Friday, September 14, 2012

3 in 30 September Update - #2

Here's what I've been doing on the three goals I set for September as part of the 3 in 30 challenge:  

1. Organize fabric. Most of the fabric I use for projects are in bins grouped by color. However, there are some pieces of fabric that are in bags that I want to put in the bins. Also, I'd like to go through all the fabric and donate the pieces I don't care for any longer and/or plan to use.

I did not work on organizing fabric this week.

2. Begin to organize taxes. Last month when I cleaned my office, I came across an expandable file. I had set it up one year to put receipts and other documentation in for each category for taxes (e.g., health care, mortgage payments, homeschooling expenses). I'd like to take what I have saved thus far and put them in the appropriate categories to make tax-time easier in 2013.

I worked almost two hours (1 hour and 50 minutes) on this project and it is done! I removed all the receipts, bill statements, and check copies from one of my desk drawers and put them in the appropriate categories in the expandable file. 

The file with all the paperwork needed for taxes.

Then I went through a bag of things that I need to be file, and found some more items that needed to be put in the expandable file. 

Once I finished paying bills for the month, I was able to put the items I needed to keep for taxes directly into the file. It is such a great feeling to know that about nine months of items for taxes are already divided and ready to go when tax time comes this winter. 

3. Plan meals for the month. Sophia will be making food as part of her Eastern Hemisphere curriculum; Olivia will be making food as part of Five in a Row; and both the girls will be making food as part of the Cantering the Country curriculum (U.S. geography).  So, each week there are more lunches and dinners being prepared through homeschooling than there are from what I have on hand. 

I need to schedule these homeschooling meals and balance them out with food that I make so that the girls aren't cooking for each of the meals. This also will use items that we have on hand so we aren't wasting food.

Followed the meal plan for the most part this past week. There was one day that I didn't look at what I had planned for dinner, so I didn't take out what needed to thaw that morning. Although I scrambled a bit to figure out what to make, it worked out fine.

I helped Olivia make Fried Ham. The recipe was from the Five in a Row Cookbook and ties into the book Down Down the Mountain. The ham steak has about a tablespoon of brown sugar on it. It was simple to make and tastes a lot like the honey ham I make.

Fried ham that Olivia made one night for dinner.

The girls wanted to make something one afternoon. I told them there was a recipe for brownies under the "Iowa" chapter in Eat Your Way Through the U.S.A.

So, they worked on their own and came up with what had to be the most delicious brownies I have ever tasted in my life. Seriously.

Homemade frosted brownies that Sophia and Olivia made.

With two sticks of butter between the brownies and frosting, evaporated milk, chocolate syrup, and chocolate chips, this certainly is a far cry from healthy food. Nonetheless, it was a very special treat that we all enjoyed.

I also tried some new recipes and easy-to-put-together items for children including:

=> Sandwiches on a Stick
=> Vegetable Plate with a Variety of Choices

Speaking of food, I have a giveaway for NewGreens Complete Superfood Blend. It's a delicious beverage that contains 15+ servings of fruits and vegetables in each scoop. The company is giving away a 30-day supply of it. Here's more information about the giveaway and how you can enter to win right on my blog (there are multiple ways to win!).

Back to 3 in 30 now...all in all, I'm happy with the progress I'm making this month; and have definitely enjoyed working on the third goal the most.


Jeanine Byers said...

Wow, awesome progress this week, Ann!! I can imagine how good it feels to have everything organized for taxes. We've been doing meal planning, too, and also have had a couple of days when we either forgot something at the store or didn't take out the meat to thaw. :)

Our Side of the Mountain said...

That's what we do! We rarely eat out. Usually it's for a special occasion only...and sometimes eating out means sharing a large fry and soda! ::laugh:: Most times I pack up lunches in plastic containers and the small cooler and stop at State Parks or playgrounds at mealtimes. It's more convenient as the kids can eat and run around!

We have Leftover Lunch. Every day...lunch is leftover from dinner before. Lunch meat is too expensive now (and full of "stuff") so I just make a little more and have the next day...unless we're going out and then it's packed lunches. And what doesn't get eaten - like veggie ends - is composted for the garden or given to the chickens and ducks. I rarely throw away food here!

I also combine trips out as much as possible, sticking closer to home. I've been spreading my grocery shopping out to almost 2 weeks between trips now as it's 15 miles away to the store. It's a little challenging to plan 2 weeks of food, but it gets easier.

Lots of great tips!

Nikki said...

Wow! Impressive! You got your tax stuff done! Very good. And following your meal plan is great, too! And you still have two more weeks to work on your fabric. You're doing great this month!

Those brownies sound decadent. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Deanna Kohlhofer said...

You are awesome! Thanks for sharing more recipes too. I think I am going to try that fried ham - yum!

Garden Tenders/Kim said...

Those brownies look yummy! I'm doing meal planning too, and now I am trying to work in a monthly "German" day of food since we are learning German. Thank you for sharing your progress it helps me so much!

Sherri Davidson said...

Fantastic job on your goals!! It must feel amazing to have all that paperwork for taxes sorted out!