Monday, August 14, 2017

5 Steps to a Guest Ready Kitchen

 I find one of the biggest reasons I don't have friends over more often is because I don't feel my home is ready. As a disciple I know that I need to show hospitality more often!

1 Peter 4:9 says this: 

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 

When I read this verse it reminds me that I need to keep my home in a way that I don't grumble when guests come over because of my insecurities that my home isn't guest worthy. 

Here are 5 Steps that you can do daily (that take less than 30 minutes) to help you feel prepared when a planned or UN-planned guest should arrive!  

 A Count Down to a Guest Ready Kitchen


 5. Sweep! I feel like my entire home is more put together when the floor is clean. My two younger kids enjoy sweeping at their age and that is a simple task that helps me a ton.
4. Crumb free, clean table! Its so embarrassing to have a guest show up and sit at your table with yesterdays breakfast stuck to it.  After each meal I do a quick wipe down.
 3. A dish free sink. We are so blessed with modern technology and the invention of a dishwasher! After each meal make sure your dishes find their way into the dishwasher if your lucky enough to have one. It gives peace of mind and a much better smell if you do. 

If your looking for a great dish soap this is my new favorite! It has no formaldehyde, phthalates or toxic chemicals and is made of 99%biodegradable ingredients and the smell is Fresh Lavender! Its heavenly! (You can find more about that HERE).
 2. Clutter free counters. My mission this past year has been to create a home that is a place of rest and peace where less is more. I recently cleaned out our cupboards and have a simple layout for them. The same goes for the rest of my kitchen. I'm finding if there is a place for everything I feel less anxiety and stress.
1. Have coffee close by! I love coming over to friends houses who welcome you and say "Coffee's on". And are ready to sit across the table from you to enjoy conversation paired with a warm cup of coffee.  And even if you've missed all of the other steps but have coffee to welcome them they will see past the crumbs and enjoy you!

May you enjoy this day, the beauty of your home and the preparedness you have with a home that is guest ready!
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies

 This beautiful girl of mine is now 12 years old and measures 5ft 1in! Seems like yesterday she was a tiny baby who I carried in my arms. 

She is such a great help with her younger siblings and is super helpful in the kitchen too. 
 

Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
1 packed C. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour 
2 C. Chocolate Chips 
Mix, Bake at 375* for 10 min per batch, Enjoy!

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Creating a Purposeful Home

 Over this summer Ive been focused on creating a more simple, purposeful home without so much stuff and clutter. My kitchen cabinets included! 

Our cabinet for plates/bowls had been completely turned into a shove all. See those two ice cream buckets in the upper right hand? Those are full of parade candy from the previous year! WHY?!

 So I cleared the cabinet and gave more function to it.
 I painted the inside of the cabinets grey. We have a lot of underlying grey tones in the tile on the floor and counter tops.
 I purged a lot of our old big, heavy dishes. I kept all of the correll dishes that were my great grandmothers and then purchased a new set that was on sell for $22.00 that matched to ensure we had enough for our family.
 I then cut simple labels with my Silhouette for two reasons. 
1. I think its visually pretty and it brings me joy when I open the cabinet doors. 
2. For the little people in my home who help put dishes away, this now shows them there is a specific place for everything.
 I tend to be very sentimental. So there are some dishes I cant get rid of. Like the bowl that was given to us as a wedding present, the bowl that I remember my grandmother serving peaches in at meals and the large serving platter I purchased for the first Thanksgiving I hosted.
As I work through my home and clear things that are just taking up space I'm finding that its leaving room for thigns that I truly do find joy in and providing me with more peace and a clearer mindset.  

Make it a great week!
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Wash. Dry. Fold. Repeat.

