Sunday, December 31, 2017

Getting Organized for the New Year: Setting Goals

(Picture:  Christmas decor down, packed away and valentine decor up.)

Part 1 in this Getting Organized for the New Year Series can be found HERE, part 2 can be found HERE.

Goals give me a sense of direction, something to aim for and a roadmap from where I’m at to where I want to be one year from now.   I work off my goals list all year long and feel such a sense of accomplishment when I can mark an item off as completed.

Below is an ‘overview’ of my 2018 goals, my roadmap for 2018 if you will …

Pantry and Preparedness:
Budget and spend $25 monthly to purchase non-food preparedness items

Start the weekly $5 Pantry Challenge again  (This $5 is pulled from the grocery money each week and used for stocking up purchases and is not to be spent on the weekly groceries.)

Do a once-a-month 'freezer meal' cooking day (I really want to build up a supply of ready to thaw, cook and eat freezer meals.)

Spiritual
Take Bible classes at a ‘biblical studies school’
Daily Bible Reading
Continue to teach teenage girl’s Bible class and children's Bible class
Attend and participate in our church’s monthly ladies Bible book class

Skills:
Learn how to do shadow work

Learn how to knit better  (I can do the very basics and that’s it! I'd really like to learn how to knit socks, but we'll have to see if that works out.)

Financial
Build Savings

Develop secondary streams of income  (This is where a lot of my focus is going to be this year.)

Health Goals 
Get back to a low-carb/ intermittent fasting way of eating

Blogging
Blog more often

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is just an overview of my goals.  I have a very detailed, step by step goal reaching plan laid out to help me accomplish these goals.  Around the first of each month I will post a 'to-do' list for that month listing the things I want to accomplish that will of course, baby step me toward the overall completion of my goals by years end.  I hope you will join me!

This concludes my 'Getting Organized for the New Year' series, I  hope  you have enjoyed it.  I would love to hear how you get ready for the new year.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Getting Organized for the New Year: My Journal

You can read the first entry in this series HERE!

When you read the word journal, I'll just bet you had images of something pretty and feminine, didn't you?  Come on, you can admit it! 

If I could find something pretty and feminine that fit my needs without all the other things that I don't need being included ... and in my world, if the price for that pretty, feminine, perfect for the season of life I'm in journal was something I could afford, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. 

As you might image, I haven't found such a planner yet so this is what I've been doing for the past 2 years and will do for 2018 as well.  I purchase this planner every year and make it my own!  (Let me inject something here, just for the record ... I love pretty, feminine planners/journals! If you're using a planner/journal that works for you, stick with it, do what works for you ... that's what I'm doing!!!)

 

Please note that I do not pay this amount for this planner, I get this same planner at the local store that is in every town for $12.98.

Here's how I make it my own ...


There's a 2-page spread for every month ... losts of room to write in those squares!  You might not need that much space but I do!!!  I use this for various things like how many eggs we get from our chickens each day, etc.


Right behind the 2-page month spread is a 2-page spread for each week of that month.  I don't use this planner as a planner but use it as a journal meaning that at the end of each day or the first thing the next morning I sit down and write down things that happened or that I did on that day.  There's plenty of space for each day and this is what sold me on this planner ...ummm, journal!


You may be thinking about how unpretty and plain my journal is but it's only as unpretty and plain as I allow it to be.  Washi tape is perfect for prettying up the edges of the pages.  I use different washi tape designs for different sections depending on what I have on hand.  What, you didn't think I went out and purchased new washi tape to do this, did you???


I like to doodle so I write inspiring quotes and do a little doodling when I have the time. Since I am a Christian and belong to God, alot of the quotes I write in my journal are of a spiritual nature.


I also write in inspirational frugal/financial quotes!


Here's another inspirational quote and doodle I added to my journal.

(Sorry for the sloppy handwriting, sometimes I get so caught up in writing that I don't realize how sloppy it looks!)

(Someday, when my time on earth is over, I hope my children will cherish 'mama's journals!')

Several times I've had to look back at past journals for information I needed which meant I got to read all those inspiratonal quotes again and get another blessing from them.  In this respect, my journal just keeps on giving!!!

So there you have it, my planner turned journal that fits my needs perfectly at a price that I can afford!

Next in my getting organized efforts for the new year are my goals for 2018 ... I'll talk about those and how I'm being more realistic in the goals I'm setting for the upcoming year as well as how I'm breaking them down into doable steps.  That's tomorrow's post!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Getting Organized for the New Year: Appointment/Birthday Calendar

I've tried several methods over the years to keep up with our appointments, birthdays and anniversaries and I always come back to this one ... a simple desk calendar.

I've tried planners, pretty ones I've purchased and home-made ones I've made, but I always come come back to this 'simple for us' method.

I attach magnets to the back of the calendar using a hot glue gun and hang it on the front of the refrigerator.  All through the year the Mr. and I add appointments or notes as needed.

In addition to adding appointments, I also use a colored writing sharpie (for 2018 I used green) and write birthdays and anniversaries on the appropriate dates.  This makes the dates stand out and helps me remember before the actual birth date or anniversary arrives!

