What I’ve been working on…

So I’ve been absent for a while, but here’s a peek at what I’ve been working on. 🙂 

 

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Planning, Laundry, Menus

Happy Friday!
We are going to do some challenges next week – one small one each day. Yay!

For today (and/or tomorrow, wash everyone’s sheets and give everyone in your family some nice fresh sheets to fall asleep on tonight. (Plus, we’re getting this one out of the way before next week.)

If you can hang them on the clothesline, all the better. One of my favorite smells is clothesline-fresh sheets. Ahh!

Also, if you aren’t a meal planner, plan three easy meals for dinners next week. Here’s what’s on my plan:

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday: Tacos, Refried Beans, Mexican Rice

Wednesday: Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches, Steak Fries

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Baked Potato and Salad “Bars”

Saturday: BBQ Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Roasted Veggies

I’ll post links to these recipes in the comments when I get home to my computer. (I’m on the road right now. Not driving!)

Y’all have a great weekend! Get those sheets washed! 🙂

Lynne 

Happy Sunday!

Good morning!

As I drank my coffee this morning, I did my early morning devotional. This is what I learned.

God is beautiful. He created beauty: beaches, mountains, sunrises, sunsets, clouds…all of it. He is beauty and he created beauty for us to enjoy.

He also created each of us to be creative in some way – to be beautifiers. God is also a God of order. So when we created beautiful, organized, peaceful sanctuaries in our homes, it is God-honoring if it’s not done in a prideful way. Our home and our lives should point to God, not to self.

This really spoke to my little organizing heart. When I beautify my home, I do it so that it’s a place to come home to and feel comfort and love. When I organize, I do it so that there’s less stress and frustration – and thus, more joy.

I just wanted to share that with all of you. Maybe it will speak to you as well as we spend time “together” organizing and beautifying our homes.

I pray that you have a joy-filled, peaceful and relaxing day.

Lynne

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Meal Planning

Good morning!

I am on my way out of town on a spontaneous getaway with the hubby. Just one night, but I’ll take it!

You know what Thursday is, right? January 1, 2015. Oh, my goodness! Yikes! Have mercy! Bless!

It’s time to start plans in and organizing our lives. (Every year we make those resolutions…how often do we keep them?)

We are going to start 2015 with meal planning. Before we get caught up in school projects, after-school activities, sports, etc., we are going to tackle this meal-planning thing. It’s not as hard as it seems and it can save you time (and your sanity!!).

We’ll start out with something easy. Something you can do this very day! Ask each member of your family for ONE dish/meal they’d like to have in January. I’m using those choices for “What’s Your Pick?” Wednesdays. Get to asking. 🙂

Don’t forget to grab a new notebook for 2015. Label page #1 “January” and write down what your family tells you today.

You will also need a calendar to write on. Also begin thinking about doing themed nights. Mine for January are as follows:

• Slow Cooker Sundays

• Mexican Mondays

• Tasting Tuesdays (new recipe day)

• “What’s Your Pick?”
Wednesdays

• Throwback
Thursdays (leftovers)

• Fun and Fab Fridays (pasta or homemade pizza)

• Soup-er Saturdays (soup or stews; slow cooker if possible)

These are not set in stone. An excess of leftovers will lead to more than one leftovers night. But it’s my guideline. Anything on January’s list that doesn’t get made gets moved to February’s plan.

Get your family to thinking. Take as much – or as little – input from them as you want.

It’s a gloomy rainy day here and while I am riding, I’m looking through one of my new cookbooks to see what recipes I might want to try ok Tuesdays.

Have a great day! Happy planning!!

Lynne

Monday, Monday…Challenge Day :)

Good Monday morning, y’all!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends! Mine was pretty restful so that was nice. Had a good morning with the kiddos in preschool at church yesterday morning. Didn’t get a nap yesterday but I did go to bed early. 🙂

My teriyaki chicken is in the crock pot. I’ll let you know how it turns out. It’s a new recipe for me but it sure smells promising.

I must confess that we did not get the porch painted last week. It’s been pressure washed and is ready…we’re just waiting for cooler temps. Supposedly, we’ll see some this week. If so, maybe dear hubby will get it painted. In the meantime, we’ll move on to what you see when you open the front door – your entry hall/foyer/entry way…whatever you call it. I’ll write that post later today. I’m off to work this morning.

