Posts Filed Under Living Simply

Clearing the clutter

by bosssanders on December 29, 2009 with no comments

I need to clear the clutter – in my home, my brain, and my schedule.

My personality is one that likes to do many things and likes to be helpful – but the downside is that sometimes I fill my schedule with meaningless but busy things and sometimes I just clutter my life without really doing the things that mean the most to me.

About a month ago, I reached out to a friend of mine – I look up to her in many ways, one of them being her search for SIMPLICITY.  She’s promised to let me “shadow” her when she gets back from a trip to see how she manages a few things in her home.  In the meanwhile, though, she sent me this great recording from Preschoolers and Peace (thank you, Sara!).  Basically, Kendra Fletcher goes through her biggest organizational tips and what works for her (she’s a mom to 7, including a baby and a 3 year old!).

Then, I had my DUH moment.

I’ve been feeling SO busy, but if I look at my planner, it’s not too full.  I mean, 2 days a week I have physical therapy which lasts about a couple of hours (including waiting) and then, I clean one day a week and that’s pretty much it.  So, why does it FEEL like I have no time and why do I feel so STRESSED?

It’s because I have no schedule since we’ve moved.

It’s because our house is a disaster area…since the move.

It’s because I have no clue where most of our belongings are since they’re in one big pile (or so it feels) in the storage building…

It’s because homeschooling hit the backburner, and I feel like I’m wasting my daughter’s time…

It’s because our kitchen/dining room just shrunk and cooking is really intimidating me in this new kitchen since most things are stored out of my reach due to storage limitations and then add in a lack of counter space….

I’m feeling claustrophobic, and no wonder why!  It’s not that I’m too BUSY…it’s that I’m not organized.  –All I want to do is read or paint, but not do the things I NEED to do.

So, this morning, I dug out my Homeschool planner and made a plan for this week (I only do a week at a time so I can move forward or focus more on a certain area as we need).  We took a 2 month break with the bankruptcy and the move and such and I feel like such a bad mommy for not having structured learning time.  It’s not that she hasn’t learned anything, it just FEELS like I haven’t taught her on purpose.  Ah, guilt.  Isn’t it lovely?

Next, I’m going to spend today making up Cleaning Zones.  We adapted these from FLY LADY but toned them down a bit because I really don’t care if you can eat off my floors or not, as long as they are clean (for being floors).  Actually, I might think you a bit odd if you licked my floors anyhow.

Then, I plan to make a very lenient daily schedule for me.

And then… a meal plan.

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Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day!

by bosssanders on October 29, 2009 with no comments

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Recently, I received a wonderful new book in the mail – Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Franois. I had had my eye on it for a while, and I was eager to try it out. Unfortunately, life happened and my kitchen and I were separated for a while – making baking bread a bit of a difficult task.

This past week, however, Lala and I had the opportunity to try one of the basic breads from the book.

And…I love it! If you’re thinking that you can’t bake bread in just 5 minutes a day, you’re correct in that…this isn’t some microwave bread BUT it’s recipes that don’t involve kneading or punching down bread or long rising periods. You simply mix up the ingredients, let them rise, refrigerate it and pull out what you need, when you need it! Once you’ve mixed up the dough and let it rise/refrigerate, the actual ACTIVE time you spend with making of this bread is about 5 minutes…and that’s if you lost your pizza peel!

I adore carbs (in taste and theory, not particularly how they make my jeans shrink) and this book is a treasure chest full of “bread” recipes – including pizza dough, pastries, cinnamon rolls, and ….YOU GUESSED IT! Artisan Bread!

You can buy the book for $17.83 on Amazon – which is about what it’d cost to go to the bakery and buy 4 tiny loaves of Artisan Bread. My only complaint is that the recipe I used requested I have a broiler pan and … WHAT THE HECK IS A BROILER PAN? We don’t like using the “broil” option on the oven because we tend to catch things on fire, so having a special pan for it was a little new to me. Once I figured out what that was, it made things a lot easier, especially since mom had one to let me “borrow”. So, my one complaint is really just me admitting that I didn’t know what an apparently very important kitchen item was….

We’ve already made several loaves of yummy bread and are excited about trying some cinnamon rolls next week! MMM!

Buy it here: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

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One Day At A Time

by bosssanders on July 3, 2009 with 2 comments

A couple of days ago, I listed my name under many others for a new challenge.  The challenge was a LIFE AUDIT, where each day we would receive a challenge, something to make us think – and, hopefully improve our lives.

Yesterday’s challenge was to go ONE WEEK without buying ANYTHING.

So, because of the 4th of July festivities, we will begin our one week challenge on Sunday.

The purpose of this challenge is to:

1.  See the things we normally would buy on impulse and to carefully look at your finances

2.  Buy ahead of time, but only things you will need.  It’s a great practice for figuring out the needs and wants.

3.  Plan for the future.  What do we want out of life?  Where should our money be going?  Do we really need this now or should we save for that later?

4.  Be more creative.

We do plan to tweak this a little, though.

We are allowing ourselves to spend money on:

-Bills/debts that haven’t been paid this month yet

-An extra tank of gas (We’ll fill up on Saturday night before heading back home from town, but JUST IN CASE.  Hopefully, we won’t need it)

-Tithe

It should prove to be interesting.  We’ve had no spend DAYS before, but never an entire week at a time.  And, what happens if we run out of FOOD?  – Well, we are supposed to PLAN so we don’t.  That, and we have a sick amount of cereal from WIC…if all else fails, Steven and I can eat cereal.  But, I’m pretty sure the freezer is stocked well enough for a good week or two of food.  At least one week.  What happens if we run out of paper towels?  Suck it up.  That’s what.  (To clarify…I mean deal with it.  Quit whining.  Not to literally suck it up.)

Feel free to take the challenge with me.  You can start today, tomorrow, Sunday, or whenever your heart desires.  Let me know if you plan to take the challenge and if you blog, so I can keep up with you!

More to come later…

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