August 4, 2009

Two Tips Tuesday

I have shocked myself that I have adhered to this weekly post for the second time. Folks, this may stick. But when I run out of tips I might start making some pretty weak excuses. But I will do my best until I hit a blog block.

Sadly, I feel like a hypocrite sharing this tip because I have not adhered to this like I have wanted. But my goal is to get back in the swing of things by using this schedule. Here is what I did. I used printable post cards, clip art, and contact paper to make the cards. I put magnets on the back to put them on the fridge. I, of course, got caught up in the process trying to choose the precise placing of the picture and wording until it became a 3 day project. Plus, I do not have a color printer as I have mentioned and I did not have a lamination machine. Can you say tedious? But again, my perfectionism sickness is caused me to grow weary of the whole thing by the time I was done. Here's your visual:

Awful picture! But this is my fridge where I have posted all the activities for the day in the order in which I want it to happen. I have not printed out the times yet but I did make them. I just got lazy and I think it is the reason I am not doing well with this because I am a slave to the clock. Everything revolves around time for me and it helps me to stay focused during my day. So from top to bottom, the activities are lined up from breakfast to bedtime.

Here are some examples close up of some of the activities I have on the cards. This is my full list:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack, Exercise, Free Time, Outside, Quiet Play, Nap, Bedtime, Errands, Playdate, Learning Time, Devotional/Bible Study, Prayer, Crafts, Coloring, TV, Movie, Family Time, Chores, Bedtime, Brush Teeth, Library, Playground.

This enables my kids to understand how to plan their day, recognize a word because there is a picture image, and a way for me to stay on task to balance activities such as TV time or remembering to include important activities like devotionals. This actually all began when I found I was letting Cati watch 4 hours of TV a day. We do not have cable so it was literally me just letting one DVD play over and over or me mindlessly changing the DVD. She had been acting out and I realized I was not giving her the attention she needed and cleaned up my act. It improved things a quite a bit. I realized I was really focusing on me and just trying to get through the day instead of focusing on the girls. I also found if I put the cards up each day I was more likely to do the activity like walk to the playground or run those errands I keep putting it off until I HAVE to do it.
If this seems far fetched, maybe just planning out a weekly schedule will help. This has worked for me becasue it is a scheule that is in my face. I find that I am overwhelmed at the responsibility of being a mom and all that goes with it. The least I can do is put forth a little planning and effort to give the girls predictability and some fun learning.
Tip # 2 RECIPE: Summer Berry Bake

I really should not give away this recipe but it is so easy and so yummy that I have to share the wealth. I came across this recipe in Cooks Country Magazine and I have used it for brunches to potlucks. It is something perfect for a picnic, a classy lunch, or even a dessert to bring when attending a dinner party. Last year, I made it for a baby shower and even brought it to Disney World when meeting my family there. My nieces and nephews gobbled it up and loved it! So for either super casual or a dinner party, this one is perfect. Plus, it takes literally 10 minutes or less.
It is best during the summer season when the berries are the sweetest and in season...

4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon curd
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups fresh raspberries and strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to sit 7 inches below broiler element and heat broiler.
2. Whisk cream cheese, lemon curd, and sour cream in medium bowl until smooth ( I use my kitchenaid or hand mixer here)
3. Scatter berries in the bottom of a broiler safe gratin dish or tart pan (I use a pie plate). Spoon cream mixture over berries and gently spread the mixture until it covers berries completely. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over surface, place in oven, and broil until sugar is bubbly and caramelized, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve warm. (Although I like it best cold!)

Hope you like this Tuesday's tips!


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