Monday, January 31, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days Challenge - Week 4 - My Brain Is Fried

This picture was borrowed from here.



The readings for this week have totally fried my brain!  It has been some history, but lots of genealogy type stuff.  The bad part is that it isn't an easy reading genealogy because it kept bouncing between Israel and Judah.  I wish I had been using my study Bible for this week because it has a really nice illustration of who was where during when.  I think it would have been an easier read had I had something to look back on, but I didn't figure that out until yesterday at church when I was flipping through my Bible.  

It bugs me that for almost an entire book a nice picture like the one above would have worked almost as well.  I do much better with pictures like this than a long running list.  I am still also mildly confused about how and why Israel and Judah are split in two.  That is something I plan on looking more into this week.  I think that might help my confusion some. 

This week starts with 1 Chronicles.  Today was actually worse because it was all genealogy, and as one person on twitter said, "I think I know more about Saul's family tree than my own."  This statement isn't 100% true considering my mom is really into family genealogy, but at the moment it sure feels like it.  I am hoping things pick up and this week doesn't make me want to stop reading.  It is hard to believe that this is the start of week 5 and I have made it this far.  I want to complete this challenge, but this week has really pushed that commitment.  As always, I am linking this back up to Mom's Toolbox

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cloth Diaper Making Craziness

AJ and I plan on cloth diapering Bug.  This decision was made almost entirely for a financial reason (but partially because of an anti-chemical in disposable product reason).  Cloth diapers look to be a cheaper option overall than continually buying diapers, but they are still more expensive than we would like.  When I started doing my research I was stunned to find out bought cloth diapers could be so much.  I was looking at the FuzziBunz on Kelly’s Closet.  They were $17.95 each and $335 for an 18 pack (which does include 18 wipes, a wet bag, and 6 additional inserts).  That was more than we were willing to spend.

This lead to a flurry of doing research, hunting patterns and fabric, and trying to convince myself I could accomplish this task on my own.  I found a great community in Diaper Sewing Divas.  There is a lot of information on this site, and seeing so many people making their own diapers gave me the confidence I needed to try to make my own.  This then lead to hunting a pattern that I liked.  I was trying to find a free one that I could adapt, even though there are some awesome ones out there that aren't that expensive.  I finally decided on the Cloth Revolution patterns.  They are easy to follow and very easy to customize.  I have made different tweaks to it just because of my sewing style and experience (or lack there of).  

Here is a photo journey of making the pocket style diapers (sized small). 

 I traced the pattern onto PUL and flannel, and then cut them out.

Line the pieces up, right sides together.

I used these funny paper clips that I picked up from Target years ago (on clearance) to "pin" the layers together because you aren't supposed to poke to many holes into the PUL fabric.  I will say I am not sure why you couldn't pin with real pins in the seam line, but these clips are working for me and they are easy to un-clip when I get to them on the sewing machine.

Sew the wrong sides together, but don't sew the flap where the elastic for the pocket is going to go.  I used a regular straight stitch on everything.  I do back stitch every time I start a new line.

All sewn together.  The PUL fabric shifts a little bit because the plastic side is down on the machine, so I am still learning to keep it perfectly even and keep an even seam around the edges.

Pin down the flap for the elastic on the top (back).

Sew the flap down, but just a straight line. Don't sew the little ends closed because the elastic has to be fed through.

Cut the elastic and then put safety pins in the end so that it can be fed through the openings.  I goofed on this one and cut the elastic too short.  It was supposed to be 7 inches (stretched) and I cut it 4 inches (stretched).  Unfortunately, I didn't catch the mistake until I was all done, and had to rip it out and replace it.

Feed the elastic through, and then pin it with straight pins to hold it in place until it can be sewn in.  Again, I just use a straight stitch and back stitch on these.  It seems like it will hold really well (considering how hard it was to rip this out.  See how small that looks - it isn't supposed to be that small).

