Posts Filed Under Living Simply

For Today, July 3, 2014

by bosssanders on July 3, 2014 with 1 comment

Say “Hello” to Super Little Red Princess No-Eyes!

Outside my window…
It’s a sun-shiney day!

I am thinking…

about date ideas!

Last week, we did this:

We headed to a studio to paint…

We both chose “Parisian” themes…  and set to work…

It was hubby’s first time EVER to paint.  He did a great job!  –And, we both had a lot of fun!

Last night, we had an impromptu date night… created a new recipe that ended like this:

It was… YUMMY!  No idea what I’m going to call it in my recipe journal… but, it’s definitely a new favorite with the whole family.

Then, we put the munchkins to bed… and the MR. and I watched funny youtube videos.  We laughed so hard and until our sides hurt.  It was a great and easy “date” for the week (no sitter needed!  And, FREE!)  If you want to watch some of our favorites, go HERE.

This weekend is HIS turn to plan a date, so I’m pretty curious to see what he chooses!

I am thankful…

118.  Fireworks – bright colors bursting on black
119.  Sweet smiles
120.  Being serenaded by the littlest…

“Momma, what song me sing for you?” – AJ

121.  My lovely husband
122.  $1 movies and pool with friends!
123.  A good book and cuddly blanket
124.  Sweet neighbors
125.  Naptime (Oh, praise Jesus for naptime!)
126.  Golden fields and rainbows
127.  Side-splitting laughter
128.  My little brother
129.  Story-telling with my sweet Grams
130.  Singing praises to Jesus at church with the doors open wide
131.  Fresh flowers on my table from a friend…

132.  A Summer Bath

In the kitchen

We’ve tried two new dishes this week, so that’s been fun!  Both were very well-liked!  Tonight is smothered beef and bean burritos per hubs request.  (Also, he’s cooking it.  Ha!  It’s the only way he can ensure it doesn’t have veggies in it.)

I am reading…


And…still this:  I’ve been writing more than I’ve been reading, lately.  I’ve started writing over at and a few things over at (it’s not spiffy-looking yet, but I needed to get thoughts out of my head, so…there it is.)

We/I am learning…

This week, we’ve focused more on life than schoolwork :)   Concentrated on hearts and little spirits.  HOWEVER, we have made a major switch in curriculum for the first graders… we are swapping out hooked on phonics first grade and doing MFW first-grade reading program, instead.  It’s working MUCH better for us!  (The kindergarten HOP was GREAT, but we needed a new direction after we finished it up!)

Around the house…

This week has involved lots of cleaning!  Monday is our cleaning day, anyhow… so, we cleaned cleaned cleaned.  Tuesday, we had a fun day with friends, then came home and cleaned a little more.  Wednesday, we went to my parents’ house and cleaned together for a little while as a surprise gift.  I don’t know why my house isn’t sparkling by now!?

Favorite Things and Moments…

Dresses made by Mimi… and the sweet sisters in them…

Another one…

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DIY Laundry Detergent

by bosssanders on May 22, 2013 with no comments

Why is it that soap for your body can be bought for around a buck and yet laundry detergent… which is really just soap for your clothing… is $15 bucks for about a month’s worth?

Most likely, the answer is: Because they can.

I’ve been making our own laundry detergent for a while now.  I began by making the liquid form but switched to powder for only 2 reasons… 1) The powder takes up less space (the liquid uses BIG buckets) and 2) The powder is faster to make.  With that said, the liquid worked well, too.  But, this recipe is for the powder…

You will need:

A Cheese grater
1 Bar of your favorite soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

First… Grate your soap.  The entire bar.

Second, alternate pouring the washing soda and grated soap into the blender.  (Make sure you alternate… this is important for the blender part.  TRUST ME.)  Now, blend!  You may have to shake your blender a little to keep it from sticking… depending on how “sticky” your soap is.  The “stickier” the soap is, the more you may have to work with it.  A bar like dove or the Melaleuca bars are pretty easy.  But, when I tried the laundry bar, it wanted to be slightly more difficult.  Either way, this is pretty easy and quick.

