Simplifying Part 2

I’m fully on my road to simplifying my life now and I already feel freer and happier that the amount of clutter in my house is slowly being removed bit by bit. Over the last couple of weeks I have completed somewhat small but important tasks. Such as organizing and filing all of our paperwork that was previously in a large pile. We had been looking for wooden filing cabinets and my husband finally found 2 of them at an auction for less than $100 for the two of them which is a great price. Now they aren’t vintage per-say but they are built well. We only have 1 in our house because that is all we need, the other one will go into Josh’s office up in the studio (for more info on that check out my other Blog ).

While organizing our paperwork I was able to throw away a diaper box full of papers, that Wooden_file_cabinetcleared out a large portion of clutter in the one corner of our den where my desktop is currently located. I still have some filing to do but it requires my husband to go through it with me since it is his paperwork and I dare not touch it in case I accidentally throw it away or lose it. This took almost 1 1/4 hours.

One of the other projects I have been working on is going through our kitchen cupboards and downsizing the amount of stuff I have in there. For instance why do I have 2 different types of plates when only 1 will do? So I got rid of things like that, I also removed about 10 mugs when 4 will do, cake pans that I have never used etc. I have 3 decent size boxes ready to go to charity shop just from the kitchen alone. This took 30 minutes

The Next thing I did was go through the drawer in our foyer, that took all of 5 minutes to do once I tossed the trash and put all the colored pencils and crayons in their proper place.

When I wrote before that these tasks do not take long they really don’t with the exception of filing paperwork only because I had to go through and look at each piece of paper to put it in the right folder.

I also went through what I call my lingerie drawer where I keep my slips, swimsuits etc in there. I removed things I haven’t worn in the last 3 years, thus removing over half of the things in that drawer. Time wise it took about 5 minutes.

Time accumulated with all 4 of these tasks about 2 hours.

Until Next Time,

~Kristen

 

Simplifying Part 1

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Image Source: Listotic.com

I first saw this idea on Pinterest and was immediately  intrigues by it. Now I have a single closet in my house that has one very wide and deep shelf at the top so it makes it a little harder to look organized however on my journey to simplify I will make do.

I did my own version of this idea today, now they aren’t as neat since I had my 10 year old helping me but that doesn’t matter as long as the job gets done. I had a extra large space bag on the shelf that had blankets, sheets, and a whole host of odds and ends that I went through. Now that bag holds all the things I want to get rid of, There were a few blankets in there that I will be donating to our blanket ministry at our church that goes to a shelter who hands them out to the homeless. These blankets will be used rather than sit on my shelf “rotting” away.

Since this giant shelf is home to not only my linens it also holds all of our towels and wash clothes as well. I can honestly say I only got rid of 1 towel only because it was threadbare it wasn’t going to do any of us any favors. Next was downsizing the amount of wash clothes, I have no idea how we ended up having over 20 of them but we did. I downsized to about 10 of them that were all the same color to keep things simple.

Before I put everything away I wiped the shelf down just in case there had been any mice rummaging and leaving poop treats everywhere, thankfully none were found.

This whole process took less than 15 minutes to do and that is 1 more thing I can check off on my checklist.

Until Next Time,

~Kristen

 

2016 The Year of Simplifying

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A New Year rolls around and I see hundreds of resolutions floating across my computer screen, most of which will not be followed by February. Growing up we never made resolutions in our house and I still don’t however I do make attainable goals usually for my businesses. This year I have decided to make this the year of Simplifying. I want to simplify my life by not having it cluttered with stuff. Simply put I want my house to stay clean all the time and not spend 6 hours deep cleaning it every week.

So how does one go about simplifying their house?

First of all I made a list, I am the queen of lists and have them littered around my house. It feels satisfying to check a line on my list off once it is complete so that is how I start.

I go room by room, my list isn’t all over the place but I have header for each room and what I want to accomplish in that room underneath. It makes this seeming overwhelming task into a much more manageable one.

