Sunday 10 January 2021

Life Organization Series- Meal Planning

 For the month of January I will be running a life organization series that will give you simple ideas to keep your life running smoothly.  I know that even with a pandemic happening, life goes on and sometimes things can feel out of control or disorganized.  I am hoping that this series will help with that.  I want to share some of the things that work well for me to keep my household running smoothly.

The first thing I am going to talk about is meal planning.  Meal planning has been an extremely impactful part of my life.  In general, I don't feel particularly energetic at the end of my day.  During the week I don't have to spend time or energy choosing what we are going to eat for dinner.  I have already done that work and it really makes my evenings run smoothly.  Planning is easy and only takes me 15-20 minutes a week.

Step 1:

I take a look at what I have on hand.  It is important to me to use up anything that may be expiring soon or going off.  I like to reduce food waste.  At this point, however, I don't usually have much left in the fridge.  I have learned what we use and I pretty good at purchasing only what we need.  

Step 2:  

I make my grocery list.  I try to only purchase things when they are on sale, with the odd exception.  I look at the grocery flyer and find out what is on sale.  I write out my grocery list by category.  I used to write my list by aisle, but they have recently changed things up on me!

Step 3:

I decide on meals according to the ingredients that I will have on hand.  It can help if you have a master list of the meals that your family enjoys.  I do try new meals, but for the most part I pick from our family's master list.

Step 4:

Decide which days to put the meals on.  I always look at our calendar in case we have something going on that will make it difficult to do meal prep that is more involved.  For example, I host a Zoom book club on Monday evenings.  This means that I need to get my kids to be early.  On Mondays, I choose quick and easy meals so that I can serve dinner early.

Meal planning is so simple and it really takes the pressure off of me during the week.  It is a 15 minute investment of time that can really change how you feel about feeding yourself and your family.  There are a few simple things that you can do to help make this process even easier:

  • Make a master meal list.  Write down meals that your family enjoys.  Ask your family what their favourite meals are.  Use the list to help you plan when you are feeling stuck.
  • Plan a theme night.  On Fridays we always have chicken fingers and fries for supper.  It isn't a culinary masterpiece, but by Friday I am so sick of cooking.  It gives me a break and my kids love it.  Saturday mornings are for cereal which is something I don't serve during the week.
  • Feel free to swap your meals around if you need to.  If you forgot to take out meat for supper, swap it with another meal on your list.  There are no hard and fast rules to meal planning.  It is simply framework for you to work with.
Happy meal planning, friends!


Tuesday 5 January 2021

Winter Capsule Wardrobe- 2021

 This capsule wardrobe is the smallest I have ever made for a full season.  We are still living in a pandemic, however and we don't go out or socialize.  This means that I need less from my wardrobe.  I have chosen to create a wardrobe that is simple, comfortable and suits our pandemic life.  I am hopeful that with the vaccinations coming, we will be able to resume some of our normal activities by late spring or early summer.  Maybe my clothes can be more interesting at that time.  Until then, my casual and comfortable capsule wardrobe will work just fine.

My wardrobe consists of 13 pieces:

3 tees:

6 sweatshirts:

4 pants:

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Sunday 3 January 2021

2021- Word of the Year and Goals


I chose the word build for my word of the year.  2020 was challenging in ways that most of us were not expecting.  During the pandemic I worked on skills that I had learned in the past.  I figured out skills that were useful for my mental health, for our family finances and for the overall happiness of our little family.

The most important thing that I did in 2020 was undertake a strength workout challenge.  I made the decision in October to complete 82 strength workouts before the end of 2020.  This averaged to 5 workouts per week.  My mental health had been suffering and I was tracking my mental health so that I could figure out what tools would help me feel content.  What I discovered was that on days where I had worked out, particularly on days where I had done a strength workout (walks don't produce the same results for me), I felt happier and didn't experience extreme lows.

The results spoke for themselves.  Short, intense strength workouts do wonders to improve my mental health.  This year, I vow to build on that.  I plan to complete a minimum of 4 strength workouts a week.  I also plan to complete a minimum of 4 cardio workouts (including walking) and a minimum of 2 stretching or yoga workouts.  I want to feel strong, both mentally and physically.

The other skill I plan to build on is strengthening and maintaining a good morning routine.  This is a habit that I easily fall out of, but it is so beneficial when I keep it.  I am an introvert.  I enjoy spending time alone.  This year, I have felt like I am never alone.  My kids and I are always together.  My oldest is doing virtual school and we have been avoiding pretty much all social contact.  I love being with my family, but I still crave time to myself.  My evenings are spent plugging away at my school work or with my husband so I am still not getting restorative alone time.

When I get up early and have time to myself before my kids are up, I am happier and my day runs smoothly.  I love the way the day feels when I get time to myself in the morning.  The problem lies in the fact that I hate rolling out of bed, so I often avoid getting up until the last minute.

I acknowledge that I don't ever feel like jumping out of bed, even on days when I have had ample sleep.  I am never going to feel great getting up early, but it certainly sets a much more positive tone for the day and helps me feel prepared.  This is worth it.

I am going to ease into my morning routine, especially since the holidays have been full of late nights.  I plan to have my routine in place by February and then I plan to keep it going all year long.

Did you set any intentions for 2021?  I would love to hear them!