Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Project: Simplify - Week #4: Pantry and Refrigerator

Yes, I know that it is Wednesday already and I have not written about Project: Simplify - Week #4!  This week, the hot spot that many people are working on is.......your pantry and refrigerator!  If you want to see what is suggested that you do as you work on this hot spot, then head over here and check it out!

For my pantry, I use an inventory checklist that you can find over here at  This is such a helpful tool for me.  I now know exactly what is located in my pantry and do not have to run to the basement to search my cabinet to see if I still have some diced tomatoes left!  My husband is slowly catching on to the concept, but he is embracing this idea with me!  I also use an inventory sheet for my freezers - it is really helpful when planning meals, and avoiding food from getting "lost" in the freezer!

I have not been completely participating in Project: Simplify like I have wanted to - however, I am trying to get things accomplished in my house!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I LOVE Date Nights!

I can't wait...I am going on a date tonight with my man! I am so excited that we are going to see live theater again! I have always enjoyed live theater - both plays and musicals. I enjoy watching them and I enjoyed participating in a couple of them! I was in a musical when I was 13 - it was called, "With an Everlasting Love." I was the youngest cast member - most everyone else went to the Bible school where it was performed. I was in another one in high school called "Carousel." That was a lot of fun to be in since a lot of my friends were in it too! My best friend had one of the main roles - she was amazing! They were both so much fun to be in!

We are going to see, "Joseph" at Sight and Sound! It is going to be so nice to be on a date with Dawson again! My MIL will be with the kids - thanks, Mom! Date nights are so awesome!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Project: Simplify - Week #3: Toys and/or Kids Clothes

I am SO excited about this week's hot spot reveal on Project Simplify! Week #3 is Toys and/or Kids Clothing! I might actually get it done!!! I will be focusing on kids clothing, not the toys at this moment in time!

Last week, I started to work on sorting through and boxing up the baby clothing that have been in my basement. I have been on a break from sorting the clothes since (about) last Thursday, but I will have to get back to it tomorrow. In fact, I think that I am going to bring up another box of clothing tonight and put it in my family room so that it is ready for me as soon as a wake up...or as soon as I shower & get dressed, help the kids get dressed, and make breakfast - although it might have to wait until after preschool drop off depending on how smoothly the morning runs! In any case - I will get back to decluttering the baby clothes in my house!

I have to say that it has felt really good to pack the clothes away. It has been fun to travel down memory lane a little bit while looking at the clothes, and it has also been really good to practice getting rid of things that are now considered clutter in my home! I will let you in on a little secret...I have been putting aside some of my favorite pieces of clothing and I am thinking of making (or having someone else make) a quilt out of some of the baby clothing fabric. We will see - BUT, only one box will be devoted to the clothing that will be saved! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Big Reveal...Or Not!

Well, the big reveal for Week #2 of Project: Simplify is not going to happen here today! I have had such high hopes to participate in Project Simplify that Tsh is hosting over at her blog, but when I was really thinking about what I needed to start decluttering in my house, I felt like it was the garage and the basement...although I DO need to work on the paper clutter too!

So, this week Dawson and I had a really nice, long talk. It was SO nice to do this again! With everything going on in our lives - helping out my parents, trying to find energy to get dinner on the table and clean something here and there in my house, and now mandatory overtime for Dawson during the month of March - there does not always seem to be a lot of time for us to sit down and have a nice long uninterrupted talk. We talked about so many things - and at one point, I was doing most of the talking; telling him about what has been on my heart and mind. Quite a few things came out of our talk - including what I decided to begin purging/decluttering out of our basement. Let's just say that my sister and I will hopefully make a few bucks this summer at our garage sales selling our baby clothes and other baby items. Yes, we do believe that we are done having children!

So, I may not have participated in this week's Project: Simplify - Paper Clutter, however, I did work on decluttering in my house, and I am ok with this! If you have participated in this Project - then good for you!!! I think that I am going to continue to purge in my basement, but I will post the new parts of Project Simplify, and keep it on my backburner!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Project: Simplify - Week #2: Paper Clutter

So, I STILL did not complete Week #1 of Project: Simplify...but I WILL DO IT! Last week was a busy, not the most motivated, and draining week. This week will also be a bit busy, but hopefully I will get through it a bit better - and make more time to work on the decluttering that I want and need to do!

Today begins Week #2 of Project: Simplify! The Hot Spot to declutter is: PAPER CLUTTER! This is something that I have begun to work on, but still have much more to do. Later this week, I will share with you how I have begun tackling the paper clutter on my breakfast bar - although I still have quite a bit of tweaking to do in this area!

Some other things that I will be learning this week are:

*How long do you need to keep bill "receipts"

*How long do you need to hold on to a store receipt - and what is the best way to store/file it?

*What do you do with the receipts from the bank/ATM?

I think that I know the answers to these questions, but I need to put it into action...and I WILL get rid of the bill "receipt" from 2005 that I still have in my files...I don't think that I need it anymore! (At least it is in a file - right?) :)

You can check out the tools that are suggested this week to help you here. Tsh's basic plan for "Unleashing Vengeance on You Papers" is below:

1. Gather all your loose papers in to one large box — your receipts, your junk mail, your paid bills, the random notes, and even your kids’ scribbles just laying around.

