Friday, February 27, 2009

Organizing your finances

The best thing we have ever done is establish a budget. Most people think that having a budget means you are cheap or don’t spend any money. This is not true! Having a budget just means you know where your money goes each month! Ours is very detailed. We have line items for the kids allowances, food, household supplies (hygiene, cleaning), mortgage, entertainment, utilities, everything! When we did it originally, it was a pain to do, because I set it up in Excel with all the formulas to subtract what we spent as we went through the month so we knew how much was left. We also had expenses subtracted from income so we knew each month how much cash was left over. We also had line items for savings and taxes, so we could move it each month to somewhere safe so that when the time came, we would have it.

It is not about being frugal, although once you know where everything is going and how much is actually going there, that might be a byproduct… Each month, for example, we know that we spend about $400 on food, so that is our monthly food budget. The way we have it set up, we can go over by a little or under by a little, but we would expect that over a three-month period, the budget would be pretty close or even under. (Another thing I did was do quarterly formulas so that every three months it takes the budgeted amount minus the three months of actual so we know this. I am anal retentive that way!)

So how do you handle things that are once or twice a year and not each month? We just take what we would pay a year and divide it by12 for the budget. So, for example, with car insurance, which we pay twice a year, we know that those monthly budget amounts should be $0 for most of the year and go way over budget when they are actually due, but we know that and the other budget amounts can either make up for it that month, or we know that we will still be under budget for the year. You can also put aside the amounts on the monthly budget so that when the payment is due, the money is saved and available. Some people swear by cash in envelopes for this. We have not gone that far, but have thought about it for a few things!
There are a ton of websites that have articles on budgeting. I recommend (which has great articles) and (which has a blog and forums too!)

We did not do it for years and I know it is hard to set up and keep up, but it is SO worth it! In the time since we have had it set up, we were able to switch responsibility for finances from me to DH with minimal work because it was all right there. We also had job changes and all we had to do was change the income line. From there, it was easy to see what expenses had to be eliminated or reduced when the income went down or when the income goes up, which expenses stay the same (utilities, mortgage) and which you can increase (savings, allowances).

In this economy, it is even more critical to get a handle on where the money goes. Studies have shown that most people severely underestimate what they spend. It is like estimating your calories. You don’t count a bite here and a bite there, but they all add up. Similarly, a dollar here and a dollar there is no big deal, but they add up!

One of the things that DH and I had trouble with was telling each other EVERYTHING we bought. So we agreed on a certain amount (less when we had less money) and it is our “monthly allowance.” Each month, we get to spend that much on whatever we want to spend it on. So for DH it is video games or magic tricks. For me, it is pampering or knitting supplies. But that little amount goes a long way in making me feel like I have some control over my own money and even though we have budgets for most of it, this is unbudgeted MY money!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Go read me elsewhere

I feel so validated! My profile is on Gina Chen's blog today, which is part of the Syracuse Post Standard. You should go check it out as I am sure you all want to know much more about me! :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Magazine subscriptions

Most people, myself included, have way too many magazine subscriptions. I know that reading a magazine is a lot easier than reading a book, but if you must read a magazine, there are a lot of better ways to go about doing it.

First of all, I cannot give up all my magazine subscriptions, so I did keep a few, but made sure that they are the magazines that I LOVE!

Secondly, you can read the content of almost anything you really like on the web now, so it will not clutter up the tables next to your couch or bed and heck, it is green too!

If you absolutely must read the paper magazines, then see if your library gets them. If not, is there a process for requesting them to get it? Do they need it to be requested by a certain number of people before they get it? Do you know that many people and can you enlist others that you know to make the same request?

And if you do not need to read it every month, would you be better served by getting the magazines one at a time at the checkout? I know that does not seem to be cost-effective, but it is like getting a huge container of something. If it goes bad or you do not use it all, is it really a good deal? Similarly, if you do not really enjoy a magazine but just read it because it is there, is it really worth getting it in the mail?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am a Meat Grinder

I grind meat. There. I said it. I don't do it to everything, although I guess I could. I do still buy ground beef and have had ground chicken and turkey so seldom, it is embarrassing...

Sometimes, though, pork loin goes on sale at a nearby store (and I am in a small town and there really are only 2) and when that happens, I buy a couple and cut up the pork myself, although I could probably ask the butcher to do it... Anyway, I digress.

