Find Your Why

Find Your Why

Why do you do the things that you do?

That question is harder than it seems. It encompasses a lot. What area of life are we talking about? All of it? Part of it? Are we looking for a deep and meaningful answer? Or something just matter of fact?

In the courses and training I have pursued in blogging and my direct sales businesses (doTERRA and Jamberry), one of the main elements of success that is always taught is to “Find your Why.” Your Why drives your blog or business and helps you get through the hard parts and focus on what you truly want to share or accomplish.

As I’ve contemplated this for my various endeavors, I’ve wondered if it would be a good idea to have a Why for my role as homemaker.

Because, you know, it isn’t always easy. There are elements to being a wife and mother that aren’t so glamorous or easy. Having specific, single sentence of Why gives you a push through the hard days and into enjoying the little things.

  • Why do you scrub the toilets?
  • Why do you change that dirty diaper?
  • Why do you fold yet another load of laundry?
  • Why do you continually pick up the stray items that get strewn about the house? (again)

Not only are the Why’s of keeping the house in order important, but there are other aspects of homemaking that are worth questioning too.

  • Why real food?
  • Why natural health?
  • Why simple living?
  • Why green products?
  • Why shop local?

This seems like a lot of different things with various purposes. How can you tie it all into one sentence? Very carefully! It may take some time and thought to define your Why. But once you do it can create in you a more definite purpose.

I think it is a common struggle for people to wonder what their purpose is. Why do they need to do the things they do? What is the ultimate goal? And it is very easy to get lost in the mundane tasks of homemaking. How can sweeping the floor have a higher purpose?!

Somehow it does.

Prayerfully considering your why helps you define your identity. Ultimately your identity is in Christ. God has placed you in your role for a purpose and a reason. Ask Him to help you understand and define your Why!

Similar to creating a family mission statement, your Why drives you forward and is more personal than a family statement. Your Why can be light and simple: to create a clean and loving home in order to empower my family to go forth and be awesome.

Or it can be deep and profound: to glorify God in all I say and do in order to set a Christ-like example to my family and others. It could easily develop and change over time as well. Pick something simple to start and then as you dwell on it and find more meaning to your daily duties, adjust and redefine Why.

If you really need to you could write more than one Why. But I highly recommend keeping just one. Let that statement be your driving force to keep being the homemaker you were created to be. Once you find your Why, you will find more joy and peace in your day to day.

What is your Why?

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Your Simple Home Handbook Review

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Simplify. That sounds easy enough, right?

Easier said than done!

Have you ever tried to simplify areas of your home and then felt overwhelmed? Or your enthusiasm for simplicity wanes after you go through one closet?

I totally understand! As much as I talk about simple living and minimalism, I still struggle in some areas. (my craft supplies!) But I’m determined to make some REAL changes.

After our recent mouse debacle, I’m ready to get rid of all the extra stuff. But I’m overwhelmed with the idea of going through and purging our excess! How do I even determine what is excess?

I have found some help. A lovely blogger friend of mine has recently released an eBook called Your Simple Home Handbook. It is amazing!

In Your Simple Home Handbook, Elise gives detailed instructions on how to go about clearing out the clutter in various parts of the home. She covers Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Children, Housekeeping, and more. I particularly enjoyed her sections on Wardrobe, Kitchen, and Craft/Hobby Supplies. Those are my areas that need some help!

Not only does Elise work through the major parts of the home that collect clutter, but she gives you a variety of questions to ask yourself as you work through your stuff. She helps you decide what to keep and what to get rid of in a clear and concise way. Her suggestion to break down the simplifying process to a section at a time is very relieving. You don’t have to de-clutter the whole house at once!

It is encouraging to me to read Elise’s examples of how her and her husband simplified enough to live comfortably in a 600 sq ft cabin. But don’t think this is just for living in tiny spaces. Larger homes have more space for collecting excess!

You can read about my minimalist bathroom and my steps for spring cleaning, but those only touch the surface of simplifying your home. Your Simple Home Handbook gives concise directions and instruction on creating a breathable home.

