Meal Planning for Health and Sanity



Chapter Sixteen:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“This required fuel for daily living has the power to take my focus off priorities, cause me to overspend, and steal my time.”
“With a plan, food take its proper place in our households – and that’s a healthy necessity and an enjoyable part of the day spent with those important to us.”
The big one for me:

 “Is it possible we have elevated food above the position God intended?  I believe he wants us to enjoy food – otherwise, we wouldn’t have pizza and brownies.  But it was never meant to dominate our days and checkbooks with overindulgence and unnecessary time and money spent running to the store or through fast-food establishments.”  (AMEN!)



 Next week on our Getting Read – Conversations that Spark Change Conference Call, we are talking with Jane Delaney one of the co-founders of eMeals and she will share with us not only ideas for meal planning, but how to keep your kitchen the heart of your home without losing your mind!  I can’t wait.  


(If you missed my email blast last week, they have a great code – 30% off any meal plan using code:  CYBER.  They have dinner plans as well as add on’s for breakfast too – making meal planning even easier!)

If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest doing so.

Save 30% with code Cyber


Oh, and just to get you started thinking about Thanksgiving, here is a yummy recipe for you to add to your collection from eMeals!


Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Do you have a meal plan system already working?
  • What is your biggest struggle with meal planning, time involved, coming up with ideas, or picky eaters?
  • Does cooking come to you as a natural, fun thing, or a tedious and time consuming task?
  • If you have a system that works, please share with others, this is an area that is troublesome for many.
  • Do you only plan dinner, or are you also in a routine to plan breakfast and lunch?
  • Are you able to grocery shop and get all your items together in one trip to avoid wasted time later? 

The Heart of the Home



Chapter Fifteen:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“An organized kitchen helps me focus on what’s important, instead of being mentally drained by a mess.”
…I’m discouraged from starting anything….. It just takes too much mental energy for me to overcome clutter.”
“Not only does clutter drain energy from me, but there is no room for anything beautiful when there’s stuff all over my counters.” 


The big one for me:


“Allow yourself to envision your ideal purpose for your kitchen”

I think one of the areas that I can actually keep somewhat clean and organized is my kitchen, but I know this is an area which can be very stressful for most families.  I am fortunate that I have a large space in our kitchen and it also has an eating area and it is connected to a family room.  I love the open space and ability to have everyone in the room while I am cooking or preparing other things in the kitchen.

But it does create a ‘larger’ space for junk to congregate too, especially with my older kids.  They come in and drop their backpacks, papers, computers, phones, etc.  You get it!  My goal I guess it to come up with a plan to show them where they can put their items without clogging up my nice island.  In fact, we just put in a new counter top, and I love to see the counter top – so coming up with a drawer, or area for them is better than for me to continuing nagging them!

I am pretty good with organizing food and keeping a pantry that is fairly easy to navigate.  Is that a struggle for you?

Don’t get overwhelmed with all the tasks that Glynnis lists in this chapter to cover.  You can take one or two this week and add a few for the next few weeks, allowing time to sort through areas that are a concern for you.  I do love her tips:

Invest in a few really good kitchen items, and you will find you need less – so true!

Using a basket on the counter for odd and end items to help them find a place.

Keeping a permanent marker to date food – this one is a MUST for me, I freeze a lot of leftover items and my worst nightmare is opening the freezer and finding stuff that doe snot have a label.  I have no idea what it is and it will then likely be left unused.

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • What is your vision for your kitchen?
  • Can you provide a place for your family members to place things and then gently train them to use those spaces?
  • Does simplifying your kitchen with less spark an interest?  How can you take away some of the items that may have been bought with a sense of providing an ‘easier’ way to do things, but ultimately just took up space and time cleaning up?
  • Can you take some time this week to clear out a pantry, cupboard or other area which has been haunting you? 

Taming Technology – the Big Beast




Chapter Fourteen:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“I want to work smarter and consider who technology can assist, not hinder, my mission in life.”

Keeping it in its place (technology) as a tool, not a  temptation, takes work.  Yet its potential for keeping us on track and efficient is worth the effort.”

“We need less consumption of technology and more unplugged activities, like reading and getting into nature.”

The big one for me:

“Could an inability to sustain focus be hindering your ability to bring order and balance in your life?”

“Even though it may seem like you are saving time by multitasking you’re not as efficient or effective as you might think.”

 I am the biggest multi-tasker out there – seriously!  I think I used to brag about it, but I began to realize that it is not the best thing I could be doing.  I shared more on the dangers of moms multi-tasking in this blog post.  I do feel that often times my tasks take longer because I am trying to do more than one thing at a time, resulting in less effective concentration and not truly being present with the task at hand.  

