Container Garden Week One 2019🌿

So today is the 6th of May and things around my area are just starting to look and feel like spring. A couple of weeks ago an appointment took us close to one of our favorite plant nurseries so we stopped and yes–we ended up purchasing most of my container garden plants early. I say it every year to myself that I’m going to wait until closer to the end of May but never ever do.  Because of this, I am needing to baby them/keep them alive inside quite a bit until weather permits me to have all the plants outside both day and night. Day temps are 50-65 degrees right now with overnight 35-40 degrees. Sun has been rare for the last two weeks–we’ve been having mostly cold, damp, rainy, and windy weather. I would say most years we buy early and I keep them inside for almost a month. This year I have a grow light and that is helping a lot. I have learned at least one thing so far this year and it is this—- be very careful when you buy baskets that have several plants already planted in them. I paid $34.00 for the only red geranium basket left at our favorite nursery and it’s now pretty much DEAD. There are 5 geranium plants packed in this basket and one or all of them are either root bound or have root rot. When I picked it up I looked as closely as I could to make sure the plant was healthy. By day two 25% of the leaves underneath were turning yellow. By day 4 50% of the leaves were yellow and none of the flowers were opening. I’m extremely disappointed but lesson learned. I have cleaned up the plant, removed the dead foliage and flowers, and will be replanting what I can asap.

My budget every year for my container garden is $150.00. Though I have never harvested more than $50.00 worth of food from it since year one, I still look forward to planting and caring for my container garden all winter long. Most years all I want to achieve is to grow my own herbs– which I always do (I have fresh rosemary and thyme for cooking/roasting all winter long), grow flowers for the bees– which is always pretty successful, and grow a few tomatoes. My budget amount includes new containers if I need them, soil, fertilizer, and plants. This year I have purchased—

  • two bush tomato starts
    two patio tomato starts
    one purple Cherokee tomato start
    a geranium plant (34.00)
    strawberry plants
    purple cow activated potting mix (32.00)
    purple cow tomato grow (16.00)

As you can see the potting mix and tomato gro take up a big chunk of my budget, but it is the only potting mix and compost that works for me–and I trust and love it. Remember –my container garden is really up against all odds as it is north facing with little shade and lots of wind. Temperatures in the summer on my deck can reach 110 degrees and though tomatoes like heat they don’t like dry, windy, scalding heat ALL day. So the soil I start with has got to be good.

Another happy and sure sign of spring around here are our birds have all arrived back. For several years we’ve been feeding finches and hummingbirds. For around three years we’ve also been feeding Baltimore Orioles. Right now we’ve seen one hummingbird and two orioles and many many finches. The finches arrived first! We were getting worried about our orioles and hummingbirds but they are slowly making their way here. All of them bring my husband and I great joy. We have fresh water, syrup, and jelly out on our deck from mid-April until late August –usually until after each bird has brought their babies to the feeders and they begin to fend for themselves. We give everyone a great start and lots of energy for their flight away from us again come late fall. There is a lot of cleaning up I must do every day to keep the area clean and replenished but the bird song we hear as their way of thanks is definitely payment enough.

One last thing before I go–last summer an idea came to me about finding an easy plant to split up and replant giving me plants at the ready for sharing with co-workers and friends. I had never done anything like this before but wanted to try my hand at it. While shopping last fall I discovered some pretty beat up, almost dead, Sansevieria at both Walmart and Home Depot. Having never cared for this plant before I was hesitant but the price was right. I bought 3 huge plants for a total of $22.50. Once home I replanted all of them and ended up with 15 new plants. Now a few months later most already have new stalks and babies growing. Already I’ve given nine plants away–here’s what I have left!

Well, that’s my spring update. I will be back week two to give you a garden update with better pictures. Until then be well. 🌿🌿🌿


IBS Flares and other gut issues

First– what is IBS? IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The main symptoms are–gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation (sometimes all in the same day). IBS should not be confused with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease). IBS affects the large intestine. The large intestine is responsible for absorbing water from the remaining undigestible food and moving it along out of the body in the form of waste material.

2nd –is there a cure? No. But there are many different therapies/strategies to help you manage it. #1, in my opinion, is learning how to manage stress, changing your diet, and managing your symptoms with OTC remedies and dietary supplements.