One of her starting questions is, What are five adjectives I want to describe my home? My goal is to create a home that is cozy, open, fresh, beautiful, and free. I had some vague ideas of how to achieve that, but now I have some clear direction and steps to take to make that happen.

If you want to get your hands on a copy of Your Simple Home you can click on my affiliate link here: {click here}

I highly recommend this eBook if you are ready to simplify your home and be free from all the clutter!


 

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3 Simple Steps to Spring Cleaning your Kitchen


3 Simple Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

Spring cleaning time! Yay or nay?

I’ve got some cleaning to do…

If you caught my post on Friday, I talked about putting a stop to the overwhelm and choosing the more important things.

I must confess; I’m still overwhelmed!

I cannot seem to get my kitchen in order. There are pots and pans and random appliances sitting out on the counter and on top of the freezer. I don’t like surface clutter! But I can’t put these items away just yet.

We recently had mice. Again. I don’t know what the deal is but we keep getting the little critters despite the traps and cat and other preventative measures. And they love to cruise around in all the cabinets and drawers leaving me little presents.

Yeah…not my favorite kind of present.

Once we were sure we had caught and disposed of the intruders I started working on cleaning the drawers out. That was three weeks ago. I still have cabinets that need cleaning!

Now this might sound like I’m being lazy. But it’s so hard for me to find the time to clean it up! It’s not something I can do while little man is running around at my ankles. I can’t do it while he naps since our home is tiny and dishes always wake him up. And by night when Hubby can keep an eye on the little man I’m just too tired to get it done.

Excuses. I’ve got to focus and get this cleaned up. It’s stressing me out!

Long story short, any time this happens, I’m ready to get rid of half the items in my kitchen. I usually end up with a box or two of things to donate. It might be more this time around. I mean really…I only need two cookie sheets.

Because I have this “issue” to clean up, and it’s spring, I’m going to make this a big spring cleaning adventure in my kitchen (and other areas of my house). It’s time to de-clutter.

There are 3 simple steps to take when it comes to Spring Cleaning your Kitchen.

3 simple steps graphic

Pretty simple, right? Well, this could be a little more involved.

Keep those steps in mind and break it down just a little bit more and you can succeed at finally straightening up your kitchen! Or desk! Or laundry room!

Evaluating your clutter. For example, I have way too many coffee mugs. Yes I love coffee and I have a soft spot for cute mugs. But do I really need them all? No. I need a limit.

Get rid of the excess. I figure I only need one or two favorites that I use daily for coffee or tea. One or two big mugs for my hubby because he prefers a manly cup. And a few spare for when we have guests. Wow! I can get rid of about 15 mugs! Yikes!

Some of them I can list on eBay to see if I can get a little kick back from the original investment. (I have a lot of Starbucks mugs!) And the rest can be donated since I don’t see them to be of much value.

Organize the rest. Now I have a small number of mugs that will easily fit in my cabinet without stacking and causing a potential fall hazard. I might think of an old favorite mug from time to time, but ultimately I have what I need and life moves on.

Now, to do this with all the rest of the items in the cabinets as I clean everything. By hand. Again. That’s why I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately and it has taken me so long to get my kitchen cleaned.

But you see? It can be done. Just break it down a step at a time, cabinet at a time, and de-clutter your kitchen. There’s probably a lot that you can do without.

When was the last time you spent Spring Cleaning your Kitchen?

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DIY Dry Shampoo

This post contains affiliate links.

DIY dry shampoo

You know how it goes. The alarm rings. You jump right out of bed and smile at the sunshine coming through the window. You wander down the hall to the bathroom and take a luxurious long shower. As you finish getting dressed you spouse brings you a steaming cup of coffee, just the way you like it. Then you walk into the living room ready to face the day and smile at the children playing with their toys calmly waiting for breakfast…

Wait, wait, wait, that’s not at all how it goes…

Somebody starts wailing and your spouse pushes you out of bed, so he can hit snooze a couple more times. You find the woken child and try to soothe them as you stumble into the kitchen hoping to find the answers to life somewhere under the pile of dishes you left from last night. Coffee sounds too good to be true and you wonder if you will actually get to take a shower today…

That’s more like it.

