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I’m not planning to do major resolutions for the entire year. Instead, I intend to start a new habit each month.

In January, I’ll go to bed on time every night. For me that means lights out by 10PM.

In February, I’ll add something to my bedtime routine. Probably getting either clothes or food ready for the next day.

I expect I could add something to the bedtime routine each month for six months and probably spend the second half of the year getting a morning routine established. It may or may not work out that way. This is supposed to be no-stress, so I’ll just take one thing at a time.

Are you making resolutions? What are they?

That sound is the fates laughing at my New Years’ Resolutions. Particularly the one about blogging more regularly. I have been in church much more and have prayed more, though I still need to choose praying before watching Arrested Development on http://hulu.com. (Mother, if you’re keeping up with this blog, you would not like the show because of the language and content.) I haven’t done much with FlyLady. I shined my sink and was so worn out from it that I couldn’t keep up. (I took it way too seriously.) I think I’ll have to pick and choose what I want from her plan. I definitely need to do something about the mess around here. Using Saving Dinner got off to a rocky start, but has been very helpful lately. I typically use one of her weekly menus every two weeks. We fill in gaps with standbys like hot dogs and grilled cheese. Those things keep us all happy and are the only way the kids will eat regularly.

We’ve been doing a few crafty things. I sewed baby dresses – one for a friend and one for the crisis pregnancy center. (Those were entirely from stash. Yay!) I’m now working on a dress and bolero for Hannah. Hannah and I made button earrings, which we hope to sell. Hannah wants to use her money to buy flowers for her little corner of the yard. I’m sure Ruth will be wanting the same thing soon.

I plan to post more. Really. Stop laughing/rolling your eyes. Enjoy spring. (And if your spring hasn’t arrived yet, I am truly sorry.)

Lara over at The Lazy Organizer hosts Smart Habit Saturday. I think this is a great idea, and there are some areas where I could use a bit of accountability, so I’m going to join in.

I’m going to start with one thing I want to turn into a habit. I’m not sure if I will work on only one thing for a month, or add a new habit each week. But I know that today I’m going to start with taking all my vitamins and supplements at the appropriate times every day. Oh joy.

I’m so glad this feature has been started again. Maybe exposing myself will motivate me to take care of these problems.

First up is the spare bedroom. Since we moved into this house (3+ years ago) it has housed our computer and office-type stuff and my sewing mess. We’ve wanted to clean it out for a long time but haven’t found the motivation to do it. We’re expecting a house guest for a month, starting Saturday. So we’re finally cleaning the room out. The computer has been moved out. Charlie built shelves around the window on one wall. We moved a different table in where the computer had been. That got us to where these pictures were taken. Although this is a mess in the process of being eliminated, the pictures are still telling.

And here’s the mess that I abandoned until the computer/sewing room is fixed up for a guest.

In front of the closet (which looks messier than it would because it has no doors – long story), is a pile of off-season and outgrown clothes, separated into plastic bags, and the bins the clothes are supposed to go in to be organized.  In front of all that, is my cutie who kept trying, and finally succeeded, to get into a picture.

For more Let’s Get Real Monday participants, visit I Have To Say.

Who else saw the Oprah show on organizing last week? Who else found it convicting? I don’t usually watch much TV. But I heard from a friend about the show and made sure I could watch the evening showing.

I learned that people get to a point at which they no longer see their own mess. As I’ve looked around my own house since then, I’ve realized I have passed that point. I used to gripe if anything was in the floor. “I just want to be able to walk through,” I would say. Now I would be lucky to be able to walk through almost any room in the house without having to step over something or around something.

There are two major problems, as I see it. We have too much stuff. And we have inadequate storage. I’m getting lots of great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie. And a friend has offered to help. I’m considering using the Sidetracked Home Executives card system to keep up with housework. And I’ve already started throwing away trash and using freecycle to give away what is not trash but isn’t useful to us. We also have bought a few storage bins to use in various places around the house.

What are your favorite organizing solutions? Do you have helpful websites? Please share in the comments!

