Category Archives: act instead of plan

Spring Break Mentality

I’m am extremely, extremely lucky to get a spring break.  I truly don’t know how people who don’t get regular vacation time function.  I teach kindergarten and while I love my job, I do need to recharge my batteries every so often, and I appreciate the breaks and vacation days that spring up every so often (not to mention the long summer holiday!).

a vacation from your problems *

I’ll have off Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday surrounding Easter weekend.  I’ve decided, though, to start  my spring break early – yesterday, in fact.  I’m not taking any personal or sick days, but rather just mentally starting my vacation early.  I have to work just 25 hours this week, and but otherwise I’m free!  I’m going to come to work right on time and leave shortly after the kids do.  I’ll do “vacation-y” types of activities (going out to eat, shopping, spring cleaning, taking walks) before and after work tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  This turns my six day vacation into an eleven day vacation.  I’m already loving it!

*If you don’t understand the reference from the photo, I suggest renting What About Bob immediately.

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When the cat’s away…

My husband is out of town for two nights.  He left this morning, and I miss him already.  While he’s gone, though, I’d like to make the most of my alone time!  Here’s my list.

  • Write at least three blog posts. I’m not always on top of this when H is home.  That’s good, because it follows my “act instead of plan” goal.  I do really enjoy working on this blog, though, so I’m really excited to have some alone time to do it.  (check!)
  • Weed the garden. I’m not sure how it is possible that there are weeds when the grass is barely green… but unfortunately that’s the case.  (check!)
  • Spray down old wasps nests. Does anyone know if it’s safe to just spray down old wasps nest with a hose?  They’ve been frozen all winter.  This is a job that neither H and I want to do, so I figured I’d surprise him.  (check!)
  • Make a pennant banner. I’ve been wanting to make one for a few months, and I figure now’s as good a time as any.  I found a no-sew tutorial that looks easy enough, or a relatively easy tutorial that uses the sewing machine.  (not happening…)
  • Take a walk. It’s too nice outside not to.  (double check!)
  • Make the grocery plan for the week. (check!)
  • Plan grocery trip. Let’s see if I can actually plan a successful trip using double coupon day, and armload of coupons, and a grocery store flyer.  (check!)
  • Clean. While I’m not really looking forward to it, good spring cleaning is needed.  This is one of the last items on my list, though, so we’ll see if it actually gets done!  (half check! it’s not a spring cleaning, but it’s a good tidying up)
  • Watch a lot of murder mystery television shows. H isn’t really a fan, but I always love a one hour open and shut case.  I already know this is a bad idea, because I always get scared when I watch CSI or any of those criminal shows… but I know I’ll do it anyway!  (check!  but I wish I didn’t, especially when I’m alone in the house.)
  • Eat cereal for dinner. Another thing that I love but don’t do much when H is home.  (check!)

**Update… And, because I’m crazy and love to add things to my list just for the sake of checking them off, here are some other things to add to my list…

  • Go grocery shopping. And save a bundle of money to boot.  (check!  but too bad I realized 3 hours later that I left the milk on the fridge.  Still drinkable?)
  • Update groceryhop.com. This is my new way to track groceries.  I’ll post on it when I figure out how much I like it! (check!)
  • Close an old bank account. (check!)
  • Pick up shoes for Anne’s wedding. (check!)
  • Put snow clothes in storage. (check!)
  • Take out the garbage. (check!)

Goal Update

It’s about time … *shudder* … to check in on my goals.  All of my goals.  Which I have been “working towards.”  In theory.

It’s not so bad, really.  I think I’ll find that I’m not doing quite as well as I thought, though, which is the reason for the shudder.  Here goes nothing…

1)  Make delicious, home-made dinners a non-event

OK, this is the goal that I’m probably doing the best on (so I’m really glad it’s first!).  I’ve gone from burnt grilled cheese sandwiches and soggy PastaRoni to oven fried tilapia and martini mac and cheese.  My current goal is to find some lighter recipes to try.  Grade: A

2)  Buy and make quality pieces for our home

I’ve given more thought to the amount of time any given item will last, and if it’s worth putting in a few extra dollars for a better product.  Sometimes it’s not – a book at Half Price Books will be the same as a book at Barnes and Noble – but if it’s something that will be an obvious quality difference (for example, the watch H wears daily), I’d rather buy one that will last.  I try not to balk at spending more on an item I know we can get for less, and instead focus on the quality.  We haven’t had any major purchases in the past few months, though, so I’ve only put this into action on a small scale.  Grade: B

