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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Go to Bed with a Clean House for a Less Stressed Morning

Hello everyone!  I hope that you are enjoying your week!  We have been really busy with family events.  :) When we are busy, I house seems to fall apart really quickly!! I am not sure what happens but we are in and out so much and it’s hard to keep things in line.
One of the ways that I try to keep a clean is house is to go to bed with it clean and tidy!
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If I take the extra time at night to pick up,  we wake up feeling great and less stressed! :)  My kids go to bed at 7pm so I have time to clean up and relax with my hubs!
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Then I can spend my day doing activities, projects, homework, cooking, etc. and not worry about the house as much.
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I clear and wash the counter.
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I do all the dishes.  Sometimes my hubby helps with that!  :)
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I don’t like a lot on my counters…I like to KEEP IT SIMPLE!
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I listen to my music while I clean…that totally helps me! :)
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I wash out the sink!
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Get the coffee ready.
2011 03 25_3161 My butler’s pantry is sometime our “dumping ground” as you can see. 
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I have the kids help clean the family room before they go to bed.
2011 03 25_3165  I will also try to check the bathroom and do a quick wipe down.
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So, that is how I try to keep a clean house and a less stressed morning! :)
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Do I do this every night?
No, but I try to and when I do, I feel so much better!!!
What is you trick to keeping a clean home?
Bonnie

How to Make Vanilla Facial Scrub

After you make a batch of vanilla sugar from my previous post for cooking and sweet indulgences like tea and coffee, whip up a batch of vanilla facial scrub. It's a mild, sweet smelling scrub that has real benefits. It's all natural, easy to make and effective.

Here's the recipe:

Vanilla and Honey Facial Scrub

1 Cup packed brown sugar
Seeds from half a vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon of real

How to Make Vanilla Sugar


Vanilla sugar is a neat twist on plain old granulated sugar. It'll boost your morale every time you lift the lid on the pot or dish. It's very simple, too. Another wonderful benefit is that it makes a very nice gift for a favorite cook -- or even just someone who likes trying out new foods.

It's wonderful in coffee or tea, makes a nice sprinkle on cookies or homemade donuts (or cereal), and

Friday, April 29, 2011

Homemade Barrettes

Do you have 10 minutes?
In ten minutes, I made several cute, barrettes for my daughter!!!
I don’t have great pictures because this was a last minute project.  I keep all my materials in this basket.  I was already in the process when I took this photo, ha!  I wasn't planning on blogging about it but I thought I would after I started.
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I just use my hot glue gun.
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I use flowers, ribbons, buttons, sequence, etc…pretty much anything that I can find.
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(Again, sorry about the blurry photos.  It really was a ten minute project.)
2011 04 19_3567 2011 04 19_3568 Here are the afters!  I love them and so does my little girly girl! :)
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We love making barrettes together!!!
They are fun, easy and cheap!
What quick and fun project do you like doing with kids?
Bonnie

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When one door closes…


doorknob

I first started this blog because we were planning on building a home, and I wanted to document the process.  But those plans fell by the wayside, and we assumed we’d be in our current home for several more years.  We were *so sure* we’d be staying that we used up all of the collected items (intended for the new house) on this house instead.  Like our front door.  And our laundry sink.  And the bathroom sink and legs.  And the fireplace mantel.  Plus more…

desk3

Oh yes, remember this?  It wasn’t so long ago was it?  It’s evidence that we were not planning on moving when we built in this little desk nook!  It’s now turned into this:

closeddoor3

We had to cover it up for resale.  Not everyone has the need for a pint sized built-in desk after all.  This old door came out of a friend’s barn.  People will either love or hate it.  Which might not be good for resale either though.  Hmm. 

So the scoop is that we found a fixer upper in a great location, and we’re going for it! 

sterlingfarmhouse3

It’s a farmhouse built in 1930.  One would think it would be oozing with charm inside but not so.  Throughout the years, it’s gone through much “renovation” which we fully intend to undo.  Surely there are treasures to be found underneath all the layers.  Let’s hope!

sterlingfarmhouse4

There is a sheep and horse farm next door so we can pretend it’s ours but without the labor. ;)  Perfect. 

sterlingfarmhouse2

We thought we’d be transitioning back to suburbia for our next house, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Country living has gotten into our bones at this point, and we’re embracing its benefits. 

