In other news, I won nothing in last week's giveaway. No real surprise because I only entered about 10 or less contests. BUT Annie gifted me with a signature which you can see on my what do you value? post! Cool...
Now, onto this week's menu
Imagine my shock and horror when I saw that Annie awarded the Creative Blogger Award to me. Then I read what she wrote and it really is very sweet of her.
Marcia has lots of blogs and even a professional website full of creative ways to organize your life. She always has pictures of food she has made or organizing tips. She is very creative!
Thank you, Annie.
I browsed my Google Reader and thought that this is the ideal opportunity to introduce you to some really creative gals I stalk :) I have a thing about gorgeous photography and though I almost never comment (some of that is due to Typepad), I am always lurking. In fact, I'll let you in on a secret: I read my creative folder first every day because I love the yumminess of colour and art.
So I bestow this award on these 5 bloggers:
This is a sticky post - please scroll down for new posts!
So Shannon has this "dog days of summer" giveaway starting tomorrow and I've decided to participate.
1. If you'd like to be entered into the draw, you have to comment on this post. If you want to, you can also ask me an organising question!
2. You do NOT have to be a blogger to enter but you do need to let me have your email address. Anyone can enter since it's a digital download.
3. Comments close on Friday 12 mid-day South Africa time. So if you're international, best leave your comment now.
4. The draw happens this Friday, 27 July (incidentally, my husband's birthday :) ) so come back to check if you won!
I'm giving away a downloadable product I sell on my website called the Household Organising File. It has 25 downloadable forms spread out over 3 sections - planning, household and personal - and is guaranteed to make your life simpler, easier and more organised. Something we all need, don't we? :-)
By the way, if you do win and you've already purchased this product, then I'll give you my 12 days to goal-setting success e-book.
I have ongoing health issues, don't want to spend all day doing tasks (which it seems I do as I am slower), want to enjoy life more and have more balance.
I was wondering in general how much time you spend each day/week cleaning/ organising, etc. in your home? Although I think these things are important, I am having a tough time getting a balance and needing more time for fun & just stepping away from it all.
May I ask how you put in time for fun/hobbies each day/week? Do you limit your cleaning/organising time?
If you're anything like I am, you buy things on a regular basis like food, clothes, things for the house, etc.
In the same way, if you don't have a regular plan for decluttering, you will soon become overwhelmed with clutter.
Photogenic left a comment on my previous post asking for my best decluttering tips and I couldn't resist :)
1. I subscribe to the one in, one out theory. If you buy 3 T-shirts, give 3 away. I actually rotate - my T-shirts move from nice ones to gym ones, and then they go out!
2. Have a box somewhere (mine is in my laundry) that you can toss things in regularly.
3. Have a plan to get the stuff out of your house. My box leaves once a week with my cleaning lady. If I have to run errands like take clothes to church for the orphanage we support, or books to the bookstore, I take those bags to my car and leave them in the boot (trunk).
4. Ask yourself, "who can use this today?" instead of saying, "I might need this someday". When you focus on the benefit, it is easier to get rid of things.
What is your best decluttering tip?
Last weekend I had the wonderful idea to go to 3 bookshops (they're all the same, just different franchises within about a 2km radius) to check out the latest stuff. Clearly I am soooo led by God because there was a HUGE SALE!!!!
No time to do the happy dance because the biggest store was about to close so I had about 7 minutes to grab everything and pay. Now I am a champion shopper so I grabbed a basket, focussed and got on with the job at hand :-)
We then went to the other two stores and got some more stuff at the one place.
And came home with this...
The two baskets on the right have things I picked up at Clicks - again, led by God - some great gift sets for rock-bottom prices.
This is my good deed of the day - we detoured at Pick & Pay and these stationery sets were going for R10 each ($US1.43), marked down from R39.99 ($US5.71) which is still dirt cheap. Anyway... I decided to pick some up and give them away.
You might be wondering why the photos above are in black and white - it's because the pile of shopping doesn't look so bad that way! But here is a smaller photo, in colour.
Anyway, I tackled both those surfaces this week and I'm very happy to say all that stuff is put away or has been given away.
1. Gave a stationery set to my cleaning lady for her 3 sons and another to an underprivileged school.
2. The books I bought purely for gifts have been put away on my gift shelf (which now overflows to a second shelf).
3. The books for me have been put on my bookshelf. I must say, it felt like I was working in a library because my bookshelf is sorted by topic, so I filed under job/work, family, life balance and novels.
4. Also moved some books to my bedside table to start reading soon.
What did you tackle today?
(don't forget to check my main blog for my giveaway)
Annie tagged me and wants me to answer these 5 questions.
1. What brings tears to your eyes, just about everytime?
Reading a beautiful post where a mother writes to her child about how she loves him/ her.
Examples are Born Smiling and 6 months of Ben
2. What does your favorite outfit look like, the one that you feel great in?
I don't have a favourite outfit per se, but I have a number of favourite items of clothing.
3. What color are you looking at a lot these days?
Autumn colours - greens, browns, oranges with an occasional pink!
1. outlining my talk
I am doing a talk on 8 August and while I've spoken on the topic "Empowering women" many times before, I need to condense some things, do a proper outline and decide exactly what I want to cover this time. I also customise to the specific group so that needs to be also taken into account.
2. writing one chapter of my new e-book
I have done only 1 out of 5 chapters and I need to get cracking. As with everything else, it is the starting. Once I sit still and write the first 15 - 20 mins, I'm hooked and I can write for hours.