When I get a pork loin, I usually cut it up into a couple of roasts (Yipee! Less cutting!) pork chops, and some ground pork. I have a great meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer that has more than paid for itself over the years. Last week, I made sliders with the ground pork and the kids thought they were amazing! I used dinner rolls as the little buns and made mini-burgers. Then I grilled them on my new toy – the Cuisinart Griddler Gourmet. They were amazing. I also got a good recipe I am going to try tonight for a nacho casserole. It calls for ground beef, but since it is mixed in with all that other stuff and seasoned with taco seasoning, I am going to substitute pork and I am sure the kids will never know the difference. I had a pound left over from last week, but this recipe calls for 2 pounds, so I ground up another roast and now I have 3 pounds. So after this recipe, I think we are having those sliders again for lunches soon!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Board Games

I am loving the show "Mission: Organization" on HGTV and have recently taken an idea from that show and done it at home.

The kids are always losing all the parts from board games or just taking them all out of the box and using them as toys. It drives me nuts! But one thing I saw on there was that if the box did not have any information on it (like directions or something like that) then throw away the whole box and put everything in a zippered container. It also said that if you do keep the box, take all the pieces and put them in a zippered container so that if they drop it, only the zippered container and the lid fall out. So inspired!

Of course, she had super-cute zippered containers, but it works just as well, and I did it with, plastic storage bags!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Why is it that the minute I clean up, the kids are right behind me making a huge mess? I feel like Mr.Incredible when he says "No matter how many times you save the world, it keeps getting in jeopardy. Sometimes you just want it to stay...saved..." I always compare it to shoveling snow in a blizzard.

I can't live without my digital camera!

I know that not all of you may have converted to the world of digital photography yet, but if you have not, WHY NOT?? I love that it is instant gratification for me. I take a ton more pictures than I would have with a traditional camera and I do not worry about “wasting” film, because I have not. If I do not like a picture, I keep it on the camera (although you would not even have to do that) and download it, look at it on my screen, pretty big, and if I still don’t like it, just delete it there. Done and done!

I take pictures of the regular stuff: my kids, my family, family events, etc. but I also take pictures of things I would never have before, like recipes, the recipes in process, things around my house ,etc. When I take them, I can download them NOW or wait until the next time I am downloading pictures.

I even got a spare little camera to keep in my purse. I never wanted to be without my camera again, so I have the pretty nice one at home, but a decent one in my purse, and honestly, I use the one in my purse even around the house now! Learning all the bells and whistles of two cameras is a huge pain, but I know how to use the little one great now and I feel more ownership for it than the “family” camera, so I tend to use it more.

If you have not yet taken the dive into the world of digital photography, I challenge you to do so soon. It does not have to be more complicated and actually, it is easier for me! Taking the film someplace else to be developed and getting nothing back but the actual pictures meant that it didn’t happen nearly as often as it should and I did not have copies of pictures I loved!

If you have taken the plunge into the world of digital photography, take a few pictures this week of something you would not normally photograph. If you hate them, you can delete them. But you just might find that they are some of your best pictures ever!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Beauty of a Timer

I am sure you have heard this a hundred times, but it really does work and I challenge you to do it just once this week. If you are not convinced it is the best thing ever, then you can stop doing it, but I will bet that you will keep at it because it works and makes things so much easier!

Next time you have a task you have been putting off or that is unpleasant or whatever, just plan to do it for 15 minutes and set a timer. At the end of that 15 minutes, you are DONE with that session. It is that easy. If you have a large tasks (like cleaning out a closet or the basement or whatever), a few of those 15 minute sessions will get it DONE. My biggest issue used to be that I thought I had to start and finish something in one session, so I would wait until I had several hours to do something (and who has that? Ever?) or there was a deadline looming (like you have to clear out the basement for a house showing – was that too personal?)

If you have a little more time, you can set the timer for 30 minutes, but any longer than that and it is not a timer-based thing. If you have more time than 30 minutes, then set your timer for 30 minutes and use the rest of the time for doing something fun for you all the while congratulating yourself for getting that much closer to finishing an unpleasant task.

