Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Parenting Fail

I got the call from my youngest son last night, "are you coming to conferences?" I sigh and reply that I am not because I had totally forgot. I ask how he is doing in school. He said great his lowest grade is a 86%. Great I think to myself, crisis averted.

I have an excuse, he is my third child. Seriously, I was never like that with my other two kids. But I am tired and working more, I am full of excuses. The helicopter mom I use to be has taken flight. Her tour of duty is over. Rumors of the youngest child being able to get away with anything are true.

When he calls and asks what time he should be home, I just look at my husband and shrug my shoulders. Does it matter what time he is home as I will be asleep by 10:00 on a Friday night? No more waiting up and making sure my child walks through the door at the right time. Now I wake up in the morning, nudge my husband and ask him to check the garage for the car to see if the youngest has made it home.

For me this is how parenting has gone:
First child: volunteer for everything and attend everything and arrive early.
Second child: volunteer for something and attend everything and arrive on time.
Third child: volunteer for nothing and forget to attend everything.
For that first child I was the PTA President, twice, and room mom every year. It was like an insult to my motherhood if I wasn't at that school helping in some way. I ran those Fall Festivals like they were my own party. I volunteered, and I volunteered my husband. We have coached t-ball together and he has been assigned the PTA tasks that nobody wants. But what happened was I wasn't present. I was too busy volunteering that I never enjoyed attending the events with my child. As he was ending his high school years, his activities conflicted with his youngest brothers. He was always so wise when he told me to go to his youngest brothers events as it will mean more to him.
Next up is the second child. I was more selective with what I volunteered for. I still volunteered but I didn't jump at the chance. I waited to see if there was another eager parent to jump up first. I looked at that eager parent and thought to myself, this is your oldest child, I just know it. I still showed up and was happy to help, but thrilled that I was no longer running the show. Even though this middle child is in college I still find myself volunteering. I said yes to 30 of his fraternity brothers spending the night at our house last spring. I cooked for them as well. Yes they slept at our house, not sure where they all found room as our house is small! But it was the thing memories are made of so it was worth it.
Then comes that youngest child. I tried volunteering with vigor like I did with the oldest. I still joke with his first grade teacher that volunteering for puppy math every Friday morning was exhausting. Those kids would suck the life out of me and I would need to go home at 9:30am for a nap. Now as he approaches his final two years of high school I am even more selective of what I say yes to. I no longer go to meetings where I might volunteer for. Now my husband is the one that goes. However, I still find myself saying yes to some crazy things like throwing a party for 70 theater kids at 11:00pm.
But last night after the missed conferences debacle, we were sitting at the dinner table and my son casually mentioned that he was MC for Homecoming coronation last week while I was out of town. My head jerks to my husband and he looks at me with surprise as he didn't know about it either. He said the one thing that he could say; wondering why he wasn't told so he could at least have video taped it for me. Placing the blame on the youngest child where it belongs! I am losing this battle fast!
So let us make a pact together: let us help each other and parent our kids together, because I know I need the gentle nudges and reminders. No matter how organized a person is, some things just fall through the cracks. Thankfully there is another chance for conferences later in the week. Oh and if you video taped the Homecoming coronation last week can you send me a copy!
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
MS. Simplicity
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sleep In A Digital Age

They say electronics are suppose to make our lives easier, but I often question that. I have been reading articles for years about how reading from an electronic devices before you go to bed can mess with your sleep. I will admit I was a person who had trouble sleeping. I took a sleep aide for years to help me find those elusive nights of sound sleep. I am now happy to report that I have been a year without them!

At night you will find my husband and I watching TV while we are on each of our own electronic devices. We don't even have cable TV, but still the TV is on. We call it background noise. I call it a distraction to living an authentic life.

I would argue that the electronic devices can mess with your relationships as well. I use to joke that my husband pays more attention to his electronic devices than he does to me. So we tried an experiment prompted by an article I read in Vogue last week, set aside your electronic devices 50 minutes before you go to bed and don't pick it up for 50 minutes after you wake up.

We tried this experiment. I am not going to lie, we lasted 10 minutes. And ten minutes was generous. We couldn't do it. We not only failed, we failed miserably.

But knowing how we failed I kept trying to figure out what can we do? Here are some guidelines that are working for us.

