Menu Planning Simplified

Throughout the years, I’ve tried different kinds of menu planning. Or no planning at all. I keep returning to this method, though, because it’s simple.

Each day of the week has a “theme.” I write it down. Then, depending on how life is at the time, I either plan out a weekly (or monthly) menu, or we just know that Monday is Mexican. Over the years, the “theme” has varied. Some times, I have enjoyed setting the table to incorporate elements of our theme. Other times, it’s just get it prepared quickly. We prepare most of our own food at home, but you can adjust this to whatever works best for you at this point in your life.

Here’s our current “theme.” My children helped me create the themes using alliteration, and they also collaborated for our favorite types of meals.

Special Sunday (oftentimes a “fancier” meal)
Mexican Monday (or any south of the border meal)
Thai Tuesday (Asian-style food)
Wacky Wednesday (leftovers or who knows!)
Throwback Thursday (meals from my childhood, most often soups and casseroles)
Fun Friday(variety of pizzas)
Smorgasbord Saturday (leftovers)

This is a busy week, so here’s our menu this week:
Sunday – Gourmet pizza and salad
Monday – Quesadillas(I’d planned to make tostadas but nobody was very hungry)
Tuesday – Curried veggies and rice
Wednesday – I’ll make some kind of soup using any leftover veggies and rice
Thursday – Bean soup and cornbread (ah, the memories of my mom’s “bean pot” and the beans simmering all day)
Friday – English muffin pizzas
Saturday – Raid the ‘fridge!

I also write out our breakfasts. At the beginning of the school year, we sit down and write favorite meals. Then I put them on a rotation. The complexity varies on how much time I think I’ll have in the morning. A great thing about having a weekly breakfast menu is that the kids can start things if I’m delayed for some reason. They are breakfasts they enjoy, can make, and are inexpensive (i.e., no frozen things or boxed cereals). This week’s breakfast menu is:
Sunday – Brunch
Monday – Oatmeal and Toast
Tuesday – Yogurt Parfaits
Wednesday – Eggs and Toast
Thursday – Smoothies
Friday – Oatmeal

Create a Blissful Bedroom!

When you walk into your bedroom, how do you feel?

Relaxed? Peaceful? Blissful?

Or do you feel stress or maybe not even want to be in the room?

When working with clients, I like to begin with the bedroom. It’s probably the most important room in your house, and it’s often the most neglected. Your bedroom is where you rejuvenate and recharge. Did you know that the quality of your sleep begins with the quality of your bedroom?

Your bedroom should be your oasis: a place to relax and sleep (and be close to your partner). It’s best to keep it as paperless as possible—pay your bills and do the work you bring home elsewhere. Keep it tidy—make your bed and don’t have clean clothes waiting to be put away. Keep it as clutter free as possible.

As you may know, I live in an old house (built over a hundred years ago). My bedroom is “strange.” I have a sloped ceiling on one side, mirrored closet doors (added in the 70s?) on the opposite side, on the long wall, I have two windows opposite the door. When we blended our households, the room had a gorgeous set of furniture. Big furniture: a king-sized bed with headboard, a seven-foot dresser, another upright dresser, two three-drawer nightstands. And a recliner! Oh, and a couple of bookcases. It was chock-full of stuff. We wanted a calm, serene bedroom. So we created our bliss!

We repainted the room, painting the walls sage green, a color we both find peaceful, and the ceiling white. We sold the gorgeous dark wood furniture and replaced it with a European-style bedroom set, low profile and birch-wood color. We now have a large open space where the bed and dressers stood. I’ve added a “faux” wood stove, a small fountain and bamboo plants. Since I didn’t want to invest in changing the closet doors, an easy solution was to cover them with soft-fabric curtains. Closed, they give the allusion of a door. I can easily pull open the curtains to access the closet or use the mirror. We donated boxes and boxes of things we previously thought we needed. (I had quickly discovered how easy it was to fill up seven feet of dresser space, plus a three-drawer night stand!) The result? An open, peaceful space.

Now, my bedroom transformation took quite a bit of time and effort. How can you quickly create a blissful bedroom in less than half an hour before bedtime tonight? Let me show you!

First, find some empty laundry baskets and containers (boxes or baskets will work).

Next, set your timer, your kitchen timer, your phone timer, whatever you have. Set it for 15 minutes.

Start by gathering up any dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper. If you have clean clothes, put them in a laundry basket if they’re not in one already. Then pick up anything on the floor and put it in a container. Next, put anything that’s on your nightstand (if you have one) or dresser in another container. You want to have at least the area around your bed cleared off. If your bed isn’t made, then quickly make it before your 15 minutes ends. Does your room look better?

Tomorrow, resolve to 1) Make your bed as soon as you’re up and 2) Put away your pj’s and any other clothes. Your room will look nicer. Open the blinds or curtains and let the light in! You can also open your window for a few minutes while you make the bed to air out your room.

Before bed, set aside another 15 minutes to put away as much as you can. Start with any clean laundry and put it all away. When your clean clothes are put away, then move onto one container. Work in 15 minute increments until everything in the containers is put away. Make a commitment to making your bed and putting away any clothes.

To create bliss:

  1. Keep dirty clothes in a hamper.
  2. Fold clothes and hang on hangers in your laundry area and then immediately put them away when they are in your room—don’t leave clean clothes stacked on a chair or in a laundry basket. (If I don’t have time, I will leave my laundry basket with folded clothes on top of my dryer until I have the time to put my clothes away).
  3. Make your bed every day.
  4. Keep clutter out of your bedroom: its purpose is a space for you to rejuvenate and sleep.

It’s Not the Size of the Wardrobe

One of my guilty pleasures is watching vintage instructional films. Sometimes they are just plain silly, but I often do find timely information and lessons from days past. This film, “Keeping Well Dressed,” is one of those. To my astonishment, I have learned that some people don’t mend their clothes–even if it’s a button–but discard them!

It’s the little things that keep our clothes looking nice, whether a lovely vintage garment or a modern (and cheaply-made) piece. Clothing manufactured now isn’t intended to last; however, even a poorly made reproduction or modern outfit isn’t inexpensive. One way to stretch our budget is to care for what we already have.

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How to get a good Middy haircut or baby or any you wish

Knowing how to phrase it in your stylist’s language helps! I’m taking this with me today when I go for my haircut.

Imitation of Vintage life

This image is a little crooked but we can’t complain, just thank the wonderful gal who uploaded this gem of a book. Thank you wherever you are.  Okay so as you may know I attend cosmetology school. I’m also mildly obsessed with vintage hairstyles, fashion, and makeup.  I’m hoping that with the combination of my interests I could help someone out in obtaining the perfect haircut for recreating vintage looks. These tips could actually be used by anyone who wants a little help in communicating with a stylist. Lack of communication is the biggest hurdle in not getting the cut a client desires. The breakdown can be either in expression or listening. Second biggest problem I’ve seen is clients wanting a hairstyle not a cut. I don’t know how many times I see a client bring a photo of a hairstyle they’d like in and they have the same haircut…

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