Friday, May 18, 2012


Thursday, May 17, 2012

What is simple living?

What does Simple living mean to you?  For each person it is different. Tara of simply made home has some great ideas. You can read some of her thoughts here.  For me simple living is fast becoming a way of life.

 Here is where it all begins

When I decided that I was not going to be the typical "Soccer Mom",  I was left with an empty spot inside. What was I going to be?  I didn't really know, but the typical housewife was not it. I spent over a year in "Survival mode"  I was just surviving. Life itself was never dull, because I have three very busy young children, but I was dull. I was weary and dreary.  I was turning into a grumpy, frumpy, mom. That is not what I wanted.  It was not a good choice.

I was watching t.v. alot. I was searching for answers through Doctor this and Doctor that. I wanted a quick fix. I was looking for that magic thing that would change my life.  I tried some things, but they were not a permanant fix.  I found myself trying to fix everyone elses problems with what I had learned on tv. If I fixed other people, I felt better. When my Dad said "Please quit Dr Philing me". I knew I had to stop.  It was not making me happy. I would feel better for a while, but I was still miserable. I was  miserable I was lost. I needed new life.

I had to get out of this rut. (Sometimes easier said than done).  I started setting goals and writing lists of things that I wanted to accomplish. I was reading money saving mom's blog you can check it out here. It inspired me to do better. I was doing more, I was getting dressed, and combing my hair (most days).  I was accomplishing more in life, but still not fullfulled.  If I  have want I want in life (a home, a husband who takes care of me, three wonderful kids) Why do I feel like crap?

I am searching the iternet looking for a good way to improve my life. I'm looking at blogs.I'm getting ideas for how to improve my life. I am finding all kinds of things. I should do this with my kids. I should make this improvement in my home.  I should-----, I could-----and the list is growing. Then you add Pintrest to the mix! It was too much.

Pintrest was the breaking point.  I was so overwhelmed. Pintrest was making it way to easy to grow my list to infinity. Now I could have an infinite list of things that I could and should do. I can share with my friends. I can add their list to mine. I am feeling really guilty because I have placed upon myself this unbelivably long list of expectations and goals that I can not accomplish  I got on my knees and prayed.  The answer was simpleThrow away the listGet rid of the things that really do not matter.

I threw away that silly list. I quit surfing the internet all day. I quit watching all those Doctor shows on tv.  I threw away all the stinking thinking that I was doing. I took a real hard look at myself.  I didn't really like what I saw, but I saw potential to be something better. I was surviving off this list of things. It was my main motivation. A daily list of things I must do, and one for things I should do. without my tv and lists. I was really lost. I am able to find new motivation and new direction for  my life. My motto and the main theme in my life has become this


By clearing away the clutter of things that really did not matter, I was able to see what is real. I thought that with this list I would somehow be able to do those things on it. I would be superwoman. Without the list I felt worthless. But now looking back I know that the list was holding me back. I am better able to do the important things without the list. I do not worry that I am doing A when I should be doing B. The details of each day do not matter so much. What does matter is that I am getting closer to the end goal,  to LOVE MY FAMILY WELL. 

To love my family well leads to a much better attitude and way of life than what I had in the past.  I am now able to take time to teach my children. I am able to do all those activities that used to be on the list.  I am happier because I do not place all the demands of that list upon myself. I am finding my strenth and my mission from within. I am no longer listening to all those outside voices that call out to me "do this, do that".  I feel what is important each day and if I have a question about it. I just have to ask myself  "Is this helping me to love my family well?"

Loving my family well is in simple living. What does loving your family well look like?  What does simple living look like to you?  I would love to hear your comments about it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

make your own playdough

I grew up with homemade playdough/Salt dough. I have found a new recipe made with kool-aide powder. It is smoother than my mom's recipe and smells good too.  It is really simple to make

Kool aide play dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 envelope kool-aide unsweetened drink mix
1 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

mix dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
Stir in oil and water
cook on a medium high heat for a few minutes until the dough forms a ball. 
remove to a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and cool enough for the kids to handle. 
store in a zip top bag

here is the dough as it formed in the pan it comes together quickly

Monday, May 14, 2012

leftover rice becomes rice pudding

My husband loves homemade pudding. Whenever we cook rice he wants to be sure that we have leftovers so that we can make rice pudding.

