Monday, January 30, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Crock pot roast beef with onions, potatoes, and carrots.  Frozen peas.

Tuesday- Youth Group Night.  Stir fried vegetables and chick pea curry with rice.

Wednesday- Baked potato fries topped with leftover beef, guacamole, cheese, and cilantro-green onion salad.

Thursday- Mushroom and red pepper risotto.  Bread today or tomorrow.

Friday- Pasta with fried onions and herbs.  Salad.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Homemaking goal- Periodic tasks

Holy cats there are a lot of things I'm supposed to do to keep my house clean!  I referenced Martha Stewart's website, and she says I should wash my baseboards every month.  Wash my baseboards!  Monthly!  That's hilarious.

But seriously now, since I have one day a week scheduled for periodic tasks, I made a list of periodic tasks.  I've arranged them roughly in order of how frequently they should be done.  As in, I know I'm not going to change my sheets every week the way Martha recommends, but I aspire to change them twice a month.  But cleaning out the gutters only needs to be done twice a year, but could be done once a season.  And steam cleaning the carpet can be an annual thing, especially if I'm staying on top of the vacuuming.  So the goal is...

Hopefully more than once a month:
Change sheets
Sweep and mop basement

Once a month-ish:
Run "clean" cycle on washing machine
Clean light switch plates
Wash insides of windows

Probably once a quarter:
Wash blankets and quilts
Clean couches
Clean inside of fridge
Clean inside of freezer
Remove lint from dryer hose
Vacuum refridgerator coils
Wipe baseboards, moldings, and trim
Clean ceiling fans
Clean out gutters

Once a year or so:
Wash windows
Wash Screens
Steam clean carpets
Wash walls
Reseal stone surfaces
Reseal grout
Repaint or touch up painted surfaces

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Planning My Garden

I want to plant at least 2 new edible plants on my property every year until we are entirely self-sufficient or my kids move away from home, whichever comes first.  Perennials are best, as I'm not such a good gardener.  Last year we did three rhubarb plants and three nanking cherries.  One of each died.  I told you, I'm not such a good gardener.

  This year it looks like we're planting a hardy pecan, two dwarf bush apricots, and two saskatoons.  The munchkin also wants a basil plant of his own, and Hubby will probably request tomatoes.  And we're going to try to find a neighbor who wants a pecan so they can cross pollinate.

Are you gardening his year?  What are you planting?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Casserole with Chinese eggplant, rice, cheese, and red wine tomato sauce.  Sauteed broccoli, if the baby cooperates at dinner time.  Frozen peas if she doesn't.

Tuesday- Youth Group night.  Spiral cut ham,  acorn squash, baked potatoes, and Fantastic Cauliflower (wash a whole head of cauliflower, coat it with a thin layer of mayonnaise, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, bake until soft).  Hams were on super sale for after Christmas.  I'll admit it.

Wednesday-  Pasta with pumpkin and lentils, inspired by leftover pumpkin, which led to this blog post, which led to a riff on this recipe.  Definitely extra sharp cheddar instead of feta, though.

Thursday- Fried rice with some of that leftover ham (or chicken from the freezer).  Broccoli salad with lemon dressing (I prefer my broccoli chopped smaller than bite sized, but do what you will.  I recommend either making a few hours in advance or steaming the broccoli for 15 seconds in the microwave so that it doesn't taste raw.  Crush one clove of garlic with a generous amount of salt.  Mix with half a lemon worth of lemon juice and some zest from said lemon.  Add about the same amount of olive oil as you have lemon juice.  Grind in a bunch of pepper.  Dip the broccoli in the dressing to taste it and adjust until you like it.  Mix everything all together.  You can add some dried cranberries and lightly toasted almonds or sunflower seeds to fancy it up.  I am seriously addicted.)

Friday- Ham and bean soup and bread.  (I actually ended up making risotto instead of soup last Friday.  And the munchkin really wants bean soup.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Homemaking goal- The weekly plan

I'm trying it out or the rest of the month, but my preliminary thoughts are:

Monday- Clean the kitchen and write the week's meal plan.  This includes wiping down the fronts of the cabinets and surface cleaning the appliances.  I'll clean the shelves in the fridge periodicly, but not weekly.

Tuesday- Clean both bathrooms.

Wednesday- Mop and vacuum the main floor.  Vacuum upstairs at least every other week.

