Posted in cleaning, family, habits and routines, happiness, memories, routines, self discipline, spiritual

Home is a Feeling

The house where we raised our children was, shall I say, less than nice. When we moved in, there were three different wallpapers in the same room, purple kitchen cupboards with pink sponge painting on them, (Gag!) and bathroom tile that looked like a three-year-old did it with lots and lots of glue! It was bad! We had to remove carpet from one of our daughter’s bedrooms and couldn’t afford to replace it so she had a plywood floor. Our bedroom was in the basement and had a cement floor. On top of all that, the house was olive green. Blech. It was just not a pretty house.

We did a pretty good job of sprucing it up!

Over time we were able to paint the house, turn the seven-foot tall weeds into a decent yard, and paint the god awful purple and pink kitchen cupboards white. Wow, was that a job! We never could afford carpet while we lived there and there remained a lot of things that were not aesthetically pleasing about the house.

Even though our house was not pretty, people that would come to our house always commented on how “nice” our house was. I am pretty sure I managed a “thank you” after picking up my jaw off the floor each time!

I tried to figure out what it was that made people say that. It certainly wasn’t our super nice furniture! Although my mother in law’s hand-me-down 1970’s couch might have been cool once, it really wasn’t. It couldn’t be the beautiful artwork hanging on the walls that had been carefully selected from our exclusive GoodWill.

I am fairly certain that is was the feeling you got when you walked in our home and not the Thrift store curtains and well-overused second- hand piano that gave our guests that impression. It felt clean, peaceful and full of love.

I really struggled when we first moved there with all the work that needed to be done, the painting, the fixing, trying to make it look nice plus all the housework and laundry and cooking and homeschooling for a family of five. Then we took in a neighbor girl and we were a family of six! Family friends were struggling so I took on cooking and cleaning for them.

I struggled, it was hard, I did it, but my attitude was awful. I raised my voice at my kids when they didn’t do their chores in a timely manner. I complained to my husband about everything I had to do. I nagged him to do things. I was miserable and I was making my family miserable.

I remember one day saying “God, something has to change!” and in my head, I heard “yes, you do.” Uuughh……that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I knew it was right though. I said “ok, but you are going to have to help me!”

It was then that I came up with my mantra. “Make every room better, every time you are in it, even if it is just to smile.”. I repeat that over and over in my head as I move about my house. Now, I don’t know if smiling in an empty room really makes the room better, but I know it makes my attitude about cleaning and serving my family better!

When I began to do that, my heart started to change. Love gives. I wanted to serve and bless my family. I began to develop a system to keep our house clean without stress. It made such a difference in our home! It was then that people would comment on how beautiful our home was! It wasn’t just clean. It felt peaceful.

We can learn every trick in the book about cleaning and organizing and making things look nice, but if all we have is a clean house and a resentful attitude it will be felt. Your family will feel it, your guests will feel it.


“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,”


Isaiah‬ ‭32:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I am far from perfect and I still have to pray and overcome a bad attitude now and then. I get tired, sometimes exhausted and need to remind myself that my time with my kids is short. It is my heart’s desire to bless my family as much as I can, as long as I can. To create happy, loving memories of a home with that “feeling”.

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Posted in cleaning, family, happiness, organizing, spiritual

Blessed

We are BLESSED! We are so very blessed that our homes are full to bursting. We are so blessed that we have garages and sheds and storage units to hold it all!

We are so blessed that I think we sometimes forget what it means to really need anything. I have several coats and jackets, but there is one that I really want at Target. I have a lot of really cute boots….but I know there is a pair with my name on it at Kohls!

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

We are so blessed that our closet rod is sagging in the middle…. I know, ’cause mine is. Yet there are people in our own towns that don’t even have a coat. Can you imagine what a difference your “extra” stuff could make for someone in need?

Photo by THE COLLAB. on Pexels.com

I am not for a minute suggesting that you don’t deserve to buy things or have nice things just because there are people going without. I believe that if you earned the money to afford it then you most definitely deserve it! I am suggesting that we all get rid of our “extra blessings”. What good is a sweatshirt that you have not worn for seven years, hanging in your closet? What if we took all those things to women’s shelters or homeless shelters? What a blessing it would be to them!