Don't check your phone when you wake up in the middle of the night. I have sent some very weird messages in the middle of the night and I am embarrassed by their spelling errors and the sometimes hostile tone they take. I have a friend that told me when she gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, she always checks her phone. I admit, I am guilty of this too. There is nothing so important in an email I get in the middle of the night that can't wait for morning. I do not need to see what Amazon emailed me about at 3:00AM.

Have your phone charging in another room. This really works. This is a change I need to make. I worry what if my kids call me in the middle of the night and need something? My two older boys are in college and my one son has medical issues. My oldest has been mugged in the middle on the night and needed to contact us. These are real reasons to have our phones in our bedroom. I am willing to have my phone charged in another room however have my husband keep his in our bedroom.

Turn off your notifications during the times you want to sleep. My husband has set up notifications on his phone that only calls from our kids would go through this wall of quiet in the nighttime hours. I think this is a genius option. This will allow him to receive notifications from the people that matter yet block out the outside chatter.

Limit yourself to one screen at a time. I feel like this is obvious, but it isn't. I have really tried to turn off the background noise and focus on what I am watching. Becoming aware of what I am doing in front of a screen is what I need to be aware of. My husband is often playing a game on his phone while the TV is going. Or I am on Facebook while I am watching TV. Neither of us are dedicated to either. Make a choice on one, or better yet, unplug completely for a period of time.

Be aware of who you are with. I often find myself in front of a screen when my youngest son is home. I need to realize that when he is home, screens need to be put away. Now I have been making a habit of grabbing an actual book and reading in the living room when he comes home from his evening activities. I read with one ear open to what is going on with him and we are able to communicate in a more natural way. There will always be one more video to watch. I am not wanting to miss my last two years at home with him. I need to be present when he is home.

Wake up and go to sleep with a different attitude. If the first thing you do when you wake up is you grab your phone, you have your priorities wrong. I am pointing a big finger at me here. I should look at my husband and tell him good morning or say I love him. If he is sleeping I can whisper in his ear and not wake him. Or better yet, I saw a funny meme going around, if you want to scare someone, shout I love you in German, "ich liebe dich." Try it once, it will be a moment neither of you forget!

If that last thing you are doing is plugging in your cell phone and rolling over to go to sleep without saying goodnight or I love you to someone, you are missing out. Even if it is a text you send right before you go to sleep, those communications matter. I had a friend with some health issues and I would often send a text before I would go to sleep with the words "sweet dreams" as the only words.  When I have friends going through hard times I do the same. Knowing someone is thinking about you matters.

So this week I challenge you, and I challenge myself, put the screens down to help with your sleep and your relationships at home. I will not even talk about when you are out for dinner or meeting someone for coffee. Simply unplug and tune in and see what changes happen in your life. You may all of a sudden find blocks of time to focus on the people and things you love!

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,


MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!
Find our more about my kitchen e-class here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How You Can Celebrate A Job Loss

This week my husband and I celebrate the one year anniversary of something we never thought we would celebrate, a job loss. He was a loyal employee working for 22 years for basically the same employer. Yes it was bought by a much larger company, but the transition felt seamless from the one company to the next. Making this loss even worse, it wasn't for cause, it was simply a reduction in force or RIF as the insiders call it.

Rumors about layoffs always surrounded this company; we were use to it. But my husband just kept plugging away and doing his job telling me they didn't have an impact on him. But this one was different. I started receiving messages from friends on the inside asking if my husband was worried, I naïvely said no. I messaged him and he agreed with me. And then I didn't hear from him. I texted him about 10 times and I repeatedly called and there was no answer. He finally picked up the phone and told me he was in the meeting with the HR representative. I knew what that meant. I drove to his work and waited for him to walk out. I watched many people we knew all leaving with the same big white envelope stuck under their arm full of legal documents and benefit explanations. These were all people he had worked with for the past 20 years. These were all people in their late forties and fifties. I felt like I was watching some kind of sick joke.

We came home and hugged. We didn't cry. We did a quick scan of the paper work and cleaned out a junk drawer. You see, when life throws you a curve ball, you organize. Or at least that is what we did. Having control over something felt good. Clearing out the physical also clears out the metaphysical.

