Week at a Glance | March 19-25 2017

glance.jpg

family meal planning 2017

As far as a recap for last week, I'll keep things short and sweet, because truly it was a bit of a blur. We enjoyed March Break by way of movies, day trips, hang outs with friends and the kids partied at a sitter's for two days while I worked. While it wasn't Disney, it was still pretty nice.

This week, I am back into work mode (when am I not)? Business wise, I am really hoping to be able to launch my eBook for KonMari kids and secure a venue for my first workshop. The pressure is on, but it's really positive and I'm excited. Around the house, I am in full planning mode these days. Since finishing Mairi's room, I now want to take on the entire house. I have started brainstorming ideas for the boy's bedroom decor update and I'm looking forward to diving in. Hopefully, I will be able to get up an inspiration board on the blog this week and share with you what I have been working on. I've also taken the plunge and committed myself to doing the 'April One Room Challenge' of overhauling our master bedroom. On a personal note, we signed our whole family up to our local wellness centre and I'm so excited to finally start making fitness a priority.

On the food front, here's what we will be cookin' up this week:


Weekly Meal Plan – March 19-25 Sunday – Baked salmon, oven roasted potatoes, spinach salad Monday – Pasta with marinara sauce, side veggie salad Tuesday – Slow-cooker Cranberry Pork Roast Wednesday – Shepherd's Pie (maybe this will be the week I share the recipe?!) Thursday – Chicken Stir-fry, quinoa Friday – Breakfast for supper Saturday – TBD


I wish you all a wonderful week (and restful recovery from March Break)!

8 Key Organizing Tips from Marie Kondo's "Spark Joy"

mariekondosparkjoytips.jpg

marie kondo spark joy tipsI haven't exactly been quiet about my love for Marie Kondo's latest book, "spark joy". Quite the opposite. I've been bragging up "spark joy" every opportunity I get (you'd honestly think Ms. Kondo pays me... I assure you she does not -ha!). I really wanted to spend time going through the book several times before sharing the key points that resonated the most with me. "spark joy" is very dense with information, so it took me a bit to really narrow it down (again why I recommend purchasing the book for yourself, because what speaks to me may not necessarily with you).

1. Purge by Category and Not by Room: Since sharing my KonMari journey, I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people going through their own home purge/organization process. Most were following the KonMari method, but some were opting to do their own thing. For those that weren't going with Ms Kondo's method, they all seemed to prefer purging by room or area in their home, rather than by category as Marie suggests. In "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" it is made clear that the method involves purging by category, but no real reason for this is provided. "spark joy" confirms the reason, by making it clear that only when we really look at the volume of each particular category is it made obvious how much we should discard. A ha!

2. Purge First, Organize Later: If you've followed by journey, you know that this was a very vague area within "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and actually caused me a considerable amount of grief. Marie unfortunately didn't make it clear whether purging should be done first, followed by organizing or if the two could be done simultaneously. In "spark joy" however Ms Kondo puts the debate to rest, confirming that purging is to be done first, and organizing second. Her reasoning is simply that if your home isn't entirely purged first, you won't know how things will be best stored and organized. Having only what you know you will being keeping with a lot more free space in your home, will make organizing a much easier task that you'll only have to do once.

3. "For essential things that don't bring joy, look at what they do for you": The only hangup I've had when it comes to using the KonMari question of "does it spark joy?" as a measure of whether I should keep something, is when I was faced with tools and home cleaning supplies. Of course my broom doesn't spark joy... but, what would I do without it? The reality that my broom aids in my housework and makes it easier to keep my floors clean, does spark joy.

4. Don't Confuse Clutter for Rebound: Life is busy and sometimes we simply don't have the time to keep our home clutter free; things build up and suddenly we find our house looks like a still shot from the show Hoarders. Fear not says Ms. Kondo if you've purged and gone through the home organization process then it's simply a matter of putting back the things left out to their designated places and with a bit of effort everything is tidy again.

5. Grey Items: When it comes to purging, there are only two options: chuck it or keep it. However, sometimes it's not that black and white and we're undecided on what to do about  certain items. If you feel like you're undecided, then don't hide the item - display it and reflect on the ever important question of whether it "sparks joy" and then do what speaks to you. Hiding the idea away will delay the decision process.

6. Make Your Own Power Spot: Create an area in your home that is your mini sanctuary. If space allows, designate a room or a corner area for this purpose. If you find yourself unable to make a larger power spot, opt for something smaller like a corner on your kitchen counter. The purpose is to have an area for yourself that is strictly for enjoyment and will give you a "joyful" feeling every time you spend time in the space or look at the spot you've designed.