Third, pour blender contents into a bowl and mix in your borax.

Fourth, pour it all into the container you want to use!

Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load!

Easy Peasy!!


FUN! – Just Have It!

by bosssanders on November 1, 2012 with 1 comment

I saw this a while ago, and man did it hit me hard:

I guess I’m an “old soul” – or seriously don’t belong in this time, I don’t know which.  My soul LONGS for peaceful and slow days (although i work really well under short-term craziness too).  Days filled with appointments and schedules and this and that don’t really interest me on a day to day basis.  Even things that are meant to be fun can be crazy and hectic (think Disney World).  I long for the days when friends did more than like your status on facebook and when neighbors actually knew your name. (-We’re the weird neighbors that move in and then take gifts to the other neighbors.)

Don’t get me wrong, I like my hair dryer and my internet and some of the people I’ve met online who I wouldn’t have otherwise because they live across the world.  I like that I can look up anything I want to know.  But, sometimes our blessings can be our curses…if we let them.

Sometimes our good intentions just create a busy-ness and it all creeps into our daily lives…and it cloaks us and our families, and the more we do the unhappier we are.

Years ago, we intentionally stepped out of the insane “rat race” – of trying to make it to the top (wherever that is!).  Instead, we pursue the provisions and blessings God has for us and GRATITUDE.

Part of that has been in our journey to be more intentional with our kiddos.  It’s always a work in progress.  I hope it always will be, I pray we never become complacent.

I received a tip a long time ago about dates in your marriage – it included creating a jar of date ideas to choose from (like a menu!) and when you run out of ideas (or feel particularly indecisive), you just choose and DO IT.

We thought it’d be fun to create something similar to the one we created for our marriage for activities with the kids!

Here are some of the fun ideas we have:

- Camp in the backyard with campfire, burgers, s’mores, movie/story-telling

- bowling

- mini golf

- visit the planetarium

- pumpkin patch and corn maze

- fishing (on my parent’s dock)

- ride bikes in the neighborhood

- make bird feeders together

- bleach t-shirt designs (basically you take colored shirts and make a template that you adhere to shirts and spray with bleach water…fun!)

- nature bracelets – duct tape around their wrists with sticky side up and have them walk around and find fun things to stick to it!

- make super giant bubbles and bubble wands

- visit the homeplace

- see a matinee

- see a play

- dance in the warm (summer) rain – a favorite!!

- board games

- let girls dress up and put on a play

- have a cupcake decorating contest

- make an outdoor (or indoor!) obstacle course!

- go on a treasure/scavenger hunt – use pirate’s maps too!

- write a book and illustrate it together!!

- croquet

- soccer

- make mini homemade pizzas together!

- Go on an alphabet tour – bring cameras and a notebook and take photos of things that begin with A, B, C, etc.

Another favorite thing for us is to have THEME WEEKS where we concentrate on a specific theme for a week.  For example, Rora LOVES trains right now.  So, one week we borrowed a stack of books about trains from the library and they wore conductor hats as we read them.  We also visited a train museum where they got whistles, hats, and had a tour of all things TRAINS!  They played with an extensive model train set up and we played train games and went around town pretending our van was a train.  We scoured town for trains on the move and would sit and watch them and talk about different kinds of trains.  (We have plans to surprise Rora in the spring with a train RIDE for her birthday but SHHH!  Don’t tell her!)

So, I’d love to know…what are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids?  How do you have intentional time with your family?  And ideas you can share with us?


Simple Woman’s Daybook – October 9, 2012

by bosssanders on October 9, 2012 with no comments

A Simple Woman’s Daybook for today…Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Outside my window…The sun is shining!!  It looks deceptively warm outside!

