Posted in cleaning, happiness, organizing

Happy Decluttering!

Hi Friends!

We are going to start this year off with a bang! We are going to focus on DECLUTTERING!!!! I am sooooo stinkin excited guys! I am doing this right along with you! We are going to toss, donate, rehome and classify!

So what exactly IS clutter? Clutter isn’t just that stack of last weeks mail on the counter and the pile of magazines that you just haven’t had time to read yet. Although those things ARE clutter, there are so many more things that are clutter.


clutter
(klʌtəʳ  )

Word forms: 3rd person singular present tense clutters  , present participle cluttering  , past tense, past participle cluttered

 1. uncountable noun

Clutter is a lot of things in an untidy state, especially things that are not useful or necessary.
Caroline prefers her worktops to be clear of clutter.
Synonyms: untidiness, messdisorderconfusion 

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/clutter

Clutter is anything that makes your space too crowded or busy and causes stress, anxiety or confusion. Clutter is unnecessary and drags you down, even if you don’t realize it. It can be too many pictures hanging on the wall, too many clothes in the closet, excess Christmas decorations, an entire shoebox full of nail polish….and you get your nails done at a salon. Too many lipsticks, phone apps or salt and pepper shaker collections. It can be too many projects, sports activities or even the wrong people.

You can try to organize clutter, but it is guaranteed to turn to chaos the minute you turn your back. Organized clutter is ….still clutter. The only way to truly organize and KEEP a clean and tidy home is to get rid of the clutter!

Clutter not only is an eyesore and an annoyance. Did you know that clutter actually affects our health, our choices, and our relationships? Clutter actually makes you tired. Your brain is forced to deal with every item you see. It is like a program running in the background that is making decisions and choices and using energy to do so.

I listened to these podcasts over again this week. There is an incredible amount of wisdom here! I can’t say enough about Chalene Johnson! A former “messy person” she knows what it is like and how to go about changing it. She has so many tips for getting rid of “stuff” and keeping your things organized. You can be free of the mess and clutter that prevents you from having the life you want!

The Model Health Show with Chalene Johnson Episode 287

If you are new to podcasts these are a great first! I am obsessed with listening to podcasts whenever I get the chance! I listen to them at 1 1/2x speed so that I can fit more in! Learning from people that have more wisdom than you do is….wise!


Proverbs 2:2 “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.”


Proverbs 3:13 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”

Chalene Johnson Best of the De-Clutter Project

Please take the time to listen to these podcasts! They are exciting and uplifting. Listen while you are putting your make up on, doing your hair, driving to work. What a great way to start your day, filling your mind with good ideas, positive thoughts, life hacks, and wisdom!

I don’t know about you but I am really looking forward to going through my house again (yes, again…. decluttering is not a “one and done”, it is an ongoing process) and digging even deeper this time! It is so freeing!

Happy decluttering!

I hate belongings. I hate clutter. It really bothers me because I can’t think properly. If you’ve got distractions in front of you, your mind goes nuts. ~ Simon Cowell

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Posted in cleaning, family, family traditions, food, happiness, organizing, planning

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

We had a “quiet” New Year’s celebration this year. Quiet for us anyway. It was still rather noisy and full of laughter and fun! It was just our family and a couple of friends playing games, eating and generally having a good time.

It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without the annual tree burning. I honestly don’t know how this tradition even started. For years we have been burning the Christmas Tree in the backyard in the snow New Year’s Eve night.

It seems so symbolic. The representation of the end of the year. All the past year’s mistakes go up in a pillar of black smoke and we are given a clean slate to start new. We get a chance to make different decisions and make better choices. It, in some way, resembles the forgiveness we were given when Jesus died on a tree and then defeated death to give us new life.

It is awesome sight to see a tree burning in your back yard! Safely… for the most part!

It is now January 2nd, and everything is back to reality with the addition of maybe some new resolutions to actually make changes this year. It is a good thing to want to make good changes in our lives! We often have such lofty goals that we totally miss the mark and are more discouraged than before though, and that is not where we want to be.

