It was Friday late afternoon. It had been a long tiring week and I was very much looking forward to 5:30 pm, a glass of wine and pizza that I didn’t have to make! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook but at the end of a long week of toddlers, chicken nuggets, diapers, and toys I am quite ready to have dinner delivered and put my feet up!
I was clock watching, getting kids snacks and preparing for parents to arrive when I received a text message from our landlord. We don’t hear from her much so I was surprised. She lives in Alaska and we live in Idaho. We take care of the house and don’t bother her unless we have to and she doesn’t bother us unless necessary as well. It is a good situation and she is a great person.I read the text…. “I am in town and would like to come by to see the house tomorrow morning if that is OK?” She hasn’t been to visit or see her property in about three or four years so I totally understand her wanting to drop by…. but, tomorrow?!!! Yikes!! Terror struck me and my mind started to race. What all needs to be done? Should I clean and organize the freezer? Clean the tops of the kitchen cupboards? Disinfect the garbage cans? Whoa…….. breathe…..
Ok…..what really needs to be done? I looked around. I decided the carpet needed to be vacuumed, dusting should be done, entry rugs shook out, the kitchen and entry should be swept, and a little extra tidying up in the bedrooms. My family pitched in and we had all that done easily in a half an hour! By 6 pm we were having wine and pizza!
The house looked fantastic! I didn’t go all crazy and do things that didn’t need to be done and with just a few minutes of normal cleaning it looked great. You know why it only took a little effort to make the house company ready? Routines!!! The bathrooms were clean, there were no piles of laundry, dishes/kitchen was done and beds were made, the house was tidy, the kitty litter and garbage had been taken care of. The house look good and smelled good!
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Thank you, routines, for giving me a self cleaning house that allowed me to have wine and pizza on the Friday night before my landlord was to come see our home! Side note…. the landlord couldn’t fit stopping by into her schedule before leaving town so she never did make it. If you all want to stopover…..my house looks great!
We all know someone whose home we are in awe of. That home that always seems to be perfectly clean no matter when you drop in.
How do they do that? What kind of magic is it?! Their magic is in their habits!
Here is a list of habits that I have compiled that people with clean homes do. If you would like to have a home that is always in a state of “near company ready”, try adopting these habits.
Put it back, don’t put it down. When working on a project or even just writing a note or curling your hair, put it all away before you walk away.
Declutter. Live more with less. A home with less “stuff” gets less messy. You can’t clean clutter.
Everything has a home and everything in it’s home. If it doesn’t have a home, either make a home or toss it. Just like habit number one says, put it back. Always return things to their proper home.
Always make your bed. There are so many good reasons to make your bed, but most importantly it makes the room look better even if that is all that is done.
Empty the dishwasher ASAP. A dishwasher full of clean dishes is a sure fire way to have dishes left in the sink.
Never leave dishes in the sink. See above! Dishes in the sink spreads to dishes on the counter, none of which looks tidy. Your sink is just like your bed but in the kitchen. If it looks nice it helps the rest of the room look nice.
Never leave a room empty-handed. When walking about the house, always take a look around before leaving a room and notice if there is something that needs to go to the room you are going to. I have a saying…”Always improve the room you are in, even if it’s just a smile.” If you can’t find anything out of place in a room, just smile and make it a happy place to be!
Do it now! Don’t wait to pick up that receipt that fell on the garage floor, do it now. Don’t wait to hang up your coat, do it now. Don’t wait to sort through today’s mail, do it now… most of it goes in the trash anyway! Most things take far less time to do than we think.
Work smart, not hard. Clean the shower while you are in it. Keep cleaners where you will need them. Clean the fridge one shelf at a time instead of all at once. Use a shared app with the family for groceries and to do lists. Cozi is my favorite! Check it out here!
Do a load of laundry a day. Small loads of laundry done daily are much more manageable than mountains of laundry done on the weekends.
Reset. Before bed, before leaving the house, after the kids go to school or go down for a nap, Reset! Reset the room. Fix blankets and pillows on the couch, straighten books on the coffee table, put the slippers or shoes in the basket, and straighten the rug. Make it a beautiful place to come back to.
