Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Planner System

Have you checked out the Organized Home Challenge yet?  The challenge doesn't technically start until Monday, but the first 4 days of January have been little things to help get ready.  Here's my progress so far.

Jan. 1 - "Set up a donation and selling collection station".  I admit, I don't really do this.  I have a large garbage bag for donation items and once it's full, off it goes.  Or if I'm heading to my chiropractor which is right next to the Goodwill drop off.   I do keep track of donations for tax purposes, but I'll talk about that in a minute.  As for stuff to sell...I don't bother.  I hate having garage sales!  It's just too much work, and I don't have enough to sell to make it worth all the time to me.  So, I donate everything instead.  If I decide to get rid of something actually worth much, I might try ebay or craigslist, but so far that hasn't happened.  I have sold some old text books on amazon, and that's been pretty easy.

Jan. 2 - "Create binder for household notebook".  I didn't really create a binder...and it's not really a household notebook.  But I do have a new planner system I absolutely LOVE.  After years and years of trying different things (Franklin planners, cheap calendars from the store, several different online things), I finally found something that actually works for me!

Have you seen these disc binders?  I love them!  First, they are so much easier to move things around than a regular three ring binder.  But best of all, THEY LAY FLAT!  Just like a spiral notebook.  Yes, you have to have a special paper punch for them.  But, it's a one-time, fairly small expense that is definitely worth it.  I bought this really cute binder, along with some tabs for it, at Staples.  I bought the hole punch off of amazon for a total of about $25.  That may seem a little much, but remember, all of that is reusable year after year!  It's just the pages that have to be replaced.

Ahh...the pages!  Where do those come from?  Most of them I ordered off of easy from a site called  I love the layout, the fun colors, everything about them.  And all for only $10.  I could probably make my own, but this was so much easier.

The pages I really use are the calendar:

And the monthly meal plan:

I also have tabs for a to-do list (which I just do on the paper that came in the binder), plain paper, and for organizing.  The organizing section is new - this is my answer to this part of the organized home challenge.  I printed off the January calendar from the challenge so I have it in front of me.  I also will put any printoffs I get from the challenge that I find useful in this section.

I did add one other thing.  I found this donation record on (thanks to seeing it on the Today show), and it is really useful!  You just write everything down and add up the value.  Underneath that, I printed out the Valuation Guide from Goodwill, and stuck that in as well.

All put together, it makes a great binder!  I love having everything I need in one place.  I'll probably find more things to add to it over time, but I've been using it since July and so far it's been exactly what I needed.

Jan. 3 - "Create template for daily to-do list that works".  I'm still working on this one.  Right now I just use a piece of paper.  If you have any suggestions for what works for you, I'd love to hear them!

Jan. 4 - "Declutter or make place to store old Christmas cards".  I don't keep old Christmas cards.  Picture cards go on the refrigerator for a while, but regular cards I just get rid of.  I appreciate them, I do.  I just don't understand why I need to keep them.

So, I'm all caught up!  How about you?

Disney Movie Night: The Little Mermaid

Disney Movie nights have become a highlight of our family time over the last year.  We were doing one about every 3-4 weeks before our car accident in October.  Then I just didn't feel up to being very creative.  But, now that I'm doing better, we are getting back to it!

So, tonight's movie was The Little Mermaid, which Grace got for her Christmas movie.  She's always said Ariel was her favorite Disney princess, but she hadn't seen the movie!  She did love meeting Ariel at Walt Disney World, though!

Along with watching the movie, Disney Movie Night has to have a special thematic dinner.  I have to admit, I can't get many health points for my movie night dinners.  But, the kids have fun with them, and they go with the movie!

Tonight's dinner consisted of:

  • Ursula Dogs - hot dogs with one end cut into 8 sections.  When you boil them, the sections curl up and they look like octopi...just like Ursula!
  • Goldfish crackers - to
  • Berry Blue Jell-o - for the ocean
And for dessert:

Oyster cookies with a marshmallow pearl!  These were made from Pepperidge Farms Coconut cookies, a little blue frosting, and a mini marshmallow.

Next up on our movie night watching list...Mary Poppins!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well...I kind of fell off the blogging band wagon last year, didn't I?  SORRY!!

I'm back, though, with some New Year's Resolutions that will hopefully have me blogging more often!  Did you make some resolutions?  Here are mine:

1.  Eat healthier - in reality, it should be lose weight.  But, I don't feel like that is something I can control as easily, so I'll stick to what I can control and that is what I put in my mouth.  I have some specific goals as part of this, too:
  • Eat less pre-packaged and processed foods
  • Drink less soda
  • Eat out less
To do this, I'm trying a new way of grocery shopping and meal planning.  I'm planning suppers for 4 weeks at a time.  Each week, I'll add a new week at the end.  This allows me to shop sales 4 weeks out.  If something is on sale, I'll buy it.  Otherwise, I'll buy it as I need it.  Hopefully, this will keep me from getting too bored with our meals, and help me keep interested in cooking.  I'm still doing my co-op, which gives me lots of freezer meals each month.  I do my grocery shopping on Tuesdays, so be on the lookout next Monday for my grocery plan.

2.  Exercise - I can't say "more" because I haven't really been doing any.  I was in a bad car accident on October 1, and am just now being released by my chiropractor.  So, I'll have to start slow.  I'm thinking I'll start with some yoga and using my FitBit to get my step count up.  

3.  Get Organized! - I used to be super organized.  But the car accident totally messed me up.  So, I need to get back on track.  I've found this great 52 week organizing challenge that I've used in the past at Home Storage Solutions 101.  I'll be following this and posting my results.  It should be a fun, easy way to get all organized again.

I'm sure I could add more: spend more time with the kids, read more books, etc.  But, I don't want to get overwhelmed.  I do have other fun things to do this year, though.  I'm starting a pyrography (wood burning) hobby, so I'll share some of my projects.  I have some fun ideas for teacher appreciation week.  And I'll (hopefully) be planning another Disney World trip later this year, so I'll have lots of crafts and shirts to make for that! 

I don't know if anyone actually reads this, but hopefully putting my organizing and meal plans up here will at least keep me accountable and maybe someone will come along for the journey!