A lot of the new folks (finally hit 350 likes – woohoo!) are from another page I follow and I’ve seen much about the pantry. The pantry challenge there is to inventory what’s in your pantry and make meals from that as long as you can. I post the link to that page in the comments section below.

I’ll repost my original pantry challenge this afternoon as well. It’s all about organizing your pantry/cabinets to make life in the kitchen a little easier.

Anyway…have a GREAT day! I’ll “talk” to you all later!

Lynne

Menu Plan for September 7-13

Happy Saturday, folks!

Hubby is on nights so he’s sleeping. Actually, at this very moment, he’s up and watching football. But he’s supposed to be sleeping. Anyway, I’m sitting here going over my menu plan for next week to see what I need from the store. Thankfully, it’s a short list and I don’t need anything today except an onion.

So, here’s my dinner menu plan for the coming week, Sunday-Saturday. Still going with the September theme nights:

  • Sunday – sandwiches
  • Monday – Crock Pot
  • Tuesday – Mexican
  • Wednesday – Pasta
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – Homemade Pizza
  • Saturday – Soup

Here it is:

  • Sunday – Patty Melts, Roasted Potatoes
  • Monday – CP Teriyaki Chicken, Easy Fried Rice
  • Tuesday – Chicken and CP Steak Fajitas, Refried Beans
  • Wednesday – CP Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta, Roasted Carrots, Green Beans
  • Thursday – Leftover Buffet 🙂
  • Friday – Individual Homemade Pizzas (Me – Roasted Potato, Caramelized Onion, Bacon; Hubby – Beef & Mushroom; Son – Cheese; Daughter – Salad since she doesn’t like pizza
  • Saturday – Chicken & Rice Soup, Baby Biscuits with Herbed Butter

I’ll post my recipes each day. After this week, you’ll have 10-12 recipes to add to your dinner options. 🙂

Do I need to write a menu planning post? I wrote one long ago, but it was..well, long. Maybe I could streamline it to make it easier to follow. If that would be a help to you, please let me know.

Y’all have a great Saturday! Go Gamecocks! Roll Tide! 🙂

Lynne

 

Happy Wednesday!

Good morning and Happy Wednesday!

First, a huge WELCOME to all of you new to Living Simply. I’m so glad you’re here and hope you’ll find something here that will help you in your quest to live a simpler, healthier life. 🙂

I’m switching my menu plan around a little and having our leftover buffet tonight instead of tomorrow…mainly because my fridge is FULL! We’ll have the pasta I was planning tomorrow instead.

Have you made your lists for a welcoming front door/porch/entry yet? If so, what is on them? I’m hoping to work on painting our front porch tomorrow. Praying the heat lets up a little…when there is a 100+ degree heat index, painting outdoors is really unappealing.

I’ve gotten my exercise in, my load of laundry done, and now I’m off to work.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Blessings,
Lynne

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Happy Sunday!

Good morning!

It’s a beautiful day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

I’m off work today (I work at church) so I’m having a “mental health” day. I foresee a nice nap and afternoon coffee and a good book. Of course, I do that most days anyway. I just didn’t have to be up at 6:00 which was nice.

I’m working on our first challenge for September. It’s a simple one. We’re going to get serious about simplifying our lives. I hope you’re ready.

I shared my menu plan for the week yesterday…pretty sure the dates were wrong. I’ll share the recipes as we go along (and pictures if I remember to take them). Note: If you do not have a slow cooker (Crock Pot), then hie thee to the store and get one as soon as you can. The slow cooker is my single favorite kitchen appliance…after the coffee maker, of course. I use it all the time. In fact, I now have two so I can do a main dish and a side dish if I want.

Hope you have a blessed day!

Lynne

Hey, there!

Hey, there!

I just realized that I haven’t posted to the blog since last Wednesday. Oops! I (frequently) forget that things I post on Facebook don’t go to the blog and vice versa. I have posted some stuff on Facebook. I didn’t mean to neglect y’all.