I am thinking…of lots of things.  My brain has lots going on for the past few days ;)   1.) The kids and I are working on our Neighborhood “You’ve been Boo’ed” gifts and we are super excited!  Throwing around some ideas in my head on how to decorate the frames for the gifts so they’ll be super cute.  2.) Rora is feeling better (so it seems)… so yay!  And, the rest of us have gotten over the yuck (FINALLY)…so yay, again!  3.) We are still in our homestudy process but just scheduled our last meeting!  YEAH!  SO looking forward to having the finished thing in hand!  4.) Really wish L’s school was more open to parent-involvement… I’m really not liking this switch from homeschool to public school!  (But, she LOVES it)   I’m willing to give it more time, though to see how it progresses.  5.) about Halloween… and Christmas!!  And little guy’s birthday!  I’m starting lists for what I need for each and … well, let the Christmas shopping/crafting begin!

I am thankful…for my awesome husband, great kids, and my family.  Actually, I have a HUGE list of things I’m thankful for ;)   I AM enjoying this weather though…I LOVE every different season and love how they change!

From the kitchen…We have non-paleo chocolate chip cookies and non-paleo pizza leftover from our treat last night (for lunch today).  And, for tonight… I’m thinking… Butter Chicken (paleo)

From the learning rooms…L is in school (it’s picture day!) and R and I are working through her Preschool worksheets.  We are practicing letters A-E and her shapes.  She’s got her colors down.

I am creating…crafts with R and our Neighborhood BOO gifts :)

I am wearing…My “Southern Chics” lime green LS shirt and turquoise sweats.  :)   Very colorful today!

I am reading…I’m in between books right now… have any you’d recommend? (Quick reads…maybe fiction?  Would love a good fiction…)

I am hoping…to hear our homestudy is FINISHED soon :)   Other than that… just hoping for a great day for my husband at work!

I am hearing…R playing

Around the house… I’m itching to paint rooms…well, not so much to paint them, but for them to be painted so I can re-decorate :)

One of my favorite things…quality time with my husband… and “dates” with our kids!  We have so much fun together.

I am going…to run a few errands in a bit…

A few plans for the rest of the week…Crafting, homeschooling, a visit to the corn maze, haunted ghost tour with hubby, pumpkin patch and hayrides, my brother’s bday and making halloween costumes??

A picture thought…

R is LOVING trains right now.  So, we borrowed a bunch of train books from the library and read them in style!!  (R takes full credit for putting her hat on herself –goofy!)

A trip to the railroad museum… they were super excited.  There was an ENTIRE room dedicated to a super cool train set up for model trains… they LOVED watching the trains go in and out of tunnels and through all of the display.  They could have stayed in that one room alone, I think, for HOURS.

AJ was a trooper!  I really should buy some teething pad attachments for his carrier…


Little Red Riding Hood and her Big Bad Wolf ;)


Week Three Challenge (Project Organization)

by bosssanders on March 22, 2011 with 1 comment

The hot spot for week three has been announced:

Toys and/or Kids’ clothes

Personally, I will probably be working on the clothing aspect – the kids’ toys get constant “makeovers” (hello trash can and giveaway bin!).  Lorelei is finally wearing the “T” clothes…you know, 2T, 3T, 4T, etc.  But, Aurora can still wear the smaller sizes, which means we’ve been switching out every 6 months.  (I am so ready for the slash sizes… 5/6, 7/8, etc…so maybe they can stay in them for 2 years!!)  Anyhow, I need to go through their clothes and figure out what needs to go to storage and what should stay, as well as re-fold their clothes and move them back to appropriate drawers since the girls sometimes borrow each others clothes (Aurora’s pants = Lorelei’s capri pants.)

Because we aren’t finished having children, I have tote boxes in storage labeled every 6 months (and once we get to “2″ it’s labeled “2 summer” or “2 winter”).  As I weed out clothing that no longer fits, I put them in grocery bags and just put it into the appropriate boxes.  Easy peasy…except for when you move a mattress out of storage and you can no longer get to boxes.  But, that’s a different post.

So, what do you do to organize kid’s clothing and toys?

Do you have a system?  Do you take them to consignment?  Do you save them?  Trash them?  Give them away?  Tell me all about it!


Week Two Challenge And a Recap

by bosssanders on March 14, 2011 with 1 comment

Last week, we were supposed to go through our wardrobes… did you?

