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12 January 2012

First book of 2012....done!

Look at me!  I'm off to a great start.

I finished One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider.  I actually enjoyed this book.  Tsh had some great ideas to organize and simplify your life in 52 weekly projects.  Some are quick and easy, like drink more water.  Others are definitely more time consuming, like plant a garden. 

While I personally don't have time to pull off all 52 projects this year, there were quite a few I'm going to take a stab at.

My plan for this year:
1.  Establish a morning routine
2. Establish an evening routine
3.  Eat your frog.
4.  Take an annual vacation (or staycation)
5.  Schedule regular date nights.
6.  Create an essential papers file.
7.  Get more sleep.
8.  Plan in advance for the holidays.
9.  Regularly turn off your TV.
10.  Organize your photo collection.
11.  Make a compost bin.
12.  Use the envelope system.  (Again)
13.  Declutter your wardrobe (and focus on your outward appearance).
14.  Create a regular monthly budget.
15.  Drink more water.

A lot of her suggestions are things I keep planning on doing but never get around to.  A couple of things I really liked about the book were that the chapters are short and can be fully read without sacrificing a large chunk of your day (unlike staying up until 3am to finish The Help).  I also liked that I actually already do quite a few of the things she has as projects.

Things I've already done:
Make a debt free plan
    We're back to Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover system. 
Menu plan
     Nothing new here.  I don't know what I'd do without it (other than eat out!)
Streamline your receipt system
     We did this with our rental business this October using NeatDesk .  Love it.
Clean your kitchen as you cook.
      I have limited counter space....no other choice.
Plan weekly planning meetings with your spouse.
Eat whole foods (on a budget)
Declutter and rotate your kids toys
Switch to non toxic cleaners
      I generally either use Shaklee Get Clean, Murphy's oil soap or vinegar.
Start cooking staples from scratch.
Start a garden
Eat locally
      Can't get more local than the veggies in the yard and your cow in the field.
Make annual goals
Create a daily to do list.

If (and that's a big if) I pull of the projects I've listed above, there is one more project that I might consider for no other reason than pure and simple curiosity.  It's "Switch to gentle, eco-friendly hair care".  It's basically going shampoo free.  I've read about this on other semi-hippie blogs and in a way it does make sense, but in another way it also grosses me out to think about not using shampoo.  I guess if you see me at church all greased up you'll know I took the plunge to try it. 

I noticed that the book is priced at $5 on Amazon right now.  If you're interested, you can click my affiliate like below and help support my ongoing Amazon addiction. 

Be sure to stop by Life as Mom see what others had to say about this book and others.  


Rachel E. said...

You have a lot of great ideas for yourself. So, tell me about your cow...

Charli said...

Well, the that girl is in the freezer now. We've raised 1 cow a year for the past 3 years. We buy a calf from the livestock auction in the spring, let it eat grass and run in the field all summer and take it to the butcher in October. That way we don't have to grain it (less chemicals & less money). We average $2 a pound for ground beef, steaks, roasts, everything. That's a lot cheaper than anything in the stores and it's not pumped full of antibiotics or shot up with saline and food coloring to look "more appealing". The butcher also saves all the joint bones for our dog (she's a real chewer).
Now to see if I can actually follow thru with this big list....that's another thing.

Rachel E. said...

How long does the meat last your family?

Charli said...

It will last a whole year, sometimes a little more. That includes giving some meat to our parents and anytime I take a dish to church or a new mom or have someone over for dinner - it's always beef. I usually have a little bit of ground beef left at the end of the year, but it's not very much. And really, other than loading it up for transport, you don't do much with it. Just make sure it has clean water and a safe place to roam.

Audrey Simmons said...

I have a really good homemade shampoo recipe. I'm not using it right now, because I'm using up some fancy tea tree professional stuff my dad got me, but either way, I only shampoo and condition my hair about once a week. I don't do much to style it, so sometimes it looks a mess, but it's only ever that last day or so that it starts to look or feel greasy. If you are washing your hair every day, it might take about two weeks for your natural oils to "reset" but it's worth it!

Rachel E. said...

How much land do you all have? We are in the process of trying to move back to the US and I am looking into our options. Of course the sound of a beef stocked freezer would be awesome, but there are laws and zoning regulations to abide by.

Charli said...

We have a little over 10 acres out in the country. We just fenced in about 2 acres that were hilly and put goats out there to keep it cleared. Some of the farmers Ronnie works with gave him the idea of putting a cow out there as well, and here we are. We couldn't a lot of the things we do if we lived in the city or a developement. Most of the developements don't even let you hang clothes on a clothesline....I can't imagine what they would do with bees, goats or a cow. Good luck with your move back to the US. I'll be praying God will help you find the right place.

Charli said...

Rachel, I said we're out in the country, but really, we're blessed with just the right location. We're not really that far out. I can be to town in less than 15 minutes and to the interstate in less than 10.

Carrie said...

I'm visiting from Booking It - nice to "meet" you! I'm off to check out NeatDesk and see what that is all about. One of the areas where I really struggle is dealing with receipts, so I'm excited to check this out. Thanks for the tip!

Charli said...

Carrie, the NeatDesk is pricey, but oh how I love it. Our business in the most organized it's ever been. I also use it for personal receipts, homeschool papers and all those recipes I find, but don't want to have little papers everywhere. It was worth the price for us.

bridget said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. i love your list. i really liked the book but felt like some of the "bites" were too daunting for me to even start i.e. the envelope system. I realize its the epitome of being a money manager but I would never be able to accomplish it!

Charli said...

Bridget, thanks for stopping by. We don't go "all out" on the envelope system. The last time we used it to pay off credit card debt, we had envelopes for groceries, eating out, gas, family time, gifts, and personal money for my husband and I. It worked amazingly well. I'm hoping to start it again in February.

Jessica said...

I just mixed up my baking soda shampoo and apple cider rinse... we'll see how it goes...

If it works, great. If not, I tried.

Charli said...

Good luck! I'm a little afraid it will interact with my hair color and I'll end up bald or purple.