I find it extremely hard to sit on hold, for example and not start another task while waiting.  This happened just yesterday as I was waiting on hold for the airlines…….I was waiting and then decided to start another task and then when the operator came on for me to choose a prompt to direct my call, I missed it.  So I had to wait and listen to it all over again.  This happens a lot.  I hate to admit, but sometimes I even get disconnected and will end up having to call back – completely wasting my time!

I could certainly use some help with digital planning and I loved Glynnis’ tips here.  I have a simple to-do list, but it could get more specific and I could break down tasks into different groups.  My husband is very effective with his to-do list, something I have “put on my to-do list” to have him show me what he does! LOL

I do love having the Apple system for our family – combining all our family schedule together and using iCal for lists, calendars and more.  It really is helpful for a family our size and easy.

There are many more suggestions to conquering computer tasks, email and tricks, make sure you highlight this section!

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Do you set aside a specific time each day to check email?
  • What area of technology is your biggest ‘Beast’ right now?
  • Are a multi- tasking mama?   Did that section touch your heart in a way where you need to make some changes as it did mine?
  • What is one goal you can set for yourself from today’s reading?

I Used to Be So Organized Book Study – Week 5




Week Five Reading Assignment:

Read Chapters 14, 15, 16

I will be posting my thoughts on Chapter 14 on Tuesday,  Chapter 15 on Wednesday, and Chapter 16 on Thursday.  

I want to say a big thank you for those who have carried the conversation on the private Facebook page during the week.  I was just a bit overwhelmed and trying to prioritize my family during this emergency situation with our dog.  I will let you in on a secret…… after a horrible week of crying, no sleep, a poor puppy who was exhausted from 10 seizures and a frustrated mom pleading for her dogs life, a family has stepped up to re-home Riley and try to help him.  It is an amazing story and I will be posting the entire string of events when this study ends.

I thought there was no hope…..we were going to have to put our beloved dog down and out of the midst of my doubt and hopelessness…..a wonderful woman came to tell me she felt lead to care for a special needs dog and Riley’s story spoke to her….she chose him.  Okay, stay tuned for the whole story!

Here is the bible verse for this week.  


I have to admit, I have not been good at the memory verse during this study.  I went 100% with week one, and then it was lost by the wayside.  This week I will prioritize this verse and memorizing it…..I am so glad I can draw on the verse I memorized from week one anytime – most importantly during the stressful time.

I noticed many are behind and feeling guilty about not being caught up.  Please….this study may have an outline, but if it doesn’t work for you, that is okay…..I will agree to keep the Facebook page open past the end of the study, as it seems that many will be looking for support and encouragement to finish the race.  Do not sweat this stuff – this is suppose to help you all, not stress you out!  This book will hopefully be one you reference for many months and even years to come.

Stay strong ladies and encourage each other – you are doing great!


Paper Clutter



Chapter Thirteen   

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Categorizing helps to create order in your mind and your home.”

“Daily habits make a huge impact on managing clutter.  Without routine, you’ll always end up with overwhelming piles.”

“Eliminate little pieces of paper!  Let this be your organizing theme.”

I love being able to categorize my paper – pending, action & review, everyday reference, long-term reference, and vital records.  I think this over view of how to look at the paper that enters our home is very helpful.  I’ve heard this tip before and wonder why is it so hard to implement – Handle Paper Once.  I am sure you have heard it too, can you mange to do it?

For the most part I can deal with mail, school papers, receipts and the like with the one touch rule, but some other papers tend to pile on my desk.

I honestly really love the my husband has the task of the main filer in our home.  We do have an “in-box” spot and he will usually go through the box several times a month and file the papers where they need to go. 

It works best for us, to have one person be the main filer, he knows categories that he uses and he also can tell him in a quick minute usually where something is.  Divide and conquer – this is his area!

I mentioned our easy receipt box system in a previous post, it works really well for us.  We each have our own box, so we can pile it however we want and we know, if I made the purchase then I will have the receipt.

Keeping special cards is one of my “things” and it is for most people.  But realizing that we can’t keep everything is also critical in not becoming overloaded with so much stuff.  I have a small plastic box where I can toss cards, trinkets and keepsake items that are small.  Every now and again I will take a look through the box and either keep everything in it or perhaps I will decide there are things that I can part with since I’ve added more items.  I try to keep it to just one box. 

We do have boxes for each of our kids for items like cards and school work.  We will periodically go through these boxes as well and weed them out of items that we do not feel are critical to keep.

I love the day of the electronic age for storing all things like phone numbers, email address and passwords! I admit, I do still love paper – like my Weekly Household Planner as well as writing notes, but keeping stuff all in one place and having the ability to share it with others easily like with ical and contacts is brilliant!

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page

  • What systems do you use to manage paper clutter in your home?
  • What new ideas did you get in this chapter that you can implement?
  • Are you one who saves everything or are you one who tends to lose or toss items that you need later?

I apologize for not having a video today, my week has been quite unusual and getting this post even up was a major accomplishment!  🙂