Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Party Like It's Your Birthday

Ever feel like the weekend is one big party?  That was this past weekend for us!

Saturday we helped celebrate the 50th birthday of a dear friend. And it was a day-long event!  We began just after lunch time by heading into downtown Asheville to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge

It was, in one word... Amazing!  I had a lavender and honey liquid truffle.  Which was so yummy.  The Man of the House had a "chocolate sip" - which was ridiculously rich and delicious.  And we split a chocolate nib brownie, which was... so good there are no words!

If you are in or around the Asheville area and haven't been here yet - GO!  Unless you are maybe one of those rare people who doesn't like chocolate - in which case, don't.  But, you really should.

From there, we all headed to the Grove Park Inn to relax in the Great Hall and take some photos out on the terrace.

Afterward, her husband surprised her with a dinner where we all enjoyed some good food and company. 

The birthday celebrations continued into Sunday afternoon with the grand baby's 5th birthday party.  I keep saying this - but I guess it's time to stop calling him the grand "baby", especially now that he's five.  He's definitely not a baby anymore.

He had a wonderful day with a Minecraft themed party, a yummy cake, and best of all - a piñata!

It was a busy weekend.  We had a lot of fun.  We may or may not have eaten an extreme amount of sugar. (We did). 

Did you do anything fun this past weekend?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Inspiration: All Your Needs

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stuff For All The Stuff

They've been showing up in my email daily for the past week or two.  Emails letting me know that storage items are on sale.  Telling me about all the items being offered which will help me get my clutter under control.  Baskets and decorative boxes are half off! 

They're so tempting with their siren's song of getting my life organized and getting all my things under control once and for all.

Hold on just a sec.  Wait a minute...

Are they all telling me that I need to buy more STUFF in order to contain all the STUFF I already own?

Why - yes!  I think that's exactly what they are trying to convince me.  That because of all the things I have cluttering up my life and home - I need to buy MORE things!

Um...  Does this seem wrong to anyone else? 

My life is not going to become simplified by purchasing more things to put in my home in order to hold all the stuff that's already there.  The only solution to all the clutter in my life is to start eliminating it.  Not by adding to it!

Instead of adding to the clutter by getting a bunch of new items that are supposed to contain it, this week I am getting rid of some of the things cluttering up my home.

What is one area or room where you can get rid of some of the "stuff" cluttering up your home.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Are You Thankful For During January?

It's my first Gratitude post of 2017!  In my effort to simplify things this year, I will only be posting clips from my Gratitude journal once or twice a month instead of trying to do it every week.  I would love it if some of you would join me by writing your own Gratitude posts and shared the link in the comments.

I Am Thankful For:

The first snowfall of the year
Coffee and crochet

The Male Offspring donating blood
Watching football playoffs
Spending time with the grand baby
Waking up early to go to the gym with the Man of the House

Having lunch with my mom
Trips to Hobby Lobby

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saving Money and Reducing Waste

I never considered myself one of those people who would make the switch from paper to cloth napkins.  Cloth napkins were for special occasions and restaurants - not every day use.  Right?  Right! 

That is, until I recently started thinking about all the trash we dispose of over the course of a week.  And how much we spend on all those cloth napkins over the weeks, months, and years.  YIKES!  Suddenly, cloth napkins seemed not only doable - but quite reasonable. 

I found a good deal on some nice simple white napkins through Amazon.  Which will pay for themselves pretty quickly, considering the cost of paper napkins!

I keep a few folded in the napkin holder on the table, where I used to keep paper napkins.  And now some also live in a little wooden box on the kitchen counter where I can grab one instead of always reaching for the paper towels.

I put a special little basket under the sink for the used napkins - which I take to the laundry room every other day or so when I do a load of whites. 

So far it's working out perfectly! Despite the male offspring constantly informing at first that "this is just a bad idea". 

Now, I'm thinking about "unpaper towels"...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Quiet Time

We are surrounded by constant visual and audio clutter.
Crowds of people...
Cell phones...
Lap tops...
Social Media...
The voices inside our own heads...