Here is my list that I call Simplify and Clean as you can see it is very simple and basic however each item has a deeper meaning. For instance the Vanity in the Bathroom means clean the vanity out, scrub it down, throw away old stuff that I haven’t used in the last 3 months ( the only exception to this is holiday things that I do use), organize what goes back in and put it away.  Another example is the Kitchen and underneath it I have the word Cupboard. That entails so much more, I am planning on going through and getting rid of excess things we do not need or have an abundance of such as mugs. For some reason we have oodles of mugs, we don’t drink coffee or tea on a regular basis so we do not need 20 mugs for 6 people.

What am I suppose to do with all the stuff I don’t want?

There are several options 1. Throw it away, 2. Donate it, 3. Sell it on a Buy Sell or Trade (BST) site.
Some things you will need to just throw away, others you can donate or sell it on a BST site for a few extra dollars. I utilize BST pages often and they take very little effort on the sellers part. Just be sure to take good pictures, have a good description and the condition of the item you are selling, a Price and usually a location. You meet the buyer and exchange money and item and wham you are good to go. I do however recommend not meeting strangers at your home instead meet at a public place. Since I live in a small town I like to meet people at my local library which is centrally located in town.
When I donate items I go to a local computer business and get boxes from them and use those to put what I am donating in, that way everything is in one place and it can easily be taken out to the car and dropped off once it is full. It is up to you if you want to take multiple trips to the charity of your choice or take it all in when trip, it really depends on how much room you have in your house.

So where should you start once you make your list?to do list.jpg

Once my list is made I start by cleaning a small spot first, I aim to deep clean something for 10-15 minutes a day. If you stick to that plan you will be burnt out after 3 days and it doesn’t become an overwhelming task to accomplish. Just the other day I spent less than 10 minutes going through and clean a table in our den/school room. I put files away, books on the bookcase, threw trash away and wiped the table down. I did all of this while my oldest daughter worked on her math assignment, the preschooler was at school, the toddler was playing with blocks and the baby was on floor with a few of her toys. So it can be done with children at home, get them to help. My boys 4 and 3 love to help organize small projects.

Until Next Time,

~Kristen

Giving from the Heart

Every year I ponder on what to get the Grandparents for Christmas, this is no easy task. This year however I decided to do homemade gifts from my children to their grandparents, now I did orcastrate it all but I am pretty pleased with how well it turned out.

It all started with my Dad’s birthday in the beginning of November, I usually make him a Key Lime Pie which is one of his favorite desserts and give him a small gift. I wanted to do something akin to the painted hand-prints on a shirt for him, however 2 of his grandchildren live in Alaska and we have tried this before but the package got lost in the mail.

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OneFabDay.com

So instead I found this tree on Pinterest, I didn’t print it out like it suggested because I wanted to put it on canvas so it would stay sturdy and not get floppy as more finger prints were added since there are currently 13 grandchildren.

Now I am not crafty or artistic when it comes to drawing but I am pretty proud with how well my copy came out. I did this in what I call a free hand trace, basically I had the print out in front of me and I measured the length of the trunk tree with a ruler and drew it in pencil. I then copied over it with a fine point sharpie and added the thin branches after that.

Crafty tree

As you can see it isn’t exactly the same and that is perfectly find with me because every tree is different and none of them look the same. I had the kids use 2 different color rubber stamp ink for their thumb prints. Red for girls and Green for the boys along with writing their name by their thumb print. That way we can add more thumb prints as more grandchildren are added to the family.

 

Now for Christmas I wanted to do my kids handprints in birth order. I started with plain white stretched canvas over a frame and painted it ivory.  Before I applied little handprints to the canvas I did test them out DSC_0272on a plain sheet of paper and I am glad I did. I originally had my oldest son Z-man with green paint and my youngest son Jakie in red paint, however the red paint ate away at the purple that was picked out for my youngest Abby.  So if you do this project definitely try it out on piece of paper before applying.

After painting both canvases ivory I let them sit 24 hours before moving on to the hand print part.

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With the help of my oldest we picked out 4 colors that represent each of the kids.