I was reading a devotion by Rick Warren. I will link it here, but I am going to share a portion of it with you. I encourage you to go and read the whole thing. It’s not lengthy.

Empty Hands Receive Greater Blessings


The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:11, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (NIV).
What an amazing verse! God makes you rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, which will result in thanksgiving to God.
God doesn’t bless you so you can be greedy; he blesses you so you can be generous. You give away, and God gives back to you so you can give more away and he can give more back to you and on and on and on. God doesn’t give you things so you can pile them up. When you let go of what’s in your hand, it’s now empty to receive greater blessings from God.
But as I’ve said before, God’s giving to you is based on your attitude. That’s why it’s so important to live with an attitude of gratitude.

Rick Warren

I just love that! “Empty Hands Receive Great Blessings”! I am so excited to continue to let go of my excess blessings so that God can continue to bless me so that I can bless others!

Let’s not ever forget to be grateful for all the things we have and to never be dissatisfied because we don’t have the best car or pretty carpet or the newest phone. Let’s choose to be grateful for all our overflowing blessings! We ARE truly blessed.

Let’s continue to be grateful for what we have, declutter our lives and homes of our “extra” and bless others in the process so that God can continually bless us. What a wonderful win-win!

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

NIV

Blessings! XOXO

Hey Friends! I have been using this CBD oil for quite some time now and I am loving the results! It helps a lot with the pain I have in my neck from some surgeries, it helps with keeping emotions in check because let’s be real…hormones can do a number on us ladies and this really helps! It helps keep me be calmer and able to handle the stress of a bunch of toddlers daily. It also helps me sleep well.

Below is a link where you can check it out! Please feel free to message me with questions!

CBD Oil What it is and how it works in our bodies

I just pulled out my copy of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”. It has been many years since I have read it and after finding the above passage I felt I wanted to read this book again. I highly recommend it! If you would like a copy for yourself click on the image below to purchase from Amazon! You will be supporting me at no extra cost to you! Thank you!

Posted in cleaning, family, organizing, spiritual

You Deserve a Clean and Peaceful Home

I have a guilty pleasure. I get tremendous enjoyment from watching “Hoarders” and immense satisfaction watching them clean up all that junk. At first, it’s like a train wreck and you can’t look away. Then you want to shake the person and say “You don’t deserve to live like this!”! The cleaning process begins and it is amazing to see what is under all that garbage. You can see that at one time they had a beautiful home!

Scary and sad, right?!

Unfortunately, I am sure that without a lot of intense counseling those people will go right back to living in filth. Somewhere in their lives, they decided that they weren’t worth anything but garbage…. and lots of it.

I am not suggesting that any one of us has a problem even remotely like this! If you did, you probably wouldn’t be here reading this. A lot of us do struggle with excess stuff though.

Let me tell you right now that no matter what life has handed you, you are worth more than your junk, your clutter, and garbage. You are a daughter or son of God! He wants the very best for you.

If you are drowning in “stuff” and find it hard to get rid of, I want you to ask yourself when it was that you decided that you didn’t deserve a nice clean home. If it is really a difficult challenge for you I strongly encourage counseling. Sometimes it’s fear. Fear of letting go of things because of the fear of not being provided for. Sometimes it is surrounding ourselves with a layer of stuff so we are protected from hurt. Our minds do funny things while trying to protect us. Without some help to learn to forgive, let go and heal it will continue to be an issue and keep you from being the best you can be! Therapy is for everyone because this is am an imperfect world full of imperfect people!

I read an article by The Minimalists called “Decluttering Doesn’t Work”. I will link it here. They talk about what happens if we don’t address the “why”. If the reasons we have our clutter don’t go away then getting rid of it won’t help. We will just find ourselves replacing our “pacifiers” as they call it.

The Minimalists “Why Decluttering Doesn’t Work”

When we remove our possessions we have to face who we really are. What is really important to us? Are material things so essential? Where does our happiness come from? Who are we without anything? Some pretty deep questions to consider and some serious soul searching to do!

Every single one of us deserves to come home at night to a well organized, clean, healthy, safe house. Not just certain people, not just rich people, not just other people. YOU! Your home is your castle, your refuge and a place of peace.