Turn it right side out and then top stitch around the whole thing.  That purple line is the starting/ stopping point for the elastic.  What I do is make a casing for the leg elastic (this is where I differ a bit from the original pattern).  I top stitch really close to the edge everywhere except between the purple lines, for that I drop in to about 1/4 inch.  I stitch to the purple line, back stitch, cut the thread, lift the needle, move the fabric over to 1/4 inch, stitch,  back stitch, sew to the next purple line, and then reverse the directions.  Then, I feed the leg elastic in and sew it down the same way I did the back pocket.

I cut out my tabs and my label.  I have 2 tabs of hook and 2 tabs of loop (for laundry tabs).  The label I made so that I could keep track of what sizes I have.

 
I sew down the front loop closure.  I have tried the zig zag stitch on this part, but I really didn't like the way it looked.  It was a lot easier to rip out a zig zag stitch when I goofed it up though. 


Sew on the tabs on the wings.  It is hook on the outside and loop (as a laundry tab) on the inside.  These seem like they are going to hold really well.  I have Touchtape brand hook and loop.  It is fairly soft - especially the loop side, but it is really strong feeling.

My personalization label.  I made these and I am really proud of them.  I figured out really fast if I didn't label what size the diapers were now, I was going to forget and I don't want to try to figure that out when we have two kids and try to put the wrong size on the wrong kid.

I can't believe how tiny these are.  This size is small for 5 to 14 lbs.  


My goal is to make four in each of the five colors of PUL that I have in size small and medium (12-24 lbs), that should give me 20 of each size and 40 total .  I did a cost break down to see how much I had spent on supplies to this point.  I have spent a grand total of $73.68 on supplies - PUL, elastic, thread, velcro, and the flannel.  That means that at this rate each diaper should cost $1.84 each.  That doesn't include the inserts, but I plan on making them out of more flannel and mircofiber that I pick up on sale at the fabric store.  I am hoping to keep the cost of each diaper down to under $2.50.  
Time-wise they aren't that bad either, as long as I am not making silly mistakes that take longer to correct than making a new diaper would.  It is taking about 1.5 hours per each if I start from the tracing on for each diaper, but I am starting to assembly line things.  I am cutting out all the pieces of PUL and flannel together, all of the tabs for the number of diapers I am making that day, and having all the labels made. 
I have all four of the small sized yellow ones done.  It made Bug seem a little more real having a stack of diapers all done.  I had made 3 of a newborn of a different pattern as practice, but they didn't give me that same warm fuzzy feeling.  I am not sure if we are going to cloth diaper from birth because of the meconium  staining, but hopefully after all that is gone we will be able to switch.  Though, the small size should fit if we decide to use them from birth - I am thinking I could get around the staining by using a liner type insert that I would be ok either throwing away or bleaching afterward. 

What are your thoughts and experiences cloth diapering?  Is there something I am missing that would make this process simpler or make the diapers more effective?

I am linking up to a couple of craft parties this week.  If you want to see some other fun things, check these out:







The Girl Creative

















Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days Challenge - Week 3


This week has been a lot better with my reading.  I think I am finally getting a good routine established for it.  I have been reading for the first hour after I get up, and I don't let myself get distracted by anything else (well, I get breakfast to eat while I am doing my reading).  I really understood how much of a routine this has been on Sunday.  I had decided that I was going to save my reading until bedtime on Sunday because I didn't want to be overwhelmed with the reading and then church.  I missed the quiet time and Bug was not a happy little Bug.  I think Bug has gotten used to the routine, too, and was not happy about me getting up and being fairly active first thing. 

I really enjoyed the readings this week.  I am up to David becoming king.  There is a lot I have learned about all the roundabout ways that David and Saul fought each other.  I never knew how crazy it was.  I can also see a lot of the prophecy for Jesus as David is being established as king.  I think having all of this fresh in my head as I continue to read through is going to be very beneficial.  

I have also seen how even though David messed up, he was very good at repenting to God to forgive him.  It was an interesting contrast to how Saul handled things, and has provided a good example of what God wants of me.  It is a heart issue. God wants our heart above and beyond all else. 

