giveaway time!

June 7, 2010

a little something to brighten up your monday
you all give me so much in the form of your comments and feedback — i appreciate it more than you know! i thought it would be fun to celebrate the new work week (err . . . why not?) with a little mini giveaway.

unfortunately, i don’t have financiers providing lavish prizes for shubox readers — so no vitamix or iPad will be offered up for grabs this AM. however, i hope that perhaps some of you are in the same mindset as i am when it comes to delighting in smaller things — particularly when they are cute and made of paper.

as many of you already know, i swear by this little pad:

it is an integral part of my weekly meal planning ritual. since i know most readers (by natural selection) are probably all over anything related to organization, food, or (more likely) both, i thought it would be fun to share the ♥.

so: this little guy is up for grabs!*

all you have to do to enter is:

leave a comment on this post describing your favorite organizational or time-saving tip. i need to collect these for my HLS talk and so i’d love the inspiration!

for a second (optional) entry,

mention this contest on your blog or twitter and leave a comment saying you did.

a winner will be picked by random number generator on friday. happy monday!!

* just for clarification, this contest is not sponsored by the company; i bought it myself.

happiness project, week 3
time flies when you’re being happy, i suppose. thus far, i would say the first two weeks of my personal happiness project have been a success. i decided i would spend this first month focused on mindfulness, with weekly goals to think about as well.

for week 1, i aimed to delight in the mundane.

for week 2, i had a singular mission, which was to truly R E L A X and just see where that got me (it worked).

for week 3, my goal will be to focus on one thing at a time. as usual, i will report back throughout the week on how this is going.



workout: 6 miles outside, 9:30/mi (at finish, 9:15 am: temp 81, realfeel 92). i could blame the heat for my lackluster speed, but the truth is i am definitely not in the best running shape right now! honestly, this is fine with me – i am welcoming the chance to rebuild my speed and endurance. and my hip felt 100% fine the whole time!

clean eating project: my plan to cook through the june/july issue of CE was off to a tasty start last night. i made trout with green bean succotash and felt like i was enjoying the season’s bounty.

here is the recipe as i created it:

succotash: wash + trim fresh green beans; boil for ~ 7 minutes. during the last 3 minutes of boiling, add the kernels cut from 2 ears of corn. drain and rinse under cool water, and then combine with 2 chopped, cored + seeded tomatoes.

dressing: combine lemon juice + lemon zest + ~T olive oil + salt + pepper + dried dill to taste. toss with veggie combo above.

fish: brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt + pepper, and broil, skin side down (i used white trout filets that still had skin — the whole foods guy said to leave it on while cooking!). this took about ~7 minutes.

sweet potato: bake at 400 for about an hour.

aaaaaaannd, you’re done. bonus is that i have some kickin’ lunch leftovers for today – and, miracle of all miracles, JOSH even took some to work, too!


  • Reply atilla March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    brownbagging for lunch is so logical, tasty, and way underutilized by most people

  • Reply Melissa Hall March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I have a six month old, four year old and watch a seven year old everyday. I refuse to compromise on cooking decent dinners, so I have established this method of having them all together sitting at the kitchen table doing art projects or helping each other with reading while I cook and can participate. It sure beats parking them in front of the tv and the bonus is they love the opportunity to help me cook when the recipe allows!

  • Reply ClumberKim March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    My best tip is to do anything that can be done in advance. The dogs&#39 pills are put in weekly am/pm pill boxes. Cereal for the kids is put in containers in a drawer they have access to. Applesauce for my son&#39s lunchbox is put in single-serve containers on Sunday night. Though we use an electronic calendar, the simple act of writing everything on a calendar each week means I&#39ll remember what we&#39re doing and be better able to shift on the fly when necessary.

  • Reply Cassie March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    lately i&#39ve been using google calendar for everything! i load my running plans on there, my cleaning schedule on there, my meal plans on there, etc. also, since it links up with the fiancee&#39s google calendar, it makes it a lot easier to plan things, since we have both of our schedules in one place! love it!

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Best thing I ever did was buy a label maker and a case of clear plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store. Everything (office supplies, craft supplies, makeup, you name it!) now has its own box by category, a label on each end, and a home on a bookshelf with doors (though sometimes I like to keep the doors open just to admire my work and drink in the order…). It has changed my life!

  • Reply Kayla March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    One of my big time saving tips is making lists. I like to know exactly what I&#39m going to eat each day so I don&#39t have to waste time trying to decide what I want when I&#39m really hungry. I just want to say I enjoy reading your blog and definitely agree that relaxing can be hard sometimes.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    my favorite time saving tip is to make a list. it helps me lay out a plan of attack.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    and i linked to you!

  • Reply janieliz19 March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    the #1 best organizational tool I have is one of those coupon organizer things you can get (mine is a Real Simple brand one from Target). I felt like kind of an idiot spending money on it, but I put coupons and receipts in it, it has a spot for a pen, it fits in my bag… best.purchase.ever. (well one of them)

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I also linked to this post. Sorry for the double comment earlier. Blogger was behaving strangely.

  • Reply nicole March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    ooh! I&#39d love that! I just started my 3rd year, so anything to increase my organization at this point would be lovely 🙂

    My primary method of organizing my life, appointments, comings & goings, assignments, etc. is carrying around my Space 24 organizer everywhere (obviously) and keeping a running checklist of tasks and places that need to be tended to. Also key, is the ENORMOUS wipe board calendar from pottery barn that i hung on the wall across from my bed. I&#39m sure this would frighten most people, but writing out my daily/weekly/monthly needs and reviewing it often is really critical to making sure everything is in order and taken care of. Especially since i am INTENSELY forgetful!!!