This is the reason and the passion behind this blog. I want to make that clean, organized dream home come true for everyone! YOU deserve it! So…. on with decluttering and maybe some inner cleansing as well.

If you are part of the VIP Self Cleaning House Facebook group, I hope you are enjoying the daily challenges! If you aren’t, please enter your email to follow my blog and you will get an invite!

Posted in cleaning, happiness, motivation, spiritual

“I’m Sorry”

Warning: This post has zero to do with house cleaning…. and I am not going to apologize for that!  (I almost did!) It is very personal and deep.  It’s been on my mind and I just felt it needed to come out.  I hope that someone can benefit from it.  I am no therapist and I may be all kinds of off base, but these are just my thoughts.

sorry

 

“Stop saying you’re sorry.” “Stop apologizing.”  I’ve been hearing a lot of that and reading it on social media and the like.  Apparently, women are notoriously bad about saying “I’m sorry” for every little thing, whether they have any responsibility for it or not. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a gender thing or if women are just more vocal about things in general.

 

I one hundred percent believe you should apologize for things that you did wrong.  Absolutely!

Saying “I’m sorry” for things you had no control over implies guilt.  It’s false guilt but guilt just the same.  Your mind can’t tell the difference.

Those of us who over apologize are very aware that what we are “sorry” for is not really our fault.  We are seeking to “fix things”.

sorry too

The more you accept guilt the more your mind believes it.  Your self-worth suffers.  Your confidence diminishes.  You might be the nicest kindest person in the world, and you probably are!  But you start to believe you aren’t.  There is a lot of conflict that goes on inside.  You want to be a good person but good people don’t do all these things that we are constantly apologizing for.

Just as good affirmations work, so do bad ones.  You can’t be “sorry” for everything without your consciousness believing that you are at fault.

It is a double-edged sword.  You say “I’m sorry” because you really are a good person but it makes you feel as if you are not.

kitty

So how do we change? For many, probably most of us, it’s not just a habit.  Changing this “habit” is about as easy as changing your eye color! I believe you need to know the why behind the behavior to change it.

I did some serious soul searching.  I am sure there are many reasons that people over-apologize.  We are all different.  We’ve all had different upbringings.  The basic reason behind it is about the same though.

When you say you are sorry, you are taking responsibility for the action, situation, etc. meaning you now own it.  Only when you own it can you take any control over it.

The fear of others being angry, unhappy or upset is what drives over apologetic people to say “I’m sorry”  all over the place.

If something goes wrong, and I say “I’m so sorry” (even though I had nothing to do with it) I am accepting blame so that you don’t have to.  That way you don’t need to be angry at yourself or someone else.  Now I own it and can try to fix or smooth out the situation so that all will be well.   None of this is really truly valid but it is the subconscious, if not the conscious thought process.

It boils down to fear of other people’s anger or perceived anger and the desire for control of a situation to avoid anxiety.

Ultimately, it is a very self-destructive, which is ironic considering that it is a defense mechanism.

I am going to work on positive affirmations to repair what I’ve done with the destructive behavior.  I am going to let others be responsible for their own feelings and situations.

Thank you for allowing me to share and I hope that it helps you to stop next time you start to say “I am sorry” and think, “am I responsible for this?”.

Here is a great article from thelawofattraction.com on overcoming being an over-apologizer!

 

 

Posted in cleaning, organizing, spiritual, Tips and Tricks

The Science Behind Clutter

I can feel it staring at me. In the kitchen, the office, the bedroom closet.  Every room I enter it is there.  Glaring at me, threatening to overtake my home, to suffocate me and make me it’s slave.  I make my way down to the laundry room searching for an escape from it but it has grown and I  feel even more helpless to escape its clutches.  I am too afraid to open the pantry door.  The walls seem to be caving in, the rooms shrinking!  The clutter has taken on a life of its own!!!! Panic attack!

hide

It started in a seemingly innocent way.  I was just going to put that box of old photos away somewhere but I needed to find a place first.  This is a really neat bag, I might need this for something.  I might need all those old towels someday…I will file that paperwork later…I might want to pick up cross stitch again someday in my spare time.  I will just put the cans in the pantry and shut the door really fast.