My first experience with what I now know as IBS was in high school during puberty. My symptoms in one day would range from bad stomach cramps to gas, to diarrhea, and end with constipation. My diet growing up was a combination of bland, low nutrition food, food I wouldn’t eat, or food not purchased due to extreme poverty. I was diagnosed with malnutrition at age 8.  In the 1970s with a garden, the only vegetables we had on the table were— green beans, carrots, and corn regularly. Most suppers consisted of rice mush–rice, milk, and cinnamon, or 1/2 c casserole plopped on our plate, soup or/and sandwich. I was always too tired for breakfast so maybe I ate a few bites of oatmeal? School lunch was way too many things that we’d never eaten at home and I was too scared to try–like tuna salad, grilled cheese, noodle dishes, Salisbury steak and so much more. I was diagnosed with malnutrition again at 18. I weighed 100# and was suffering from several vitamin deficiencies.  By the time I was 21 I had developed very bad eating habits, and most days survived on caffeine and cigarettes.  Truthfully, because good food wasn’t introduced when I was growing up, I really didn’t miss good food. I had absolutely no idea what good food looked like. Nevermind knowing how to prepare it had I been able to afford it. I started working in healthcare and when I got hungry I would just order a cafeteria meal which was usually pretty low in nutrition and call it a day. Things stayed that way until I was in my thirties. In between those years, I also developed a relationship with beer and had a steady diet of that for about four years.  When I was 31 I was diagnosed with malnutrition and an iron deficiency.

All this while I suffered from IBS and I also began to notice there were a lot of foods I couldn’t eat. I wasn’t able to tolerate onions, garlic, beets, dried milk, milk, whey, soy, certain proteins, and other things. By 2004, now 40, I had quit drinking and smoking and was ready to take care of myself. I started by looking into the world of organic. I read a lot of books about the food revolution starting with The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. I also started traveling to Farmer’s Markets and eliminating things in my diet that were not healthy.  I started with processed food–so everything in boxes was out except the occasional cookie or chip. I moved on to frozen food and eliminated frozen dinners, pizzas, vegetables, even ice cream.  For a number of years, I had gone on and off fast food because MOST fast food really increased my IBS symptoms.  I then started buying organic milk, butter, eggs, and meat. Our veggies came from local farmers and our fruit in season from the supermarket/ orchards–local when possible.

Sometime around 2011, I began to have serious problems with wheat. Wheat bran, gluten, germ, and flour. Many people have issues with wheat and many many people do not. There are those that will say it’s all in our heads, but I assure you that it is not. Actually, it is all in our guts.  For simplicity sake,  I will discuss types of wheat–hybridized and unhybridized. Wheat started being hybridized between 1940 and 1960 to increase production and also for pest resistance. It would take me days to properly include all the information there is about wheat hybridization and what it is, what has been done, and how it affects all of us–instead I will include some of the information and provide some very interesting and helpful links.

There were many techniques used to hybridize wheat- from repetitive backcrossing to crossing with other grass species to using proprietary herbicide Beyond, to using toxic chemicals, gamma, and x-ray radiation. In the end, the wheat that was left was no longer the wheat that had always been a part of our food chain for many many years. What we now eat is essentially radiated, chemically toxic wheat– known as Clearfield wheat. Not every wheat available for commercial use is Clearfield, but unfortunately more and more become available every day. Today’s wheat is milled to remove the outer layers of wheat bran and wheat germ leaving us with the white colored “wheat flour” we are familiar with.  Source

What is then left in what we know as wheat is chock full of gluten? Now can some people tolerate this–yes I think they do. Though,  I’m not sure how well? Nevertheless, they continue to eat today’s wheat and their life goes on. For me, it wasn’t that easy. First I started getting rashes and then after a year or two bloating–very obvious bloating not just bloat, and excruciating stomach pains, and then diarrhea. Almost everything in my diet to some extent had wheat in it. I love sandwiches, but even white bread contains wheat. I love pizza—pizza is my favorite food, but the crusts are made from wheat flours and on and on–cookies, crackers, chips, buns, rolls, donuts, wraps, fried foods–everything!

I tried to deny my intolerance and limited how much in a day or a week I would eat. But it was never a small enough amount and eventually, I couldn’t eat any of it.  The first doctor I went to basically said it was a fluke aka all in my head. The second doctor said it was likely my body and that it could not process the wheat in today’s food products, otherwise known as hybridized wheat, and to avoid it altogether. I should note I was tested for Celiac disease and the test was negative. I was not diagnosed with gluten sensitivity because technically there are no tests that can test for that as far as I know.  So I started buying all the products that were labeled gluten-free and in 2012 there were very few things that were gluten-free. Maybe none in 2012?

