Day 28: Eat Well and Drink Your Water

Day 28:  Eat Well and Drink Your Water

After all the flying around, FlyLady adds the extra step of menu planning and asking ourselves “What is for dinner?”  I tend to menu plan each weekend and set out what I would like to eat beforehand with the use of tools such as Allrecipes.com. There are many quick dishes I can prepare beforehand for the week.  Writing it down and having lists of ingredients makes this task easier.  FlyLady also wants for us to drink enough water which is great in this hot weather.  I tend to vary my water consumption from plain mineral water to sparkling.  I drink enough throughout the day and I try not to overdo the caffeinated drinks including iced tea.

So far, I’ve found the FlyLady useful.  I’ve been applying it my own way.  I’ve been slow and consistent about it.  In fact, these Babysteps have taken me month to get to work for me.  I’ve set my routines for my needs.  The way I see it is that FlyLady provides a great template or recipe to get things done.  Even a great recipe, you might need to tweak to suit your needs.  How many times have I eliminated an ingredient or substituted for something else?  It is the same with FlyLady.  The routines are there.  The importance is to follow them your way.

Now, off I go to plan my fajita dinner.

Fajita dinner with chicken.

Fajita dinner with chicken.

Chicken Fajita Recipe

Original recipe makes 5 servings

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place chicken in sauce, and turn once to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper, and saute another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Remember to eat well and drink your water!

 

Day 27: FlyLady Figures Out What Is for Dinner

FlyLady’s skill for Day #27 is figuring out what is for dinner.

I’m happy to be back blogging.  In the past month, I have had the worse allergies ever with visits to the doctor every week.  Cleaning has been a priority but the blogging fell behind.  I turned on WordPress and discovered that I had to update my blogging software.  So far, the process was less painful than updating my iPhone iOS.

As to FlyLady, I’ve been planning the week ahead and writing in my control journal.  This saved me at work one day when I needed important documents to be copied and it also saved me at dinner.

Each Sunday I make a list of what I will need for the week for my daily meals.  Breakfast is easy.  I stick to oatmeal and whole grains.  I love my coffee in the morning with plenty of milk and orange juice.  I also try to take my vitamins daily.     I work around two hours away so I must pack both lunch and dinner.   For lunch, I usually have a heavier meal.  This might include salmon, chicken, rice or beans.  I’ve minimized my consumption of red meat and I follow a Mediterranean diet pretty strictly.  I also take some yogurt to work.  Dinner is my lighter meal including salads and fruits.  I make sure that I take my lunch with me and place it near my launch pad.  I don’t tend to forget my items when I leave them there and I’m going out the door in a rush.

As to my shopping lists, I do not slave over them or fuss about them much.  I’ve seen people categorize everything including my aisle.  II simply look in my refrigerator and look at what is needed to make my recipes happen.  However, I do find that using web tools such as Allrecipes for new creations can be helpful.  The website provides a mini shopping list for each recipe.

 

salmon dinner plate

Salmon dinner plate

 

 

Day 26: FlyLady Encourages All

 

FlyLady Encourages All:

It takes us a month to establish a habit. I set it up this way because I knew that I would miss a day here and there and I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. That was how I had always done it with my perfectionism. If I missed a day I gave up; well I factored in this part of our personalities into our FlyLady system. This is why we take a whole month to establish one habit. –FlyLady

For Day 26, FlyLady tells us that it takes us a month.  I think it’s taken me more than that to establish a habit.  Perhaps, it has to do with my questioning of some of the methods.  I’ve found that some of FlyLady’s habits which she posts on her website such s planning dinner have stuck with me.  I also plan what to wear the next day.  I tend to do these automatically.  Out of all the routines, I find the evening one the most difficult to carry out.  Perhaps, this is because after a day at work I am tired.  If I stay up and follow it, I run the risk of not getting to bed at a decent hour.  I’m thinking of going back in my control journal and tweaking some of these routines.  However, it doesn’t matter how long this routine is I definitely don’t skip shining the sink.

