Sunday, November 09, 2014

Little Ways I've Simplified Recently

I'm always trying to find ways to simplify my life. The less I have to think about or do, the less overwhelmed I feel.

~ I cleared out my purse. I had reward cards that were expired or never used. Off the key chain they went. Receipts and old papers I'd been carrying around were trashed. Little odds and ends I carry went into a clear plastic zip pouch.

~ My keychain now holds only my car key, house key and my grocery store reward card.

~ I've simplified my makeup routine. I only wear a tinted moisturiser, mascara and a sheer lip balm. Easy peasy!

What things have you simplified recently? 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

In My Kitchen This Week

The weather has turned cooler so it's time for heartier meals and comfort foods. This week I'm serving:

~ Beef tips, rice and gravy
~ King Ranch Chicken
~ Cheesy Potato Soup with cornbread
~ Chili with crackers
~ Spaghetti with garlic bread and green beans
~ Chicken Nuggets, mac&cheese, green beans
~ Chicken and dumplings with cornbread

If you notice, the meals get progressively easier the further into the week I get. That's because I get more tired as the week goes on and this is my long week. I'm working Monday through Saturday.

I spent $62 at the grocery store to feed seven, including a $12 bag of dog food, so technically $50 for people food! *smile* I took stock of what I had in the pantry and freezer and made a list after checking the sales flyer. I didn't have to buy any meats this week.

With the holiday season approaching the stores are beginning to have sales on their baking  items and holiday foods. Now is the time to stock up!

From my table to yours, 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

How I Prepare For the Work Week Ahead

On my off days I try to rest while also preparing for the week ahead. Being better organized helps greatly to reduce my stress level on work days.

~ I create a menu and grocery shop for the week. Knowing what I will be cooking saves me from scrambling to come up with a decent meal when I'm already tired.

~ I make sure all work clothes are clean and hung up for both myself and Alfred.

~ I clean out my purse and clean my shoes.

~ I know what bills need to be paid that week because I have a budget written out for the month.

~ I clean my car inside and out and top up on fuel.

~ I make note of any tasks or appointments that need to be handled and plan accordingly.

How do you plan for the week ahead?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Guidelines For a Cleaner Home

I have tried many methods to keeping my house clean, but they never seem to work for me. The idea of creating a list to follow instantly causes inner rebellion within me. I will sabotage myself every time. 

So I decided rather than creating a schedule, guidelines that everyone in the house can easily follow would be better. 

1. Nothing left out on flat surfaces.

2. While preparing meals, have a sink full of hot, soapy water so one can wash dishes as they go. Finish up the dishes immediately after dinner.

3. Clean any dishes one dirties after use. I hate waking up to a sink full of dishes or coming home to wash dishes before I can even begin to cook.

4. Wipe up spills/crumbs immediately.

5. Put all clothing away - whether it be in the hamper, closet or dresser.

6. All personal belongings should be returned to one's room when not in use, not scattered about the house. Cleaning can go much faster if I don't have to pick up everyone else's stuff!

7. Bathrooms get a quick clean daily after getting ready for the day. Give it a thorough cleaning once a week.

8. Deal with papers immediately. Trash the junk mail, place bills in "to pay" bin, and file what needs filing.

9. Make bed upon rising. 

10. If you take it out, put it away.

11. Dust, vacuum and mop as needed, a minimum of once a week.

12. Upon noticing items you no longer need or use, place them in the Goodwill box for donation. In other words, declutter, declutter, declutter! *smile*

13. Empty all trash cans immediately instead of letting things pile up.

14. Upon noticing something needs to be done, take care of it immediately rather than procrastinating.  

This is not a deep clean by any means, but it will help keep the house presentable enough for unexpected company. 

What would you add?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Thoughts On a Simple Christmas

Did you know we only have have 53 days until Christmas? 

I am already planning for a simplified holiday season. My side of the family drew names last night to exchange gifts.

Before I began working full time and had more time, I earned Swagbucks each day which I then turned into Amazon gift cards. I used those to buy gifts for our children throughout the year. 

I saved $10 per month in my Christmas Club and had $120 transferred into my account which I used to buy a few more gifts for our children. Other than stocking stuffers, they are done.

As for decorating, I plan to keep it very simple. A tree and maybe a wreath for the door. Boom! Done.  

Last year I kept the tree simple: red and silver balls with white and red lights and a white ribbon bow with red/green polka dots as our tree topper. I will do so again this year.

Alfred and I both thought the tree was the prettiest ever - even though it was so simple. I gave away all my other decorations. There was no sense in keeping what I will never use.

This Christmas season, I will not be shopping until I drop. Instead, I want to slow down and enjoy the holiday while making memories with my family.

Do you have any plans to simplify the holidays? I'd love to hear about them!

Friday, October 31, 2014

One Step Closer To My Goals

I am so excited! I have reached one of the goals I set for myself. It was to have $500 in savings by the end of the year. That is done!

We also now have Tricare insurance.

My other goal is to have CC#1 paid off by the end of the year. It now has a balance of $936.73. This is one is going to be a stretch to accomplish in 8 weeks, but I'm going to do my best to make it happen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Cope With Hard Days

Some days are just hard. You may feel like giving up and that all hope is lost. Perhaps your dealing with relationship troubles, financial struggles, stress at work, or family issues. No matter what the issue, in time this too shall pass, but how to cope in the meantime?

Be gentle with yourself. 
Do the bare minimum of what needs to be done that day. Banish negative self-talk. 

Eat nourishing foods. 
It is easier to grab junk or even skip eating altogether. Please don't. Your body needs good food to fuel energy. Grab a banana for breakfast, have a salad with tuna for lunch, and warm up a can of soup for dinner. Keep it simple.

Have a good cry.
Sometimes you just need to let it all out. Tears can be cleansing to the soul.

Go to bed early.
Hard days are emotionally draining. Don't fight against it. You need to rest.

Let it go. 
What will be, will be. Do what you can and then let the outcome go. 

Don't give up self-care.
Dress cute. Do your makeup and hair. No matter what we must keep up our appearance, lest we spiral deeper into depression.

And most importantly, remember...

You are stronger than you think you are!
Tough times don't last, but tough people do. You can handle whatever comes your way. Just take it one day at a time.