Respect your home and the people in it. Even if you don’t care about your coat on the couch or dishes in the sink, someone else does. A clean home is a peaceful home. Respect each other by picking up after yourself and helping out. Teach your children this from the time they are young. Even if it’s not our favorite thing to do, we do it to show respect and kindness to each other.
There ya have it! I hope you can pick up a few of those habits to help you have a super clean and happy home too!
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!
The new year is fast approaching and it is the time when people begin to think of change. New habits they want to start, old ones they want to break.
I have not been a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They sound good, but really they are just a way of procrastinating what we know we should be doing now, until the first of January. We will probably spend money to lose weight or exercise or start some new craft or hobby and then by March, if we are lucky to make it that long, we are back to where we were but with less money and nothing to show for it. I am not trying to be a Debbie downer here, but let’s face it, it is pretty typical.
I am very guilty of this myself, which is why I haven’t been a resolution enthusiast and most definitely don’t share my attempt at resolve to change an area of my life on social media. No one likes to fail publicly!
I am currently reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read! If you want to really learn how to change your habits and change your life you need to get this book! It is powerful! Because of this book, I may change my opinion and actually make some New Year’s Resolutions this coming year and stick to them! I am learning so much!
We often we fail to follow through with our efforts to change because although we WISH to change, we don’t really WANT to. Even though we don’t like the habit or behavior we wish to change, it is comfortable. Change is hard. We may be afraid of change. It may be subconscious. We may not feel we deserve it. We got there for a reason. It may require working through those issues before change can happen.
Another reason our resolutions flop is because we don’t know how to go about changing! We rely on sheer willpower to make huge changes in our lives. When we are tired, stressed, hungry, sad, our willpower is the first of our character traits to bail on us! Our brain is trained to make us feel better and protect us. It doesn’t know that a quart of ice cream at 10pm is a bad thing. It just wants us to be ok.
There are some amazing habit hacks that you can use to help you actually stick to those resolutions!
Make your new habit as fun and attractive as possible! Buy a new pair of walking shoes or a cookbook.
Reward yourself! Pay yourself each time you work out and use that money for a spa day or for something you want.
Don’t make your new habit so difficult that you are defeated before you start. Go to the gym a couple times a week, not 6 days a week for two hours a day! Make it easy!
Remove any obstacles that would give you an excuse to not follow through. Set out your gym clothes at night. Get rid of all the junk food in the house.
If you are trying to stop watching so much TV put the remote in another room or on top of a shelf that you can’t reach well.
Change your routine. If you always have cookies after dinner and you want to stop, immediately after dinner, do something else! Go for a walk. Take a bath.
Most of those things relate to weight loss and healthy living but you can apply those principles to anything!
Those are just a few small things that are mentioned in this book. There is a wealth of knowledge in it!
You can purchase it here!
I am following his blog as well. It is always fascinating and I learn something new every time I read a new article. I am kind of a nerd when it comes to self-improvement, productivity, motivation and that sort of thing. If you are into that, you really should check it out!
If you are wanting to make a change in the New Year, whether in your home, in the way you go about housekeeping, or in your health or whatever it is you want to change, now actually is a good time to start planning and moving in that direction. With the proper tools and knowledge, you will be able to achieve your goals!
Check the routines page here on my blog for the basics to help you stay on track!
Get the Atomic Habits to help you learn how to best keep those habits in place
When the alarm goes off at 5am, what gets you out of bed to go exercise? Motivation or discipline? I can tell you for me it’s not motivation! I don’t “feel” like doing it! I am still working on establishing the discipline. I’m getting there!
Motivation is based on emotion, feeling and impulse. It’s helpful to have those things but not necessary to accomplish a task or achieve a goal.
We seem to want to put our feelings in the wrong place, backward in fact when we want to “motivate” to do something. For example, “I can’t seem to motivate to vacuum the house.” What we are saying is I am not having a goodFEELING about the act of vacuuming. Instead, we need to CHOOSE to vacuum and then FEEL good about the vacuuming being done.
We could wait forever to get excited and worked up about vacuuming! It might never happen! Waiting for motivation causes procrastination.
Self-discipline is the key to achieving anything you have set out to do. More specifically, self-discipline is what will help you establish habits that will then not require motivation or self-discipline to do. The habit of brushing your teeth in the morning has been so ingrained in your brain that it doesn’t take motivation or self-discipline to do each day. In fact, I would bet most of us do it before we are fully awake! Its practically like breathing!
