Around Here


It has been an eventful couple of weeks here in Snoskredland. So what is happening around here? I’m going to do a quick rundown of a few things we’ve been up to..


Eating: Loads of vegies. The Other Half said to me that if I steamed Brussels Sprouts for him, along with some carrots and cauliflower, he would eat them. So we’ve been having a huge bowl of vegies alongside some of our meals these past two weeks. I’ve discovered that I love Brussels sprouts myself. We went through 1kg of them in the last two weeks. I also get to put in some of my faves, like broccoli and mushrooms which he will not eat..


Loving: Having our wall art back up again. It has been freaking me out a little, which is odd coming from someone who sits with a full size skeleton in her lounge room. But it has been so long since we’ve had these things on our walls that it is taking some getting used to. I’ll put some of our wall art pics through this post.

Hating: “It’s a Mitsi” – no, teevee ad people, saying one line over and over does not create a catch phrase. Plus, way to go on the research front. Apparently there were ecstasy tablets named Mitsi a few years ago.


Watching: The final season of Mad Men. Season 6 of The Good Wife. Veep – I LOVE Veep! The new season of Deadliest Catch. Australia’s Next Top Model – I am a huge fan of Brittany.


Preparing: 8kg of chicken, cut up, foodsaved, and frozen in the space of an hour on Monday afternoon. It was $5.99 a kg, which is over half the price we normally pay. I have 3 bags for chicken and bacon pasta, 8 bags of chicken pieces for stir fries or Honey and Mustard chicken, plus several bags of chicken steaks for pepper chicken or chicken and sweetcorn soup.


Snacking: on carrots, and many apples I have in the fridge. Dawn is right with what she said in this post – be preparedI find that if I have snacks and other items already prepped, I’m much less likely to eat things I shouldn’t.


Planning: Menus on a fortnightly basis.


Mourning: the loss of photos and other data – A bad thing happened to our server box.. :( It is way too technical to explain how we have it set up but I will give you a quick and basic overview. The Other Half uses a RAID array which is essentially 5 hard drives set up to work together, storing all our movies, TV shows, and photos.

We do have a lot of DVDs and blu-rays, in particular a lot of tv shows. Rather than store them on the DVDs like many people do, we took to keeping them digitally because we have setups that allow us to watch them on our tv screens without having to handle the DVDs at all. Better for the DVDs, longterm, and better for us to binge watch.


It has been fantastic to have it as a virtual library where you can flick through and pick what you feel like at the time. The backup to the virtual library is, of course, the DVDs. Except the photos, which we usually back up to a DVD every so often.. and it had been a while. Since 2008. :(

So of course the universe would choose this moment to have not one, not two, but THREE of the hard drives fail. When they fail, they try to backup all the information to the other disks, and they managed to do that with the tv shows, the movies, but not the photos.

We’ve lost quite a lot of images, and The Other Half has been kicking himself for not having backups, etc. I don’t see the point in doing that – it is done, they are lost, we have to build a bridge and get over it. Most importantly, we need to make a new plan for storing photos going forward.

food, General Chit-chat, get organised, television shows, wall art

Meal Planning


This year, I’ve been using this great free meal planner found at #4 on this post – High Five for Getting Organized! – from kelly’s kinda crazy.


The meal planner comes with a grocery list – Above you see Carter – my trusty skeleton friend – holding it. I’m thinking from now on he will get to hold the grocery list each fortnight so if I need to add something he will remind me to add it when I walk past. :) Here is a closer view with this fortnights shopping on it.


When I write my shopping list, I mentally walk around Aldi in my mind and I write things on the list in the order they appear in the store. Thank the deities, unlike Coles and Woolworths, Aldi rarely changes their floor plan. Both Coles and Woolworths have recently re-arranged their stores and now I can’t find anything in there. :(

I also sit down with my laptop and the shopping list and go through the Coles and Woolworths brochures and write down any items which are on special that we need to stock up on. I’ve been doing this for so long now that in general we never run out of things that we regularly use.