FlyLady encourages us to read her emails.  She says to look for the bottom area of one of her emails and to read the first sentence and incorporate into “FLYing”.  So, I logged on to my computer and went to my inbox.  Today FlyLady sent a series of emails on “Back to Basics.”  The emails looked like primers on the BabySteps and a good review for all of us doing the system.

You are not behind! I don’t want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?

Words can be KIND or MEAN; the CHOICE is yours in 2013!
These were the words of FlyLady today.  We need to think positive.  Forget the mean words and the negative chatter!  It is never too late to start making a new start and not giving up.  As FlyLady says in her email, the choice is ours.
Keep Caml and Back to Basics

FlyLady Encourages In Her Email

 

Day 25: Turn of the Century Testimonial and Daily Habit

Go Shine Your Sink.

Go Shine Your Sink.

In Day 26 of FlyLady, we learn that routines are essential to maintain an uncluttered clean house.  FlyLady gives her own testimonial in which she explains how difficult it was and that it took over a year to get ready.  She started out her system based on the 3×5 card system from the Sidetracked Home Executives.  It seems to be that Pam and Peggy, the slob sisters (as they like to be called), started a discussion group called “In Touch” and that FlyLady was a member.   FlyLady had been posting on the boards and somehow got hooked in 1999.  She decided that although her cards were full of routines and things to do that she was procrastinating.  She then made a goal for herself– “shine the sink”.  She then established goals month to month.  These are the same goals which she writes about in establishing daily habits on her website.  It took a year for FlyLady to get there and even then she hired a friend for help with organizing.

November was Thanksgiving, and I had all our family here. My house was perfect so I didn’t have to kill myself cleaning to have people over. I did hire a friend to help organize my craft closet and sewing room. Now the cooking was all that needed to be done. I used the same system.

She then makes it clear that this is not an overnight fix.

We have been sidetracked all of our lives. We have to take one habit at a time and build on what is working. What worked for me may have to be altered to fit your family, butt here are a few things that will remain the same.

And these same things are our established routines.

 

Day 24: Swish and Swipe

Fly Lady made “Swish and Swipe” the routine habit for the month of July.  It’s the beginning of August and I am now beginning to get into the swing of it.  The basis of swishing is cleaning the toilet bowl while the swiping includes the part of cleaning your counters.  Since I have active allergies, I tend to stick to natural cleansers.  I’m following the recipe from Cleaning Lady Green.  You take a ratio of 1 cup of vinegar to 1/2 cup of baking soda.  Since I have a small toilet bowl, I used 1/2 a cup of vinegar to 1/4 cup of baking soda.  The result was a volcano.  It erupted and then I swished as fast as I could.  If you are doing a thorough cleaning then I would suggest adding the two tablets of vitamin C at 1000 mg (the really big ones) for a deep cleaning.  The results are fantastic!

 

To swipe, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water.  Place it in a spray bottle and you are ready to go.  Just follow this routine every morning and your counters should be sparkling clean.

 

 

 

Day 23: Afternoon Routine

 

Cappuccinos

Two cappuccinos.

Today, I added an afternoon routine.  It happens to be that I am at work in the pm but over there as at home I need to deal with paper clutter.  My new routine added from mid-morning to mid-afternoon is the following:

 

8:50 am Quick Dusting

Work from 9am to 12 pm.

12-1pm Lunch

1pm Declutter paper stack

Work from 1 pm to 5pm.

Insert a 3pm Coffee in the afternoon routine!!!

5pm Declutter paper stack

 

I timed it and de-cluttering the paper stack takes around 15 to 20 minutes.   This also includes signing papers and sorting them out to the administrative staff.  It is a bit of a tedious process, but basically it can be done especially after I am caffeinated by 3pm.  I sometimes wander off to Starbucks if I get a break or make my own coffee.  I’ve tried Japanese  green tea, but somehow this keeps me up at night.  It has a greater effect on me than coffee.

