Simplify your Life

I have been trying to declutter my house, desk, files, scrapbooking things, schedule, etc. This is an ongoing battle! Today I signed up for Flylady.net again because it works for me to refocus and try to motivate myself to spend a few minutes every day concentrating on one messy closet or drawer or room. Trying to develop habits to continue this is frustrating!

One of the articles I read referred to this Zen Habits blog, and I want to spend some time reading through the articles linked on it. I just wanted to post it here for others to read as well. I hope to pick up some new tips!

Advertisements

Tribute to our Heros

I just watched a touching video and wanted to share it here. The music with it is very touching also.

OrganizedHome boards closing

I’m sad. I just read tonight that my favorites boards (which I have been a member of since 2004), OrganizedHome.net and OrganizedScrapbooks.net are closing January 10th. A number of new blogs and message boards are starting up by many of the regular members of the Organized boards. Here is a beginning list of off-shoot sites.

http://theorganizedblogroll.blogspot.com/

National Crop Out Diabetes fundraiser

I want to share with you that a friend of mine is coordinating a National Crop Out Diabetes fundraiser. The event will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2008. Proceeds at each location will go to the JDRF office in the state the fundraiser is held. For more information, please visit http://www.cropoutdiabetes.org.

If you are interested in helping to coordinate a Cropoutdiabetes scrapbook event or to be a participant, please click on the picture above which will take you to the website for more information.

This is important for everyone who is touched by Type 1 Diabetes in their lives. I have a teenaged son with Type 1, and I have been a scrapbooker for 13 years. I am hoping to help coordinate one in my area. We want a CURE!

Menus 4 Moms

 

I have struggled for years with planning a menu and cooking. I was a little better at it when I was a stay at home mom, but since I work now, I’m just terrible about it! My teen boys are also a bit TOO picky, so that doesn’t help my cooking plans either.

Several months ago (maybe a year?), I found a neat website, Menus 4 Moms, that has a free weekly menu, shopping list and recipes!

menu4moms.gif

You can sign up to get this weekly email and it gives you everything you need to make meals for your family! Even though I’ve had this great resource, I have not been good about using it, and now I’m going to get busy and try it!

They also have a great area on freezer meals with lots of great articles and book resources, so that you can make several items when you have time and freeze them for nights when you are short on time. This is another plan I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS! It doesn’t even have to be overly complicated or time consuming like Once a Month Cooking, just triple the recipe you are making anyway. Eat one that night and freeze the other two for later dates. If you did this for 10 days, you would have 20 more meals in the freezer – that is a month’s worth! If you do this regularly, you can have a variety of foods in the freezer so you aren’t just eating the same 10 things on a rotating basis.

One thing I have used over the years is to get hamburger in big packages (5 or 10 pounds) and brown it all at once, let it cool slightly and put about 2 cups of browned meat into ziplock bags, flatten them and zip shut, mark with the date and freeze. This saves a huge amount of time and mess later! I can take a package of frozen meat and thaw it in the microwave for about 2 minutes and it is ready to add to spaghetti or casseroles.

Bookmarks or Favorites

For many years I used IE as my browser and had lots of favorites saved. Then I switched to Firefox about 2-3 years ago and had to start over. For a little while, I had trouble with Firefox shutting down and not working properly, so I had to switch back and forth back to IE. My bookmarks there were not as up to date as my current ones.

I found out that there isn’t a way to back up your bookmarks in Firefox like you can do in IE. Since computers do crash on occasion, I have been trying to figure out a way to back them up. Last night I found out that there are several websites that will store your bookmarks, but some of them make them open to the public. I do not want mine public! Then I found out that I could use Google Bookmarks and I could even import the ones I had in Firefox! This was a big plus since I have about 400 in my bookmarks, all organized in folders. Now my bookmarks are all online, where I can use them from any computer, but they are not available to the public!

You can add “Bookmarks” to your toolbar. When you are on a page you want to add, just click the star in front of the word and it will add it! If you right click, you can assign it a keyword(s).

By assigning keywords to your bookmarks, you can locate your bookmark by displaying them either in alphabetical order or grouped by keywords. Some things I have more than one keyword assigned to it, so this is a neat feature! There are several other features I found also.

I just wanted to share this new tip and suggest that people look into uploading your favorites or bookmarks online, just in case your computer ever crashes.

You can read about it at Google Bookmark FAQs.

EDIT:  After I posted this on a message board I belong to, I was given the great instructions for backing up my Firefox bookmarks, so I want to post those directions here as well:

1.  Go to the Bookmarks pulldown, click on Organize Bookmarks.

2.  Another window pops up where you can rename, delete, put in folders, etc.  If you go to the File button, then click on Export, it will ask you where you want to save them.

3.   You can create a folder for your desktop or somewhere in MyDocuments which has all your bookmarks!

Foods

A few years ago I heard a speaker who made cooking easier. She had several mixes made up and then recipes that used those mixes to prepare different foods, which helps save time preparing meals. I found a website that has several of these mixes on it, plus other great tips! It is called budget101.com found here.

Also last week I went to a Tastefully Simple party and had the beer bread again, which is SO yummy and I ordered some. Tonight I was surfing the web about something else and came across a post that someone made their own for a fraction of the cost and it tastes just like the TS beer bread! I did a google search came up with several recipes online for this, all very similar, but the one that seemed to have the most comments that it tastes very similar to TS’s is found at AllRecipes.com at this link. I can’t wait to try it, especially with all the different variations like cheesy, garlic, dill, onion, Italian seasoning, and even sweeter versions such as brown sugar & cinnamon, applesauce or 1 tsp. of vanilla & 1 tsp. of ground allspice!

It’s getting to be fall when we have more soups or get togethers with appetizers, and this bread is so yummy with dips!