I’m loving the cute design of the meal planner. I used to do meal planning on my whiteboard which was not so pretty, nor could I take it with me to other rooms of the house which, on occasion especially when writing the shopping list, was mildly inconvenient. It also means I can keep copies of the old meal plans on the clipboard and review them when making the next meal plan. This way, I tend to notice meals we have not had for a while and add them back in.

Just be aware the file prints out an entire year worth of meal planning – you can choose to print just one or two pages at a time but you’d have to do it manually. I printed mine out at the start of the year and I’ll have enough to last until the end of this year..

This meal planner runs fortnightly and so we have been planning our menu fortnightly and shopping fortnightly as well, with just a quick stop at the shops on the second weekend if we need to pick up something fresh. Most of the time we don’t need to, because I am getting very good at planning meals which have the fresh ingredients closest to the shopping trip – and also very good at freezing things we need for later.


This past weekend we made our regular trip to Lenards at Warrawong which is roughly an hour or so drive from here, depending which way you go. We took a little detour past Albion Park to catch a glimpse of the Grand Old Lady VH-OJA at the HARS museum. If it wasn’t too busy we would have stopped to get out and take some photos, but as expected the place was absolutely packed and we just drove past. So, my apologies, I have no pics of that for you.

I also have no pics of Chicken Young Lad who has served us on our past 3-4 trips and who is starting to remember that we are the Crazy Bulk Buying People. Even so, after each item he asks “Anything else today” and we’re all.. YEP, give us 4 of those and 8 of those.

Meat wise, we eat quite a bit of chicken in the house. When we lived in Adelaide we had a Lenards close by and we could drop in and pick up chicken on the same day we were going to cook it. We really grew to love their chicken and moving here we discovered two things –

1. It is super expensive to buy pre-prepared chicken here eg kievs & filos.

2. Even though it was super expensive to buy, none of the local options tasted anywhere near as good as the options from Lenards did.

So we make the trek to Warrawong every 8-12 weeks, and we stock up on our chicken, we bring it home, then we food-save it and freeze it. We have the Sunbeam Foodsaver. I’ve tried other methods in the past including freezer bags and ziploc bags and we find the foodsaver to be the better option.It ends up looking like this –


The red chicken breasts that you see paired in the foodsaver packets with Chicken Kievs are the pocketed breast with baby spinach, dill, fetta and ricotta. They are my favourite – so tasty! I don’t mind a chicken kiev, either, but I deeply love these little red thingies.

We took every single chicken mini roast that they had prepared and we would have taken more if they had them out the back – sorry everyone else who wanted one. I normally pre-order but this time it did not happen, for a few non-interesting reasons. I foodsaved 6 roasters but we got 7 – one went into the fridge for tonights dinner, which looked like this –


We also stopped in at Dan Murphys and bought enough cask wine for cooking to last the next 6 months or so. I use Banrock Station Cabernet Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc for cooking and they are routinely $5 or so more expensive locally so if I need them and we’re already up Shellharbour way, I like to stock up.

Last fortnight, I ran out of white cask wine and had to use red wine for our white sauce chicken, bacon and leek pasta. When you use red wine in white sauce, you end up with a delicate light purple sauce. Not that either of us minds that because it still tastes great, and I find the merlot has some interesting flavours which the sav blanc does not. I really do need to put my white sauce pasta recipe up here sometime soon. :)

If you enjoyed reading this, you might want to take a look at this post – some things I know for sure about grocery shopping.

None of the companies or products mentioned gave me anything or paid me to say this stuff, and of course if anyone did I would make that very clear right at the top of the post and it would not change my opinions on things – I call it as I see it.. :)

So, over to you..

Do you meal plan?

Carter, country life, food, get organised, Home, shopping

Recipe Saves

Untitled - 106

Savory Saves –

Recipe: Oven Cooked Risotto – I am totally going to perfect this recipe and I think I will use my roasting pan.

