Design

I have been approached by a friend of mine to think about the possibility of doing some design work for his band. And thinking about thing is what I do best. He mentioned it last night, and I didn’t think I was going to ever get to sleep. I was thinking of pictures to use, formatting, and fonts. My brain would not switch off.

Obviously, the idea is appealing to me, and designing is one of those things I really do enjoy doing. It doesn’t feel like work at all. But I’m not sure I’ll accept his offer. First of all, I’m not sure I’m very good at designing. Second, I’m just not sure I have the time for it. I already have a very full time job. When you add in all the housework, bills to pay, taxes to file, parties to plan, and family to enjoy, what is really left of me to offer?

Reading in 2014

Every year, I plan to read more.  So, I create a list. In 2012, I read 6 books. In 2013, I read 7. Technically, I only have to read 8 this year to reach the requirement of reading “more,” but I hope to surpass that.

I am off to  a good start. So far, I have read 2 books, and we aren’t even half way through January.

The problem I’m running into again is that if I’m reading, something else is suffering. This time, I have forgotten two separate things to send to school with Zoe – just this week, and it’s only Tuesday. I really have to work on that work/home/rest balance thing. But, how do you balance something three ways?

Productivity

Yesterday, after writing my little post about my to do list, I got a sort of bounce in my step.

Lately, I have been holding that to do list up as proof that I am busy, I am working, I am valuable. That isn’t the right attitude to have at all. Boss issues aside, my value is not tied to that list. Also, having that list does not mean I am being productive. Marking items off the list is what makes me productive. Obsessing about how many things are on that list is making me crazy and just a little bit ineffectual.

So, I am breaking the list into smaller chunks. Instead of looking at 30 things that need to be done at some point, I pulled out the 5 things I am absolutely going to finish today. This gives me a beginning and end to my work day instead of constantly being in a state of guilt. Because there is always going to be something I could be working on.

To Do List

Recently, someone mentioned to me that my to do list rules my life.

I can’t really argue. My work has been the central thought in my head. I do sometimes get so engrossed in planning my work for the day that I can’t remember if I have washed my hair in the shower, so I do it again. I don’t currently have a solution for this, so I’m pondering it. Doing that may be counterproductive, of course.

At the moment, I’m just staring at the thing. It does become overwhelming. There are times when I can’t even start on one item because the magnitude of what has to be done can be oppressive.

I’ll keep working on figuring out how to tackle this thing and how to make it a tool and not the thing that runs my life.

Birthday Time Again

I just ordered party supplies for Zoe’s 5th birthday party, and I had to look back at what I was thinking around her birthday party last year. We have decided it will be a Tangled themed party, and we have ordered the plates and cups and are getting in that mode.

I will keep you posted again this year on all the preparation and the final result. I’m just taking deep breaths again, trying to remind myself that 5-year-olds are happy with cake and ice cream and pizza. The rest is just icing on the cake, in a manner of speaking.

tangled-Rapunzel -2

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip

My mom brought this recipe home with her one day, and I haven’t seen one that really resembles it on the internet. I have only made it twice. For New Year’s Eve 2011 and New Year’s Even 2013. Both times it was excellent, and unbelievably easy.

Ingredients:

6 chicken breasts

1 can Campbell’s Cheddar Soup

1 cup Ranch Dressing

1 bottle Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce

For fresh chicken breasts, stack the chicken in the crock pot, add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth, cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours, rearranging once during cooking time. For frozen chicken breasts, arrange in crock pot, add 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, cover, and cook on low for 8-9 hours, rearranging once during cooking time. Once the chicken is done, ladle out the majority of the liquid left in the crock pot. Use two forks to shred the chicken in the crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook on low for another 30 minutes until everything is warm. Serve with tortilla chips and celery.

Potluck

On Saturday, we went to our first Sunday School potluck. My husband suggested that the theme be “new” for the new year, and they ran with it. Everyone was to bring a dish they had never made before, and I chose a slow cooker chicken and spinach lasagna that ended up being a huge success.  There was some excellent food, and everyone was really nice.  It was a great night, and I’m excited that my recipe was well received. So I am sharing it here:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-and-spinach-lasagna-10000002012827/