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Managing Your Year

Facing the rest of the year ahead.

If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.

My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.

I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.

It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.

As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.

My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from

I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.

Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”

It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.

With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Ready, Set,Go!!!…

Ok, kids are headed back to the classroom, school shopping done! Back to the world of conversing with people you can actually see, without bending double.

Take a deep breath, a mini spa stay and start getting ready for the back/busy half of the year. Work, kids school projects, meetings, sleep overs, and Holiday traditions on the horizon.

Me, I love fall!! Temperature drops, colorful falling leaves, Labor Day, Football Season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and if you were wondering what people do when it’s too cold outside and the internet is down you should see the list of Birthdays in my family. Especially if they live north of the Mason Dixon Line (assuming you can find it)! So here’s to hot chocolate, sweater weather, cute boots and the extra caffeine I claim is needed to spread the love during the hectic seasons just around the corner.

So, my posts have been very erratic lately as my Charlie kitty has been sick, I’ve been down with minor health issues. Have you ever tried giving both oral antibiotics and eye drops to a cat? I’m trying to put together, a very personal family gift for Christmas, along with other diy for Birthdays, and Holidays to come. I find early preparation and organization, let me spread cheer and not be overwhelmed. This year has also added intense physical therapy as I regain my ability to walk.

So I’m asking for some help. I want to create a one of a kind cookbook. I’ll be chiding our top family favorites, traditions, and some new to try. I want to include both the memories they invoke like Mom’s Pizza and pictures if available. So what makes the top of the list in your family? Help me choose from the recipes I post. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts? Do you have a Holliday tradition that you love to share? I strive for the feelings of love that warm even the coldest months of the year. Like my childhood memories filled with hugs, more food than is possible to eat and extra kisses under the mistletoe in my grandparents foyer chandelier. My dad would take us on a holiday light drive since we did not put up one of our own. The only interruption, hot chocolate, from his favorite doughnut shop. My sister-in-law started the Halloween Decorations, which have bloomed into my Birthday/Halloween party.

Don’t forget football season! Use any and every excuse to show some love and never regret giving enough!

I made it !!  I just had my 36th Birthday!   Anyone who is close to me knows that not too long ago the goal was to reach this age.   I’m not going to say its been easy…  I would like to think i’ve weathered the last few years withpoise and grace.   Overall I believe i’ve done rather well,  even when thoroughly aggravated or hit a low spot along the way .  What started as a stroke via a burst vessel in my brain,  is now a long recovery where we didn’t know how much damage there would be to regaining normal vision and balance.   I had to have specialized therapy to drink normal beverages and to walk again.   All the therapy and another brain surgery to remove some of the things that initially saved my life.  Turns out the tube had been giving me aweful dizziness and vertigo symptoms sometime just sitting up in bed.  That is how i spent my birthday one year later.  Last year my Christmas was spent clearing more complications this time in the form of a cyst from the original bleed that as it grew unoticed pressed on my spinal cord cutting off the messages my brain sent to my legs. I was so excited when post surgery and enough drugs to stand sitting up i could wiggle my toes.  I had read of people s o happy they cried but this was my first experience with that kind of joy.   Why am i telling you all this?   I implore people to stop living with regrets and procrastinación about your feelings.   Embrace how you feel and live the gift of life you’ve been given .  Smile,  laugh,  cry,  express your feelings , don’t wait to say i love you,  do not hesitate to clear the air with those closest to you.  Start with the general stuff as we focus on giving thanks,  endevore to make it a habit to look at all we have to be thankful for the whole year long.   Moms and dad’s,  granparents,  aunts and uncles,  friends and coworkers,  and most of all everyday you wake up to the prescious gift of children.  I have a new niece and nephew to spoil and my brothers oldest daughter who will start school soon.  I am so blessed that i get to meet them and watch them grow.   So as the hustle of the holidays begins,  remember to take time to appreciate all the blessings you already have .  Siblings,  parents, friends,  aunts,  and uncles,  never miss the chance to tell them how special they are to you. 

I don’t know about you, but this time of year goes from zero to extreme in a matter of just a few weeks.  We just got through Valentine’s Day,  Mardi Gras is in full swing right now. Turn around and get Easter and Mothers day, before summer hits. Don’t leave Fathers/Dads Day out and since we live on the Gulf Coast Hurricane season.  Like I needed one more thing to be prepared for!   I included pins and photos that I do not own.  The recipes work well every time I used them.  Thank you fellow bloggers for these great recipes, tips, and ideas.  If I missed including your link drop me an email.