He then made some very difficult phone calls, he called our two oldest boys in college. I was proud of my husband as he reassured our kids that we were going to be OK. I silently prayed that we had continuation of great health insurance. Our middle son has a chronic illness that requires medication that costs $5,000 a month. That uncertainty scared me.

But then we made a plan. I took headshots of him for his LinkedIn profile which he started to update. I contacted everyone I knew within the tech field. If you say Facebook is a waste of time, I will call you a liar. The connections that Facebook created for me allowed me instant access to people! I messaged those people.

{I should take LinkedIn profile photos as I think these turned out great!}

My husband wrote a beautiful goodbye email to everyone he worked with over the last 22 years. We were driving together when the replies started flooding in. He asked me to start reading them. I had to stop. They were too much as I began sobbing in the car. I chocked out the words that I couldn't read anymore as I was crying too much. He told me that I wasn't the only one who was crying. According to researcher Brené Brown, Ph.D. society tells our men that they are not allowed to be vulnerable or weak. At that point in the car, he was both vulnerable and weak and I couldn't have loved him more!

The emails reminded him that the people he had worked for cared about him and that he made a difference. He needed to hear that. Self doubt and vulnerability is the battle that we faced during this time. I say "we" as this truly was something we went through together. I put my career as a lawyer on the back burner to raise our children while he became our primary bread winner. When this company let him go, they let me go too.

But I am a force to be reckoned with and my husband was an honorable man and we made a power team. I became the project manager of his life 24/7. I joke that we were joined at the hip during this time. Decisions were made from a place of love. We didn't allow people to pity us and we told them so. We asked for our friends to be excited for us. I had friends praying for us! A goal date of securing employment by January 15 was set. We decided that we would not make financial changes in our lifestyle for the first 60 days. A family vacation that was scheduled in 80 days we decided to keep. We focused on projects around the home while he searched for a job. I always wanted hardwood floors and a finished garage. My husband laid the most beautiful floor you have ever seen. He did meticulous research, just like he did at his previous job.

{who couldn't love this face?!}

My husband had one goal in mind, and that was to stay living in Fargo. Our youngest had three years left in school and he wanted him to finish. We worked out scenarios where I would stay in Fargo and he would get an apartment where his new job took him. But then I got a Facebook message from a friend whose company had the exact job opening we were looking for.

A few weeks before this job opening, this same company had a conference in town that was open to the public. They had a speaker talking about the importance of having tech companies with user experience designers. My husband went and had a conversation with the speaker and he also had a conversation with the head of the company. A seed was planted.

Then the interview process began. And there were several interviews. Each time my husband wore funky socks. And I ordered more socks as more interviews were scheduled! Call us superstitious. At his first interview 22 years ago he wore dress socks and the people interviewing him noticed. While other computer geeks wore white sweat socks, my husband wore dress socks. Clearly there are benefits to being married to me! Oh and that goal of securing employment by January 15 was not met, as they hired him earlier and wanted him to start December 1. We were OK with missing that goal!

{he will never wear the yellow ones as the character that wears yellow dies very quickly}

As we approach the one year I look back at what a gift being let go was. The fear of the constant rumors of layoffs is gone. My husband and I spent so much quality time with each other it could have broken some marriages. I pushed him with deadlines of having the home projects done and he pushed back. We went to matinees during the week. Grocery shopping was a fun activity we did together in the middle of the day. We took a relaxing trip together with his sudden new found time off, a trip looking at leaves on the east coast. Or as I like to call it, "where is the next Dunkin Donuts so I can go to the bathroom" trip! Oh and my fear of losing health insurance coverage went away as we were no longer tied to the golden handcuffs.

{a sunset cruise to remember in Maine}

My husband has come full circle now working for a company backed by the same person who he came to work for 22 years ago. It feels like he is back home as my husband is surrounded by many coworkers from his previous employer. And the best part of all, my husbands new coworkers value him. He now comes home with stories of his self confidence being built up in ways that he has never seen. And on the bad days, people come to his desk for a shot of tequila that he keeps at his desk along with some chocolate. Because frustrating things happen at work but sometimes tequila and chocolate make it better.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,


MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Becoming Minimalist With Clothing

(Day 1 over 150 items of clothing)

The cooler temps are reminding me that my second favorite season is about to begin, boot season. I am anxious to get my fall clothing going and to put away the sun dresses for a few months. I have an average sized closet and it is full. My clothes are all arranged by color. However I am willing to bet that I am like most of you, we have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. So instead of grabbing something that I haven't worn in awhile, I grab the same pair of jeans that I wore last week and the same shirt that I wore a few days ago.

