Organizing Ideas for the Rest of Us

Making A List and Checking Items Off

It is time for the return of Follow Through Friday!  I have to start checking items off my never-ending to-do list.  Now that Christmas is almost upon us, I seem to be adding more items the list than I’ve been subtracting from it.  It makes for a rather unbalanced list.  Does anyone else out there need a day to focus on getting some of their tasks done?


Yesterday, I spent part of my morning cleaning the house Flylady style 15 minutes at a time but to add an element of fun to my otherwise rather boring task, I added a 15 minutes of Christmas-related tasks into the rotation.  So, in that spirit, I’m going to add a 4th Christmas-related item to my regular 3 Follow Through Friday tasks.

Here is my Follow Through Friday list for today:

  1. Spend 15 minutes (at least) in each room of the house gathering items for the charity pick up truck that is coming tomorrow.
  2. Go to the Dollar Tree and get a document frame.  The sad thing about this list item is that I was just in the store on Wednesday and completely forgot to pick up the one thing I entered the store to get in the first place.  I’m not looking forward to the return trip since the store was super busy on Wednesday so I already know the craziness I’m going to encounter for a second time.
  3. Clean off the computer desk.  I think this is a permanent item on my list.
  4. My Christmas related item:  Clean out and condense our Christmas bins.  I started on this yesterday but didn’t get very far.  I’m hoping to add some of our Christmas things to the charity collection items but I struggle with giving away holiday decor even if we don’t have anywhere to display it.

Other random tasks I’m hoping to finish today include getting a few birthday cards purchased and maybe Christmas cards as well (I haven’t lost hope that this might be the Christmas that I actually send the cards!), making a Christmas shopping list (I have a rough draft but I need to finalize it), and just for fun….actually finishing the laundry!

What do you plan to finish today?  Let us know in the comments!



Leftover-less Menu Plan

My menu plan is leftover-less.  We haven’t any Thanksgiving leftovers to use.  We did have leftover pie but my husband and I took care of that over the weekend.  No turkey.  No cranberry sauce.  SIGH.  I admit I am a bit jealous of those of you having to make do with all that leftover turkey.  Although we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving, I did buy and turkey.  Then, I put it in the freezer.  I suppose we’ll have to get our turkey leftover fix another time when the bird is not frozen.  I bought a ham as well.  Guess where I put that?  I didn’t plan very well but in my defense, I do believe there is a law against cooking a large meal the weekend and week after Thanksgiving.  I had no choice but to grocery shop this afternoon.  Here’s the leftover-less meal plan I threw together:




MONDAY:  BLT’s on Texas Toast and French Fries



TUESDAY:  Roast in the crock-pot

WEDNESDAY:  French Toast

Our Favorite French Toast

Our Favorite French Toast

THURSDAY:  Frozen Pizza (G has a band concert so I’ve opted to keep it super simple!)

FRIDAY:  Fish (catfish or trout from the freezer plus fish sticks for the picky kids)


Our menu is fairly basic this week.   December is already busy for us….we could start our weekend with the concert on Thursday and not stop the activities until Monday.   What’s on your menu plan this week?  Are you ready for the holiday season?  I’m predicting a lot of basic meals this month as I’m not anywhere near ready for it all this year.

If you need some menu planning inspiration, don’t forget to go check out Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.


Picky Eater Holiday Problems

Do you have picky eater holiday problems?  If you are a picky eater or live with picky eaters, I know you have picky eater holiday problems that arise each year at all the family dinners.  While I consider myself something of a recovering picky eater (I’m a lot better about actually trying new foods now), my husband and boys are still card-carrying members of the picky eater’s club.


Being a picky eater or living with them during the holidays when dinners are not “normal” can create a few headaches and not just for the picky eaters at the table!  Here are my strategies for coping with making sure everyone gets a little something to eat so they don’t act like lunatics and give me headaches.  These tips are mainly geared to helping kids because as adults we can usually tough it out even when we don’t like a single thing on the table although the tips would certainly work for picky adults as well.

  • Feed them a big breakfast and think PROTEIN, PROTEIN, and MORE PROTEIN.  Of course, you should also be prepared for them to be too excited to actually want to eat the protein-piled breakfast.
  • If dinner is at an obscure time, feed them a normal lunch.  We eat lunch between 11 and 12p.m.   I don’t make my kids wait for a 2p.m. dinner that I know they won’t eat much of anyway.  I feed them lunch.  Again, think protein!
  • If you are taking a dish, offer to make something you know your picky family members will eat.
  • Stash snacks in the car for the ride home.  Guaranteed first two words picky eaters will say after a meal they didn’t eat:  I’m hungry.
  • Be prepared to still fix the picky family members dinner or a heartier snack after the event (especially if it was at an obscure time).  Have something easy (and quick!) on hand to fix for them.