In a few days I’ll be participating in the Parade of Homes tour that’s being hosted by A Bowl Full of Lemons.  It will be a nice way to exit one door while entering another.  I hope you’ll come along!

DRAWING A BLANK

So with the Texas experience behind me, and not much going on around here I am at a temporary loss for material to blog about.

Ever get that way?

I have begun a bit of shopping for the Fall show, and this Saturday I am heading to Lakeland for a market called THE FANCY FLEA so I'll be back with pics of the show and my haul.



Pardon the interruption please...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Organize Magazines and Newspapers

Welcome to Week 10 of our Organize your Life series!
Organize your LIFE
If you are just joining in, please link up your blog here so we can all help motivate each other!
I am reading and using the book called, Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry, to help me organize my life! :)
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Are you a magazine subscription junkie?
Can you remember the last time you actually had the time to read one of the many magazines or newspapers that you’ve bought?
Do you have several years of the same catalogs piled high?
This week’s challenge is to…

Organize your Magazines and Newspapers!
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This is pretty easy for me because I only subscribe to three magazines (and that’s only because I got a great deal on them) and we don’t get any newspapers.
I get Better Homes and Gardens which is my favorite!
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I also like Traditional Home just because I like looking at all the pictures, hehe!
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Lastly, I get House Beautiful.
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I would LOVE to get more but I don’t even have the time to really read the ones I have now.
After I am done reading them,  I give away, sell at my garage sale or recycle. 
Currently, this is my collection…small, huh?  I just read blogs now, lol!
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I saved a couple that I still need to read and a couple other good ones that I like to look at once in a while.
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I keep them in my drawer to look at before bed.
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Or in my kitchen mail holder for easy access downstairs.
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TIPS TO STAY ORGANIZED
Every month
Recycle anything that you don’t want to read!
Cut out any articles that you want and put them in a plastic protector in your magazine binder.
Binder Magazine Holders
Every 3-6 months
Go through magazines and binders and organize.
Magazine Holders
Every year
Cancel subscriptions that you don’t want anymore.
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Next week is organizing your email, so get ready to link up! :)
Today,  link up your Magazine and Newspaper Organization Post!!!
Thanks for following along.
Happy Organizing!!! :)
Bonnie

Swallows

We have had the wonderful pleasure of dealing with and observing an abundance of wildlife over the last almost eight years.  Our last house was sandwiched between farmland to the back and natural water to the front as is this house.  However, this house is a bit more rural so we get even more wildlife visits.  When we moved to our last house we noticed swallows building nests under our dock. 

To Your Vitality The Three Colors You Should Be Eating More Of

With spring here and summer coming, I though you would enjoy this post! :)

 

The Three Colors You Should Be Eating More Of
Remember ROYGBIV? I do. The mnemonic is how I learned the seven colors of a rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Nowadays I use the acronym to represent the colors of food I should be eating.
Because nature highlights the beneficial nutrients in fruits and vegetables by giving them bright colors, eating by color is an easy way to load up on nature’s superfoods. Each color represents phytochemicals—compounds that benefit our health in different ways—which is why you should eat a colorful variety of vegetables. For example, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins—two antioxidants associated with keeping the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally—make foods like blueberries, eggplant and cranberries blue, purple and deep red.
The USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however, suggest paying particular attention to three colors: dark green, red and orange.
Here’s how much of each color you should aim to eat every week:
Red and orange vegetables: 5 1/2 to 6 cups each week for most adults
What counts as a “cup”? 1 large red bell pepper, 8 large strawberries, 12 baby carrots or 2 medium carrots, a sweet potato or a medium pink grapefruit.
Why they’re important: Red foods—such as tomatoes and red peppers—contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help protect against prostate and breast cancers. Alpha and beta carotene make foods like carrots and sweet potatoes so brilliantly orange. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals.
Dark green vegetables: 1 1/2 to 2 cups weekly

What counts as a “cup”? A cup of cooked greens, 2 cups raw greens or 10 broccoli florets.