So I have a new task and I know that I can do it in about 2 hours. Rather than wait for 2 hours to do it, I know that I can do it in 8 sessions of 15 minutes each. So if I do it every day, I know that in about a week, I can have it done, which is a great feeling, even before I have done anything!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Organizing Your Blog-Reading

I know it may seem counter-intuitive to organize your blog reading. I spend WAY too much time reading blogs, to the detriment of other things I have to do, BUT if you are going to read anyway, I LOVE using Google Reader to read them.

Every time one of the blogs I am “subscribed” to through Google Reader is updated, it comes through on my reader. It is super-easy to manage the list and delete things I no longer have time for want to read too.

If you already have a Google account, it is even easier, but anyone can get a Google account, so not having one is no reason not to use this amazing tool. Once you have an account, I just used the search engine to find the reader. Obviously, it was the first thing that came up!

I cannot get it to bring up a blank one because it knows who I am and always pops mine up, but you get the idea. On that search page, there are other pages that are interesting too, like the official Google Reader blog, the way it works, etc. If the idea of subscribing to each blog and RSS feed individually just makes you tired to think about, then think about using this tool. It might not make you read fewer blogs, but it will make reading them and scanning them for interesting content just a little faster.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Organizing small video games

Our two older boys have a Nintendo DS Lite. And, sadly, so do I. There are a few games for it that I know they would never want so I got it so I could play it when I want to. DH loves it too and it is “ours” now, as opposed to the two that are “theirs”. One of theirs is white and the other is black, so we can keep them separate. We were early adopters, so even two colors were hard to come by. Now, of course, there are a half a dozen colors to choose from, but when we got them, needless to say, there were not. In fact, I think ours was pre-ordered before it even came out because we saw a game for it we really wanted. We are so geeky!

The games are small, but if the kids had their way, they would just be strewn all over the house and dropped wherever they were last used and that drives me nuts! So I wanted a cool way to keep them neat and organized and since we got ours pretty early, there were no cool ways to keep the games organized, even then. What we got instead, was a small case that was made for SD cards. It is PERFECT for DS games. Each one has slots for 3 on each side for a total of six each, it zips up nice, and when closed, looks like this:

It is quite small. Since I went out last night and found a few games used at Game Stop (another great place for games) I need to go get another one now. The downside is that the kids seem to lose the actually game cases, so I cannot sell them used anywhere, but for the ones I have kept the cases and books for hidden somewhere, it has worked out great.

In fact, I have kept the “adult” games (which are not adult in content, but the ones we like to play) separate from the kid games with these too. We have one for kid games and one for grown-up games and that way, when I do deem it appropriate for them to play games, I can just give them the kid one and not worry about my own games quite as much. NICE!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Every year I say I am going to buy valentines for the kids' classes and have yet to do so. And now the oldest is almost 12 and in 6th grade. What is wrong with me?

Friday, February 13, 2009

What do you do with all thost digital photos on your hard drive?

What should you do with all those photos – digital and non-digital?
I am sure that many of you do not want to scrapbook your photos. It is just so time-consuming!! But you do want to be able to enjoy your photos, both digital and film-based photos.

Printing them is the first step and I highly recommend it. Film-based photos come back that way, making it an easy thing to do. But keeping them in the envelopes from the developer is NOT the way to enjoy the pictures. Keeping them in a cardboard box is also not a good way to store them. Printing digital photos is a little more effort, but there are many places that will do it for you. Some people like to do it themselves (which is great, but perhaps not for a huge amount of pictures) or any developer will do it for you. They do you no good on your hard drive. So while having them on your computer is great for posterity and all, it does nothing for you here and now.

Even if you do not want to scrapbook them, you should keep an album handy and each time you get pictures back, take a few minutes and add them to the album. Most people think that the backlog is so huge that they do not want to even start. However, it is never going to get easier and you will never have the huge chunk of time you think you will to do the whole thing, SO you should just start from where you are now and do it going forward. Every time you have a few extra minutes and this is a priority and on your list, then you can chip away at the backlog. The best part about starting right now is that you can go shopping and find an album that you like and just start using it!

