take ten::what makes my life easier…

this past week, i’ve been making a real effort to focus on ‘getting it all together’. things like keeping the house relatively neat & tidy, making dinner for my family every night (or at least most nights – let’s not get too crazy!!), keeping my blog updated AND keeping up my momentum with promoting and growing my jewelry business. in the past, at least one of these things was put on the back burner in order to accomplish another. so i’m working on finding tips & tools to make it easier to stay on top of all of it. here’s a few things i’ve come up with:


1. pampered chef. not necessarily the tools and pots and pans and such – though they are awesome. i’m talking about the cookbooks. i’ve got about 4 of the recipe books {especially the “29 minutes to dinner” series} and they are fab.u.lous! the meals are easy to put together and i don’t think there’s been one recipe i’ve tried that hubby didn’t like!

2. ….which leads me to meal planning. i’ve just started working on weekly meal plans. i take out my pampered chef cookbooks, choose the meals for the week and make my grocery list accordingly. and i found – quite by accident – that it works really well when i make enough of one meal during the week so there are leftovers for the next day. one less day of cooking but we still haven’t wasted money by ordering out. hugely important now that hubby’s building his business!

3. i don’t know if you’ve gotten the whole picture of my strengths & weaknesses as of yet BUT housekeeping definitely isn’t a strength. i received martha stewart’s homekeeping handbook as a gift and i was happy to have it! so when my friend shared with me this little shortcut, i was overjoyed: windex. for cleaning the microwave. spray it on, shut the door and come back a half hour later. all the caked on stuff left by those who forget to clean up after themselves wipes right off. easy peasy!


4. AND……kaboom foam-tastic. seriously. it’s magic. well water and bar soap do not a good combination make. we’re talking soap scum so hardy that you need a paint scraper to remove it. {sadly, that isn’t an exaggeration.} again: spray, wait and wipe. love it! {no, i promise this is not a sponsored post. unfortunately i have not received any financial compensation. nor have i received a lifetime supply of windex or kaboom. however, should the powers that be read this post and wish to send it to me, i’m certainly open to either! *grin*}

5. freecycle.org. i’ve amassed quite a lot of ‘stuff’ over the years. add to that clothing my son has outgrown, toys he no longer plays with….that leaves me with not enough room in a small house with no storage space. i don’t always have the time {or inclination} to drive 20 minutes to my nearest goodwill. freecycle lets me recycle my items from the comfort of my own home to someone in the area who will come pick it up!! super cool. and i’ve also gotten my share of awesome stuff!

6. keeping the household stuff together allows me the time to keep my blog updated. but not necessarily in real time. so i schedule my posts. i used to feel like i was cheating by writing my posts ahead of time. but they’re still my words. and if i didn’t write when i have time, i’d have maybe one post a week if i was lucky. part of  my new time management schedule.

7. also great for my blog is microsoft’s live writer. blogger isn’t really as optimal as wordpress IMHO. but i have no desire {at present} to move my entire blog. live writer gives me a bit more formatting flexibility than blogger alone and i can do it from my desktop – no need to log in, etc. i like.

8. i also like picnik. let’s face it. i’m a horrible photographer. even my most casual of photos requires editing. picnik takes care of that 1-2-3 and it also has some really cool effects. i like it so much that i upgraded to premium! and if you know me, you know i NEVER pay for something i can get for free!


9. one huge resource i have and use repeatedly: my husband. he is incredibly understanding, he is supportive and will help me with whatever i ask. that’s huge. i’m a very lucky woman. and no, he’s not available for rent or purchase ;-) {and yes, i edited that photo in picnik}

10. and the most important tool for managing family, home and business? grace. God’s grace is unending and given freely. we, as wives and moms and business owners, are not so quick to allow ourselves the same grace. but i’m learning :-)

share your tips and timesavers with me! what makes your life easier?

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