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New Moon, New Year

New Moon, New Year January 1st, 2014

With the new year approaching, I decided to write about something I don’t typically share on my website. My usual postings offer easy dinner ideas, recipes, party planning tips and inspiration, from one busy mom to another.

Therefor, it may seem out of character for me to be discussing the significance of the new moon, and more specifically, the tremendous significance of the upcoming New Moon falling on the New Year, 2014.

My meditation alter

Where I meditate

The truth is, however, the moon has influenced everything I’ve posted on The Organized Cook or any other website I’ve written for, including RECESS, and perhaps the very existence of any of these publications. Whether you’ve tuned in before to download a Weekly Meal Plan, or learned how to make a Skip The Frosting Cupcake, the moon’s guidance was silently present.

Let me take a short intermission to answer some questions. No, I’m not a Wiccan, although I’ll never take insult in being called a witch. Yes, I believe in GOD and Christ and, in fact, we talk several times a day. Although I don’t technically belong to any one particular organized faith, you’ll probably find me at mass on Sundays and at midnight on Christmas morning. And while my children prepare for First Communion, you’ll find me teaching them to question, seek, think bigger and form their own personal relationship with Christ.

I embrace all faiths, and am one of many who agree that Christianity is not the only path to GOD, although it’s a part of my path. Yes, that means that I do not believe that Buddhists are going to hell despite what some LDS friends once told me. I not only believe in reincarnation, I know that it’s at the very core of our spiritual journey.

Okay, now that we’ve got those questions out of the way- back to the New Moon, New Year.

The Moon Cycle

Anyone who has ever worked with me, befriended me or married me knows that I don’t sign contracts, start new projects or get engaged on the waning moon. I will subtly (and without drama or attention) navigate such important decisions and events to safely guide them to fall on a waxing moon. Here is a breakdown of how I organize my life into the moon cycle:

New Moon (1st Quarter) Waxing

  1. Start new projects.
  2. Take new jobs.
  3. Make new friends.
  4. Buy new clothes.
  5. Make major purchase decisions
  6. Change my hairstyle or color

(2nd Quarter) Waxing

I continue to bring new things into my life in accordance with what I started during 1st Quarter.

(3rd Quarter) Waning

  1. No major purchase decisions, new projects or changes
  2. Work diligently on what was began during the waxing moon 1st and 2nd Quarter

(4th Quarter) Waning, Full Moon

  1. Complete projects
  2. Tie up loose ends
  3. Reorganize office and desk
  4. Clean out closets and get rid of unwanted items
  5. Again, no new projects, changes or major decisions


new moon new year 2014

New Moon, New Year, New You 2014


Using this moon cycle is just a natural rhythm of my life, and I’m always amazed (but not shocked) at how the universe works side by side with me to help navigate that all-important Strategic Planning Session to fall smack dab in the middle of 1st Quarter. Thank you GOD.

Now just revel at how significant the New Moon falling on the New Year is. The New Moon holds the energy of new beginnings and the gift of possibility. It was Holly Golightly who once said, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I”M POSSIBLE”.

This truth is also the same for the New Year. Each December 31st, we look to all of the possibilities the new year has to offer and make resolutions to bring them to fruition. Now, when we combine both the New Moon and the New Year, what is conceivable is achievable.

So what do I do?, you may be asking.

In the days following Christmas, my grandmother sat and watched as I was compelled to empty out all of the glasses from my wine cabinet and clean them all in vinegar and wipe down the shelves. “Are you going to wash all of those glasses?”, she asked. Something was drawing me to do it. In fact, this invisible energy field pulled me to clean our and organize my garage, reorganize my linen closet, and clean my office all within the matter of a few days.

Today I’m making a list of all of those projects that are left lingering from 2013 and I’m going to Starbucks-Red-Bull-it to get them all done and out of the way so that my plate- and desk- and free and clear to bring me all of the things I desire for the New Moon, New Year.



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Christmas Repurpose Project: Kids Fireplace Made with Costco Boxes

Do you want a box? This question comes frequently during checkout while shopping at Sam’s Club or Costco.

Instead of tossing the boxes after unpacking my bulk groceries, I decided to repurpose them into an adorable pretend fireplace for the kids playhouse.


