Snow Day

Amazingly enough this is only the 2nd snow day we have had this year.  Global warning?  Naaaa!  This is normal, right?   Naaaaaa!  But that is a conversation for another day.

M and L were just getting over yet another round of symptoms so we had to get creative in our method of “playing in snow.”

M spent nearly all morning creating and imaging in her bowl of snow.  L lasted about 30 minutes which is a record for him.

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Stocking meals & meal planning challenge

Last year I joined in on an “Eating down the pantry challenge” where the goal was to only buy necessary food items while using up everything in your pantry and freezer.  The challenge went well but it ended with us just having an almost empty pantry and freezer.  It was nice to start with a clean slate.   We could build a stock of food we know we would use, not to mention getting rid of some seriously out-of-date  items.  However, this year I  want to do things differently.  I am going to do a “Stocking meals & meal planning challenge.”  I am starting with an almost empty freezer and reasonably stocked pantry.  My goal is to stock pile actual homemade meals and to “plan” all my meals each week.

I hope to make this a way of life instead of a short challenge.  It will allow my family to eat  healthier meals since there will be something pre-planned ready to eat.  Right now this is a major need for our household budget.  Food is our most erratic of spending areas.  Food costs are straining for many family’s budgets right now and we are no exception.   We are so fortunate to have enough for our family but money is tight and we, like so many, never have a chance to forget that.  Honestly, I find it a blessing to be where I am.  To be so very thankful for enough, period and no buts… to follow.  Just thankful for what I have, where I am and who I am with.  The simplicity I have been seeking is seeping into my life in many forms.  I am thankful for fewer distractions to notice it.

Back to basics and A starting point:

3 bags of homemade vegetable soup

1 bag of the waffle/ pancake mix

If you would like to join me in this challenge please do!  I’d love the support.  Or if you have any easily frozen meal ideas I would LOVE to hear them too!  Wish me luck!

Just found this amazing blog with fabulous homemade recipes and plastic free too!

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A love bowl

I know it’s a bit early to for valentine’s crafts but hey, we wanted to make something out of salt dough and this is what came about.

Love bowls….

First we made the salt dough and used heart cookie cutters to make the hearts.

Then the kids painted them.

I wrote our names on the hearts including our family pets past and present.

We placed them in a pretty bowl which will stay in the middle of our dinner table through Valentine’s Day.

and here is our Love Bowl.

  

  

  

linking here:  

Fun Stuff Fridays

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Thankful for This and That

Taking time to be thankful for simplicity.

A rare cup of coffee in my newly recharged love of green tea.

Homemade pancakes

Homemade French onion soup

Indoor obstacle course, tents, fun with cars in beans, and tea parties with cucumber sandwiches.

   

Sometimes so little means so much.  I am thankful for these things.

 

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What’s going Wednesday # 10

Today I have packed up a few books, 2 bags, a decorative fabric table runner, 2 jarred candles, 2 candle holders, a belt, and a Hawaiian keepsake.

And as usual I have 3 broken items compliments of the under 3 feet ‘ers.  They are VERY helpful with decisions that are more difficult (fragile).

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Too Many Clothes- update #2

I have moved my son into the next size of clothing.   He and his sister share a room and yet another small closet.  But actually, it turns out these closets are not so small after all.    They have plenty of space for a family’s needs if said family keeps only what they wear and love.  My daughter’s side of the closet have 3 racks while my son’s only has one.  Our home was built in the early 50’s and has closets you can walk into but has only short racks on either side to hang clothes (by walk into I mean step in and face left or right, not walk-around).   Although the amount of clothes still seems large, I am thrilled that their closet now contains all clothing that fit them currently and that they will grow into this year.  This includes clothing for ALL seasons.  As they wear these items or try them on I can easily weed out ill-fitting clothes, etc.  I placed a small basket on the floor of the closet where clothes can be tossed to be donated or packed away.

  

  

  

  Yes, it is messy but that will come later!

