goals & meal-plan for the week of 2/17

Hi everyone! How is your weekend going? Mine has been fantastic — filled with lots of wonderful Mr. Jude time! Yesterday we did lots of puzzles, had a jam session on the piano, and spent an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese. And Jude was my little helper at the grocery store, helping me pick out ingredients for my white-chicken chili, which I made last night for Mike’s family. Here he is having fun in the kitchen:

cutie kitchen helper

And the weekend would not be complete without some quality cuddle time on the couch!

jude dallas cuddles

It breaks my heart to have to say goodbye to this little guy. He is such a sweetheart. I am already looking forward to our next long visit over spring break!

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week. I feel a lot better about the progress I am making on my thesis novel now that I have scaled back my goals and given myself a little more room to breathe:

  • revise up to page 60 of my thesis novel
  • blog about Week 6 Act of Kindness Challenge & complete it myself this week
  • blog about 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess {post is scheduled to be published this week!}
  • clean out and organize filing cabinet
  • knit 25 rows of the new scarf I’m working on
  • make 3 changes/updates as part of the #28DBC

Here are my goals for this upcoming week:

  • revise up to page 90 of my thesis novel
  • blog about Week 7 Act of Kindness Challenge & complete it myself this week
  • publish blog post about 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
  • finish grading papers for both classes
  • take old financial/health documents to the bank to be shredded
  • knit 25 rows of the scarf I’m working on
  • prepare for my presentation at The Louisville Conference on Saturday

And here’s some recipes I’m planning to make this week:
baked fish cakes
edamame hummus
cilantro-lime quinoa with chicken
chopped brussel sprouts with cranberries, pecans & feta cheese
chocolate turtle cookies

What are your goals + meal plans for this week?

MPM-Winter

This post is linked up with Menu-Plan Monday!

saturday upsides: even chores have silver linings

Happy Saturday! I can’t believe how quickly this Thanksgiving weekend is flying by. We’re having a wonderful time visiting Mike’s family, and it’s been a nice mix of productive work time, relaxing lazy time, Christmas shopping time, family time, and of course eating yummy food time! I need to do a bit more grading before we head back to school on Monday … I tend to put grading at the bottom of my to-do list {maybe because I really dislike giving bad grades and sometimes I simply have to.} The great students more than make up for it, though. Which brings me to my topic for today’s Saturday Upside, linked up with Bonnie at Recipes Happen:

even chores have silver linings

We all have those chores we don’t like to do, those small tasks that we procrastinate on. For me it’s grading and cleaning the bathroom. Mike really dislikes doing laundry. Another friend of mine hates doing the dishes.

But the thing I’ve learned about procrastinating is that it just makes the dreaded chore bigger than it needs to be. It gives it power by letting it take up your brain space. The dread of what needs to be done later taints the present time, which is time spent doing other things you do enjoy. And then, when you finally do get around to completing whatever it was you were procrastinating on, don’t you often think, I guess that wasn’t so bad/didn’t take so long/wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting? It happens to me a lot. It would be so much better if I would just bite the bullet and complete the chore before the procrastination lethargy settles in!

Something that helps me is to try to find the silver lining even in life’s chores. Maybe that means putting on my favorite new CD or Pandora playlist and dancing while I clean the bathroom. Mike folds laundry while watching one of his favorite TV shows. Even washing the dishes could be time spent daydreaming about your dream vacation or mentally plotting out your Christmas list or listening to an intriguing podcast or audiobook. Hate to exercise? Call a friend and have a catch-up chat while you walk around the neighborhood. Or power-walk around the mall while you window-shop!

“Silver linings” can also be mini-rewards you give yourself. Like I said, I have lots of terrific students, and I often save the papers from my best students for the end of my grading stack, as a little reward for me at the end. {It always makes me so happy and proud to see my students trying their best and shining with their work!} Maybe you could break chores up with little treats: a good cup of coffee or tea, a chapter of the great book you’re reading, a square of dark chocolate, a game of fetch with your dog, a phone call to a friend. It also helps me to think about the end goal of whatever I’m doing: the students I hope I am helping become better writers, for example; or how important it is to keep the bathroom clean and wiped down to stay healthy, especially during the winter cold/flu season!

And sometimes it helps to get down to the basics: if I feel annoyed at having to clean my apartment, I’ll remind myself how lucky I am to have a place to call my own. On those days I don’t feel like getting up and going to work, I think instead about all the people who are trying so hard to find work, and how lucky I am to have a job to get up and go to!

What could be the silver linings in some of your least favorite chores or tasks?