Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 23) and Operation Clean & Organize (vol 19): Weekly Menu Board (Revised)

It’s a two for one post today. I still get a number of hits for the post I wrote three years ago – Operation Clean & Organize: Vol 2 – Weekly Menu Board but I have since updated my menu board so I thought I’d update the post as well.

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Welcome to the RoL Pinterest Party. Join me every 2nd and 4th Tuesday as we link up and share how we made, cooked, baked, crafted, planned, organized, followed or created one of the pins on our Pinterest boards OR share something original that others can pin onto their boards. (New and old posts welcome.)

AND

Taming the procrastinating, ADD, mess cat within me.

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Back in August of 2011, I was looking for a weekly menu board to use in our kitchen. Thanks to Pinterest I finally found this one.

source

I liked it but it was too big and I wanted it to be weekly not a monthly menu so I decided to make my own smaller magnetic weekly menu. I spent a total of about $20 for a Board Dudes magnetic board the right size to fit on my fridge, a pack of Avery Printable Magnetic Sheets, and “Days of the Week” magnets that I found at Target in the Back to School seasonal section. (You can find similar products at Amazon – Board Dudes Magnetic Board, Board Dudes Days of the Week Magnets and Avery Magnet Sheets.)

Next I sat down and made a master list of all the meals, side dishes and veggies I normally cook. In a Word document I made four columns of labels and typed up the list of foods. I color coded the labels: main dish – blue, sides – orange, veggies – green, appointments – purple, and school lunches – red. I made sure to have a number of blank labels to fill in later as I tried new recipes. Next, I printed and cut out the labels. Lastly, I arranged the meals on my board along with a shrunken down copy of Bella’s school lunch menu.

Here’s what it looked like then.

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menu_3.JPG

It looked great and worked well for awhile but fast forward three years (and two more kids) later. I still have the same magnetic board BUT the whole magnetic food items were just too time consuming. First, we changed our diet and I had to update or delete old meals. Plus, I was often trying new recipes, which meant I had to make a new label each time. The whole thing was fun while it lasted but not realistic.

I finally got rid of the food labels and just wrote straight on the board with a dry erase marker.

Now it works perfectly. I still have my shopping list next to the board and I still keep a shrunken version of the kids’ school hot lunch menu there and make note of evenings when we have something planned. If there is a last minute change in the menu I can change it with a quick swish of my finger. (And write in “Chipotles burrito bowls.”) ;-)

It may not be as pin-worthy as my previous version and perhaps when all the kids are in school and I have more free time I can go back to using the labels but for now, it’s not realistic. Plain and simple yet functional will have to do. ;-)

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Now it’s your turn.

1. Choose your creation, share about it and snap a photo if you can.

2. In your post, link back the original blogger/idea, rather than your Pinterest pin. That way credit goes to the proper person. :-) (But feel free to add your Pinterest profile link so we can follow you!)

3. Add a link back here so others can play along.

4. If you want to use it, here is the html code for the logo:

<a href=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/?p=2157″><img title=”Revolution of Love Blog – Pinterest Party &amp; Link-up” src=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pinterest_2_medW32-300×240.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”240″ /></a>

5. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

Lastly, you can follow me on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/rol_bobbi/. :-)

The link up will be active for 10 days. Have fun!

 

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.



A Look at My 2014 Planner

I have always loved planners and have always had one. Whether I was a young girl making lists in my Hello Kitty notebook or single and working or staying at home with babies. I have had various sizes – pocket, compact, standard, and binder sized. Each year it changes a little to accommodate my needs.

Last year I posted about my home management binder, my finance binder and my meal planning binder and they have pretty much stayed the same. However, I did get rid of my old planner and started new with a Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook. It worked so well last year that I am using it again this year.

When looking for planner sheets that work for me, they must be colorful and inviting or I’ll get bored and never use my planner. I have found my favorite planner sheets from Jen at I Heart Organizing.

Here is the monthly calendar view.

I like to color code events and appointments with washi tape. I use red for special occasions and outings. Green for school. Blue for doctor and other appointments and orange for birthdays. Sometimes I will also use flags or the Martha Stewart tear drop stickers. It depends on my mood that month. Although I like it colorful, I don’t like it too busy or it just gives me a headache. LOL. ;-)

If you aren’t into washi tape, there is also this cute Masking Sticker Set. Each sheet has precut strips and dots you can add to your planner.