If you want to find out more about this study, check out Mom's Toolbox.  It has been such a great thing to have all the encouragement and accountability through this! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Bug Update


We finally got the results of our anatomy scan aka "20 week ultrasound" a couple of weeks ago.  We knew that Bug was being difficult for it and not helping the technician out, but we didn't know that could cause problems.  It did.  We have to go back this week and repeat the scan because Bug had a couple of "funny" measurements.  

The heart measurement they could only get one set of numbers and they really want all three just to be safe because the one was a little "off".  They also need to go back and remeasure the renal area (kidneys, urethra, and the rest of the urinary track) because those measurements looked "funny".  The doctor isn't worried about either of these two situations.  He said that if Bug wasn't moving it was normal to get some off measurements for the heart, and for the renal area if Bug was squishing them that will lead to some weirdness, too.  He did say that if the renal area comes back odd again their might be a problem, but nothing we will have to deal with until Bug is born.  

I am ok with all of this.  The doctor didn't seemed to concerned and he gave us a couple of other good reasons that the renal area might be the way it is, and he wasn't even phased at all about the heart measurement.  I am trusting everything is ok with our little Bug.  I am also hoping that Bug is in a wiggly phase for this ultrasound, or at least not spine up/ face down under my belly button.  I want the technician to be able to get all the measurements and them to be totally perfect!

This might also be our next best chance to find out what Bug really is.  We still have our ideas about the matter, but it would be nice to be proven right or wrong.  I really want to pick up some cute baby stuff while it is on clearance (shopping for next year's outfits :D ), but that is hard not knowing.  We are still sticking by our "if it is easy to tell rule".  Even though I want to have confirmation at this point, I am willing to allow Bug to determine if we know or not - to some degree.

I am feeling Bug move a lot more, but it is still in phases.  There isn't a routine or pattern to it yet, but I have figured out Bug really doesn't like being squished.  Car rides are the worst!  I think Bug is still vertical under my belly button and sitting upright in the car makes him uncomfortable because that is when I get the most movement.  I will get some movement after eating, but not always, and I don't think caffeine phases this kid.  AJ keeps trying to feel the movement, but it is still to early for that. 

I had to use the hair tie trick this weekend on a pair of jeans.  It was the first out of town trip I hadn't thrown in the maternity pants "just in case", and of course it was the weekend I would have liked to have had them.  I only had my pair of jeans that are normally a little tighter than the other pair.  It was fairly uncomfortable until I unbuttoned them and added the hair tie.  I didn't think 1/4 inch would make that big of a difference, but it did!

I am feeling better overall in the pregnancy.  It is just odd to me that it took hitting week 24 to finally feel that way.  It is also odd to think that I am this far in and by this point in May, Bug could be here.  Hopefully, we will have a May Bug and not a June Bug (the thought of having a June Bug cracks me up), or we could have an April Bug if this little one follows in mine and AJ's footsteps and decides to come early.  I will admit I am ready for Bug to be here, and not for any reason other than I can't wait to meet this little person.

I Spy with My Little Eye - Sunsets



I am linking up to Life with My 3 Boybarians' Sweet Shot Tuesday, Momma to 4 Blessings' Wordless Wednesday, and Home Grown Families Wordless Wednesday. If you want to check out some great pictures, check out these sites.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days Challenge - Week 2


This week I had a minor snafu in my readings.  We went out of town and I didn't get the chance to stay on top of my readings.  This really wasn't a problem, but it did mean that Sunday night I had a lot of catching up to do.  I caught up, and now I am having a hard time believing that I am already up to the Book of Joshua.  

I will admit I am happy to be out of the law books.  I enjoy the readings much more when there is the story aspect to them and not the laws and repeating the laws.  I am still having a hard time when it goes into how the land was portioned between the tribes, but it is easier for the fact that it isn't chapters and chapters of the same thing. 

I am still really enjoying this challenge and I am enjoying the readings.  I am finally putting together pieces that have just been vague concepts in my head.  There are some cultural things that I have had to look up to put some of the things into perspective, but overall it has been a great experience so far.  I would definitely recommend  this style to anyone!   I had a friend describe it as "scriptural P90X" the other day, and I would really agree.  It has given me something that I really look forward to in the mornings (especially when I am in a story section because I want to know what happens next), and I feel a bit more centered.