Here is our recipe that we have developed

In a meduim saucepan

1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk  (We like the added flavor of the evaporated milk)
1/2 to 1 cup leftover cooked  rice, (depends on how much rice you have left over)
1/2 cup water
Cook this mixture at a simmer until the rice plumps up and gets softened (about 10-15 minutes)

1 1/2 cups of milk
add to this milk add
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 whole eggs
Beat this mix well and then add it to the hot rice mix stiring quickly so the eggs do not curdle

cook and stir over a medium high heat until it comes to a boil. 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can add this to taste)
raisins or dried fruit if you like

It can be served warm or cold.  Although hot from the pan (with a steaming mouth) is my husband's favorite way to eat it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I have to admit that I really don't like Mother's Day.  This morning as I got up I was thinking "Oh great, here we go again......a whole hour in church hearing people blubber on about how much they love their mom."  I was very surprised by what I heard at church today. 

Speaker #1 We got a history of Mother's day. I was surprised to find out that the woman who instigated Mother's day had a turn around when she discovered that Mother's day was becoming overcomercialized.  She bacame an advocate of nulifying the holiday just a few years after it was adopted as a national holiday.

Speaker # 2  Read a  humorous thought about how we as women need  to no longer fear Mother's day and no longer need to feel guilty because we are not the perfect Mother. She said,  "Never fear you too can be perfect, and here is how to do it", then proceded to go through an exhaustive (and somewhat exagerated) list of things that the "perfect mother" would be or do. Starting at 3 am and going throught the day until  "try to be in bed by 2 am because a quarter to three comes early when it is time to start all over again". 

Speaker #3  Started her talk with "I hate Mother's day"  She went on to say that Mother's day makes her anxious. She dreads it for weeks. It is as Stressful as the "Holiday Season".  I was taken back by her honesty and her ability to tell it like it is.

It was a very surprising Mother's day indeed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Ever since I heard the word frugalista I knew that it described me.  I love a good bargin.  I love yard sales. They make me happy. 

I am becoming quite the yard sale queen. 

Some things to consider if contemplating a yard sale.


Right after payday is the most profitable.  People have just cashed thier paychecks and think that they have extra to spend.  A bad  time to have a yard sale is right before payday when everyone thinks they are broke. Some areas/places in the country this is really important.


If you live in an home that is hard to find or your home is far off the beaten path, a sale at your place may not be the best idea. Find a freind with a better location.  You could even knock on doors in a good location and see if someone would be willing to let you yard sale there.  You never know until you ask

A few well placed signs can guide people to your sale.  Make sure the signs are readable from a distance. People will not stop and take time to read a sign, but an easily readable sign with an arrow will do.  Just point me in the right direction. Do a practice drive by. Did you see the sign? Could you read it? Does it do the job?

I have driven right on by past sales even when  I had the address and was looking  for them. They were hidden from view of the street.  Have items out where people can see that you are having a yard sale.  A big sign that says "YARD SALE HERE" and a some balloons can do the trick. make sure that people can find you.


If I pass a yard sale that looks like a hurricane blew through and deposited a buch of junk, I am less likely to spend any real time looking. If it looks like you cleaned out the attic or garage and just dumped it into a pile. I am not that interested.  Clean up your items. Dust off the cobwebs and wipe off the dirt. Organize like things together. Toys in one area, tools in another etc. Get things up off the ground. Ask your neighbors if they have some tables you can use, or create some. An old door thrown over a couple of sawhorses for example. A makeshift clothes rack made from an old broom handle and two stepladders works wonders. Get stuff out so that people can see what you have for sale. People are not real intersted in digging through big boxes or totes to see what is in it.


find out things like:  Where to advertize online?  Where are the hot spots to place your signs? Where do people look for yard sales?  What is the going rate for items similar to what you will be selling?  When do yard sales in your area usally start?  Is your area prone to early birds?  Attend a few yard sales in your area. Observe what goes on there.

If you want a sucessful yard sale you have to put in at least a little bit of effort.    With a bit of effort you can have a very sucessful sale. 


No comments:

Post a Comment