Want to make your life easier? Plan ahead.
That’s the lesson I’m learning. Although I am supposedly an empty nest, I still have grown children coming and going, a husband to feed, work to do at home, work to do at work, household chores, bills to pay, errands to run…. and then there’s the matter of trying to fulfill my dreams of having a viable writing career.
The last month and a half has been filled to the rim with busy. Business at home is booming, kids are on the go – college, new jobs, moving. But we all have to eat and we want to try to be as healthy as possible. So I’m sharing my knowledge with those of you who want the same and find yourselves running around crazy.
Planning ahead is a lifesaver to me. Some times it’s not possible. But having a flexible schedule works much better than no schedule at all. I’ll share that too. Below I’ve included one of my favorite easy meals that my family loves. Hope you enjoy it.
This past month I’ve participated in several webinars and they have opened my eyes to new opportunities and ideas. Writing isn’t a one size fits all. There are so many ways to make a living as a writer. I’ve enjoyed learning and growing in the craft as well as discovering my gifts and strengths. Pulling all of these together, a niche market begins to emerge and suddenly you feel confident in what you want to do.
Even if it took about 2o years of writing, I feel blessed to have enjoyed my journey of discovery. I could be envious of those who had success at a younger age, knew exactly what they wanted to do, went after it with everything they had, and achieved great success. But to be envious of someone, you have to envy everything about them. In other words, to have what they have, you have to go through what they’ve gone through. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. The bad has given me a depth that an easy road never would’ve. My journey has developed a heart that understands pain and can sympathize with those hurting. There’s nothing better than helping someone or giving them hope or encouraging them in their journey.
And what an amazing journey I’ve had! My husband and our children along with all our adventures have filled my heart with so much joy that any darkness left from my broken youth has disappeared. If someone would’ve told me at age 18 that my life was going to contain all I have now, I wouldn’t have believed them.
If you are still searching for your niche, keep on keeping on. Don’t give up but take the time to be present and enjoy the moments you have now.
Get a plan together and organize your life. Start small. Planning weekly meals is one of the ways I save myself time and a few headaches. See below for a easy printable menu planner.
I also loosely schedule my marketing work, writing goals and household chores using this method.
Also, cut out those time stealers that do not contribute to your goals, well being or completing tasks. I set a timer for my social media and reading and responding to emails. Include educating yourself in your goals and set time once a week to do so. Some ways I continue my education of my craft is reading – subscribing to professional blogs – and webinars. All these are planned and I have a schedule I follow for each. I find that setting a timer or pulling double duty such as listening to a webinar while exercising or cooking works well.
Speaking of webinars, here’s a few I’ve attended lately: Jay Boyer’s Children’s Book Formula – How to create and sale children’s ebooks on Amazon; Melissa Kaiserman’s How to Have and Grow a Business on Etsy; & Brilliant Business Moms’ How to Increase your Business using Pinterest by Beth Anne Schwamberger.
My latest easy & quick dinner recipe.
30 Minute Easy Chicken Orzo
To Print download here: 30-minute-easy-chicken-orzo-pdf
Recipe feeds a family of four, (with leftovers). All done on the stovetop and takes about 30 minutes.
1 MOJO ROTISSERIE CHICKEN ( I USE PUBLIX) – PULL ALL MEAT OFF AND CHOP UP
1 CAN 10 OZ ROTEL
1 CAN 10 OZ CREAM OF CHICKEN
1/2 16 OZ BOX ORZO (I USE RONZONI NO. 47 – ENRICHED MACARONI)
1/2 BLOCK OF 16 OZ VELVEETA CHEESE – Dice into 1 inch blocks
1/2 6 OZ BAG SPINACH
1 BUNDLE ASPARAGUS
2 STALKS CELERY
1/2 STICK BUTTER
SALT, PEPPER & GREEK SEASONING TO TASTE
Prepare orzo as directed. Reserve water as you drain orzo for later use. While orzo is cooking, or the day before, pull chicken off the bone and chop to bite size pieces. Melt butter in nonstick pan. Dice shallot and celery, sauté in butter on low heat till clear. Wash asparagus and spinach. Snap the end pieces off the asparagus and discard. Snap rest of stalks into bite size pieces. Add asparagus to shallot and celery. Sauté till dark green. Add spinach, salt, pepper to taste, cover and turn off heat.
After draining orzo, put orzo and liquid reserve aside. Using the same pot, add the Rotel, the Cream of Chicken, Velveeta Cheese and 1 cup of reserved liquid. Heat on med, stirring until cheese is melted. Add Chicken and seasoning to taste. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Add orzo, sautéed vegetables and 1 cup of reserved liquid. (Slowly add liquid till you reach a consistency that covers orzo but does not create a watery base. You want to reach a thick soup like consistency.)
Warm on low heat while stirring for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover. This can be served with toast and my favorite, red pepper jelly. ENJoy!
To Print download here: 30-minute-easy-chicken-orzo-pdf
Need an easy weekly menu planner? Feel free to download mine weekly-menu-templete-pdf
THIS IS WHAT WE ARE HAVING FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK:
CHECK BACK NEXT SUNDAY FOR A NEW RECIPE AND MENU.
MONDAY – BAJA STYLE COD TACOS RICE CHIPS SALSA
TUESDAY – PASTA PRIMAVERA WITH ITALIAN TURKEY SAUSAGE
WEDNESDAY – LEMON PEPPER SHRIMP SCAMPI
THURSDAY – SHRIMP TACOS
FRIDAY – CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI RICE BOWL
SATURDAY – CHICKEN & CORN QUICHE
SUNDAY – CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES
What has helped you most in planning your weekly routine? I’d like to know.