April 9, 2021
Hi There friend!
I’ve got a lot to say about today’s topic but want to keep this short. So lets get right to it.
All this week I’m sharing some ideas of things I do during the winter doldrums that help me freshen up my home – both in how it looks and how it works.
And having heard from so many of you in recent days I know for most of us it’s a combination of feeling board and uninspired with your home and also going a little bit bonkers with the functionality of your home.
So, we’re starting with a visual solution today (not function).
One of the things I’ve always done in my home is decorate for the seasons. I’ve written so many times about how to accessorize your home while spending next to nothing (I’ve even made money on new decorations for my home. So decorations and accessories don’t have to equal spending money.
But, step one of making your house a home is this.
Anytime your feeling blah about your home, find a way to add a touch or two of something you love.
Personally, my rule is that each season I’m allowed to spend $30 on new accessories, but make sure you’ve got money to spend (for many years I didn’t) and your not spending money that you don’t have. And, there are plenty of years I just recycle what I already have in a new way.
Here are some things to keep in mind when needing to visually perk yourself up in your home.
Focus on making changes to areas you see the most.
Do something totally new for best results.
Think small – if your spending a little bit of money, small purchases give you the freedom to make more changes.
Start with what makes you happy to look at (for me, its flowers).
Even moving something you already own to a different space can feel new.
Browse pintrest for decorating ideas.
So, one way to make your house a home is to add little pops of visual things that make you smile anytime your home starts to drag you down. Think simple, little to no money at all, and most likely just repurposing what you already have in new ways and in new areas is all you need.
Thats it! Be back net week when we focus on something from the function side of things.
April 1, 2021
Hi There Friend.
It happens to me every year. If you’ve been a reader here, you’ve likely read about this before.
But, every year between Jan 15 and 25 I hit a wall. I call it my winter wall. I get to the point where I’m starved for the sun (we can go weeks with out seeing it here), I’m tired of being cooped up inside, my kids have largely gone bonkers from being cooped up inside (this winter has been rough because we haven’t had much snow. So going outside is pretty much out of the question since there’s nothing to do when it’s 30 degrees and no snow).
I think also because the holidays have worn off, the warmer weather is still so far off, and I have a ton of projects to complete since I want to get all the things done so I can take a ton of time off during the summer.
Of course this year has been out of the ordinary in so many ways, especially for our family, and it’s just not been a fun time lately.
But I also know that it’s just that time of year. It’s my winter wall. And I can actually feel it coming before it actually gets here.
And this year, just like clock work, I got it.
So all this week we’re focusing on something I always do to overcome my winter wall.
We’re focusing on things we can do to make our house a home (it doesn’t matter if you don’t live in a house.)
I always have to do this when I hit my winter wall, simply because I’m still trapped inside for so many months. And for most of us, we’re home even more this year than in years past.
So I hope you’ll joint me for the next seven days as I share some of my best strategies for making your house a home.
After all, if your home, you deserve to love being home. And it doesn’t take much to make your home bring a little bit of spark to your day… and a little bit of a smile to your face.
I’ll be back next week with your first strategy.
March 25, 2021
Hi There, Friend!
Time and time again, I hear from busy women that getting meals on the table is their #1 struggle.
I wonder, do you agree?
I think I would say meals are certainly in my top 3 on going struggles likely because they happen multiple times per day. For us, it usually more than 3 times a day since we’ve got kids with sports and activities that have them gone during the typical meal times so the’re eating either before or after our typical family meals times.
For this reason, I’m always looking for new strategies to try to make meal times easier.
I shared a bit about this before but now that we’ve had a few more months to work with this strategy I can say that it really is a winner.
Ready to hear what it is?
This is particularly helpful if you’ve got kids at home, but even if you don’t I can say that I prefer to use this stratgy myself.
So here it is.
Snacks for lunch.
I know. pretty simple, but the time and stress saved is huge.
Then, we also take this to the next level since we’ve got young kids eating lunch. We set a lunch timer, when the timer goes off, they’re done eating.
