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Organizing My Life

Before Ava was born, I thought I would have plenty of time for a baby. I always managed to squeeze in a little more time for an emergency work project, so why not put a baby into the mix? HAHAHAHA! It turns out that babies are very time consuming. I know, right?


Multitasking and Organization

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop multitasking and get more organized. I am still very short on sleep and easily distractable. So trying to do work and quickly checking the internet is a horrible idea.  I installed a Chrome extension to block specified websites like Facebook after 11 minutes.  That is enough time to check junk websites in between projects.

For organization, I rely on technology. Google is my savior. Jon and I have already been sharing calendar entries for years. Now I also schedule in weekly tasks, such as when I’m supposed to take out the garbage so I don’t forget. I also make sure to instruct my Nexus 4 phone to remind me to do things at times when I can actually respond to the task. For example, I create a lot of reminders for 9 p.m. because I can get things done after Ava is sleeping.

Meal Planning and Grocery List

I use a task application to plan meals for the week.  I add meals as tasks and when you mark the tasks as completed, it grays out the task so it’s still visible but not prominent.  If everyone likes a meal, I can add it into the rotation.  If the meal is bad, I delete the task and it’s removed from the application.

I’m very proud of my homemade chili-cheese nachos.



For making my grocery list, I used to use an application that allowed me to define different stores and I would add items for each store.  Trader Joe’s is great for most food items, but it lacks a lot of household goods. It didn’t work perfectly because if one store was out of an item and I had to go to another store, I would have to toggle through the grocery list for multiple stores.


A few weeks ago, Jon bought an Amazon Echo and it’s replaced my old grocery list application.  It’s such a fun device.  You speak instructions, like “Alexa, add spinach to my shopping list” and it recognizes my speech about 80% of the time.  You can also ask it questions like “Alexa, how many cups are in a quart?” which is so helpful when you’re cooking.  The Echo also plays music from your Prime list, from music you stored in the Amazon cloud, and they just added the ability to play music from Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora.


For recipes, I use Evernote and it’s fantastic.  I can add recipes and categorize them according to tags.  I try to have different types of meals each week, such as a potato dish.  So I can search for all recipes that include potato as an ingredient and decide on the best one for my potato dish of the week.  I like including the recipe in Evernote, making my own modifications, and adding a URL from the original recipe at the bottom.

9 Responses to “Organizing My Life”

  1. tess says:

    Oh… You work AND cook regularly? You should already be feeling pretty, pretty pleased with yourself I’d say.

  2. tess says:

    In addition to having a baby, I mean. If there wasn’t a baby in the equation I wouldn’t be quite so impressed.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I should mention that our nanny prepares meals or does the prep work for all the meals Monday through Friday. So I might just have to reheat something she made or pan fry it. Life would be impossible without her help.

  4. Caitlin Bird says:

    WOW! These are all awesome ideas and I’m impressed you can do it with a little one too! Love this blog. :-)

  5. tess says:

    Phew, well that’s nice for my self esteem to hear! I cook like 1-2 huge meals per week (maybe…), and other than those leftovers, it’s sandwiches, fruit, or easy stuff in the microwave mostly.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    When it was just the two of us, I used a lot of frozen Trader Joe meals that you could cook in a pan in 10 minutes. It’s a nice setup to be able to have meals prepared for us during the week. We never go out to dinner anymore, but I don’t really miss it.

  7. Impressive! When we visited at Christmas I really liked it when you told Alexa to add items to your shopping list. It’s like being in a near-future science fiction story, only the future is here.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    It’s so helpful to be able to give verbal instructions, especially when you’re holding a baby.