The Homemaking Housewife

Striving to make our house our haven.

My timer April 30, 2009

Filed under: Home Organization — Sarah @ 8:07 am

My timerI have fallen in love with my timer. Really. I love that thing with all of my heart. I have recently discovered its power and now I can’t live without it.

What I do is set it for 15 minutes and then concentrate on one task. When the timer goes off, I move on to something different. Now if that first task is not completed sometimes I will go ahead and work on it again for another 15 minutes, or I will move on to something else and then come back to it later. Either way, I know it will get done because I will not get sidetracked with something else if I know that I only have to stay focused for 15 minutes.

It’s really amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes as well.  I can dust the entire upstairs and down in less than 15.  I can vacuum both upstairs and down and be rolling up the cord when the beeper goes off.  I can actually clean the sinks and toilets in the upstairs bathrooms in 14 minutes and 22 seconds.  (If you would have asked me before I timed myself I would have figured it would take me at least a half an hour!)

The other thing it is great for is timing your “relaxing” time.  I like to take a break when the boys have their rest time, but on more than one occasion I have ended up cruising on the internet or playing a computer game for the entire time that they are down.  That does not make for a productive day!  So what I do is pick something to work on and do 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.  It’s great knowing that I only have to go for that 15 minutes an then get a break for some me time.  During a regular (what’s that?) nap time I will usually get at least a 1/2 hour to myself.  What a reward to have down time and feel like I’ve accomplished something!

So give it a try.  You don’t need a fancy one (my Pampered Chef one is also a clock and counts up as well).  Just use the one on your microwave or stove.  Most cellphones have one as well.  You are gonna love it!


Leave me a comment and let me know you tried it and how you liked it.


For more things people love visit The Diaper Diaries.


Wordless Wednesday April 29, 2009

Filed under: Family — Sarah @ 8:10 am

Boys jumping onto couch pillows

Boys in couch pillows


Visit 5 Minutes for Mom’s Wordless Wednesday for more Wordless posts.


Tackle It Tuesday – Upstairs Corner April 28, 2009

Filed under: Home Organization — Sarah @ 8:46 am

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


It’s time for true confessions.  I am not a good housekeeper.  There, it’s out, lol.  There are so many things I would rather do than keep house, including eating rocks!  That being the case, things do get pushed onto the back burner, and then I get piles of junk and clutter springing up everywhere.  Also, I am a bit of a perfectionist, but to the point of paralysis.  I figure if I can’t do it right then I better not do it at all.  So while caring for two toddler boys and a husband, I often tell myself I don’t have the time to clean up the clutter.

Don’t let this happen to you.  When you do, this is what you get (scattered all around your house):

 Upstairs Corner








This is a pile of things that came out of Eddie’s room after changing him from a crib to a big boy bed.  I would hate to tell you how long he has been in the big boy bed, lol.  So for today’s Tackle It Tuesday I am going to tame this horrible pile of “stuff”.  (I can barely remember what is at the bottom!)

To get inspiration for your own Tackle, visit 5 Minutes for Mom’s Tackle it Tuesday to see what others have taken on.


Spinach and Black Bean Lasagna

Filed under: Recipes — Sarah @ 8:40 am

This recipe was introduced to me by a friend at a message board I frequent about money management.  It is based on the principles taught by Dave Ramsey (who has changed our lives) and is called Living Like No One Else.  I highly recommend it if you are struggling with your finances or would just like some budgeting and frugality tips, definitely check it out.

This lasagna has become a favorite in our house and is requested quite often.  It’s meatless which is nice on the pocketbook too.  I made mine a little different as I used cheddar cheese instead of the pepper jack, only a 1lb 10oz jar of spaghetti sauce, and left out the cilantro.

Black Bean and Spinach Lasagna









  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15-0z) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (16 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, divided
  • 2 (16 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (2 lb, 13-oz) jar pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 9 dried precooked lasagna noodles (found where the dry pasta is)
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; set aside
  2. Mash beans with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl; stir in pasta sauce and cumin.  Spread one-third of bean mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
  3. Layer with 3 noodles, half of spinach mixture, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese; repeat layers.  Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining bean mixture.
  4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover and top with remaining cheese and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts.  Garnish if desired.

Menu Plan Week of April 27th April 27, 2009

Filed under: Home Organization — Sarah @ 10:34 am
Tags: ,



Menu planning.  It’s something that I struggle with constantly.  I struggle with what meals to make, and then actually making the planned meals.  Problem is, to meet my goals of healthy eating and frugal living, I’m going to have to make it work! 

So here it is, the plan for this week.  A couple of things that we have to take into account are Ian’s t-ball practice on Tuesday at 5pm, and a Dr appt for me at 6:30 on Wednesday.  Friday is the preschool Fundraiser, so I will be making something for the boys only.

  • Monday – Black Bean and Spinach Lasagna with salad and rolls
  • Tuesday – Homemade Mac N Cheese with salad
  • Wednesday – Oven Fried Mustard chicken with rice and a veggie
  • Thursday – Apricot Chicken with salad
  • Friday – Homemade Pizza
  • Saturday – Broccoli and Bacon Linguine with salad and rolls
  • Sunday – Roast Beef with rice and veggies

So that’s the week.  I’ll report back next week to let you know how I did sticking to it.  For hundreds of weekly meal plans visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday.  Happy planning!