This is the weekly view. There is a long column for each day where I keep track of all my To Do’s. For my bookmarker I used one from my Project Life kits and punched holes with my Discbound Punch.

I bought the planner pages that came with a menu section so I could keep track of the week’s meals.

I also love the Discbound because, like a binder, you can add anything you want after you’ve punched holes in it. However, I prefer it to a binder because you can fold it back like a spiral notebook, rather than having to keep it open. I was a little concerned at first about the papers coming loose and falling out but I use thicker sheets so it hasn’t been a problem at all. For my weekly pages I use 32 lb white and I recently started using cardstock (65 lb, white) for my monthly calendars. It has worked perfectly.

I bought two packs of Martha Stewart Discbound tabs and used my own label maker for the months. I like to follow the school calendar so I go from Aug to July. With my 4 extra tabs I have faith, home, blog and projects.

 

For my dashboard, I keep flags, posts, stickers and my mommy calling cards in the pockets. To keep the sticky pads in place I added glue dots to the back. The ordered the personalized coversheet.

 On the other side of the coversheet, I added this collage of the ones I love the most.

The last page of my planner is a plastic pocket where I keep things like stamps and address labels.

This is a photo of how thick the binder is with the standard MS discs. I bought the larger silver MS discs and hated them. I tried the larger Levenger discs (2″ I think) and they worked well but it made the notebook too big. I switched to the 1 1/2″ discs and they work great. I have extra room but it isn’t too big for me.

Now, although my planner is not too big on my desk at home, it is not ideal to carry around in my purse. Last month I decided to get a small planner that I can keep in my purse to take notes while I am on the run and to keep track of my daily appointments.

I thought about getting a Filofax but it was out of my budget and I did not like the plain planner pages that came with it. Instead I bought this Lily binder in aqua from Franklin Covey.

I chose the Her Point of View planner pages.

So far it has worked well. It fits perfect in my purse. I keep track of my schedule. I have space for any To Do’s I think of away from home. And I have a blank page to jot down notes. Plus, it is so cute. ;-)

Lastly, my favorite item to go with my planners is still my traveling office. :-)

If you are looking for colorful planner pages, I also recommend The Rainbow Planner from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I have many of her smaller planner kits and they match my current planner wonderfully. If you don’t want to spend money on planner pages, you can try this one from iheartnaptime.net. Or you can check out this list of free planners put together by Jenny at Plain Grace.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. ;-)


Posted. The Most Clicks of All Time.

Hey guys, I’m trying to keep myself busy until Brian has his surgery in 2 weeks so you’ll probably see more posts from me as blogging tends to calm me. (Also on that note, join me in prayer tonight as Brian attends a healing Mass at a local Marian conference. We are praying for his physical, emotional and spiritual healing and for strength to endure the weeks ahead.)

I was supposed to post this on the first Tuesday of the month. I’m a little late but not too late to link up with Sarah over at Amongst Lovely Things. The theme today is Posted. The Most Clicks of All Time.

The post that had the most clicks ever on the blog is Baby-proofing the Fireplace Area.

I originally posted it in July of 2008 and then updated the post in March of 2012. It was so sweet to see photos in the post of the boys from years back. They recalled sweet memories. Andrew’s was taken on our deck when my brother Rob and his (then) new bride visited us from So Cal. The photo of John-Paul was taken at the house of the boys’ speech therapist. Lastly, the photo of Matthew was taken at the Pebble Beach resort where Brian and I had a lovely over night stay. Sigh. Who would have thought a simple instructional post would evoke such memories. :-) See the post and photos here.

Have a great weekend. (And thanks for the continued prayers.)

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. ;-)


21 Days to a More Disciplined Life – Days 4-7

For the next 21 Days I will be participating in Suscipio’s E-book Discussion – 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.

 

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t been able to post but I thought I’d give a quick update to my 21 Days project.

Previous posts…

Day 1: Discipline Is a Choice

Day 2: Discipline Is a Process and Day 3: Start with Small Things

 

This post covers…

Day 4 – Day 7: Focus on One Habit at a Time; Anticipate Obstacles; Be Realistic & Revisit Negative Thought Patterns

 

A favorite line…

From Day 5: “Discipline is a choice. But you can’t just say, ‘I’m going to be more disciplined,’ and then sit back and expect to see your life change. No, discipline will take work, effort, and much perseverance.”

That line matched perfectly with my devotional reading from Small Steps for Catholic Moms. It said, “When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.”

