Monday, December 31, 2007

Menu Plan Monday 31 Dec 07 & goal-setting

Hello everyone

This is the last day of 2007 and I am so excited about what lies ahead.

Organise your Home
I've just launched something to help ANYBODY get their home organised and keep it that way LOL :) Read about the Organise your Home course here and if you blog about it, you can win a $25 gift card to Stacks and Stacks!

In a few hours time, my mother returns to Port Elizabeth after her week with us and it'll just be the two of us again. And then I'm going to prepare my gorgeous new planner!

Dion and I usually have supper on New Year's Eve and then we set our joint goals for the year ahead. This year we did that on Christmas night so tonight we're going to a movie. There are a lot of FUN goals this year like travel, date nights, etc.

My business and personal goals are all set too - I don't mind telling you that while I have BIG goals, I'm going to be working less. I absolutely believe in working smarter and not harder :)

I'm also going to be spending less time on blogging! Did you set any blogging goals? Do you want me to share my process later this week?

Menu Plan
Anyway, let's go onto this week's menu plan. I didn't do one last week and I must say I'm feeling more in control this week now that I have a plan up!

I checked my weight this morning and I'm the same as before I went on holiday/ Christmas eating so am feeling great!

Stirfried beef, veggies and rice

Dion's night

Wednesday (first day back to work)
Baked potatoes and spicy kidney bean sauce

Chicken pasta

Hamburgers and chips

So how are all of you doing? Are you set for 2008? What are some of your goals?

By the way, have you downloaded your Organise your Life e-book yet? It's free!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Time for another contest - $25 Stacks & Stacks voucher

This is a static post - please scroll down for new posts! Thank you :)

I've just launched my new Organise your Home e-course - 12 weeks to an organised home - and I'm holding a contest to promote it.

If you want to win a $25 gift certificate to the Stacks and Stacks store, all you have to do is blog about the e-course and link to this page to enter. Then come back here and enter your name and blog in the Mr Linky!

This competition is open for 2 weeks and closes on Friday 11 January.

Happy blogging!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Organising children's toys

You can teach your children to be organised. The earlier you start, the earlier you can delegate :)

While they're organising, they're learning valuable life skills. They can learn to sort, to return toys to their homes, to make decisions while decluttering.

What to use
ice-cream tubs
clear shoe bags
wastepaper baskets - for tall, thin items like swords, cricket and baseball bats, etc.
ziploc bags -for puzzle pieces, legos, etc

Make things easy. If you use a basket without a lid, it is easier to put things away.
Label clearly with pictures.
For smaller children, use the bottom bookshelves and free-standing storage bins on the floor.

Declutter regularly. Now is the perfect time right after Christmas to go through those rooms and get rid of the old stuff :)

How do you stay organised with your children's toys?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas everybody

My table's set and everything is ready for Christmas lunch tomorrow so all that's left is for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas

Have fun, eat lots and don't forget to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winner, lovely surprises, menus and prayer requests

Remember the organising your craft contest I announced last Friday?

Well, the winner is Laura from Laura Williams' Musings for her excellent post on using plastic sleeves to organise your scrapping.

I have already emailed Laura her gift code to spend R100 in my store so she can get something to help organise or improve her life!

Well done, Laura :)

Lovely surprises
I finished writing and putting together a new e-course to help you organise your home, step-by-step, for 12 weeks.

I haven't launched it yet because I'm waiting for January so imagine what a lovely surprise I got when someone already bought it from the store.

That's when you know something is needed, isn't it?

Menu Plan Monday
Well, we are still on holiday in Port Elizabeth.

The weather messed us around yesterday because there is a thing here called Art-in-the-Park. It's in St. Georges Park next to the cricket grounds where our boys will play the West Indies today. It is lovely and crafty because everything has to be handmade. We love going because we shop and eat lots!

Anyway, we'd planned to go after church but when we exited the church, it was raining buckets and continued in that vein the whole day. Of course, AITP is automatically cancelled and we're not here next Sunday to go! Grrr - on the bright side, I've saved money, right?!

Roti & curry (my sister made some for us)

Out to eat at Narai Siam - Thai place we went to on Saturday. We loved it so much

Wholewheat pitas with beef & stir-fried veggies

Angelo's - Italian place with the most DIVINE pasta ever!

Plane food - we'll be flying back to Jhb around supper time

Prayer request
Please pray for my friend, Elizabeth Hagen's daughter, Abby. She is ill in Houston! I told Elizabeth that I'd be praying; will you join me?

