Eat Locally

    Project 43, Eat Locally, is one where, um, yeah, right now I’m not doing all that well at.

    It’s not that I don’t think it’s a great thing to do. And important for so many reasons. I just … don’t make it that much of a priority.

    There’s a farmer’s market open Saturday mornings not all that far from my house – at my old house it was close enough to walk (although the one time I did walk I regretted it on the return home. It was a lot longer trek when my arms were full of purchases). Despite the seeming convenience, I’ve only been a handful of times, and not at all this season (which ends this weekend).

    Saturday mornings end up where other things take priority is what it boils down to.

    There’s even a pseudo-CSA in the area, and I participated in it for several years when it first launched. I stopped when I got pregnant with baby #2 because I’d been having trouble keeping up with the items (especially the not-as-familiar items) and knew that with the difficulties I have in pregnancy I’d never manage. I’ve never started it back up again, and I don’t think I have any great reasons, other than laziness and remembering how awful I felt when I wasted produce from the bin before (and it seemed like it always happened.)

    Maybe it’s time to give it another shot, and see how it works. Although it does seems kinda silly to pick it up again this time of year. ;) Not exactly maximizing my produce opportunities that way.

    Do you make an effort to eat locally?

    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 a Compost Bin

    Project 42, Make a Compost Bin, is one I really want to try. Someday. Eventually.

    And honestly, Angie’s directions make it seem super easy – easy enough for me to do it even if my husband is too busy to help me.

    Except, what I’m not sure of is whether or not it’s something that should be started in the middle of September. Do you compost over the winter? Should I wait and start in the Spring? Does it matter? The details provided don’t tell me that.

    Google led me to a slew of websites with tips on composting in winter. And those tips make me think that it is an extra layer of potential complication, and maybe I should just wait until spring.

    My searches did lead me to an excellent site on composting, and she lives in Cincinnati, so not too far from me. Why does that matter? Well, the climate is similar so I don’t have to wonder if any of her advice isn’t really applicable – if I’d found a site on composting in Miami I wouldn’t have felt the same way. :)

    Do you compost? Any advice for a composting newbie?

    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 Chore System

    Project 41, Create a Family Chore System, is something we’re just starting to really begin.

    My oldest child turned three this summer, so he’s still pretty young. Even so, he’s actually helped unload the dishwasher since he was about 18 months old. We also have him put his own clothes away in his dresser, in addition to toy pickup patrol (although I need to get back to being more consistent about that one.)

    One of his favorite chores is helping daddy empty the trash and take the trash and recycle bins to the curb every week. He knows where the new trash bags are located and pulls one out, although he does need help putting it into the trash can.

    I do think he’d love it if we made a chore chart, and gave him stickers for each chore completed. That would probably also help me be more consistent with him (such as having him make his bed only some days, we’d have a reminder to do it every day.)

    He’s been “helping” fold laundry off and on for over a year, and just last week was he finally able to fold a kitchen towel reasonably correctly. He’s usually in such a rush to get it folded and get on to the next one that he would kind of fling it into a pile and say it was done. Last week he carefully smoothed it out, then pulled one side over to the other side, attempting to match up the edges. I was fairly astonished at his meticulous work, compared to the hurried job he’d done last time.

    What sorts of chores do you have your preschoolers do? How old were you when you started doing chores when you were growing up?

    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 Sinking Funds

    Project 40, Set Up Sinking Funds, is another project where I get to feel virtuous because I’m already doing it.

    Which is a nice thing, because sick kids have kept me from making much progress on my goals and would have kept me from working on any big project for this. It was kind of a relief to find that this week’s was one I could not worry about accomplishing.

    As part of my regular budgeting procedure I track our sinking funds so I know what we have available. We kind of use sinking funds for everything – vacations, home repairs, bigger home projects (like replacing our kitchen countertops eventually), regularly replacing computers (my husband is an IT guy and truly does “need” a new computer much more frequently than most people), even clothing.

    If it’s not a regular monthly expense, I have it set up as a sinking fund. I probably go a little overboard with it, but I love Excel and spreadsheets so I had fun setting the spreadsheet up, and tweaking it as needed.

    I don’t have separate savings accounts for all of my sinking funds (only the car replacement fund is on its own). Instead I simply track it via the spreadsheet. It’s easy enough, and then I don’t have to reconcile dozens of accounts.

    Honestly, I feel a little silly admitting how much fun I have playing with spreadsheets. Please, someone else tell me that they also have a love for Excel!

    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!

One Bite at a Time: Quarter Three Recap

Create a Daily To-Do List


I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 39, Create a Daily To-Do List, is something I used to do religiously. Lately however, I’ve gotten away from it. And by lately I mean “since having children.”

I’ve lost my zest for the daily to-do list when my life is more daily routines than daily to-dos.

Except, I adore checking things off of a list – it’s why I’m being more intentional about posting monthly goals, because I get the virtual satisfaction of crossing them off my list. So I’m going to give it another try and make those {repetative} to do lists, modified from one of my old daily dockets, created by yours truly. Yes, I am a big geek, and yes, it made me absurdly happy to have that personalized daily docket. I used to do so well about it when I had an easy way to print them, but printing for me now is a huge pain in the rear, so I never bother.

If I can ever get myself to a print shop or something, I’ve updated my docket to fit my routine now. {In other words, I took out certain things I used to be able to accomplish during naptime and got a little more realistic about what I can accomplish in a day.}

Update:
Because apparently an obvious solution is right in front of me.

This morning, I was writing out my memory verse on an index card like I do every morning. It helps get it into my brain by writing it daily, and then I have it to carry around in my pocket and pull out whenever I have a moment to review.

Cue light bulb moment!

Flipping the card over, I wrote out what I wanted to accomplish today. There isn’t much room on a 3×5 card, but that’s ok, because let’s be realistic, I’ll never manage to get to much “extra” beyond the regular daily routine. There was plenty of room for the non-routine items I hoped to get to.

So, I can’t say how it’ll work long-term, but I’m going to try this. I’m pretty excited about it, honestly, and feeling silly that it never occurred to me before.

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!

Carve Out Intentional Down Time


I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 38, Carve Out Intentional Down Time, is one I’ve been looking forward to. Maybe Tsh would give me some great ideas for how to find more time. Maybe I could just pat myself on the back that I was already doing well at it and could consider it an easy week. Either way it’s a win!

While I do love to be productive and cross things off my to-do list (hence why I tend to go overboard with my monthly goals list), having down time has never been something I’ve had to force myself to do – I’m too much of a bookworm and daily reading time is always a priority. Happily for me, something I love to do also has the benefit of (generally) being relaxing and refreshing, depending on my choice of reading material.

I do think it makes a difference as to what reading choices I make – if I’m exhausted or sick, attempting to read more challenging or thought-provoking books is not restful or enjoyable. Light fiction or rereading old favorites absolutely is though, and those would probably be my choices.

When it comes to carving out down time, that’s still something I’m figuring out. I love the idea of swapping babysitting time with another mom for each of us to have a free morning, but don’t know that I have any mom friends who would be interested / have children at the right age to need it / live close enough to make it feasable / blah blah blah. It’s something to think about though, to see if I can make something like that happen since the babysitter I had last summer had the nerve to grow up and get a real job.

I have been more intentional about meeting with friends, and making an effort to make new friends, which might seem like it doesn’t completely relate to “down time,” but if I’m not wrangling my children, it’s down time.

What do you like to do during your down time? Do you have to work at finding time to refresh yourself?

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!