Monthly Archives: September 2013

Canning Homemade Fresh Organic Garden Tomato Salsa

Summer has officially come to an end … with autumn comes the task of canning and preserving the harvest. My garden crops differ from year to year, but this year, my tomatoes and broccoli were my star performers. Up until this point, I’ve managed to keep up with the ripened produce – by sharing with friends and neighbors and/or serving it to my own family. With the change of the season, it seems that all my grape tomatoes ripened at the same time. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love grape tomatoes, but I think I may have had my fill of them for a while:) So, I started researching how to preserve them for later use. I checked out books about canning from the library (I know, kinda old school). I also looked at several websites. They all went into great detail about techniques for peeling and seeding the tomatoes. I didn’t have tons of regular sized tomatoes, I had hundreds of little, tiny grape tomatoes … there was no way I was peeling and seeding them 🙂 Continue reading

Enjoying "Me Time" in St. Louis

Relaxing “Me Time” Helps Prepare for Fall Schedule

 

The month of September is a transitional type of month for me.  The weather often is reminiscent of summer, but the schedule definitely says it is time to get back to a more normal (sometimes hectic) routine. It’s a bittersweet time of year for me. While I love the carefree nature of the summer, being the creature of habit that I am, I also crave the structure of a routine. That being said, I’m sure I’m not alone (at least, I hope I’m not alone) in finding the right balance between being busy but not too busy … it’s not as easy as it sounds. I also know from experience that I need to schedule in some “me time”. Taking a little time for myself every now and then gives me a little break, rejuvenates and refreshes me.

For the last few years, I’ve been attending a women’s conference in St. Louis in mid September with one of my best friends. It’s a wonderful atmosphere where I enjoy some “me time”. It helps me get focused on what’s important in my life and try to let go of what’s not. It helps me sort out the activities that are beneficial from those that are time wasters. Over the years, I have learned that my time is a valuable commodity and I want to be wise in how I spend it.

After the conference, we meet up with my wonderful husband at a (previously chosen) campground somewhere between home and St. Louis. He spoils us by having our pop-up camper and the whole campsite set up before we arrive. We give him a call when we are about an hour away and he makes us a delicious hot dinner … yep, He’s a keeper !!

We generally just chill out and relax around the campfire after dinner (we may or may not share a bottle of wine). The next day we like to hike on the trails or take a nice bike ride. We have fun playing games, reading a good book, or working a jigsaw puzzle. We also love a nice nap (don’t judge). It’s nice to just enjoy the great outdoors and not be tied to a regimented schedule just yet.

Don’t get me wrong; being a planner and organizer by nature, I know for a fact that I function much better with a structured routine. They don’t call them lazy summer days for nothing 🙂

When we get home from this weekend away, I feel refreshed and rested. I’m ready to get back into the faster pace of the daily grind. I do realize that I am blessed to be able to take the time off to enjoy this type of weekend. One reason is that my children are now grown. The other is that I own my own business, which has many perks. One of my favorite perks is scheduling my own time.

My hope is that you can find some time (even if just a few hours) to relax, unwind and enjoy some “me time”, before the fall schedule truly takes hold.

As always, remember to contact Tracy Helps You if we can do anything to help free up some time for you 🙂

Let Tracy Helps You do your grocery shopping for you - you'll be thankful you did.

Grocery Shopping ~ People Either Love It Or Loathe It

I know, I’m weird, but I really like to go grocery shopping.  Love may be bit too strong a word, it is after all a household chore, but I do enjoy it.  What about you, given the choice would you take it or leave it?

I like making a shopping list of all the ingredients I need to prepare the meals I have planned for the coming week. I like looking through the sales papers trying to find which store has the best prices for the items I need. I like sorting through my (hopefully not expired) coupons. I just love finding a great deal. Continue reading

Shop for Christmas Gifts during Back to School Sales

Holiday Gift Shopping During Back-To-School Sales

Its September … schools are back in session, fall routines and schedules are falling into place, calendar dates are filling up fast … and there are only 112(ish) shopping days left til Christmas !!

As you probably know, I love having a plan for everything I do. I would just love to have an organized plan for the whole hectic holiday season; more fun and family, less stress and chaos. I’ll talk about this more in a future blog post. Continue reading

photo by: ell brown