Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Refrigerator Zero

I am a big fan of Inbox Zero and am proud to say I achieve and maintain that state most days.

However, our family are not so good fridge-wise, which is why I have decided to tackle the Great White Whale with a similar attitude to email.

You see, the fridge is a place to keep food you are going to eat.

Not food you could have eaten and now it is too late.

Or food you should have eaten but forgot you had.

Or food left from when other food was eaten and now cannot be eaten.

So, here is my plan:

The old method was to wait until you couldn't stand it anymore, when the fridge was so full of assorted Tupperware containing unidentified mystery objects. You then stand with the door open so long the poor thing becomes hoarse with beeping at you, while you pile said Tupperware containers beside sink with one hand, while tossing anything non-Tupperwared straight into the bin. You run a cursory eye over the collection of half-empty jars and bottles, sigh deeply and shut the door. You then lose all motivation for the project, which is a shame because the worst is yet to come. You still need to empty the contents of those containers into the bin fast, so you can empty that bin to the one outside even faster and at the same time, get those containers washed before the smell takes over the house.

NOT my idea of a good time!

So now, I plan to take a moment each day - probably while breakfast is cooking (sounds grander than it is: just waiting for toaster and kettle to do their magic!)- and review the fridge contents. Like my email system I am going to evaluate everything and Ditch, Deal or Decide (I don't think Delegate is a wise inclusion :)) I will take no prisoners: you are either in or out.

Now, in case you are ready to scream about the waste, relax. You see another goal for the year is to reduce food waste. Bottom line is this family are terribly hit and miss, either everyone is here at mealtimes or nobody is, which makes dinner preparation a bit tricky. My husband works eccentric hours which means he might come home at 5pm - or maybe Thursday! So a lot of food is set aside for him but not needed and gets forgotten. We also have a couple of food intolerant and/or food preference issues to work around - which is cool, as everyone is an adult and everyone has rostered days for cooking - so sometimes a second or even third meal is prepared and it is easy to over-calculate what is needed.

At this point you can see the source of all those Tupperware-ensconced mysteries!

We also get all of our fresh food delivered directly by standing order with Aussie Farmers Direct, which is heaven, but if the person who eats most of the bread/eggs/fruit etc is not home much that week, you can be left with unwanted bread/eggs/fruit for consumption. And you can only freeze so much, especially when there is another delivery imminent.

So I have decided to take on the role of overseer and keeping on eye on stocks. If eggs and bread are mounting up, then I will make a bread and butter pudding. If apples are overflowing the fruit bowl, I will stew a big batch. Leftovers will need to earn their keep (and their Tupperware place!) and will feature more in lunch menus!

And with all this extra space in the fridge, the veges can claim a longer life in their own Tupperware Fridge Smart containers, of which we have a great collection, because they will fit! And I am getting back in the swing of pre-chopping/shredding/preparing vegies so everyone can just grab what they need to cook, rather than choosing to cook what is easiest to prepare!

So - no promises, but this is where I am at and so far, so good. Refrigerator Zero - my new productivity goal :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am an avid fan of Goddess Leonie and her inspirational resources and happy messages in my inbox.

As part of my New Year "stuff", I am working my way through her 2010: Creating My Goddess Year workbook

Its a little bit arty and a little bit spiritual but it is also a great way to do a bit of a brain dump and work out what you actually want to focus on this year. As an inexpensive e-book download, printing out all the colourful pages inspired me as much as anything! You know I like a bit of colour :)

I am not rushing through the workbook, rather relishing every bit of it. It is too hot to fluff around taking photos today, but I will do when we cool down a bit!

Lovely Leonie is growing a baby right now and I look forward to seeing her travel the journey of motherhood in a few months :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

365 Project


One week down, 51 to go!
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting back into reading

I was just reading this blog post and made a comment, then thought I would re-post it here to remind myself!

The topic is getting back into reading:

This is on my hit list for 2010. I have always described myself as a compulsive reader. I am a member of most of the online communities you have listed. I own more than 1000 books and actively support my local library. Last year I noticed a huge drop in the amount of books I was getting through compared to years gone by – even when those years had involved babies and young children or full time work, I was reading more. When I was prescribed reading glasses for the first time mid 2009, I thought maybe that was it, but I saw only a small increase.

I think I have identified the culprit and am putting together some weaponry. But, you see, it is what I doing right now! Reading blogs! Reading Facebook! Reading all day long, but on a screen instead of books, or even magazines! So my solution is to switch off earlier in the evening and hit the books instead.

