Monthly Archives: May 2012

Checking In

Hi. I’m swamped. How are you?

May is just a crazy month for us. I know I’m not the only one, right? It’s the end of school projects and activities, birthdays (Lots of that going on around here!), Anniversaries (Happy 11 years for us!), Mother’s Day, and what about all the regular stuff?


Speaking of Mother’s Day, this is one of the cards I received.


I’m taking it one day at a time here, and I’m trying to stick to what’s really important. So, no menu plan post, but I do have enough of a plan scribbled on paper to survive the week.

I actually decluttered my plastic food storage container cabinet last week! I have pictures to prove it, too. Maybe I’ll be able to share those with you next week.

OK, here’s a before picture just for fun.

I read 2 great posts on other blogs yesterday that I want to share with you!

*Want to Simplify? Start Here. (Small Notebook)

Great advice here, and it made me think of this post I did a while back: Where to start decluttering? 7 questions to help you (and me) figure it out.

*How to Overcome Burnout and Get Back on a Routine (Part 3) (Money Saving Mom)

I so appreciated this post. I think you will love it, too! Seriously. Read it.

Are you swamped right now or cool as a cucumber?


Filed under Life, Priorities

Weekly Menu Plan: 2 weeks! 4/29 – 5/12

So the menu plan last week didn’t really happen. I did have a brainstorm list, but not really a clear plan. But I decided to go ahead and post what we had last week, even though it was only semi-sorta-almost-planned-ish. But this week there is a real plan! Two weeks of meals for you to check out!

Homemade Pizza Night

Favorite meals from the last 2 weeks:

Last Week’s Menu “Plan”


  • Nachos – cheese, refried beans, black beans, green onions, salsa (I made some Healthy Corn Tortilla Chips to use up some leftover corn tortillas, but I did add a tiny bit of oil.)
  • raw veggies

Monday – My sister and her kids were here for dinner.


  • A friend brought us dinner 🙂


  • Tortellini Soup from the freezer (I froze it without the tortellini, and I didn’t have any tortellini in the house, so I used bow tie pasta instead.)



  • Dinner out with the family for my secret shopper job 🙂


Vegetarian Taco Salad

This Week’s Menu Plan!


  • We were sent home with leftover food from the potluck lunch at church (Roast chicken, rice, bread). Yay!
  • Spinach salad


  • Chicken Noodle Soup (I use a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, but I’ll make the broth like this recipe)



  • Easy Chicken Enchiladas (I add enchilada sauce on top before the cheese, and sliced black olives, too. We top these with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream.)
  • Multigrain chips and salsa



  • Homemade Pizza with a quick and easy crust (I use part whole wheat flour and knead the dough after mixing)
  • fruit/veggies


  • We will be celebrating our anniversary in some low-budget way. Mr. RSS might be the chef. 🙂
I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!


Filed under Menu Plans

Guest Post: Office and Craft Supply Cupboard | Before and After

A new feature I’m starting here on Ready Set Simplify:  Guest Posts and Reader Pictures! I asked what you all thought about this idea on my Facebook page a week or so ago, and everyone seemed to like it, so we are giving it a try! If you are interested in writing a guest post or if you just want to share some before and after pictures to help inspire all of us, click the contact tab and send me an email telling me a little about it. I’ll let you know if I think it will be a good fit to share here.

Here’s our first guest post by Katy, from Purposely Frugal. I read Katy’s blog regularly and enjoy her frugal ideas! Frugality and simplicity go together, I think. She also writes about small space living. You might enjoy this tour of her home.


I’ve been doing some sorting and organizing around our little travel trailer home. I usually just do one spot a week. I wanted to show all of you some of the results, because I love seeing how other people organize and thought you might too!

Here’s the cupboard under our TV where we keep office supply and craft type stuff.

As you can see it was in need of some help! I worked on it a little one night but didn’t finish it.
When I finally got around to working on it again, it looked like this….

…so yeah, not much better than before. 🙁

This time I finished it though!

One of the things I did to try and be more organized was to make use of the many empty folders I found. I’m hoping this helps cut down on the papers that seem to always be sitting around the house, just getting moved from one shelf to another. I made one for my daughter’s drawings, one for old letters I want to hang onto, one for loose coloring pages, and  one for e-books that I’ve printed out. Now I just need to be faithful in putting papers away in their designated folder!

How do you organize your office and/or craft supplies?

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Filed under Before and After, Guest Post, Organization

4 Things I’ve Learned and My New Cleaning Schedule

4 things I’ve learned in the past year:

1. Maintenance is key

2. Planning is important

3. Cleaning and decluttering go hand-in-hand (I didn’t want to admit that for a long time!)

4. Accountability is very helpful

My first real attempt at a cleaning schedule was about a year ago. And I think it was a good start. I also posted a couple of updates here and here. I have been meaning to revise it for quite a while and just haven’t been able to figure out the best way to organize it.

So I started searching around for what was already out there. I actually tried someone else’s cleaning schedule a couple of years ago and it just didn’t work for me at all, but what I found this time is very exciting because it is customizable! These downloadable forms are from Money Saving Mom, which happens to be one of my favorite blogs, too!

Here is the link to all of Crystal’s Household Management Forms.

The one I am using here is this one: Customizable Cleaning Lists.

And here it is with my personal customizations (you can also see Crystal’s personal cleaning lists filled out here):

I want to get back to using my timer for those 15 min. cleaning/decluttering sessions. The days of the week on the right side help me know where to focus that day, so that nothing gets ignored for too long (assuming I follow the plan).

And here’s the second page, which covers monthly/semi-annual cleaning:

I have been attempting to use this plan for a couple of months now, and while I haven’t been able to accomplish everything on the list in any particular week yet, I feel like I am on the right track. I have goals and plans!

Do you have a cleaning schedule? I’d love to hear about it!

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Filed under Cleaning, Declutter, Goals