Prosciutto, Pea and Lemon Pasta – I think I would try to use not frozen peas if I were to make this, and I would likely sustitute bacon in for proscuttio. But this leads me to ask myself why can’t I just make a recipe as it is written, why must I Jamie Oliver it up every time?

Eggs Benedict Casserole – There are times when I have a lot of eggs and this recipe seems like it was made for those times.

Sweet Potato Spinach Mac and Cheese – This is a recipe I will make but I will use A2 milk in place of almond milk. I have a stash of A2 longlife UHT milk as well, in case we ever run out. Yes, I am a believer, regular milk does not love me much. :(

cauliflower cheese – I deeply love cauliflower cheese.

The Best Guacamole Recipe. – I will make this and love it, sometime soon.

Sasha and Malia Obama’s Favorite Mac and Cheese – I am a huge Michelle Obama fan, I have a somewhat irrational love for her.

Seriously the base recipe is amazing *and* it skips making a roux, which was one of the first things I mastered in the kitchen. A roux is the base for several of my recipes – however there are days (especially hot days) when I just don’t feel like making one. You can easily use this as your base for all roux-required recipes if you so desire, I have done from time to time. This recipe is so versatile. Here are a couple of quick things you can add to the simple cauliflower, milk, cheese and herbs base to make into a meal –

Chicken, Bacon, Mushrooms, Spring Onion.

Tuna, Broccoli, Leek, put some tomato slices and Parmesan on top, bake for 20 mins till top is crispy.

You can find a couple more awesome Michelle Obama recipes here –
Healthy Recipes From The White House To You – the broccoli soup is great as well especially if you add some Parmesan or blue cheese.

Coconut Lime Baked Chicken with Coconut Mango Sticky Rice – Yes to this. One day I will make this. I think this would work really well with drumsticks and wings, too.

Slow Cooker Chicken Wings – 5 Super Varieties – Speaking of chicken wings.. :)

Blood Orange Thyme Roasted Chicken – This combined with my roasting pan would = epic win, I think. :)

Sweet Saves –

Booze Baking: RumChata Cheesecake – I do not even know what Rumchata is, which may impact on my success with this recipe considering it calls for 3/4 of a cup of it.

Christmas Pear, Cinnamon & Ginger Chocolate Glazed Cheesecake – This is a recipe I am deeply unlikely to ever make for us at home, but I like to think I could make it, if people in my house ate pears. I might make it if I am going somewhere that people will eat pears. But why on earth do I save these recipes knowing I am unlikely to ever make them? WHYYYYYY?

Gingerbread Heads – You will never believe me when I say this, but I *did* make this gingerbread. It is everything you want a gingerbread to be. I should have halved or even quartered the recipe, though. Anything that says 5 cups of flour is overkill in my house. So, There Was An Incident, which we will not go into the details of, when I tried to make it in my mixer which is not large enough for this dough. I still have two large logs of this dough which I froze. I did not decorate the results, because I am a terrible cake and cookie decorator.

key lime pie – I love Key Lime Pie. I have never made it. This year is the year, it will happen! ;)

Raspberry Chocolates – I will probably make this to take along to school one day. Though, as I have a chocolate from scratch recipe I love, I will likely stick to that one – Making Chocolate From Scratch!

Salted caramel pudding – I love Salted Caramel, so, so, SO SO much.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups – gorgeous pics. I will make this one day.

Blueberry Pie Bars – I deeply love blueberries. I will make this!

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Paddle Pops – I love me some Milo.. :)

Fudge for all – I have made this fudge many times now, however, I just make the cookie part and skip the chocolate. Bizarre, I know, but I have to tell you this is one of my all time favourite desserts and super simple. If you make it with Anna’s Ginger Thins.. swoooooon!

