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Archive for February, 2009

The tickler file

Yes I’m ticklish, no I’m not laughing – but I am smiling…

I’m so happy with my new tickler file system.

Tickler file

 

Yes these things make me happy! Who named this a “tickler” system anyways – kind of silly-  in my opinion!

I had mentioned in the File Overhaul post  that I wanted to try out a “tickler file”. I had heard of them years ago when a co-worker who used to work in a lawyers office mentioned that she always used one. She was always very organized and never going crazy working on something at the last minute. I think the system helped her to be prepared. At the time I had no idea what she was talking about, and I quickly forgot all about it.

Well when I was working on our home files I realized that I really don’t want to have to have a pile of bills sitting on my desk only for me to find the phone bill in the toy box a week after it was due. This happened – last week!! I also wanted a way to remember to RSVP to events, to send cards for birthdays, remember to return library books… you get the idea. I didn’t want to clutter my calender with some of these reminders… so I looked in to the Tickler system.

I found some great ideas online some companies even sell a Tickler file all set up for you. I had no desire to spend $30+ on a bunch of file folders that I could make for myself.

What you need:

  • A file box or file drawer depending on your preference. (I like to have mine on the desk so I found a nice looking one for the desk.)
  • 43 file folders-I would recommend using 5-tab file folders not the 3-tab one’s that I used. It would just look nicer in my opinion
  • A Labeler or labels– I just saw a really great labeler at Staples last week for only $9.99.
  • Your pile of bills, appointment cards, birthday card you have to send, directions, travel plans, letters, reports,

All you have to do is label your file folders with #1-31(for each day of the month) and one for each month of the year. 

Day files

 

Monthly Files

And you’re all set! Really it’s that simple!

Take your pile of paperwork and start to fill up your system. For bills I usually put them in 7 days prior to their due date. If I have to RSVP I put it in about 3-4 days before the RSVP date ( I have major irritations with people who don’t RSVP, more ranting on that later)

Some also include these other categories:

Read
Send—letters to write
Errands—a folder to hold shopping lists, claim receipts, etc.
Call—a place to store phone messages until you have time to return calls
Data Entry—addresses, phone numbers, business cards to enter into address book and/or contact management system
Calendars—calendars for classes, meal planning calender, etc.

I also have a TO FILE, COUPONS and DAD’s FINANCES (I do my dads accounting). I may add more as I see a need for them, but so far this is working great. I think it’s important to keep it simple!

If you have a hard time keeping track of all of the odd paperwork, forget to pay bills or just want a simple way to organize these papers – try it out! I think you’ll like it!

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Planning the Garden

 

Planning the Garden

 We sat down recently and tried to tackle the planning for our garden this year.

Last year we lived in a tiny apartment and had only about 5×10 garden space. We grew tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini and lettuce. Of these listed vegetables we only had successful tomatoes, snap peas and lettuce. The rest were a flop!

We are so excited to have a 47’x30′ garden area!! It’s huge! We’ve decided to try using the Squarefoot Gardening technique in part of the garden. Hoping that this will cut down on the weeding and make it easier to harvest the vegetables. It sounds like a great way to go.

Here’s the space we have to work with:

Garden space

Below are the two books that we used to do most of our research.

Gardening Books

Next we sat down with graph paper and pens (we couldn’t find pencils anywhere in the house, this was a bad way to go!). About 2 1/2 hours later we had little to show for our time. We just couldn’t decide what to do. Finally we decided to stop over thinking it and came up with a plan. I broke out the laptop and decided to use my friendly Excel program instead of graph paper. I’m not really a pen and paper girl, and I just love Excel! So we created a plan.

Garden Plan

 

This weekend we headed to one of our favorite shops in Lancaster

Space to Grow

The owner, Dwight gave us tons of help and answered every question we had – and there were a lot of questions! If you live in the area you’ve got to stop in and check it out! It’s right around the corner from Central Market!

So we bought a bunch of seeds and will start some seeds inside soon.

Seeds 

We wanted to purchase our seeds from Seeds of Change and were happy to see that Space to Grow sold them!

I’ll be posting updates as we start our seeds inside and get the garden ready once it’s warmer outside.

