Monday, June 07, 2010

giveaway time!

a little something to brighten up your monday
you all give me so much in the form of your comments and feedback -- i appreciate it more than you know! i thought it would be fun to celebrate the new work week (err . . . why not?) with a little mini giveaway.

unfortunately, i don't have financiers providing lavish prizes for shubox readers -- so no vitamix or iPad will be offered up for grabs this AM. however, i hope that perhaps some of you are in the same mindset as i am when it comes to delighting in smaller things -- particularly when they are cute and made of paper.

as many of you already know, i swear by this little pad:

it is an integral part of my weekly meal planning ritual. since i know most readers (by natural selection) are probably all over anything related to organization, food, or (more likely) both, i thought it would be fun to share the .

so: this little guy is up for grabs!*

all you have to do to enter is:

leave a comment on this post describing your favorite organizational or time-saving tip. i need to collect these for my HLS talk and so i'd love the inspiration!

for a second (optional) entry,

mention this contest on your blog or twitter and leave a comment saying you did.

a winner will be picked by random number generator on friday. happy monday!!

* just for clarification, this contest is not sponsored by the company; i bought it myself.

happiness project, week 3
time flies when you're being happy, i suppose. thus far, i would say the first two weeks of my personal happiness project have been a success. i decided i would spend this first month focused on mindfulness, with weekly goals to think about as well.

for week 1, i aimed to delight in the mundane.

for week 2, i had a singular mission, which was to truly R E L A X and just see where that got me (it worked).

for week 3, my goal will be to focus on one thing at a time. as usual, i will report back throughout the week on how this is going.



workout: 6 miles outside, 9:30/mi (at finish, 9:15 am: temp 81, realfeel 92). i could blame the heat for my lackluster speed, but the truth is i am definitely not in the best running shape right now! honestly, this is fine with me - i am welcoming the chance to rebuild my speed and endurance. and my hip felt 100% fine the whole time!

clean eating project: my plan to cook through the june/july issue of CE was off to a tasty start last night. i made trout with green bean succotash and felt like i was enjoying the season's bounty.

here is the recipe as i created it:

succotash: wash + trim fresh green beans; boil for ~ 7 minutes. during the last 3 minutes of boiling, add the kernels cut from 2 ears of corn. drain and rinse under cool water, and then combine with 2 chopped, cored + seeded tomatoes.

dressing: combine lemon juice + lemon zest + ~T olive oil + salt + pepper + dried dill to taste. toss with veggie combo above.

fish: brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt + pepper, and broil, skin side down (i used white trout filets that still had skin -- the whole foods guy said to leave it on while cooking!). this took about ~7 minutes.

sweet potato: bake at 400 for about an hour.

aaaaaaannd, you're done. bonus is that i have some kickin' lunch leftovers for today - and, miracle of all miracles, JOSH even took some to work, too!


  1. atilla6:40 AM

    brownbagging for lunch is so logical, tasty, and way underutilized by most people

  2. I have a six month old, four year old and watch a seven year old everyday. I refuse to compromise on cooking decent dinners, so I have established this method of having them all together sitting at the kitchen table doing art projects or helping each other with reading while I cook and can participate. It sure beats parking them in front of the tv and the bonus is they love the opportunity to help me cook when the recipe allows!

  3. Another cooking tip: I have a 9 month old but he is still not eating what we eat, so basically I cook for 2 people. But I always make recipe portions for at least 4 and usually 6 people. We eat 2 portions, my husband gets 2 work lunches and I freeze the other 2 portions for nights when I just don't have any time. I also think this is much more economical--sometimes I think families of 2 wind up spending more on ingredients, etc, than families of 4-6!

  4. My best tip is to do anything that can be done in advance. The dogs' pills are put in weekly am/pm pill boxes. Cereal for the kids is put in containers in a drawer they have access to. Applesauce for my son's lunchbox is put in single-serve containers on Sunday night. Though we use an electronic calendar, the simple act of writing everything on a calendar each week means I'll remember what we're doing and be better able to shift on the fly when necessary.

  5. lately i've been using google calendar for everything! i load my running plans on there, my cleaning schedule on there, my meal plans on there, etc. also, since it links up with the fiancee's google calendar, it makes it a lot easier to plan things, since we have both of our schedules in one place! love it!

  6. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Best thing I ever did was buy a label maker and a case of clear plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store. Everything (office supplies, craft supplies, makeup, you name it!) now has its own box by category, a label on each end, and a home on a bookshelf with doors (though sometimes I like to keep the doors open just to admire my work and drink in the order...). It has changed my life!

  7. One of my big time saving tips is making lists. I like to know exactly what I'm going to eat each day so I don't have to waste time trying to decide what I want when I'm really hungry. I just want to say I enjoy reading your blog and definitely agree that relaxing can be hard sometimes.

  8. Anonymous2:47 PM

    my favorite time saving tip is to make a list. it helps me lay out a plan of attack.

  9. Anonymous2:48 PM

    and i linked to you!

  10. the #1 best organizational tool I have is one of those coupon organizer things you can get (mine is a Real Simple brand one from Target). I felt like kind of an idiot spending money on it, but I put coupons and receipts in it, it has a spot for a pen, it fits in my bag... best.purchase.ever. (well one of them)

  11. I also linked to this post. Sorry for the double comment earlier. Blogger was behaving strangely.

  12. ooh! I'd love that! I just started my 3rd year, so anything to increase my organization at this point would be lovely :)

    My primary method of organizing my life, appointments, comings & goings, assignments, etc. is carrying around my Space 24 organizer everywhere (obviously) and keeping a running checklist of tasks and places that need to be tended to. Also key, is the ENORMOUS wipe board calendar from pottery barn that i hung on the wall across from my bed. I'm sure this would frighten most people, but writing out my daily/weekly/monthly needs and reviewing it often is really critical to making sure everything is in order and taken care of. Especially since i am INTENSELY forgetful!!!

