Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs

Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

10 Areas to Master For Managing a Household

Chores, Domestic, Home, Kids, Marriage

I used to get the occasional email or social media message asking about how I plan my days or how I run our homeschool or how I keep my house clean. I have noticed that in the last year or so, as I have been sharing more of my life online, I am getting more messages about this subject and truthfully, it’s not a short answer. It’s not even one answer, really. There are as many answers as there are questions and I can only tell you how I deal with this stuff, it may not work as well for everyone else. I’ve been inspired to write a series on this topic, and I hope you can pull little nuggets of information from it to help you. I made a list of 10 areas, though I may have missed something feel free to let me know! I’ll cover one a week, every Thursday, starting tomorrow.

This list can seem overwhelming, so hopefully talking about one thing at a time will break it down into manageable pieces. The main thing to remember is that yes, there is a lot going on, BUT you do not need to feel overwhelmed about it all, you do not need to be constantly working. You can work on your time management to meet your goals, but having downtime mixed in there is very important. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself out and not wanting to do anything for days!

1. Keeping the house clean – Taking ideas from several organizational plans, I stitched together a system that has worked for me in tiny apartments, large houses and all the living spaces in between.

2. Homeschooling, field trips, navigating the kid’s social lives – Not everyone homeschools, of course, but even if you don’t homeschool, you do likely find yourself helping with homework, teaching life skills, planning family field trips and setting up events for your kids and their friends.

3. Daily cooking and baking / meal planning – Arguably the most important, and one of the most often dismissed, part of running a household. If you ever open the pantry at 5 and have no idea what you’re making for dinner, meal planning will change your life.

4. Taking care of yourself – With so much else to do in a day, adding yourself to the list can seem unreasonable, or like another chore. Really though, once you start taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you will feel and see the difference in your life (and believe it or not, you’ll see changes in your family as well).

5. Having a fun marriage – Not everyone who is running a household is married, or even in a partnership and I don’t want to make any assumptions here. Having said that, if you are in a relationship it can be your biggest asset or the biggest drain on your emotions. Deal with known issues or nurture an awesome relationship!

6. Having a social life – I admit that I am a natural extrovert and that I have been known to strike up conversations with random people out in the wild and make friends. I know that’s not for everyone, but there are other avenues to meet like minded friends. Just as important as making friends, once you have friends you love and care about you need to make time for them.

7. Squeezing in hobbies – I have met wonderful, dedicated wives and mothers that literally have no hobbies. In some cases they had hobbies before their families and haven’t gotten back into them, and in other situations they just never really developed any. Doing something just 100% for yourself is not a bad thing, and you don’t need to find hours every day, just carve out a little time a few days a week and after a while, you’ll be trying to carve out a little more time!

8. Caring for pets – This is a necessity, technically, the dog needs to go out, the guinea pig cage needs to be cleaned, etc. However, most of the time it’s just the bare minimum. Dogs are put outside but not taken for walks, etc. This is one of those categories children should be a part of. Not just for the help it provides, but for them as well!

9. Planner basics – My planner is the backbone of my daily organization. I’ve said before that I let my planner boss me around and that is how I deal with time management. There is a little more to it than that of course, but we’ll get into that later.

10. Downtime – Orchestrating your days to get it all done can get a little addicting, especially once you start to see what you can accomplish! Make sure you have downtime to recover from your day and be ready for tomorrow!

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Four Time Management Tips

Chores, Domestic, Kids

Homeschooling, sewing, craft projects with the kids, knitting, baking, cooking from scratch, keeping a clean home, adventuring, friends, etc etc etc. I get a lot of emails and messages asking me how I get it done, and the answer isn’t magic. Good friends that see my life on the daily ask, my own mother wonders, and it’s funny because I am far from superwoman, I swear.

It is all about time management, and there are four things I notice I do very differently than people who say they don’t have enough time. Hopefully this can help some of you that are feeling overextended. :)

1. Being disorganized
This should be a given. You’ll never lose 10 minutes of your morning running around rushing to find your keys if you put them in the same place every time you come home. Every time. If you always open, deal with, and file your paperwork when you get it (mail, papers from school / work / doctors / whatever), you’ll never have to search for an important piece of paper because you’ll know exactly where it is. People save themselves about 2 or 3 minutes by stashing a form from their doctor in the kitchen drawer and then lose 15 minutes or more when they need it a month later and have no idea where it is. If you are digging out from mass disorganization, this will take time and not be fun, but the first time you need something and you actually know where it is, it’s like angels singing.

2. Errand running
I know this is huge because of all the red shopping cart pictures in my Instagram feed. I haven’t been to Target in almost three years! I haven’t done grocery shopping at a grocery store in almost as long. I don’t really dislike going to stores, but there isn’t room for it in my life on a regular basis if I want to handle everything else going on well. (Note that I said well, because I can go grocery shopping with my kids, come home and throw frozen dinosaur chicken in the oven and call it a day. I don’t think that’s handling it particularly well though.) Pretty much everything you need you can order online for about the same as you can get in the store, I know this because I do it. With Amazon subscribe and save you don’t even have to order it, you just set it up and don’t worry about it anymore. I know that a refill of Windex, two bags of gallon zip bags, soap, shampoo, bubble bath, toothpaste, etc etc is going to show up once a month without ordering it. Ok so that part is kind of like magic. School supplies, birthday gifts for friends, appliances, kitchen gear, toys, clothes, shoes, whatever. Sometimes things are a little more expensive but sometimes they are way cheaper so I feel like it balances out.

I know grocery delivery isn’t an option everywhere, but it is available in many cities and people just don’t know about it. With services like FarmBox and The Farmer’s Market Fairy, even farmer’s market day can come to you (though I do like to go in the summer when we are less busy).

3. Social media time sucks
I know there are people that suggest deleting social media apps from your phone so you will not be tempted to use it throughout the day, but that’s sort of like going on a diet and declaring you’re never eating a carb again. You can have Facebook on your phone without being on it all day. There is just one rule really, respond to the notification and get back to the task at hand – do not hit the newsfeed and lose 15 minutes of your day. When your day is done and you have nothing else pressing, you can scroll through the newsfeed and read it all at once. You can turn off your Instagram notifications and just check it when you have a few minutes to respond to comments if you want, but most of the time, it’s a notification that someone ‘liked’ your picture and there’s no need to open the app and check which one, right?

4. Not having some kind of chore system
I don’t know if my OCD is showing with this one or not but there are so many chores that get forgotten about because they typically don’t need to be done very often so they end up never getting done. It isn’t until you notice the buildup of dust and cobwebs in your vents that you finally clean them, but it’s going to take twice as long (at least) because they are so gross. Make a short routine of things to do each morning when you get up and each evening before you go to bed, typically once the kids are in bed, that hits the major areas. There are tons of chore systems you can put in place in your life or make up your own. I do a modified version of Flylady, but you can use whatever you want, just make sure you use it. Otherwise, an hour or so of dedicated cleaning every day turns into losing your entire weekend when you have to play catch up later.

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