{2012 Goal #2} 15 Minute Recipes & More

I used to be really organized. People used to compliment and admire me for my organization and after saying thank you, I would add that I HAD to be organized otherwise my life would resemble the aftermath of a tornado/earthquake/sunami rolled into one. Before children, I was a first grade teacher and my day was organized into 15/20 minute segments – and I typically over-planned just in case. However, my life began to change after the birth of our first child 15 years ago and for the past 8 1/2 years (since the birth of our 4th child) I have not had the time to organize the way I used to. -The key words are “the way I used too.” I have to do way more planning, way more organizing and I have to be way more flexible.

Like most people, when I start a project, I want to continue working on it until it’s completed – as in, ignore everything else. I’ve learned 2 things: #1 Since having children I no longer have long spans of un-interrupted time AND #2 It’s OKAY to leave a project and come back to it – It’s NOT okay to start a new project, if I have left another project unfinished.

My 2012 Goal #2 is to work in 15 minute increments

  • I have a lot (*sigh) of unfinished projects – the big ones are paperwork (that pile multiplies almost as quickly as the laundry), 15+ boxes filled with momentos from each year of my children’s lives, and a garage full of little “stuff” from 15 years of children. – Sound familiar? I started tackling the paperwork in December – working in 15 minute increments – it has allowed me time to not only get through/organize the pile but create a workable system that will prevent it from piling up (which btw, only takes a day & by the end of the week is practically unmanageable). -Aside from everyday stuff – think food magazines, recipe clippings and planning for my blog.
  • Rooms in my home become cluttered quickly (if each child leaves one thing on the table = 4 things = instant clutter pile and since I’m typically zipping from one activity to the next I’ve become immune to the clutter until the end of the day when I look around and it seems like “things” are covering every surface. During the day, I plan to clear clutter and/or clean a few rooms throughout the week spending no more than 15 minutes per room. Leaving a clutter free kitchen (which is also where everyone works on paperwork) and more time to cook/bake.
  • Exercise – 15 minutes 5 days a week (just get up and do something, I plan to walk our dog or play outside w/ my children… I’m sure it will end being longer than 15 minutes). – Baking (taste testing baked goods & not exercising = my tummy is starting to resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy’s, lol).
  • Dinner – Cooking Light 5 Ingredient… 15 Minute Cookbook and Easy Weeknight Meals – Doubling Dinners to make Freezer Meals and using the Slow-cooker. I plan to add a Slow-cooker and a Freezer Meal tab to the blog. Most days, I do not have much time to cook and/or I’m not home and need to have a frozen “home-made” meal prepared so that one of my older children can put in the oven so dinner is ready when the entire family arrives home.

Is there an area of your home that could use 15 minutes a day? Do you have a project that you’ve wanted to start but never felt like you had the time? Perhaps you’re like me and you’ve tried but just have been consistent finding/planning quick, easy, healthy meals that work with your family’s schedule…

What are you waiting for? You can do anything for 15 minutes – you just have to believe in yourself and give it a try!

What did you accomplish for 15 mintues today??



  1. Great post! I too was an organized person, and have become way too relaxed since children. The only thing I have stuck with is not going to bed with dishes in the sink-I hate waking up to dirty dishes! Thanks for the tips!

    • Thank you Karen 🙂

      I often either a) quit what I’m working on because one of my children “needs” me or b) ignore my children because I’m trying to finish something. – I have found by setting a timer, it allows me to finish what I’m working on (it also keeps me focused & working a little quicker) or at least have a productive 15 minutes and my children know that when the timer beeps, it’s time for them. Win-Win

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