Friday, January 17, 2014

How To: To Do Lists

Happy Friday my Googling Goddesses! I hope you all had a lovely week. The weather here is insanely, and unseasonably warm, so I will be in the garden this weekend. I cannot wait. My kitchen is mostly cleared out (I have been ahead of schedule on my Master Calendar), so I will have lots of time to spend outside, soaking up some Vitamin D with my family. I also have a lunch date/shopping trip with my 11 year old son, a newborn photography session for a friend, and some new gluten free recipes to make. What are you doing this weekend?

I am extra excited to share my Google searches with you today. I made a discovery. This is similar to when I discovered my son's (and my own) source of eczema. It was gluten! After much Googling and researching, I put us both on a gluten free diet. Our eczema is gone! Additionally, he lost 10 pounds (he wasn't overweight to begin with, but he had some little love handles...those are gone now, a cute little six pack in it's place), and I lost 15 pounds, without even trying (sadly, no six pack for me)!

Anyway, today's searches resulted in similar findings. My boss has been dealing with eczema, and had a severe reaction to a natural lotion she was using to try to combat the eczema. She had tried eliminating gluten from her diet, which helped a little (gluten does cause inflammation), but it didn't disappear like mine did. So, I did some research. I think she was tired of hearing me say, "I will Google that!" This specific salve she had been using was giving her trouble, so I started by googling those ingredients.

Google searches:

"avocado oil allergy" (I found that avocado oil has latex in it. I thought latex was man made!)
"shea butter allergy" (READ THIS! If you or someone you know, suffers from eczema, "seasonal allergies", or have a latex allergy, you need to read this article. Also note that a latex allergy builds up over time, so this could occur in the future, and you should read this article anyway.)
"latex labeling requirements for cosmetic products" (there are none)
"latex allergy testing"

My boss is going to eliminate all known sources of latex from her diet (it is in many foods) and cosmetics, and see if this gets rid of her eczema and seasonal allergies. I will let you know how it goes.

"Charles Schulz middle name" (it's Monroe)
"Zach Galifianakis period meme" (hilarious)
"mint arrow blog" (great source of sale alerts)
"what meat is used in pepperoni" (great question from my son)
"Robert Downey, Jr. eye roll meme" (it was a meme type week)
"choose your own adventure books" (do you remember those?)

WHEW! I learned a lot this week. What did you research?

I hear a lot of questions about To Do lists, and recycling the information on these lists from week to week. It doesn't seem like a good use of your time to continue to write down the same information each week, not to mention the paper waste it creates. I'm not a "green" dictator, but I do try to be conscientious if possible. Here is how I handle my To Do lists.

Master Calendar
*Daily Zones. You can read about Daily Zones here. Each day on the calendar lists the rooms that are to be addressed, and the header of the month lists what work needs to be accomplished in each zone.

*The other items listed are related to seasonal and maintenance projects, such as the best produce to buy in January, when I wash my sheets, etc.

Using ^this system eliminates a lot of recurring list making. I refer to the Master Calendar each week, and cross things off as I go.

Menu Planning
*Regularly Occurring Meals. If you haven't made this list, you should. We are creatures of habit, and therefore, we often go back to the same recipes each week. Yes, we pin a lot of great stuff on Pinterest, and sometimes we might venture out and try one of those recipes. But for the most part, we stick to what we know. Make a list to choose from. Eventually, if you stick with me, I will have a printable for this.

*Weekly Menu. Each week I look at our schedule, my fridge and pantry, and Master Meals list, and plan what we will eat each night. It doesn't always work out that way. THAT'S OKAY. I used to feel like a failure when I would plan my meals and then everything went haywire with our schedule, or I didn't feel like eating spaghetti on Wednesday. This is just going to be a general guideline. This week, the menu looks like this. I keep this list in my planner, which I take with me in my purse. I also write it on a pad on the fridge, so that people at home can also reference it. Use what you have, check the local ads, clip your coupons, etc., and design your weekly menu based on those things. Use this website and enter what you have in your fridge for recipes!

*Grocery List. I either use four post-it notes, or divide a paper or post-it into four sections. I label each section with the stores I go to - it is the same four stores each week. I write what I need on the post-its in the section for the store where that item is purchased.

General To Do
This list is for general To Do items, like doctor appointments that need to be scheduled, phone calls that need to be made, etc. Things that do not occur on a regular basis.

Planner
This is the weekly calendar items. Interviews, vet appointment, karate practice, etc. Again, things that do not occur on a regular basis. Once the "To Dos" have been completed (i.e., a doctor appointment scheduled), that info goes on the weekly calendar.

That's it! Here is a summary of the lists I keep each week:

1. Master Calendar
2. Weekly Menu
3. Grocery List
4. To Do
5. Planner

Check out my Instagram to see these steps in action each week. I usually share photos of my planner and lists on Instagram.

Happy list making!

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