3)  Continuously improve our marriage

I read The Five Love Languages (and I’d highly recommend it to any person, married or not), and I’ve put a good dent in my second reading of Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus.  In a stroke of what can only be called brilliance, I put that book on the shelf behind the toilet.  Best marriage move  yet.  That may be an exaggeration, but it really has been a success – I could never convince H to read a marriage book so frequently otherwise.  Grade: A

4)  Be confident in my appearance

On the positive side, I’ve started wearing makeup on a regular basis, and I’ve started styling my hair once in a while instead of pulling it back every single day.  I haven’t been able to lose the weight that I wanted, though, so I’m disappointed most of the time  I look in the mirror.  Grade: D

5)  Be proficient on the sewing machine

I haven’t spent much time on this goal, so there’s not much to report.  I’ve only done one sewing project in 2010 (an apron), and it turned out well.  It’s nothing that I couldn’t have done in high school, however, so I’m going to have to give myself poor marks for this goal!  Grade: F

6)  Keep an organized, clean home

I’d say the house is organized.  We have a place for everything, anyway.  Everything in it’s place?  Not so much.  H is organized.  His jacket is never on the floor, his books are never left lying about, and his keys are always on the key hook.  I am a little more scatterbrained.  If I can see my desktop, it’s a good day.  I am working on it, though.  Whenever I get a spare moment, I play a game where I put away five things in every room.  (We only have six rooms, so it doesn’t take long.)  It’s made a difference.  Cleaning doesn’t happen quite as frequently as it should, but it could be worse.  Grade: B

7)  Act instead of plan

I used to waste a lot of time blog surfing.  I truly mean waste, too – I was subscribing to every semi-interesting blog that I came across, which quickly snowballed into over 250 subscriptions.  I’d fill up to 1000+ items in three days if I didn’t keep on top of it .  I’d spend hours just hitting next, next, next, next, on Google Reader.  I am very proud to say that I’ve kicked the habit!  I do still love reading posts, but I found a way to dramatically reduce wasting time on blogs that I wasn’t getting anything out of.  This left me with quite a bit more time to live in the real world, and I am getting only quality, interesting information daily.  Grade: A

8)  Keep a healthy household

After hundreds of dollars in dental and eyecare bills, I’d give myself an A just to make myself feel better about spending so much.  And that’s AFTER insurance.  We also joined the YMCA and have been regularly attending.  My $1 per half hour plan has been largely successful.  I’m still using and loving it, and H has made such a good habit of working out that he doesn’t even need to use the program anymore.  We’ve cut out chocolate and chips for Lent.  Next up: portion control and cutting the calories!  Grade: A

9)  Be confident in our finances

I use Mint.com to track all expenses, and I know where nearly every dollar goes.  That’s not to say that I rigidly follow our budget, however.  Something always seems to come up that we weren’t expecting, or that I thought would cost less.  I also would like to have a better “big picture” idea of finances.  H typically handles all larger transactions (stocks, mutual funds, etc.), and I do day to day items.  It would be better if we had a little more overlap… or at least if I had a better idea of our finances on a whole.  Grade: C

10)  Be a friend

After a long hiatus, I’ve made friends with Facebook once again.  As much as I dislike it in theory (more on that later), it does have quite a few redeeming values, and at this point I’ll use it for the purpose of being a better friend.  Also, another good mark: by the end of this weekend, I’ll have spent time with three different groups of friends – a really good weekend for me.  I’m still not making the grade, though.  One of my best high school friends moved into a duplex about a mile down the road two months ago, and I’ve seen him ONCE in all of that time.  Grade: B

11)  Give back to the community

Big fat failure.  Nothing else to say about this one.  Grade: F

That wasn’t so bad!  I think I need to check in on my goals every month – it has been eye opening, and it’s motivated me to get up off of this couch and get going!

I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas

Can life get any better than this??
We’re lazing around next to our newly-decorated Christmas tree, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on television, staying cozy with all of the snow falling outside.  Love it!  And if I’m extra, extra lucky, I’ll get a snow day tomorrow.  There is nothing like a surprise day off to brighten the week!