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

Favorite Practical Christmas Gifts

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts are useful


This year I am simplifying my Christmas gift shopping list and buying PRACTICAL gifts. These are the tools that the people on my list will use every day to help them feel or look better, be safe, comfortable, happier, healthier, inspired, warmer, cleaner, well groomed, organized, dryer, relaxed, entertained, and developed. This is an all-ages list of Christmas gifts that are helpful, safe, fun and healthy.

On-line surveys show that when people were asked what some of the favorite gifts they received were, they were practical items. They said at first they thought they were frankly, a little dull. When they first opened them, they thought they were a bit mundane, but, years later, they were still using the gift, and remembering the thoughtfulness of the giver.

Some gifts that Topped the list of favorite Practical Christmas Gifts were: vacuum cleaners, mini vacuum cleaners, frying pans, knife sets, cordless drills and Cuisinart machines. I can see why Canadian Tire is such a zoo before the holidays.

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts get used for years


favorite practical Christmas gifts

My Dog Rocko received his favorite sweater for a Christmas gift


You can always sprinkle whimsical gifts in between the practical, such as a pair of eyelashes for your daughter’s car headlights, but do consider going practical. All these gifts can be purchased in a one stop, big box or department store, and you won’t be on a goose chase until Christmas Eve, sitting in traffic, waiting in multiple lines, or battling for a parking spot.
You can even stock up on some of these items, and place them in a gift closet so they are handy if you want to give a gift to the newspaper carrier, the letter carrier or school playground supervisor.

Favorite Practical Household or Family Gifts:

Clip-on Flashlight
Spice rack
Cookbook
Honey, or assorted jam basket
Tea basket – herbal teas, mugs, honey, spoons
Water filtration pitcher or water purifier
Air purifier
Grocery store gift card
Fancy Towels
Vacuum
Smoke detectors with batteries
Floor Fan
Dish cloths/ tea towels/ oven mitts

Favorite Practical Personal Gifts:

Movie passes
Magazines
Money Clip (With money)
Slippers
Bath robe
Re-usable Water bottle
Books- inspirational books (such as from Hay House Publishing)
Roadside Emergency Kit
New pillows
First Aid Kit
Comforter
Electric blanket
Hair dryer
Spa gift certificate
Comb and brush set
Manicure set
Umbrella
Classic Style Sunglasses
Steel comb – never needs replacing

While it may take a while for these timeless practical gifts to become favorite gifts, these are the gifts that keep on giving, and won’t end up being sold in your friend’s next garage sale.

photo credits: Morguefile & Ann Hoy
blessedmommyhubpages.com

Week 48 – Optimizing Yourself – Get Ready For Christmas – Nov 18 – Nov 24, 2013

I love Christmas, but I sometimes find all the preparations a little overwhelming. I can understand how people dread the holidays if they’re not ready. I feel that this week is the perfect time to prepare, not too early, not too late. The lady that lives behind me put up her Christmas tree two weeks ago!

dinners and parties at Christmas

Getting ready for dinners and parties at Christmas

So, With a little over a month to go before Christmas, for this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to get ready for it early, so I reduce the stress that comes with leaving it to the last minute.

Get Ready for Christmas

Get Ready for Christmas


Here’s my plan:

– Get the decorations out of the attic, sort through them and decide what to use this year
– Put up Christmas lights
– Decide on a holiday budget for gifts and food
– Make a gift list, and buy what I can now
– Write out Christmas cards so they’re ready to send in early December
– Clean out the fridge and freezer to prepare for storing all the extra food over the holidays
– Set up a gift wrapping and card writing center in the corner of the kitchen by the window
– Go through my closet and get my clothes ready for attending parties and gatherings
– Stock up on household staples such as dishwash detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, batteries, bread, napkins and beverages.

outdoor Christmas decorations

Getting Outdoor Christmas Decorations ready

By getting organized now, I will feel better when the crunch hits in December, and can avoid waiting in some long line-ups at stores, or searching for a parking spot. I will let you know how it goes next week.

google images: homedit.com
christmas.organizedhome.com