Here is where I have to admit that I am a scrapbooker. But even I got way behind. Now some people like to do things chronologically (ME!) and some people do not. The way I got “caught up” is that for all the years I had digital pictures, I used snapfish to create a hardcover book of them, ne per year. This was not cheap, but it gave me a great deal of satisfaction! There are many sites that do photo books, I just happened to use snapfish, so use whatever site you want to. I did mine just before Christmas and also used that site (saving on shipping!) to buy a few photo-based Christmas gifts, especially for grandparents and other relatives. They are not as pretty as my regular scrapbooks, but they are DONE and there is a surprising amount of templates to choose from. So now if I could just get 2008 done…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Organizing your digital photos

Do you have digital photos and files all over the place on your PC? Probably the best thing I ever did was to keep all the photos in one folder on my PC. As a bonus, I can synchronize them with my video ipod, but it is based on what folder you want to copy over, so having them in one place makes them easier.

I have a folder on my PC desktop called “Photos.” In addition, below that, I have a folder for each year and one for the actual photos that I am scanning right now. Yours might be different, but one for each year just makes it easier and it is how I think. Within each of those folders, I have folders by date so that when I download pictures, I just create folders for the date that I am downloading pictures. I always start with the year and then the month and then the date, that way I know they will get sorted to the right order.

I would also recommend that you back up your pictures often. Many people keep them on an external hard drive. However, if that is your only copy, that is still risky. An external hard drive is a good idea, but hard drives fail. Do you really want to lose those photos? I typically put them on a CD every few weeks. The right method for each person might be different for every person, but you have to do *something* to back up your photos.

And just to be safe, after I copy photos to my hard drive, I also put them up on an online site. I use photobucket or flickr. And this way, if my hard drive ever fails between a backup, I know that I can re-create my photos, because they are online.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Funny story…

When I was pregnant with my third child (which ended up being a boy, but that is a whole other story…)I had my other two with me at the bookstore, who were 6 and 7 at the time and someone who worked there asked me if this was an “accident”. First of all, NO! Second of all, it was none of her business what the ages of my kids were. And lastly, SHUT UP! Some people have no filter, they just say everything they think. I am all for the filter. Everyone should have one and use it!

I had forgotten how funny this was until I saw a contest about the rude things people say about parenting on twittermoms.

Although I don't use them, I also think that is a great idea! I am thinking of moving into a new area and I think this will be a great resource!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Over-the-door shoe organizer

I love the canvas over-the-door shoe organizer! I have them behind the door of a lot of different closets. In each closet, they have a different use. They may not all work for you, but I am sure one or more of them will work, and if just one works for a few people, then I have done a good thing. They all have clear storage where the shoes are supposed to go and a little hint – there is not a singles pair of shoes in them in my house.

I have one behind the door of my office. It holds all the extra office supplies. So the extra ink cartridges, staples, post-its, thumb tacks, pretty much everything but paper fits, so they are all filled to the brim.

The one in my mud room closet has all the pairs of gloves, mittens and winter hats in them. Love that! I put the kid ones a little lower and they can get them out themselves and put the away, because I don’t care how neat they are when they go into the pockets.

I have one in the kids’ upstairs linen closet with all the “spares” in it. It has extra shampoo, toothpaste, soap, light bulbs, you name it. They are always running out of stuff in their own bathroom and now they know where to get things to replace them.

I have one hanging in my oldest sons’ closet for his collectibles. Sometimes it has Pez dispensers, sometimes fast food toys, and sometimes collectible cards. Keeping up with their toys is beyond me, but with something like this that shows off the collections, I don’t have to come up with something new for each collection.

Like I said, I love tem and when I see them next on sale, I am going to get several more. I can think of a few other places for them. And I might start with what I know and love in them, but who knows what will end up in them eventually…

I do not have one near my kitchen yet, but I have been wondering what to do with all the frosting, tips, jimmys, nuts, and other small baking supplies and if I could find a place for this, I might have found it. Maybe you will have better luck than I have had in that area.

And I do not have one in my bathroom, but I think I need one with all the extras, like the kids have!

I also do not have one near the computer, but I think that one with all the thumb drives, disks, and other computer paraphernalia would be great.

And lastly for now, I do not have one near the bed, but if it had lotions, a booklight, a magazine or two, etc. I would love that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snickerdoodles! Yum!

I did dessert again on Saturday night and as always (NOT!) it was absolutely fabulous.

First of all, I am addicted to podcasts. I listen to them as much as I can and subscribe to so many I can’t even listen to them all before the new ones come out! The good thing about subscribing (which I love) is that when new eipisodes come out, they just get downloaded automatically. I use itunes and an ipod, which may seem like a cop-out to some, but it is what I have and know, so it works for me. If you want to use itunes, here it is.