A funny thing happened today.  One of my co-workers saw me spraying the Meyer’s Clean Day and asked for me to dust his office too.  I think that from now on my boss should start paying me to “FLY” around the office.

 

 

 

Day 22: Use the control journal

 

Don’t be afraid to use the control journal even at work!

For the past week and a half, I’ve been battling with allergies which all started at my workplace.  This of course has made my “flying”  pretty rough hence the lack of  frequent posting on the blog.  But no, I haven’t forgotten to continue with my routines between my sneezing.  I’m trying to follow my routines and  I’m also finding new uses for my control journal especially at work.

So what happened?   My boss decided to change cleaning ladies.   Supposedly, her previous home cleaning lady who happened to be her office cleaning lady was taking things that didn’t belong to her to put it in a subtle way.  This allegedly included some prescription medication from her home.  I had placed a whole post on this in a private group.  As suggested, I followed their sound advice.   They suggested for my boss to actually confront the cleaning lady and to  let authorities know.   I let my voice be heard.  When she returned from vacation, the cleaning lady was fired. This meant that the office went without cleaning for a whole two weeks.  Basically, it needed a good dusting  but it was too late since my allergies developed with watery eyes, sneezing and congestion.  I looked like a poster child for an Allegra commercial.   I spent a whole week on medication trying to recuperate.    After a doctor’s visit, medication and some rest, I decided to take matters in my own hands.  I added a routine at work.  Before starting each day, I lightly dust and I take a bottle of Meyer’s Clean Day to get things back on the right track.  My allergies are now clearing up and I will continue to take control even at work in less than 2 minutes a day.

 

control

 

 

Day 21: AskFlyLady

Day 21:  AskFlyLady

Flylady picture.

AskFlylady

I’ve been stuck on day 21 of babysteps for the past week.  I’ve been trying to understand and even put it up for experiment how FlyLady does a home cleaning blessing in one hour.  I can barely do half my house in one hour  I timed it and it took me 2 hours and a half.  I tried to follow the podcast and I even attempted to do it intervals as suggested of 10 to 15 minutes timed.  It doesn’t work that way.  I think I spend 20 minutes going up and down the stairs.

Online I found the AskFlyLady page as suggested for day 21 but I couldn’t find the answer.

 

Dear FlyLady,

What is the one hour list where we do certain things for 10 minutes? Something like weekly blessing? dusting for 10, vacuuming for 10? I really needs some help! Can you come over? FlyBaby MJ

Dear FlyBaby MJ,

You are not the only one to wonder about this. We forget that many new people join each week and don’t know what Weekly Home Blessing Hour is all about. I don’t make house calls but I can talk you though it with our podcast. They are listed below.

Let me explain this in a simple way. It is where we spend 1 hour sprucing up our home. Michele my assistant calls it Redding UP. I guess this is what her mother called it when they were getting ready for company.

This is NOT DETAILED CLEANING! It is just the middles and a quick and easy clean up.

We use our timer! This is a MUST! Your timer tells you to quit and go on to the next thing! You can also get a pretty good work out too! Because you are going as fast as you can.

Now don’t feel guilty if you can’t do them all in one day. I spread mine out over the whole week and do one a day. Some of our members do one Weekly Home Blessing Hour on Monday (to recover from the weekend) and another one on Friday (to get ready for the weekend). Others put them in a bowl and each family member draws one out. Make it fun! Put on some fast music and FLY around your house!

I have a Post-it Note on my bathroom door that tells me what I do on each day of the week. There are 7 things. You can do them in any order you like. One of our members puts her 7 Blessings on her bathroom mirror. As she does one she moves it to the other side of the mirror. Her goal is to get them all moved to the other side by the end of the day. Your creativity is amazing.

Weekly Home Blessing

On this page you will see the list of seven blessings. I have also done a podcast that helps you do it! It is like having me on your shoulder to walk you through your Weekly Home Blessing. You know how bossy I can be! LOL

The podcast is on iTunes too for those of you who love your iPod!