Eventually, items here and there were produced and soon grocery stores had entire aisles devoted to it. My only problem was they were expensive and lacked in the taste good department. I spent probably another year researching gluten intolerance and decided to try and heal my gut with a probiotic. I tried different ones but none of them seemed to help and most of them gave me stomach cramps and diarrhea. Until I found Accuflora that is–. After being on Accuflora for one entire year I was able to eat bread again. Soon into my 2nd year, I was eating cereals, cookies, pizza’s, and crackers. So it is my firmest belief that the reason I cannot tolerate wheat is that my gut is not healthy. Granted, I don’t think hybridized wheat is healthy for anyone–period. I have since become a regular user of Einkorn flour–trying it only because I stopped Accuflora about 18 months ago to try Activia because yogurt became a regular staple in my diet and I couldn’t take both probiotics. I felt Accuflora had done its job and I was healed. I was wrong. After 16-18 months on Activia, which by the way you are not supposed to eat that regularly, I am back to rashes and stomach cramps when I eat anything with wheat in it. So now I have tried Einkorn–an ancient grain and the only one–so I am told that actually meets the scientific definition for not being hybridized (can contain only 2 sets of 7 chromosomes) I can make & eat pizza dough, pie crusts, and bread again and experience no issues whatsoever from using Einkorn.

Below are the strains of bacteria found in Accuflora and Activia. Activia has far less than Accuflora by 3 and now Accuflora has released an upgrade that has 8 strains in it. Notice the patented bifidobacterium in Activia which I think can help a person short-term as they suggest, but maybe not so much long-term as I decided to do all on my own.

Accuflora-Lactobacillus salivarius; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Streptococcus thermophilus; Bifidobacterium bifidum; Lactobacillus acidopihilus, which is found in yogurt.

Activia- Cultured Grade A Reduced Fat Milk, Cane Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Food Starch, Contains Less Than 1% Of Milk Protein Concentrate, Kosher Gelatin, Fruit Juice and Vegetable Juice ( For Color ), Natural Flavors, Agar Agar, Carrageenan, Calcium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Milk Calcium, Vitamin D3. Cultures in Activia with fruit– L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. The third, Bifidobacterium animalis, has been trademarked by Activia maker Dannon as “bifidus regularis.

Because I have been sensitive to beets, vinegar, fermented foods, onions, garlic, and pickles and so much more for such a long time, I now follow a FODMAP diet. Do I think my gut issues have everything to do with malnutrition at 3 different stages in my life-YES, I do. I think the reason I’ve had IBS all my life is from malnutrition. I also believe the reason I have fibromyalgia–diagnosed when I was 28, but I’d had it for many years before that, is from malnutrition. I don’t think my poor diet as an adult helped, nor did my drinking.   One thing is for sure my gut has created a lot of chaos in my life and my #1 mission is to fix it. So I have stopped Activia and I’m going to start taking Accuflora again. This time if all goes well I will continue taking it forever because I think at this point it is going to take me that long to heal things again.

Some of the things that I use for gas, cramping, and pain associated with IBS are–GASX, RMO essential oil Tummy Time for bloat & stomach pain–I apply topically, Greek yogurt (settles my stomach) and magnesium tablets to keep me regular. As far as supplements I take Vitamin D in a spray form (Amazon, Dr. Mercola), NOW P5P Vit B6 (Amazon–because of absorption/enzyme issues), and Gaia Herb Plant-based iron (Amazon).

Some people may just go along with allowing, for whatever reason, their symptoms to continue and feeling like they can’t control it or help themselves. But you can and you should do everything you can to lessen inflammation in your gut/intestines/bowel because you do not want to harm those organs any more than they have been hurt/upset. I make sure I have variety in my diet but I don’t overdo fiber or caffeine, or things that are not safe foods on my FODMAP diet, and for now no gluten, or wheat germ, or wheat protein of any kind. I’ve dealt with IBS for over forty years now and though it hasn’t been easy, and there have been times I’ve felt helpless at what to do, I am learning to get a handle on how to live with it–finally. Here is the FODMAP list of foods I follow if you’re interested.

I’ve included some very interesting links I read and used for the information concerning wheat. Until next time I hope everyone is enjoying spring where it’s springtime, and fall where it’s fall.