 

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Too many clothes-update #1

I know I don’t wear all the clothes I own but with some pieces I always play the “someday” game.  I have already gotten rid of 3 laundry baskets (pictured below) full of clothes belonging  to myself and my husband.  I hung up a lot of my shirts with the hangers hooking from the back.  I am giving myself to the end of each season for a chance to wear these items.  If the hangers are still backwards at the end of the coordinating season they too will go.  I am still working on “out of season” clothes bins  and making good progress at this point.  I will have an update on kids clothes for you tomorrow.  I hung all my clothes with like colors.  It looks nice, yes, but it also helps me to be able to picture my closet (small, yes!) when I am out shopping for clothes.  I can determine whether or not I need ANOTHER black shirt, etc …..or not!

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Another day- more stuff!

I gathered these items from around the kid’s bedroom.  As I went through the pile I put each item in an appropriate box.

In the blue bin I put all clothes that were outgrown and need to be saved for later and the hopes of another child someday.  The toys and puzzles that were to stay had a box and of course the rest went to a “leaving the house” box.  Anything that did not belong in their room went into a handled basket (not shown here) that I bring with me every time I clean.   These items (tape, scissors, pens, etc,)  will be put away as soon as the project is complete.

 

I have been working for a while now to “de-stuff” the house.   Every time I have to stop working, the boxes (below) I am using to sort items have to be moved or the kids dive into them like its their own personal christmas.  Soooo…. I did a little furniture rearranging in the family room (which I LOVE to do anyway) and I lined the boxes along the back wall and set up a gate in front of them.  This has been great.  Now I can declutter a drawer or just random items I find and the boxes are all ready for me to just toss an them into.  My productivity is really increasing with this method.  I just hope no one wants to stop by for a while!  Oh well, if they do maybe they will want to stay and help me!  You think!?

If you are curious about the categories for my sorting boxes they are:  toys, donate (leaving the house), give back to/ give to…, self-care/bathroom, tools/ HH supplies, basement, crafts and gift wrap, gifts, paper, Bill’s stuff.

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A place for everything and everything in it’s place

As part of my goal to simplify my life, I have been getting rid of the “stuff” in my house that just doesn’t serve a purpose.  I have been showing you everything I am removing from the house through my posts “What’s going Wednesday”.  I now want you to join me and share ideas about where to put the things I do keep.

I started in our small bathroom because I know it could be done quickly and motivate me to keep going once I saw the results.

Here are the Before & After pics:

Before:

I know this is not a major mess but the items inside don’t all belong there or are just not used.

Below are pictures of other items and containers sitting out in the bathroom.  This bathroom has no closed storage except for this medicine cabinet.

These are normally stored on the shelves you will see in the after pictures below.

After:               

  

  Simple changes but a big impact.  Now I know that the family will have easy access to what they need.

I would love to hear what and how you organize in your home.

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What’s going Wednesday #9

Over the holidays, and by that I mean Thanksgiving through New Year’s, our family has had one cold and or illness after the other.  From what I hear this year’s batch of colds, flu’s, and sore throats have hit everyone everywhere.  So I hope you are all finally feeling better too!  Because of this we spent LOTS of time at home.  This gave me great opportunity to really dive into to my stuff and really “de-stuff.”  The idea of minimalism is so appealing to me.  I can imagine waking up and having time to just play with the kids.  No 20 loads of laundry because we don’t own 20 loads worth of clothes, no organizing this or that because we keep only what we need and find a place  for everything.  I read a great book by Joshua Becker called Simplify.  He talks about his and his family’s experience with minimalism and he talks about how it is “their” version of minimalism.   I love that.  Although my version of living with less may not be someone else’s minimalism I think we can all find a place on the spectrum.

Well, as I said I have been busy at work “de-stuffing.”  It is a busy time of year to do this but it was nice being able the go through the major holiday decorations at the same time.  I was able to pass on a lot of Christmas decor as I realized I didn’t want to display this or that.  So I just immediately put those items into a donate box.  I also got rid of a full box of stuffed animals, lots of play kitchen toys, miniature toys, Bill’s shoes, bags of all types.

  

  

  To weed out the above this was all of the actual trash.  Not too bad.  I am much happier when I can donate or recycle instead of creating more trash.  I am seeking a more simplified life but I don’t intend to harm the environment in doing so.  Well, I will try my best.

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