All of this constant stimulation can drown out what we need to hear.  Our heart. Our dreams.  The voice of God.

We need quiet space.  Space to dream.  To be still.  To enjoy the quiet.

I am trying to spend at least 5 minutes each day to just listen.  To the sound of my breath.  My heart beat.  The voice of the Spirit inside me. 

I invite each of you to join me.  Declutter your mind.  And enjoy the silence.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Simple Way to Wash Your Walls

I admit that I can not claim to be much of a role model when it comes to housekeeping.  One of the chores I only tackle when I feel I just absolutely have to it is cleaning the walls.  Because... ugh!  In a busy house with light gray walls - this isn't a good thing.  They start looking pretty dingy before I get around to washing them.  Unfortunately for me - it was time. 

Scrubbing down walls didn't really fit into the image I had of my "Simplified" year.  I mean, it's not exactly a quick and easy job.  It was time to hit up my favorite source for tips and tricks (Pinterest) to see if I can find an simpler way to get it done.  Pinterest didn't let me down!  I saw a few ideas I liked, set my mind to the task ahead and It. Was. On!

The first thing I did was to take the broom and sweep down any cobwebs and dust. 

Next, I fit my Swiffer mop with an old dishcloth that I use for cleaning.  I sprayed a section of wall with my favorite all purpose cleaner.

Then I "mopped" the wall using the Swiffer mop using firm pressure.   I worked in small sections, working from top to bottom. 

After I finished a wall, I took the cleaning cloth and wiped down the bsseboards and light switch. 

And... VOILA!!  Clean walls.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! 

Do you clean your walls on a regular basis?   Share your best tips for making the task easier!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

In All Circumstances

You might never believe me if I told you it was possible to be thankful for a big nasty looking bruise on your child's body.  Until the day you see it there... and you are.  Just as I was a few days ago.

Last weekend, the man of the house and I made a last minute decision to drive up to Gatlinburg on Saturday.  We started out early in the morning and had only been in town for about an hour when his cell phone rang.   It was our son, telling us he had been in a wreck.  Of course this mama's heart jumped right into her throat, as her stomach felt like it hit the floor.  

Long story short - one of his rear tires blew, causing him to skid off the road and take out a telephone pole.  Fortunately he was alright, but sitting on the side of the road waiting on the police and a tow truck.  While we were now over an hour and a half away!   I was able to call my dad to go get him.  And of course, we cut our day short and headed right home. 

He is fine.  Except for a small cut on his hand from some broken glass and a nasty contusion on his shoulder/upper chest from the seat belt.  Which I am thankful for every time I see, knowing how much worse it could have been if he hadn't been wearing that seat belt.  Every time I catch a glimpse of it, I thank God for protecting him! 

Have you ever been grateful for something that would otherwise seem to be a negative?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Currently - January 2017

Welcome to 2017, y'all!  Don't you just love a new year?  What better way to kick things off than by taking a quick look at where we are right now!?

READING: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin.  Not one I will be highly recommending.

EATING:  I have been eating SO poorly for the last few months.  And it shows.  Part of my year of "Simplify" is to simplify how I eat - less processed foods, more fruits, veggies, and grains

WORKING ON:  Starting some decluttering

ENJOYING:  Having my sweet hubby home in vacation for 2 whole weeks!!

ANTICIPATING:  All that empty calendar stretched out ahead of us.  Brimming with promise and unknown adventures, just waiting to be fulfilled!

FEELING:  Super optimistic about the new year!

What are you up to Currently?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My One Word - 2017

This year my One Word is:

For me, this means...

To simplify my possessions, my to do list, my activities, what I eat.

To simplify life in general. Making make room for what truly matters.

To make quiet spaces for focusing on my relationship with God and the people he has placed in my life.

To do less, so I can so it better.

To have less, so I can appreciate what I have more.

To get rid of old routines and habits that no longer work or make sense.

What are your goals or resolutions for 2017?


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