Just a side note, why are so many bloggers using all caps for titles on their blog posts these days? You can do that with CSS instead, so when people like me try to copy your title, we get it in regular letters. :)

cooking, get organised, internet, Linkage, recipes

My Saves


My Next Confession –

I save links, to go back to when I have more time and/or to share them here on the blog.. forgive me internet for I have saved, bookmarked, and foldered my way into one heck of a mess..

I have already confessed to you that I save recipes. I usually try to have one folder for recipes and one for other stuff but lately I have been failing to keep them separated..

Here is my present saves folder – this one scrolls down for 3 more pages past what you see here –


Yes, I like my chocolate peanut butter fudge with a side of Confessions from a Mortician. Don’t judge me, mmkay?

Even worse, here is a folder from the start of 2013!


I don’t need to tell you it is now 2015. But perhaps I need to tell *me* that. :)

Anyway I think the time has come for a clean out. So over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to post a selection of my saved links along with why I saved them, if I can recall that. This week it is NON recipe links.

10 Snoskred Saved Links

1. 5 ways I stay sane online – I saved this because I think I could use these ways to be more sane online, especially the first one, pocket, that could be super helpful to me now I will be out at school. It is essentially my saves folder made mobile.

2. Last Minute Gift – DIY Coasters – I saved this because I think I could actually make this and it would be awesome.

3. This Woman Creates Something Phenomenal Out Of A Family Photo And Wood – I saved this for the same reason as above. Love!

4. Easy Valentine Necklaces – Speaking of love, I saved this because I had never heard of this form of Mod Podge before and I deeply love the form of Mod Podge I know about, so this is a reminder to hunt down this dimensional magic.

5. 25 plus size bloggers to follow on Instagram in 2015 – I saved this because while I do not instagram, there are some people here I have not seen before and they might have blogs I can subscribe to.

6. Mötley Crüe are calling it quits. – I saved this to send to The Other Half, plus, Tommy Lee has a drumming rollercoaster? I will like to know more about this! That shiznit I got to investigate further.

And I did google that, and I found out it is the slowest rollercoaster of all time, but it does some neat tricks. I even have a video for you but I warn you of two things – the sound quality is terrible so turn it right down and/or hit mute – and there is some swearing at the end, which won’t be a problem if you did hit mute or turned the sound right down. Tommy Lee Drum Rollercoaster

7. Post Crossing – I saved this because it might be awesome.

8. Coronial Findings NSW – I saved this because these are always interesting to read and I did work experience in a Coroners Court, many years ago.

9. Emergency Department Waiting Times
– In Major NSW Public Hospitals – I saved this because handy to have just in case.

10. Boot Camp: About keyboards and key assignment for Microsoft Windows – I saved this back when I had a Mac. I think I can delete this now. But anyone reading this with a mac might find it useful.

And a special bonus link –

Who’s Laying, Who’s Not – for anyone who keeps chickens or is considering keeping chickens this is worth reading, especially the last two paragraphs.

Next week – Recipe links. I might post more than 10, because I have a lot of them. :)

About Snoskred, get organised, internet, Linkage

Lightbulb Moment – Wardrobe Take 2


Layering tops many of which are mesh from Ezibuy.

This is part 2 of a series – part 1 is here.

So, basically we’ve learned during this process of sorting out my wardrobe that I have become less over the past few years and I have been trying to work out what has caused that.

I think a huge part of this burrowing into my comfort zone began when my favourite manager left.

My favourite manager is an incredible person. Have you ever known someone who takes every opportunity to praise you and lift you up? Who makes everyone better just by existing – who makes everyone want to do their best for them – who makes people *more* somehow?

Someone who has your back with upper management even if you’ve made a stuff up – which she will address with you in a way that will teach you never to make that mistake again, and in fact you’ll make sure nobody within your earshot ever makes that mistake either?

Someone who is there for you when you need them, and will even go to great lengths for you to get you the help you need, even if it is not a part of her official job description?

