Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time again, time for new year's resolutions. I know it's that time where I make a goal for the year and then give up half way through January. I'm going to try nonetheless.
First to talk about my big goals for this year, I only have two and that is to lose weight and to get more organized.
When I talk about losing weight my ultimate goal is to get back to the weight I was in high school. I was 120 in high school and I am 185 now, that's 65 lbs to lose, I would be happy at 130 and active. This year I want to get to 150 by my birthday, 35lbs by September 16, after my birthday is Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I don't want to strain myself too much after my birthday. My plan of attack is to crowd out soda with water and green tea, add in ten minutes of cardio every weekday, add in more vegetables and fruits, and then add in muscle building and yoga. I have high prospects for this coming year.
Now organization, I want to keep my house clean and keep a schedule. I really want to keep a schedule because I want to be able to include time for creativity along with physical activity while still maintaining a household.  I really want to stop procrastinating in school, I really don't think I will have that much of a problem since I no longer have to take a networking class. Hopefully I will enjoy these classes more than the last ones. I'm excited because I start the gaming classes in the fall but I'm getting off track right now. Earlier this year I started a time type schedule that I am hoping to implement again. I'm going to start with a set sleep schedule I want to start getting Claire up by 8 but that means getting myself up and ready for the day by then. I already want to be getting up at 6 so I can be up before the sun.
I have other resolutions, I want to read at least 12 books on my book list, I want to successfully grow a garden, and I want to do at least 3 crafts successfully.
Looking forward to 2013.

Friday, November 30, 2012

December goals 2012

November ends today, it's funny because my husband's birthday is December first and we have so many plans that I don't think I would be able to get a December goals post in anytime tomorrow.
One thing I have to think about this month is that all my classes finish on the 12th, so finals are at the forefront of my mind but that also means after the 12th I don't have to worry about my classes anymore. What's so awesome about my online classes is that all my teachers have opened the rest of the assignments so I could finish early which I'm going to try and do. I have more goals than finishing up my classes, I also have goals that I should make for winter break, too.
For my Database class, tomorrow my writing assignment and my last exam is due but after that all that is left is the final project, which is not difficult should only take an hour or two of focused work (note I said 'focused'). I only have the final exam and skills assessment in networking and then I will be done. The class that I have the most to do in is programming, I've got the final project, one final chapter to do, and the final exam.
Aside from school I'm trying to start some traditions in my house for Christmas. One thing I want to do is a lot of Christmas reading, the only major Christmas themed books I can think of are 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever' I'll have to do some more research into good Christmas books. I want to start A Christmas Carol on December 1st and that will be my first tradition, another tradition I want to start is reading 'T'was the Night Before Christmas' every Christmas eve.
I'm also going to start making some Christmas gifts for my family and neighbors and experimenting with some DIY, I was also going to make some plans for my blog and channel.
My husband and I are staying home for Christmas so one thing I need to do is make a Christmas dinner plan and a plan of how to spend the day by ourselves.
Some personal plans, I've decided to re-read the Harry Potter series so I got the first book today at the library so that ones of my goals.
Now for my December goals:
1. Finish Classes
2. Read 'A Christmas Carol' aloud to everyone
3. Read 'The Sorcerers Stone' to myself
4. Make hot chocolate mixes for neighbors
5. Make something special for special neighbors
6. Plan Christmas
7. Plan goals for 2013

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 aftermath

Thanksgiving went wonderfully. The turkey was great, all the sides were delicious. My parents came and we had a wonderful time. Now we have a ton of leftovers. I don't worry about the leftovers because they are delicious. Best leftovers ever.
I succeeded at making the bread for the stuffing. The brine for the turkey worked wonderfully. I cooked the turkey for about seven hours and it was possibly overdone but very juicy. All the other sides were just great, I tried to avoid as much store bought items as I could and I couldn't have asked for better, cleaner food.
One thing I notices during this whole experience is that I spent a lot of money. I know it's thanksgiving and that kind of requires a lot of money. It shouldn't have been that bad. Much of the time I was thinking to myself "I should have had this in food storage." or "if I worked harder I could have had this from my garden." and of course "this could have been free if I had coupon-ed more." This experience just makes me want to take my prepping and homesteading just a little farther, and a little more serious.
I'm not having Christmas at my house but I will be cooking something for it. Can't wait until then.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012, The Brine

The brine process has started. I cleaned my bird last night and put it into a turkey sized oven bag. I put the bird and bag into my water bath canner and then put the brine in the bag. I'm grad I thought ahead enough to put the bag in my canner because last night it was so heavy I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to grip the bag. Also this morning I discovered that apparently the bag had busted because my canner is full of brine. No worries though because I don't have to re brine the turkey I just have to let it bathe in the canner just until Thursday morning. I added a bit of garlic and black pepper to the brine this morning just to add a little flavor for my turkey.

