The Task Tamer


Teri 08/19/2013 Comments

time to start


So often I have a list of things that need to be done and for whatever reason I cannot get motivated to do them! In fact I did not know what to write about this week and could not bring myself to sit down at the computer and come up with something. That is when I started thinking about what I needed to do to write and then I realized motivation was a great topic! 


I think that often we find ourselves coming up with excuses to not do projects when just doing them would make us happier. For instance, how often do you see people put a lot of effort, time and money into making their house ready to sell. I always wonder why they didn’t do it when they were living there. Why make your house nice for the next occupants? Why not make it nice for yourself? The motivation of wanting to get the best asking price is more powerful than their own desires while living there. One of Charley and my biggest motivators is having guests over. If we plan some kind of get together every couple months we force ourselves to keep the house in good shape. This doesn’t mean we don’t have people over unless the house is neat. One of my favorite sayings is “if you want to see me, stop in anytime. If you want to see my house, call ahead.” A planned gathering gets the big jobs done, though, like vacuuming behind the sofa. Staying organized is another thing that is tough for many people. It is amazing how quickly things pile up, especially papers! Seriously, how can the dining room table be empty each morning and then be covered by dinner time? Time for another of my favorite sayings: “Don’t put it down, put it away!” My motivation to keep clutter at bay is that I hate to eat at a table covered with anything other than our meal. Where is your dumping ground? Isn’t it a great feeling when things are where they belong and not sitting somewhere waiting to be put away? I know the bigger the pile, the longer it will take to get through it, so I just do it as things pop up. 


Motivation is key when it comes to exercise and eating right. I’ve mentioned before how much music is a motivator for me. I cannot imagine a workout without music. I am not ashamed to admit I can sing along with Macklemore, Rihanna, The Venga Boys and others! I spend a little time each week finding new workout songs. I love not knowing what song is up next. If anyone sees me exercising and all of a sudden I start smiling or even dancing, it is probably because a song started on my iPod that is awesome. I know that some people prefer to gear their playlist to their workout so the music syncs with what they are doing, such as a hard interval or stretching. is a great website to find music that will have a beat that corresponds to your pace. Music motivates me in the kitchen as well. I love putting on Songza and picking a station that fits my mood. Sometimes it is jazz, sometimes it is martini time, sometimes it is coffeehouse songwriters, etc.  If you do not have that app, I strongly suggest it. I like it better than Pandora because you can pick music according to your mood or activity and it plays song lists that fit. Then I dance around the kitchen (literally) and I don’t feel like I am being forced to come up with something to put on the table. It’s fun! 


I encourage everyone to figure out what they need to motivate themselves to make their life happier. If you can imagine the result and the smile you will have on your face, that might be all the motivation you need. But if you need more of a push, try to come up with a plan. Often just letting others know your goals can be motivation enough because someone else will be looking at you for results. Maybe putting it in writing will work for you. Or teaming up with a friend or family member. No matter what you want to accomplish, getting started is usually the hardest part. Find your motivation and you are on your way!


So now I have to get motivated to make dinner tonight. One of my favorite things to make is pesto pasta. I go to the Public Market each week and usually come home with greens of some kind. In the spring I make Ramp Pesto. Right now it is arugula or spinach pesto. Of course there is alway basil pesto. Pesto is easy and freezes well, so I always freeze half my batch to have a quick dinner anytime. This recipe is tough to write because I make my pesto with whatever ingredients I have on hand. I just throw a handful of cheese (real parmesan), some garlic and nuts into the food processor and blend. Then I add the greens and olive oil with a little salt. I usually mix parsley in with the greens because I love the bright flavor I get from it. I have used walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. I use enough olive oil to make the sauce the consistency I like, not too soupy or gloppy. So here’s what I am making tonight:


Pesto Pasta

1 bag dried pasta 

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 zucchini, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 batch pesto 


  • Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water according to package directions. Reserve about a cup of the starchy water and drain the pasta. Temper the egg with some of the reserved water. Toss the egg mixture with the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking sauté the veggies in a little olive oil. 
  • Mix the pasta, veggies and pesto together. Add more of the pasta cooking water if desired, for more sauciness. 
  • Top with grated cheese and/or nuts, if desired



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