11.07.2015

Clear and Precise Instructions

With 5 kids, a job and what I'd like to call a life, there is little room for miscommunication. I just don't have time to deal with incorrect instructions for filling out forms, signing up for things or missing out because we just didn't know.

It seems that this is a necessary fact in nearly all aspects of my life. I think it's why I appreciate lists so much.

So, today, here are a few ways to improve communication skills in your own life.

I think you might recognize these....

1. Who? Who do you intend to involve, or for that matter, exclude. For example, if your child gets an invitation to a party, do not assume that all of the children are invited. If it is a friend hosting and you feel comfortable asking, ask. If not, you have 2 choices; either ask or don't ask. If you ask, be prepared for them to say no, it's their party. If they say yes, great! Proceed as necessary. If you are the host, make your mind up ahead of time and invite who you intend to.

2. What? Make sure you give and get clear instructions regarding what is expected of you. It is much easier for everyone if you clarify for yourself whatever you don't understand. The moment you think of a question, it is time to clarify to make sure you proceed forward correctly. This makes everything better.

3. When? How do people ever do anything spontaneous anymore? I have no idea! Because I always have a when. When are you arriving, when am I arriving, when do I need to leave my house to be on-time? Am I perfect at this, HECK NO! I have 5 kids, you silly person. But, I know when I needed to be there... Double checking date, day of the week and time are all important!

4. Why? Well, I should hope you have not arbitrarily agreed to do something without knowing what it was, but the purpose is still important. That said, understanding the purpose of your event will have a direct effect on number 5 in this list...

5. How? How should you dress? How should you act? How should you expect your children to act? All of this is answered in understanding how this thing, whatever it is, is about to go down...

6. Anything else? You don't always have to understand anyone's reasoning for doing anything. But you should know if you are expected to bring plates and napkins to a party. These details are important to more than just you. Check on them.

If you get through these items and you are still unclear about what is going on, maybe you need to call your host, the friend, or possibly, your boss. It's only kind to make sure that everyone is on the same page. As you continue to do these things, you will become better prepared for events and more and more people will (we can only hope) quit thinking that mom = mindreader....because it doesn't. But asking these questions and knowing what is expected of us, will help us all feel better about meeting any of the expectations laid out for us.

Keep it up my friends, you're doing great!
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11.01.2015

Coupons, a cooking club and a meal plan

A few weeks ago I shared that I was trying to save money by being more conscious of where and how I was spending money. One friend suggested I try couponing. So, I'm giving it a go. It's a bit of a numbers game and I am just getting started, but I used the coupons to help plan out the meal plan for this week. I got 2 newspapers to double my coupons and organized them into categories that worked for me: Baby, Cleaning, Dog, Hair & Body, Mouth, Feminine, OTC, Paper & Plastic, General Food, Fridge & Frozen, Restaurants and Extras. Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I'm keeping a running list of recipes that we will be using so I can put all of the coupons for those recipes in the very front to start getting those things together. I'm also planning to try to be more aware of the circulars that jam up my mailbox and may even save a few extras digitally. I use a few different apps on my phone to help with saving money, I'll link them if you don't have them so that you can start saving some money too!!! Where it is applicable, I'll put my referral code next to the link and then you can thank me by joining with my referral code and then let me know what you think of the savings apps too!!! Some of them are super user friendly and that only makes it more awesome!! 

In no particular order....

1. Cartwheel for Target, secret coupons or percentages off for every item you can think of! The more you use it, the more coupons you can have on your barcode at a time!
And a RedCard!

2. Kroger Mobile Coupons; it's like having secret Kroger coupons and the regular mailed circular in your phone! How easy is that? Click on the coupons to add them to your list!

3. Ibotta: (referral Code: azbqrq) Earn rebates for items you purchase all the time!! My total savings since I joined are up to $30.95. Once you join and use my code, you get an extra $2!

4. Receipt Hog, (referral code: clump306) snap pics of your receipts and then you get coins that add up to amazon cash. Spin the wheel to win extra spins or cash credit for your last receipt!!! Once you sign up and use it with the referral code, we each get extra spins!


And now for the meal plan: 

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner; pancakes, bacon, and eggs

Monday: Taco Night!!!

Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo and Broccoli

Thursday: Pizza Night

Friday: Sausages, Macaroni and Cheese, and a yet-to-be-named Green Veggie

Saturday: Leftovers

On our family landing board, I put up the meal plan so that I can stop getting asked by people who read, "what's for dinner?" But, I figured since I need to hold myself accountable to keeping my house a little cleaner, I'd add a chore for each night. If I can stick to this, well, my house might look MUCH better!!!

I'm also working on making my friends join me in a cookbook club! We'll get together periodically, each making something from a new cookbook and get to all share in the work! I'm excited!!! Anyone ever done one?

Got any time saving tips or tricks you'd like to share?

I don't have much time to spare!!!

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