I had gone through mine the week before, giving away an entire garbage bag full of clothes…plus some.  This past week, I did take out two of my more formal knee length dresses and gave them a hard look.  At first, I tossed them into the give pile, but then I got them back out, laid them on the bed and REALLY looked at them.  I tried them on, and inspiration struck.  The thing I hated about them was the faux bling that had been attached…without that, they’d be perfectly grown-up worthy.  So, I took a close look at the bling and found that one was actually a pin and the other…well, I was able to break it off with my hands.  Hooray for me (plus, now I have some little crystals for craft projects!)!

I also learned another cool trick — If you aren’t sure whether you want something in your closet or not, put the hanger in backwards and only turn it around after you have worn it.  The next time you purge, see if it’s still facing that way or has been turned around.  If it’s still facing backwards, move it out.

I didn’t accomplish half of the things I’d meant to on my over-the-top list from last week….  But, I did re-organize my shelf!

This week, the challenge if you so choose to accept it is to:  Clear Your Paper Clutter

WEEK 2 – Clear/Organize Your Paper Clutter

You don’t have to get it ALL finished, but I’d love to see what you  do.  Set a goal and go for it…it could be one particular huge stack…or it could just be that you will set aside 10 or 30 minutes each night to tackle it.  (You could even do it as you watch TV.)

I’m ready to hear some of the cool organizational tools you all reach for — Or, what you already use.  Will you/do you use binders?  Folders?  File systems?  Trash cans and recycle bins?  Or, something else?

If you write a post on your blog about this week’s challenge, please also feel free to leave a link in the comments…I’d love to check it out.


Little changes…

by bosssanders on March 10, 2011 with 1 comment

Over the past month or so, my hubby and I have gained a little weight.  Not a lot, but enough to give us that kick in the behinds to do something about our less-than-healthy habits.  A couple of weeks ago, I began doing some strength exercises 3x a week (Okay, I know some of you are thinking BIG DEAL, but for me it is.  I HATE exercising, but have found a routine in this and tomorrow will be the end of 3 weeks and going!)  Today, I will add in cardio if my bum leg allows, but baby steps, right?

Along with the exercising, we also decided to give our food a makeover.  Food makeovers are kind of scary.  They can be even more scary when you’re on a super tight budget and things just don’t fit right (we may have to expand that part of the budget and take off elsewhere.)  But, we agreed to go to the store and get what we needed to see how long these things would last us.

Here’s what we bought*:

  • 10 ct Mission whole wheat flour tortillas….  $2.62 (3 packages)
  • Healthy Life 100% Whole Grain Bread …..$1.77 (we bought one loaf and had one at home)
  • 1 dozen eggs… $1.64 (2)
  • GV plain nonfat yogurt 32 oz….$2.00 (2)
  • GV 1 gal 1% milk….$3.48 (2)
  • GV 1 gal 1% chocolate milk….$3.84
  • GV medium cheddar block (1 lb)…$4.44 (3)
  • Brummel and Brown Yogurt Spread (instead of butter) (15 oz)…$2.38
  • Tyson All-Natural Chicken Breasts (3lb)…$7.98 (2)
  • Medium Shrimp (14 oz)….$5.48 (2)
  • Great Value turkey bacon (12 oz)…$2.48 (2)
  • Sara Lee deli oven roasted turkey breast (6.98/lb)… $7.12
  • Deli Roast Beef ($6.18/lb)… $6.12
  • Bunch of asparagus ($2.84/lb, 2 bunches)…$4.48
  • Marketside sugar snap peas (8 oz)…$2.50
  • Dole Leafy Romaine (10 oz)…$2.78
  • Granny Smith Apples (1 lb/ $1.37)….$4.08
  • Grapefruit …. $.54 ea (2)
  • GV frozen whole strawberries (1 lb, no sugar added)…$2.36 ea (3)
  • Bananas (1 lb/$.52)….$2.65 (for about 14 bananas)
  • GV peach halves in cans (29 oz)…$1.76 (4)
  • Smucker’s natural chunky peanut butter (16oz)…$2.34 (2)
  • Light Ragu Tomato and Basil (1lb 10oz)….$1.76 (2)
  • Rotel-mild (10 oz)…$.98 (2)
  • GV dry chickpeas (16 oz)…$1.42
  • GV light red kidney beans (16 oz)…$1.16 (2)
  • GV black beans (16oz)…$1.12 (2)
  • Simply Grapefruit juice (59 fl oz)…$3.00
  • Simply Orange juice (59 fl oz)…$3.00
  • Quaker 1-minute oats, plain (42 oz)…$3.98 (2)
  • Fisher Almonds, unsalted (16 oz)…$8.72
  • Ortega 40% less sodium Taco seasoning (1.25 oz)…$.62(2)
  • GV whole wheat spaghetti (13.25 oz)…$1.00 (3)
  • Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth, 33% less sodium (32 oz)…$2.46
  • Hodgson Mill Milled Flax Seed (12 oz)…$2.08
  • Whey Protein powder in vanilla and chocolate (2lb)…$14.68 (2)