For us 12 minutes, thats it. But my kids get right to it, no one wastes time during lunch, and since it’s just snacks they don’t take too long to eat anyway.
Keep in mind – these snacks are in tended to tide them over and be ready to eat a good dinner.
For us, we have only healthy snacks – sometimes a treat like pop corn , too, but healthy snacks for lunch have made life so much easier.
I’ll tell you what the benefits have been for us. There are more than just the obvious. So stay tuned!
March 18, 2021
I have always done ok with clutter.
At least I thought I did.
Looking back to the “old me” I’m realizing that dealing with clutter is a fairly simple concept that I was missing.
Here’s the thing.
I you want to at least break even with clutter, you have to take out the equivalent of the amount of stuff that you bring in.
In other words, if you take in stuff and don’t take out at least as much stuff, clutter will gain a footing.
When this happens month after month, year after year, you can easily see why clutter is the problem for most people.
I think you can agree with this simple clutter concept, but may be, like me, you find the execution part is so hard.
After nearly two years of this process, I learned so much about how to control clutter.
Here it is in a nut shell.
Taking the above concept to the next level – if you want to win over your clutter you need to take out more than you bring in. Because honestly when you shoot to take out more than you bring in, you’ll likely come closer to a realistic exchange. I find I grossly underestimate what I take in.
Going forward, plan on taking out a larger amount of stuff of things that take up less room than anything new that comes into your house.
It’s really easier than you think.
March 11, 2021
Do you ever find your self stressing out, struggling to focus, and maybe even procrastinating?
Research says the culprit could be the clutter in your house! It certainly was in my life.
You’ve probably heard me say it before but its worth saying it again: the way your home makes you feel affects things like:
- How you feel about yourself (self esteem)
- Your motivation to do just about anything.
- Your relationships.
- Your ability to manage other areas of your life as well.
And so many more things that seem to have nothing to do with clutter, but they do because struggles are never compartmentalized to just that area of struggle.
Clutter feels chaotic to me – and that creates noise in my heard that makes it hard for me to think. To me, a cluttered space feels weighty. Paper clutter is perhaps my biggest clutter struggle, probably because there is just sp much paper “stuff”.
Clutter is so hard to manage if your in a small place, which means having good systems in place, is even more important. When I had every one crammed into one small closet my strategy was shelves, hanging shelves, lidded containers, and open containers that all fit together like a puzzle so that there was no white space anywhere.
If a small space is your situation, I hear you.
If your living in a cluttered house and want to get organized but feel over whelmed, I’ve been there! And I can honestly tell you that just getting in there and starting is so worth it.
Now is the perfect time to get your home under control. I always get all my indoor spaces back into shape during these months so I can enjoy the warmer months with out being stuck inside.Plus, I want it to be a place I can feel good about.
The most important thing when getting on top of your clutter is just starting some where.
February 25, 2021
Hi there friends!
I hope you’ve had a great week so far. Mine has been productive and restoritive to me, but I also had some time to just be, which was nice.
I posted a ton of pictures of various projects on face book this week, so many people were asking about how my house can be so clean with so many people who live here. This always makes me laugh because it really does look clean most of the time, but, there are some important behind the scense realizations that I want to pass along lest you think I soend all my time cleaning my house.
My family helps me. That’s right! Everyone pitches in with house hold tasks.
They’re not perfect at it (neither am I) I’m not sure there are ever family members who don’t need some prodding or kicks in the pants to get it done. I find rewards generally work well. They must be motivating rewards however.
There are two kinds of clean. There is cleaning you do because it’s your ideal kind of clean, and then there is the cleaning for your sanity kind of cleaning. During the week, my cleaning is the second kind of cleaning. On the weekends I would say it’s a cross between the two with a couple of focus areas that are more like the first kind of clean. Time is limited and I want myself and my family to enjoy life as well. There is always a strategic plan and picking and choosing going on.
Prioritize certain areas to focus on over others is key. Again, unless you have unlimited time everyday, this is likely true for you ,too.
