Monday, April 29, 2013

A Journey Toward A Simpler Home

I'm embarking on a journey to simplify my home, and in turn my family.
I plan to document the little (and big!) changes I and my family make as we turn away from the busyness and want of the world and strive for simplicity and contentment.

I am a busy mom, like many of you.
I keep the house (with help from my sweet husband!), raise my son, work outside the home, have church responsibilities and run my own small cottage business.
I also love to shop.
I love stuff.

All of those items leads to a life of chaos. And jealousy.

So, I am taking a step back.
I am learning to be grateful for the many, many blessings I have.
I am learning to say 'no' in order to have more time serving my family.
I am learning to love and enjoy keeping my home.

I see each chore as a blessing for my family. That little attitude shift alone has made a tremendous difference.

And I'm seeing that the more "stuff" I have, only creates more work to clean and maintain.

Simplifying is a breath of fresh air in an ultra-busy society.

As I look ahead to what is on the horizon as I start this process, I know it will include:



I hope you'll follow me and perhaps join along as I journey toward a simpler home.

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,"
Hebrew 13:5

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Simpler Home: Weekly Outfit Planning

I have been striving to make my home a happier, simpler place.
Over the next few weeks I will share some little tricks and tips that are working for our household.

I started planning Levi's outfits each week a few weeks ago and it has REALLY helped our mornings be even simpler.

Here's how I do it:
You know those 2 piece "outfit" hangers you get at the store?
And you have no idea what to do with them afterwards?

I took seven of those and labeled them for each day of the week.
I simply wrapped some Washi tape around the hook (told you I am addicted!) and then used my label maker to make a label for each day.

Then each Sunday I look at the 7 day forecast and plan out his outfits for the week!
Then I hang them up at the front of his closet so it is all ready to go!

My little tip for an even simpler morning!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catch Up

So, I haven't blogged in a bit.
I've been a bit busy with life.

What have I been up to?
Besides work, marriage, managing a home, and raising a boy?

We've been enjoying lots of family time

Mommy & Son Target Date

 Visiting the family Train Museum
Quality time with the cousins
 Fun with a friend at Chuck E Cheese (Carlos Queso)

Snuggles with a sick boy : (
 I had my very first home show where I got to show off my items that I sew
 I did pretty well, sold quite a few things. I was very proud.
So I've been sewing my booty off completing orders and preparing for the show.

Levi was sick today so I was home all day with him and was able to rest and get the house back in order.
I'm looking forward to life calming down a bit and getting back in business.
And a little birdy told me only 22 school days left!

And one last picture that is absolutely hilarious.

Can you guess which boy is my son?!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Importance of Personal Growth

As a teacher, professional development is very important.
I have binders and binders filled with strategies to teach better, ideas for managing behavior, charts to monitor progress, etc. etc.
All these resources help refine me as a teacher and improve not only my teaching but my students' learning.

As I went through my life priorities, teaching wasn't at the top.
I love it, but my faith, family and friendships come first.

And it got me thinking.
I have so many resources and notes on being a better teacher, I should have the same for being a better Follower of Christ. To be a better wife. To be a better mother.

So, I began a personal growth binder.

And it has become a vital tool for my own personal growth.
These 2 binders are my lifesavers.
They sit on a shelf in my family room for easy access.

I brainstormed areas that I'd like more resources in with my role as a Christian, wife and mother.
Here are the different categories I came up with for myself:
Study (Bible)

Whenever I find a particular resource I would want to access again and again, I print it off and add it to my binder.
I've already gotten quite a few items.
A great thing to google is 'free ebook' about a particular topic.
At the front of my binder is my Mission Statement.
Another daily reminder I need for my life's purpose each day.

So why is personal growth important?
1. It has eternal consequences
My personal growth affects His kingdom.
My growing and understanding of His word affects my relationship with Him.

2. It effects others
My personal growth as a believer, wife and mother have a great impact on my husband, son, family and friends.
As I work to be a better wife, a more patient mom and a better household manager, the people I love the most will greatly benefit.

I have a daily planning sheet to monitor my progress with my bible studies, exercise and other daily to-do's.

Just how I push myself to be better in the workforce, I push myself to be a better me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY floor cleaner

Today was "floors" day on the ol chore chart, and I decided to experiment with my own floor cleaner.

Our entire upper floor is hardwood and tile.
I was VERY impressed with how my little concoction worked!
It helped the floors feel and look so clean!

Here's my recipe:

Then just spray the floor and mop!
I use a steam mop and the two together did great!

If you don't have tea tree oil on hand, you can omit. 
We have it from using it with our cloth diapers.
It is a great natural disinfectant.
The cleaner will work great even if you don't add the tea tree oil.

I used an old Method bottle I had, and wrapped some cute scrapbook paper and made a custom label.
Voila! Cute, cheap homemade cleaner!

Do you have any homemade cleaning recipes to share?

Monday, April 8, 2013

DIY custom labels (using picmonkey!)

So, I have no idea why, but I'm on a HUGE organization kick.
As I've mentioned a bazillion times...I'm not naturally organized.

But, after reading many organizing blogs, I was inspired.
I am in love with labeling everything!
It helps me know what goes where, and I hope down the road it helps Levi to learn how to put things back.

AND I figured out an EASY and CHEAP way to make CUTE labels.

All you need is a computer and shipping labels.

First, find a cute image you want for the background.
I happened to have pictures of fabric samples I used.
(Go to, right-click and save your favorite fabrics to use!)

Go to and click 'edit picture'

Select the picture you want for the background

Resize the image to 400 x 200 (If your labels are 4" by 2"...just take whatever your dimensions are for your labels and make the inch into a 100"
Next click an overlay to put on top.
"Geometric" or "Labels" are good ones.
Enlarge the overlay, center it and make it whatever color you'd like
(I chose white)

Next, click the text and choose a font
(I chose Lobster Two)
and select a color, and adjust the size to your liking
That's it! 
Be sure to save your image!
Now, for the other labels, just change the text to what you need.
Next, go to
Select "print and design online" and type in the design number of the labels you have
Then, select to edit each label at a time

And click to 'add image'
Then adjust the picture to fill the entire label.
Once you've filled the page, click to print!
(Make sure the label paper is in correctly!)

I absolutely LOVE how they have turned out!
Completely custom!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Cardboard Testimony

On Easter Sunday, our church presented "cardboard testimonies". 
If you've never seen these, you can check it out here.
(have your tissues ready!)

It's incredibly powerful to see how God has used so many people in what could seem to be hopeless, scary and depressing situations.

We participated in sharing one little piece of God's work in our lives.

Here is what our cardboard said

I've spoken about our fertility issues a lot on this little blog.
But looking back on that year, it was only by God's grace that I got through it with any sort of sanity.
I was very depressed, anxious and plain old scared.
I also dealt with jealousy and doubting.
I am so, so thankful for the other side of that cardboard.
No matter what the outcome would have been, God IS faithful.

I am so eternally grateful for the gift of our son.
I am grateful for the opportunity to minister to women who may be experiencing something similar.
Without this testimony, I wouldn't have nearly the opportunities to share about God's goodness.

Over the last few days, I started to think of other cardboards I could have created.
God has done some incredible things through me, even when times were uncertain.



I am so thankful God has worked in such wondrous ways in my life, and know He will continue to do so.
I strive to be transparent so that others can see how He works.
And thank you Lord, for the other side of these cardboards.

What would your cardboard say?
How has God worked in ways that seemed impossible and hopeless?
God is so good!