*These foods correspond to the ABS DIET that we are using as a base for our new “health plan”

The total kind of …no, really scares me.  It was about 4x our weekly budget.  But, I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that we’ve not eaten all of this food yet and we’ve been following the meals very closely (eating 6 meals each for 4 people).  Now, I need to find even cheaper but still just as healthy alternatives for the foods we’re buying (like, mostly cheaper fruits/veggies/deli meats/milk).  We won’t have to buy more protein powder or flax seed for a very long time, so that will cut our next grocery bill down by about $32 dollars.  And…silly me, having never cooked dried beans before forgot that DUH!  THEY SWELL!  So, we have lots of beans.  I mean, LOTS.  Tomorrow is day 7, and I just cleaned out the last of the first jar of all natural peanut butter…so we may need to look at a cheaper (but just as healthy) brand…OR find coupons.  And, of course…bananas have already disappeared!

If any of you know of where I can find these things CHEAPER, please let me know!  (Especially if it’s the same brand, or a healthier brand…)


Week One Challenge

by bosssanders on March 7, 2011 with 2 comments

Your mission this week, if you choose to accept it is to:  Organize YOUR wardrobe.

This week, I’m playing along with Simple Mom and her Organizational Challenge – actually, we’ll be doing this for 5 weeks, but hey.  Details shmetails, right?

You can click the link above, but the basic bit is to organize your own wardrobe – you know, with hangers and stuff.  Organized into piles on the floor totally doesn’t count.  (Drats, guess that means I have to fold laundry!  But, does that mean I only have to fold mine this week?)

Anyhow, we have until Friday to go through our own clothing and get rid of what we don’t want.  If we choose to throw away or give away any clothing, it needs to be out by Friday, too.

Personally, I think I’m going to make this a slightly bigger challenge for myself.  I invite you to join me in any capacity you want…

MY PLAN (This Week):

-Break out my improvised FlyLady Zone List for the Master Bedroom – I’ll be dusting and vacuuming and all of that jazz in the bedroom.  (I’m not sure if this is me being proactive or procrastinating…)

-Designing something for my small jewelry collection – a pile on the dresser just isn’t doing it.

-Re-organize my large bookshelf (well, the stuff on it).

-Organize and clean out under the bed (GASP!)



by bosssanders on January 28, 2011 with 1 comment

Quick Introduction: Thieves oil is a blend of cinnamon, clove, lemon, Eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils that has been university tested and proven to kill 99.96 percent of airborne bacteria.


  • Use the cleaner to clean oil paints right out of the brushes
  • Help eliminate airborne bacteria
  • Help eliminate odors
  • Kill mold
  • Use as a disinfectant and cleaner for anything you’d use clorox wipes on
  • Use as a mopping solution
  • Clean your glass and windows
  • Use as an antiseptic
  • May be used as a dietary supplement to help with blood clots
  • Treat canker sores
  • Chicken Pox (add 20 drops to 1 T of calamine or V6 complex and dab onto lesions)
  • Treat colds (mix 50:50 with olive oil and massage across shoulders and neck and chest)
  • Congestive cough (add a few drops to a wet, warm wash cloth and use as a compress on chest 1-2x a day)
  • Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis (dilute 50:50 3-5 drops on lower abdomen 2 times daily. Can also use as a compress.)
  • Ear Infection – Dilute 50:50 in warm olive oil. Apply 2 drops to a cotton swab. Using the swab, apply traces to the skin AROUND the opening of the ear, but not in it. If you have the Thieves Antiseptic SPRAY, you can spray into back of throat cavity up to 5x daily
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Food Poisoning – put in size 00 capsules and take 2-3x per day
  • Ringworm (Thieves Antiseptic Spray)
  • Gallbladder Infection – use in capsule, apply to body above gallbladder area, and/or use in a compress

