always looks like a cyclone came through. This causes anxiety and stress. I've been off and on with flylady. I know it works but I just can't stay with baby steps. I'm a perfectionist and like to get things done quickly or don't do it at all. I also hate to clean and would much rather do something better with my time. I'm going to try again. I am a very busy person going here, going there so just adding one little thing a week is an accomplishment.

It's really funny how each time I get fed up with my house I turn to flylady for motivation to get me back on track. And guess what? This always happens about the same time each month go figure? I always start off in zone 2 which is the kitchen. I tend to never move onto any other zones because I get burned out from doing too much in that zone.

With that all said. I started last week with zone 2 KITCHEN. I managed to only do 2 missions but they were pretty good ones and I did shine my sink the correct way. When cleaning out under the sink I actually found the directions to do such that. If you click above you will be brought to the directions. Bleach Soak, Scrub, and Shine. The sink hasn't looked so white in a long time. I also picked up more bleach to do it again.

What I accomplished this past week:

Mission 1. Take everything off the counter tops and whip them down. It took me a little while to clean under the toaster oven and coffee pot but I did manage to get it done in like 15 minutes.

Mission 2. Clean under kitchen sink. I took everything out from under the sink. Did some purging and organizing and ta da it's all done. Three cabinets worth. I even took before and after photos to show you.


This is the first cabinet. I basically was throwing everything in there. Some things weren't even being used. It has a pull out draw that I wasn't even using. Basically the only time I was going in here was to get the dish detergent for the dishwasher and occasionally I would use the soft scrub to shine my sink. All the sponges were ones I had gotten free from shopping with coupons.

Cabinet 2. Lots and lots of stuff here. Never being used. Purging must be done.

Cabinet 3: Again lots of stuff not being used. Especially the cat dishes. It's been over a year now that my cats have passed so time to purge them.

Cabinet 1: I have put all my dishwasher and scrub sink supplies along with lysol that I spray in the garbage can and floor supplies here. I can now pull the draw out to reach the floor supplies easier.

Cabinet 2: Just more cleaning supplies.

Cabinet 3: All my extra sponges, more dish stuff. Just everything is now sorted and together with like stuff.

Well, I feel like I accomplished a lot in this week. Wonder what zone we will be doing next week. Stay tuned!