I hope it works! Mount To Be Read is getting enormous!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My One Little Word

For the past couple of years, I have embraced the concept of One Little Word for the year, generally attributed to scrap booker Ali Edwards

The idea is to have a word which defines your main goal for life that year.

In 2008, my word was CREATE.

In 2009, it was LIVE.

For 2010, a year that includes my daughter's wedding and much, much more, I decided the important thing is to ENJOY! I predict hectic times ahead, but they should all be good and even when they aren't, I will still strive to ENJOY the moment!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reviewing my yearly goals

I don't do New Year's Resolutions as such, rather I have goals which I review on an annual basis and tweak as needed. The current goals I have been focusing on since the beginning of 2008! I reviewed them here this time last year and thought I would do so once more.

Goal: Become a better photographer.
Strategies 2008/2009
- learn how to use my new camera
- follow online tutorials
- learn how to use Photoshop
- take photos most days

mmm .... well, I have come to accept that I can take great photos in auto mode and that learning how to program settings is beyond my abilities at this time. I had a neuro psychological assessment in 2009 (as part of my MS management) and it highlighted I have difficulty learning new things, so I am not going to push myself. I will focus on other aspects of photography and have been improving in my use of natural lighting and have also got a zoom lens which is giving good results. Photoshop continues to challenge me, but I can do the basics I need! I certainly took heaps of photos in 2009, if not daily, and 2010 sees me back on the Project 365 wagon.

Goal: Enjoy more yoga
Strategies 2008/2009
- Enrol in local yoga class
- Make time to practice regularly
- Use my existing resources

A big tick on this list, as I have enjoyed the year with a different teacher and have challenged myself in new ways. I even managed two classes per week at times. I hope to make that a regular thing this year and would really like to try the beach yoga classes.

Goal: Be as healthy as I can
Strategies 2008/2009
- Eat less, move more
- Eat fruit, drink water
- Respect my body
- Stretch often
- Practice yoga
- Walk instead of driving
- Be hydrated

Okay, here I have done well. I have achieved all of the above and also took swimming lessons and water aerobics classes! I have consiously chosen to walk when I could drive, especially when running errands at work. I eat lots of fruit and drink more water than I used to, but there is still room for improvement!

Okay, so moving on:

2010 is going to be a big year, not only because it includes my daughter's wedding! So I really need to be realistic about what I can achieve. I will build on my existing goals, but develop different strategies.

Goal: Capture the memories (was become a better photographer)
Strategies 2010
- always have a camera with me (DSLR, compact point and shoot or Blackberry)
- commit to the Project 365 and take a photo every day of the year.
- commit to Project Life and create scrapbook of the 365 photos.
- continue to scrapbook my way through photo prints and maintain current albums
- journal more, blog more, remember more!

Goal: Be as healthy as I can (now incorporating Enjoy More Yoga)
Strategies 2010
- Enjoy regular yoga: twice weekly classes where practical
- Continue water aerobics at least once and preferably twice weekly
- Eat less, move more
- Eat fruit, drink water
- Walk instead of driving
- Regularly use Wii Fit to chart progress.
- Lose weight at a safe and steady pace
- Swim for pleasure and movement (review need for ongoing classes)

So there you are: my personal goals and strategies for the year ahead. Lets see how I go!

Project 365 - photo a day

Its the first day of a new year! So what better time to commence the Project 365?

I attempted this in 2008 and kept up til Day 88, which was a good effort! Life got in the way (my health) and I abandoned it. I think I had made it too complicated, by following a blog where there was a daily prompt to adhere to. I had begun elsewhere with a self-portrait a day, but that got too hard! So this year, I am just going to let it happen. If I find an online source of prompts that work for me, that is what I will do, otherwise I will just capture daily life.

What I have done is order Becky Higgins Project Life as an easy way to scrapbook the photos. Last time I used a self made min album, but again, that was just that bit too much extra work. I am hoping a ready set up album will make it much easier :)

I will use all my camera options - DSLR, digital point and shoot and my Blackberry. So sometimes I might have a great photo opportunity with the worst camera - or vice versa - but I am not stressing over that. I am planning on buying a new point and shoot for my handbag, so that should help: my current one, though excellent, is heavy and bulky compared to newer models and "only" 5MP!

With The Wedding in November, I am hoping to capture all the fun as we take that journey of planning and preparing. Hopefully, I will end up with a record of the wedding year which we can all look back on.

So there we are - I have publicly pledged this! Between my blog followers, Facebook Friends and whichever Project 365 community I link up with, that should be enough accountability to keep me going!

I will be blogging the journey over at Just About Scrapping, my other blog, so please visit there to follow the journey :)