Thursday- Catch up on Laundry.

Friday- One to Three periodic tasks.  I'll post those later.

Weekend- Grocery shop.

I know there are more tasks that would be ideal to do every week.  But that would be getting too ambitious.  For now, this is enough.  And it'll keep the house presentably clean.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- leftover chicken; whole wheat vermicelli; and salad of carrots, peppers, and cilantro with nuoc cham.

Tuesday- Youth group night.  Chicken noodle soup.  Bread.

Wednesday- Baked ham, squash, and garlic-rosemary potatoes.  Frozen peas.

Thursday- Casserole with cheese sauce over leftover ham and potatoes.  Assorted veggies

Friday-  Black Bean soup with Chipotle chilis.  Bread.  Carrot sticks.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 Homemaking goal- The daily plan

There are certain tasks which will need to be done in my home every day if I want to stay on top of the mess.  For example, there's no way to vacuum in a livingroom with toys all over the floor.  And if I have to start from a giant disaster cleaning up toys, I won't get to the actual vacuuming part.  So if the daily routine keeps the house tolerably clean and tidy, I'll be able to get the more involved cleaning tasks done more often.

As I cook almost every day and I definitly feed my family at home every day, I need to wash dishes daily.  I also cloth diaper and clothe 2 messy kiddos, so our family produces a bare minimum of 7 loads of laundry a week.  The munchkin is  a messy eater (big surprise), so I have to sweep up bread crumbs and Cheerios every day.  And of course, the toys, coats, books, and general accumulated personal items that say "There are people living here!" all need to be dealt with.  I think everyone should be responsible for their own personals, though.  So the munchkin can pick up his own toys, and everyone can hang up their own coats, and whoever used that blanket can fold it and put it away, and it should all be done before bedtime.

Our general clutter collectors are the kitchen counter, the dining room table, and Hubby's desk, so those need to be cleaned off constantly.  As clutter tends to breed, one envelope left on the counter soon has 5 baby reciepts, and those reciepts produce a dish full of screws and 15 coupons within a day, and then the coupons have a litter of pop cans, and it just spirals out of control.  So I need to clean off the table, counter, and desk both morning and evening. 

As the desk is mostly Hubby's stuff, and I don't feel comfortable just dealing with it, I have created a "Things to Do" file in the filing cabinet.  Hubby's papers that I don't know exactly where to put them will be filed for his perusal.  Hopefully that don't result in major problems.  We'll see.

So with that too much information!!!

The morning routine (while preparing and immediately after breakfast):
Empty the dishwasher and dish drainer.
Sort dirty laundry.  Wash and dry one load before noon.
Clean off the kitchen counters, dining room table, and desk.

The evening routine (beginning immediately after dinner):
Sweep and spot clean the kitchen and dining room floors.
Load dishwasher and wash dishes.
Fold and put away laundry.
Enter reciepts into our budget program.
Clean off the kitchen counters, dining room table, and desk.
Pick up personals.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutions 2012

I prefer to think of them as New Year's goals.  And I prefer that they be SMART.  Yay acronym!  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time delineated.  OK, so attainable and realistic are pretty much the same thing, but SMAT isn't nearly as catchy, and SMRT reminds me too much of the Simpsons. 

Because it's rewarding for me to be able to say "Yes, I completed this goal" and check it off of my list, I do better at actually completing my resolutions when they are SMART.   So without further ado, here they are:

1. HOME- Create a house cleaning plan and follow it at least 25 days a month so everything gets cleaned on a semi-regular basis.

2. HUSBAND- Go on at least two blogable "dates" per month February through November.

3. CHILDREN- Take my kids to a museum, conservatory, or zoo at least 6 times.

4. EXTENDED FAMILY- Make all of the non-food 2012 Christmas gifts before November 30th.

5. CAREER- Find contact hours or private practice clients to fill at least 8 hours a month by July 1st.

6. EDUCATION- Finish my last class and thesis to graduate from my masters program.

7. PHYSICAL- Learn a 15 minute workout routine I can do while wearing the baby in a wrap by the end of January.  Do it at least once a day, 5 days a week thereafter.

8. SPIRITUAL- Read the Divine Hours prayers with my children in the morning 5 days a week more weeks than not.

9. SOCIAL- Host at least 4 parties with over 12 guests.