2. Surround yourself with this main box, your recycling bin, your trash can, your “to be shredded” box or your shredder itself, and your “take action” box. Keep a pen or pencil nearby.

3. Start a movie marathon, IF it won’t distract you. Choose a dialog-heavy flick or one you’ve seen a million times (basically, you don’t have to stare at the screen). Inceptionprobably isn’t a good idea. (My sidenote - I would probably choose music instead!)

4. Start at the top, and work through the main box one sheet of paper at a time. If anything needs attention (a bill to be paid, an event to be added to the calendar), toss it in the “take action” box. If anything needs shredding, either shred it immediately or toss it in the “to be shredded” box. Then, deal with its contents when the three-year-old isn’t around to help you shred more than you bargained for.

5. After you’ve emptied the main box, return to the “take action” box and — well, take action.

6. Once all your paper has been processed, create a spot for paper to land where it can be processed weekly from now on. (My sidenote: I have a GREAT idea for this that I will share later this week!)

7. Take steps to minimize future paper clutter (go paperless with your bills, etc.).

8. Rinse and repeat, either weekly or monthly.

Click here to download and print a PDF checklist of this week’s hot spot (find the hidden irony).

Let me know if you are going to join me in this week's project...of if you already have this in order, leave a comment and let me know what works for you! Have fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Project: Simplify Week #1 - Not Done Yet!

If you remember from this post, today I was supposed to be posting my before and after photos of my closet after I finished decluttering it.

Well, I have to say that this week was busy, tiring, and not the most "fun", so I have not been able to finish my decluttering. Truth be told, I have only gone through my "things" from "VS" and my sock drawer. I still have all of my clothes to go through. I am hoping to get this done this weekend...before the next project is announced!

So, stay tuned! Getting rid of things that are in good shape is hard for me to do, but I know that I must part with these "things" in order to move in this new direction...and someone else can enjoy the "things" that I no loner use!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Project: Simplify - Want to Join Me?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am determined to declutter my house. This time of year seems to be the "perfect" time to tackle the clutter in my home, with spring being right around the corner (or so I thought...we have snow on the ground again!) - it is definitely time to do some spring cleaning!

Simple Mom is hosting a five week project to declutter five areas our home. She has called it Project: Simplify. She has revealed this week's hot spot: your wardrobe and closet. It seems simple, but it is a great way to start the project, and it is important to take care of yourself! I agree with her - it is easier to take care of your kids' clothes than your own!

Oh, and one of the rules for participating it to take before and after photos! This should be an interesting task for me to tackle...I still have some boxes of clothes that are in the basement that are labeled "pre-pregnancy" clothes! LOL!!! It is definitely time for me to tackle this area of my life! Want to join me? Check out Simple Mom's blog for more info!

Below is the list that Simple Mom has compiled for attacking our wardrobe and closet. You can find out more information on her blog.
  1. Make sure all your clothes are washed and in one place.
  2. Set aside all items you already know you don’t want — wearable in the “give” box; unwearable in the “toss” box.
  3. Try on all the rest of your clothes — no cheating.
  4. Anything that doesn’t fit well, put in a separate pile.
  5. Anything that isn’t the right color on you, put in the “give” box.
  6. Anything that has un-mendable holes or stains, is unwearable, or underwear that’s seen better days, put in the “toss” box.
  7. Once your closet and drawers are empty, clean them.
  8. Hang, fold, and put away the clothes you know you’re keeping.
  9. Reassess the items in your doesn’t-fit-well pile.
  10. Tackle your shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.
I have to say that I am stepping out of my comfort zone to do something like this. However I am excited to be doing this! Let me know if you plan on joining in on the fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hearty Ham and Potato Soup

It's raining and the wind is blowing pretty hard here...which makes me want to cuddle up to a nice bowl of soup. I found this soup recipe on a blog that I read called Simple Organized Living, and it sounds and looks really good! Andrea, mentions that this soup does not freeze well, so I figured that I would pass that along to you too! Enjoy Andrea's recipe - I am going to!

Hearty Ham and Potato Soup


  • 2 T. oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 qts. water
  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. milk or cream
  • 1/2 lb. ham, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a large pot and sautee onions until soft
  • Add water, potatoes, carrots, and celery
  • Boil until veggies are tender {about 15 minutes}
  • Drain and reserve all liquid {you will use some of this broth later on…and you can freeze the rest of it}
  • Set veggies aside
  • In the same pan, melt butter
  • Whisk flour and milk together and add to the melted butter, string constantly until mixture thickens
  • Add 1 cup or more of reserved broth — if you like thicker soup, add less — thinner soup, add more
  • Gently stir in cooked vegetables and ham.
  • You may add more broth if you want a thinner soup, or let it simmer for a while if it’s too thin. (freeze the reaming broth for future use)
  • Serve with salad and fresh bread, garlic bread, or rolls.
Update: I have to say that I thought that this soup was bland. It could have been that I only had 5 oz of ham instead of 8 oz, or it could be lacking in some herbs. It was good, but not the best tasting soup that I have made.