Why they’re important: Dark, leafy greens (spinach, chard and arugula) are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that accumulate in the eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people. They’re also rich in beta carotene. Dark green cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, provide compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates, which may help prevent cancer by amping up the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body.
How many colors did you eat in your last meal?
By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.
Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as nutrition editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master's degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. A Registered Dietitian, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.
Thanks Brierley for that info!
If you are not getting everything you need, I love Shaklee CarotoMax to make sure I am getting enough vitamins!!! :)

Have a great day! :)
Bonnie

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Whatever's on my mind...

We've had a slew of things happen in the last month or so to keep me offline, from coming back to Texas, to getting settled (and all that that entails), to meeting up with friends old and new, to the 7+ day saga of getting our computer gutted and back in the saddle, to, well, the beautiful blue sky and green grass of Texas beckoning us to come out and play, go for walks, picnics, and take pictures. :)

But I'm back, anyway. And my thoughts are swirling... here's a few samplings of the things on my mind:
  • How God leads us. Sometimes we sense a very clear "DO THIS!" about a particular decision or specific direction in life. I felt this way about where to attend college, moving overseas, and homeschooling. Other times it seems that God gives us a wide open road with several options. I don't know how it all works out... I trust that He is sovereign, and that He knows all, and that He guides His children. Sometimes it just boils down to trusting Him and taking the next step.
  • Can't believe Moses is 9 months old! Seems like he was just born. Sounds cliche, but I guess it feels this way no matter how many times you experience it.
  • Food here doesn't taste as good to me as I expected it to. Granted, I'm still eating it, but it's just not as "WOW" as I thought every blissful bite would be. Maybe it's because I've cooked from scratch now for nearly 5 years and my tastebuds have adjusted to fresh foods? But jarred-sauces (even the fancy-sounding ones) just can't compare to fresh chopped tomatoes, garlic, and basil... and open-pop-biscuits are nowhere near as fabulous as homemade cream biscuits. Still, I was looking forward to all of these flavors, and so far the only ones that have lived up to my expectations have been Blue Bell, Chipotle, and Red Robin.
  • Oh how I love the library! Free! Just a few blocks away! Books everywhere! And even DVDs! I'm enjoying taking the kids a couple times each week.
  • The No-S Diet is still going great. I'm down 3 pounds from what I was a couple weeks ago. On average, now that I'm not just holding my weight (like I did while I was in just-arrived-back-in-TX-eat-everything-delicious-that-you-possibly-can mode) I'm losing about 1 pound per week. More than that, I'm noticing that my personal self-control has grown, and that I'm really, honestly, content with how much (how little?) I'm eating now. I eat good-sized meals throughout the week, and enjoy treats on the weekends. It's simple, and makes good sense. As I've said before, I hope to eat like this the rest of my life. I feel like I have a healthier attitude towards food & sweets than I've ever had before (and I've never been one with an eating disorder, etc., just never exercised much self-control in this area). This feels great.
  • Couponing is incredible. INCREDIBLE! It is crazy how inexpensively we can feed our family here, and how conveniently... now, I will say, I'm having to be more intentional about eating well, because of the difference in the quality of produce... but the toiletries, convenience foods, and disposable goods that we can get for a fraction of the cost is amazing. I'm following "CouponMom"'s system (free), and greatly enjoying the benefits.
  • I'm currently reading Wendy Shalit's "Girls Gone Mild"... what a thought-provoking, culture-exposing book! Her thoughts on how the current sexual climate among college students & young professionals works (or rather, doesn't work) knocks some heavy blows to the ideas of feminism and "liberation". Have you read it?
  • Monogamy is so incredibly freeing. Reading the book I just mentioned has just made me all the more thankful for a joyful, safe, and fun marriage bed! What a headache to constantly fret and wonder about presenting oneself in the best light, worrying about sexual issues (STDs, birth control, how to do x to satisfy your new lover, etc.), and more. How freeing and wonderful to be in a love relationship, walking side by side, where each romantic encounter is somehow different and unique and yet familiar and comforting! How precious it is to be in a God-centered marriage!
I anticipate that I'll be back to writing again soon- more than just the "7 Quick Takes" variety I've been doing lately-- as there are lots of thoughts swirling right now. Anything on your mind?

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