The key is making small changes that will lead you in the direction you want to go! Having someone to be accountable to, that can encourage you, guide or help you is good too!

I am so excited about the upcoming things planned for The Self Cleaning House this year! We are going to work together, step by step to get rid of clutter and organize the things we need to keep. We are going to learn how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of! We’ll find out what needs to be cleaned and how often we need to clean it. What are the best tools and supplies for cleaning? How do you make it look nice once it is clean? We will talk about time management, kids, meals and menu planning, self-care, positive attitudes, self-talk and keeping Jesus at the center of our lives.

I don’t claim to know all things clean and organized and so there will be some guest bloggers here to share their knowledge and skills!

Most importantly, these things are not going to be so hard, time-consuming or overwhelming that it takes away from your family time or your weekends. They will be small changes that will be fun and lead you to have a clean, peaceful home for you and your family to enjoy.

We are going to do this together! We are going to stick to those resolutions to clean and organize your home and we are all going to be doing it together!

When you enter your email to follow the Self Cleaning House, you will receive an invitation to the exclusive Self Cleaning House Facebook Group! There we can discuss what topics you want to hear about, chat about questions or ideas you have. We will do challenges and get daily reminders for things.

I am looking forward to transforming our homes together this year so that you can spend more time doing what you love!

Cheers to a very happy 2019!!

Posted in cleaning, organizing, planning, routines, self discipline, Tips and Tricks

The Crockpot List

composition cute design diary
Photo by Miesha Moriniere on Pexels.com

I am a list person! I love  “to do lists” and “honey-do lists” and “things I want to make lists” and “grocery lists”.  For some though, lists are overwhelming and discouraging.    They are not a challenge but instead just daunting, and they are likely to give up before they start.   If that is you, I want to help you!

First of all, your daily routines are going to become HABIT and you won’t need a list to tell you to do it.  You may need to remind yourself for a while with sticky notes or index cards until your habits are set in stone but eventually, they are like breathing.  That is the whole point!  You won’t have to think about it! (If you haven’t read the daily routines on my blog, go do that now! Check in the main menu! )

If you get overwhelmed by lists, I am willing to bet that you put everything from “Clean the garage” to “feed the cat” on your list of things to do today.  Your list is longer than your arm and you have work, your child has ball practice and you have to make cookies for the bake sale.  Not a good day for cleaning the garage or anything else that is going to take more than five minutes to accomplish.  That list, although some things like “feed the cat” need to happen today, is way too much and it is discouraging right off.

Even if you don’t think you are a “list person”, lists can be very helpful.    Going to the store without a grocery list is like a dizzy blindfolded kid trying to hit a pinata. Good luck!  If you don’t make a list of Christmas gifts to buy, you are guaranteed to forget someone. Awkward!!!  Lists are very important!

Sometimes our minds get so busy thinking of all the things we need to do that we can’t focus or even sleep well.  Putting those things in writing on a list helps to get it out of our brain and onto paper so you can rest or focus fully at the task at hand.

Lists help you feel grounded and less scattered.   Lists allow you to be able to make a plan.

The trick to not getting overwhelmed with lists is to not put everything on the same list and don’t expect to get everything on your list done by lunchtime.  You can have lists for things you don’t plan to have finished until next year!

crockpot

Today I want you to take just a few minutes and start a “crockpot list”.  Yes, a “crockpot list”!  This is a list of things that you would eventually like to get done but aren’t vital do NOW! Things that can sit and “cook” for a while.  This is not a list that you are to look at and feel pressured by.  This is a list that you can look at next time you find yourself at home for an afternoon and you have two hours free….what on that list can you get done?  Maybe your husband agreed to help you do some household things for one hour, what on that list can you do?  You are waiting for a friend and they call and say they are running fifteen minutes late.  There is a lot of things you can do in fifteen minutes instead of staring at the clock!

My “Crockpot List”  looks like this:

Clean out/tidy the secretary desk (desk where we keep bills, coupons, envelopes, stamps etc.)