I am consistently trying to challenge myself to try new ways to live with less clothing while still staying fashionable. Here are a few things that I have done over the years as fun experiments in figuring out the clothing dilemma.

First up was the backwards hanger trick. I turned all of my clothes with the hangers facing the wrong way. As I wore each item of clothing I put it back on the hanger facing the right way. This worked and showed me what I wore. Be warned it is a lot of work to turn all of your hangers backwards in the closet and with someone with a touch of OCD it didn't look "right" to me.

The first thing I tell my clients with closet issues is the one in one out rule. For each new item of clothing they bring in, one (or two) needs to go. I do this religiously. I only have so many hangers and I am not buying anymore, ever. However I may "borrow" some of my husband's hangers! Seriously, this really is the easiest way to not have your closet explode.

Another trick I tried was I didn't buy clothes for six months. This was easy for me to not buy the clothes. But what I found was that I gained weight. I am not sure what the connection was as I don't spend a lot of time shopping for new clothes. But I think the monotony got to me. I needed to add in a new shirt of new pair of pants to break things up.

This summer I did the easy option of only turning the hangers backwards once I wore something. This past week I counted how many items I wore and the number was 31. During the summer I had two vacations, conferences with award ceremonies and TV appearances. I was shocked when I discovered that I only wore 31 pieces of clothing. Looking at the 31 I know there are at least 8 in there that were bad choices. As of today I have approximately 150 pieces of clothing. Yikes! For fun I counted my husbands, he has around 50. I have some work to do!

Now I am taking this hardcore and removing all the clothes from my closet and only bringing in what I wear. I am going to do this for three months. I am going to focus on 33 items, including jewelry, scarves and shoes. Yes I said shoes. I counted the shoes I wore this summer and it was over 15. This I predict will be an issue. I am using the number 33 and 3 months because of a website I ran across called The 333 Project from my friends The Minimalists.

As luck will have it, my son left for college and I have an empty closet to use. I am really excited about this idea. I will focus on groupings of clothes. When I worked at a clothing store when I was in law school I use to put groupings together for the customers and we would try to reach high numbers in options of outfits. Because I like a challenge I am excited to try this again.

If you do not have a spare closet, try putting everything you wear on one side of your closet. Being visual is key here! Start laying things out on your bed and seeing how things can be mixed and matched. A dress shirt can go with jeans, a skirt or dress pants. My idea is that each item of clothing needs to go with at a minimum of 5 different items. Those red pants need to go with at least five shirts or it will not make the cut.

So here is my challenge...start finding your 33 pieces. I predict you will notice that you are wearing timeless pieces. I also predict that nobody will realize that you only have one pair of jeans. You will find yourself with more time as you have a narrow focus on what you will wear and there will be no shopping during the 3 months as you have your 33 pieces.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In Case Of Emergency In A Technical World

Social media and technology are changing the way that we plan for our eventual death. We use to only be concerned about where the will is kept or where the information for the bank accounts are kept. Gone are the days where the majority of us keep our papers in a safety deposit box and all we need to do is worry that the key is given to the right person. Now it is much more complex and if you are not savvy you could easily become frustrated. 

I read a very interesting article about managing your social media accounts when you are dead. It is something I had not thought about before last week. I consider myself young and I see death as a far off event. Yes I have had some tragedies happen where some of my friends have died unexpectedly. And every once in awhile I am reminded of this as a post will creep in when someone writes on their wall, or it is their birthday.

Did you know that you can set up your Facebook account to be deleted or memorialized if you pass away? I like the idea of having a memorialized account. Having such an account puts the word "Remembering" by your name in your profile. Your content stays and is shared to the same audience it was intended for. It does not show up in birthday reminders or People You May Know section. I like this option.

You can also choose to have your account deleted upon your death. There are steps to put this into place now before your death. Check with Facebook on how to do this.