I baked my bread for my stuffing yesterday, made it from scratch without my bread maker. The bread actually turned out nice for once. Hopefully it'll be good enough to make stuffing tomorrow night. I feel nervous about cooking the turkey but I know I can do it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Countdown has begun (2012)

It is officially one week until Thanksgiving (okay it's Friday so 6 days). My turkey has been placed in the fridge for defrosting, it's been in there since yesterday and is still very much frozen. Hopefully I won't have to do any water baths. I still have a plan to put it in a brine Tuesday morning after I clean out the giblets and such. I'm starting my Thanksgiving declutter so that I have room for everybody to sit comfortably in my small house. I made a new plan to make bread for stuffing on Monday, give it time to go a little dry. I'm hoping this Thanksgiving will go smoothly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 part 2

Today I did my main shopping. I got everything that will not go bad before Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to find a 20lb turkey. I'm putting it in my freezer until this coming Thursday. I know it's silly that I just put it in the freezer and then I'm going to have to defrost it starting the day after tomorrow but, I don't want to risk making my family sick. I'm going to let it defrost until two days before Thanksgiving, then I'm going to brine it until the evening before, I'm going to take it out of the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature overnight, and at 6am Thanksgiving morning it should be ready for the oven.
I had to clean out a lot from my freezer to make room for the turkey but I found a bag of sugared strawberries that I made back in May and boy am I enjoying the heck out of them right now. You know what I'm having delicious strawberries in the middle of November because I took the time in May to freeze them instead of throwing them away when they started to go bad.

I used the hand I was given.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu Plan

It seems that I have been conscripted into hosting Thanksgiving this year. I have never done this before. After I married Brian we usually just spent Thanksgiving day with his parents and then spent black Friday with mine, eating a dinner not shopping. One year my oldest sister hosted but now it seems to be my turn and if I had known before today I would have already had a plan. Heck I probably would have started my menu and plan right after getting back from trick-or-treating with Claire.
Any way here is my first time host menu plan and grocery list.
Turkey (organic hopefully free range)
Turkey giblet gravy
crock-pot stuffing from scratch (I'm going to make the bread and everything)
Macaroni and cheese
cranberry sauce (handmade, luckily I can make this a week ahead)
Apple cranberry crisp
sweet potato casserole
asparagus casserole
Potato salad

and for dessert
pumpkin pie
pound cake

Hopefully my family will bring something so everything is not on me. I've already made my grocery list and divided it between "go ahead and buy" stuff and "wait until week of" stuff. Good luck to me making Thanksgiving with the hands I'm given.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sickness and Blah

I know I haven't done much of a to-do list lately. I want to say it's because Brian has been sick, but really it is because I've gotten lazy again. I don't know why I get so lazy, I feel like if I can't do the things I want to do I can't do anything. I get anxious sometimes because I want to have a garden, I want to cook all my meals, I want to keep my house organized and clean. Sometimes I make the excuse that school is in the way but really I can handle school and housework if I figure out a good time management strategy. I really think the breakdown time I created in my last blog will work if I add one time block at a time. I'm going back to the 1 hour for school work and 15 minutes for clean up tomorrow. If I'm ready I will try to add another time block onto my schedule. We'll see how everything goes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gah!! Time Management Frustration

I have time management issues. I read articles about time management all the time. Habit building stuff like making a to-do list, writing down goals, and the like. Again time has gotten away from me, I'm arguing with myself between wanting to play Skyrim, wanting to surf the net, wanting to earn swagbucks, and finally needing to do things like potty training Claire, menu planning, cooking from scratch, exercising, oh and school. I'm not behind in school but I sure am taking my sweet time, especially with this group project I need to do. I'm a horrible procrastinator, hopefully this new time management thing I'm going to try will help.

