Tuesday To-Do #3

Well, I missed a week. Already, ugh. That trip out of state, combined with working full days all the days I was home…simply put, I was in no place to write coherently during my down time. But things are settling again into what will hopefully be routine for the next few weeks, and I’m determined to keep this blog going (slowly but surely). I’m not dwelling. On to the next Tuesday To-Do post!

Tuesday To-Do

The Tuesday To-Do Series has very simple rules:

  1. Post a manageable list of goals for the week.
  2. Report back on success/failure next Tuesday.
  3. Repeat every Tuesday.

 

I’m glad I made the last list (two weeks ago) a nice easy one. Even though I didn’t report it on schedule, I did manage to get it all done before my one week allotment of time was out.

  • Get the kitchen clean & make our lunches every night before bed
    • This makes the morning so much easier. So much. I’ve taken to peeling enough carrots & washing enough apples for a few days at a time too, to save on dishes. Definitely have to keep this up.
  • Decorate apartment for Halloween/Fall
    • Done. Which is not saying a lot, considering how few Halloween/Fall decorations I have. I really thought I had more, but apparently most of what’s in my decorations bin is Christmas/Winter themed. So I went out to Pier One this weekend and finally used up a gift card I had on a lovely new Fall-themed table runner.  Just in time for a party!
  • Sort the last random bag of books onto my bookshelves
    • Ah, finally. All the books we have (that aren’t on loan/missing) are organized onto bookshelves. How long I’ve waited for this day! Unfortunately, this moment causes the inevitable realization that our bookshelves are beyond packed to capacity & we’re really going to have to buy more. All these new baby books need a home. Sigh.
  • Finish 2 pairs of crochet baby booties
    • Managed to do most of this during the car ride to NY, when I wasn’t staring at the awesome October foliage. Unlike reading, crocheting in the car doesn’t make me car sick. Yay!
  • Earn 600 total Swagbucks
    • I ended up taking one of the longer surveys on offer & earned 150 bucks in one go. Not sure the survey was worth it though — I think I might stick to the smaller things that don’t require so much time in the future. I’ve ordered my first Amazon.com gift card & plan to use it on the 2nd book in the Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson. Which is pretty good, so far, if not great. I expect it must get better, given the amazing reviews. Here’s hoping!

Tuesday To-Dos #3, October 22 thru October 29, 2013.

  • Get the kitchen clean & make our lunches every night before bed (I’m putting this here every week until it becomes a solid habit)
  • Finish writing & sending Thank You Notes for the baby shower
  • Clean apartment for the Pumpkin Carving Party we’re hosting this Saturday
  • Finish organizing the nursery / put together the Graco swing
  • Finish two crochet baby beanies (to match the booties)

Please join me if you have a list of stuff that needs to be done! Write it out in the comments, or link me to your blog post about it. Then check back in next week and let me know how it went. Good luck!

What I learned writing this post: skipping posts makes me feel really, really bad. 

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Tuesday To-Do #2

It’s time for the new Tuesday To-Do list and first ever review of last week’s list!

I promise I will eventually stop describing everything here as ‘first ever.’ Eventually.

Tuesday To-Do

The Tuesday To-Do Series has very simple rules:

  1. Post a manageable list of goals for the week.
  2. Report back on success/failure next Tuesday.
  3. Repeat every Tuesday.

Easy as pie. (Which…why is that a phrase? Pie making—not so easy.)

Here’s last week’s list. I’m thrilled to say that I did manage to complete all of my goals. I think that sets a good precedent, don’t you?

  • Organize our music CD collection & discard the unwanted discs 
    • I actually took a second step and went through our DVDs and video games as well, throwing out all the unwanted content and cases, and arranging everything in disc binders. Doing so, I managed to empty half a bookshelf and most of a drawer in our living room. I’m extremely pleased with the new organized binder system. Who needs all those individual cases anyway?
  • Complete my crochet hook & tool case craft project
    • Finally! I was starting to wonder if I’d ever find the motivation to finish this project. Now all my crochet tools are neatly stored in a nice, portable wrap—just in time for a big trip away. I made tons of changes to the original pattern, which I’ll post about soon. In the meantime, you can see it on Ravelry.
  • Finish typing up & editing the latest scene for my novella
    •  And I added almost 1000 words to the story in the process, for a current total of 22,000ish words. My writing is painstakingly slow, true, but words were written and edited nevertheless.
  • Earn 200 total Swagbucks
    • This was my first week using Swagbucks. To be honest, it was easier than I expected. I made my 200 goal by Thursday. Mc thinks I’m silly for using this site, but I don’t see how spending a small amount of effort/time each day and consequently earning Amazon.com gift cards can be a bad thing. No matter how long it takes to earn that gift card, a free book is a free book.

