Get Help

    One Bite at a Time Project 51, Get Help

    I think Project 51, Get Help, could easily have been one of the first projects included in the book, but then I think that perhaps Tsh organized it this way because after working through 50 earlier projects you’ve probably gotten a better idea of what sort of help you most need.

    I know where I need/want help the most. I’d love to find a mother’s helper to come over a couple of mornings a week and play with the kids. Take them outside if the weather allows. Play games with them. Just … entertain them to give me a break. Time to read a book that requires closer attention. Time to write. Time to deal with household tasks such as paying bills and updating the budget. Time to tackle bigger projects like the basement storage mess. All those things that are at best, really really difficult to do with small helpers. One day a week for more traditionally seen as productive sorts of stuff, and one day a week for things that are more productive in the “keeping Sheila sane” realm would be glorious.

    Why haven’t I done this? The challenge of finding someone. The feeling that I’m being frivolous with our money by wanting something like this. The knowledge that it would require some creative budget rearranging to work it out to be a regular occurrence.

    I think the main reason I haven’t made it happen is guilt. Guilt that I feel like I shouldn’t spend our money like this. Guilt that as a stay-at-home-mom I feel like I shouldn’t need help during the day.

    So how do I move beyond these feelings? I know that having a regular break from the kids would make me a better mom the rest of the time, so how do I stop feeling so guilty about wanting it?

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Evaluate Your Home

    One Bite at a Time Project 50, Evaluate Your Home

    So close to finishing the book, I have to get back to it and wrap up the final projects. And number 50, Evaluate Your Home, is one that we’ve kind of been in the process of doing for a couple of years.

    Two years ago we began house hunting, after living in our first home for 7 1/2 years. We’d been there long enough to know what worked well, and what we really wanted in our next house.

    Eighteen months ago we moved into that next house. It’s a great house, and it has most of what we wanted, so why are we still evaluating? Because there are things we’d like to change, ranging from simple to potentially more complex. And what we haven’t decided is what all we really want to do, and what sort of time frame we want to do it in.

    For example: Our kitchen sink and faucet aren’t the greatest. Kitchen sinks and faucets are also fairly inexpensive and are easy to replace. Except our counters are in terrible shape. Stained, scratched, and peeling laminate make them also something we’d like to replace. Not so inexpensive and not something Mr. SJ can do by himself, like he can the sink and faucet. We’ve also talked about making some changes to the kitchen layout, which makes things not only more expensive and complicated, but it means that we definitely don’t want to have spent money on new counters if we’d end up with a new layout and counters that no longer fit. So until we know what we want to do, we’ve done nothing. Not even replace the sink.

    We’re also doing some thinking about the master bedroom and bath. From a simple change of adding one window (my biggest complaint with the house is probably that the natural light is skimpy, so adding a window would be a big help), to potentially bigger changes.

    What we’re not really considering right now is moving. We just did, and neither of us want to do that again any time soon. We like where we live, and we love our house. It works well for us, and we’re thrilled that circumstances fell into place for us to get it.

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Switch to Gentle, Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

    One Bite at a Time Project 49, Switch to Gentle, Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

    I hate to just skip a project, especially when I’m so close to the end, but I’ve got to admit: I’m not really feeling project 49. I’ve tried the natural toothpastes, and they exacerbated my sensitive teeth so I went back to the toothpaste my dentist recommended for me.

    I’ve tried castile soap and it was awful on my skin.

    I’ve tried some homemade body lotion and, well, I can’t afford to use them exclusively because I typically use so much lotion (ridiculously dry skin here, and yes, I know that the homemade or hard lotions are supposed to be able to use less. I used less, but I still need to use way more than I think most people must.)

    I’m guessing that it must just be my skin, because I know those sorts of products work for a lot of people. I have super sensitive skin and have to be very careful about what I put on it, so I’m going to stick with the brands I’ve learned will work for me and not cause reactions. I wish the more natural, eco-friendly ones worked for me; I love the idea, and I’d love the savings they’d provide.

    Do you use any natural beauty products?

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Wake Up Earlier

As I ease back into blogging from my unexpected break, it was nice to discover that this week’s project (#47, Wake Up Earlier) was one I am already doing! Thanks to Hello Mornings and Inspired to Action, getting up earlier has been a priority. I can’t say that I’m always 100% successful, but when I’m not it’s usually because of multiple wake-ups in the night due to one child or another.

If you follow me on twitter, I tend to post a “I’m up! sort of tweet to my group. It’s very motivating for me to know that people are looking for me, and I’ve made a commitment to others to be looking for them. If you want to get up earlier and find it a struggle, I encourage you to sign up for the next Hello Mornings session. It has been a huge help for me! And to tide you over until the next session starts, you can download Kat’s free ebook “Maximize Your Mornings.” It’ll help get you started!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Create a Family Tradition

Project 46 is Create a Family Tradition. And honestly, this is one where we need help. We don’t really have any great weekly traditions. We don’t really have any great monthly traditions. We have some yearly ones, tied to holidays and such, but beyond that? I’m coming up empty.

Some of it is just logistics; Mr. SJ’s work schedule varies enough that it’s not realistic to have a Friday afternoon/evening ritual involving him. He might end up finishing work at 5, or it might be 8.

I’d love to get some family traditions started; my kids are young enough that this is an easy time to establish them.

So, I’d love to get some ideas for family traditions – weekly, monthly, or otherwise. What ones do you do? What ones have you heard of that you’d like to implement, or wish that you’d started?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Make Annual Goals

Project 45 is Make Annual Goals. And this is probably proof that I’m somewhat crazy, but making annual goals in October? Absurd.

But I do make monthly goals (and I share them). I am working on drafting my 2013 goals, but they’re not finalized (again, it’s only October).

So all I’m going to say is that yes, I make goals. Sometimes I even succeed in achieving my goals. Ok, most of the time I succeed in achieving them, unless they’re health or exercise-related.

Do you set annual goals? If so, do you set them by the calendar year, or could you set new ones in October?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Find a Hobby (and Become a Lifelong Learner)

    Project 44, Find a Hobby (and Become a Lifelong Learner), is the one that when I first glanced at the table of contents I thought “I’ve got that one already.”

    There are certainly plenty of these projects where I’d never done them at all (like the eco-friendly skin care), or had barely tried them (like last week’s eat locally), but this one? This one is so taken care of.

    I’m not trying to sound smug, because it’s an easy one for me, so it’s like telling someone who grew up in a bilingual family all about the benefits to learning a second language. Yup, got it, no problem.

    See, if it wasn’t already obvious what with the new book blog I started last month, I love to read. It’s my favorite hobby. It’s the main one I do in this season of life (although someday I hope to get back to some of my others). And reading is such an easy way to dovetail with being a lifelong learner – I do read some light fiction, but I try and steer clear of trashy fiction. And I read a lot of nonfiction. {Speaking of nonfiction, did you see that my 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads starts over at the new blog today?}

    I’m self-taught in some basic CSS & HTML, as well as dabbling in JavaScript and PHP. I’d love to get into more programming, but again, that’s something that’s been pushed aside while my kids are so young.

    I hope to homeschool and one of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity to learn more myself about many areas where my education was piecemeal. We moved around just enough while I was growing up so that I missed out on some foundational stuff in English and math, so I’m hoping homeschooling will help me make my grammar impeccable. Currently I’ve got few weak areas relating to it. {hanging my head in shame.}

    What’s your favorite hobby? And do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!