7. Keep Like Feeling and Similar Material Items Together: Materials create a feeling: metal for example feels industrial and sterile, while wood and fabric feel warm and inviting. Keeping this in mind, organize in likeness for the feeling you want to create in the space you're organizing.

8. Marie Kondo's 4 Storage Principals:  1. Fold it 2. Stand it upright 3. Store it 4. Divide storage into square compartments

[youtube id="gjWQn8n9cvY"]

Monthly Goals | February 2016

MonthlyGoals.jpg

monthly goals february Some months I really have to work to come up with my five goals, while months like this one, it's very apparent to me what they should be. February's five goals were made obvious through the month of January as I started the year off very focused on establishing my work and family life balance. I'm creating more content than every before and couldn't be happier doing so; but with this comes more of a time commitment. The investment of both my time, resources, and the support of others deserves my full acknowledgement of being "work". This is the focus on the first half of my goals. The second half, is concentrated on gratitude and acknowledging the beauty in those I'm blessed to have in my life. Oh, and water... always with the water.

Monthly Goals for February

1. Own What I Do: I naturally shy away completely avoid telling people what I do. I find it almost impossible to give myself the title of, "content creator" for a number of reasons. I worry people aren't familiar with my line of work and it will require a lot of explanation. It causes me anxiety to think people will judge me and I always find myself justifying or convincing. It should be noted that no one has ever made me feel like what I do isn't significant, it's purely my own insecurities that hold me back from being able to confidently name my job. However, I recognize that I am far too committed and passionate about what I do to not fully embrace it. I will work this month on being much more vocal on naming my job.

2. Stop Making Excuses: Being a content creator takes far more time than I ever would have imagined. As I mentioned in my first goal, being able to produce content requires a large commitment of time that I will no longer apologize for. Again, this is my own hang up, but definitely one I need to get over (like yesterday).

3. Write Down a Simple Gratitude Everyday: A sunny day. My reliable vehicle. Healthy children. A strong community of supportive friends and family. A phone call from my Mum. My third goal this month is to give a moment of reflection at the end of each day in which I will pen down one thing I'm grateful for.

4. Recognize the Attributes in Others. My fourth goal involves letting others know the wonderful traits and qualities I see in them. It is so easy to think there is time, or worse, that others already know their strong suites, when neither is the case. Pointing out the attributes I admire in others will be made a priority.

5. Increase my Water Intake... I know, I know. Someday, friends.

[youtube id="lpgmOcgbpiM"]

How to Easily Organize Your Kitchen

konmari kitchen organizationI've only just recently recovered from how much work purging our kitchen was (seriously, how can such a seemingly small space hold so much stuff?!). Knowing I had to face the same space again and reorganize it all, had me stalling. If you find yourself feeling the way I was, fear not friends, I got through it and not only did I survive, I promise it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, having a strategy and keeping things simple made it almost fun (yes, really) to work through our home's busiest space.

Using Marie Kondo's Spark Joy as inspiration, and going with her key point of having your kitchen serve the purpose of encouraging you to want to cook, and having things stored in such a way that it's easy to maintain tidiness, this is what I've come up with for an easy strategy for achieving an organized kitchen:

Step One: Get a Game Plan! Spend time in your kitchen and really look at the way things are currently set up: 1. Take a good look at the different areas of space in your kitchen. A. Are you making the best use of the "prime real-estate" storage spaces? Keep your most frequently used items in the most accessible spaces, while storing your infrequent things in the lesser preferred areas. B. Is your kitchen set up in the most practical and efficient way? Look at the way you use your kitchen, where you prepare your food and drink and evaluate how you currently have things stored in relation this. C. What can you change to make your kitchen work better? Play around with different ideas, until you come up with a solution that "clicks" and makes the most amount of sense. 2. If you're struggling with establishing what changes need to be made, seek out help from someone else!

Step Two: Plan Once you've determined what changes need to be made, it's time to plan: 1. Measure (and measure again) all the different drawers and cupboards - include measurements for different configurations of how you can organize each space (buying ideal sized containers isn't always possible, you may need to play around with layouts) 2. Take an inventory of all your staple food products and make a list of all the containers/jars you need to purchase 3. Bring container list and measuring tape to the store (Dollar stores are wonderful places to buy containers and storage solutions) 4. Buy containers in one colour to keep things looking uniform.

Step Three: Get to Work! Now that you've planned and prepared, it's time to organize! 1. Work in sections to avoid your whole kitchen being a disaster zone! A. Pull everything out of the space you're working in, clean the drawer/cupboard, insert organizational aids, and put food in storage containers. B. Don't be afraid to put like products in the same container to conserve storage space C. Label jars/containers if necessary. D. If needed, implement secondary kitchen storage (closet, hutch, etc.)

[youtube id="U-t09CZyjB8"]