I am sad I missed the link up party at Mom's Toolbox this week, but maybe this will help drive me to be on time with my weekly check-ins.  I just didn't want to post until I had caught up with the readings, and at this point I don't plan on getting behind again (I will know better how to plan if we travel again during the rest of the 90 days).

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's For Dinner Jan 16 - Jan 22, 2010?


Last week seemed to be a real hit or miss kind of week meal plan-wise.  We ran out of cooking oil of any kind in our house - no olive oil, no coconut oil, and no vegetable oil.  I refused to go to the store, so I had to improvise on some of the meals.  It turned out ok, but I didn't stick to the meal plan.  Weeks like that make me very thankful we always have something in the pantry or freezer to cook.

Also, we are almost at the end of our month (AJ gets paid monthly and on an off day), so our grocery budget was really small this week.  I had $17 in the food category left when I went to Publix.  We normally run on a small budget, but that is ridiculous even for us.  It wouldn't be that small normally, but we made a Sam's run earlier this month which wasn't in the budget.  Luckily, we have a "Blow Budget" category! YAY!!!  Well, all total the groceries cam in at $36.95.  So, not to horrible for a full week, under our normal $50 a week, but over the $17 we had.

Sunday: 
Dinner - lasagna, bread, salad 

Monday:

Lunch - lasagna and bread
Dinner - beef stew over mashed potatoes 
 
Tuesday:
 Lunch - beef stew over mashed potatoes
Dinner - cranberry chicken and crockpot sweet potatoes

Wednesday:
Lunch - cranberry chicken and crockpot sweet potatoes
Dinner -chicken and broccoli baked potatoes

Thursday:
Lunch - chicken and broccoli baked potatoes
Dinner - leftovers or dinner at a friend's house

Friday:
Lunch -  leftovers aka "find your own meal" 
Dinner - pork roast, rice and gravy, and peas
 
Saturday:
 Lunch -  leftovers or sandwich and chips
Dinner - BBQ pork sandwiches, baked beans, and corn
 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bulk Cooking - Banana Bread & Muffins

 
AJ and I have decided that we are going to do everything we can to stock up our freezers (a half size chest freezer and a full sized upright) before this little Bug gets here.  We have been really good about keep food stores on hand, and always having something to cook, but this is a whole new level for us.  So, to get us started I decided to make something easy - banana bread and muffins.


The recipe I use is from Betty Crocker's Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today, Ninth Edition.  I absolutely LOVE it!  This cookbook was one of the first I bought back in college and it has helped make many a great meal.  This recipe is the best banana bread recipe I have found and it always gives me consistent results.


Recipe:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter - softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk ( I always use regular milk and vinegar - I never have buttermilk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I have used half whole wheat before & it is yummy!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Grease bottoms of 2 loaf pans or muffin tins.
3. Mix sugar and butter.
4. Stir in eggs until well blended.
5. Stir in bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla - beat until smooth.
6. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until just moist.
7. Divide batter into either loaf pans or muffin tins.
8. Bake loaves for 1 hour 5 minutes or muffins for 25 minutes.
9. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack.
10. Remove from pan and let cool for 2 hours.


I made two loaves and 48 muffins (though only 45 got packed into the freezer).  I had a minor goof with the loaves - I used baking powder instead of baking soda.  Apparently, that won't mess with the bread too much, just make them not rise as much.  I was worried it would make them gooey.  After the loaf batch I decided to make muffins instead of more loaves.  I figured that would actually be easier to deal with and help with some portion control. This way I can use them as breakfast and snacks, but not have to thaw the full loaf.  It also gave me the ability to make 24 of them with chocolate chips.  I love chocolate chip banana muffins!

I am participating in A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa's Simple Lives Thursday, Fingerprints on the Fridge's Feature Yourself Friday, and Fun to Craft's Look at Me

Thursday, January 13, 2011

While The Rest Of The World Is In Ice...

Our backyard

This year "Old Man Winter" has hit hard.  It seems like everywhere (but Florida) is covered in ice and snow.  Even places like Atlanta are getting hit really hard.  My sister-in-law lives in Atlanta and shared these pictures with me of what things are looking like up there.