Clean and organize the corner cupboards in my kitchen

Work on my cookbook

Defrost the chest freezer and organize

Work on my book

Organize the craft supplies

Post the items I would like to sell on Marketplace

Scan old photos and save on my computer

Clean the junk drawer

Tidy the coat closet

Break down boxes to fit in the recycle bin

person hands woman pen
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Make your crockpot list and keep it either in your day planner or the side of the fridge, where ever you will find it next time you have a few moments to work on something.   A “Crockpot List” will help you be more productive and a better time manager!

round gold colored analog watch with pink leather strap on pink notebook
Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com

 

Posted in camping, cleaning, Coeur d' Alene River, happiness, motivation, organizing

Minimal Stuff Makes Minimal Mess

My husband and daughter took a couple of weeks off for hunting. After a week of “camping in the fall” and not seeing anything, they came home. They are still hoping to get some day-hunts in before the end of the season!

My hubby, bless his heart, decided to be productive the last week of his vacation time and clean the garage! We clean the garage really well a couple of times of year. Isn’t it crazy how fast it can get disorganized again???

APhoto Credit: memes.com

This time we decided to really clean it out. Not just organize the “stuff ” but take a good hard look at what we have and decide if we really need it, if someone else could better benefit from it, is it replaceable, or is it trash?! We were brutally honest with ourselves. We made a “Trash” pile, a “Donate” pile and a very small “Sell” pile (that is a dangerous pile and you don’t want many things in that one or they will just be re-assimilated!) We also had a pile of “Things to return to others”.

We opened boxes, took things off shelves, pulled things out. We ended up with a truckload of things to go to the dump, a truckload to take to donate and a few things to sell. It felt AMAZING!!!

I honestly thought I would not come up with a lot to get rid of. I hate clutter. I don’t like a lot of “stuff”. Come to find out, I had a lot of crap I didn’t realize was crap!

Truly taking an honest look at what I had, was so freeing! I realized that a lot of things that I had been keeping, I was keeping out of fear. Fear that I would need it and not have it. Fear that if I did need it, I wouldn’t be able to afford to replace it. Fear that someone would be offended if I got rid of it. Well, kicking fear to the curb and thinking “If my house burned down, would I miss it? Would I be able to replace it? Would I buy another one? ” helped me to get rid of soooooo much!!

Getting rid of “stuff” is the only way to really have a self-cleaning house. Minimal stuff makes minimal mess.

I have started on a new “Crap crusade” in my closet and I am excited! I will keep you posted on that venture!

When you let go of stuff you unclog the positive flow and new and wonderful things can come into your life in many ways, not only just in your garage. When you hang on to too much stuff and things it clutters your mind and life, not just your home. Your life isn’t meant to be stagnant. By hanging on to old things, too many things and unnecessary things you are blocking the stream of abundance that belongs to you!

Remember when you were a kid or when you told your kids that they couldn’t have a new toy unless they got rid of one (or five!)? Yes!  Just like that!  Our life is supposed to be rewarded and blessed, but first…. you have to get rid of some stuff.

you can't reach for anything new

I encourage you to kick the fear, tell yourself that it’s ok to let go. Enjoy the amazing feeling of a clean uncluttered home, and the positive things that will come your way!

Go get rid of some stuff!!

 

Posted in cleaning, family, food, motivation, routines, self discipline, Tips and Tricks

Kids Routines and Chores

brooklyns chores

The kids are back in school!  My granddaughter is in 2nd grade this year.  Time sure flies!  The first week of school is always really exciting and she is anxious to get up and be ready for school and out the door on time.  After that, it starts to get…. a little less exciting.  Establishing good routines that first week is super important, and then making sure that they keep it up is important too!

Teaching life skills is one of the most important jobs we have as parents.

Teaching routines, goal setting, and self-discipline sets your kids up for success!

Even though I know my routines inside out and backward, I, as an adult, still like checking each item off and feeling successful first thing in the morning.