Someone who – even years after they are no longer your boss – is more than willing to listen when things go wrong, and give you the guidance you need to make the best decisions for yourself in the situation you find yourself in?

Someone who tells you the unvarnished truth, not what you want to hear?

Someone who tucks in your tag if you managed to get out of the house with it sticking out without making you feel embarrassed, and she’ll have noticed it and fixed it moments after you walked in the door, even if she has to interrupt a meeting to do it?

Someone who inspires great loyalty from everyone she works with, even if they are people she does not personally like?

That is what my favourite manager was like. When she was working there, shifts during the day never dragged on. In fact I looked forward to them, to being in her presence, to feeling her light, hoping it would land on me from time to time. Listening to her train other people was a validation of all the things she taught me to do, of all the things she wanted – needed – from us.

She is utterly hilarious. Training with her was never boring because she made everything interesting with the way she chose to present it. Having her listen to your calls was a sheer delight. Having her sitting next to you and listening in was a thing of great joy.

She also had a fabulous sense of style. No two outfits were ever the same, and myself and pretty much everyone around her took a leaf from her book and found our own personal style. She would always comment on everyones outfit. There were no flip flops, not ever in her presence. The only way you showed your toes was in a peep toe.


Colourful tank dresses, none of which I would have bought without the influence of my favourite manager.

Sneakers were fine but they could not be plain and boring – they had to be colourful and delightful, or quirky. Layering was the order of the day and I enjoyed it, loved putting things together which I never would have considered before. Jewellery was to be oohed and aahed over, and discussed, and ranked in order of which pieces she most wanted to know where you got them because she wanted them too.

She allowed me to be who I truly am, she accepted who I was and validated the fact that it was ok to be unusual, to be quirky, to be different, to stand out in my own ways.

For the first time ever in my life, I was truly myself.

So how did the wardrobe sorting turn out? Everything in its place, baby!

Sorry some of these photos are quite long.. :)


My tiny collection of pencil skirts.

There are 3. I do not own a lot of skirts, I am more of a dress person. Plus, my Forever 21 animal print jumper.

My colourful collection of dresses.


So many different dresses.


Dresses without patterns, just one colour.


Going out tops all together in one place.


Little shrug cardigans.


Animal print tops all together in one place.


Exercise tops all together.


Around the house clothes –

You see all the identical pink ones at one end – those are all tops from rivers which are my in between seasons wear – 3/4 length sleeves. If I am not wearing a jumper and I am at home, there is a 99% chance I will be wearing one of those pink tops.


Jumpers Together –

some of them are in the wash.

get organised, Happy Snoskred, work

Lightbulb Moment. Wardrobe Take 1.


Since I’m not going to work at the moment – a situation in limbo with no outcome as yet – I have been setting tasks for myself each day. It might be something tiny like clean the bathroom vanity, or sort through a pile of clutter. And then there are the huge tasks which are not a one shot deal – they require hours over a space of days in order to be completed. Sorting my cupboards fell into this huge task category.

This began with the other half, who has one small rather pitiful side of the Walk In Robe to himself. My clothes had quietly begun a takeover of his side of the walk in robe. It isn’t like my clothes don’t have space, there are at least 4 full size cupboards devoted to just my stuff. It was just easier for me to keep the most worn stuff in one spot.

He said “Do you think I can have my side of the wardrobe back?” – I said, yeah kthx lemme get to it. In the fullness of time. :)

So my outer self was not doing anything about this, but my inner self was quite busy thinking about how I would like my wardrobe to look and how it would be best organised.My internal self eventually came up with a plan as follows – Batch together –

– dresses

– going out tops

-layering wear

– jumpers

– tops only worn around the house

– skirts

– going out pants

– running errands pants

– around the house pants

– camisoles

My internal self tele-communicated with my external self, and a couple of days later I got started. I cleared a little portable rack which I can use for jobs like this. I also dug out my 50 pack of non slip coathangers which I wanted to use for tank dresses – of which I have quite a few but they are mostly worn over layering wear because I am not a fan of my arms.

