Monday, January 21, 2013

Time Management-Five Ways To Make More Time In Your Day


Most of us feel like we don't have enough of it, and wish there were ways to make more time in our days.

Great news!  You can!

With a little upfront effort and determination, you can not only have more time, but you can eliminate stress and save money as well!  Time management is not impossible, and does not have to be a thing of the past!

Here are five ways:

  1. Be honest with yourself and do a truthful evaluation.  How much time do you waste on the internet?  There are so many social networks and sites that beg for our attention, it can become a real trap.  My main problem was Facebook.  Notice I said was.  Getting my son off to school, it became very easy to sit with my cup of coffee, and catch up on what everyone was up to before "starting my day".  The hard part was getting away once I started commenting on everyone's posts.  Have you been there?  Fortunately, I began to wean from it for various reasons, which you can read about here.  I gained back a lot of time because of this one area!  I am now controlling what was once controlling me!
  2. Get enough sleep each night, and go to bed at a decent hour. Another trap for sucking away time!  How?  Some of us are night owls, being forced to live in an early bird world!  I'm almost 43 years old, and even when I'm dragging at 9:00 p.m., I still fight going to bed at 11 or 12!  But getting to bed by 11 or midnight will help your tomorrows run better.  Not enough sleep equals less energy and less mental focus, which causes your daily tasks to take longer, if they get done at all.     
  3. Take care of the little things while they are little.  Load the dishwasher right after dinner (or wash by hand, if you don't have a dishwasher), put away each load of laundry, put books back where you got them from.  Sort through the mail regularly to throw out junk mail.  Do laundry everyday/every other day.  Freshly dirtied dishes take less time than dishes that we have to leave soak because of letting food harden on them for an extra day.  Put-away laundry saves piles from being knocked over, or baskets that are clean from having other family members mistake the basket for dirty clothes, which then results in a basket that you forget what is clean in it.  You save money when you aren't rewashing what has already been washed.  And what about the kiddos rummaging through for their favorite shirts?  You also end up with clothes that probably need thrown back in the dryer for a fresh folding, so that nobody looks like a wrinkled mess.  Ever been there?  Can you say "aggravating"?  A book here, and a small pile of junk mail over there will build up to a messy house very quickly.  And once it does, our brains hit overwhelmed mode, which makes the task seem too big, which saps our energy, and takes us longer to clean it up.  It makes us want to take a Facebook break!  Can I get an AMEN?
  4. Ironing more than one item per session.  If you are like me, you have ironing that needs done on a regular basis.  I iron my husband's and son's church clothes regularly, along with my own wrinkled things.  Doing a week's worth of ironing at one time saves you time in having to get out the ironing board, heating up the iron, and putting the board away when finished, every single time you need an item ironed!  It may not seem like much, but if you've never tried it, trust me!  Once you go to the closet and are able to just grab your ironed item and go, you'll see how nice it is!  If you run late regularly, this will save you a few minutes (especially if you have more to iron than just your own things!), and it will also reduce your stress level!  I hate feeling rushed, don't you?
  5. Freezer cooking.  This is a biggie!  If you aren't a super organized person (which may be why you are reading this list!), it may take two or three days of a messy kitchen with tin foil pans and canned foods all over the counter tops, but this one is totally worth it!  Buying everything at once saves additional trips to the store, which for me, always, ALWAYS results in my spending more on things I didn't even go to the store for!  (Who is with me on this one?)  It also lets you make the kitchen a total mess of dirty pots, pans, measuring cups and extra trash for a few days, as opposed to a daily thing!  Once all meals are prepared and waiting in the freezer, all you have to do is remember to thaw them, and pop them in the oven in time for dinner!  Sure, you will still have plates and cups to wash, but it will take much less time because of no pots and pans, etc. that need washed as well.  Extra free time after dinner! Yay!  Note: Freezer cooking seems like a daunting task if you've never done it.  Start small-make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce, some chili, and one or two soups, and then divide each batch into family sized servings and freeze.  Once you've accomplished that, search the internet for blogs and websites that give freezer cooking recipes.  Or, you can find books on Amazon. Check out The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy ! Find a few you like and add them to your stash.  You will be glad you did this!  (Not to mention less drive-thru visits at McDonald's!)
I know that doing these few things will make a world of difference in your own time management, as it is mine!  Although I haven't reached perfection myself, I'm getting better and better, and focusing on things that are really important to  me-my goals for the coming year!