When we have prescriptions filled I turn to the date it can be refilled and write down who it's for and what the prescription is.  This helps me stay on top of keeping our prescriptions filled in a timely manner.

When I have my sourdough starter going I write on the calendar when to feed it.  This helps me not to starve or neglect it to the point of it dying.

Since I make kefir, it's imperative that I take care of the kefir grains when they are not in use by feeding them every week.  I make note on the calendar when they need feeding so they don't weaken or die.

These are just a few ways we use our 'command center' if you will allow me to call it that, for that is really what it is.

Both the Mr. and I work off this calendar all year long. It helps keep us organized and on track, but the best thing is that it's in plain view each and every day.  We have an opportunity to look at it every time we go to the refrigerator or walk by it,  which means we don't have to worry about it being 'out-of-sight' 'out-of-mind', it's right there in front of us all the time!

Next in my getting organized efforts for the new year is my journal ... I'll talk about that tomorrow!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top 10 Posts of 2017 Countdown: #'s 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 ...

You can read #'s 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 HERE.

Here are the remaining five most read posts of 2017 ..

#5:  Fall Bucket List

#4:  Freezer Cooking:  Squash Casserole

#3:  Building a one month basics preparedness pantry, part 5

#2:  Building a one month basics preparedness pantry, part 4

#1:  The Ways of My Household 1/30/2017

Much of my writing this year has centered around disaster preparedness. After experiencing the devestation of a hurricane first hand I felt the need to help others prepare and that is where a lot of my focus has been in 2017. I've also focused on teaching classes in a Facebook group setting.

For 2018, I plan to focus my writings on indepth pantry building the most frugal way possible, financial preparedness, preparedness in general, learning new skills and much much more.  I hope you will join me!

Up next, I'm going to share with you how I'm getting organized for the new year ...

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top 10 Posts of 2017 Countdown: #'s 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 ...

(Picture:  On the home front, we put the finishing touches on our hearth in the early part of 2017!

It's time to start revealing the top 10 posts of 2017, below, counting backwards, are numbers 10 - 6 ...


#10:  The Ways of My Household 9/3/2017

#9:   Weekend Assignment: Do You Need This?

#8:  The Ways of My Household, 1/8/2017

#7:  Get a Job!

#6: Weekend Assignment:  Do You Really Know?


I'll post #'s 5 - 1 tomorrow!


patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27
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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Santa's Elves

In this post I shared with you that six year old twins were going to be staying with us the week of Christmas due to a family emergency in their family.  I also shared that their mama told me that Santa had come early to their house because of the emergency situation.  

The Mr. and I had to put our thinking caps on to come up with something to do for Christmas morning that would go along with their situation. Thanks to the help of others and their suggestions, here’s what we did and let me just say, it was pure joy!!!

The twins knew that Santa would not be visiting them at our house since he had already come to their house earlier in the week, but we spent Sunday tracking Santa anyway.  They loved doing this and wanted to check where Santa was several times throughout the day!!!

We even made reindeer food and spread it out in the backyard for Santa’s reindeer, they didn’t know what we were up to but they were so excited!   In spite of their excitement they went to sleep rather easily and slept soundly until 4:30 a.m. when the little girl needed to go to the bathroom.   On the way back from the bathroom she passed the tree and saw this note pinned to it ….


Down on both knees she went in front of the note and started reading in her 'I'm learning how to read' little voice.   The little boy woke up, jumped out of bed and ran to his sister where he promptly joined her and they both started reading the note.

As you might imagine, their excitement went over the top and they wanted to go to the porch immediately.   They didn’t care that it was 4:30 in the morning or that it was cold outside … they just wanted to open the front door, head outside and find their presents on the porch.  I told them we had to wait for the Mr. and persuaded them to wait until I could get him up.  He got up, yes, he did and we had Christmas from 4:30 a.m. until about 7 a.m. when it was decided that we were all tired and needed a nap.  Everyone crawled back in their beds and we all took a 2 – 3 hour nap.

What did Santa’s elves bring the twins …

The little girl got this baby doll … (which came from my gift trunk).   After the little girl opened her baby doll I asked her if she would like to have a blanket for her doll, she said yes, so I pulled this pink one out of my gift trunk and gave it to her.  I also told her that I would make her baby doll some diapers, clothes and a diaper bag.  She played with her doll all day long.  It was so sweet to see her interact as a little mommy with her baby doll.  

The little boy got a dump truck with all kinds of road construction pieces.  This did not come from my gift trunk as I didn’t have anything in it appropriate for a little boy his age.   We purchased it on the sly while out with both twins one day.  Let me just say that there has been a lot of sneaking around this week.  The little boy played and played with his dump truck and equipment all day as well.

They were both so appreciative of what 'Santa's Elves' had brought them!!!

When their mommy and daddy called later in the day they told them about 'Santa's Elves' and about what they had brought them. They were still excited!

It’s been a long time since we’ve been in charge of providing Christmas for little ones and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it … including our extra early rising on Christmas morning!   

We did our best to make Christmas special for them, I hope it is one they will remember for many years.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Digging Into My Gift Trunk One More Time!