First I'm going to try the power hour thing, basically I'm going to try and set my timer for 1hour and work on nothing else but schoolwork, for the entire hour, I have plenty to do for the hour (of course I'm going to pause the timer whenever I need to take care of Claire). 15 minutes to clean house (again pausing when needing to). 30 minutes to exercise, 30 minutes to surf the web or earn swagbucks. 1 hour to work on stories and writings. 2 hours of video games, any extra time is for more schoolwork, or game playing if I really don't have any schoolwork that I can do at that moment. One hour before bed I am going to work on a to-do list, particularly for my schoolwork, pick up the house, and reflection, maybe some reading. I want to plan some outside time and reading time for Claire, too.

Hopefully this can help until I'm done with this semester.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

22nd birthday

I'm now twenty -two isn't it awesome. Also I've been married for 3 years now. I'm still 180 lbs so I'm not dying my hair, getting a piercing, or getting a tattoo. I still have the goal that if I lose 30 lbs I'm going to put black streaks in my hair, if I lose 50 lbs I'm piercing my belly button, and if I get back to my high school weight of 120 I will get a tattoo.
I'm still not on a diet but I am eating better food, not a lot of processed foods and even less restaurant food.
I want to keep up with my weekly goals so that I can organize my life again and get things together for myself and for my next year of life.
I have some new weekly goals
1. do a to-do list every morning (mainly for my school work but it can be for anything)
2. Read this present darkness, mrs appleyard's kitchen, and a princess of mars
3. video baked macaroni

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where have I been?

I know those who actually read this have probably been wondering where the hell I've been. To  be honest I've been a little lazy. Reality is I lost my internet for a week and then I spent an entire week trying to catch up on my online classes. I'm finally caught up, and now I think I can continue this blog.

To update about what happened in August, I read Dance with Dragons and Two for the Dough I know I should have read more but like I said lazy. Anyway this month I am going to read the iron elves books, and maybe some of the Stephanie Plum novels. I'm also going to start the Barsoom series.

Also I got some overripe bananas for cheap, I baked some banana muffins, banana bread, and a chocolate banana cake. I still have leftover bananas. good for freezer cooking and bulk buying.

Claire turned 2 and I don't even know where to begin with potty training. I also have behavioral issues I'm having to deal with (IE hitting). She was put in timeout on her first day of preschool. I don't even know what to do with that besides sticking with the timeouts but they don't always work she laughs at them.

I'm enjoying my classes, especially the programing class. but I not having such a good time with networking so I don't think I make a career out of networking. Hopefully I won't have to take another networking class.

Anyway things are going chaotically so I'm just relaxing when I can and then just enjoying the ride.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekly to-do list August 20-26

1. Finish Dance with Dragons
2. Read to Claire every night (ongoing)
3. Finish editing the videos I've recorded
4. Take pictures for at least 1 recipe this week
5. Keep kitchen sink clean (ongoing)

yeah school started this week and now everything takes a back seat. I'm trying to keep up with a to do list and be able to do things but I have to wait until I get into new habits. I'm sarting out by focusing on one subject a day and hoping to get ahead so that way I'll have wiggle room in the future. I'm also going a little overboard and trying to make sure that I learn something instead of memorize, present, forget (or regurgitate information as some of my peers have called it). So to focus on this week.

1. Focus on one subject a day
2. Take as many notes as possible
3. Read the Hobbit
4. Keep desk area clean
5. Keep kitchen sink clean

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekly To-do list August 13-19

1. Read A Dance with Dragons (I haven read halfway through I hope to finish it this week)
2. Read The Hobbit to Claire (I read one chapter but she doesn't seem interested I'm probably going to just read it to myself)
3. Record content for "Fried Egg Sandwich", "Pineapple Spread", "Olive Spread", "Pigs in a Blanket", and "Applewich"
4. Edit last weeks videos
5. Turn the computer off after 10
6. Keep the kitchen sink clean

Honestly I was sick this past week, I got an infection and I've really just been focused on getting better. The cookbook challenge really isn't going well. I'm probably going to edit the videos I've recorded and then just take pictures and talk about the recipes on my blog. Hopefully it wont be so overwhelming. I'm hoping to finish the lunch  part of the Paula Deen cookbook, I want to keep doing videos but I think I will just be doing some videos of things from scratch which was my goal with the cookbook challenge. Now for this weeks to do list.

