Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple changes to make life easier in 2011

My family has had a lot of changes in the last 2 years and I fell into a few bad habits. This year I am not making unrealistic goals for myself that I will feel horrible for failing a month in. I started using a a lot of these ideas the last couple months of 2010 which was a really busy time for us and life runs a lot smoother now. I am happier and it seems my kids are too.

My first change is I will not procrastinate (as much as can be helped) I have started preparing things ahead of time. We have always been the ones who "just made it" or were 15 minutes late to everything. Paperwork was always done right before it was needed, clothes plucked off hangers in a hurry only to find they didn't fit, and dinner was my big one. I would wait all day to decide what I wanted to make only to have to wait for the meat to defrost or find out that I was missing an ingredient so we would be eating at 8 o'clock at night.

I picked up a small planner and it became the "Mom Book". I started it around mid-November and it was a big help. Little things like lay out the turkey and crumble bread for stuffing are things that have to be done ahead of time and I ALWAYS forget. This year everything went smoothly and I wasn't was frazzled. The book holds all of the kids upcoming school events, my school meetings, bill due dates, and birthdays. I know once sports start up in July it will never leave my side.

I have always been one to stock up on things at the grocery store. If we eat a lot of mac & cheese then when I buy it I buy 10. I make a list but never stick to it and once I reach the end of my budget I realize that I forgot x, y, and z. This month I sat down with the kids and hubby and asked them what their favorite meals were. I also pulled up 5 new recipes I wanted to try to break the monotony. We filled the big wall calendar with post its with thats night's meal selection (alternating everyones favorites). I THEN made a shopping list. We bought all of the ingredients listed and a lot of them used similar ingredients so I was able to buy them in bulk.

Example: (1) Steak and baked cheesy potatoes (hash browns), (2) Beef Fajitas,
and (3) breakfast for dinner (eggs, hash browns, sausage)

-I bought a large pack a steaks 2 were put aside for meal #1, and the rest was cut into strips and frozen for meal #2
-I was able to buy the bulk bag of hash browns   2/3 bag for meal #1 and the rest for meal #3
-Bulk bag of cheese meals 1, 2, and 3 (kids like cheese in their eggs)

Here is what the menu looks like for January:
Paige loves being able to announce the day's meal. I help Paige with her homework while I cook (instead of forgetting and we are doing it at 7:30am) Dinner has been on the table by 6pm every night and our evenings have run a lot smoother!

The last major change is that I lay out the girls' school clothes at night when I tuck them in. They can then give me all of their objections and we can have it ready to go. Paige has started getting herself up with an alarm clock so she comes down the stairs bubbly and dressed!!!!

I hope that some of these tips can help you. I know they are welcome changes in our lives and I will continue to do these. It's funny how small changes can have a big impact on a family. We are getting along better and I am not as harried and we have actually have some time to spend together. Dinner is done,homework is done, kids have had their baths, and then I look at the clock and they still have 2 hours before bed so it is cuddle and movie time, or we pull out a game. 

*I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece.*


  1. Hi I'm number 237. Good Luck reaching your goal!

    Sandie lee

  2. Hi,

    New follower from the TPRP! Good luck!

  3. Following your blog, your FB and NB.

    Stop by

    Thanks and good luck


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