It is just as important for our kids to feel that way!  Having a list, chart, whiteboard or some other way for them to mark off completed items, helps them feel successful, helps them to know exactly what is expected of them, keeps you from having to tell them over and over to do each item and it teaches self-discipline.  Giving them some things that are super simple, especially at a young age, helps them feel good because it is not overwhelming and they have that sense of satisfaction right away.  “Look Mom! I already have two things checked off my list!”  Even though those two things were get dressed and brush their teeth, we need to let them feel that sense of accomplishment.  It will encourage them to achieve more for that good feeling and a good work ethic is born!  That sets them up for success later in life!

“We were created for meaningful work, and one of life_s greatest pleasures is the satisfaction of a job well done.”— John C. Maxwell (1)

It’s up to you if you want to reward them for doing chores or routines.  My own personal opinion is that it is important to teach them to feel the satisfaction of a job well done and get praise and or appreciation from you,  not money.  No one pays me to clean my house, unfortunately!  It would be much harder for me to have a good attitude about doing it for simply the satisfaction of having a clean home if I had learned that everything I do demands compensation to be worthwhile.  It’s extremely important to remember to praise and thank your children for the jobs they do.  Don’t forget that we are trying to teach them to feel good about a job well done.

That being said, I think it is a very good life lesson when kids are compensated for doing things above and beyond what is laid out and expected of them. Their routines and normal chores should be expected, but raking the yard or weeding the garden may be a great way for them to earn money for something they really want.   Money, or whatever has been chosen as payment for tasks, is a great way to teach them about finances and is extremely motivating.

Here is an excellent short read from Dave Ramsey on this topic!

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/why-kids-need-value-hard-work

Take a moment to thank your child and praise him for making his bed or even brushing his teeth today and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back and really feel good about what you got done too! Good job!! You are teaching your kids habits that will benefit them for life!

proverbs 22 6

I have been trying a new thing!!  I had heard how great fermented veggies were for your gut health and digestion.  I wanted to try it!  I am always up for a new experiment.  The first batch I did was Brussels sprouts.  That was the only fresh veggie I had on hand.  I wouldn’t recommend them!  They were…ok.  If you are a fan of raw Brussels sprouts then maybe you would like them.   This batch I am very excited about! Cauliflower!

This is a picture on day 3.  It is starting to get cloudy!  That is just what it is supposed to do!

day 3 fermented veggies

Fresh vegetable of choice: cauliflower cucumber, carrots, green beans, asparagus, radishes, whatever suits your fancy
2 cups good, filtered water
1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic opt
bay leaf, peppercorns, jalapenos, or other spices you want to use.
1 leaf cabbage or small ziplock baggie of rice
1 wide mouth mason jar with lid

Stir the salt and water together until dissolved.

Pour the salt water over the vegetables leaving 1/2″ of headspace. Tap jar on counter and wiggle around to get rid of air bubbles and pockets.

Fold a small cabbage leaf and press it down on top of the vegetables so that it keeps the vegetables submerged in the salt water. or put a bit of rice in a snack ziplock bag removing all the air and place on top of vegetables to keep the vegetables submerged.

Close the lid on the jar tightly and place it out of direct sunlight in a relatively moderate temperature (68-75 degrees).

You will start to see some bubbling around day 2 or so. After day 2, over a sink (it will kinda fizz and leak as you begin to open it), gently loosen the lid to let some of the gas escape once or twice a day.

The vegetables are ready anywhere from day 4-10. The longer they sit, the tangier they’ll be. Taste them starting on day 4 to figure out your preference. I like them best around day 5 or so.

Once you decide they’re the level of sourness you’re looking for, place the jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for a couple of months.

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!)


DVO


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Posted in cleaning, food, organizing, planning

September Is the New January

We have had some really HOT dry weather here in North Idaho.  The rain we had last week was a sweet relief!  The forest fires have been raging and the smoke has been thick in the air.  The last days of summer have been spent indoors in AC trying to stay cool and out of the smoke somewhat.

smoke

Today was a beautiful sunny day with cooler temperatures and blue sky that we could see!!   That rain just washed the sky!  It feels like fall is coming early.