 Even Claire is getting in the gardening spirit – I wanted to get her excited about gardening so I bought her a little daisy plant at a craft store. She planted the seed a few weeks ago. We’ve been watering and watching the tiny pot every day. Last week to Claire’s surprise a sprout popped up!

 

Sprout

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Meal Plan Monday

mpm34

Breakfasts: Cereal, yoguart, pancakes and fruit

Lunches: Leftovers, Ravioli, mac-n-cheese, PB&J sandwiches

Snacks: Carrots, crackers and cheese, granola bars, grapes

 

Dinners:

Monday: Burritos (made with leftover taco salad stuff) with beans and rice

Tuesday: Chicken with Rice and Spinach Casserole

Wednesday: Soup and Salad night

Thursday: Lasagna and salad (a freezer meal)

Friday: Some meat from the freezer (I’m sure there’s something in there!), Broccoli, Rosemary Potatoes (we usually do “date-night” on Fridays and lately they’ve been at home so I’ll try to make something nice.)

Saturday: Leftovers or Sushi if my father comes down for a visit – I’m dying to try sushi!!

Sunday: Homemade pizza

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Here it is – an update on my filing overhaul.

There has been a few change which caused me to rethink the entire plan. My husband will soon be taking the finances (some or all)! Because of this I realized that the files need to be super clear and easy for my husband to find. So gone went my great idea of paperless statements for our bills, and back to good old filing!

We are also going to be doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University AGAIN to get out of debt!

So here it is our nicely organized filing cabinet:

valentines-day-shower-blog-filing-0121

What do you think?

I’m actually a pretty serious perfectionist and I would have preferred to have gone out to buy brand new file folders or even some beautiful decorated files like these

But that seemed a bit over the top and not in line with our new budget! So I recycled the hanging file folders that I used last year by flipping them inside out and used the opposite side. I did the same with some of the file folders too! Pretty “GREEN” huh??

Here is how I organized my files:

Action Files (these are in the front)
   Bills to Pay
   Read
   Call/Respond
   Pending

FILE (everything that needs to be filed)

DEBT (I wanted to make this one stick out – to remind me about our goal to be debt-free!)
   Credit Cards

INCOME

BANK
   Checking
   Savings
   Loan

UTILITIES
   Phone/Dsl
   Electric
   Oil/Gas
   Trash

INSURANCE 
   Auto
   Renters  
   Health
   HSA

HOME

VEHICLES (auto repairs/car payment info, etc)

MEDICAL 
   Explanation of Benefits
   Medical Bills

BABY INFO
   Well Baby Check (Dr visit reports) – Vaccination records – misc

 

 

Now, my Action files will soon be replaced by a Tickler System that I will keep on my desk. More on that later!

 

Have you used a Tickler System?? I’d love to know if it worked for you – Leave a comment!

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mpm32

Breakfasts: Cereal, yogurt, pancakes (from the freezer)

Lunches: Soup, Sandwiches

Snacks: Granola bars, cheese and crackers, yogurts and apples.

Dinners:

Monday: Taco Salad Bar
Tuesday: Steak, Baked Potatoes, veggies
Wednesday: Salad and Soup Night
Thursday: Freezer meal (Sausage Cassarole)
Friday: Chicken Stirfry
Saturday: Dinner out at friends

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Welcome – Again

 

Welcome to the prettier addition of Another New Season. I’m excited to continue to blog without the irritations that I was experiencing before. Please be patient with me as I learn how to use WordPress.

If this is your first time visiting click here to read what this is all about!

I will be continuing the Filing Overhaul this weekend.

So please bookmark this page, sign up for my Feed and leave comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

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I think I will use SNOW as my excuse for not finishing my filing, if you don’t believe me look at these pictures of our 2 year old playing in the foot of snow that we got last week.


Claire was fascinated with the snow she kept scooping it up and throwing it in the air!

You really shouldn’t believe that the snow caused me to slack on the filing really I just got busy and FORGOT!

Well the files are, well still in a pile. We’ve had a few unexpected distractions this week and I promise that by Monday I will continue the filing excitement. While you wait I’ll share what I spent my day doing yesterday:
Making these cute and yummy Valentines snacks!

I used the technique from Bakerella.

Aren’t they cute???

They were really yummy!!
You have to check out www.bakerella.blogspot.com – she makes amazing cupcakes too!

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