(Picture: We finished making the fudge cups today!)

If you’ve been a long time reader of A Working Pantry you’ve heard me mention the twins that we babysit from time to time and the fact that we've been a part of their lives since their birth. Yesterday afternoon we got a phone call from their mama telling us that, due to a family emergency, she needed to go out of town immediately and could we watch the twins for a week which would include Christmas. Of course, we said yes!  She told me that Santa had come early to their house.   

I went into high gear trying to think of ways to make the twin’s Christmas special while they were away from their mama and daddy during this special time of the year.  I asked a group of ladies for ideas on making the holidays special for them and got several suggestions, but the thing that still eluded me was what to do about Christmas morning.  I just couldn’t stand the fact that they wouldn’t have anything special for Christmas morning and then one lady from the group sent me this idea … I knew immediately that it was the solution to my problem.

With a little tweaking of her idea I dug into my gift trunk one more time with this plan in mind …

Have a card or note left in plain sight for the twins to find Christmas morning.  The note/card would be from Santa’s elves saying that they knew that Santa had visited them early this year, but all the elves had gotten together and wanted to do something special for them anyway.  The card/note would tell them that since elves can’t come inside like Santa they would need to go outside on the porch where they would find a little something.

Isn’t this just a brilliant idea!   (Thank you Bonnie for this ‘perfect for the situation’ solution!)

I'll meet you back here on Tuesday with an update on how it went.  Have a great Christmas holiday!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Yet More From My Gift Trunk!

I needed gifts for the children in the Wednesday night children's Bible class that I teach so back to my gift trunk I went.  

Here are the gifts wrapped and ready for giving ...



Want to know what's in there?  Sure you do ... it's giant coloring and activity books that I got on clearance last year after Christmas!

I have lots of little children in my life so I'm always on the lookout for appropriate gifts for them that won't break the bank or my budget!

A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Thinking Ahead to Next Year: Christmas Fabric

I'm already starting to see some pretty deep sales on some things that I use so I'm going to go ahead and start taking advantage of those sales, such as this Christmas fabric ...


The regular price for one piece was $6.98/yard and the price for the other was $5.98/yard.  Both pieces are 100% cotton and of good quality.  Both are partial bolts with one having 3.50 yards and the other having 4.19 yards.  The fabric was on sale for 50% off per yard and then I had a 30% off coupon on top of that which made me bringing home 7.69 yards for $17.58 before taxes.  When the math was done I paid $2.29/yard before taxes.  According to the receipt, I saved $32.71.  I'll take it!

I'll use this fabric for next year's Christmas sewing ... and that's just one example of how I think ahead, of how I strive to have what I need when I need it, without blowing the budget!

A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE

A Working Pantry also has a new page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

More From My Gift Trunk!


I'm popping in to share these little gifts I made up this afternoon ... 




These little containers were in my gift trunk. I purchased them at the after Valentine's day sale in February. The ribbon was purchased on clearance after last Christmas. 

 What's inside and who are they for? 

 There are 6 pieces of red or gold wrapped candy inside each container and they're for the kids in our kidsing class at church! 

(Psst!  I purchased the candy at the after Halloween sales the first of November and it's been waiting patiently to be used, vacuumed sealed in quart jars, ever since!)

Yes, I'm still on Christmas break, I just wanted to share another benefit of keeping a gift trunk!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me THERE! 

A Working Pantry has a page on Facebook that can be found HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Five Reasons I'm Loving My Gift Trunk This Time of the Year!

If you’ve been reading A Working Pantry long, you’ll know that I consider, as part of my well-stocked pantry, a gift trunk to be essential.  It has come to my rescue many times when I needed a gift throughout the year.   Instead of heading to the store or a shopping mall, I shop from my gift trunk instead.  

This time of year I’m really loving my gift trunk and I thought you might like to read why …

1.      I don’t have the pressure of ‘having’ to go Christmas shopping.  There’s nothing like killing the Christmas spirit when you can’t find what you’re looking for and you have to go shopping again because you have to have it ASAP and you’re so tired that you just want the holiday season to go away.

2.     It’s budget friendly.  Often times I can give a gift that I would not have been able to afford had I not gotten it on sale/clearance.  I really try to keep my eye out for good quality items on clearance to add to my gift trunk.

3.     It makes for a LESS stressful holiday season and saves my sanity!   Did I mention that I don’t like the crowds and some of the attitudes that you encounter when shopping this time of the year???  Enough said!

4.     I don’t have to make any last minute shopping runs for an unexpected gift need.  My gift trunk has rescued me from this dilemma on more than one occasion!

5.     It saves time and frees me up to do other holiday related things I would like to do.  Things like watching a Christmas movie at home with the family or taking a drive to see Christmas lights.

My gift trunk is never empty, it get’s low sometimes, especially after the Christmas holidays, but it is never empty and that’s because I shop clearance sales and make things to keep it stocked all year long. 

Do you have a gift trunk, closet, box or drawer?

With this post I'll be starting my holiday break from blogging.  I'll meet you all back here the first week in January.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

FYI ... A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me there!

Also, come follow A Working Pantry on Facebook HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 
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