With the beginning of fall comes school.  The return of early mornings and routines, homework, sports practices and earlier bedtimes.  Even if you aren’t in school or don’t have kids in school, it seems to be the perfect time to reorganize, plan, set goals, and make new routines.  Maybe its the copious amount of school supplies that you can’t avoid at Target and Walmart?

white blank notebook
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Is anyone else obsessed with school supplies?  I am literally giddy walking through those isles this time of year!  All that fresh paper and index cards and folders and notepads!!   It feels like so much yet to be written.  So much hope and plans for things that haven’t happened yet.  A brand new start.  Fresh beginnings.  Ok, maybe that is just me?!

It is truly the perfect time to create new habits, and routines though.  You have the tools on sale all around you and the mindset is just there!  So take advantage of those magnetic whiteboards for your kids’ chore list.  Buy a new planner for next year.   Start a new habit using post-it notes to remind yourself.   Organize your housekeeping with index cards.

scrabble resolutions
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Make your “New Year’s Resolutions” this year in September!

Check out these articles on making this September your new January!

https://www.inc.com/gretchen-rubin/why-september-is-the-new-january.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tamiforman/2017/09/06/september-is-the-perfect-time-for-new-year-resolutions/#1d8202464235

September is the newJanuary

I have made these Chicken Burritos a few times.  I got the inspiration for them from “OMG Chocolate Desserts”.  Check them out!  They have some incredible other recipes as well!

https://omgchocolatedesserts.com/chicken-avocado-burritos/

Here is my take on this recipe! Super easy, few ingredients and oooohhh soooo good!!

Chicken Avocado Burritos

Serves:
12Yield:
12Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken shredded
3 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce plus more for serving
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Mexican blend cheese
2 avocados diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro divided
12 burrito sized flour tortillas
3/4 cup sour cream plus more for serving
salsa
safflower oil or peanut oil for frying

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl mix shredded chicken with mustard and hot sauce. Stir to evenly distribute. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cheese, cilantro, and diced avocado.
Warm the tortillas in damp paper towels in the microwave to make them pliable.
Spread 1 tablespoon sour cream on each tortilla, add 1/4 of the chicken mixture, form a roll with ends tucked in. Secure with toothpick.
Heat oil in deep fryer to 375* (You can pan fry, I just prefer to deep fry. Less messy.) Fry one at a time until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on a rack over a paper towel.
Serve on a bed of lettuce with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce and cilantro for garnish.
You can freeze uncooked burritos. Wrap individually in parchment and put in a freezer bag. Thaw before frying.

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!)

Mexican / Mexican

 

 

http://emay.myctfocbd.com/

Posted in cleaning, food, happiness, organizing, Tips and Tricks

Everything has a home and everything in it’s home

aromatherapy bloom blossom bright
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of the most consistent things you will see in a clean home is that everything has a home and everything is in it’s home.

You can have a disheveled room and pick up and have it clean in just minutes if everything has a place to live.

If an item has no place to live, it is wandering aimlessly around the house from one flat surface to another feeling out of place and awkward.

homeless

Imagine how that whatchamacallit you ordered from Amazon must feel.  It got ripped from a shelf, shut into a box and thrown into a truck. After a few rough rides, air turbulence, conveyor belts and another truck ride,  it landed at your front door hoping for a warm welcome and a good home.  Alas, it’s been moved from coffee table to kitchen counter to dining table, never really fitting in.  All it wants is a real home.  A place where it belongs.  Have a heart!  Find your whatchamacallit a home!

Everything in it's home

In all seriousness, establishing where something will live eliminates frustration when cleaning, it also helps prevent procrastination.  As a bonus, you will always know where something is when you need it!  Which also means you can delegate when necessary because you know where things are!

Next time you bring something into the house, think about where it’s forever home will be and put it there.   NOT a temporary home on the dresser for now.

You can have a clean home for a hot minute without a home for everything but it won’t be that way for long.  An organized home has a home for everything.