  1. Get organized.  I’m a list person. I make a to do and cross chores off as I complete them.  This time of year I make a big job list, with a smaller one for each room. So my big job list has, den, bedroom, kitchen, pantry, entry way, front hall closet, living room….etc.  in kitchen the regular tasks are augmented with larger, deeper, cleaning, by task so I get it all done.  The crossing off makes me feel more productive, than a list that feels like forever to complete. It also reduces the stress to get it done and not forget anything.
  2. Common vs. Private   & Fabreeze and Magic Erasers are our friends.   I try to finish all tasks in common areas of the house first.  Living Room, kitchen, entry way, front hall closet, dinning room, all make top of the list.  I leave private areas like bedrooms or master bath, my closet last.  That way if I run out of time before company comes or unexpected circumstances occur, the places seen and “lived” in, i’m putting my best foot forward.  If I don’t get my own closet sorted its only known to me, not a guest who wants to put sweater in the front hall closet.
  3. Make things manageable and go room by room.  I start at the front door and porch then work my way back.  Remove clutter, dead plants, cracked flower pot, or whatever then sweep porch to remove sand, salt, leaves… A good pressure wash from you hose will do wonders.  If you stored the cushions during the frigid temperatures of winter, its time to add them back.
  4. Incorporate deeper cleans with 20 extra minutes or so for task. While unloading dishwasher, remove others from cabinet, wipe cabinet inside and out. Replace contact paper if you use it.  Arrange dishes if changes needed when putting away.  1 to 3 cabinets an evening, makes it an easier task than all day in kitchen.  Clean fridge before trip to grocery store. Much easier with less stuff in both freezer and refrigerator.Make those bubbles fly.
  5. I do floors last as I finish a room, or spot clean if big job like cabinets in kitchen. (I gonna do them all again anyway at the end).  I use activities like shampooing carpets as workout time.  The machine is heavy and you can really work arms, legs, and core, with this. Try standing one spot and get furthest reach without moving your feet.  If done right you’ll feel it back, arms,legs, hips, core, will all be sore the next day.
  6. Remember to have fun!  Yes, spring cleaning is serious, for sanity, health, keeping up with important things for the kids, and answering the 300th ‘mom’ question, when they can’t find….Turn up the volume on the stereo get the kids involved.  A great time to teach sharing as we share toys, clothes, and even some food, for the less fortunate in your community.  

      7.  I’m not going to waste space on here but, please know these work great and please give credit to these wonderful bloggers.  

       41 homemade cleaners…these work really well

       http://diyjoy.com/best-homemade-cleaners-recipes/8

      I use magic erasers on almost every surface.  They work great on counters, cabinets, hand wash dishes, bathroom sink and counter, now they even make telescoping pole for easy reach of base boards.  I’ve got to see if I can attach magic eraser, and dryer sheet. They work very well on base boards.

      http://www.couponcloset.net/uses-for-mr-clean-magic-eraser/
      8.  I do kitchen, bath, pantry, laundry room, in that order and sometimes laundry room can wait until bedrooms are done to cope with any found laundry.  This also good out of way space to store donations, if you don’t have a garage.

      9.  Clean out closet first if you can.  I try to do this first to make space for the other stuff I’ve left around the room.  I also make updated list of occasion cards I have, and any gifts I’ve already acquired, so I don’t over buy.  By doing so I rarely get to an occasion where I’m searching or overspending.  My biggest responsibility is picking the correct wrapping.

      10.  Finish with floors. Vaccines and shampoo yourself, or have company that offer free rooms like Stanley steamer do them. A steam mop is very handy. Kills bacteria and viruses, without harsh chemicals near,pets and grandbabies. It is an expense, however the steam kills bacteria and viruses that lurk in in your carpet or other floor sufaces.  You get stray dust mites and any other icky things you probably don’t want to know about.  You don’t have to worry about an indoor picnic, or a blanket fort.  Enjoy the product of your labors the whole year through.  It shortens my task list, and looks great in about 15 min for quick pick up.  45 min with vacume, sweep, MOP,and dishes. If it all has places to go it won’t be cluttering the rest of the house. A 

      What’s your secret(s) to a clean house?  

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