Another option is to have a legacy contact. That is someone that you put in charge of your account upon your passing. They are allowed to write a pinned post, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. They cannot log into your account and remove posts or remove friends or read your private messages you sent. I followed the steps on Facebook to do this and it took me one minute.

What about your smart phone that is password protected? I have an iPhone 6 that opens with a password or my fingerprint. This is the only way my phone can be opened. I don't try to hide it so all of my kids and husband know what it is. For heavens sake even the guy sitting next me on my flight knows what it is. But truth be told, I don't know what my husbands is. Although there is not any information I would need from his phone. He will need my phone more than I will need his phone. But consider sharing your phone password with someone.

Another area of concern is all those darned passwords that we have. Yes there are apps that can remember your passwords for you. I easily have 50 accounts with passwords. We have them all written down on an excel document that is printed. Does it need to be updated? It sure does.  My husband has this amazing ability to remember numbers and passwords. It is his party trick, but he is starting to forget. Passwords now mock you with their "strength" detection. So you try harder and harder to insert numbers and symbols all while losing your mind in the memorization. I for one am going back to the old school method of paper and pen and working on updating the passwords.

It is funny when we think about all the new things that we have to worry about in case of an emergency, it becomes overwhelming! When my kids were little all I worried about was having a will and life insurance. Now I need to add to the list the social media accounts and passwords.

So this week let's keep it simple! Go and buy yourself a fire proof water proof safe and start putting all your important papers in it.  Get the kind that is a file box so that you can file the papers in it. Get some hanging file folders and label. Make sure that all titles and passwords are kept here. Make sure that your family knows where all these papers are. Don't have them everywhere around the house. Have one central location and keep all of the papers there. You do not need every account statement from the last year. Usually the account and any passwords is enough to get your family started. Not sure what you need for each account? Ask your banker or investment person or your insurance agent. One call will help you get it figured out. Give the gift of organization that will keep on giving even when you can not be there.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,


MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 


It is Ok To Procrastinate and I WIll Tell You Why

I have a disease and I am ok with it. I call it "Procrastivity." Procrastivity is defined as "significantly enhanced productivity achieved through intelligently and creatively applying intentional procrastination." This is me on as a deadline pulse quickens...the ideas are exploding in my head...the great ideas are coming fast and furious...I am able to organize and make sense of it all. Up until the final hours of the deadline my creative juices are at a standstill. But then a switch is flipped and I am highly creative.

I laugh when I am preparing for a work project with a friend of mine, she has it planned weeks in advance and takes hours of planning. Where I sit an hour before and get it all done. This is a skill that needs to be mastered. Not everyone can do it. I started perfecting it in college. As an English major I had to read a lot of books and write a lot of papers. My final semester I took 21 credits and was planning a wedding and applying to law school, procrastivity was my friend. I could not have done it all without that skill.

People wonder how I can get so much done, it is because of my procrastivity. Oh yeah, you are thinking to yourself that you have it as well! I also believe it can be inherited. I know my youngest son has it. He is often working on projects the last minute just like me. I don't yell at him and I don't become frustrated, I get him. My husband on the other hand doesn't understand and becomes frustrated with our ways. He is a meticulous planner and gives great attention to detail.

But here are my tips if you want to see if you are a procrastivity person:

Be confident. Know that you will do a great job and knock the project out of the park. Don't doubt yourself, this is the time to know that what you are creating is fantastic!

Start small. My advice is to not test and see if you have this skill when you have an important deadline. Do not set yourself up for failure. Give yourself the space to try it bit by bit on smaller projects.

Do not have other people relying on you. You can not do this if you are working with people who need you to get your work done in order for them to complete their task. This will drive your coworkers to have a strong dislike for you. Particularly the planners out there like my husband.

Tune out all distractions. I can not be worried about what is for dinner during this time. I am hyper focused on my project. The door to my office is closed. My Facebook account is shut down and my phone ringer is off. I can not be pulled away when I am in this enhanced productivity state.

Create pretend deadlines. When I know I need to get a project done that has no deadline I will create pretend deadlines. Because I work for myself I don't always have deadlines that a boss sets. But rather I am the boss and I know to move a project forward I need to create that mythical deadline to get my creative juices going.

