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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Purging of The Stuff- Day One (and a super-fast update)

Well, we're back from MN, the sister is all better (mostly), and life is getting back to normal!

The baby (sigh...a toddler really, who am I kidding?!) is beginning to transition into sleeping through the night (at least, that's the parent-plan...) thanks to help from miss Elizabeth Pantley's book.  Wow- love it!

And, the Purging of The Stuff has officially begun!

For about 3 years now I've been making the same New Year's resolution- get organized!
After reading another great book, Simplicity Parenting (best. parenting. book. ever!), I finally decided, "This is ridiculous!  I know we have too much stuff.  And I know I'm not succeeding at getting, or keeping, it all organized!  So, it's time to get rid of it.  A LOT of it!"

Thus, The Purging of The Stuff.

Today was Day One.  

It went slower than I'd like.  But, then again, I do have two little un-doers that follow me around all day!  ;)

I've currently got a box going for adult clothes, baby clothes, and household misc.  I'm going to try selling what I can (we're also working on the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University right now, so any extra $$ we can scrape together is going towards getting our "debt snowball" rolling), then donating the rest to Goodwill or giving it away to someone who needs it.

Next on the list is to pare down the following:

*cloth diaper stash
*dishes & utensils
*pots & pans
*continue going through the clothes
*kitchen "stuff"
*blankets & misc. bedding
*do a second go-through of the toys

...and so on and so forth.

It's hard though- I'm so used to hanging onto stuff for a "rainy day" or "someday".

But, I keep trying to focus on how much easier it's going to be to keep my house a home once all the extra is gone.

Then the task will be to keep it gone.

We'll see how that goes...


Friday, December 3, 2010


“If the enemy can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.” ~Unknown

That's hitting a little too close to home for me today- I really need to be careful of this!

We're off to MN tomorrow to help my baby sis out for a few days.

It'll (hopefully) be a good opportunity for me to slow it down a bit and re-prioritize, regroup, and re-perspectivize (totally a word!).

Be back sometime next week.

Wishing you good days until then!  :) 

Great Giveaway- 2 Rumparooz One-Size Diapers!

Head on over to The Cloth Diaper Whisperer to enter to win two Rumparooz One-Size Diapers!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Here!

Winter Issue
I've been waiting and waiting (a bit impatiently, I'll admit!) for the WINTER ISSUE of the Rhythm of the Home online magazine, and now it's here!

Here's just a sampling of all the goodness they've got goin' on this season:

AND, they're having a huge winter giveaway on their blog.

So, go check them out and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Tis (Officially) the Season

Thanksgiving is done, Black Friday is over (thankfully!), and there is snow on the ground.

It is officially the holiday season!

This year, like so many other families, we're doing a (mostly) Handmade Holiday- not only because it's a much more frugal way to celebrate, but also because now, more than ever (since Regan is getting bigger), we want to be mindful and intentional in raising our child(ren) to be grateful, giving, humble, un-materialistic, and not to feel "entitled".

We want the excitement of the season to come from the fun we have making & doing things for others, as well as from getting to spend time being with and celebrating with our family and friends, not from making pages-long wish lists of gifts for themselves, and not from expecting to receive a BUNCH of presents!

We want our kids to expect to get a few special, quality handmade gifts from us and for anything beyond that, especially from extended family or friends, to be just a nice "bonus".  Less is more.

So, the mad flurry of activity and work (because I, of course, couldn't possibly get an early start on these things!) to get gifts made is in full swing!

So, too, is the decorating of the house for the winter season.  This year the budget with which to do this is basically non-existent, so I'm doing my best to use what we already have and to borrow "extras" from family or friends (thank goodness for sister-in-laws who got married this year and for mother-in-laws who have hung onto the decorations!).

It's causing me to get creative, which- although sometimes frustrating and more labor-intensive- I maintain is good for my brain!

So far, I've come up with this (pardon the horrible cell phone pics- I'm pressed for time with gift-preparing!):

A combo of what we already had- glass hurricane, unscented pillar candle, river rocks & twig rounds, Christmas ribbon, and a placemat.

Same story here, only with a few pinecones added as well.

Red wreath from years past.

And Cinnamon Ornaments (currently drying), which I hope to hang with twine or ribbon by three's in each window.  
(I had completely forgotten about these since making them in elementary school.  And, they're so easy too- just mix plain applesauce and ground cinnamon until you have a stiff enough dough to roll out and cut cookie cutter shapes out of.  Let them air dry until they're nice and hard, then hang 'em up!  Pretty, and they make the house smell so good.)

