Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Organized Home: Creating a Chore Schedule

When my home is clean and decluttered it gives me a deep sense of peace and certainly more energy.  I feel like the day holds more options and potential when I wake up to a clean home with everything in its place.  Unfortunately this does not happen often enough!  I have found that between caring for a toddler and trying to feed our family three wholesome meals each day, keeping up with the laundry and dishes are sometimes all more than I can manage.  I knew I had to find a way to schedule all the chores that I want to have done into my week, especially before welcoming a new little one into our family in November.  I came up with a list of all the things that I want to do each week and then a smaller list of all the things that should be done monthly.  I then ordered the weekly chores into a Monday through Saturday list, assigning smaller tasks to days that are more hectic than others. 

Here is what it looks like:
  • Monday:
    • Vacuum
    • Clean out refrigerator (our CSA pickup is Monday afternoon)
  • Tuesday:
    • Meal Plan for the week
    • Clean mirrors, sinks, tubs and toilets
    • Empty trash
  • Wednesday:
    • Water plants
  • Thursday:
    • Dust and clean surfaces
    • Dry Mop floors
  • Friday:
    • Pay bills and update budget
  • Saturday:
    • Change all linens
    • Catch up on laundry
For my monthly list I have included:
  • Mop floors
  • Wipe down entire kitchen
  • Dust blinds
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Vacuum upholstery
I have been using this plan for a few weeks now and love it!  Even when I miss a day I am still getting so much more done than I used to.  I no longer feel overwhelmed not knowing where to begin and I no longer feel guilty that my house is dirty!  Even my husband has let me know how much he appreciates the extra effort I have been putting in lately.  Housework is never fun, but by breaking it down into manageable daily tasks it is so much easier!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Soup That Restores Health

Lately I have gotten tired and run down and have not stopped and taken the time to care for myself.  I noticed the first signs of a sore throat but just made sure to cut back on sugar.  A few days later I could feel something really coming on.  Being pregnant and caring for a two year old doesn't make sickness very easy to live with so I immediately pulled out all my health boosting remedies that are safe during pregnancy.  I took some homeopathic remedies, drank lots of water with olive leaf complex mixed in and made a pot of this soup.  I also had my husband and daughter pray for me and I got to bed a little earlier (not that I could sleep, but that is just pregnancy I guess).  Now it is two days later and I feel completely fine!  I am sold on this soup for whenever my immune system needs a boost.

As usual, I don't measure anything (especially not when making soup!) but here is the general idea.  I strain my soup before drinking it so I don't worry about cutting things uniformly and even leave the thyme leaves on the stem.

Combine the following in a pot and simmer until desired doneness:
  • Chicken broth (home made bone broth is ideal)
  • lots of garlic, roughly chopped
  • diced onion
  • lots of crushed red pepper and freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • fresh thyme (or dried is fine)
  • bay leaf
Once everything has had time to mingle, add fresh lemon juice to taste.  You can also add more (minced) garlic towards the end of the cooking for an extra garlicky kick (yes, you will have horrible breath!).  I like to drink mine strained in a mug.  It stays warmer this way and is easy to drink a lot at once.  It will be spicy (the peppers and garlic make it therapeutically hot) but should not be uncomfortable to drink.  Dilute with water if necessary.  I like mine really spicy and strong and feel like I have really helped out my immune system after a few cups of this soup!  Enjoy!