 Our laundry room has had a little updating in the past few weeks!
 I needed some art to cover my ugly utility panel that sits right above our dyer. Remember my previous post about it?! (Click HERE to see the before).
 What I had in place there before was no longer working for me. So I updated it with this more modern approach that is a bit more functional.
 I have this small shelf above the dryer. Previously it was a piece of particle board. I ditched that guy and replaced with a 1x10 that I stained the same color as the trim of the sign.
 I filled this old jar with clothes pins. 
(We have a clothes line that we use frequently yet I never remember where my clothes pins are. Now they have a specific home).
 Added this small bin for our "lost socks".
 For the sign itself I used a piece of bead board. I painted the back in white chalk paint. Added the vinyl words that I cut out using my Silhouette . 
I then built a frame that measures 30" x 32". And added hooks to the back for hanging. 
It turned out exactly how I was envisioning it!  Simple design, a specific place for the things I use often and less stuff to distract my mind. 

Have a great weekend friends!
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Saturday, July 22, 2017

4 things to consider BEFORE your harvest


As I start my morning, with my bible in one hand and rich, warm coffee in the other and the cutest doodle beside me I'm reminded how blessed I truly  am.

The verse Proverbs 24:27 rests on my mind.
Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

For me, when I read this I think of the process of a farmer. The farmer spends month of preparation getting the fields ready before planting the seed he has selected. Then he prays over the field. For moisture, sunlight, that the crop will stay insect free and hail will stay away. There are months that pass before the farmer sees a harvest.

In turn we can see our own lives very similar. As mothers we can relate having  a baby to this. 9 months of carrying that precious gift, praying over the person you will soon meet, taking your prenatals, drinking extra water, dr. visits and room preparation before the trip to the hospital where you may spend hours in labor before you hold that gift in your arms.

Think of your life, goals, even business. At times we get so impatient and expect instant gratification instead of remembering that it takes months, sometimes years before you can reap your full harvest.

4 things to know about your harvest


  • Know where your going to plant your 'field'.
  • Know what kind of  fruits you want to harvest. 
  • Know there will be obstacles. Think of the drought,  insects, hail that might come to the farmers field. Yet he pushes forth and begins planning for the next year even before this year's harvest.
  • Know you will need help along the way. Ultimately this is your plan and the success of your harvest lays upon you and your determination.
To your successful harvest!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Save Money on your next Grocery Trip

According to the 2017 USDA Statistics, the average family is spending $200 - $400 per family member per week!!!!! This number stopped me in my tracks. We're a family of six, so with that number in mind our family would be spending $1200 -$2400 per month on groceries! 


 To be very honest our family spends drastically less than that each month on groceries. My grocery budget is between $80 - $100 each week for our family. 

5 Tips To Spending Less at the Grocery Store 

1.Know what you need! Making a list for the grocery store and STICKING TO IT is a huge part of saving money at the store. Take the time to organize your pantry and know what items you are missing each week then make a list of what your family needs. 
  1.  
    I print off this Grocery list weekly to write down what our pantry is missing and take it with me to the store. Simply right click on the image, save to your device and print. I print mine in a 5x7 size. 
      
    2. Eat a snack before you go! When we're hungry we spend more, right?! So eat a snack on the way to the store. And if your taking your kids along, feed them ahead of time too.
  
3. Shop online! Our perishable items I purchase at our local grocery store. But often times you can find online sources to buy things like your granola bars/snacks for the kids, coffee, skin care products, house hold cleaners and even pet treats. I shop HERE regularly because of the cost savings and value for our family.

4. Look at local sale flyers. We live in a rural area and dont have the same coupons and deals as the big chain stores. But our little stores do send out flyers in the weekly paper. This helps us a ton to know what will be on sale for the coming week and how I can create our menu for the coming week and know what we need to buy.

5. Know your Budget. We often go to the store without a number in mind. If you have a budget in place you are able to figure in your weekly musts, things like milk/cheese/bread etc and then from there can use your sale flyers to decide where the rest of your money can be applied.

Happy Shopping my friends! Here's to 

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Momma's Payment Log

According to NerdWallet.com the average household has $135,924 in debt! They also report that the average U.S. household owes $16000 in credit card debt. 

