To Cookbook or Not to Cookbook

As I went through our very crowded dining room, in an attempt at babyproofing, I came across our cookbooks. I already paired down our cookbooks to two baskets a few years ago. So really didn’t remove much out of the baskets this time. There’s a grilling cookbook, which I purchased for my husband a few years ago. (It still looks pretty brand new.) There’s also a Joy of Cooking cookbook, couple of Pampered Chef cookbooks, a Betty Crocker Cookbook, and a few others. Some were purchased at yard sales and Goodwill, others were given to us as gifts and the Pampered Chef ones were purchased decades ago when I was a consultant.

I don’t cook extensively. What I do cook are very simple recipes. I totally regret not hanging out in the kitchen with my Dad and Mom growing up. It would have been nice to have learned how to cook all the yummy foods I grew up on. For the most part, nowadays, I utilize websites like and or I just simply use Google.

The cookbook pictured above, Joy of Cooking, looks pretty worn and used but I can admit it wasn’t used much by me. I think my husband purchased this during my “Hamburger Helper” and Tuna Helper” days in an attempt to get me to learn how to cook healthier and more nutritious meals. I can gladly say I have graduated from cooking boxed meals.

Anyway, my tip for this post is… if you haven’t already checked out, please do so. It is such a great site. I love that there is a way to save the recipes you are interested in. Also, all of the recipes have a rating system and most have great reviews. It gives you the chance to see what recipes have been tried and were successful for others, before trying it out yourself.

I know we have a lot of friends and family who love using their cookbooks but honestly, I don’t know why we are hanging on to our cookbooks. Decoration? Maybe we’re saving them in case we have an outage or lose our internet for some reason. Then at least we’ll have recipe options.?

How many cookbooks do you own? How often do you use them?

By the way, apparently the Joy of Cooking is still in print. Wow! The first edition was printed in 1931. Our copy was printed in 1962. It must be a good cookbook. I guess I really should open it more than once every 5 years.



My First Real Bullet Journal

I received the journal I ordered from in the mail yesterday. Decided to go with the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted Medium Black and I love it! The journal opens flat and the weight of the pages is great.

I started writing in it today. I do have to remember to let the ink dry if I am to continue using the gel pens that I purchased from Walmart. I smudged a lot of my writing but figured I’d still post my first entries from this book to compare with future entries in hopes of seeing an improvement.

Again, I’m taking baby steps to being organized but in an artsy sort of way. Also working on building some better life habits and will use bullet journaling to follow though to my goals. So far so good but still a very LONG way to go!


Effective Lists

Having an organized and clean house has always been a challenge for me. I was always great about making lists but not very good about using them. Lately I been trying a new attempt at list making. I first came across the idea of bullet journaling through I’ve just been using a plain ruled composition book for my daily lists but a bullet journal would work so much better. I just ordered one through

So far my little fancy composition lists have been working. Plus it’s really nice to add little notes here and there about my day in my book. I’ve never really been one to journal so this is perfect.

Trying to motivate teenagers and a pre-teen is a chore in itself. I’ve been experimenting with “journaling” and jazzing up our childrens’ to-do lists. Above is today’s list for our 11-year-old. He got through most of the list. I think this works great for him.

Having a jazzy list for our 17-year-old is a completely different story. I’m sure there’s a lot more running through his mind than our 11-year-old. We’ll try it out for a few weeks to see if his motivation changes.

Do you organize your days with lists? What kind of lists work best for you and your family?

Here are a few links to a few blogs I found very helpful.

5 Steps to Craft a Better To-Do List