Notice it did not say I will suddenly be changed. It merely says God gives me all the opportunities (and grace) I need to change but I still need to get my butt in gear and do the work. (I knew there was a catch. ;-) ) Seriously, though. This work goes beyond just having a clean bedroom or a nice desk. It is instilling the tools I need to be disciplined in all the areas of my life whether it is homemaking, budgeting, dieting or my spiritual life.  There are still big improvements needed, but the motto is BABY STEPS.

I can see those baby steps starting to pay off. It is one thing to clean off a dresser or straighten out a corner of the room once but the real test is days later. There were numerous times I was going to lay something on a dresser or a table and my inner voice said, “Don’t’ even think about it. Go put it away NOW.” I groaned and complained but I did it. One day it may even come naturally and I won’t have a temper tantrum first. ;-)

Another fave line…

From Day 6: “Do yourself a favor when setting goals: be realistic and thoughtful about them. Even if they don’t seem quite so amazing, it’s better to set the bar lower and actually meet your goals than to set the bar too high and keep falling flat on your face.

Day 5 talked about anticipating obstacles and being prepared for them and day 6 talked about being realistic in our goals. This was good because I realized that I can set aside time each day to work on my project but it is unrealistic to think I can do  it on the weekends. My time is filled with family stuff and we are often out of the house so it just doesn’t work. Rather than having to play catch-up on Monday, I reworked my Mega Project goals so I only worked on it Mon-Fri. It may take me a little longer to finish the program but it’s what works for me and the family right now. Plus, it is better to make an adjustment than to just throw up my hands in defeat and say, “Forget it!” Believe me, I was tempted to do that a few times!

Other fave lines…

From Day 7: “…Go ahead and remove the phrase “I’ll try.’ Don’t try, do it! …’Try’ may not seem like a negative thought word, but it really is! When you use the word ‘try,’ you are telling yourself that you don’t really believe in your ability to get the job done. In your mind, you’ve already failed, and you’re accounting for your failure with your word choice.”

AND

“…Give yourself a boost by surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you, rather than people who will discourage you or point out how far you have to go. Having positive influences around you makes an amazing difference.”

Not using the word “try” seems drastic to me but I’ll admit that I often use it as a safety net or excuse…”Well, I tried” when I actually didn’t try as much as I could have.

Lastly, I’m lucky to not have negative people in my immediate surroundings. Brian is supportive and the kids encouraging. Friends are supportive but I think this project is shared more with you, my online friends. The ladies at Sucipio, especially Jen, are awesome and encouraging. They keep me going. Plus sharing this with you online keeps me going. If none of you knew I was doing this I would have quit days ago but since I promised to chronicle my progress, I am motivated to keep going. So thanks for that!

 

My Mega Project…

Okay, time to get to bed so I leave you with a quick update of my mega project.

My big project is to clean and organize my master bedroom, bath & closet.

These last few days focused on the corner of my bedroom where we have Matthew’s changing table and a bookcase. (We don’t actually use it as a changing table any longer. It is more of a shelf to hold his clothes and things.)

BEFORE

All the backpacks are from our emergency supplies for the zombie apocalypse ;-) but I could not find a shelf in the garage to fit all of them.

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AFTER

Everything was put away and I rearranged the garage shelves to fit the backpacks in there.

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I finally hung up the prints I had sitting in my closet forever. (BTW, the artist is Flor Larios. Check out her prints of Our Lady. So pretty!)  The frames I found on clearance at Target. The silhouette of Andrew’s head is an art project he did at school last year.

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We have a ridiculous amount of books in our house but Brian loooooves to read. This is just a small section of his Catholic fiction. Oh, and I still need to update the photo collage on the wall. These were from before Matthew was born.) :-)

Brian came into the bedroom the other day and he just looked and said, “Wow, everything looks so nice.” John-Paul came in an exclaimed, “It’s so pretty!” I love the happy, calm feeling it gives me to see everything neat and orderly. (And I’ll take all the calm I can get!!)  I guess there is something to all this organizing business and why they say cleanliness is next to godliness. I’m starting to believe it. ;-)

Head over Suscipio and see how others are doing on the journey. :-)

Okay, it’s getting late and I need sleep. Have a blessed night/day!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. ;-)


21 Days to a More Disciplined Life – Day 2 and 3

For the next 21 Days I will be participating in Suscipio’s E-book Discussion – 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.