I started by emptying out a rack which lives in the bedroom and contained stuff I had not worn for a while. Some of that went off to goodwill, others went to the correct area on the portable rack. Once I had this rack cleared, I chose to use it purely for dresses and began picking them out of.. well, chaos. Chaos looked like this –


Dresses inside out, pants, tops, shorts, all kinds of wears all thrown together. This chaos probably resembles the inside of my mind over the past year.

As I sorted through a very colourful collection of outfits, I began to realise something about myself.

Over the past year, I have become less.

Typing it out like that it seems like nothing but the truth is, it is everything.

Less me being who I truly am.

Less wearing things I like.

Less outgoing.

Less comfortable.

Less fun.

Less inclined to want to have fun.


A lot of my gorgeous dresses never saw the light of day or only got worn once or twice. Some still have tags on. I realised that I have been staying safe with my outfits, wearing the same clothes which I felt safe and comfortable in. Why dress up, it is only going to work.

I have hunkered down in my comfort zone and I was not willing to move out of it, no way, nu-huh, kthx imma gonna let you finish, but it is safer this way. If I am not being who I really am, when they reject me or say I’m not good enough at my job or point fingers in my direction, well, that has nothing to do with the real me. The real me is protected inside a bubble. You can’t hurt the real me.

The real me is safe.

You can take aim at the fake me instead.

This was quite an upsetting lightbulb moment for me.

I have been living an a-ha lyric. Specifically, from the song Cosy Prisons –

So if you’re careful – You won’t get hurt

But if your careful all the time – Then what’s it worth?

You can view the video for this song here – Cosy Prisons – worth watching just for the gorgeous Morten Harket. Still beautiful even all these years after Take On Me.

I need to get back to the first lyrics of that same song –

Take a moment if you dare
Catch yourself a breath of air
There’s another life out there
And you should try it

I’m going to write more about this, obviously, because once I realised this I began to think about how I got to this place, and I want to show you the end results of the tidy up.

I am not sure if the posts will all be public because a lot of this is due to goings on at work – but if I password protect them I’ll let you know in advance and tell you to email me for the password.

Right now, I haz a flu, my eyes ache, I feel terrible, so I’m going to leave this here for now. Watch out for another post on this later this week.

get organised, Sad Snoskred

And It Begins

There are some jobs that I have been wanting to do for over a year. One of them was to sort out the shoes. Why would I do this in preparation for kitchen jobs you ask? Well the kitchen is like one huge open plan area and in one corner of that we had shoe racks – it was right near the entry way and it seemed like a logical place for them to go but it never worked in practice. All shoes have now been moved to this new home.


Plus some shoes have been put aside for donation and some for throwing out. Decluttering is always a happy feeling for me..


The scarf storage has been on the door of the new “shoe room” for a while. I’ve put the jewellery cabinet and storer into the same room as well. Kinda like a mini dressing room. Now I just have to get all the jewellery in the one place – I can think of 7 different locations where you can find jewellery of mine right now – on top of the soda stream being the most bizarre one. :)


The plastic containers have been a nightmare I never seemed to wake up from, and I was over it. OVER IT. But now, it is sorted – using a bookshelf which was no longer needed for storage of the tupperware type containers, and all the plastic storage containers I bought today for use with the new plan of things.

Here is our new pressure & slow cooker! Shiny, no? Well kinda no, it was the floor model so it is a little dusty. Now I just need to learn everything there is to know about slow cooking. As in how it works, etc. I have never done this before.


We bought a meat slicer. Yays! I am sick of spending excessive amounts of money on sliced chicken, turkey and ham. We have a foodsaver already.


I also got this rocket blender. I have wanted one of these things for a while now and I think a strawberry/banana coconut milk smoothie might work for the mornings as a breakfast.