Let’s be real. Moms don’t often get to take showers when they need want them. It’s just a part of life. And that season of life will pass quicker than you know. (Or so they say, I’m still in the midst of it!)

Personally, I’m ok skipping a shower most of the time but I feel completely frumpy and out of sorts if I can’t get my hair washed. Granted it’s so much better now that I use natural methods of washing, but after a day or so I get a little oily around the edges. Thankfully, there is a solution to keeping decently clean looking hair when it comes to part time showering.

DIY Dry Shampoo!

The recipe is simple and you probably already have the ingredients on hand. It’s super cheap and is much better than any store bought version. It takes less than a minute to mix it together.

All you need is cocoa powder and arrowroot powder (corn starch or tapioca powder work great too!). An optional addition is essential oils to enhance the scent and nourish your scalp.

dry shampoo ingredients

To apply it to your hair use a make-up brush to dab it on or just sprinkle it on and brush it in. I like using a make-up brush, it goes on with less mess and is easy to do.

The size batch you make is up to you and depends on the size storage jar you have. I use a regular half-pint mason jar. But a recycled jar would be perfect!

DIY Dry Shampoo

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Measure ingredients in to a jar.
  2. Close the lid and shake until well mixed.
  3. Apply to roots with make-up brush or sprinkle it on as needed.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/04/10/diy-dry-shampoo/

See? It’s not at all complicated to have clean looking hair each day! Even if you can’t get a shower in, but want to avoid the greasy hair look this is your solution.

If you have blonde or light colored hair you can adjust the ratio of powders. Use more of the arrowroot powder and less cocoa powder to achieve a lighter dry shampoo. (Depending on your skin color, you could even play around with different shades as a facial powder too!)

application brush

So next time you stumble out of bed to tend to the little ones, don’t fret about not getting a shower, your hair can still look fabulous!

Have you tried a dry shampoo?

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Planning with Purpose – eBook Launch and Giveaway!

Planning with purpose cover

Do you ever struggle with balancing the preparation of real food meals and spending quality time with your family?

The struggle is real. I totally understand!

But there is hope! You don’t have to be overwhelmed with the idea of making food from scratch and providing quality meals for your family. There are a few simple tricks you can utilize to ensure that you are feeding your family well without spending all your time in the kitchen.

The key to success is planning ahead.

After struggling to find balance, I have finally learned some ways to effectively plan my meals and efficiently run my kitchen. I want to make sure and feed my family real food meals that sometimes take extra preparation and aren’t reliant on processed ingredients. But I also want to spend as much time with my husband and growing boy as possible.

Planning with Purpose – save time and money in the kitchen shares my solutions to smoothly run a real food kitchen. It is full of ideas and tools for you to find the best way to efficiently work your kitchen.

A guide on saving time and money? Yes, please!

 

This is a complete resource for you to find the meal planning method that will work for you and your family. Plus you will learn why you should keep a kitchen inventory, make a grocery list, and plan out your food prep.

I briefly shared with you how to do this in my Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen series. Now, I have expanded it and included more in depth information on how you can achieve success in your real food kitchen. Plus I have created a collection of printable lists to help you in your planning.

It doesn’t have to be stressful or take all of your time to plan and prepare real food meals for your family. The freedom you can achieve by simply planning with purpose will surprise you! I know from experience that I am a much better wife and mother when I have a plan. You can accomplish this as well once you grasp hold of tools at hand.

Without any further ado, I want to tell you how to get your eyes on this eBook! First off, enter in the giveaway below for a chance to win a free copy of Planning with Purpose! There is only ONE free copy available so get as many entries as possible!

Next, for this week only I’m offering a special launch price for Planning with Purpose. If you purchase this week it only costs you $3.99! That’s less than a fancy latte at Starbucks! Remember: this is a special launch price. Once this week is over, the price will go up to $5.99.

 

Join me this Wednesday for the Launch Party on Facebook! During this party I will answer questions, give tips on planning your meals, and giveaway another eBook! Come and participate for a chance to win a free copy of Planning with Purpose. The party starts at 7:00pm Central time! This is exciting y’all!