When I get a bit stuck, I tell myself, "what would I do if I were coaching myself?"
So today, I am going to (1) reward myself with reading blogs for 10 minutes AFTER I have written at least 30 minutes, and I will keep doing that until the chapter is done. Then (2) I am blogging it for accountability.
Those two things usually work for me!
Go visit 5 minutes for mom for more great tackles. And while you’re surfing, say hi to a blogger today!
Look what I received on Friday from the Organising Junkie herself - good mail! What a lovely thank-you card all the way from Canada. I am already using the bookmark in my Bible.
Thank you so much, Laura - this made my day. I had been having a rather blah kind of day and this perked me right up :-)
Now, onto my menu plan for the week...
Pork chops, sweetcorn & potato bake (recipe below) and carrots
M – out at work function (I’m told they will feed us)
D – chilli & rice
D – burgers
M – leftover pizza (if you have not yet tried Sandra's pizza, do it. You won't regret it!)
Pasta with chickpea & vegetable sauce, topped with cheese
Chicken burgers and fat-free chips
Sweetcorn and potato bake
4 medium potatoes
1 can cream
salt, pepper, Italian herbs to taste
Scrub the potatoes with their skins on.
Dice into fairly big squares (about 2cm).
Throw into a microwave dish with spices and microwave on high for about 5 minutes (nearly but not quite done)
Now add the can of sweetcorn and stir the whole lot, to thoroughly mix.
Microwave for a further 2 - 3 minutes until potatoes are done.
There you go - done!
If you want to be decadent, you can top with cheese. I don't, but I do add some more pepper. Yum.
For more Menu Plan Monday participants, go on over to Laura's blog.
I've been a bad commenter this last week because we had power cuts on two of the nights so I've been prioritising and doing the absolute basics, like sending out my newsletter and responding to emails. Got to practise what I preach, right?! :-)
Were you always organized? I don’t necessarily mean as you are now, but did you have lists before, or put in petrol before it’s on empty, etc…
It seems easier for someone who already is a bit organized to get more organized, but tips for someone who's not at all, seems a big mission.
So, Chandre, I'd say yes, I've always had lists (love lists!!!) and I do put petrol in before the car's empty (but I do get quite close to the end because I like living on the edge :-) )
It will take time to start implementing some organising systems in your
life - you can start building good habits in just 15 minutes a day.
And like I've said before, organising is a means to an end.
Thank you for all the comments on the "biscuits" issue last week! I wanted to try make them this weekend but the recipe I have asked for buttermilk. I've just gone and done another search again and found another recipe without buttermilk so I will try that one next weekend.
Anyway...here is my menu for the week
Brown rice with sundried tomato (Tastic - delicious!), chilli and carrots
Sweet & sour chicken with noodles - Lorie, aren't you glad I'm finally making your recipe? :-)
Baked potatoes with chickpea & vegetable sauce
Chicken nuggets, fat-free chips (french fries) and freshly-sliced tomatoes
Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches and tomato soup
For more Menu Plan Monday participants, go on over to Laura's blog.
Partial or full RSS feeds?
This week Ariane changed her blog set-up and started publishing full feeds instead of partial feeds.
Now I can’t comment on Typepad blogs 95% of the time so I didn’t leave a comment but I made sure to email her and tell her THANK YOU! I’m sure she thought I was a raving lunatic.
Why should you publish a full feed?
Most people are busy and only have a certain amount of time to blog surf.
I am one of those people :-) and if I am pressed for time like I am most days, I only read the partial feeds from my Google Reader and I don’t click through to read the full feed unless I am absolutely dying to read the rest of it (mostly I don’t).
I also only click through onto a blog (even when the full feed is published) if I want to comment. I read somewhere that less than 10% of people comment and based on my own experience, I think this could be true.
When I was setting up my blogs, I chose to publish full feeds because I figured that I would rather people read what I’m writing and not comment (although those are very, very welcome and much, much appreciated) than skip ¾ of my writing through a partial feed.
I’d say that although I always click through on some blogs, I only do so for about 10% of the blogs in my Google Reader.
So what do you think?
Is anyone else having a problem with blogger where it doesn't want to let you put your cursor in the title field to type a heading? If yes, please tell me how you fixed it. Thanks!!!
Did you know you can organise your self-care?
Now and again, you need to put yourself first, even if just for a day.
Here are 13 self-care ideas:
Get out your planner and book a date with yourself at least once a month, preferably once a week or even once a day.
If you don’t schedule it, it won’t get done!
How often do you have self-care time?
1. The short answer is I don't. I am forced to be really disciplined with blog reading and commenting because otherwise nothing else in and on my business would get done. By the way, I'm two!
2. I usually surf the MPM blogs for about 20 - 30 minutes. Now I only follow the links to the blogs which are not in my google reader.
Because I'm going to read the others anyway.
3. My goal is 10 blogs every Monday. I try and pick a couple of new-to-me blogs so that I get out and socialise (don't we all like to sometimes stay in our comfort zone?!). Sometimes I get sidetracked so I don't get around to all 10 in one sitting. But then I just come back later when I have a few minutes.
4. If I find a good recipe, I have a document called "blog recipes to try" and I paste the recipe in there. When I try it, I print and put in my recipe file (if a keeper) or just delete if we didn't like.
We didn't like the pizza pancakes but we loved Sandra's pizza.