I hope you all finished your Tuesday To-Dos as well. As for this week’s list, it’s going to be an easy one for two reasons. Firstly, I landed a part-time Administrative Assistant job just last week (the same week I started this homemaking blog…this kind of irony is a theme in my life). I started work Monday. The 25-hours/week I’ll devote to that will cut into my to-do list time from now on. Crazy, right? I’m super happy; I never thought someone would offer a job to a 32-weeks-pregnant lady.

Secondly, Mc and I are leaving Thursday to spend a long weekend with family and friends. We’ll be on vacation out-of-state until next Tuesday night, so expect next week’s post late. This’ll definitely hamper my ability to get stuff done around here but I’ll do what I can. On the plus side, the weekend will be awesome and fun and will include my baby shower, and I’m incredibly stoked for the trip!

Now that I’ve made my excuses: Tuesday To-Dos #2, October 8 thru October 15, 2013.

  • Get the kitchen clean & make our lunches every night before bed
  • Decorate apartment for Halloween/Fall
  • Sort the last random bag of books onto my bookshelves
  • Finish 2 pairs of crochet baby booties
  • Earn 600 total Swagbucks

Please join me if you have a similar list and want some extra oomph in your motivational coffee. Write it out in the comments, or link me to your blog post about it. Then check back in next week and let me know how it went.

What I learned writing this post: It’s called a disc binder, not a disc book / organizer / random other word. 

Why Apple Picking Makes the Best Fall Date

Last weekend, Mc and I went apple and pumpkin picking at a local farm, and it was just lovely. I must shamefully admit that, in spite of having lived in Western New York for most of my life, I’ve never been apple picking before. It took moving to MA for me to try it. I was really, really missing out.

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apple post 2

Maybe it’s because Mc’s Irish luck worked for us once again and the weather was perfect for a leisurely afternoon spent walking outdoors, or maybe it’s because we shared the date with another couple whose company we really enjoy—or maybe a hundred other reasons—but it was just a memorably great day. The orchard let us eat apples as we went about filling our bag (free food!) and by the time we were done my hands were apple-juice sticky and my stomach pleasantly full of sweet, fresh-from-the-tree Honeycrisp, Gala, Mutsu, McIntosh, Macoun, and more.

The absolute best part about apple-picking is that it manages the seemingly-impossible combination of having a great date and saving money on super delicious food. Mc and I took home 20 lbs of ripe, organic apples for only $30.00. That’s $1.50/lb, which is certainly less than Wegmans is currently charging for the good stuff (read: not the giant bags of flavorless Empire apples). We had so many apples, we had to rearrange our refrigerator contents to make room. And we got 2 excellent Halloween carving pumpkins for the small party we’re hosting later this month. I can’t wait for baked & salted pumpkin seeds. Bonus!

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Obviously, given the superior price, superior taste and quality, and vastly added enjoyment of fresh apple picking, we’ll be hand-picking from the farm until the season ends. Good apples can keep for a month or so in the fridge, and in the meantime, I’m going to:

  • continue experimenting with my homemade applesauce recipe (to be shared once I have it perfect!)
  • make an apple pie from scratch, including the crust
  • eat apple oatmeal with extra apple chunks every weekend
  • make a Winter Coleslaw based on this recipe
  • eat an apple a day on my balcony while reading

I may even work up the courage to try canning, should we still have a bunch leftover as these start to go bad. Canning is something I definitely want to master in the next year.

Any suggestions for other (mostly healthy!) apple-based recipes I could try? Do you know any fun and thrifty ways to combine dating and saving money? Please comment and tell me about them.

And seriously, folks. There’s no excuse for living in the Northeast and not trying apple picking. Just do it.