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately by all the “stuff”  we have collected.  It sneaks up on you, doesn’t it?? I swear I didn’t see it coming.  It seems to multiply and we don’t even notice.  I start to walk by the piles of things and shut them out.  I become blind to the stacks of things on the counter, the overdue library books by the door, the neighbor’s cookie plate on top of the fridge.  They become like furniture, it’s just there.  It gets easier to set things down on the piles or just in the general area of an item’s home rather than actually put it in its home.

Then one day, you notice.  You go from room to room with eyes wide open. Your palms sweat,  the clutter seems to mock you. You feel helpless and confused.  How did this happen??

It’s called “Entropy”.  Entropy is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  It states that everything goes from a state of order to disorder.  It is the natural tendency of things to lose order.

Without countermeasures, life will always become less structured.

barn

Without care the lawn dies and weeds crop up, cars rust, barns collapse, pantries become unorganized, garages become a mess, marriages crumble, families fall apart.

Entropy increases over time. The state of something will continue to decline without effort on our part to restore order.

So, why doesn’t the junk drawer stay organized? It’s science!

The good news is we CAN combat entropy. In fact, God put us here to do that!

Genesis 2:15  “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”

God expects us to put out the effort to keep our home, our land our cars, our space in general, in good order.

Here is an “Anti-Entropy, Anti-Panic attack”  list:

  1.  Always do your morning and evening routines
  2. Don’t put it down, put it away
  3. Have a “home” for everything
  4. Do you REALLY need it, want it, love it?  If not, get rid of it. Don’t set it down.
  5. Be present.  Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t walk over the same gum wrapper on the garage floor for a week.  Pick it up and throw it away.

Now, since I have been slacking on my own advice and the clutter is leering at me, I am going to go on an anti-entropy quest!

Click here to get the awesome program I use for all my recipes and menu planning!


Homemade Mexican Pizza

Servings 8

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
cornmeal
Pizza:
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1/4 cup salsa
1 can sliced black olives
1/4 cup diced red onion
crushed tortilla chips
1 pound pizza cheese blend
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
sour cream
jalapeño pepper
hot pepper sauce

Directions:

Put water and oil in the bottom of the bread machine. Put dry ingredients on top. Start on “dough setting”. When it’s done turn onto a floured surface and knead to deflate it. Divide into two equal pieces. Let it rest for 10 minutes. The second ball of dough can be frozen at this point for future use. Roll and stretch the dough and form it on a pizza peel that is heavily dusted in cornmeal.
Place pizza stone in oven and heat to 500* for 30 minutes.
Saute ground beef until no longer pink and drain. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until water has evaporated.
Mix refried bean with salsa and stir until smooth and spreadable. Gently spread over prepared pizza dough.
Top with seasoned meat, olives, red onion, crushed chips and then cheese.
Turn oven down to 425*
Carefully slide the pizza off pizza peel onto the hot pizza stone.
Bake for 10-15 minutes watching closely.
Remove the pizza using the pizza peel.
Serve with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, jalapeno, and hot sauce.

Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.

Click here to get Cook’n (it’s free!)

Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.

Click here to get Cook’n (it’s free!)


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This cool ottoman/toy chest/storage chest is just the thing I need for scarves, hats, gloves, and umbrellas in my entryway!  Click on the pic to order!

Look at this totally adorable water bottle!  My granddaughter is really into unicorns! She also likes to steal my stainless steel water bottle because the water stays so cold!  So I think this is just what she needs!

Posted in camping, Coeur d' Alene River, family, food, memories, spiritual

Enjoy the Journey!

The sun was warm on our heads and cool fresh mountain air filled our lungs as the trees rushed by us.   The whine of the engines drowned out all thoughts of bills, schedules, and responsibilities.  This is nature therapy!

quad trail

We had a destination in mind when we set out that morning for a ride on the quads.  The day was perfect for a ride.  It is early in the season.  The river is high.  The runoff has created beautiful waterfalls.  It’s not yet too dusty.  But…..the Forest Service hasn’t been able to clear all the ATV trails and the roads yet.