If after reading this you are thinking I may be a bit bizarre to think that I can function like this. Guess what?  You are not a procrastivity person and I suggest you don't try it. You will not like it.

It is my hope that I have created some understanding out there. I do not procrastinate because I am lazy, but rather the opposite is true. I am able to be more productive because I am intentional with my procrastination. So if you have a child like me, and they are getting good grades and waiting until the last minute, be ok with it.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One Thing I Did to Make Family Meal Time Easier

I am approaching that stage in life where my birds are flying the nest and dinner time continues to evolve. My oldest is a foodie and when he lived with us our meal times were fun and exciting for me. So when he left our home the contents of our dinner changed. Then there was the fussy middle one who only liked white food and the youngest who was an occasional adventurous eater. That left my husband and I who are foodies missing out of the food adventures that we had created when our oldest lived with us.

Now that we have just one at home with us, and he is rarely home at dinner time my husband and I are looking for that gourmet adventure again. Often we found it by going out to eat or ordering takeout. But I missed cooking and knowing what goes into my food. Then I discovered meal delivery services.

I have received my first box and my second box is on the way. I ordered from a second service that will arrive next week. Here are some thoughts on what I have discovered so far.

Portion sizes: For me the portion sizes are perfect. My husband also has been pleased with them. If there are three of us eating, I will simply have half of the protein and share with my husband and our son will eat the other portion. We can easily stretch the meals from two to three. One night there was four of us, so I made two sets of meals. It was a perfect solution.

Ease of ordering: There is an app that makes ordering even easier. Take meals out of your shopping cart or add things in. You have control over the day of the week for delivery. Some weeks Wednesday works for me and some weeks Thursday works for me.

Fun of trying new foods: I love the descriptions such as "Tender chicken breasts are coated in flour, briefly sautéed, and removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce with fresh garlic and mushrooms. You'll deglaze the pan by adding wine to the caramelized, tasty meaty bits (referred to as a "fond" in chef speak), to dissolve them into a flavorful sauce.

Premeasured amounts:  I get the perfect amount of cilantro or the perfect amount of heavy cream {yes I said heavy cream.} Often I am stuck with too much of a specific item and I cant figure out how to use and I create waste.

Freshness: I was a little hesitant when I received buns for the turkey burgers, however I was pleasantly surprised with how fresh they were even days later. I had a little issue with one item, but when I personally buy the same at the store I have the same issue.

Dietary restrictions: The choices are there for those who need gluten free or vegetarian. Want to eat low carb, they have options for you as well.

Packaging: The box while recyclable, the inside parts are not. I can only use so many reusable ice packs and I can only donate so many. This really bothered me as I like to live a green life. But then I thought about how much food I waste and for me this was an even trade.

Cost: The cost can seem daunting at first. However many of these boxed meal services offer discount and coupons as well as savings when you refer someone. Be sure to check before you sign up. My husband is not convinced that we will save money. I think in the long run we will be saving money if we take into account meals that we eat out.

Location: I live in Fargo and I can only use a few of the meal services. We are limited in the upper Midwest but check out a few to see what your options are.

Learn new cooking techniques: I love to cook and know how to cook, but my kids don't have all the nuances down. When kids take FACS {family and consumer science class} there is no way that they can cover everything. Now I can hand them a recipe card and the instructions are basic and very easy to follow. This also works for spouses. So when I am not home I can have him prep the meal with no explanation from me. I call this a marriage saver!

Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping but this does save time for those who do not enjoy grocery shopping. I still need to go for our basics and snacks and lunches so it doesn't eliminate all grocery shopping.

Takes out the time of meal planning: Meal planning takes time. We typically cook the same things over and over again.  I love the fact that creative side dishes come with the entrée. I sometimes get lost in Pinterest and the possibility of a great meal. One night we had an edamame puree that I never would have made, but was very delicious and I would consider making again.

What I love about all of this is that it gives me options. When I know I am going to have a busy week I can order the meals and know that when meal time comes I have it covered. I also love the idea of giving it as gifts come the holiday. Know someone who had a new baby? This would be a great gift to give! Our goal is to get my husband and I back to cooking fresh meals and sitting at the table having a conversation.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things! 

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