Self-discipline will be there when motivation fails you. Motivation is a fair weather friend. Discipline will conquer fear. It will overcome frustration. It will help you get up and keep going when you fall down.
How can you build self-discipline? discipline is like a muscle. It needs to be used to get stronger! The first few times making yourself get up at 5am is hard. After a while, it gets easier. (I’m still at the “its hard” part!)
Make it as easy as possible to make the best choices. If you are dieting, don’t buy a dozen doughnuts for the office.
Have a plan. If you are trying to resolve to have a clean house, put a system in place. Don’t just flounder.
Make small changes. Don’t decide you are going to go to the gym 6 days a week, never ever eat sugar again, lose 10 pounds by the weekend and start taking an online course at the same time! One thing at a time!
Take time to reward yourself or just enjoy the benefit of what you have done! This is extremely important! Our brains are wired to want to achieve a reward. Besides, you deserve it!
People who have good self-discipline are happier people! Be the boss of yourself! Don’t let your feelings tell you what to do!
Remove chorizo from casings. In a large skillet, cook chorizo and ground beef until browned. Drain off fat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add diced poblano, red bell pepper, and green onion to meat. Cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add salsa and water and stir to combine. Cook until reduced slightly.
In another skillet, heat oil and fry tortillas until crisp turning once.
Fry 6 eggs as desired. Divide chorizo mixture between the six tortillas, top with cheese, egg, hot sauce and avocado. Garnish with sour cream and more green onion.
Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.
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!
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.
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:
Always do your morning and evening routines
Don’t put it down, put it away
Have a “home” for everything
Do you REALLY need it, want it, love it? If not, get rid of it. Don’t set it down.
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!
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.
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!
I love lists. I love making lists, reading lists, marking off things on lists. I make lists in my head all the time but they need to make it to paper or device quickly or I am sure to forget something. I guess that is why I like them. They give me a sense of security and peace.
I thought I would give you a list today! Just a fun list of twenty reasons to keep your house clean.
1, A clean house is peaceful
2. You can find things in a clean home.
3. Your home is a reflection of you.
4. You can truly relax in a clean house.
5. You can think more clearly in a clean environment. (Your brain has to process everything you see whether you realize it or not. Like a program running in the background on your computer. It still takes up memory.)
6. A clean house is healthier, fewer bacteria and germs.
7. A clean house attracts fewer insects and pests.
8. You will always be prepared for company, or close to it.
9. You don’t trip over things in the dark.
10. If the house caught fire, you could easily get out or First Responders could easily get to you.
11. If you get the stomach flu, at least the toilet is clean!
12. You make better diet and exercise choices in an uncluttered space.
13. People enjoy coming to your house.
14. You enjoy friends coming to your home.
15. You enjoy coming home to your house.
16. Your kids like bringing their friends over.
17. You can have “me time” guilt free.
18. You are more apt to remember things. Cluttered house=cluttered mind. (See #5)
19. You can be proud of your home.
20. You and your family deserve it!
I can’t resist sharing this little thing right here! Seriously….how cute is he?! He is our new little ball of fur and absolute adorable terror. It is a good thing God made them so cute! I mean, you can’t resist that adorable little face and his sweet little purr, until 3am and he is sticking his needle-sharp claws in your nose and wants to play!
His name is Finn and we are in love!
I hope you all have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend! Go out and make memories!
Be sure to click here to get the awesome Cook’n program I use for all my recipes and menu planning!
Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
fresh mozzarella cheese
angel hair pastaor penne
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix Italian bread crumbs with panko in a large dish.
Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and spray it with pan spray.
Slather each chicken breast with mayo and dredge in breadcrumbs and panko. Put breasts on the prepared baking rack.
Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 155*. Take out and let rest.
Warm the marinara.
Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
Top each chicken breast with fresh mozzarella. Turn oven to broil and return chicken to oven and watch carefully until cheese starts to melt.
To serve, place pasta on the plate pour sauce over. Place chicken breast on top and top with fresh basil.
Cook’n is a next generation recipe app that makes it fun and easy to share favorite recipes.