Making sure nothing is left homeless will save time cleaning, make your home more stress-free and allows you to do more of what YOU want to do!

clean home

We are in the middle of summer here in North Idaho, but I am already looking forward to fall!  I love fall!  The cool crisp air, the beautiful leaves, the boots, scarves and pumpkin spice lattes!  Yup, I am that girl.

Apples are another of my fall favorites.  We go apple picking at a local farm every year. Our whole family goes together. Hot fresh apple cider warms your hands while you stand in line for the pumpkin doughnuts, the aroma alone is worth standing in the long line.  Local vendors are selling their homemade goods.  Kids scream with delight at the bounce houses and beg to get their faces painted.  Wonderful memories are made there!

apple box

So when I stopped in a roadside fruit stand and found Honey Crisp Apple for $12.95 for a giant box I had to get them!  I can’t wait to go pick them myself but just couldn’t pass them up at that price.  So let the apple cooking, baking, eating begin!

apple peeler

One of the first things I did was make a fresh apple cake.  Seriously one of my favorite “apple” things!

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I peeled four apples.  I needed four cups of apples but these things are the size of my head so I ended up with eight cups!  I put the other four cups in a ziplock bag with a couple teaspoons of Fruit-Fresh and some water and put them in the fridge for something else.

Keep your apples from turning brown!

I used my really cool apple peeler/corer to peel the apples.  Super easy and fast!

all done

Yummy!!!! Warm with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is the way to go!

1 cup butter or shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour
4 cups chopped apples
Topping
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter and brown sugar together. Blend in eggs. In a small bowl combine salt, soda, cinnamon, and flour. Stir into shortening/sugar mixture. Fold in apples. It will be very thick. Put in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Combine melted butter and sugar and sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake in a 350 F oven for 50 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

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!)


DVO



 Click on this picture to order Fruit Fresh from Amazon!  This stuff is great! I cut up apples for my husband’s lunch, put a little Fruit Fresh in a ziplock bag and some water, add the apples and shake!  No brown apples!

 This apple peeler/corer is a huge time saver!  You can even peel potatoes with it!!  WOW!  Click on the picture to order!

Posted in cleaning, food, organizing

Smile!!

Years ago as I was going through my house tidying up, this phrase popped into my head and it has been my motto ever since.  “Improve every room you are in, each time you are in it, even if it’s just a smile.”

smile emoji

I say that over and over in my head all the time as I move throughout my house.  It just stuck.  It might be silly, but yes, sometimes I just smile in a room all by myself.

I fluff the couch pillows and set them straight.  I straighten the shower curtain when I am in the bathroom or wipe the toast crumbs off the counter when I get a drink.

Sometimes I look around and don’t see anything right off that needs attention so I just smile and mentally bless my home!

“Improve every room you are in, each time you are in it, even if it’s just a smile.”

smile flower

My favorite way to clean the shower is with a cloth and some body wash or shampoo while I am IN the shower.  It is a million times easier, you are already in there and already wet! I do that at least once a week and my shower never looks dirty.  I do, however, like to use a good shower cleaner to really get a good clean and get the water spots off every few weeks.   This is the best one I have found.  I have used several and I have been happiest with the Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foam! Click the link or the picture to purchase on Amazon.  When you do you are helping to support me at no extra cost to you! Thanks!

I made banana bread this week.  Yummy!  It hasn’t exactly been baking weather but I had 4 brown polka dot bananas left from the week before and I just couldn’t in good conscience leave them there!  I didn’t have any walnuts or pecans but I did have some chocolate chips that I threw in there instead.  I must say it may become a thing now!!

Have a happy weekend and don’t forget to improve every room you are in, if only just to smile!

smile

“>Click here to check out the awesome program I use for all my recipes and menu planning!

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:

by Elizabeth

3-4 very ripe bananas
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup broken walnuts or Pecans (opt)
brown sugar
cinnamon
sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Grease 3 small loaf pans or 2 small loaf pans and a muffin pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pans with brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon.
In a blender, puree bananas, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat shortening and gradually add sugars. Stir in banana mixture. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt blend into batter. Add walnuts if desired. Divide between the prepared pans. Sprinkle the tops with more brown sugar, cinnamon, and sugar.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Muffins, depending on size will bake 40-50 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.