Snow! Around midnight

 This is from Sunday night when the first of the snow started falling. 

I will admit that this scene looks amazingly beautiful and tranquil.  I love seeing pictures like this, but I also know it is a visual representation of cold and wet.  Something that my native Floridian self can't handle.


The street by our house is all ice

This is the street that runs in front of their house.  It is covered with snow and then a layer of ice on top.

This picture on the other hand totally scares the begeezes out of me!  I can't fathom having that outside my house.  That looks way too cold and dangerous!  Ashley said she has watched cars spin out on the ice trying to get up this hill.  I can't fathom that.

Florida on the other hand is getting off fairly mildly.  We have had colder weather than normal (which is hard enough to deal with - our citrus crops are not happy this year), but nothing that makes people run to the stores to stock up for.  Actually, I have had the doors and windows open at the house the last three days and for the most part we have had temperatures in the 70's.  

With the comparably warmer weather we have been having a lot of bird movement in our backyard.  This probably means we need to be a little more diligent in putting out birdseed.  We have had a lot of little sparrows today.

I wish these little guys weren't so hard to capture.  There are a lot of them but they are small and blend in with the grass.


This little guy was hard to catch, but so pretty.  I have no clue what he is, but he was all over the yard.


What are things like where you are at?  Are you snowed in or just wishing for snow?  I know a few people down here who are wishing it would get cold enough to snow here, but I will say I am not one of those people.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Spy with My Little Eye - Snowbird


Escaping the snow to sunny Florida.

Want to join in the fun? I am linked up to Sweet Shot Tuesdays , Home Grown Families , Wordless Wednesdays, and Crazy Town.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's For Dinner Jan 9 - Jan 15, 2011?

 

The meal plan for last week worked really well.  I didn't stick to the plan on what to cook on which days, but I stuck to the plan!  I did figure out that somethings make more leftovers than I thought, so this week I am intentionally building in a leftover day.  I also discovered a few things that I am going to add to our freezer cooking list.

Sunday :
Dinner - vegetarian chili and crackers

Monday:
Lunch - vegetarian chili and crackers
Dinner - cube steak, mashed potatoes, peas, and warm apples

Tuesday:
 Lunch - cube steak, mashed potatoes, and peas
Dinner - spinach chicken alfredo and garlic bread

Wednesday:
Lunch - spinach chicken alfredo and garlic bread
Dinner -beef and broccoli over rice

Thursday:
Lunch - beef and broccoli over rice
Dinner - leftovers aka "find your own meal"

Friday:
Lunch -  leftovers aka "find your own meal"


What are you having for dinner this week?  Head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie to post your meal plan!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days Challenge - Week 1


This year I decided I was going to make it a priority to read the Bible from cover to cover.  I had seen this program floating around for a little while.  I had even printed out the readings and tried it for a couple of days last year.  I failed doing it that way.  This time, I am making it a commitment to myself every day to read. 

This last week I have been making the time every morning before I get on the internet.  I downloaded the Kindle app for PC, and I downloaded the ESV of the Bible.  Both are free and I really recommend them both.  I like this version of the Bible because it has a nice large print (my pocket Bible has tiny print) and it doesn't have a lot of distractions like my study Bible (I get really distracted reading the footnotes and extra information).  I plan on sticking to this method for this go-round.  Though I did see a great idea from Our Safe Haven.  She has a Bible just for Bible in 90 Days, and each time she reads through it she highlights things that stand out in different colors.  That sounds like a great way to be able to go back and see how different things strike me at different times.

The readings for this week have taken me from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Exodus.  It seems weird that in six days I have read that much.  I have been really inspired what I have been reading.  Reading like this is giving me a much better picture of how the stories and pieces and parts of everything are fitting together.  I like seeing how God has been in everything from the start and how he is setting the stage for things to come later.