What about you?  Have you done any of these in your own life?  And were the results worth it?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Baked Cabbage Wedges With Bacon-Hubby LOVES This Stuff!

I found something like this on Pinterest, but since I didn't have all of the ingredients it asked for, it is a bit different than what the original recipe calls for.  Someone commented on adding the bacon, so I did that too, and here we have a HIT!    It's a nice lunchy type snack.  Dan feels like he could eat it everyday-at this point anyway!  We aren't going to find out for sure!

You need: 
Mrs. Dash
Olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  

Slice cabbage head in half, then half again.  Then cut into about 1 inch thick wedges.  

Lay pieces on baking sheet (I put parchment paper under mine, but isn't necessary if you don't want to.)  Also, the entire head won't fit on a single cookie sheet.  I just made up one sheet at a time, enough for the day.

Drizzle each wedge with olive oil.

Cut bacon into bite sized pieces and add to top of wedges.

Add a little salt and some Mrs. Dash over all of it.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes.



Have you made something similar to these?  What did you think?  What did your family think?

Linking up at the Serenity Now link party.

He's Still Lord

My daughter sang this beautiful song in church the other night, and one line stood out to me:

You're Still Lord

When I was just a child I heard a beautiful story
How You loved me so You died on Calvary
And though I claimed You way back then as Lord Almighty
Things haven't changed
My love is still the same
You're still Lord to me
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
In little or much, I still feel Your touch
You're still Lord
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord
Some have called you Lord but now they serve another 
To worldly things their heart has pledged it's loyalty 
But as for me when I made my choice it was forever 
And now as before but now even more 
You're still Lord
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
In little or much, I feel Your touch
You're still Lord
You're still Lord, You're still my Father
You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord
You'll always be mine for all time
You're still Lord to me

But as for me when I made my choice it was forever.....

As I was listening to the words, I thought about the Lord's side of this relationship with me.  I began to serve the Lord as a 15 year old girl-one who was heading in the wrong direction in life, yet who was spared much heartache because of His mercies to me.

When I was so unworthy of His love, He still chose to robe Himself in flesh and die for me.  When I have stumbled in my walk with Him, He still has never wavered in His love for me.  

His love for me-He made His choice forever.

Because of His love for me, I've never had to walk alone.  

He's still Lord.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is This Where I Want To Be In Five Years?

I've been doing a lot of reading lately--have I told you how much I LOVE having a kindle on my phone?!?!  I read while I walk and do the elliptical at the gym several days a week!

A lot of the reading I have been doing are books about reaching goals.

One idea is to write down where you want to be in 5 years, and in 10 years.  And then, of course, the book gave ways to reach those goals.

It's a great idea to write down where you want to be, and then evaluate where you are and what you are doing, to see if your current activities are getting you any closer.

Although I haven't thought so far in the future with my weight, I do want to lose 20 more pounds (down a little over 30 so far!) this year, which will be where I hope to be in 5 and 10 years as well.

Am I doing anything right now to get me there?

Yes I am!

My daughter and I go to the gym a few days a week, and I exercise an hour each time!  I'm also drinking more water.

If I keep it up, I should reach my goal!

I have greater things I want to do, but just used this one as an example.

What about you?  Do you have any long term goals?  Have you written them down to keep your goals in front of you, so you can see them frequently?

This is a great year to start!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Make An Adorable Little Chocolate Hearts Bouquet!

Make An Adorable Little Chocolate Hearts Bouquet!

For this cute and simple little hearts chocolate bouquet, you will need the above items:
* One piece of tissue paper
* Hershey's heart shaped chocolate candies
* Hot glue gun and glue
* About three green silk leaves (smaller rather than larger, to be in proportion with the heart "flowers"
* Your choice of ribbon (I chose think ribbon)-about 1' of it
* Small glass votive holder (Walmart)
* Skinny sticks craft sticks (Walmart)
* A block of floral foam (the harder kind-not the softer kind that absorbs water-only $1 at the Dollar Tree, with enough to make several of these, if you like.)