What I learned writing this post: I always want to mistype pumpkin as pumpking. Hm. 

Tuesday To-Do #1

Welcome to the first ever Tuesday To-Do list!

Tuesday To-Do

Part of my purpose in writing this blog is to hold myself accountable for all the improvements, both minor and major, that I want to make in my home and life. To that end, I’m starting a weekly series with very simple rules:

  1. Post a manageable list of goals for the week.
  2. Report back on success/failure next Tuesday.
  3. Repeat every Tuesday!

Easy, right? I keep an extensive ongoing list of to-dos on paper that I’m planning to draw from, and I don’t foresee it ever running dry. It’s even loosely categorized. My problem has always been that I see how huge said list is and become immediately overwhelmed. I hide it away, I say: no one knows I even want this stuff to happen, so no one will notice when it doesn’t. You know? Some days it’s hard enough just to keep up with life’s regular whoozits and whatnots. Dinner, dishes, dusting…

Hence the key word manageable. By prioritizing a few items from my gigantic list, giving myself a seven-day window to tackle the selected activities, and forcing myself to examine why I may not complete the list every week, my hope is that I can find the extra boost of motivation I need. After all, the world is watching now (theoretically). No more excuses.

Without further ado: Tuesday To-Dos #1, October 1 thru October 8, 2013.

  • Organize our music CD collection & discard the unwanted discs 
  • Complete my crochet hook & tool case craft project
  • Finish typing up & editing the latest scene for my novella 
  • Earn 200 total Swagbucks

And that’s it. I think that will be manageable. We’ll see.

Please join me if you have a similar list! Write it out in the comments, or link me to your blog post about it. Check back in next week and let me know how it went. Drop me a line if you have a related series — we can cheerlead for each other!

What I learned writing this post: This is a good source of images in the public domain. 

Starting from Scratch

Hey there. I’m Jaqui, and this is my first post at The Cherishery.

(This ‘About Me’ stuff is kind of a blogging hazing process, isn’t it? Are all posts so hard to write? Uh oh.)

So, who am I? What will this blog be about? Can it help you?

The short of it is: I’m a slightly crazy twenty-something woman who will shortly transform into a stay-at-home mom with little experience in home and child stewardship. This blog will be an outlet for me to share my challenges, discoveries, and creations in simple and happy homemaking, as well as a means to hold myself accountable for all the improvements I want to see in my life. Really, this blog is about life-making. I’m hoping my experiences can be helpful to others and that through them I can connect with people on their own path toward “happy.”

Hi, people!

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TL;DR version:

I grew up with what I now think of as a ‘convenience-oriented life.’ In the convenience-oriented life, all decisions are made based on what is the most convenient at the time, rather than the most practical or healthy or aesthetic. In my experience, the convenience-oriented life doesn’t look at the long-term and it’s not very self-sufficient or simplified. Until I gave thought to what kind of life I truly wanted to have and to pass on to my children, I never questioned that. After all, why make applesauce when you can buy it? Buying is easier, right? More time for video games!

Maybe. But that’s not been making me super content or proud of myself. Nor is it the example I want to set. I’m trying to turn my attitude around now, and ask myself: why buy applesauce when I can make it and it will be healthier, cheaper, better tasting, and really mine? The Cherishery is going to be my diary, my supervisor, and my celebration of this titanic shift I’m undertaking.

I want a life shaped by what I believe in the most, that:

  1. Time spent with people is more important than money spent on people
  2. Nothing but nothing is 100% / always / black-and-white
  3. There’s room for improvement
  4. The delight is in the details
  5. Cherish what you love and you’ll look back with few regrets

So there you have it—what you’ll find on this blog is informed by everything above. Topics may include recipes, craft projects, tips and tricks for health and home, pregnancy and motherhood, my adventures and hobbies, information and research, & more. I feel like i’m changing rapidly at this time in my life. Hopefully I will be able look back on this blog as a record of my stumbling and striving towards the person I want to be one or five or even ten years from now.

I’m on a quest to create my version of the good life, and in a lot of ways I’m starting from scratch. Join me?

Reach me directly at thecherishery at gmail dot com

What I learned writing this post: there really isn’t a good synonym for homemaking.