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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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!

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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!)


DVO

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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 cleaning, food, organizing, Tips and Tricks

Hope for the “Less than Organized”

I have a confession to make.  I am not your born organized, super OCD, perfectionist.  I have always said that I am a “perfectionist wannabe”.   I WANT everything to be organized and pretty, but with an in-home daycare, a big family, homeschooling my kids, always doing some side job, etc., it has always been a struggle for me.   My brain NEEDS it to be clean and tidy to think clearly and not be stressed, but it doesn’t come naturally to me.

I am a hard worker and I have always tried hard to keep a clean home no matter how much I had on my plate, but then I would see other people’s homes and realize just how NOT clean and organized mine was.

Some people are born into the world organized!  My youngest daughter, Aimee, is one of those.  She was organizing her shoes instead of napping when she was two! Do you know how hard it is to scold a child for not taking her nap when she just lined up all her shoes perfectly and her room is clean?  She was charging her older sisters to clean and organize their closets by the time she was three!  (Young entrepreneur!)

aimee's closet

This is Aimee’s hall closet.  See what I mean??  She used dollar store bins and labeled everything with her pretty handwriting!  It’s a thing of beauty!  I won’t show you mine.  It is semi-organized with cardboard boxes and some plastic ones marked with my label maker. My towels are not lined up perfectly, my boxes and baskets are overflowing and there is just way too much stuff in there.

That picture right there inspires me! It can also make me frustrated with myself.  I used to let things like that bother me, I still struggle with that.  I would compare myself to others and beat myself up for not being that good.  I still want to improve myself and my home and my organizational skills daily but I am really working to not beat myself up!  I don’t want you to either.  We are a work in progress!

Comparison is the theif of joy.--Theodore Roosevelt1

I use routines that I have made into ingrained habits that keep my house pretty clean.  I still have a long way to go in the organizing and “closets that look like art” department,  but I’m working on it!  I often feel like I am not qualified to write this blog,  I am so far from having a “perfect home” but I know I have something to share with you.  Ways that I have found to maintain some order in a chaotic life!

So, the take away from this:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others and beat yourself up.
  2. Let those more organized inspire you
  3. Make morning and evening routines a habit
  4. There is hope if you weren’t born with the “Clean Gene”

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Have you ever made homemade croutons?  They are delicious!  Yes, dried bread that is delicious!  If you think about it, why BUY dried bread that isn’t really that good when you probably already have everything you need to make a whole bunch of super yummy croutons for your salads this summer!

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


Croutons

1 loaf cubed bread It can be random types of bread you have left over. Just fill a baking sheet.
1 cube butter, melted
Italian seasoning
Johnny’s garlic and herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put bread cubed on a baking sheet. Pour melted butter over all. I hold the cup up kind of high so it is a small stream and doesn’t all go in one spot. Liberally shake Italian seasoning and garlic herb seasoning over bread. Stir with a pancake spatula, kind of turning it over. Shake on a bit more seasoning. Bake for 15 minutes at a time. After every 15 minutes, take out and “stir” again. Sometimes it takes an hour sometimes only 45 minutes. You can tell by how dark it is getting. Let them sit out on the counter for several hours before storing. Try not to eat them all before they make it to a ziplock bag!

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!)


DVO

QuantcastCheck out this adorable picnic basket!  Isn’t it just the cutest?!  It’s insulated too!  I am going to use it for my daycare.  I am going to pack our water bottles, snacks, and wipes in it when we spend the mornings playing outside.  Click on the picture to order it on Amazon and when you do, at no extra cost to you I get a little kickback.  Thank you for supporting me!

This cool shelf is going in my laundry room.  It will fit perfectly and will nicely hold baskets, detergents, extra towels and cleaning supplies.  Click on the picture to order from Amazon!