I shared in this post that I sort of fell off the Simple wagon. I slowly started climbing back on, and I've recently decided to jump all the way back on. I decided that it would just be easier to jump back on cold turkey style. Except for coupons. I will use them, but not much. I'll keep the coupon blogs links for now, but I may delete them at some point, so if you are using them, you may want to add them to your own blog/favorite lists, etc.
So I have gone back to the Simple Life, or at least my version of it. No more soda (is it sad that this is what I think I will miss most???), no more eating "fast food", no more food that comes in a box or pre-prepared. No more TV, no more two or three times a week trips to the store. No more spending money unless it is budgeted for. More games, more music, more reading. More free time. More Peace. More Listening. More Walking. Much More Laughing.
A little bit of why I fell off the wagon was that our life changed in the summer. We ate different kinds of food in different sort of places at different sort of times. And I didn't change with it. My menus didn't change. My summer recipes were in cookbooks that I had to search through. My grocery list was based on my stockpile items. Which is good, but my grocery list was also based on the idea that I would be using the same menu all year. My menus and grocery lists for this summer also didn't plan on things like eating the kind of food that is easy to eat in camping chairs while sitting at swim meets or sitting on bleachers watching baseball games. My menus didn't include food that I could grab quickly and head over to the garden. And my menus didn't take into consideration that there were places that we always went in the summer, or special things that we celebrated in the summer.
And then I saw a post on this blog - the woman is Orthodox Catholic, and has several children, but the idea of creating seasonal notebooks is something that made so much sense to me, and something that I was fairly certain that will still work in my life, even though my life is probably much different than hers. I am in the process of creating similar notebooks.
Notebook 1 covers the time from September 1st to the beginning of Advent (this year Advent begins on November 29). I'll be using a 1" binder that has a clear front and I will be inserting some leaf scrapbook paper.
The notebook will have the following sections:
Fall Menus - I will list 4 weeks of menus listing some of our stand bys, but some of our fall only favorites. I will also use as many local, in season foods as I can.
Fall Recipes - In this section, I will have a number of page protectors and the recipes for the foods that I will be using during the fall. I'm really looking forward to having the menus and the recipes in the same place.
Fall Grocery List - The grocery list will change per season, although many of the stockpile items will remain constant during the year, although their amounts may fluctuate (for example, I bake MUCH less during the summer, but MUCH more during the fall, so my flour amounts will vary from summer to fall).
Fall Calendar - This section will list any festivals, birthdays, holidays, church activities, etc. that typically occur during this season. This section will also contain my Themes And Plans pages for the months of September, October and November, with updates made each year.
Fall Planning to Prepare - This section will list any tasks that need to be done before the next season, particularly for any events/holidays. My goal is so that things can be done a month or two ahead of time so that I can enjoy the event/holiday, etc. without having to be rushed into finishing the small details or so that things are not done haphazardly. This will also allow me to create more homemade details to our celebrations, something that I really want to add to our special moments.
In my Fall Notebook, I will be preparing for Advent. We do many activities during Advent, and many of them require some preparation before hand to run smoothly. I also would like to have all gifts made/purchased by November 30th so that we can concentrate more fully on Advent.
Fall Household Tasks - This section contains household jobs that need to be done that are specific to that season. Cleaning tasks will be broken down by weeks. This section will also include the planting/harvesting/preserving schedule for that season.
There is much cleaning that needs to be done in the fall, both inside and out, and there is bulb planting to be done, and preserving that needs to be finished, and the garden needs to be "put to bed" until the spring.
Fall Books - This section will include children books and adult books that I enjoy reading during this time of year, noting books that we have at our home and ones that I want to check from the library and ones that I would like to buy.
I have lots of fall books, but there are several books about scarecrows and geese that I like to check out from the library and it is easier for me to find the books I need if I look for the 2 or 3 weeks before I really need them.
The other notebooks will have the same sections. Notebook 2 will go from Beginning of Advent - January 6th. Notebook 3 will go from January 7th - Easter (In 2009, it will be April 4th), Notebook 4 will go from After Easter - June 1st. Notebook 5 will go from June 1st - September 1st.