We headed off in the direction of our destination.  We took time to make stops and take pictures of the beauty that surrounded us.

fun

At one point we came to a fork in the road.  We chose a road that seemed right and followed it.  After a while, we realized we had taken the wrong road.  We got out the map and determined we could still get where we were going on this road.  It was just going to be the scenic route! We decided to press on.  There seemed to be an awful lot of obstacles on this route. Snow, washed out areas and many downed trees across the road. Some we were able to move, others we could drive over or around.  A couple of places it was a bit sketchy getting around and over the trees being so close to the edge of the road and being so high on the mountain.

obstacles2

My middle daughter, Christi, is an amazing rider.  She really is. Granddaughter Brooklyn rides on the back like a champ! Sometimes she gets scared though.  Those obstructions and the way around them was a bit hairy and Brooklyn was NOT a fan.  We went around the first downed tree ahead of our girls and my husband looked back at Christi.  She looked at the tree and the cliff, then she looked at Brooklyn and looked at her Dad.  Brooklyn was already trying to get off the quad.  Christi got off and held her hand.  Chris walked back and drove her quad over the tree on the edge and to a safe place because that is what good Dads and Papas do!

After a few of those, we came to a giant tree across the road.  There was no getting around, over or under.  We were done.  We had to turn and go back.  No big deal, we weren’t on any time schedule.  We were enjoying the ride.  We got back to the place where we had made a wrong turn and chose the other road.   Pretty soon we came upon a truck stopped in the road.  As we began to maneuver around the truck we saw there was a man cutting a big downed tree across the road that we would not have been able to cross.  We waved at this nice man who was making it possible to continue our adventure.  He turned from his chainsaw to wave back and we realized it was an old friend! Now, what are the chances of running into someone you haven’t seen in several years, on the top of a mountain on a random forest service road?!  Slim, I tell ya! We stopped and chatted and helped him load his firewood, our obstacle, into his truck. We thanked him for clearing the road and exchanged hugs and handshakes and went on our way!

We did eventually reach our goal and had a picnic before heading back.  Lauren, my oldest, mentioned how even though we had many challenges along the way, it did make our trek more interesting.  More interesting, in fact, than our picnic. On our return trip, I had time to ponder that.

Our lives are so much like that expedition.  We are going along and think we know our way but sometimes make wrong choices.  We think we can power through and make our choices work anyway.  We reach scary places and God is always right there to help us if we ask.  He will gently tell us we are going the wrong way by one downed tree in our path after another.  Perhaps those snags are there so we can learn how to best get past them so we can teach someone else, or maybe it just makes a really great story! Sometimes, it takes a giant tree in the road to get us to turn around if we are headed in the wrong direction.   We might think “Why am I being prevented from reaching my goals?”, when in fact it is God’s hand directing our path.  He puts people in our lives to help us.  It may be a friend, or family or a stranger.  Sometimes those people don’t even know they are doing God’s work.

God has a plan for each of us.  The bumps in the road make life interesting.  Ask God for help when you are overwhelmed.  Look for His direction.  Be aware of the people in your life.  Enjoy this journey!

life

If you haven’t had Tacos while camping, well, you should!  Everything seems to taste way better in the woods anyway, but this weekend we had tacos in the great outdoors and  it was glorious!  I don’t know why I had never thought of it before.   I know that isn’t one of those things you think of as “camping food”, but really it is pretty easy to do with limited equipment.  Everything can be prepped ahead of time and if you are tent camping just leave out the lettuce.  Tomatoes don’t need to be refrigerated if you leave them whole.

I am not a huge “brand” person most the time, but right here I am going to be that lady.  McCormick Taco Seasoning all the way and either Cholula hot sauce (you know, the one with the little round wooden top) or Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce that, yes, they do sell in stores!!  S&W Organic Black Beans are amazing! Click on those links to order! You won’t regret it!  Those ingredients just make tacos for me!

Click here to get the program I use for all my recipes and menu planning!

Here is my taco meat recipe.  I hope you enjoy it no matter where you are!

Taco Meat

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (15-ounce) can organic S&W Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 package McCormick
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute ground beef, onion and garlic together. Drain fat from pan. Add black beans, taco seasoning, and water. Stir, bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve in taco shells, flour tortilla, corn tortillas or lettuce wraps with lettuce, tomato, sliced olives, shredded cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.

Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.

Click here to get Cook’n (it’s free!)