**Please realize this list is not a comprehensive list. Thieves has MANY uses.

When listed above, I referred to several different products that contain thieves – the oil, the antiseptic spray and the household cleaner.

Although the thieves oil can be used in any of these situations (and diluted), I have found it to be more cost-effective to buy the Cleaner solution and the Oil.


oil – 15ml for $41.78

concentrated cleaner – 14.4 fl oz. For $28.29

(My concentrated cleaner has lasted over a year and is still half-full!)

Please note: The oil is a therapeutic grade essential oil and CAN be ingested. However, the household cleaner is not meant to be ingested. The household cleaner is a safer alternative to typical household cleaners, not only does it not harm the body through normal cleaning, but it also provides positive benefits to your body (because it contains the essential oils).

If you would like to order the Thieves oil or Cleaner, you may contact me at

bosssanders (at) gmail (dot) com

DISCLAIMER:  Although we personally use Thieves and other oils in our home, we are not doctors.  Please do not take any of this as OFFICIAL medical advice.  Oh yeh, and…the FDA didn’t approve this blog post :)   (There, I think that covers it.)



by bosssanders on August 14, 2010 with no comments

Hello Friends,

After offering Simply Fun Ebook last time, and receiving a load of emails from folks who had either missed the deadline or had forgotten to put me in their “safe list” (thus, their book going to spam) …and even a few folks who sent in wrong emails…I’m offering up this chance again.

I was incredibly sad to hear that after almost 36 hours of work, many people STILL weren’t getting their ebooks, so I’m wanting to make sure that you can get it NOW.  Unfortunately, last time…my bright idea of EMAILING the ebooks individually didn’t go as planned.  Sure, I emailed them all out (although a lot came back due to full inboxes, wrong emails inputted, and other errors), but it took SO long – and to not have those go through, or to have them go through to spam was a bit disheartening.  On top of that, my google email account shut me out (so if you tried emailing me about ebooks and didn’t get a response, THAT is why!  Sorry!)  But, I have come up with a better way.  I have added a new newsletter function that is separate from my email and should AUTOMATICALLY (without me!! ) add everyone that signs up and after a certain amount of sign up time, I’ll just send along a newsletter with a link for the download!  Cool Right?  Here’s the details:

This time, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.  If you’ve already signed up, you’re good.  (This is NOT the same as my RSS feed or having me in your google reader.)    A link for downloading the ebook will come to your email via my newsletter (to those who sign up within the allotted time frame).

PLEASE make sure you spell your email correctly, that you have my email in your safe list, check your spam, and make sure your email is FUNCTIONING (not full or won’t be down).  This newsletter will only be sent out once and will not be re-sent.  Also, if you have friends that you believe would be interested, feel free to direct them to this post so they may also sign up.

The DEADLINE was originally Saturday 8/14 Midnight CST but has been extended until 8/21/10 Midnight CST.  So, sign up and send this to everyone/anyone you think would be interested so they can get in!

**If you find this post but the deadline is up, I encourage you to still sign up for the newsletter as I often email out great opportunities posts that may interest you!  You may also find a link to purchase any of my ebooks immediately and directly from my website for $2-3.

**Just a note, I don’t sell or trade my email lists EVER.  And, you always have the option to unsubscribe.  I also don’t flood inboxes with a massive amount of newsletters.  What WILL you get in my newsletters?  –Just some really cool updates as they come along – generally new contests and freebies or new ebooks or tutorials or BIG news that I’m excited about.  But, I try to pack it into one occasional newsletter :)



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