1. Finish Dance with Dragons
2. Read to Claire every night
3. Finish editing the videos I've recorded
4. Take pictures for at least 1 recipe this week (I was trying to go in order but now I'm just going to do whichever ones I want to do just as long as I do them all)
5. Keep kitchen sink clean (this is so hard to do since Brian gets off work late and then wants to eat while I'm trying to go to bed)

My fall classes start on the 15 so I'm going to focus on keeping up with them hopefully my blog and recipe challenge will not be hurt by that but if they are my school comes first the blog can wait.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly To-do list August 6-August 12

 Last weeks to-do list
1. Finish Memoirs of a Geisha (I was pretty much done with it before this list I don't know why I put it on here)
2. Finish editing "monkey bread" and "Stone Soup" video
3. Stick with menu plan (Ongoing)
4. record content for "egg salad", "cheese quesedilla", "Ambrosia Salad", "fried egg Sandwich", "Pineapple Spread", and "Olive Spread" (I have these planned for this week)
5. No TV after 8pm(Ongoing)
6. Wake up at 9:30 everyday (Ongoing)
7. Drink 3 glasses of water everyday (ongoing)

This weeks To-do list
1. Read A Dance with Dragons (If is do not finish it this week I want to be at least halfway through)
2. Read The Hobbit to Claire
3. Record content for "Fried Egg Sandwich", "Pineapple Spread", "Olive Spread", "Pigs in a Blanket", and "Applewich"
4. Edit last weeks videos
5. Turn the computer off after 10
6. Keep the kitchen sink clean

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 2012 Update

July is over and now it's time to talk about what happened this past month.
In regards to household management, I was able to stick to a menu plan, I have also had success shopping just once a week for the food items. Couponing has not been doing great because I really am focused on the menu plan right now if I find something that is worth getting a coupon for it really luck. I'm sticking with the menu planning for now and I'm going to try and make a habit of it before I move on to working my menu plan around sales.
In my garden this past month Brian and I put up a trellis for the grape plant and it is doing well. It finally started growing new leaves. I think it will be set for awhile. The pecan tree is doing amazingly as usual, from what I see it is producing several pecans, though I can only see the ones around the bottom.
This month I finished the "Love Comes Softly" series, and memoirs of a geisha. Both are well written historical fiction.
Also something interesting that happened, an animal died under my house, it has smelled horrible for the past few days we've tried many things to alleviate the smell but we recently figured out where it came from. At least it's not in the duct system.

My goals for august:
Continue menu planning
Continue the cookbook challenge
Read "Dance with Dragons", "The Hobbit" and "Drums of Change"
Make a black satin pillowcase

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekly to-do list

I've been thinking about trying to do a weekly to-do list again. I never seemed to keep up the habit. I know this week I have plans to make several recipes for my cookbook challenge but editing and uploading will take some time. I think I should do a video of my projects so that I can show my viewers what else I do besides cook and eat. I just lost my job so this will be easier than it was a few weeks ago. I also have a little time before the fall semester starts can't wait. On to the to-do/ goal list.

1. Finish Memoirs of a Geisha
2. Finish editing "monkey bread" and "Stone Soup" video
3. Stick with menu plan
4. record content for "egg salad", "cheese quesedilla", "Ambrosia Salad", "fried egg Sandwich", "Pineapple Spread", and "Olive Spread"
5. No TV after 8pm
6. Wake up at 9:30 everyday
7. Drink 3 glasses of water everyday

I'm thinking about restarting 4 weeks to an organized home but with way it went downhill last time I worried. Finding workable routines is hard when my husband wants to sleep till noon and expects me to wait until Claire gets up to get up myself makes my day feel hectic and out of control. Sometimes I don't find a point in making a routine because I'm always getting complained at by someone about how I disturb them or I am not doing things right. I can't wait to live without ridicule but I don't think that will ever happen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

These are the Hands We're Given

These are the hands we're given. It's a simple quote but it speaks so many different things. The song simply says that "This is the world we live in/ And these are the hands we're given/ Use them and lets start trying/ To make this a place worth fighting for." To some it may seem different but to me it says do something about your life. I can't just sit in front of my computer absorbing information I need to put stuff into action. I have to start something to change the world. "These are the hands we're given" I need to use what I have, or better yet I already have what I need to change my life and to make a difference in this world.