COVID19 Goals

Day 26: 5 on a Friday

April 10, 2020

1- I have definitely taken advantage of my flexible hours this week. I was technically “off” Weds & Thursday but did do some work. At the same time, my Tues & Fri are not going to be full work days. So I actually think it evens out. As a result of doing approximately 3 days of work in 5 days time, I have been able to sleep in and have a generally relaxed schedule.

I felt kind of guilty about this (HOW DARE I sleep 9 hours when some people are working 12 hour ICU shifts) but — I’m over it. Plus I’m on call next week and my telemedicine schedule starts to really fill up beginning on Monday.

It will be interesting to see how busy I feel next week. I also think part of the change is just eliminating the commute and a lot of semi-wasted social time in the office (though time spent building relationships is not really wasted in a true sense).

2- I WANT TO ORGANIZE OUR HOUSE. I’m so late to this party but . . . now does seem like the perfect time for this, doesn’t it!? I feel like I need to pick one area/day and Kon-Mari the #(*$ out of it. Or something.

This is an odd question, but has anyone found an organizing program or system they love? I am even contemplating the Organize 365 100-day Program but it’s a big $$$ commitment. (We had the company’s owner Lisa Woodruff on BOBW though and she was lovely and genuine, though, so I am considering it.)

3- Recent favorite podcast episodes:

  • 3 in 30: What We’re Doing to Survive this Coronavirus Weirdness from the 3 in 30 team
  • The Happiness Lab: Laurie’s Personal Tips

4- I am pleased our groceries from last Sunday are going to last us a full week AND I’ve done a good job making sure to avoid food waste! I took a tip from The Frugal Girl (see #4) and did more prep of fresh fruits/veg than usual. Who knew that cut up celery & leftover tzatziki dip was going to be the hit of Weds nights’ dinner?!

this was from last weekend and not as much of a hit as the celery but did eventually get eaten

We are going to have takeout pizza on Saturday night to celebrate. IN ADDITION to soliciting organizing strategies, I am soliciting recipe recommendations! (Must avoid oven use because ours is broken and will remain broken until it’s safe to have someone come to our house to fix it.)

Please share if you’ve made something fantastic recently! BONUS if it’s from something with ingredients that can sit around a few days before the meal is prepared.

5- From yesterday, a pic that warmed my heart:

I mean seriously. So much love.


  • Reply Jodi Mitchell April 10, 2020 at 9:40 am

    I enjoy listening to the 365 podcast too, but I think it’s too expensive. I also follow Kathy Lipp who has a great podcast and a few good books on clutter. My favorites are Clutter Free and the Clutter Free Home. I also like Morgan Tyree’s podcast and book Take Back Your Time.

  • Reply Courtney April 10, 2020 at 9:44 am

    I’ve found Jenny’s Pantry, Project, Purpose posts fun and have lots of recipes. Check it out at

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:44 am

      I have her Love Story book – I love her voice & style!!

  • Reply Shelly April 10, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Here is a recipe that has now become close to a weekly meal. It uses whatever veggies you need to use up. I tend to use carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms as my kids don’t like cooked peppers and spinach that’s in the original. And I keep the sauce more simple for my kids palates: 3 tbsp of soya sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil. I use dried rice noodles. I make shrimp on the side or mixed in as a protein. Never any complaints!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:44 am

      that looks awesome!

    • Reply Elizabeth April 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      This looks so good! I’m going to try it, too!! (Thanks for putting out the request for recipes, Sarah—it’s so great to get some ideas to refresh our standard meals!!)

  • Reply Danielle Lee April 10, 2020 at 9:54 am

    We’ve been loving Smitten Kitchen’s one pot farro (we add in chicken apple sausage or some other protein at the end). I pre chop the tomatoes and onions, then dump it all in the pot together to simmer. My toddler loves it (it tastes a bit like pasta) and it’s easy to throw together at the end of the day!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:45 am

      oooh that looks great. the kids can be ANNOYINGLY picky about rice like things that are not rice BUT it is worth a try. and they do love chicken sausage 🙂

  • Reply Alissa W April 10, 2020 at 9:56 am

    I would recommend learn do become with April & Eric Perry. They have a podcast and are doing a free home organizing party. They also have a course. Their system is rooted in GTD and is very practical. I think it would appeal to you based on what I know from being a podcast listener and blog reader (sorry if that sounds weird) I guess I just think it would integrate into your current system.