Of course, it is also worth noting that the kids and adults can certainly survive one meal where their plates contain a dinner roll, a piece of ham, and 2 pieces of broccoli followed by dessert.  Most the picky eaters on this side seem to have at least one dessert they will eat.

Are you a picky eater or do you have picky kids?  How do you cope with the holidays where the food is seldom a picky eater’s delight?

Thanksgiving Week Menu Plan

While I didn’t follow the menu plan from last week exactly (does anyone ever actually do that?), we did do a lot better around here.  The temptation to just eat out was great with my husband out-of-town hunting from Wednesday until yesterday but I managed to not do that despite being in desperate need of a grocery store trip.    I did cave and order pizza yesterday but overall, I’m really proud that we ate somewhat decent dinners while I worked all week and had a husband out-of-town.  I even came up with a new menu item on Friday night (with J’s help) that I’m calling “Deconstructed Corn Chowder” meaning we had corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and bacon for dinner.

While I was trying to create meals based on what we had here and avoiding the grocery store, I even managed to clear some items from our pantry, fridge, and freezer.  I’m hoping to do a bit more of the same with our Thanksgiving Week Menu Plan.  I’m also going to have to plan lunches for the second half of the week as the boys will be off school and my brother is doing his dinner later in the day.    Our lunches and dinners may switch places depending on the days.


MONDAY:    Chicken Strips (I have some buttermilk in the fridge that will go bad soon), rice, corn on the cob (freezer), and salad

TUESDAY:  Vegetarian Chili with a side of ham steaks for the carnivores (SIGH)

WEDNESDAY:   Chicken Sausage with Apple and Crunchy Coleslaw  (request from husband for me)  LUNCH:  Grilled Cheese

THURSDAY:  Happy Thanksgiving!  We’ll be feasting at my brother’s house and taking a corn dish (any suggestions??), chocolate pie, and apple pie along with us.  LUNCH:  Frozen Pizza (holiday standard)

FRIDAY:  BBQ brisket sandwiches (we have leftover brisket in the freezer) and French Fries or maybe oven-fried potato chips  LUNCH:  pork chops


What is on your menu plan for this week?  As usual, I’m linking this post up over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie and would like to encourage you to go check it out.  There are a variety of menu plans over there if you are in need of new ideas.




What’s Going On Wednesday

What’s Going On Wednesday was an idea that originated with Andrea from The Distracted Housewife (she’s currently not blogging but hopefully we’ll see her back in the blogging world sometime soon) and Shelly from A Mothers Nook.   The idea is to just share a little of what’s going on in our lives behind the blogs.   This is probably going to be a really random post.

  • I’m still trying to get my blogging “mojo” back.  I typed that sentenced simply because I think mojo is a fun word and apparently one not supported by the WordPress spell-check system.

  • I try not to brag about my boys too much on here BUT….G was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society last night AND J’s art teacher chose his artwork as part of a display in a local arts district that supports our school (only 30 pieces out of 360 were selected).  The plan is to go see his artwork sometime this weekend.

    Don't you like the blurred effect?  Works nicely for the blog at least.

    Don’t you like the blurred effect? Works nicely for the blog at least.

  • I’ve also been taking the boys to school.  I took them in my pajamas yesterday despite at some point in my past saying something like:  “I’m never going to leave my house in my pajamas to take my kids to school.”  AHEM.

  • My latest Netflix addiction is a show called Jericho.  It’s really, really good but I’m concerned that it’s labeled as a “cult tv show” on there.  I’m also watching Once Upon A Time, Resurrection, and Gracepoint on regular television.  Oh, and sometimes Masterchef Junior.

  • I need to get back to reading and doing my book reviews.  The last book I read was The Giver.  I wanted to like it but I didn’t find it as intriguing as the other similar books out there.  My brother-in-law loaned me the first two compilations of  The Walking Dead graphic novels but I’m having trouble getting into them.

  • In case you are wondering, our Siamese cat is still missing.  I’ve been checking Craigslist lost and found daily (I also have my own ad running and reports filed all over the place).  We do still have this little gray thing that keeps us busy with her demands:

    She makes sure we stay busy even at 3a.m.

    She makes sure we stay busy even at 3 a.m.

  • Work is still keeping me very busy (I worked every day last week and am looking at 3 days today included this week) but I still really do love it.

Speaking of work, I need to leave here very soon to get there so this is where I’m stopping today.  What’s going on in your world on this Wednesday?


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