So…how are we doing with our exercise AND rest? If you remember, last week’s challenge was to add both to your daily life. We need exercise to keep us as healthy as possible and we need rest for the same reason. (On a side note, our pastor’s sermon this week was on – you got it! – rest.) I’m going to have to say that I did pretty good last week. I got exercise in five days out of seven. And I think I only missed one day of sitting down and “taking a breather” for a few minutes every afternoon. I more than made up for it with my 2+ hour nap on Sunday afternoon, though. 🙂

Because it’s summer and it’s HOT (!!!), I think we will just continue with this challenge this week and add on another little component: trading an unhealthy snack for a healthy one. So…instead of ice cream, have yogurt. Instead of a piece of candy, some fruit. Ice cold watermelon…mmmmmmm! That’s what I’m talking about. If you’re feeling motivated, start journaling or tracking what you eat. I’ve got a journal where I’m writing down motivational quotes and such. I’ve been tracking what I eat on the “Lost It” app for the iPhone. If I remember to carry my phone, it also tracks how many steps I take in a day. Did you know you should aim for 10,000? However, I’m prone to sitting my phone down and therefore missing out on that part of it. I did get over 10,000 steps on the day I remembered.

So that’s this week’s challenge:

1. Exercise a little every day.

2. Rest a little every day.

3. Trade unhealthy snacks for healthier ones.

It helps me to write down my goals. So if you do have a  journal, you might write these three things down and then on a daily basis, honestly assess how you did. No one has to see it but you, so tell yourself the truth! 🙂

Oh, and keep hydrated! Again, it’s HOT here and I can’t be out there more than a few minutes without feeling parched. (I said that in my head in my best sweet Southern voice.) So drink your water!

It’s time for my few minutes of quiet so I’m off to do some deep breathing.

Lynne

P.S. Here’s my quote for the day: “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” ~ Ralph Marston

Schedules and Routines

Hi, all!

I must apologize for the sporadic blogging lately! It has been a very busy couple of weeks and – honestly – I’ve been too tired to get to it most days. I’m still waiting for my Easter nap. I know I’ll get it one day! 🙂

That being said, having a schedule or routine (whichever you want to call it) for my day certainly has helped keep me mostly on track with things at home. Menu planning helps tremendously as well. So I thought I’d share my basic weekly schedule with you. Keep in mind that this is just a goal. Some days it’s just a dream. We all have those days and that’s okay. But having a regular schedule/routine can keep you from falling so far behind that you feel you can’t catch up. Everyone’s schedule/routine will look different, of course. It depends on so many things: kids, work, kids, work. 🙂

Anyway, here it is.

Every morning I get up and have my coffee and do my devotional first thing. What a great way to start your day! I walk or run 2-3 times a week and do yoga on Friday mornings. Gotta take care of yourself!

Mondays

  • Work: 9:00 – 2:00
  • Laundry: whites
  • Kitchen: Empty out leftovers

Dinner is usually something in the crock pot since it’s a work day.

Tuesdays

  • Work: 9:00 – 2:00
  • Laundry: towels
  • Kitchen: Clean counter tops and wipe down all knobs and handles on cabinets and appliances; sweep and mop.
  • Clean bathrooms.

Wednesdays

  • Laundry: dark clothes (jeans, t-shirts, etc.)
  • Living Room: vacuum and dust
  • Menu plan for next week.

Thursdays

  • Laundry: delicates
  • Vacuum and mop downstairs floors.
  • Pay bills and balance checkbook.

Friday

  • Laundry: sheets, work clothes for hubby if needed
  • General “straightening up” in the downstairs and light cleaning as needed.
  • Grocery shop (Least. Favorite. Thing.)

Saturday

  • Rest up for Sunday.
  • No housework if possible.

Sunday

  • Work: 7:30 – 12:30
  • NAP!!
  • HOME group every other week

Every night before going to bed, I take a few minutes (just 5-10) to prep my coffee pot for the morning and “pick up” the living room and kitchen so I don’t have to wake up to a mess. I’ll also wash up any dishes in the sink if needed.

Since I enjoy gardening and yard work, neither is on the “chore” list. I do those when I can or when I need to. Every day includes time to sit down and have coffee and I always read for about 30 minutes before going to sleep.

So that’s how my weeks usually go. Take some time this week to look at your days and see where you can streamline your days and spread out your housework over the week so you don’t have to spend your days off tackling a giant pile of laundry or cleaning the entire weekend. Where’s the fun in that?

Y’all have a great week!

Blessings,
Lynne