I am really enjoying this challenge.  I needed this, a lot!  If you are interested in jumping in with the challenge you should!  There is still time to catch up and join in with Mom's Toolbox, or just start on day one of the readings and go from there (there are a couple of buffer days built into the end of the challenge that don't have assigned readings), to quote Flylady "You aren't behind, just jump in where you are."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Need a Meal Time Makeover

Photo Credit : Real Simple

I really need to start making some better choices with my food habits.  I was doing really well at the start of last year and when I was trying to lose weight.  Then, things started to slide downhill when I got pregnant, between the morning sickness and only wanting sweet things I haven't been making the best decisions.  I have only just started to gain some weight (at week 21), but I don't want to push my luck.  I am up 5 lbs total right now, and that isn't a bad thing, we went to the OB yesterday and he was happy with that.  

The thing I am worried about now is gaining too much weight.  Being obese I shouldn't gain more than 20 lbs total (according to Babycenter).  It also says from week 20 on I should expect to gain a pound a week. So combine that with the already 5 lb gain plus the 20 lb, I am looking like I will go over the 20 lbs.  The doctor hasn't set a weight gain limit for me, but I don't want to push the issue either.  I am also scared that if I start gaining too much weight I might develop gestational diabetes.  I do not want that!

To try to combat the bad habits I have re-developed I am going back to the strategy I had for weight loss.  I am tracking calories and writing everything down.  I am not trying to lose weight now (though, I am tempted to ask the OB at the next appointment if that would be ok for me since I am obese), but trying to make myself aware of what I am eating.  I found some fun printables from "Your Personal Nutrition Guide."  It has boxes to mark off what I am eating, calories, water intake, exercise, and sleep. 

With starting to track my food again I am realizing that I am not getting enough fruits and vegetables.  This isn't the biggest surprise to me because I am not the biggest fan, but I know I really need to get more of them.  A couple of months ago I picked up a copy of Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.  I love the concept of getting more vegetables into my meals.  I am not so sure how I feel about sneaking them in though.  As I was looking through the book there are only a few of the fruits and vegetables that they use as purees that I don't like by themselves, so hopefully that will help me eat whatever I cook with them.

My goal is to start sneaking the vegetables into our foods and then transition to just cooking the food and eating it without sneaking it in.  Though some of the baked goods and desserts look good and this helps make them healthier, so if they are tasty I might keep making them that way.  Has anyone else used this book?  What kind of success did you have?

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's For Dinner?

 
One of my goals for this year is to actually meal plan our weeks.  This is something I really really really struggle with.  I am much more of a cook dinner by what we have on hand person than a meal planner.  We keep our pantry fairly well stocked so that most nights I can just see what looks good and cook that.  Unfortunately, that has been a challenge these last couple of months because of Bug.  I am not always hungry when it is dinner time, and that means that I don't want to cook.  It also means that AJ has scavenged for dinner and eaten some of the weirdest combinations of food (a can of olives and mac and cheese), and I thought I was the one supposed to eat the weird food combinations. 

Well, I managed to get a meal plan made before I went shopping this week!  I am hoping that linking to Menu Plan Mondays on I'm an Organizing Junkie will help keep me on track.  I need to get this habit down before May, and I am also hoping that it will help me build up some food stores in the freezer to have on hand for those first couple of months Bug is here.

Meal Plan for 1/2/11 - 1/8/11

Sunday :
Dinner - baked Ziti, green beans, and garlic bread

Monday:
Lunch - meet friends for lunch
Dinner - fish sticks, mac and cheese, and peas

Tuesday:
 Lunch - baked ziti and green beans
Dinner - stew beef and mashed potatoes and vegetable

Wednesday:
Lunch - stew beef and mashed potatoes and vegetable
Dinner - leftover black eyed peas and rice and corn muffins

Thursday:
Lunch - leftover black eyed peas and rice and corn muffins
Dinner - pork chops,  rice and gravy, and peas

Friday:
Lunch - pork chops,  rice and gravy, and peas
Dinner - ?

Saturday:
Lunch - leftovers aka "find your own meal"
Dinner - chicken broccoli baked potatoes

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clean House

 

One of my goals for this year is to really get on a schedule for cleaning the house.  I keep the house fairly clean (not necessarily as organized as I want,  but clean), but not in an organized fashion.  I want to get some routines really well established before Bug makes their debut.  I know when that happens it is going to get hectic and establishing new routines is going to be the last thing on my mind.