  • Reply Jasmine April 10, 2020 at 10:12 am

    An air fryer might be a good sub until the oven gets fixed.

  • Reply Emma April 10, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Impactful Habits Organized Home by Abby Lawson is a lower budget (though less comprehensive) program than the 100 Days. I have and like both and find them complimentary. FWIW I think the 100 Days is worth it even though I don’t do it in order, have a very different life from the owner, and rarely watch the videos. If I calculate my usage per day I’m now down to less than a dollar per day for it, so it’s not much in the end. I think of these programs like workout ones—I could plan my own, but this is easier and the more I use it, the cheaper it is per use.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:46 am

      very interesting!!! i know nothing about the Impactful Habits. I will have to check that out! Our home is not a disaster, honestly. I just feel like it could use (yet another) clean sweep of decluttering. And our paper organization does kind of suck.

  • Reply Katie April 10, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I really love Dana K White’s book “Decluttering at the Speed of Life” and her podcast “A slob comes clean.” From what I recall, her main point is that if you can declutter well, you don’t need to be as organized- I definitely find this to be true for our home! She also has a great container concept that has given me the freedom to chuck things that just don’t fit in our home (mostly gifts that I kept out of guilt).

    An easy recipe is black bean soup- I can’t remember where I found it! Brown a pound of ground beef, add in 2 c chicken broth, a jar of salsa, a can of black beans and bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 min. Super easy and only gets one pot dirty!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:47 am

      my kids looooovvvvve black bean soup. we usually do a vegetarian recipe but that sounds quite delicious too 🙂

    • Reply Rachel April 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Seconding Dana K White!! I was able to download the audio and ebooks for free through Hoopla as well, but have since purchased the physical book for reference.

    • Reply Jenny April 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      YES, Dana’s books are AWESOME. I am a “Normal Person” (her words) with regarding to cleaning/clutter/organization and even I took away tons of tips from reading her stuff.

  • Reply Elizabeth April 10, 2020 at 11:39 am

    We love this egg roll bowl recipe from Siri Daly / the today show. I halve the sriracha and double the eggs and you can serve it over cauliflower rice to make it pretty low carb, esp if you omit the crispy wontons, which we do. I use a Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw bag instead of traditional coleslaw for added veggies and it’s a hit for the whole family, including my 3 & 5 year olds.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 11:47 am

      I am pretty sure my kids would want real rice lol but it looks awesome! and love the ‘dump a bag of slaw in there’ idea too.

      • Reply Elizabeth April 10, 2020 at 12:02 pm

        I only ever do the cauliflower rice when my husband is on keto…otherwise we do real rice, too! 😉

  • Reply LMD April 10, 2020 at 11:48 am

    A mid-range, larger size toaster oven might be a good oven back-up, too! We have a Kitchen Aid one that we use a lot for chicken breasts, etc. (I haven’t done like cakes/muffins/cookies or the like in there, though). This might be a way to give you some more cooking options (frozen pizza!) until things calm down.

    • Reply Elizabeth April 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      I second this recommendation. We have a Breville toaster oven that we got from Amazon on Prime day last summer. Full price it is in the $200-$300 range but it is amazing. I make frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, frozen mahi burgers, fish for fish tacos, roasted vegetables, etc in there along with toast & bagels. I would bake cookies as well but usually go for my full oven for those (bigger cookie sheets=faster.) But if I didn’t have use of an oven I’d bake desserts in it too. I love it and highly recommend it.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

        This is the one my mom recommended 🙂 josh vetoed 😂 bc we have been okay without one and our old small toaster still works for smaller things. But I will continue to consider 🙂

  • Reply Maya April 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm usually gives me plenty to use for decluttering ideas and their sister site has lots of food ideas. I’m a decor maximalist and an make-things-up person in the kitchen, but even I get a lot out of both sites.