  13. I have a couple, a few of which make me seem like I'm in elementary school: I always pack my lunch the night before the workday, so there's no rush in the morning to make one. And...I pick out my outfits the night before.

    But probably the best organization tip I ever got was to find a "home" for things like my keys or my wallet. Once I decided that my keys lived on the shelf in the kitchen - and nowhere else - I saved hours otherwise spent trying to find them.

  14. My favorite way to organize when I'm stressed is to write out my schedule, hour by hour. As a graduate student, I don't have that much of my time scheduled, I just have a million things to do. So blocking out time for various projects really helps. I also find it super important to schedule my time in realistic chunks (for instance, I can't read journal articles for more than 1.5-2 hours without at least a short break) and putting my breaks in the schedule!

    I also mentioned your contest/blog in my post tonight, so check it out! :-)

  15. Hi, I'm a new reader (and don't have a blog to link to, sorry). My tips are to pack my bag for work the night before, and to put everything in its place- keys in the bowl, rings in my dish, etc.

  16. Yay for organization! In terms of meal planning, I like to pick out 3-4 recipes at the beginning of each week and assign each a day of the week that I will try it. That way, I get a little variety in my diet and hone my cooking skills without stressing!

  17. Anonymous7:03 AM

    I find that my most stressful time is preparing for the weekend and balancing fun things the "to dos". Each Thursday night I make a list o all the things that I need to do, as well as my workouts and fun stuff. Then I map out what I'm going to get done on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, balancing each day with must dos, workouts, and fun. Plus, come Sunday night I love seeing how many things I've crossed of the list.

  18. mary-jo8:39 AM

    i have two small children, so the house becomes a mess quickly and it's impossible for me to feel organized if my house is messy. to keep things quick and simple when a mess is made, i have a whole set of cleaning supplies in each of our two bathrooms and another set in the kitchen. that way, whenever a mess occurs, i can get a cleaning bucket from the closest location rather than feeling like i have to go to the other side of the house. it may not be much, but it helps me feel in control of the mess.

  19. The first time saving tip I thought of was read blogs while blow drying your hair. But then I realized that's silly and not everyone can blow dry their hair with 1 hand while scrolling and without a mirror. So I thought of another one...

    Read books, magazines, articles, work/school stuff while exercising at the gym and/or walking outside. Workout and work at the same time.

  20. I use a planner

  21. On Sunday I pack gym clothes for the whole week and take them to the office on Monday----it cuts down on "thinking time" during the week.

  22. Monica8:14 AM

    I guess my best tip is to have a routine. I also use my iPhone calendar a lot!

  23. When there is a show on TV i love and dont want to miss, i dont let the commercials go to waste... I do things that need done. Brush the cats, fold laundry, run to the bedroom and put laundry away (with the tv up loud so i can hear when it comes back on), pack lunch for the next day at work (money saving!) and little things like that... it helps a lot when i just cant miss my favie show!

  24. Write down everything in a planner - lists, appointments, EVERYTHING. My friends tease me that if I lost my planner, I'd wander around lost and confused - and that's true! It is such a relief to have everything written down in one spot though, it frees up mental energy, because instead of trying to remember appointments or things to do, I can just read them off the list (which I write stuff on as I think of it, so I'm even less likely to forget than I would otherwise) - the point is I can focus on other things, and not worry about forgetting stuff.

  25. When I have a change in my day-to-day routine, I try to practice a "run through" beforehand so I know how long it takes/what I need to do/what I should bring. Example: I'm spending the summer doing an internship in a different city, so I came a few days early and spent one morning doing a test run of what time I would need to wake up, get to the gym, eat, walk to the office, and ran through it all in real time. Now, I'm prepared for the rest of the summer.

    On a smaller scale, I carry notebooks/notecards/use my blackberry to keep track of random thoughts, grocery lists, song lyrics I hear, so I don't forget them later.

  26. Hmmm fave organizational tip...that's got to be a joke, right? If I work off of appointments during the day so my phone calendar + Outlook calendar is my lifesaver! If I didn't have that (and the ability to sync the two, even with google calendar) I would be SUNK. So I guess that would be my only tip.

    Otherwise, I'm trying to get the rest of my life looking forward to more tips from you :)

  27. Anonymous2:03 PM

    I find organizing my self before bed but getting my clothing ironed and laid out, planning breakfast, packing my bag and prepping lunch saves me SO much time!

  28. 2 words: Post-it Notes. I have a running to do list but if I need to remember to do something that day, it goes on a post-it note on my desk.

    Also, we plan our week's meals ahead of time and always make a large meal with lots leftovers on Sunday. We keep one meal's worth in the fridge and save the rest in the freezer for another week. That way, we can eat leftovers at least twice during the week (once from the freezer and once from whatever we cooked on Sunday).

  29. My work day is very unstructured so to keep myself on task I purchased Bob's Your Uncle 8-days a week planner and I color in blocks of time which correspond to time I spent actively working (as opposed to chatting, drinking coffee, or surfing the web). I also color code the blocks so I can keep track of what I'm doing. As a scientist on the tenure track, a day spent on administrative tasks is not as productive as one spent writing grant proposals or doing experiments.

    PS: I got the planner from See Jane Work which I think I learned about from reading your blog.

  30. Anonymous11:25 PM

    We set up our coffee machine the night before, so all we have to do is press start. Coffee filter, grounds, water. It's the best!

  31. Sad I'm too late for this giveawaw!