The right plan and systems are paramount. Knowing what to clean 9and what not to clean) how to clean it (for maximum efficiency) and truly understand what matters most to you when it comes to a clean home is the make or break it. If cleaning or dealing with clutter is an on going struggle for you, I’m guessing some of all of these things are missing.
I’ve got so much more to say about these things, but hopefully these things clear up a few things.
February 18, 2021
Digging out day has begun!
The past couple of weeks have been filled with so many out of the ordinary things that have been pushed to the back ground. Today marked the first of many digging out days in reguards to getting things back to normal.
It will definitely be a process, in the mean time I thought I’d share 5 things I’m loving about life right now.
Making all the special foods. I’ve made so much food for so many different gatherings in the past weeks that I have enough left overs to keep me from having to cook the entire weekend, and may be beyond.
My meal prepping system. Its a lot of work on the weekends, but it has transformed all three meals during the week.
Being home. I really kind of liked being home for the holidays and having this break from scholl too. It really is the first time we;ve taken a full two weeks off school, it was such a nice break, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I’ve definitely wasted alot of time wince I didn;t have as tight of margins on my time.
My kitchen aid mixer. A few years ago I got all the attachments I needed and it has made making meals and all the apple sauce we make every year a breeze.
Planning the new quarter. I love the new quarter. I’ve mapped it all out here and there and everywhere, but this weekend I’ll be making it all cohesive. I no longer plan my entire year. I only plan quarters, and its been so effective for me.
February 11, 2021
Hi there my Friends!
So last week I was telling you about a commitment I made to myself. It was a commitment I have known I had to make for a long time.
I guess I needed to get the point where I came to this realization.
I’m worth it!
I’m worth doing what I needed to do to take the action that will make me feel better about myself.
Maybe like me, it’s so easy to put your self on the back burner. But, also like me, at some point you may get to the point where you determine that you can come to the fore front. At least a little bit.
And so for me and my journey, I’m going to be starting on a jpurney where I am focused on my own eating habits and my own healthy living habits.
This will take me extra time and, this will take me extra money.
But, I’m to the point where I know I need to fill my own tank in order to be able to pour into others.
The past few months have found me in a season where I have been pouring, pouring, pouring into others. And I’m realizing I’m truly depleted.
I recognize that I can’t just keep pouring from an empty cup. I need to reload so to speak.
I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year to remember. For me, there has been good mixed in with bad. But there has also been an over whelming exhaustion that I need to address.
If you share the same struggle, how can you show up for yourself even if it means you’ll have to put yourself in the forefront in some way?
Maybe, like me, you already realize your worth it.
Hi There Friend!
So many of you have asked about my word for the year in 2021.
I am almost there, and when I have it, I’ll share it. Its taking me such a long time this year because 2020 was such a crazy year. As a result, the best way I can describe where my journey has taken me is that I have a deep stirring in my soul.
Does this even make sense?
These past couple of months have been a couple of very introspective months for me. I’ve put a ton of time and effort into the quiet contemplation about where I’m going in all aspects of my life. And, this is largely why my word for the year is taking me so much time. I’m flashing out so many different things and once I do, my word will be clear. So i’ll share it when I know it.. but I’m not quite there yet.
Wondering how to choose a word for your self? These steps may help
Define your ending point. What exactly does success look like to you at the end of 2021? Fill in this sentence – If I (you fill in the blank) by December 31 2021, I will be a success. Envision your self there first. You have to feel that success. This is what makes the dream come to life. This is the missing piece for most when it comes to success or failure.
Understand at least the first steps it will take to reach the end. There are 2 important steps you need to take to get to the end. You only have to know the first couple of steps. Second, you must understand and fully embrace knowing that you must do something different to achieve different results. Put another way, you will never achieve anything different if you’ve always just done the same thing. This is a huge mistake by most. Once you understand it and will likely be over the stumbling block that has always kept you from achieving your goals.
Think about defining your legacy. What do you want others to remember about you? Once you start thinking of some of these adjectives, it could help guide you to your word.
I suggest taking your time if you choose a word of phrase for the year. While I often find I circle back to my first word, I think its a valuable journey to take.