Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great Neighbor or Greatest Neighbor

I don't know if this is regional or has just started in the last few years but since we moved into our new neighborhood we have joined in on the tradition of boo-ing. Basically a neighbor brings you Halloween goodies after dark in the weeks leading up to Halloween and you have to reciprocate by "boo"ing two more neighbors. Pretty soon the neighborhood is filled with ghost signs posted on doors indicating boo-ing has occurred. This year, because I am living obsessively, I decided I wanted to start the gift giving and I wanted to make all of my treats. So I looked through Halloween ideas and got busy.

The pumpkins are brownie pops (brownies rolled into balls and dipped in candy melts) and the pretzels are just rods dipped in caramel and chocolate and rolled in sprinkles and candies. Pretty simple but it looks like I took great pains to make them. The brownie pops were a takeoff on this and the pretzel rods just seemed like an easy thing to make. I have a feeling I would make brownie pops again in the (near) future and I think practice will improve my technique quite a bit. It was such fun to have Emma ring the bell and then run back to the car before the neighbors caught us. There was much laughter and I hope my kids (and neighbors) will look back on these things with fond memories.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 23

Do you ever have those days when your to do list is a mile long but you don't want to think about it so you just take a nap? Yeah,that's today. My in-laws are coming so I really should clean the house right? I did manage to pick up the chaos of the living room and dining room but there's still so much to do. I did get my "boo bags" finished. They were so cute (post to follow). If I could just do things like that all of the time I would be happy. Someone else could take care of the house and I would bake and give food away.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 22

OK I'm going to start the week off strong. I don't know what that entails yet but I have every intention of accomplishing lots. I am going to go back to my daily schedule today to see if that helps keep me on track. It's just so hard when the kiddies are out of school. Man they really put a crimp in my plans. : )

Hey, I got my car detailed today. That is one thing off my to do list. Granted, one thing I didn't actually have to DO myself but I did have to drive there with my kids in tow. I also managed to come prepared for class but I'm trying not to think about the assignments I have that are half finished or the weekly notes I'm supposed to be writing. Because I have a philosophy that if you don't think about things maybe they'll magically go away or you can just complete them when you have time and you don't have to waste the rest of the time worrying about them.

Days 18-21

Whew the Martha moment must have taken a lot out of me. I blame fall break. Though I did get my laundry pile almost under control (folded and put away). I always vow to never let it return to its monster state but it does. Maybe the secret of being organized is following through on your promises to keep stuff organized. Wow I should write a book. What else did I accomplish? I started being dragged in by the inertia of not having things to do. Our house is not horribly unclean but I need to make sure it looks nice for the in-laws. I made more treats for the neighbors (pictures coming soon) and I did my homework (finally). I was also prepared for a birthday party (though I did leave my youngest child's shoes at home). All in all not too bad. I definitely need to go back to the daily schedule. Starting right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Martha Moment

Yesterday I decided I really, really wanted to make these and these but I knew I didn't want the leftovers hanging around (see references to losing ten pounds). So I decided to be all Martha/Bree Van de Kamp (she'll always be Van de Kamp to me) and deliver treats to the neighbors. I managed to snap a pic of the rice krispie treats but neglected to photograph the cashew bars. Both turned out so yummy it's a good thing I didn't have leftovers. I mixed two recipes for the krispies and added peanut butter from a recipe on the cereal site.

Then I took it up a notch (sorry Emeril) and made the wrapping paper from a Martha Valentine's Day idea. Basically you use a craft punch on tissue paper and then iron the shapes between two pieces of wax paper. So simple a child could (help) do it. After spending all of the time on the wax paper I wanted another idea for the other package. Emma suggested using paper bags (cut open) which we then stamped. I crumpled the second bag for a different effect. I really wanted to glue on googly eyes but I also really wanted to deliver the treats before they sat around my house and mysteriously disappeared.