1. Cut a small piece of the floral foam to fit in the votive holder (I carefully used a knife). 

2.  Fold your tissue paper in quarters, and cut 4 squares approximately 5" x 5".  Stagger the four pieces of tissue paper.

3.  Put staggered paper over votive holder, then put green foam over top of it, and push tightly into the holder.

4.  You can pull the tissue upwards a little bit-it will look like this:

5.  Take two of your green leaves, and cut them at the base of the leaf (no stem).

About half way down the stick, put a dab of glue, and add two leaves to the front of the stick.  Then break off about an inch of the stick at the bottom.

At the top, add a dab of hot glue to the stick, and attach a chocolate heart.  Let the glue dry for a few seconds, and then do the other side, so that the hearts are glued to the stem, back to back. 

Push the stick down into the middle of the foam until it touched the bottom.

This is how it will look:

Now make a little ribbon bow around a pencil, pull it off, and pull the bow tight (to make the pencil hole loop smaller).  

Glue  below your chocolate heart.  Ta Da!!!  A simple little bouquet!

Want a little more?  Make a couple more sticks with hearts on them, and then add them at a slant, behind the main heart.

And then, of course, is the bouquet with a couple more candy sticks:

You can add an extra leaf to the back of the arrangement as well.  

If you use the fuller bouquet, you may want to add a few coins or stones inside at the base to even out the weight a little bit, as this is top heavy.  

This stands just a fuzz over 6 1/2" tall.  Perfect for a Valentine's party (make several as table decorations!), or to set on your desk, or for another small area that could use a cute, cheery touch!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Part Of My Christmas Gift

This is what my children did for me for Christmas-had a wonderful photo shoot for me!  Here is one picture-I love all the beautiful shots they got!

My loves-my world! ♥

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Not Reaching Your Goals-A Reason, Or An Excuse?

January 1st-the time of year when all of us are motivated and pumped up about reaching our goals!

January 14th-where the excitement starts to dwindle, and we lose steam.

February-where we start giving up on those well intended goals and ideas.

March-Goals?  What goals?

Why does this happen?

More oft than not, we have a reason.

Or do we?

Were you wanting to save money?  Lose weight?  Blog more?

If someone asked you how it's going, you might say something like:

"I wanted to save money, but times are tough, and I just couldn't spare the extra $10 a week to put in savings."

"I wanted to lose 5 pounds this month, but I haven't had time to go to the gym."

"I wanted to write three blog posts a week, but I just haven't had time."

The list could go on and on.

We've all heard, "Where there's a will, there's a way."  This applies to reaching our goals as well.  So, how does this apply to you, when you aren't reaching your goals?  Because...

Most of our reasons are not reasons at all.  They are excuses.

The truth of the matter is, goals are hard work!  They take discipline.  We have to change some of our habits, some of our thought patterns, and do some sacrificing!  It looks great on paper, but is a whole new ball game when it comes down to actually doing it!

I like the quote by G.K. Nielson:

Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.

If you truly want to succeed with your goals, you will find ways to start reaching.

If you don't care so much about the reason, at least be honest with yourself, instead of using an excuse why you can't.  When you finally decide that your goals are something you really want to reach, you will not begin with defeat because you will realize there are few reasons, but many excuses.  And excuses can be overcome.

Are you ready to be an overcomer?  

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Five Reasons Facebook Is No Longer My Close Friend

My three year affair with Facebook is just about over.  It was thrilling at first!  Staying in the know with family and friends, finding old high school friends I lost touch with, the cute pictures and quotes that are shared, the games, and more.  Can you relate?

After a short time (1-2 years isn't a long period of time in my almost 43 years of living), I was hooked.  Several times a day, I found myself checking in when I had a spare moment.  In the mornings, I would sit down with my first cup of coffee to see what everyone was up to, only to find myself pulling away a couple of hours later.  In the evenings, I would wind down my day by visiting with everyone in the Facebook virtual living room.