Have a great week everybody. Next week is Christmas!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Organising gift wrap and ribbons

Don't forget the organising crafts contest otherwise Laura is going to be one really happy crafter!

It is a normal wastepaper basket which uses the vertical space beautifully under my bookshelf (in fact, all that space was unused when we moved in here and we got those bookshelves built in)

It is neat and organised and yes, I have a thing for craft paper. I never buy Christmas gift wrap because then I'm stuck with leftovers the whole year. It sits there, torturing me because you know how I like to throw things out.

So I buy coloured craft wrap - it's cheaper and I just add a non-Christmassy coloured ribbon (or raffia) for birthday and other gifts!

I store the bows and ribbons in ziploc bags. Each bag has a separate type of gift-wrapping accessory :)

From top to bottom...
  1. Fancy clothes pegs (for holding gift bags closed and attaching a gift tag)
  2. Closed ribbons (thin)
  3. Open ribbons (thin)
  4. Ribbon (medium)
  5. Gift tags
  6. Material ribbon
  7. Bows

I'm very curious. How do you store your gift-wrap and accessories?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tackling computer clutter

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I've told you before about my to-do lists and since I've been doing really well, getting through my frogs easily every day, I have quite a lot of time on my hands.

So I made a list of things I don't really need to do but would like to and that's what I tackled today.

1. I decluttered about 20 of the web links in my favourites and organised those that were left into 3 categories - time management (that's the main subject I coach on), blogging and other business resources.

2. I went through my 34 sub-folders in my inbox and decluttered those down to 15. Sometimes we get stuck into one way of doing things. When things change, we need to change our way of doing things.

For instance, when they first contacted me about writing for Clutter Control Freak ---->> I kept all those emails agreeing to this and that, the how-tos and so on. Now that I know what I'm doing, I don't need that folder. See?

here is my after

What do you need to get rid of that you're holding onto?

3. I went through 234 emails in my Sent Items and decluttered those right down to....... not 150....... not 50..... but 13!

If you're wondering, I have 3 emails in my inbox (it is usually empty-ish like that so I don't have to declutter that very often)

I'd love to know how many emails, favourites and subfolders you have. Go on - share in the comments.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Menu plan Monday, 2 contests and virtual organising day

1. Did you see the contest on my blog?
I'm calling anyone who crafts to come help me with solutions.

2. Suzanne is also holding an Organizational Brilliance contest on her blog and ONE commenter will win a bag of organising goodies from your three favourite organisers - Suzanne (the computer & email whiz), Ariane (the ADD and ADHD specialist) and me (office and paper queen)!


I can't believe it - another week gone! But the good news is this week I go on holiday so we're only cooking for 2 days :)

This is going to look very fact, I totally forgive you if you think you have deja vu...but I have to empty the fridge and freezer. I hate wasting money and I don't want the food to go off...

Stir-fried chicken, veggies and rice

Baked potatoes with lentil sauce (we didn't have it last week - decided to have takeaways)

Flying to Port Elizabeth. Still have to pack (and it's 9 days) but at least everything is planned and you all know that saves you time, right?!

3 hours planning = 1 hour action

BTW, I now coach on how to become a professional organiser. We can work virtually or in-person - whatever floats your boat ;) Contact me if you're keen.


Do you know Elizabeth Hagen?

Elizabeth is also a professional organiser but she's based in South Dakota!

She also does a lot of public speaking so I joined her VIP circle earlier this year to learn more from her and I'm loving it!!!

Now, what are you doing on Jan 18th?

Read more about Elizabeth's virtual organising day and sign up especially if one of your goals is to get organised next year :) You get bonuses if you sign up on or before 10 Dec!

Organising craft supplies & A CONTEST

I received a question from a reader, one which I received many times before when I ran the virtual organising competition.

If you're interested, I have an Excel spreadsheet (you'll love this, Suzanne) with content topics for blogs, articles and my weekly tips newsletter. One column has the topic, the next has date published, the next has blog/ article/ weekly tips.

All the questions from the virtual organising competition went on the spreadsheet and I've been slowly blogging my way through the questions. If a question is suitable for my weekly tips, then I will write about it there and not blog it.

Anyway, I said all that to say.... a couple of people asked about organising craft supplies so when this question was emailed to me, it moved it up the list. I can now mark the email as done and cross something off the blog to-do list :)

Do you have any tips on organizing my craft stuff? I'll go thru your archives to check. I mostly have quilting, scrapping, and stamping collections...............

