Badlands of South Dakota.
We all experience it, don't we? The mad dash to get out the door in the morning and we can't find anything? It absolutely drove me crazy when I was younger. It never dawned on me to get things ready the night before in order to have a peaceful morning. It truly does make a difference and it doesn't have to take very long. I know that the evenings are meant for relaxation and just calming down a bit after a long day, but just a few preparations can give you time and less stress the next day. Some ideas might include:
*After supper in the evening, wash AND dry your dishes. Don't leave them to air dry in the sink so that you have to put them away in the morning. Clean your kitchen, organize it, and put things away.
*I'm a believer in eating breakfast every morning so plan what you're going to have the night before. For us, it's usually just cereal, granola, or oatmeal, so I put those things out whether it's the boxes the cereal comes in, or the pan, spoon, measuring cups, etc. I'll need for the oatmeal. To keep it looking less cluttered, I pull out a tray and arrange everything on a tray - it just looks nicer.
*Set the breakfast table (which in our case is also the dining room table). I used to make the mistake in the early days of setting the table for breakfast right after everything was cleared from supper, but then that meant that no one could use the table for writing or homework or working on projects and I didn't like that so I've learned to set the breakfast table as late in the evening as possible - when you know that everything is done for the night. But set out the bowls (or plates if you are serving something besides cereal), silverware, sugar bowl, fruit, juice glasses, vitamins, etc. Everything you need so you won't spend your morning doing this.
*Get your coffee pot ready - put the grounds and water in. All you have to do is push the "on" button and it can brew while you do something else.
*If you send lunches along with someone, get everything ready (even make the sandwiches or salads and put them in the fridge). Get the lunch container ready with utensils, napkins, etc. SO much easier to put everything together the next day.
*Are there papers or books that need to go with certain people? Get them together in one place so they can grab and go.
*Keys. How many of us hunt for keys? Put them in one place every day so there will be no more hunting.
*The car. Did you notice that the car was almost on empty when you came home. Getting out in the evening to put gas in your car (even when you think you don't want to go out anymore) will save you the headache of having to leave earlier in the morning to do it. Better yet, if you're driving home and notice the car is almost empty of gas, stop somewhere BEFORE you get home. Then you don't have to worry about it at all!
*Get the clothes ready. Are they ironed? Know what you are wearing and everything that will go with what your wearing.
*Take off makeup and wash your face - I used to not do this and it truly is a time saver in the morning. It's also better for your skin.
*Now you can relax. This all may seem like a lot to do in the evening, but it all goes very quickly especially if it becomes routine. It really will make the next day go so much better. I hope you can give it a try!!!! (A note here - if you have children at home, let them help with all of this. They can help with dishes, they can set the table, they can get their own things ready. It's a good idea to raise children that are organized too!)
Well, yesterday was a very nice, rainy, day again. Usually around this time of year, everything should look brown and dry, but we have had periodic rains all summer long and it looks beautifully green and lush. So I, once again, took advantage of the rain and did something creative. We were running out of greeting cards so I sat and made four of them:
You wouldn't think it would take very long, but I love the process of choosing the paper and then cutting everything out and then laying it down and lastly gluing it all down. I hope you can try to make your own cards. It's a very artistic thing to do and very frugal. It's fun to not have go to the store at the last minute. Just choose from what you've made, grab a "Happy Birthday", "Congratulations", "Get Well", or whatever stamp you need and send it off! : )
And, because of working on this project, I didn't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so I thawed out a pound of organic hamburger (I have several in the freezer at all times for quick meals) and grabbed one of our homemade "hamburger helper" mixes from the pantry shelf:
This one is the Italian Style Hamburger Helper:
Put together in a zip-lock bag, 8 oz. of whatever noodles you want, 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes, 1/4 tsp. oregano, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. basil, 1/2 t. salt. When ready to use: brown 1 lb. of ground beef (drain), add 3 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add your noodle/spice mix and an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. So easy and quick! (I do find that I need to thicken it a bit with a little cornstarch mixed with water)
I served it with fresh corn-on-the-cob and watermelon slices. : ) Mixes really are a good idea to have on hand when you want to pull a good meal together in less time.
That's it for today. I hope you have a good weekend. Please remember to pray for everything that's going on in our country and world. God bless.