One of the podcasts that I watch (and I get about 90% audio and 10% video and this just happens to be video) is Martha Stewart. It appears from the intro and all that it is the same as the Martha Stewart On Demand from cable, but the podcast is plenty for me, and it is just one segment out of the whole show, so it is perfect for me! And the podcast makes me go to her site if I see something I like, so if you want to go to it too (and she has a blog too which I of course, follow) then go to (link)

So back to the cookies. The video I saw and recipe I got from Martha was for snickerdoodles. I made them on Saturday and they were amazing. I did not have shortening, so I just substituted butter and it turned out great! It was so easy and if you want to do something EASY and maybe get the kids involved, I would highly recommend this recipe! Sometimes, getting the kids involved is more mess than I have the energy to clean up, but if you have the energy and want to involve the kids, there is a part where you make the dough (which is easy and this is NOT the part I would get the involved in, but if you want to, they can do it!) And after you make the dough and form it into balls, you roll it in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. This is perfect for the kids to do!

I had tried them a few years ago with a different recipe and they did not turn out well at all, but these looked amazing and tasted even better! I will definitely do them again, and soon. (I do need to buy more cinnamon first as I have none left after this recipe!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Now that I lost weight, I can wear all the stuff I wanted to wear in my 20s, but now I am too old to wear any of it. I am not quite 40, but chasing it down, so tight little short skirts *finally* do not scare people (due to the weight - they might for other reasons!) and I am too old to get away with it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Usernames and passwords in Word

One of the best things I have ever done to keep track of all those usernames and passwords is to store them in a Word document. Now I am sure there is some IT security expert who will tell me how easy it is to hack into my computer, but honestly, there is so little there it would hardly be worth it and it is the lesser of all of the evils!

I know you are supposed to remember all the usernames and passwords, but I do not have a great brain. Who can remember all of that?? I even try to stick to just one or two usernames and passwords and still, I have a hard time remembering them all. If nothing else, I forget where all I have registered online and where I have not – yet! So many sites now require you to be registered to do anything, even read it!

So, like I said, I know it is not foolproof, but it is safer than some on the alternatives! I keep all my passwords and usernames and list of sites for which they are used in a Word document on my desktop. If I wanted to be really fancy, I would call it something else, (a trick!) so no one would know what it is, but I figure if someone really wants to get my information, they are going to get it, no matter what I call it, so I do not even bother to do that.

There are online sites that store them all for you now, but honestly, that seems to me like more of a pain. I know you can get to them from anywhere and all that jazz, but even with the best security, I do not want my information “out there”, if you know what I mean. I am not a freak about security, but that just seems really unsafe, even to me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To bang or not to bang…

And you thought this blog couldn’t get any more trivial…It’s gonna!

I have spent the last year growing out my bangs. It was not fun and definitely not pretty. I spent many months with my hair pulled back in a headband when the bangs were not quite long enough to go behind the ears yet or whatever.

I admire the bang-less look on so many people and thought I could do it. Many people make it look so great and so easy, right?

I was wrong.

I have now had all my hair the same length for two months and I cannot stand it. I do not think it looks nearly as good and, as someone chasing 40 (but not yet catching it!), I do not think I should be exposing my forehead as much as I currently do.

I am glad I gave it a try and I will now not wonder what it might look like, but I am not going to stick with it just because I am stubborn. And trust me, I thought about that. I figured that I had spent a year doing this, so I was going to stick it out. But then I figured that there was no use looking like an idiot if I didn’t have to. I mean, more of an idiot...

Don’t get me wrong, it is not awful, but it is HARD and I do not think even on my best days bang-less, it looks nearly as good as it could if I had bangs.

This was a hard decision and I labored over it for much longer than I should have, given that it was about my HAIR! But once I made the decision, I felt much better about it and didn’t even mind putting in the effort to do the bang-less hair quite as much. I think it was the thought that I knew it would end soon.

So I leave for the beauty shop in less than an hour and I cannot wait!

My Desk

So right now, my desk is a mess. I have piles everywhere and the fact that I am organized and I teach others to be organized too means that this drives me nuts! It is OK to fall off the wagon once in a while if you know you can get right back up and get up when you need to.