How To Make Your Own


1. Two boxes

(one slightly larger than the other and preferably one with a cutout on the side like this box for apple juice from Sam’s Club)

fireplace boxes

get boxes with the side already cut out

2. Red Construction Paper

3. Black Markers

4. Glue

5. Paper Cutter


This is a great craft for kids to make but an adult should operate the paper cutter.



Step 1:

Stack the smaller box on top of the larger box with the cutout facing front

Stack the smaller box on top of the larger box with the cutout facing front

Stack the smaller box on top of the larger box with the cutout facing front


Step 2:

Have an adult use a paper cutter to cut construction paper into brick-size pieces


cut red construction paper into brick-size pieces

cut red construction paper into brick-size pieces


Step 3:

Place red bricks over newspaper and outline the edges with black marker…the more imperfect the outline, the better!

outline the bricks with black marker

outline the bricks with black marker


Step 4:

Once your bricks are ready, it’s time to start gluing them onto the boxes.

Time to glue!

Time to glue!


Step 5:

Decorate with pretend fire using orange, yellow and red construction paper. I used a portable DVD player and played a disc of a fireplace burning set to Christmas carols. You can also decorate with small stockings.

have fun!

have fun!


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Bangers with Colman’s Mash & Gravy

Bangers with Colman’s Mash & Gravy

Bangers with Colman’s Mash & Gravy


  • pork or beef sausage links 5-6
  • Colman's Mustard Powder- 2 teaspoons
  • Colman's Mustard- 1 tablespoon
  • potatoes- 2 large, peeled and diced
  • dark beer (optional, may substitute chicken broth)- 1 cup
  • beef broth- 1 cup
  • salt- 1 teaspoon
  • butter- 3 tablespoons
  • milk- 1/3 cup
  • vegetable oil- 3 tablespoons
  • STAPLES For Gravy
  • butter- 2 tablespoons


    For Colman's Mash
  1. place potatoes in large pot
  2. season with salt
  3. cover completely with water
  4. boil until potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes
  5. drain potatoes and transfer to mixing bowl
  6. add butter and milk
  7. mash with a potato masher
  8. add Colman's Mustard Powder
  9. use electric mixer for one minute for creamy potatoes
  10. transfer Colman's Mash to a baking dish
  11. For Bangers
  12. saute sausage in heated oil over medium heat until brown on both sides, approximately 4 minutes both sides
  13. heat oven to 375 degrees F
  14. lay browned sausages into mashed potatoes sideways in a row
  15. bake sausages and potatoes until hot and bubbly, approximately 25 minutes
  16. For Colman's Gravy
  17. in the same pan used to brown the sausages, melt butter over medium-high heat
  18. add beer and broth
  19. add Colman's Mustard and whisk over medium-high heat until reduced by half, approximately 4 minutes
  20. Drizzle Colman's Gravy over sausage and potatoes






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Mushroom Beef Dinner In A Pumpkin

Fun Halloween Family Dinner Recipe

Mushroom Beef Dinner In A Pumpkin

Mushroom Beef Dinner In A Pumpkin


  • small to medium pumpkin- 1
  • onion- 1/2, chopped
  • fresh sliced mushrooms- 1 container
  • vegetable oil- a few tablespoons
  • ground beef- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs.
  • ginger- 1 teaspoon
  • soy sauce- 3 tablespoons
  • brown sugar- 2 tablespoons
  • cream of mushroom soup- 1 can
  • sliced water chestnuts- 1 can, drained
  • cooked long grain rice- 1 1/2 – 2 cups


  1. Wash off outside of the pumpkin.
  2. Cut off top of the pumpkin and save, and thoroughly clean out seeds and pulp.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a large skillet, saute onion and mushrooms in oil until tender.
  5. Add meat and brown with a little salt & pepper- drain drippings from skillet.
  6. Stir in ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar and soup.
  7. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts.
  9. Spoon mixture into clean pumpkin shell.
  10. Replace pumpkin’s top.
  11. Place filled pumpkin onto a baking sheet.
  12. Bake one hour or until meat of the pumpkin is tender.
  13. Put pumpkin onto a serving plate, remove pumpkin “lid” and serve casserole!
  14. Make sure to scoop out and eat the cooked pumpkin – DELICIOUS! Enjoy!

For a quick cooking demonstration, check out this video from Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook.


More Halloween Fun

Halloween DIY Treats

Halloween DIY Treats

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