Gracie picked out aqua/teal for herself and we choose green for Z-man, red for Jakie and purple for Abby. Now as I stated above we had to switch out Z-mans and Jakies colors due to washing out the purple of Abby’s paint.  What I love about this project is that each one is different or what you would call perfectly imperfect and that describes my children to a T, I love them all very much and that they aren’t 12347945_10156304135220503_5567704126001424232_nperfect little children because lets be honest they aren’t perfect and nor will they ever be.
Both boys rolled their hands a bit while making these so it looks like they have 6 fingers instead of 5 again the perfectly imperfect. I wanted to add the children’s names and ages but wasn’t sure how to go about doing that, I had kicked around the idea of using a fine point sharpie to write their names but who would you tell whose hand belongs to who since Z-man and Jakie’s are basically the same size at ages 3 and 4. So my husband suggested that I paint their names with the paint color we used for their hand prints, why I didn’t think of that I have no idea

 

So here are the finished project.

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Gifts for the Littles

My idea of a great Christmas changes yearly. Should the kids get a ton of toys that they will once again break or rarely play with or should I give them somethings more meaningful like books and experiences?

This year it is all about books and things I know they will play with even though their verbal Christmas lists are long and filled with silly toys that are advertised in the paper and on TV. They of course are not getting any of these toys mostly because the toys make noise and I really dislike toys that make noise and require batteries.

So for fun I am going to post my kids Christmas letters to Santa.

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like a 3DS in Pink or Blue. A Super Smash Mario Brothers game for the DS and a new pair of  headphones.
A Bike in purple or teal.
Lego’s or Lego Friends.
The Movie’s Home, Minions and Inside Out.
Love,
Katherine (age 10)
P.S. Oh and a Girl Scout Easy Bake Oven”

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like a Remote Control Fish, a Racetrack and a Miles from Tomorrowland Blanket

Love,
Zane” (age 4)

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like PJ Masks pajama’s, a Paw Patrol Blanket and hot dogs.
Love,
Jacob”  (age 3)

Now if you can’t tell big sister wrote these out for the boys since they can’t spell yet.

May your Christmas wishes be filled and you have a blessed Christmas Season.

~Kristen

 

10 Children Books Parents Hate to Read

As parents we all have that one or two books on our children’s shelves that we hate to read but our children love. I asked a group of Moms what their most hated children’s book that their children love and this is the list they gave me.

That’s Not My Car.

Why?  Mom doesn’t like reading this book is that her son has to touch everything on every page and it takes a while to get through.

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Noah and Dexter by Annelien Wehrmeijer

Why? It is only a few pages long and doesn’t make much sense. However the the finger puppet Monkey is adorable.

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Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss

Why: The kids love to find every wacky thing on each page as Mom or Dad try to read it

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Good Families Don’t by Robert Munsch

Why? Apparently the large fart in the book makes one Mom not a fan

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I’ll Love You Forever By Robert Munsch

Why? It is an incredibly sad story and most people find it to be a bit creepy especially when the Mom watches her sleeping son  in be with his wife.

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Chicka chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault 

Why? This book by far is the most hated book on most book shelves in bedrooms and classrooms.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle 

Why? Due to the repetitiveness of the book.

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Why:  Goodnight Moon is nonsensical and not in a funny Doctor Seuss way. The room is the size of a house, you don’t say goodnight to a mouse, you don’t leave mush sitting by the bed and what kid lets you sit and knit in their room while they go to sleep.

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 Goodnight, Goodnight Construction site  by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Why: Just like any book that your children love the repetitiveness of reading makes parents hate this book.
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My most hated book is
Hermie by Max Lucado
Why: It always seemed to drag on, the story its self has a great message though.
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What is the most hated children’s book on your bookshelf today?
~Kristen

Book Release: Honey’s Big Splash

Willis_Cover2 (2)Honey’s Big Splash is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Tate Publishing to purchase. To purchase a personalized and signed copy from yours truly, please comment on this post and I will get back to you about payment and shipping.

~Kristen