Review of Week 2 – Thinking BIG with My Household Skills


Cooking for the week on one day

Cooking our meals for a week on one day



Bulking up on fruits and veggies

Bulking up on fruits and veggies

This week, I went BIG with my household skills associated with meal planning and preparation:  making a grocery list and planning the meals for one week, shopping, preparing the ingredients, cooking the food and cleaning up the dishes and kitchen. 

I did a bulk grocery shop at Costco, and then went to the farm market to buy fruits and vegetables.  Making multiple meals at once, and freezing some for the rest of the week saves time in terms of shopping, cooking and cleaning.  Getting bulk pricing also saves money, and saves making multiple trips to the store.  It is also healthier and tastier to freeze home cooked meals rather than buying frozen meals.

It’s easy cooking everything at once, because you already have all the ingredients and tools out, such as knives and cutting boards, oil and pots, and you are already working at the stove, so it’s not that difficult to stir a few more pots at the same time.  You can also wash all the dishes and wipe up the stove and counters in one go.

This week by cooking lasagna, spaghetti, chicken stir fry, and pizza all at once, I saved time, effort, and money, and went BIG with a big household skill. It is a great new habit to form for those weeks when the family is super busy and need some quick lunches and dinners to heat up.

Photos by: Ann Hoy

Review of Week 45 – Optimizing Yourself – Listening is an Act of Love


Listening is Love

As I worked on actively listening to those that I spoke with this week, I found that truly listening to the people in my life was hard work, but well worth it. Dr. M. Scott Peck says it is rare that someone listens to you with their full intention, as people’s minds wander, or they are busy driving, or cooking, and are not giving their full attention to you.

This week I put in the effort to listen to the people in my life, and it made a difference. Instead of thinking about what I was going to say in return, I let them talk. I could tell they were aware of the intensity of my listening by the look on their faces, and they felt my love.

I also learned that listening is healing to the person you are giving your attention to.

I have a friend who is retired, and this week he told me about a friend who moved away to a gated community. I worked hard to give him my undivided attention, and soon realized why he told me about his friend – he himself was thinking about where he was going to live for the rest of his life, and I felt empathy for his situation, and actively listened to him talk for about ten minutes.

At the end of the conversation a huge smile lit up his face, as if he was happy he had told someone about his plans, and as if a load had been lifted from him. I felt like I had given him a gift that had cost me nothing. When he drove away, I realized that I too had received a gift. By putting in the effort to not interrupt him or change the subject, I grew and developed as a person through the conversation we shared.