Here is the link to the Weekly Home Blessing podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com.

Have fun with this and you will get it done!

FlyLady

Try doing your Weekly Home Blessing Hour with a timer! It will keep you focused! When the buzzer goes off then go on to something else. You don’t have to finish!

Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family!

Here are some more tools to help you bless your home.

FlyLady says that it is not detailed cleaning.  I understand that.  However, I’m flying as fast as I can and running around trying to do my best.   I figured out that the best would be to divide the house in half– one blessing hour for downstairs and another one for the upstairs.

 

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

 

 

 

Day 20: Laundry

Typical laundry day.

Typical laundry day.

 

 

Today, FlyLady explains that it is important to follow the laundry basics.  First you wash, dry, sort and store away.   She recommends doing a load a day.  This is perfect if you have a large household.  For me, two loads a week is a maximum.  I keep my dirty laundry in a wicker hamper in the bathroom.  This way all I need to do is quickly sort it out making sure I use the right temperatures for the type of laundry.  I remember that my cleaning lady used to sort out the laundry and I will always wind up with pinks instead of whites.

Laundry Sorting Table

Type of Stuff

Cycle

Water Temp

Dryer Setting

Whites

Regular

Hot

Normal

Colors

Regular

Warm/Cold

Normal

Permanent Press

Perm. Press

Cold

Permanent Press

Delicates

Delicates

Cold

Delicates

Wool

Delicates

Cold

Tumble-No Heat

 

It is important to read the care instructions.  This is a pet peeve of mine since I do follow them closely.  There is a reason why it says dry clean only!

 

Top Three Laundry Tips

 

Handwashing:

 

There are other garments that are suitable for hand washing since they require special care.  Make sure to let the water drain out of the basin before taking a fragile wet garment out of the tub.  Also, don’t squeeze any delicate fabrics in a hurry since they can stretch or tear.

 

Use Short Cycles:

The average American family does a load a laundry a day.  Around 98% of soil comes out in the first two minutes of a wash cycle.  Technically, six minutes is all that is needed of wash to clean a garment.  By using shorter cycles, you can save water and avoid that dark clothing from fading.

 

Don’t Overload the Washer:

The more clothing you place in the washer, then the more difficult it is for you to get  a good wash.  If a washer is full, clothes might not rinse well.  It is important for clothing to be equally distributed during spin cycles.

 

 

 

 

Day 19: Testimonial

FlyLady seems to live off testimonials.  Today for day 19, she told us to read the testimonial about a lady who converted her house in the perfect bed and breakfast.  That is great FlyLady, but I expect for my house to be Downton Abbey.   I expect for my house to run smoothly with the perfect set of servants to be waiting on me.  I will prefer that I am Lady Mary Crawley searching for the perfect husband, riding horses and cavorting with the Sultan.

Downton Abbey Turk Sultan

Turk Sultan from Season 1.

Downton Abbey

Masterpiece Theater: Downton Abbey

(Oh, the pleasures of the first season!)  Of course, this is the ideal in my mind not in the testimonial which reads like this:

“Dear Flylady,

I wanted to let you know about the wonderful B&B my husband and I stayed at this Memorial Day weekend. The small but simply furnished kitchen was well stocked with delicious healthy snacks and meals. Homemade waffles with blackberries were served from a beautiful, clean kitchen. The living areas and bedrooms were furnished with fresh, plumped pillows, lovely matching sheets and down comforter, and scented candles everywhere. The bathroom — ah… bubble bath, lotions, and fresh, white towels. The library was stocked with books, magazines and yoga videos…

… Best of all, my husband and I spent time together with no interruptions, chores, or traffic. Okay — you guessed it… thanks to you, this is my home. Thank you, thank you.”

 

FlyLady is aiming for us not to lose the grand picture in our baby steps.  She wants us to have an image of how our house can be.  It can turn into a bed and breakfast or in my case, an English manor house.  Of course, I do not have a line of servants but I have a faithful timer and a control book to run my household.