Of course with the new deep freeze, I can freeze fruit like there is no tomorrow. Bananas tended to sit and get ignored until they went bad and got thrown out in the past. When I find good strawberries I like to buy a lot of them, wash them off and store them. Now I can just put them in the freezer.

I bought a whole watermelon today half of which I have frozen for the chooks in case we get any more of those super hot days. I’ve cut up a bunch of apples to freeze for them. I had frozen zucchini prepared for them on Tuesday which went into their water as ice cubes, they loved it enormously.

Speaking of Tuesday, which was a catastrophic fire risk day here.. this SMS came to me as a surprise, twice. Plus we got an electronic recorded message to the home phone.


I was still up when the sun rose on Tuesday so I went out and washed out the chickens water bowls and ran the sprinkler in their enclosure for a while – the water helps keep the sand cool and helps with their dust bathing themselves down to a cooler level of earth. It was already 31 degrees on my weather station before the sun even came up, but it was overcast so I went to bed thinking everything would be less hot than predicted.

Around 10am just as I was drifting off to sleep the safety switch tripped. I had to get up, get dressed, go out and turn it back on. Around 2, some telemarketer called me on my mobile which I had turned to ring from silent in case there was some kind of emergency. I was not making a great deal of sense on the phone seeing as I was asleep, lucky for the telemarketer else I would have gone off for being woken up. After I hung up, I woke up and went out to check on the chooks – the weather station said 44 degrees C. Hot time!

The girls were doing ok, chilling out in the shade under their coop, dustbathing happily. I put some more frozen veg in their water and went back to bed. Absolutely terrible sleep and then I had to go to work earlier than I had been used to – 5pm instead of 6. I nearly did not make it.

Tonight I am hoping to head back to bed at a more regular time having got up about 2 today and then doing a hard day of chores. I tried to do this last night – went to bed at 2, tossed and turned till 6, said stuff it, I’ll go watch another Dexter ep until I am tired, which turned into 2 eps.

Tomorrow it is off to Sydney for an Ikea & Costco trip. We’re heading up a little later than usual in the hope of missing all the peak hour traffic we usually hit on the way home – it is daylight until late now and Costco is open till 8:30pm. Will update you urgently! :)

cooking, country life, get organised, health, Home, prep for going paleo

Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

I am all for making positive changes in all areas of my life, but sometimes you have to put the blinkers on and focus your sights on one specific area. Right now for me, that area is organisation – or organiZation if you’re from the US – and time management.

I have good reasons for wanting to get organised. I want to start a business over the next two months. I realise that if I started a business now without having the right skills in place it just would not work. So it is time to take a deep breath, suck it up, and get to it. At the start of this week I made a personal commitment to myself – I am getting organised.

Now some of the stuff I am going to say here is going to seem.. lame.. silly.. possibly even stupid. In order for you to understand where I’m going you need to know where I am at now. I’m not going to lie to ya’all. ;) here’s my major issues.

I am easily distracted.

I have trains running just fine on the tracks but then suddenly they crash. IE – I can be in the middle of doing something and then my mind throws out something else I need to do, and I will stop and change direction.

I’ll be in the middle of writing something and remember I wanted to check a website. I will be in the middle of one task, and remember one that needs doing RIGHT NOW. Yes, this is happening as I type. I haven’t updated the Aussie Blogs List yet, cos I took a day off today.

It happened again just then, as I was typing this. I noticed my glasses were dirty. This brings us to another issue I have –

I don’t put things back where they belong.

I was watching a West Wing in the lounge room yesterday. Part way through, guess what happened? I noticed my glasses were dirty. So I came in here to my desk and took my lens cleaning cloth out to the lounge room. I had to stop typing this post to go and get it.

My computer is a mess.

On the inside, that is. Information goes in, but I have no easy system, no good way of finding things, my desktop has always been a nightmare of files just dumped there. In fact here is how it looked at the start of this week.