I'm also hoping to borrow a bunch of greenery (or go to a nearby farm and cut my own) and white Christmas lights from my lovely mother-in-law to get creative with- possibly by hanging a garland and light "border" around my living and dining room, and trying my hand at re-creating these ideas: 

 Lights strung in and around pretty glass bottles (or candles).

 Lights strung around windows.

 Twine accent trees.

 Framed seasonal art made from scrapbooking papers.

Vases, jars, and "cloches" filled with pretties.

 Glittery string ornaments on glittery-
 or painted- branches.

 Candles decorated with glitter or...
 greenery- and placed in arrangements.

And simple, understated, indoor wreaths.

I'm also thinking about making some snowflakes from white tissue paper to decorate our windows with.
I've seen some really pretty gingerbread houses too- which would be cheap since I have all the ingredients to make them- but the really classy looking ones would be really time-consuming (at least for me!) to make, so that's one I'm definitely skipping this year.

I still need to figure out a wreath for the back door and get the table runner out and actually on the table, but I'm beginning to feel like our home is starting to become a little more season-ready!
Now, back to the gift-making.  I'm fairly certain I've, yet again, bitten off a little more than I can chew- and that I'm most likely not going to learn not to be quite so overly ambitious in setting my handmade gift goals in the future!  Oh well.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Wonderful people who may read this blog from time to time- I (once again) need your help!

I HATE, hate, hate to admit it, but I am T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. at organization.  

It's like a gene I was born without.

And yet, I CRAVE it.

Desperately, passionately, CRAVE it!

My biggest problem, what "trips me up" the most, are all the "little" decisions involved in organizing.

You know, like- okay, the bedding is all washed, folded, and sorted by bed size.  Now where do I put it?  This house has no- literally- NO storage space.

There are no linen closets.

There are no "extra" cupboards.

There is nothing but a single shelf and hanging rod in each closet.

And, the closets are tiny.

Compounding this problem is that I need to use things we already have- we are on a TIGHT budget, and there's no extra moolah for nice organizational systems.

Bedding is just one example, out of so very many.

Anyway, my point is that, lately, my house is looking a lot more like this:

than this:
SO, help me out!

What's your best organizing advice?  

Got pictures?  I wanna see them!
It's nice to look at beautiful "show" homes, but this is the real world- I'd love real examples of how you've done something.

I'm still plugging away over here.

Trying to pare down, throw away, donate, sell, box up and store in the basement.

But, there are days- more often than not lately- that it just feels hopeless.


So, give me some hope!


Monday, November 8, 2010

My Inspiration for the Week (Appreciating the Home Life- 11/8/10)...

I've been fighting a war lately.
And, at first, I was winning a lot of small battles.

Then I started to get tired, and began looking around me and noticed all of the other battles (some looking pretty big 'n bad!) waiting in the wings, yet to be fought.

And I began to feel defeated before I had even really begun.

I struggle with PERFECTIONISIM.  
To the point of allowing myself to believe the old nonsense of "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all!"  
(Other than brain surgery, where does this really apply in life, right?!)

So, this week I'm working- HARD!- on remembering this:
It doesn't have to be done perfectly- it just has to be done.

Don't wait to do it until you have the "time" to do it "right"- 
just do it!

(~Inspired by FLY Lady)

I'm hoping I'll see my thinking begin to change, and that it will start to show in our home.

I'll be back- one of these days- with a progress report (and, eventually, Regan's birthday and birth story post- sigh, what a bad mother!!!)!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great Giveaway- 2 Rumparooz One Size Diapers!

(Been awhile, hasn't it?!)

Head on over to The Cloth Diaper Whisperer and enter to win 2 Rumparooz One Size Cloth Diapers!

Image from The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Appreciating the Home Life- 9/23/10

"What is best for the child is not always what is most 
convenient for the parent." 
~ Bonnie Bedford

Friday, September 3, 2010

Appreciating the Home Life- 9/3/10

"If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded." 
~Robert Brault

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going Minimal

We're trying- hard!- to do it.

(Image from How to Live In Poverty And Still Have It All)

Partly due to necessity (the transition to becoming self-employed can sure be taxing at times), and partly due to it-just-plain-sounds-like-common-sense-to-us!  


(Image from Plain and Joyful Living)

Here are some great blogs/ articles I'm relying on these days, for information as much as inspiration, as we try to "sally forth" into a more simple, frugal, and minimal way of life.

(although I wouldn't say we're living in poverty, I like what she means!)

Is this- living simpler, being frugal, going "minimal"- something you are trying to do too?

Something you already do?

If so, how?