First, a disclaimer - I'm not a crafter so forgive me if my ideas seem silly ;)

Use bookshelves to organise rolls of material.

I have blogged before about how I organise all my beads so I will start by saying that if you craft with small items like beads, etc, use ice-cube trays to organise them.

Ziploc bags are great for organising medium-sized items and these buddy drawer systems (you might call it something else, depending on where you live) are great for organising scrapbook paper & supplies, quilting squares, stamping stuff, etc.

They are stackable so you can make them as high as you want.

The key is to (1) get the appropriate size (these come much smaller too) - I like this size because this one is for organising my paper and (2) label each drawer.

Plastic drawer system

aerial view - my in-tray usually sits on the top

Calling all crafters
How would you answer her organising question?

  1. Blog your answer with pictures from your crafting area. Please link back here so your readers can see the other solutions too.
  2. Come back here and link up your post.
  3. The contest will stay open for one week until 14 December 2007, 6pm South African time.
  4. The winner gets a R100 gift voucher to my store (divide by 7 to get US$). Every other participant gets a 20% off gift voucher.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A new, green use for old business cards

If you have old business cards lying around your home or office and they're blank at the back, use them to jot down your tasks.

This works very well if you're a visual person like me (you'll learn about your organising personality in 7 easy steps) and if you like to recycle stuff.

Here are some pictures that I took from **Angela's post on all the planners she's ever used (by the way, Angela, I loved this post).

**Angela Yee wrote "I'm Not Neat But I'm Organized!"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What's your personality type?

I was just surfing Janet Barclay's site and found an interesting article

Calendars and your personality type

I got all excited and scanned the article for my type (I'm an ESTJ) but sadly, no ESTJ's took the survey :-(

So tell me, what's your type?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - 3 Dec & Christmas update

Hi everybody

I realised yesterday that there are only 10 days before I go on holiday! Woohoo!!

The Christmas cards are all done but not all the Christmas presents. All the smaller gifts for work colleagues are done (so easy with my beaded gifts). It's just worked out that this year because I can't get to the shops, I've had to be creative and resourceful, and so I'm doing some bookmark and keyring sets for all the ladies.

(Anybody have some good ideas on what to get a guy who has everything and really expensive tastes? I know I can't compete so I want to go really thoughtful/ quirky)

I must say, they turned out really pretty because I used really expensive glass beads (you won't see them on the site - too expensive and heavy for me to make in bulk like with the others) so they look like I bought them in a fancy shop. And presentation is key! I put them in gorgeous gift boxes - unfortunately, I am not showing you the pictures just in case a miracle happens and one of my family members reads the blog :)

I actually like the wrapping of gifts more than the gift itself; it's the same as setting a beautiful table rather than the food :) And this year I am hosting Christmas lunch again - yesss!!! I really like to have it here so I can play with table settings and colours, and serviettes, and so on...

Anyway, back to the menu

I made my own version of Chicken Spaghetti yesterday - recipe below.

Mimmos - yes!!!! Been craving that creamy pasta for weeks now!

Stir-fried chicken, veggies and rice - haven't had stir-fry for about 4 weeks so yum :)

Marcia's chicken pasta (recipe below)
Baked potatoes topped with spicy lentil sauce

Hot dogs and chips

Marcia's chicken pasta
  • 200g onion
  • 50g mushroom (I would have put more but that's all there was)
  • 410g tin of tomato, chilli and onion mix (use normal t&o if you don't like it hot)
  • 400g chicken mince/ cubed chicken
  • 1 tsp italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp garlic & chilli/ garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 800g cooked pasta (whichever shapes you like)
  • about 350 - 400 ml white sauce (salt, flour and milk)
  • cheese for the top
  • Fry onion in olive oil
  • Add chicken, garlic, salt and pepper
  • Add mushrooms and tomato
  • Add all the herbs and spices you want
  • when the chicken mix is thoroughly cooked and smelling like an italian kitchen, add the white sauce and mix
  • Then add the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour into a greased casserole dish (or use some Glad baking paper to line the dish - no mess!), top with cheese and bake until golden brown and bubbly
  • I baked in a preheated 150 degree oven (300 F) for about 10 - 15 minutes (don't you love how precise I am?!). I stay in the kitchen and watch it so I'm not sure of exact times - sorry!
  • Serves 4 adults
If you're on Weigh-less, 1 serve = 2 medium fat protein (chicken and cheese), 3 complex carbs and 2 veg.

For more delicious menus, visit Laura, the MPM host.