Category Archives: Home Management

Simplification Tactics

Last week I tackled the kids toys. It was a bit overwhelming to start but once I got into it, it was easy. I threw out everything that wasn’t a matching set, was out of batteries, (I hate battery operated toys), broken, or anything that just wasn’t played with in the last few months (that took care of a lot of it). But in my very impatient opinion it took too much time to accomplish. So when I moved onto sorting kids books, I took on a new tactic.

We had lots of books that were never touched and I’ve often wondered if we should keep them for some unknown reason. So I pulled all the books off the bookshelf and stared at them all for a few minutes completely overwhelmed (and slightly buried) before I began sorting them into “keep, maybe keep, look at them again, get rid of, and torn.” Yeah, lots of piles and I was incredibly overwhelmed. That’s when I decided to only put the “definitely keep” books back on the shelf. When I looked at the rest of the piles, it was easy to just put them all in the “get rid of” box.

The shelf looked clean and simple and meaningful. I didn’t want to add anything else to it. So my new simplification tactic is to pull out all our “definitely keep” items from amongst the clutter and just give everything else to goodwill.

There is no reason to sort.

Just pull out what is necessary and discard the rest. It is much faster and takes less brainpower. Thankfully I am easily distracted so once something is in the goodwill box, I can’t remember what it is! (I never needed it anyway, right?) Simplifying this way eliminates the “what if I need this someday” question. That question is usually my downfall in simplifying.

I am very excited to experiment with this tactic throughout the rest of the house. Today I am tackling linens and possibly clothes. My next step will be to purchase some clear boxes and make sure everything has a place. Using the boxes will also make moving easier since everything will be pre-packed. And the kids will have a difficult time opening the boxes so I will always know when something is being played with–no more surprise messes.

I am so excited to simplify.

Hopefully by the end of Lent, the house will be completely decluttered just in time for spring and outdoor fun!

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The Mom Pledge

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I am so excited to take the Mom Pledge and be a part of such an encouraging blogging community!

Raising kids is hard–especially if you are told you aren’t doing it right. Every child is different. Every parent will do things differently.
And there is no one person on this earth that knows how to raise another human being perfectly.

Discouragement is the worst thing a mother can experience. As a parent there have been many times when I have been told my parenting was insufficient. And it brought me down. Way down.

My desire is to love my children. If I teach my children nothing else I want them to know joy. And Love. I hope to give them a foundation for a happy life. Everything else is fleeting in my opinion.

If your child doesn’t have all their immunizations, if they don’t potty train by two, if they don’t learn to ready by five, if they throw a tantrum in the grocery store, it just doesn’t matter–it is a fleeting moment in time. None of that matters and I don’t want to know any one person’s opinion on why or why my child should or should not have or do a certain thing.

There is no magical formulation to raising a human. It is complicated. And personal. And difficult. And beautiful. And emotional. And amazing. There is no point in telling a mother they are wrong in how they raise their kids.

I have no desire to feel more knowledgeable or powerful than another mother. I want to be a part of a community of mothers that love their children and encourage each other. I hold no parenting answers. I will accept advice when it is solicited. I will admire the knowledge that another mother has learned over the years. But I will accept no hostile comments toward my motherhood. I love my kids. And I will do everything in my power to show them that and to raise them to be happy human beings. But in order to teach them happiness I need to be happy. Happy with myself and happy with my kids.

And I know I make mistakes.

And most likely I will know it when I do make a mistake. Telling me I am not a “good” mother for whatever reason will only make my life dark. I choose to ignore the hostile comments and focus on the love I have for my children.

I am new to the blogging world and I love it! But everything I say in my blog is my opinion and it is about things that work for my family. In no way do I expect what I say or do to work perfectly for another mother. But I do hope to share a laugh or encourage another mother. And I hope I gain encouragement from other mom bloggers. There is no reason to share hate or hostility.

I long for a community of women who listen, discuss and encourage each other. We are all humans raising humans and I love and respect the challenge and joy that comes with that.

And to all you mothers, you are doing a great job!

Vegan Brownies

Some friends came over this weekend and made these vegan brownies from literally a can of beans and a brownie mix.

They are so good!

We are not vegan but I don’t really want to make regular brownies again. They are fluffy and cake like. And oh so easy!

How to make them:

1 brownie mix
1 can of black beans

Pour can of black beans (with water in it still) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add brownie mix to beans, mix. Pour batter into greased 13×9″ pan. Cook according to box instructions.

Yeah, that’s it.

You could make these anywhere you have a way to mash the beans and a heat source. I’m thinking brownies while camping, what do you think?

What’s On The Menu

Here is what’s on our menu for this week:

Breakfasts:
-Smoothies
-Waffles
-Cereal

Lunches:
-Ham sandwiches
-Cheese roll ups
-Tuna sandwiches
-Left overs

Dinners:
-Broccoli Beef and Rice
-Homemade Hawaiian Pizza
-Baked Chicken, Rice and Roasted Veggies
-Potato Leek Soup
-Pulled Pork
-Veggie Curry and Rice
-Veggies and Spiral Noodles

Simplicity One Step At A Time

I hate clutter. Hate hate hate clutter (yup, that’s a lot of hate right there). And we have lots of it. Ugh. But there is hope….

Spring is just around the corner and (according to that plump little rodent Punxsutawney Phil) it will be here before we know it. (He better be right–just saying.) Anyway, Spring cleaning is a great time to do more than just straighten and dust. I am taking this opportunity to simplify. In fact, I am taking it a step further. As part of my Lenten fasting this year, I am going to fast from things. I am going to cleanse my life from the clutter and unnecessary items that our family does not need. The things that hold us back, the things that make us distracted. I hate spending my time cleaning up clutter when I could be spending time with my family having fun. It’s time to change that. And it’s going to be great.

Yesterday I started with the kitchen. It took most of the day but I got rid of everything in our cabinets that we didn’t use. I set everything out on the counter and put the things that I realistically use back in the cabinet. The rest got sent to good will. I did the same thing with the pantry. And the freezer and fridge. It is easier to put things away and see what food I have in the pantry which in turn will make meal planning and grocery shopping easier. There, one portion of the house simplified.

Now here’s the hard part: keeping motivation and being patient. To truly simplify is a lot of work. And it takes time. Loosing motivation is the part I am hoping to avoid. In order to keep it from happening I am setting a time line. So over the next 8-9 weeks before Pascha (Easter), I am going to simplify this house. At least a room a week. So stay tuned. Things are going to change for the better.

Home Management and Organization GOALS

Ok so I’ve dedicated a page of my blog to home management and home organization but I emphasize that these are GOALS.  See, I’d love to say that I am the most organized wife, mother and homemaker but well, let’s face it, I’m not.

No way, no how. Uh uh.

So yes, while I’d love to have a blog where I can arrogantly tell the world that I know all the little tricks to a beautiful house I can’t.

As I come up with various ways to make our house a viable living space I will be sharing them with you on this page.  We will be discovering the beauty of an organized house and lifestyle together.

Feel free to leave your own comments and ideas as well.