  • Reply sarah March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I have a couple, a few of which make me seem like I&#39m in elementary school: I always pack my lunch the night before the workday, so there&#39s no rush in the morning to make one. And…I pick out my outfits the night before.

    But probably the best organization tip I ever got was to find a "home" for things like my keys or my wallet. Once I decided that my keys lived on the shelf in the kitchen – and nowhere else – I saved hours otherwise spent trying to find them.

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    My favorite way to organize when I&#39m stressed is to write out my schedule, hour by hour. As a graduate student, I don&#39t have that much of my time scheduled, I just have a million things to do. So blocking out time for various projects really helps. I also find it super important to schedule my time in realistic chunks (for instance, I can&#39t read journal articles for more than 1.5-2 hours without at least a short break) and putting my breaks in the schedule!

    I also mentioned your contest/blog in my post tonight, so check it out! 🙂

  • Reply khar March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Hi, I&#39m a new reader (and don&#39t have a blog to link to, sorry). My tips are to pack my bag for work the night before, and to put everything in its place- keys in the bowl, rings in my dish, etc.

  • Reply BroccoliHut March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Yay for organization! In terms of meal planning, I like to pick out 3-4 recipes at the beginning of each week and assign each a day of the week that I will try it. That way, I get a little variety in my diet and hone my cooking skills without stressing!

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I find that my most stressful time is preparing for the weekend and balancing fun things the "to dos". Each Thursday night I make a list o all the things that I need to do, as well as my workouts and fun stuff. Then I map out what I&#39m going to get done on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, balancing each day with must dos, workouts, and fun. Plus, come Sunday night I love seeing how many things I&#39ve crossed of the list.

  • Reply mary-jo March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    i have two small children, so the house becomes a mess quickly and it&#39s impossible for me to feel organized if my house is messy. to keep things quick and simple when a mess is made, i have a whole set of cleaning supplies in each of our two bathrooms and another set in the kitchen. that way, whenever a mess occurs, i can get a cleaning bucket from the closest location rather than feeling like i have to go to the other side of the house. it may not be much, but it helps me feel in control of the mess.

  • Reply Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    The first time saving tip I thought of was read blogs while blow drying your hair. But then I realized that&#39s silly and not everyone can blow dry their hair with 1 hand while scrolling and without a mirror. So I thought of another one…

    Read books, magazines, articles, work/school stuff while exercising at the gym and/or walking outside. Workout and work at the same time.

  • Reply Monica March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I guess my best tip is to have a routine. I also use my iPhone calendar a lot!

  • Reply Elizabeth Edith March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Write down everything in a planner – lists, appointments, EVERYTHING. My friends tease me that if I lost my planner, I&#39d wander around lost and confused – and that&#39s true! It is such a relief to have everything written down in one spot though, it frees up mental energy, because instead of trying to remember appointments or things to do, I can just read them off the list (which I write stuff on as I think of it, so I&#39m even less likely to forget than I would otherwise) – the point is I can focus on other things, and not worry about forgetting stuff.

  • Reply hjlongmo March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    When I have a change in my day-to-day routine, I try to practice a "run through" beforehand so I know how long it takes/what I need to do/what I should bring. Example: I&#39m spending the summer doing an internship in a different city, so I came a few days early and spent one morning doing a test run of what time I would need to wake up, get to the gym, eat, walk to the office, and ran through it all in real time. Now, I&#39m prepared for the rest of the summer.

    On a smaller scale, I carry notebooks/notecards/use my blackberry to keep track of random thoughts, grocery lists, song lyrics I hear, so I don&#39t forget them later.

  • Reply Kristin March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Hmmm fave organizational tip…that&#39s got to be a joke, right? If I work off of appointments during the day so my phone calendar + Outlook calendar is my lifesaver! If I didn&#39t have that (and the ability to sync the two, even with google calendar) I would be SUNK. So I guess that would be my only tip.

    Otherwise, I&#39m trying to get the rest of my life organized…so looking forward to more tips from you 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I find organizing my self before bed but getting my clothing ironed and laid out, planning breakfast, packing my bag and prepping lunch saves me SO much time!

  • Reply Denise March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    2 words: Post-it Notes. I have a running to do list but if I need to remember to do something that day, it goes on a post-it note on my desk.

    Also, we plan our week&#39s meals ahead of time and always make a large meal with lots leftovers on Sunday. We keep one meal&#39s worth in the fridge and save the rest in the freezer for another week. That way, we can eat leftovers at least twice during the week (once from the freezer and once from whatever we cooked on Sunday).

  • Reply AJ March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    My work day is very unstructured so to keep myself on task I purchased Bob&#39s Your Uncle 8-days a week planner and I color in blocks of time which correspond to time I spent actively working (as opposed to chatting, drinking coffee, or surfing the web). I also color code the blocks so I can keep track of what I&#39m doing. As a scientist on the tenure track, a day spent on administrative tasks is not as productive as one spent writing grant proposals or doing experiments.

    PS: I got the planner from See Jane Work which I think I learned about from reading your blog.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    We set up our coffee machine the night before, so all we have to do is press start. Coffee filter, grounds, water. It&#39s the best!

  • Reply Kath March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Sad I&#39m too late for this giveawaw!

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