Does this sound familiar?  Did you know there is even a book out about this?  Check out Facebook Addiction: The Life & Times of Social Networking Addicts.

Well, after being sidetracked for a while, I've escaped this close friendship that was unhealthy for me.  Maybe you can relate to my five reasons:

  1. The time vacuum.  Facebook was sucking away too many hours in my day, when I could be doing so much more!   
  2. The boldness, rudeness, and confrontational spirit.  I cannot believe how people "attack" each other, and even worse than that, on a user's own page!  So often someone will put up a thought, and regularly, there will be someone else who purposely puts up a contradictory response.  No longer can you share your opinion without being turned into a bad guy.  No longer can you say anything without someone accusing you of being judgmental.         
  3. The vulgarity.  Pictures, jokes and regular talk has become so perverted and profane.  I cannot believe the language and sense of humor that is so common among people in my own age bracket.  Just because we're considered to be a legal age to do and say anything we want doesn't mean we should.  My belief with almost anything in life is that, if a young person shouldn't do it, most likely an adult shouldn't either.  There are few exceptions.  Dirty jokes are tasteless whether you are 10 or 75.
  4. The accusations.  This is one of the first things that made me back away from Facebook.  When I had one good friend accusing another good friend of doing something horrible that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is not true, I had a very bad taste in my mouth.  The venom that was spewed toward an innocent victim just made my stomach turn.  And this doesn't just happen publicly, it happens in private messages.  To the extreme.  
  5. The depressing reality of the negative direction so many are going.  I can't help it.  Between seeing innocent young teens turning into provocative young women by the pictures they post, the lifestyles of some who have changed so drastically, and the comments sharing personal problems that should never be shared publicly, I often pull myself away from Facebook, feeling saddened.  Something I enjoyed so much because of the fun times it offered in the beginning, has turned into something so different.

Am I trying to strike against Facebook?  Not at all.  There are responsible users out there who keep things under control on their page.  I am not angry at Facebook.  I am aggravated at what my page has become, and my tendency to spend too much time on there.  I just don't need the extra stress of seeing so much I consider garbage, or the guilt of wasting my day clicking a mouse.

Will I still visit?  Occasionally.  My blog has a share button for Facebook and Twitter, and I have seen great things from others that have been shared.  Those will be the things I'll hope to see when I do visit.

I hope you will do a self evaluation and see if you found yourself in this post.

Are you addicted?  Here is an article that may help you to break away.

Please share your thoughts!  Is Facebook a turn-off to you?  Did you overcome spending too much time on the site?  Please share how!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Good Morning!

I started a blog hop yesterday, and would love to have you add your motivational posts-so far it's just me and my lonesome!  =)  If you have something to add, please click here!

On to the 5QF!

1. Have you set any goals/resolutions for 2013? Yes!  I do every year!  I actually posted on this the other day.  Losing weight and buying a new house are two things on my list-both of which should happen.  I'm down 30 pounds with 20 more to go!  If you would like to see a picture, click here!  

2. Have you made any travel/vacation plans for 2013? No, although I talked to my daughter about going to a ladies' retreat in Texas this spring.  Not sure if that will happen after all.  Not sure.

3. What room is never cleaned in your house?  Since we moved to a house that's about 1,000 square feet smaller than my last home, my bedroom ends up the room for storage, which makes the room hard to keep cleaned up consistently.  No laundry room to store my clothes, and no office to store my ebay stuff!

4. What food must be in your house at all times?  Coffee creamer and milk! lol

5. Are you a hugger or more of a hands off person?  I hug regularly, but get claustrophobic if I'm in tight quarters for too long.

Happy New Year!  And have a great weekend!  =)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I've Got Plenty Of Time

I'm looking with anticipation into 2013, and am excited about the things I am working on, the goals I am reaching for, and the results I expect to see!

A lot of goals seem to fall short because we feel we lack the time to work on them.

But do we really?

In 2013, we will have 8,760 hours to work on whatever things we are hoping to accomplish.