  • Reply Caryn Hart April 10, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    I just made this recipe. We loved it. I like it better without the can of tomatoes: it also makes a huge quantity. I halved it

    Butternut Squash and red lentil soup

    Great comfort food.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Ooh that looks awesome !!!

  • Reply rose April 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    FLYLADY.NET is FREE and it works. Home organizing/cleaning that applies to many other areas of life.

    • Reply Lori C April 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Here are 2 of our favorite dinners, 1. Firecracker Lettuce Wraps and 2. Cashew Kale Alfredo. Both are soooooo good! I like to make my wraps super spicy. I’ve made the cashew Alfredo for dinner guests and they loved it- they had no idea it was made with cashew milk (and kale!)

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 13, 2020 at 5:44 pm

        Mmmmmm both look great!

  • Reply Sara B. April 10, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Ooh yummy! I hate celery leftovers. I might hate celery in general though – I find myself using half of what’s called for. I have started just chopping all of it up, flash freezing it (spread flat on cookie sheet, pop in freezer 1-2 hours, or sometimes I’ve forgotten about it overnight), and then dump it in a plastic bag and toss the whole thing in the freezer and then next time I just use that and no celery leftovers! (I’m the kind of person that finds frozen onions completely adequate 90% of the time, so there’s that.)

  • Reply Lori C April 10, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I did Konmari in 2015 and yes, I did the whole house! Big caveat though- I only had one child and he was a newborn. And I was on maternity leave. Anyway, 2 years ago I wanted to do it again but needed something a bit more doable. I researched the crap out of the 100 day program before biting the bullet and I don’t regret it!! The tips were very helpful and you can go through the program as many times as you want. I love the principals taught- the clearing of the kitchen counters 100% was a huge perspective changer for me- and I also loved the ability to share photos of my space and get feedback from the other participants. HOWEVER you need FB to do it. I got rid of FB, but recently reactivated it so I could get back into that group. I’m not actively friending people, just using it for groups. There are people who have FB only for this purpose.

  • Reply VSH April 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Sarah, I’m fresh off of a 7 day stint in our COVID ICU. I can guarantee that you being sleep deprived doesn’t help anyone else! As soon as I could, I promptly went back to sleeping in.

    Everyone has been affected by this pandemic and it is perfectly okay to be sad about the particular way it has affected you and your family.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 10, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      I hope you get the rest you need and deserve soon! On behalf of your patients – THANK YOU for your work. You are amazing.

  • Reply Marg April 10, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Our house loves Enchilada casserole. Corn tortillas naturally fall apart when cooked so even toddlers with limited teeth do ok! It also freezes well so I usually make several and thaw and reheat later. If you are going for the bulk cook I usually do the chicken in the crockpot. 1 bag frozen peppers+onions, 1 family pack chicken breasts (or thighs), 3 Tbs taco seasoning. Then throw in some corn and beans and layer as in the link below with cheese, enchilada sauce, tortillas.

  • Reply Cate April 11, 2020 at 4:07 am

    This is one of our favorite recipes, I buy pre cut sweet potatoes and mirepoix and it takes 2 minutes. We do the vegan version bc celiac in me and mspi in my 3 mo- my 2 year old LOVES it and even eats the kale…

  • Reply Tyra April 11, 2020 at 6:33 am

    We have been loving okonomiyaki lately if you are able to get eggs (supply here is a bit up and down). Cabbage stores for a decent amount of time before going bad so we buy it for this and then use the rest for other dishes. We serve it with Japanese mayo and sriracha over short grain rice.

    Re the organising I feel a need to do the same, our house is a disaster zone right now. But I’m practically solo parenting and if I’m completely honest it’s not the top priority so long as the kitchen is clean!

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