I have always felt a little guilty for my version of "organized." I usually have many "current" projects that I like to be able to access instantly. This translates to a lot of piles. You could actually learn a lot about me by looking through my kitchen piles! (That might make a fun post someday!) The point is, that's how I work, and while I've felt guilty about it I'm not ready to change. What I have wanted to change--and been way too intimidated to begin--is the way I schedule meals.
I have wanted to create a monthly meal calendar and do all my grocery shopping in one trip for some time. Somehow, it just hasn't happened yet.
When I was given the opportunity to review Pretty Neat by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, I read the introduction and then skipped right to chapter 12: Master Home-Cooked Meals (Really!). I appreciated the advice and loved the short, practical examples of ways different women dealt with the issue. I made a plan! A real plan that I have actually followed! I let go of the month-long idea and settled for a week-long plan instead. I decided to have Pizza Mondays every week. I have a great 30-Minute Pizza Recipe that we all love--healthy, fun, and convenient for our schedule. I have pretty large lunches, so I chose 3 simple, transportable dinners for days when I go running. I let Kaia choose one meal and then I finished the schedule with a crock-pot meal and an instant meal. I didn't want to include the instant meal, but I decided to be realistic. By the time we get to dinner, I need a hands-free, fast meal once a week. That is the heart of Pretty Neat: you have to find an ideal that is realistic.
The whole book is just as brilliant as the last chapter. It has tips on everything from filing to toys to email (yes, your inbox gets a chapter!). Throughout its pages the realistic perfection theme is beautifully drilled into you. I don't need to feel guilty because my kitchen can never be featured on the cover of a glamorous magazine. I can improve where I can, and that is okay!
I completely recommend this book! The fact that it is only 167 pages is even better!
Now the really fun part: Buttoned Up is giving away a copy of Pretty Neat to one of my readers! To enter, leave a comment telling us a source of organizational stress for you OR an organizational tip you've discovered. You must have a US mailing address. You can have extra entries (up to four) if you follow this blog or post about the giveaway on a blog, twitter, or facebook. Please let me know about your extra entries in a comment! I will pick a winner randomly (using Random.org) on Friday, March 11th at 9:00 pm.