Monday: Lentil Soup with Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe for biscuits follows)
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Pizza, homemade heart cookies (by candlelight)
Thursday: Hot Dogs
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Grilled Cheese, Tomato Soup (The tomato soup didn’t happen last week.)
Sunday: Deli Sandwiches

My mom says that her mother used to serve leftovers by candlelight so they couldn’t see what they were eating very well. Ha, ha!

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk. Dough should be slightly sticky. Add flour or buttermilk to gain correct consistency. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Press out to 1-inch thickness. Cut in circles with biscuit/cookie cutters or whatever is on hand. (Mother always used a tea ball, which made delightfully small biscuits.) Place on cookie sheet so biscuits touch each other. Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden on the tops. Serve with butter, jelly, apple butter, honey, or use in biscuits and gravy.

For more Menu Plan Monday participants, click here.

It is Friday, right? I originally planned to a post of links on Saturday, when the blogosphere seems to slow down. Charlie works on Saturdays so I usually end up surfing the ‘net, wishing there were more new posts for me to read. (The first person to suggest laundry or dishes is a rotten egg.) I thought maybe I’m not the only one, so I’d start doing links on Saturday as a service to other losers people in the boat with me. But I couldn’t think of anything else to post today, except a doll dress I just finished. But that’s waiting because there’s not enough light to get a decent photo, and I want to finish the matching hat first. So, if you’re reading, you get links today. Maybe you’ll choose to save them for tomorrow.

Probably nothing earth-shattering here – just stuff I want to share with anyone who wants it.

Quilt Mavericks is a web-ring for people who like to quilt, who aren’t exactly traditional/conventional quilters, but who aren’t exactly doing art quilts, either. Lots of fun sites, and in my opinion, better inspiration than you get from more conventional quilt venues, yet more ideas that are applicable to real life than you get from looking at art quilts.

Quilters News Network broadcasts quilting shows (and commercials) via the Internet 24/7.

Fish in My Hair is a very funny blog I just found via Starry Sky Ranch. Be sure to read the recent entry on The Saving of a Marriage.

Looking to waste time being amazed at how pointless some of the things are that people go to the trouble to create and post on the Internet? PointlessSites.com is the place for you.

Last, MIT OpenCourseWare allows information/education junkies like me free access to classes taught at MIT in a wide range of available subjects.

I cleaned off my sewing table a few days ago and was struck when I got to this point. It was so ironic, I had to share a picture.

This is what we had for dinner last night. We dipped chips in it. It would also be good wrapped in a tortilla. I found large cans of fat free refried beans at my local grocery store. There was no fat at all, ergo no worries about trans fats, hydrogenated oils, etc. But it was already seasoned, ergo no worries about my sometimes faulty ability to season a dish.

  • 1 lg can fat free refried beans
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • sour cream
  • green onion

Melt butter in sauce pan. Add refried beans and heat through. Mix cheeses. Layer ingredients as desired in baking dish.

I think this would be good with tomatoes, too. Another really good addition would be cooked ground meat with taco seasoning.
Today, I’m heating the leftovers in the oven and I’ll probably serve it with more sour cream on the side, since I didn’t put much in the dish.

Magic BulletDoes ANY job in 10 seconds or less

It’s kinda cool, really. It has two different blades – one is better for traditional blender jobs and the other is better for grinding. It’s great for grinding coffee beans and herbs/spices. I haven’t quite figured out how to chop veggies well – I tried with onions and ended up with onion puree. That was OK because I was making a sauce with it, but I’d like to figure it out before I definitely want chopped onions rather than puree. It’s also nice for mincing garlic.

The literature that came with it is full of hype. Whoever wrote it wants you to throw a party and use your magic bullet to make mixed drinks. The party is… get ready for it… a “bullet bash”. Right. And many of the recipes have been renamed to sound fast: “Suddenly Stuffed Mushrooms”, “Badda-Bing Badda-Boom Garlic Bread”, “Nanosecond Nachos”. At least the writers had fun.