 

Previous posts…

Day 1: Discipline Is a Choice

 

This post covers…

Day 2: Discipline Is a Process and Day 3: Start with Small Things

 

My favorite lines…

From Day 2:  If you want your new habits to take permanent residence in your life, then the change will have to be gradual. Making small changes over time cements new habits in a way that quick, drastic changes cannot.

From Day 3: Remember, moving in the right direction – even at a microscopic rate – is always faster than standing still. Tiny changes can add up to major differences over a long period of time.

 

My thoughts…

I think this is one of the biggest reasons I’ve failed at previous attempts to make changes in my life. I made all these grand plans and I would eventually lose interest or burn out. What I like about this book is that each day is short and to the point. You get your brief thought-provoking lesson and your inspiration and then you go and complete your assignment. Sometimes it can feel like I’m not really doing much, but her words have been sticking in my head and they come to mind throughout the day. Plus doing a little each day has eliminated the stress I’d be having with all the stuff I need to get done. I can focus on my regular mom duties and not worry that I only have 10-15 minutes to work on my project because that’s all I need to reach my goal today.

 

My Mega Project…

My big project is to clean and organize my master bedroom, bath & closet.

Monday’s task was to clear off my dresser. I walked into the room and my ADD kicked in. There was junk on the book shelf that needed to be put away, a bed that needed to be made, a basket of laundry on the floor that needed to be folded, carpet that needed to be vacuumed and my brain was going on overload as I moved from one thing to another. (I felt like that dog on the Pixar movie Up who’d randomly lose focus and yell, “Squirrel!”) I literally had to stop and tell myself, “No! Don’t start doing five things at once…and finish none of them. I have one task at hand and I’m going to get it done now.” And I did.

(Excuse the poor photo quality. It was snapped with my phone in poor lighting. It was too late and I was too tired to care. ) ;-)

Tuesday’s task was to clear off our blue chair.  My sister was laughing because it sounded funny that one of my tasks was to clear off a chair. I have a terrible habit of coming into my bedroom and placing clothes or other stuff on the chair with the intention of putting it away later. Well, do that a few times and let a few days pass and before you know it, there’s a mountain of junk on my once usable chair! But it is ready for use once more.

Wednesday’s task was to clean up the little reading corner by the blue chair but I was out of the house the majority of the day and when I got home I had a number of things to do and I never got a spare moment to clean it out. So I had to make up the time today. I did 15 minutes in the morning for Wednesday’s task and 15 minutes in the afternoon for today’s task. (I’ll cover today and Fri tomorrow or Sat.) but I did complete that corner of the room, including Brian’s desk, and it looks nice again.

 

Practical Application

For Day 3 we had to choose one bad habit that I’d like to break. Do you see those messy piles above? Okay now picture matching piles on my desk, on the dining room table, on the corner counter of the kitchen. Yeah, you are getting the idea. (My apologies to those readers who are saying, but I assumed your house was so clean and organized. No, my dear. That was my sister you were thinking about.) Those piles are less than they used to be but still too many. However, for the next 19 days I’m just going to be focusing on one section right now. My desk. It too was filled with piles and paper products and books and other random things that I have no idea how they got there.

This is an old photo but it proves what my desk looks likes at its worst. (Admittedly, it hasn’t looked THAT bad in awhile.)

So I cleared it off again but this time I gave myself a motivation. I had been looking for desk organizers for months but couldn’t find ones that I loved. Then I went to Micheal’s to spend a gift card I had and found this little tray on clearance and the round caddy on sale.

I fixed up my desk and made it look so bright and pretty that I can’t bear to let it get piled up with junk again. So I decided to break my bad habit of letting piles accumulate by first focusing on my desk. Each night for the next 19 days I’ll remove the stuff that doesn’t belong so it is tidy and ready for me the next day to do my morning devotion and go over my planner.

 

Circle of Friends – Another reason why this 21 Days has been going well for me? Because Jen at Suscipio is leading the pack and offering encouragement as we journey together. On Day 2 she posted a Prayer to the Holy Spirit for Fortitude. Need that! I also want to do 2 practical applications because her commitment to drink more water is something that I too have been trying to do. I like her idea of filling up three large bottles of water in the morning (or night before), putting them in the fridge and drinking one in the morn, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

I was also excited that my sister is reading the book and will blog about it occasionally. And yesterday my mom asked me to order her a copy so she could read the book too. (Note to self – order mom’s copy!)

Head over Suscipio and see how others are doing on the journey. :-)

Okay, it’s getting late and I need sleep. Have a blessed night/day!

UPDATE  – Read the next post here.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. ;-)