Do you have a place or a blog online that you turn to for inspiration, or help, in doing so?

I'd love to read your thoughts and comments!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just Popping in Quick...

to say Hi!

I'm in the midst of attempting to preserve a mountain of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, jalepenos, and, did I mention tomatoes?!


It's a little busy around here, what with all this canning & freezing & infant and toddler caring & trying to figure out how to get us all ready and prepared to go to our special church convention next weekend.

Plus the few sewing projects I had hoped to have done by then- yep, I'm most likely going to have to let that little dream go!

Anyway, in my few moments to sit at the computer and have just a "moment" to take a mini break, I'm browsing through this new issue.

Fun, fun, fun!

Somehow, as much as I love summer (especially after all the cold and damp of winter and early spring), I SUPER LOVE fall!  :D

I think it has to be my very favoritest (yep, that's a word!) season.

Cool, crisp, warm during the day, just enough of a chill during the night to make it cozy sleeping weather, and all kinds of good food- apples, pumpkins, squash- Yummy!  

Somehow, there just seems to be something "fresh" about fall.  We're not quite there yet, but it's coming- oh, it's coming!  :)

Hope you're enjoying this season's beginning-to-change time too.

In celebration, I'm putting up my fall wreaths on the door today.

Here's to a beautiful new season!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Help Me, Rhonda (or anyone else, for that matter)!

Okie, dokie.

After living in this house for, oh, about 6 1/2 years, it's time to PAINT!

Truth be told, I did paint not long after we moved in, but I bought cheap Wal-Mart paint (and picked some, shall we say "interesting"?, colors) that hasn't held up over the years.

So, after much deliberation (sigh... you have no idea how painstakingly difficult the process of picking- and committing to!- a paint color is for me!!!), the color palette has been chosen!

(Drum-roll please........)

The walls:

Pinon Seed

The trim:

Bright White

The "accents":


The question is, the floor.  

The poor, un-finishable, uncovered wood floor.

We've decided to paint it too (one day laminate "wood" will take it's place, but until then...).

So, the question is this- should the floor become "Forget-Me-Not" blue, or some kind of blondish-oak brown?  Or, what about a gray?

Would so much brown with brown be too, I don't know... blah?

Would the light blue or gray be a major hassle to keep looking clean?  

Would such a light shade show every scuff and scratch?

Here's an idea of what (I hope) it might look like with gray or the blue paint (minus the cool stuff, hehe- and with brown walls)...

(Granted, we will be using actual floor paint, so no matter the color it should hold up fairly well-
at least, we hope.)

Thoughts?  Comments?  Talented decorators willing to work for free?

Again I say, HELP!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Have You Heard of It?

(Just a quicky post- 
in the midst of learning to can, learning to make salsa, 
and trying to keep up with the garden produce!)

(or, Baby Led Solids).

Image from

We're trying it with Regan and loving it!

So far she's enjoyed spelt pizza crust, peas, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, squash, a de-splintered chicken bone, chicken, spelt pasta, one or two french fries (no salt!), an asparagus spear, roasted lamb, green beans, white rice, spelt bread crusts, the crunchy end of lettuce leaves, and broccoli spears.

Favorites so far are using raw summer squash, cucumber, or zucchini as teethers.

Yummy!  :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Appreciating the Home Life- 8/6/10

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. 
~Annie Dillard

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy World Brestfeeding Week!

A little breastfeeding promotion, and humor, for you.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Regan's Room

Construction, or de-construction I should say, hasn't begun for Regan's room yet, but I'm happy to report that I'm finally starting to "see" it coming together in my head.

Yesterday, while shopping- at Target 
(sigh... I have such a love/hate relationship with that store.  I love their STUFF, but I hate how easy it is for me to spend money there!)-
I found the cutest bedding set called "Love & Nature" in the girls' section.  

Kind of girly, but not too girly.

It has the cutest woodland animals in it- little owls and hedgehogs, and birdies and toadstools.

Anyway, to buy the whole set is way too expensive (not to mention a little to matchy-matchy) for me, so I only bought some "inspiration".

An owl pillow,

(Image from

a cute, cute set of multi-colored polka dot sheets,
(Image from

and this set of wall decals.

(Image from

I'm mostly using the sheets as inspiration for what to do/make/buy next for the room.  

(Did I mention they're cute?)

They have a wide enough range of colors that it would be easy to add some boy stuff  if our next little one is a boy, and enough colors not to make the room look too girly-girl (bleck!).

I'll call it all part of her birthday- have to justify spending on it somehow, right?  ;)

Now, to find the time and money for hubby to start the remodel job...