Buying Strawberry Plants for Dad and Spring Planting

We stopped in our local grocery store the other night to pick up groceries and I found these strawberry runners. I’ve never seen these being sold in the grocery store before. I have seen potato and onion starts but never strawberries–which in my opinion is pretty exciting. Right away Dad asked when we would be able to plant these and how long before they produce strawberries. Well, I don’t know. I planted a bunch of strawberries years ago and within 3 years had a small strawberry bed. Other than a couple of strawberries out of the blue one year, I don’t believe they ever produced much of anything. Of course, back then I knew little about soil and plant nutrition so they were probably starving and unable to produce. I told him I will try to plant them around his birthday and that we should have strawberries by early summer. Which is pretty exciting for two people who really love strawberries–my husband not so much! I’ll be planting a few different types of lettuce for him soon. Next week this time I will be starting my seedlings–heirloom tomatoes, thyme, pumpkins, and cucumbers for starters.

It’s fun when people older than me want to share their photos on the internet. Here’s Sunday breakfast frying away–photo courtesy of Dad.


First–what are macronutrients? Macro means “large” so macronutrients are large nutrients.

There are three basic components of every diet and they are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. You can also include a fourth one which is water. We need large amounts of the three basic components in our diet to keep our bodies well and to keep them going–energy, metabolism, and bodily functions. We need carbohydrates to keep our brain (which is why people on the Keto diet get brain fog) and muscles working.

We need fats–and it’s best when it comes to fat to eat unsaturated plant-based fat(nuts, avocadoes, and olive oil) mostly and only some times consume fats like butter and cream. Healthy fat helps you to absorb the vitamins in your food. Again–concerning the Keto diet, and likely why everyone I know who has ever been on it gained back + weight soon as they went off of it–the fats that are recommended with this diet are all the wrong fats. There isn’t a plant-based fat among the fats listed that keto dieters are to include in their diets. The list includes butter, ghee, meat, high fat cheese, cream, and eggs.

Protein breaks down in your gut into amino acids which help to repair tissues like muscle and skin. Amino acids are also used for making essential hormones and enzymes in our body that support our immune system.


If you are about to try dieting, regardless of which one, please see a nutritionist–if even for a consultation (some are free) and learn about basic nutrition. I am not a nutritionist but I have studied nutrition from the very basic roots (science, biology, anatomy) of it to just about everything in our present day food chain and would not go on a diet, or drink some magic elixir sold through social media, without consulting a nutritionist and talking with my physician or naturopath or both.  Also, it doesn’t hurt to start a conversation with the farmer who grows your food, or someone selling what they’ve grown at a local Farmer’s Market, and even a local chef. You will be very surprised and forever grateful for what many of them can teach you about nutrition. Everyone’s body is different and everyone’s physical health–immune system, metabolism, organ health, skin, and bodily functions are completely different from everyone else’s.  I know the ads, pics, profiles, and sales pitches can be pretty convincing but remember you aren’t seeing everything going on behind the scenes. Everyone I know that has gone on some fad diet also worked out a lot.   The second they couldn’t work out they started feeling fatigued, sore and achy muscles, and the weight started coming back. When you reduce one macronutrient and increase another there are consequences. Many people I know drinking magic elixirs also spend an unusual amount of time in the restroom. While others are constantly crashing from the protein powders and drinks and supplementing with large doses of caffeine. Have some people benefitted from fad dieting and magic elixirs? Maybe? But remember they are doing way more than just drinking juice or having butter/ghee in their morning coffee. There are gym memberships, enzymes, supplements, vitamins, energy drinks, regular running/walking/jogging and often times an income (from selling said supplements/books/gym memberships) and so much more behind their weight loss. Ok lecture over and back to macronutrients!

Secondhow do I get them? Through the food in your diet.

Third-what do they do? Macronutrients help us grow, heal, repair, and they give us energy.

Macro Calculator-free macro calculator from Transparent Labs here

Macro Diets– Counting macros–a wonderful article and recipes at Cooking Light here

Macronutrient recommended %– 45-60% of your daily calories from carbs, 20-35% from fat, and 10-35% from protein.  Source



Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook–a book review

This is my review–

Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook by Kristine Hansen is a comprehensive and delightful look into Wisconsin farms and cheesemakers. Currently living in Wisconsin, I have heard of many of these farms and cheesemakers and look forward to tasting cheeses from several more. The recipes are easy to follow and the story behind each cheese simply fascinating. I appreciate that this cookbook also has a list of all the award-winning cheeses, festivals, and fairs that one may taste a sample, and references to websites where out of state readers may order some of Wisconsin’s finest. I enjoyed reading the Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook and highly recommend it to anyone who loves to eat and cook with cheese.

