Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Impromptu Clothes Purge

I sort of had a default breakdown turned closet purge, the other night.  I came home from school to find that tons of my laundry (which was in my basement being successfully ignored) had been washed for me.

Of course, that is a really kind thing for someone to do.  But, instead of being thankful, I found myself in my room, overwhelmed.  I told Brandon, "Now I have to find somewhere to put all of these clothes."  His response? We have to many clothes (duh). 
He reminded me that these clothes had been in our room before, piled on the floor, but had been moved to the laundry area when he cleaned our room a while back.  "I know, but I didn't have to think about it, when it was downstairs.  Now I have to deal with it."  To which he suggested, "Why don't I go get a trash bag and we'll throw it all away?"

OK.  So I pulled out clothes I didn't need or care about and put them in the bag to donate (not throw away).  I got really crazy and filled a garbage bag with shoes, too.  Good riddance to it all! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Minimalism: March Wrap Up and April Goals

I meant to have this to you several days ago.  But, please bear with me.  I'm so busy, right now.

March Goals

Focus Area:  Kitchen-Namely my pantry, refrigerator, meal planning and grocery shopping.

I cleaned out my refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  I started meal planning again, and worked hard to stick with it.  This is sort of difficult for us, because our schedule is constantly changing.  But, I did my best.  Convincing my husband that it's a good idea to eat what's on the menu has been a challenge, too.  I probably need to consult him more when I make my menus, so that he is more up for eating what I've planned.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Motherhood Monday: Hi Again

I feel like it's been about six weeks since my last Motherhood Monday.  And, I don't even know what to tell you.  My sweet boy seems like he is saying a new word every week.  Yesterday, he started doing the sign for eat, and doing it really well.  If he does it and you don't respond, he starts to do the sign on your mouth instead of his own.  It's pretty funny.

He's walking all over the place.  He's a cute as ever.

Today, he kept following the cats around yelling, "Hi! Hi!  Hi!"  Probably didn't understand why they weren't responding.

Man, he is just the coolest.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Minimalism-Reducing Meal Stress with Meal Planning

So, I wrote this entire post...and then somehow....everything I wrote, disappeared.  I am so sad.  So...if this post is less than fantastic, just know that it was much better.  But, I'm going to charge ahead, and give you my tips that make meal planning work for me.

Meal planning, when done right, can really save you time and money.  If you know what you are going to make when you go to the grocery store, you will likely buy less or have fewer little trips running to the store because you didn't plan well for your week.

Meal Planning Tips

  • Be realistic-  When I first started meal planning I planned all these wonderful things that were going to be so yummy and healthy.  Result?  Wasted food (and therefore, wasted money), because when it came down to it, I didn't have the time or the desire to make what was on my plan.
  • Make simple meals-See above.  If a meal is too complicated, with tons of ingredients, it isn't likely to save you money.  Things don't have to be complicated to be good or healthy.  We don't need an entree and 3 sides.  1 casserole might already have everything we need it in.
  • Have traditions-When I was a kid, we had waffles every Sunday, and I loved it.  Now, I have pizza (frozen or from leftover ingredients), popcorn and smoothies on the menu every Saturday night.
  • Use categories-With my new schedule, different days require a different kind of meal.  I group my recipes using these categories and then plan each day from it's required category.  It makes my brain spin a little less, when working on my menu.  Categories I'm currently using?  Low Prep, Pasta, Rice, Soups/Slow Cooker, and Casseroles.
  • Plan for everything-This means plan for snacks, leftovers, eating out, double batches (if I plan to freeze half), frozen meals waiting in the freezer to be eaten (otherwise they will go to waste), etc.  If you plan everything you will actually eat, you will not have to run to the grocery store to pick up forgotten things (meaning less impulse purchases, and therefore, less money spent).
  • Finally, use a meal planner website or software.  I use Veggie Meal Maker, and I love it.  It used to take me hours to do what I can do quickly on Veggie Meal Maker.  I store my recipes (or find new ones from theirs), plan my menus, and it creates a shopping list for me.  It makes my life so much easier.

While I really like Veggie Meal Maker, I suggest trying something like this, no matter which one seems to work best for you.  If you do want to try Veggie Meal Maker (hint: yes, you do), you can sign up for a free 30 day trial.  You don't even have to put in your credit card information to sign up!

Once you sign up, I suggest that you read the tutorials and watch the videos to get the most out of it.

Vegetarian Meal Planning Made Easy
P.S.  Click on one of the links in this post, rather than going directly to the website, and I get referral credit!