Family · movies · Planning · Reflection

Managing Mondays-Back to School Edition

Last night was a very long planning time. As I sip my coffee this morning, I am feeling a bit more at ease with today as well as the week ahead. It is back to school week. Not just any back to school week either. My youngest is starting her Freshman year in high school and that is a milestone. Makes me a bit sad.

We finished our clothes shopping on Saturday. Yay! That is quite a chore. We took in a final summer movie too: Eighth Grade. It was perfectly appropriate in its timing and its message to me as a parent and to my daughter. See it!

Back to the week at hand…

I spent my evening going through the papers we received from school and instead of inserting all the pages into my planner, I used my Erin Condren Purple color dots to mark all of the important dates for the school year.

Instead of this…

With the support of my fur babies I went from month to month placing purple dots like this…

Why purple? School colors are purple and black so I thought that would be easy to identify.

Did you notice my new planner? Yes. I changed from Happy Planner to Erin Condren. I am just in love with my new Erin Condren. I have been test driving it in July and really have found that I want to use it for my go to master planner. Watch for an upcoming post where I compare and contrast my old and new planning systems.

Am I ready for back to school week? I think so…

See my before the pen pages…

I spent yesterday shopping and sorting meals and am all set with simple fixings for an extremely busy week. I adore my new meal planning petite planner from Erin Condren. I love the smaller handy size because it slips right into my purse.

Wednesday will be a crazy day and in the tradition of every first day of school, the kids and I are going out to breakfast. I have taken the day off from work. I know the morning will be hectic and traffic flow will be annoying. And that evening will be filled with paperwork and syllabi and getting the school supplies from every teacher procured and organized.

My planner is ready. I am ready. My Freshman? Maybe. No matter what… I have planned to be there for her to help her be ready, for the first day and the whole year. I will be present to hear all about her first day as a Freshman. I have planned to spend my time where it matters the most. Now…if I can just manage to get through Monday.

Crafting · Family · Holidays · Recipe

Organizing Recipes – Decluttering the Piles

I have so many recipes in so many random places. Santa brought me a Happy Planner Recipe Planner a couple of years ago. And it is full of blank pages that are just waiting to get filled.

Over the past several months I have been finding recipes I have jotted down, saved as favorites, and printed. I look in a box, a book, or a drawer and suddenly a new recipe is stuffed inside. Instead of sticking them back, I have started putting them in the pocket folder of this planner and while I binge watch one evening each week, I WILL transfer them to my recipe planner. Finally!

I love the format and flexibility of this planner and hope that I can eventually have all of my recipes stored here.

As I use it I will also include love notes and memories in these pages for my kids to have for years. I can embellish with stickers and pictures and washi tape so that it can be another memory-filled and likely food-stained reminder of my crazy obsession of making things pretty.

And of course I have themed stickers to include in the fun!

How do you organize recipes? If you are looking for a binder like this I found mine along with expansion packs at Michael’s. I have also seen them on Amazon and of course, at one of my favorite sites, wwe.thehappyplanner.com

Share your way of organizing favorite recipes. Show me some pictures too. I would love to see them.

Family · food · Planning · Recipe

Corned Beef and Cabbage (Gluten Free) – Cooking Once and Eating Twice (or thrice)

While sipping coffee this morning I gathered the following list of ingredients:

1 Flat Cut Corned Beef package (3-4 pounds)

2 pounds of red potatoes, halved

1 large onion (peeled and cut into large sections)

1 pound of baby carrots

3 Tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar

1 half a head of cabbage, sliced (feel free to add more)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 Tablespoon Corned Beef pickling spices

Then I grabbed my slow cooker. I layered the potatoes, cut in half on the bottom first

Next, I tossed in the carrots and onions.

After unpackaging and rinsing the corned beef, I set it over the veggies with the fat side up.

I prefer Penzeys spice so I added my own, sprinkling it over the meat. You certainly can use the packet provided. But this picture may show you why I like Penzeys.

Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

What about the cabbage? I prefer crisper cabbage so I wait until the last hour to put mine on top. Feel free to put yours on sooner.

Water!!! Add water into the crock pot until the meat is half way in the water, at least. The veggies and meat will make more fluids so you don’t want to fill the whole pot.

Pop on the lid and set it on low.

After 8 hours, add the cabbage if you decided to wait like I did.

Cook on low for another hour.

Take the meat out and let it rest for a few minutes. Slice it and plate up the rest either as side dishes or right next to the main event!

Enjoy!

Tip: grain mustard goes great with it.

And if you have leftovers, plan for sandwiches tomorrow while you enjoy March Madness!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Family · Goals · Planning · Reflection · Vision

Managing Mondays with Weekend Wisdom

“Six o’clock already…I was just in the middle of a dream.” Do you remember that song, “Manic Monday” by The Bangles? What about, “Rainy Days and Mondays” by The Carpenters? Why do we let Mondays or whatever day is the start of our week influence our moods such?

There are some Mondays when the unthinkable happens and it just seems that Murphy’s Law presides. The alarm clock didn’t go off or I slept through it. I am out of coffee! (Gasp!) The kids refuse to get up. My dog (any of the three) took off with one of the shoes I planned to wear hoping that keeps me from leaving. It is pouring rain. I can’t find my lunch box or my work I.D. Some Mondays just seem like the worst day ever before I step foot out of the house. Tell me I am not alone.

It always seems that Manic Mondays turns into a snowball of a week that continues to get bigger the next day and the next. On a week like that getting to Friday seems to be impossible and all I want to do is crawl under the covers each day in defeat asking if there is a “do over” button somewhere.

Here I am. Another Monday. It has a way of sneaking up on me. Today is not rainy. It is not manic. I am sipping coffee and I am enjoying my quiet time. I am working from home. There is no school because it is MLK Day. But not every Monday is so simple. I decided last year to do my best to take back Mondays from Murphy’s Law. To do that I had to find a way to manage the day. And step one for every Monday starts with some pre work over the weekend.

Weekend Wisdom

I am like many folks and I have certain tasks I plan to do every weekend. I run errands, launder clothes and complete other household chores. I used to feel accomplished but I also became annoyed because it didn’t feel like we were enjoying weekends as a family or with any rest.

My kids are older now and can share these responsibilities. Communicating expectations to everyone is important. So Sunday is my planning day. I plan menus, I set a cleaning schedule, and I batch cook ahead a few meals. I post these lists on the refrigerator and everyone knows what is for dinner and when I would like things to get done. We share the load. With work, school, activities and busy schedules deciding who does what when is something we each own our personal share. I also note important days to remember and post it on the fridge. Then, we can enjoy time together and I nag less. Who wants a nagging mom?!?

Here are this week’s beauties. (As you can see, I don’t make these pretty every time. I should use a pen that erases and I am sure a sticker or two with a splash of washi would be good. Depends on my day and how I am feeling. The kids don’t seem to notice or care.)

Visualize the Week Ahead

Sundays relax me. I love cooking and being in my kitchen. It gives me time ro meditate and start thinking about my upcoming week. I also love the thirty minutes or so I set aside on Sunday to create a visual for my week. Goals and lists. Planner crafting! These tools help me focus. Having a visual plan helps me Manage Mondays. I have more time to sip my coffee when I set my mind at ease knowing what to expect. I spend more time meditating which reduces my stress at the beginning of each day. Next Monday, I will share how I make my weekly visual, another secret weapon in my arsenal of managing Mondays.

Do you have secret weapons to help you plan and organize your days and weeks? Do you menu plan or have a cleaning list every week? How do you Manage Mondays? Please share below in the comments.