My disclaimer-Special thanks to Rowman & Littlefield & NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for review.

Reviews PublishedProfessional Reader

I started requesting books to review on NetGalley about a year ago now and have successfully reviewed 20 books. I have enjoyed doing this. I have always loved reading and books have remained my #1 pastime and passion my whole life. I primarily request cookbooks because I love reading cookbooks and I learn so much about food and food preparation from them. It seemed a natural progression to post my reviews on my blog in case readers/followers were interested in reading cookbooks too. Anyone can become a member of NetGalley and request books from publishers. Sometimes your request is accepted and other times based on your profile and other things taken into consideration your request is rejected.  If accepted you receive an advanced reader copy download and have a certain period of time to submit a review. This is an excellent way to read new books without having to pay for them. From this interest came opportunities that I found on my own to become a member of author book launches and I’ve loved being a part of launch teams. This is not an ad-sponsored post nor do I receive any type of compensation for talking about it. This is simply a cookbook review and a hobby of mine that makes me happy!

Being married to a Dutchman all I’ve heard our entire marriage is how great cheese is in Holland. Yes, Holland has great cheese. However, we are not always able to order from or travel to a place that sells cheese directly from Holland. Lucky us we live in the cheese capital of the United States and there are many, many cheesemakers near where we live. I requested the Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook because it is about Wisconsin cheese and also because this cookbook has outstanding reviews about the recipes featured, and also features the author throughout visiting the farms where the cheese is made and learning/ then writing about the history and culture behind the cheesemakers cheese. Several of the farms and cheesemakers featured in this book are known to us and others are on our list to visit. I loved, loved, loved this book and I’m so glad I requested it.

Until next time–many blessings to you from me!

Bush tomato plants & plans for 2019’s container garden

So this year I am going to be focusing 100% of my attention on growing tomatoes–bush tomatoes to be exact. I am going to use my entire deck for this endeavor leaving a small spot for herbs and a couple pots of flowers for the bees.

I’ve realized over the years that I’ve put an incredible amount of energy toward my container gardens but never really perfected the art of growing any one thing. This is the year! I will begin to grow my seedlings probably towards the end of April because I won’t be able to harden them off outside until the end of May. I will also be buying my tomato plants from a local nursery and my herbs and flowers will be from Bonnie Plants. I’ve been growing Bonnie Plants rosemary and thyme for almost 15 years and in my opinion, they are always the hardiest plants to buy from anyone around here.  I’m choosing to grow bush tomatoes because I want all my tomatoes to harvest within a month or two so that I can harvest them, can and freeze them, and enjoy the rest of my summer. Indeterminate continue to grow to several feet and have tomatoes all season long–requiring care and water throughout the growing season until season’s end.

Here’s how to grow bush (determinate) tomato plants in containers:

  • Buy good draining pots big enough for the plants you are planning on having in them.
  • Pick a nice sunny spot where the plants will receive at least 6 hours of sun. Group the plants together to help shade the root zones of each plant but not close enough to touch. Keep the plants in a wind-free area (this one is big for me because I may have to create one).
  • Use good premium soil. I use Purple Cow Organic soil and have always found it to work the best for me.  I need really, really good soil not only for obvious reasons but also because our deck is not shaded. It also gets incredibly hot and has too few hours of sun for growing.
  • Plant your plants properly buy digging a hole and covering 2/3 of the plant with soil to encourage good root growth.
  • Add your trellis or tomato stakes right away.
  • Leave about an inch of space from the top of your container to add mulch to hold in moisture.
  • Feed your plants. I mix Purple Cow Tomato gro with my Purple Cow Organic Soil mix and throughout the season use their compost tea and their bio-active fertilizer.  ***This is not a sponsored post***
  • Water regularly.


That’s it for now–just blogging about this has made me feel happier and more hopeful that spring is coming.

2019 Pantry Challenge #1

Welcome, February–I kind of took the month of January off for several reasons. First off I really needed a break from creating content. I refused to just put up blog posts just to put up blog posts. In my mind, I’ve always wanted my blog to remain as good as the really good blogs I follow. I’ve always been like that when it comes to blogging. Admittedly I’m not perfect and I know some of my content could have been better over the last ten years. So my goal for 2019 is to produce stellar content. I’ll be honest that before coming to this decision I thought long and hard during my holiday break about not blogging anymore. I’ve been working hard to promote my business over on IG. But by the end of the year the answer was clear to me–no I did not want to quit blogging. I’m a writer and though not perfect in my sentence structure or grammar, I feel compelled many times a year to write. And so my blog goes on. Some things will change. I may integrate some vlog information and a chance for my readers to see me in action rather than just word. So, I will be sharing a video here and there in my blog posts. I want to engage more with my audience. I have found that making videos can be a great way to accomplish that.