Debt can be a debilitating thing. Our family was in a similar place several years ago and we've worked hard to become debt free. 

One step in gaining that freedom is knowing what we owe, being organized with payments and living within a budget. 
Using a simple log like the one above helps to gain some control over your payments helping you to visualize where you need to be financially. 
  
Right click on the above image, save to your computer and print out for personal use.
 
For all of the Momma's out there struggling to keep afloat and manage your families finances, I want to give you hope. You wont always be in this position. Work hard at paying off that debt and living in Financial Wellness! 

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

On The Go First Aid Kit

Summer is a time of going, adventuring, hiking, fishing, working outside and swimming!
 With that in mind there is often a need for a bandage or cure for a bug bite. I have started caring a simple On The Go First Aid kit with me all of the time and it makes life much simpler.  
  
Our family on a recent fishing trip.

5 MUSTS for your On The Go First Aid Kit:
DIY Bug Bite Roll On
  1. Bandages
  2. Bug Bite Cure {Check out my DIY Recipe for Bug Bites HERE}
  3. Disinfectant Wipes
  4. Essential Oils
  5. Antibiotic Cream 
Having these 5 essentials in a small bag or baggie in your car, backpack or purse helps you to be prepared for the little hurts that might arise so you can continue to have fun. 

Here's to lots of Summer Adventures!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

How to be a a Stay at Home Mom while Earning an Income

 Have you ever wanted the flexibility of being a Stay at Home mom yet need the stability of bringing in an income for your family? 

That is where my heart was when I started my journey of being a WAHM 10 years ago. I was a mom of a 18 month old and we were expecting a second. I didn't want to be away from my babies so I sought out searching for any avenue I could find to help me to contribute for our family. 

Fast forward several years and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity that I have. I'm blessed to not only be able to be home with our now 4 kids but I also can share my experience with other moms who are seeking out a similar need as I was. 

So you might be wondering... "How can I be a Stay at Home Mom and Earn an Income?"
  1. First and for most do your research. This decision needs to be treated with true honesty and peace of mind. What are your interests, likes, dislikes, abilities and restrictions? Being real with yourself as well as finding a company that fits your needs is a process. For me it took months before I decided upon the path I have taken. I'm so thankful I took that time!
    You need to ask THESE questions before starting any business!
  2. Be prepared to educate yourself. With any business or job there is a learning curve. This is a time to learn the ropes and find what works best for you. Never stop learning, reading, listening and being around others who can lift you up to that higher level of ability.
  3. Create Balance. This is hard for so many of us in our lives. Balance as a WAHM comes in many different forms at our house. Three things that help me the most to find balance... 
  • My calendar and day planner. Scheduling action, knowing my time limits, events/activities with our kids and creating a plan daily, weekly and monthly. 
  • Knowing that some days my house will not be clean and my kids might eat cereal for supper. Yet as I end each day, I know that I was the one who was here to hug them good morning, help them off to school and kiss them good night, that's what makes my journey worth it.
  • Starting my day in prayer. I have so much more peace, structure and abilities when I start my day this way.
Remember as your searching that there IS A Light at the End of the Tunnel, keep searching and looking for a legitimate avenue that fits your families needs! 

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DIY Bug Bite Roll On

 The bugs are in full force right now!
Daily I spray the animals, kids and myself but sometimes we wind up with a few bug bites that are itchy and uncomfortable.

THIS is our go to fix and is one of those things that's simple to make but packs a punch with just three ingredients. 
You'll start with 2 tsp of Fractionated Coconut Oil. 
Then add: 
10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil 
*Not all Essential Oils are created equally! If your looking to use Essential Oils or even a seasoned user its important to know the MYTH about Therapeutic Grade.
 Then pour your mixture into a roller bottle. 
You can find these at a wide variety of places.
 I then created and printed off this cute little label.
 This Roll on is perfect to throw in your purse, beach bag or first aid kit.
 Hope this simple recipe helps your summer to be a little more comfortable!
  

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