Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions ..... and a little help from my friends.

So, ok...I'm not one for resolutions.

I'm not that great at follow through, and my attention span is one of a gnat.

 But, there's a few things that I've been wanting to improve for a while now, and there's a few friends that are working on it as well

(yes, I'm a sheep...baaaaa)

 so with a little help from my friends- here's a few things that you'll be able to help keep me accountable on:

1.  Get the house clean and organized.  My bloggy friend, Clean Mama, has put together a challenge of Zone Cleaning.  Four zones of your house- and divide those zones into quarters.  Every day set the timer for 15 minutes, clean your quarter for that time.  When the timer goes off, you're done.  She describes it better than I do- you can check her out here.  But, my first zone is my work area (which, in Love Shack terms is just part of the kitchen....but WHO'S COMPLAINING?!?!?!?  #*#$^@)#$(#@*;!  NOT ME!).  So, this is my before picture(s).

2.  Make a schedule.  For just about everything. 

I'm disorganized and tend to fly by the seat of my pants. 

While this may be fun and "adventurous" to some, it really doesn't bode well for my family (who are VERY schedule based).  One of these areas of work is on dinner preparation.  I have a pantry full of half-meals and non-perishibles, but nothing to show on the kitchen table for them.  I was making the same old non-balanced meals simply because I failed to think about dinner until 4...ish.  :) 
So, here's my plan:
At the end of every month, I sit down and write out a plan for dinners for the entire next month.  (The list #74!)  Some fill-ins are easy- we have family pizza/movie night every Friday and on Tuesday nights I have a nutrition class and get weighed, so the boys eat a nice pasta meal- since I'm not dining with them.  There's a few standards that we eat once (or twice...) a month- hamburgers, roasted chicken and tacos.  Then, I pick ONE cookbook (for each month) from my (dusty) cupboard and start leafing through.  I find ones that look good and write them down.  Every 5 days I leave a night for left overs or a yo-yo night (you're on your own).  Here's my Janurary:

By the way, the Taste of Homes Quick Cooking books are some of my favorite- lots of pictures, easy recipes and cheap ingredients.

Why only ONE cookbook, you ask?  I'm keeping it simple.  It's not fun to make a grocery list if I have to dig through six books.  In addition, I figured this will be a great way to weed through my current books.  If I can't find many great, balanced meals in one book- it will get pitched.  Next month, I'll pick a different book- perhaps some recipes this month will become staples next month...but if I can't do them from memory, they will have to wait until this cookbook comes back to the top of the rotation.

I'm hoping this will help me stretch our grocery budget- instead of having to increase it this year.  So far, we're 5 days into the new year and I'm really enjoying it.  I can prepare some things ahead so its not so crazy during the "witching hour" (4-6pm), and I tend to enjoy dinner a lot more with my family.

3.  Get healthy.  I took a nutrition class (and weight loss challenge) last fall, and will be taking it again this winter.  There was so much information in this, it blew my mind!  This time I'll be taking notes, doing some additional research and hopefully sharing some things that I've disvocered with you on my blog.  Why the additional research?  Because I don't want to regurgitate something that someone else says.  I want to make it my own and really gain some understanding of the things I learn.  (The list #28!)

4.  Pray more.  After my 15 minutes of cleaning, I'm going to be setting aside a few minutes to just sit quietly in prayer.  I need to do that more, and have been missing the connection with my Father.  In addition to that, I'm hopefully going to be more mindful to think of him more often as I go about my day.

5.  Update y'all on the list!  Looking throw there, there's a lot that I covered last year and never blogged about...ugh, sorry 'bout that.  So, consider yourself forewarned- a long update w/ pics coming soon!

There's a few others in there...but they are small...so I'll start here. 


Brittney said...

We do the meal calendar one! We used to do it for a month at a time, but now we do it for 2 weeks at a time. It makes grocery shopping SO MUCH easier! All you have to do is get what you know you'll need for dinner, instead of buying things you don't necessarily need, just want. Anyway, I hope it works out for you!

Kathy said...

You rock Sandy! You always inspire me to be better. :)

Sandy Hop said...

Right back at ya, Kathy! It's a revolving door of inspiration!

Jeanette said...

okie dokie! I shall be here to cheer you on in your endeavors! I am so not an organized person but have been doing the meal-planning for a while now and it has helped out a lot!

Smart Cents Mom said...

I just wanted to say that I love your 101 Goals. Looks like you are making great progress!

I also love the idea of trying one cookbook a month. I have a lot of cookbooks that are collecting dust too!