I have many different projects to complete this year. I want my content to be informational on my blog as well as include the lifestyle that goes with it. So I will be focusing more on food, food sourcing, safety, storing, and lifestyle.

Pantry Challenge #1
In January one of the first things I do is take stock of everything. So– an inventory of food on hand, household goods, a new budget created, appointments scheduled, areas decluttered and cleaned and so on. I decided that completing a pantry/freezer challenge was a great thing for my family because it would accomplish several things at once. First, it would help me to put together a menu for the entire month. Because I was taking inventory of food on hand, creating a 31-day menu would be fairly simple. Second, it would allow me not to have to make a big shopping haul this month when I am quite busy with other things (first of the year, tax season, bad weather). Lastly, we could save some money? Possibly $3-400.00 worth of money (win-win) The video below is how I started my pantry challenge and I also have one up about the success of my pantry challenge. With two fill-in shops, I still managed to save $200.00 this month on my grocery budget. I would encourage anyone looking to clean out their freezer, fridge, or pantry to give this a try. I do this four times a year and then take the saved money and buy household items as needed– preferably when they are on sale.

I’ve had a productive start this new year and hope you have had one too. Soon–container garden planning and I’ve got a lot of new ideas for that as well. Until next time—Take Care!

Here’s my pantry challenge YouTube video!

What’s New for 2019!

I started a YouTube channel here

It’s almost time to start thinking about my container garden–this year I’ll be making videos!

Since last fall I’ve lost nearly all of my houseplants due to lack of sun. In our apartment we get most of our sunlight from the west. In winter we get almost no sunlight from the north–and all year round no sun from the south or east. It is extremely hard to grow anything in this apartment. Add into this we’ve had three periods since fall where there was no sunlight at all for nearly two weeks at a time. Everything withered, rotted, and died. Either they ended up being overwatered because they weren’t totally drying out between watering times, or they turned yellow, brown and then died.  I still have my opuntia, and several of my succulents, and thank goodness my sansevieria. I’ve decided that as long as we live here–which I hope isn’t much longer, I will grow succulents and sansevieria only for my indoor plants.

Besides my YouTube channel, nothing will change for my blog posting. I hope to continue to post every week. I created 60 posts in 2018, grew my blog by 51 followers, and my most popular blog posts were about my container garden. Thank you to everyone who follows my blog.   I hope to produce just as good of posts about my gardening and more this coming year. Until then–some of my next posts will be my container garden plans and a post about my current pantry challenge. Have a fabulous 2019 everyone!!

2018–A Year in Review

(All figures approximate)

# of hours I worked–2500 hrs

# of hours my spouse worked–2500 hrs

# of meals I made– 720 meals

# of lunches I packed–500 lunches

# of loads of wash–1440 loads

# of times I vacuumed and dusted–104 times

miles hiked-50 miles

miles biked-80 miles

miles in a car– 20,000 miles

# of books read–55 books

# podcasts listened–100 podcasts

# theater movies watched–24 movies in our local theater 

# new customers I served in my business Living Simply-30 new customers

# hours volunteered–120 hours

# of times I hosted a dinner party/meal/gathering–6 times

Thinking about things like this really puts into perspective how I spend my time and how much of my time I spend doing certain tasks or daily things in my life. In a perfect world I would volunteer more and work less–this I know. Perhaps when I retire that will be an option. This year my husband and I are going to be looking at changing a lot of things we do in our day to day to cut down on how much wash I do, and whether or not I need to cook every day & perhaps try freezing meals ahead? Those are two of several things we are looking at because whether I want to believe it or not I am 1/2 way to 60 years old. I work way, way too hard and sleep or rest way, way too little.  Ideally, I would like to retire from accounting when my business Living Simply is closer to being a full-time business. I would still do some form of accounting and for certain would take care of all business/admin aspects of my business.

I think jotting down information like this is very crucial to good time management–at least it gives you a starting point. The hours don’t have to be exact but should be fairly close to as accurate as possible.

A social media detox is something I am willing to try this year! I don’t have any issues with my phone but I do check IG more than a couple of times a day.


Well, that’s a wrap for 2018–I hope you’ve all had a good year and here’s hoping that 2019 brings you and yours good health and lots of happiness!!