Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why I Don't Use Cloth Diapers

A lot of folks have tried to sway me over to the word of cloth diapers. And while that may be the best choice for others, I knew it wasn't for us.

Here's a quick run down:

Time Saver: The biggest thing for me was the time factor. I didn't want to spend the extra time rinsing, pre-soaking, washing, etc.

Water Saver: If we had chosen cloth diapers, our laundry would have increased, which in short, would increase our water bill and time doing laundry. Which of course goes back to point #1.

Money Saver: Thanks to sales, stockpiling, and a diaper shower during my pregnancy, we have only paid a few dollars for our stash. We still have several months worth set aside. That's about 6 months worth of diapers for *very* little cost.

Stress Saver: Honestly, the idea stressed me out.

I'm still satisfied with our decision, and think it's best for us. How about you? Which option served your family better?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Simplify Your Life in Three Easy Steps

It seems life gets busier with each passing day, and sometimes that means more stress and exhaustion. I'm learnng to identify a few key steps that help me get ahead and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.

Tackle your biggest project at the beginning of the day...

For example, if it's your goal to deep clean your freezer, get it done right away. By tackling the largest and most cumbersome assignment of each day you will feel more accomplished and have more energy to tackle the smaller things.

Speed clean your home for at least fifteen minutes each day...

Depending on your schedule, make it your goal to speed clean your home whether it's through a blocked fifteen minutes or in five minute increments throughout the day. This helps you keep the clutter at bay, and you will be more likely to keep your focus without worrying about the state of your home.

Plan your dinner the night before...

Take a few minutes each night to plan your dinner for the following day. That way, if you need to thaw meat or soak beans, you'll have this done ahead of time. This will reduce that "4 O'Clock" dinner panic.

How do you simplify your life?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

10 Organizing Hacks

I love to organize! It has taken several years for me to figure out the simplest and cheapest ways to do so. Here's some tips that have helped me gain some control over our small home!

  • Use magazine holders to organize long boxes in your kitchen such as zip lock bags, plastic wrap, etc. 
  • Add small baskets to your sock drawers. You can sort them by color to save time. One basket for colored, one for white, etc.
  • Buy a a hanging shoe rack! You can use them for anything in your closet. My mom always used them to store sweaters or work out clothes.
  • Purchase the thin plastic tubs instead of the large one. You can put away seasonal clothes and store them under your bed.
  • Keep a kid caddy in your car. Use this for emergency items such as an extra change of clothes, snacks, etc. for the kids. 
  • Hang flat shot racks on the back of doors to hang large bottes of lotions, shampoo, etc.
  • Keep organization cubes in your refridgerator to store sliced cheeses, deli meats, etc. It keeps everything in one place.
  • Buy a basket for your kitchen or office to store current mail. They can later be filed after everything has been open and sorted.
  • Keep a laundry basket in the bottom of your closet to put dirty clothes. As soon as it's full, you'll know you need to do a load. Beats having laundry on the floor!
  • Put a family calendar in an easy to see place that way everyone can see what events are coming up, etc. 
What are some of your favorite organizational tips?

Stress Less this Christmas Season!

  • Money Jar: Use a canning jar to stash money whenever you have a little extra! Then, when you are ready to tackle the stores, you'll have the budget to do so!
  • Buy Online: To save time and gas money, consider shopping online! If you have particular items that you are wanting to purchase, keep an eye out for sales.
  • De-Clutter: Take the time to scale down on toys, clothes and other items around the house. Donate to charity, and you'll have room for newer items come Christmas.
  • Use Rewards: If you use apps or other resources to earn free rewards, try to stack them up to buy Christmas gifts. 
  • Bless Others: Christmas is about giving...so start researching ministry opportunities now. That way, you won't be overwhelmed or overbooked to lend a hand. Samaritan's Purse is a great starting point if you are looking for a place to start.
  • Say No: If you tend to overfill the calendar and loose sight of what Christams is all about...learn to say "no" now. Try to keep at least one night a week free from activities and focus on family time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Homemade Latte Recipe

Fall is here! And with that comes a rush to fill homes and tastebuds with warm latte's. Here's an easy and fun recipe for a homemade latte at home:

Homemade Latte

3/4 Cup Brewed Coffee (I recommend french press coffee for the best flavor)
1/4 Cup Warmed Milk
2 TB. of Half & Half
1 Tb. Flavored Syrup

In a lage mug, add syrup then your coffee. Top with milk & creamers. For added sweeteness, top with some whipped cream!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

FREE NOOK Books! Christian Downloads

Note, the prices reflected could change at any time!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How To Create A 72 Hour Emergency Kit

We live in the south: home to tornadoes and wicked ice storms. I'm no stranger to living without power for 24, 48 and even 72 hours at a time. Because of this, it has given me insight on important items to have on hand. I try to keep a simple 72 hour Emergency kit at our house at all times.

Here's a list of items:

  • Bottled Water: A good rule of thumb is a gallon per person.
  • Packaged Foods: Granola Bars, Beef Jerky, etc. (think in terms of long shelf life) It's also a good idea to invest in high carbs/protein items like peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, etc.
  • Light Source: Flash lights (extra batteries), Emergency Candles & Matches.
  • Heat Source: Hand Warmers/Feet Warmers, Emergency Heat Blanket. Heat is vital for your safety, espeically in extreme weather conditions. If possible, have a back up heat source such as a fire pit or fire place.
  • Sanitary Items: Baby Wipes, Anti-Bacteria Gel, etc. Toothpaste, Toothbruhes, Dry Shampoo, Clean Underwear, Diapers, etc.
  • Resources: Battery Powered Radio, Extra Batteries, maps, emergency contact numbers, etc.
  • Money: Always keep cash readily available. 
Here's a few more tips to consider:
  • Your local dollar store is an excellent resource for these items!
  • Each state has an emergency resource list that you can download.
  • Update your emergency contact list on a regular basis. Try to do so every four to six months.
  • Rotate your food items once a year to make sure they are fresh and usable. 
  • Conduct emergency drills with your children on a regular basis.
What are some of your disaster prep tips?