When it comes to time, if most of us were honest, it isn't time that we lack-it's motivation.  There are some people who do run a very tight, busy schedule, but then there are many of us who give in to the feelings of the moment. Instead of pushing ourselves a little bit, we comfort ourselves with many evenings of just vegging out because it was a hard day at work, or a busy day at home, and we're tired.  Yep!  I'm guilty!

But maybe we have convinced ourselves that we don't have time.  Just take a closer look to make sure.

Just for an example:

A full time job with a 30 minute drive to work each way would equal  2250 hours a year-less a two week vacation.

Eight hours of sleep each night equals 2920 hours a year.

That still leaves us with 3590 hours left in the year.

Is there much we can do in 3590 hours?  Absolutely!  Because this is just a general estimate, you may have a bit more or a bit less, but you will still have many hours to work towards some of the things you want to do in life.

If you calculate your own "free" hours in the year, but are still feeling left with very little, even tho the numbers prove you wrong, you may just need some help with organizing your time in a better way.  Learning to do errands all on the same day, become more efficient in your household skills and habit, or even getting your sleeping hours on a better time schedule can make a huge difference.  I'm learning this myself, as I venture in to doing freezer cooking, so I have a freezer full of meals while cutting down cleanup time each day because of less pots and pans from preparation.  More to come on this!

So, at the beginning of 2013, look at your schedule and realize you do have time to reach goals you've set out to accomplish!

Leftover Candy Canes? A Yummy Treat!

Leftover candy canes from the holidays?  I found this Pinterest (follow me!), and made these for our church family-pretzels dipped in melted vanilla chips, with crushed candy canes sprinkled over them!

I am going to give the link where I found these-I didn't take pics of each step, so I'll give the link where I found this delicious dessert!
* The original link used a block of white chocolate, grated.  I used Wilton's Vanilla Candy Melts instead of a white chocolate block shown in her link.  These were at Walmart with the candy for the holidays, but may be in a different location since the season is heading for Valentine's Day.
Speaking of Valentine's Day, I will be sharing a chocolate bouquet or two, so be sure to stop back! It's been a while since I've added any new ones!  My bad!

And one more thing!  Are you joining my blog hop tomorrow?  If you have a motivational post to share, please stop by and share it here!  Each month will have a new theme, so please come back regularly to see what we're up to!

Snack on!  =)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Are You Doing In 2013?

Happy New Year!!!

What are you doing in 2013?  Are you like me-making a goal list and seeing what you can accomplish?  I do it pretty much every year.  I can't say I always do great, but I like making the list anyway.  =)

This year I am going to try harder to reach my goals!  I have some big ones, and I've already gotten started on one or two of them, so I didn't wait until January 1st to try to get started.

Just a few are:
1.  To buy a new house in our new town.  We own a house that we need to sell first, and then, it's house shopping for us!  I've found a few I want to look at, so we'll see what happens!  Here are a few pictures from one of the ones I really want to see:

 Nice, open space!
 Lots of elbow room!
 Master bedroom!
Master bath!  Wow!

2.  Hit my goal weight.  I'm not going to say exactly what that is, and I'm good with it fluctuating a few pounds, but I will say that I have about 20 pounds to go.  I've already lost a little over 30.  Go me!  And to keep moving in the right direction, the family joined a gym, and I can proudly say that I've had several one-hour workouts already!  Over the holidays, we've neglected the gym, but with such a strong start, I'm confident we'll be back on track real soon!

3.  See if I can't get this blogging thing down pat!  I took a looooong break from blogging, but really, I enjoy it, have already put a few years into my blog, and don't want to quite give up yet.  I want to focus more this year!  Less surfing, more purpose online!

Changing my theme from mostly light-hearted stories, into a blog that covers more areas of family life, and a little bit of pastoring life, and some of this and that.  So we will see!  I have 38 followers thru Google right now-I'd love to make a short goal of climbing to 100!  Care to help me out?  =)

What about you?  What are one or two of your biggest goals for 2013?  Leave me a comment and let me know!  Then stop back on January 3rd and join my Motivational Blog Hop, or read the entries!