I think that part of the issue is that I bite off more than I can chew. And I do that a lot too. I think I can do much more than I really can! Sure, I could do it all if I devoted hours to it and did nothing else but that. And it just might get to that in the next week if I cannot get it done the regular way. But this is real life and between all the other junk that needs to get done and me staying sane, it takes a lot longer to do anything than I plan.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Knitting fingerless gloves

They look cool, so I thought I would give it a try. I was going to just make up a pattern, so I had no idea how much yarn it would take or what size needles to use.

I found I had 2 skeins of a pinky bulky wool, so I decided to use that. First of all, I love pink, second of all, wool would be warm, and thirdly, two skeins seems like it would be enough. I spent the first several minutes wrapping one skein of yarn into a ball to make it easier to work with. That seemed to go well. I know, I know, that was the easy part, but it started well, right?

So I went through my knitting bag and found I had 3 sizes of double-pointed needles, which I would need to knit this in the round and not have a seam, which sounded like a good idea: 4, 8, and 11. I started with the 8s, which after looking at a few patterns, seemed like a good idea. I cast on 24 stitches (also gleaned from a combination of a few different patterns) and started. The double pointed needles were a little unwieldy and everywhere, so I yanked it out and decided to do it on straight size 9 needles and have a seam. I did 2” in a 3 x 3 rib and 7” (total, including the first 2”) in a stockinette and then saved off 6 stitches on either end of the thumb hole. I saved those stitches off with a piece of scrap yarn and did another 4 inches in stockinette on the remaining stitches for the hand. When I was done, I bound those stitches off. I then went back to the thumb, which I had to do in two part because they were not next to each other (which I would do next time). When I finished the whole thing, I stitched up the sides so I had a complete glove. It looked great. Then, I tried it on. The body of it and the thumb fit great, the fingers/hand, not so much. The thing was so tiny on the finger part, that it smooshed (yes, the technical term) my fingers together and I knew I would never wear it like that.

So much for my fear of doing two the same!

I started over. I decided I needed more stitches and bigger needles. So I cast on 36 stitches with the size 11 double points, thinking I would try it again. They were still unwieldy, but I just went a little slower and did it. After casting all the stitches on to a single needle, I split them among three needles, putting 12 stitches on each of three double pointed needles.

Again, I did 2” of a 3x3 rib and then stockinette to the thumb hole. To the thumb hole, I did 7” total again, including the 2” at the beginning. Then, I put 9 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb. I knit another 4” in stockinette stitch. Then I cast off the stitches with a size 13 straight needle. I thought that casting off with a slightly larger needle might help with the “too small” issue I had before. After it was done, I went back to the thumb hold and put those 9 stitches back on 2 double pointed needles. I did another 2” and cast it off, also with the slightly larger straight needle. When it was done, it looked great and even though it was almost 11:00 PM, I woke up my husband to make him look at it because I was so proud of myself!

They were perfect for me, but another adult tried them on and they were too big for her, so you might have to play with it a little bit. Since it is stretchy, I might do the next pair with only 30 stitches, instead of 36.

I love it. It looks great and I am so excited to have it done. Now, to make another one so I have a pair – that might be a challenge. But I am so excited to wear them that I might be able to do it pretty quickly! I think I could have done the whole pair with one skein, but with the first one issue, I am close to the end of the ball, so I will make a ball out of the other skein and use that one, since I do not want a knot in the middle of the glove. But I will "frog" the other one and use the yarn for something else. It is so purty!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Resolution

So these were my resolutions last month - preliminarily

January – Writing life more organized
February – House cleared of all the clutter and ready to sell (I am almost there but need another sweep, so it is perfect for a short month!)
March – Closets cleaned and spring/summer clothes out and washed
April – Birthdays for the year in one list and cards bought or made for them all
May – Christmas list made (at least for extended family and friends)
June – Get my body more toned
July – Inventory knitting needles and yarn
August – Get kids organized and ready for school at least 2 weeks in advance
September – Inventory Halloween and Christmas decorations, put them in separate and appropriate boxes
October – Halloween costumes for the kids cute and appropriate for the weather
November – Christmas cards done and sent
December – Christmas shopping and wrapping done at least 14 days in advance

January is not quite done, but close. I am all ready for February. And I have not yet sold the house or moved, so the resolution is the same!