The final product

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 17

I made it to the gym today. That is about all I can say I truly accomplished (other than the mad baking-post to follow). Sometimes it feels good to accomplish something that is not really relevant or necessary but just fun. The fall/summer weather has me alternately yearning to bake and running inside to nap on the couch while watching Food Network. A little aside, don't watch Food Network if you are trying to lose 10 pounds. But you know what, I did clean my kitchen after all of the baking so I feel pretty good about that. I took the Halloween decorations down from the top of the garage (having visions of falling on my head the whole time) and I just need to straighten the living room today so we can put them up. There's nothing better than a decorated clean house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 16

Do you ever find something that works and then abruptly stop doing it? Shortly after, you realize just how well it was working and wonder why you can't just keep on. That's sort of the struggle I'm having with the daily schedule. Sure I got behind some days but I seemed to get a lot more done. Today I just could not get motivated. I have these days where I don't want to answer the phone or go out of the house. I would look a little closer at depression but it's so intermittent. And in reality I know the cause. Sleep deprivation. Or rather, the absence of a full night's sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night to a little visitor in the bed who won't stop wiggling is the worst feeling. And then trying to get back to sleep when your significant other is snoring away next to you is the second worst. I just need to stop making excuses and start getting real. Sorry, a little MTV flashback there. But really. I need to reinstate the daily schedule and better yet make a daily schedule outline (hello Excel?) that I can use.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 15

A productive day despite waking up way too early, or rather having someone wake me up way too early. And in true me style I decided to get my to do list out of the way in about 10 minutes when I should have been getting ready for class. I did start working on my Excel spreadsheet of obsessiveness. A list of all the chores to start out with (daily, monthly, yearly) and then I'll add all those other things I should be accomplishing. I can see it now. I'll have an item on my to do list that is making my to do list. But I can also see how it might work. Did you know Blair from The Facts of Life has a website covering many issues (home schooling, organization, chore spreadsheets) that you might not normally associate with Blair? The things you can learn on the internet. So I plan to somehow post my magnificent spreadsheet when it's done. Be in awe. And I'm working on the whole daily schedule thing. I need to come up with something better than writing it every day. Especially if I want people to read this. And it won't be long until my first magazine challenge is complete. Just in time for Halloween.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I have an addiction to magazines. There, I've said it. It started innocently enough. A subscription to support the Girl Scouts here, a magazine insert there. And suddenly I find myself getting a new magazine in the mail almost every day of the week. So what to do to make use of all the paper wasted on me? I've decided to employ the internet and my astounding craftiness and actually use the information I glean from magazines. Every month I will make a recipe, craft, or complete some crazy diet/exercise program in the name of usefulness and entertainment. Forget just reading magazines and recycling them. I will better myself through print media. It's a dream come true (for print media anyway).

Days 12,13,14

What, skipping three days? That's not living obsessively. I can say I was prepared for the party this afternoon. I'm usually scrubbing the floor 30 minutes before the party so to have this done 3 hours before the party was definitely a step up. I'm working on getting it done three days before. So now my house is clean (the downstairs at least). But my to do list is still the same four to five items. I will really work this week to get that rectified. And I would like to tackle the pantry but I need a few hours when my husband takes the kids so I can take everything out of the pantry without being bothered. We'll see.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 11

Once again I vow to accomplish the things on my to do list. Do you ever schedule something and then immediately regret it because it means you'll have to actually get things together on a time table? Well I scheduled a party this Sunday and now I don't want to do it. Mainly because it means my house HAS to be clean. That's what keeps me from inviting people over more often or having play dates for my kids. The thought of having to clean and keep things clean. But one day I hope to be in a spot where things are clean and I don't have to stress.

Today I Still Need To:

Clean living room and dining room
fold and put away all the laundry I've washed
Organize organizer (so sad)

Aaahhhh another day without productivity. I must find some method to just do it. I did have a doctor's visit yesterday, which was stressing me out a little more than I would admit to. I could just imagine the look of horror on the doctor's face as he looked at my EKG. But luckily no such scenario. Now I have a lot to do this weekend so I just have to make myself do it.