I have found a couple of challenges that are going around blogland that tackle cleaning.  One of them takes the month of January to get everything done and the other takes 14 weeks to get the whole house clean.  I like the idea of both, but I am leaning towards the 14 week plan.

CLEAN MAMA is hosting "January is Cleaning Month."  I am going to try to keep up with the daily task she has listed like the clutter, floors, laundry, and counters (dishes).  I am also going to try to hit some of the more specific task like vacuuming and meal planning on those days.  The rest seems a bit overwhelming to me.  I still have some areas that need to really be de-cluttered and organized before I start deep cleaning.

Organized Home is hosting "Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge".  This is the 14 week plan to get things cleaned and organized - including the garage.  I like the idea of having a whole week to tackle one area or room of the house, and if I finish an area early I can start extra de-cluttering and organizing in the next area.  

I know that neither of these is a long term solution, but they seem like good first steps.  I have tried to get back on Flylady, and honestly, I just can't get into it.  I don't have the motivation I need, and I am hoping something short term will help me jump start that.  If you want to join up, check out the site that sounds like it will work best for you, then let me know you are in.  I need all the encouragement and accountability possible on this!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Goals vs. Resolutions


I have spent the last couple of days pondering the difference between a goal and a resolution.  It is a strange thing to ponder, but I think knowing the difference helps me to establish what I want to set for myself this year. 

Merriam-webster defines a resolution as : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group.  A goal is : the end toward which effort is directed

I am not good with resolutions.  I never stick to them because there never seems to be an end, and going by the definition it is just an expression of opinion. I like the idea of goals.  I am stating the end point where I want to be.  I looked through my goals that I set for myself last year.  I accomplished some, but not all, but I completed something.  

I am excited to have goals for this upcoming year.  I know that I won't accomplish them all, but if I don't set my threshold high, then I won't strive for any of them.  I am going to actually print out my goals this year and post them so that I can make sure to work through the list.  I think that is partially why I didn't complete so many from last year.

My Household Project Goals:

Paint the laundry room.
Finish building out the closet - need AJ's help.
Re-organize the closet once it is fixed.
Re-organize my playroom.
Move sewing supplies.
Re-organize bookcases.
Re-organize storage in the closet.
Move house decorations to garage.
Move office supplies to ?.
Make curtains.
Make new cushion for window seat.
Plant a garden for Spring.
Make a household notebook.
Finish de-cluttering the house and garage.

My Lifestyle Goals:

Read the Bible in 90 days.
Update my blog more.
Line dry as much of laundry as possible.
Make meal plan weekly.
Keep track of food stores - pantry and freezer inventories.
Buy only organic animal products.
Buy organic and in season top 10 bad produce.
Bake more often.
Bulk cook and freeze meals.
Get on a schedule for keeping the house clean and running errands.
Wash and change sheets weekly.
Learn to sew well.
Pick one new project a week and finish it.
Find more ways to make us self sufficient.
Find everyday ways to get more exercise.
Take time to stretch out muscles and joints every day.
Find new ways to use things that we normally throw away.
Take our re-usable bags with us into every store.

My Baby Bug Goals:

Take my vitamins regularly.
Make cloth diapers.
Make burp cloths.
Make nursing cover.
Make some maternity aprons.
Find some good ideas for screen printing outfits.
Get registry figured out.

There are some of these goals that I plan on blogging about more.  Especially the Bible in 90 days challenge.  If you want to sign up or just learn more check out Mom's Toolbox.   I did figure out last year that when I am holding myself accountable on my blog about things I do much better with them, as in the weight loss.  So, hopefully, I will be better at setting specific times to actually do things. 

I also plan on throwing the weight loss back on to the lifestyle goals after May.  I haven't gained much of anything so far with Bug, but I still have a long way to go to get to the healthy weight I want to be at.  It feels weird to be starting the new year not worrying about losing weight. 

What are some of your goals?  What methods are you employing to accomplish them?