I need to take charge NOW.

When I am running my own business, working to deadlines? All those little distractions and things not being where they should be and not having a system of where things get put and how to find them again on the computer – these things are going to add up and drown me. Especially because the business I want to run is computer orientated.

So how to fix it?

Step One – Done!

Get my computer organised and start a system of where things go that will work for me.

Thanks to this wonderful article – How to Keep your Desktop Organized (without getting insane) my desktop now looks like this.


Step Two – In Progress

I am a digital packrat. There are folders full of files. Take for example our photographs. We have a lot of them. We never had a system for organising them other than to put dates on the folders. Consequently, we now have a lot of this –


Yes, that right there is the date we began putting some kind of name on the folders. But the no name folders go back to *cringe* 2 years before that date.

There is no magic wand I can wave here, but thanks to another article I read – A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats, and How to Know If You’re One of Them – I now know how to cure it.

I’m looking through two folders a day, naming them, putting aside good photos I want to use for the thought of the day photos. I am also looking through two bookmarks folders a day, sorting, deleting, moving. This will take time – If I tried devoting one day to it, I’d still have a lot of folders not labeled. Better to do little chunks daily than overwhelm myself right now.

Step Three – Time Management – Done Daily

1. Create a daily list of tasks.
2. Give each task a priority A, B, C,
3. Ensure that you work on the “A” tasks first.
4. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once.
5. Ensure that you make the best use of your time.
6. Don’t postpone anything – Do it now!

Step Four – Day Planner


I have done this for the last three days and spent a day preparing for it before that. It’s rocking my socks, ya’all. You have no idea how focused I feel right now. It’s a happy feeling. :)

Step Five – Checklists


Yes, this is possibly the most lame of all the things I am doing, but it is helping me remember the things I do daily. I plan to update it in a week or so when I have identified more things I do daily. This is laminated so I can tick the boxes each day with a whiteboard marker and then rub that off ready for the next day. Yes, in the past I would forget my head if it were not screwed on, apparently. Now I have the checklists, sitting right in front of me, there’s not much chance of that.

Step Six – Email Check

One of the ways I get distracted is by the little envelope that pops up when I have new mail. Solution – open the mail in the morning, check emails, reply emails, close emails. Open again at lunchtime, dinner time, before bed. So if I don’t reply urgently, now you know why – and you can know when to expect that reply.. approximately.. ;)

Step Seven – Time Off For Good Behaviour.

This new stuff I’m doing is pretty intense right now, because I have a lot of organising I am doing. The major two things I need to finish are sorting my google reader and going through my archives here. These are both time consuming. So at lunchtimes, I step away from the computer for an hour. At dinner time, I step away for two hours.

I plan on having at least one light schedule day each week until I have a good handle on things, but I still want to make sure I get two of photos and bookmarks done each day. I took today off, got a haircut, went to see a house, put in an application so we might be moving, got my glasses fixed, did a little shopping. Whoa, what was that? Yes, we might be moving to my dream location. More on that tomorrow.

Step Eight – Buy In Bulk

The inexpensive things I find myself looking for, I need to purchase them so I can have one in each location I may need them. The lens cleaning cloth is a good example. They’re not expensive and it will cost me less to buy 2 more of them (I have 2 now, one in the car – one on my desk) than my time is worth to keep chasing them from room to room.

Step 9 – Put Things Back

The things that I can’t buy extra of, I need to put them back when I’m done. Simple, hey? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I am committed to doing it.

What happens next..

I’m taking it one day at a time right now. I am hopeful that in three to four weeks I will become unconscious competent in being organised. However I think it may be a habit I need to keep working on and these skills of time management are going to be so useful to me in my business, I’m going to keep using them.

All I know is, I’m feeling motivated. I’m sleeping a bit less because when I wake up, I want to get onto the daily tasks I have set. I’ll update you urgently on developments. ;) so stick around!

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