This was a lot of work. It was a labor of love. Nothing good comes without some hard work. If you ask my granddaughter or daycare kiddos, this playset is VERY good! They are delighted. This is going to bring hours of happiness and memories.
Work is a good thing! A good work ethic is something to be admired, rewarded and something we strive for in our place of employment and at home. God made us to need to work. We would be very unfulfilled without work. God worked! God worked for 6 days when he made the earth and then He rested. Do I think He needed to rest? Nope. Not at all. God made us in His image so I believe He was simply showing us how to pattern our lives. We need to have a balance in our lives between work, rest and play.
Work doesn’t stop when you clock out. It just changes form. There is no getting around the fact that there is work involved in a clean house. Good habits and routines will drastically reduce the amount of housekeeping that has to be done, but let’s face it, the vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing toilets still have to happen.
I am going to share some tips with you to help you work smart, not hard, to get that work done and still have time for rest and play.
Enlist help. Like my husband did with the swing set, get the family to help you. Kids, even little ones can help. The bigger ones definitely should help! Your children need to learn to work. It’s a life skill they will appreciate learning! (Eventually!) They need to learn how rewarding a “job well done” is. How nice it feels to have a clean room and how proud you feel of your home when it is clean. I, personally, don’t feel that rewards or allowance for doing household chores is beneficial. I don’t get paid to clean my house. The reward comes from feeling good about the job you did. Teach them to take the time to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
2. Make it fun. Whether it is just you or the whole family involved in cleaning, make it fun! Make it a good time rather than drudgery. If you hate it, your family will pick up on that. Why would they want to help do something that is clearly a terrible thing? Fake it till you make it if you have to! Put on some music dance with the broom, sing loud and silly! Do whatever it takes to make it fun.
When my kids were elementary school age, we made it a game. I wrote every chore that needed to be done on an index card. I broke the chores down into very specific things. “Clean upstairs bathroom tub”, “Clean downstairs bathroom toilet”, “Mop kitchen”, etc. The index cards were placed upside down on the kitchen table and mixed up. A bell was in the middle of the table. We all gathered around the table. I would ring the bell and start a stopwatch. We all grabbed a card and ran to do the chore on our card as fast as possible. When the chore was done it was placed in a discard pile, you got to ring the bell and then grab another card. It was wild and hilarious! I am sure we looked ridiculous running like crazy people through the house, breathless, tripping over the vacuum, running into each other, the bell ringing loudly and often. The person with the last card got to make crazy noise with the bell and stop the stopwatch. Housekeeping got done in generally less than twenty minutes! Crazy, right? And it was FUN! It may not have been done perfectly but it was done, everyone was happy and we could go spend our day doing something really fun and come back to a clean house.
3. Break it up. Everyone’s life looks a little different. For some doing a housekeeping game on Saturday morning with the family will work. Now that my kids are adults, I have the housekeeping responsibilities myself. I do not want to spend my Saturday cleaning all alone. I choose to break up my chores and do one or two each day before or after work. The things that may take longer I do on days that I usually have more time or more energy. Most things really don’t take all that long. It always remains the same so I always know what day I am doing what. Monday is laundry and vacuuming, Tuesday is bathroom day. I clean the toilet, the tub and take out the trash and wash the bath towels. Wednesday is sweeping and mopping the house and menu planning. Thursday is the kitchen and some miscellaneous things. I take Fridays to do anything I may not have been able to get done during the week or just take the day off! That is just an example. You know your life and howthat might look for you.
4. Do It Weekly. Don’t procrastinate and wait until you stick to the kitchen floor and the tub has a nasty ring around it. Do it while it still looks clean! It is so easy to clean a fairly clean tub in comparison to the full aerobic work out to clean a yucky one. It is house “keeping” rather than the house “cleaning”. The goal is to maintain, not struggle to clean what is already dirty. This saves a major amount of time!
We had some AMAZING Chicken Gyros the other night! I love Gyros and love the traditional lamb, but these were a great switch and super light. Perfect for a summer evening on the patio with a wine spritzer and family to share it with.
Speaking of wine spritzers, if you haven’t had these, you should! YUM!
Barefoot Refresh. Delish!
Here is the link to the Chicken Gyros. We grilled them outside instead of baking in the oven. Was fantastic!