If you are ready to save some time in the kitchen, you need this eBook. There isn’t a better time than now to learn how to give your family the food they need without sacrificing precious moments in their company.

Planning with Purpose will save you time (and money) in the kitchen!


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Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen Part 4

Saving Time in the Kitchen Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of Saving Time in the Kitchen! If you missed the last few weeks, part 1 covered Meal Planning, part 2 covered Kitchen Inventory, and part 3 covered making a Grocery List. I hope you are finding this information helpful, or at least motivating to get organized and start saving time!

Today I want to give you some ideas the one aspect of real food cooking that takes up the most time. Food Preparation.

  • Food Prep. The time it takes to prepare fresh food from scratch and include a lot of vegetables in your diet can be overwhelming! This is probably the number one hold up for busy families. It’s hard to find the time to get real food meals on the table. And very easy to fall back on packaged processed foods. But there is hope. Make a plan to prep your food!

I go through periods when I’m really good at prepping things ahead and then other times when I just go meal to meal. I’m starting to find that I really need to make sure I stay on top of having food prepped ahead. My little guy is quickly becoming a food eating machine. A growing boy is going to need healthy snacks that are ready to go! Plus I don’t like to spend uber amounts of time in the kitchen making dinner.

There are a few ways I’ve seen this work well. One idea is to take an afternoon or evening and prep by chopping, cooking, freezing, portioning, all the major meals for the week. This I think works best for parents working out of the home or have busy week nights with activities. It makes your week much smoother and more relaxing. This is also a good idea for having healthy snacks available. Cut up some veggies and put them in glass containers to pull out easily if you need to feed the littles real quick.

Another idea is to schedule in your food prep throughout the week. As part of your written menu plan, write in when you need to prep something ahead of time. I always need to write down when to make mayonnaise so I have it ready in the morning to make lunch for my hubby. Or if you need to soak beans overnight for taco soup the next day. Or bake bread, or make yogurt. Just schedule it in when it will work with your week.

When it comes to vegetables, I try to double up my prep. For example, if I need half an onion for a recipe on Tuesday, and part of an onion for Thursday, I’ll go ahead and chop the whole thing up while I have it and my knife and cutting board out. I can easily store the rest in the fridge and have it ready to go for the next night. Pretty simple concept but it saves some time!

The key to not becoming overwhelmed with getting your real food meals made in a timely manner is to plan ahead with the food prep. That way you are caught last minute with no homemade bread to make sandwiches for lunch. Or stuck spending an hour making dinner when it could only take thirty minutes.

You want to free up some time to spend with your family and also feed them well. There can be a good balance when you are prepared and spend a few moments planning ahead. I’ve seen a huge difference in the flow of my week when I do this. (And I’m not nearly as busy as some moms!)

To help you plan your food prep throughout the week, I have created a weekly meal plan template that includes the prep. But make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter in order to get this free printable!

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I also have something really exciting for you. You’ve read several ideas in the series this month on Saving Time in the Kitchen, and I’ve briefly covered several areas that can help you achieve that. But there is more to learn!

I am finishing up an eBook to give you the knowledge for COMPLETE success in saving time and money in the kitchen!

Make sure to come back next week to find out the details of what is in this eBook and how you can be successful in feeding your family real food without spending all your time in the kitchen. It’s gonna be big!

How has Food Prep changed your time in the kitchen?

 

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Take the next step in create an efficient kitchen here.

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Saving Time (and Money) In the Kitchen Part 2

Saving Time in the Kitchen Part 2

Here we are at part two of Saving Time (and Money) in the Kitchen. If you missed the first week, you can read about Meal Planning in part one. All it takes is a little bit of planning to make a huge difference in how much time you spend in the kitchen!

This week I’m going to share with you the importance of taking a Kitchen Inventory. This is a money saver. It’s easy to end up with some extra items stored up in the pantry. Keeping a consistent inventory will help you from letting good food go to waste and ultimately save you money when you eat the food you have.

  • Kitchen Inventory. A detailed kitchen inventory every month or so will help you with your menu planning. You can even do a quick check before your menu planning to utilize some of the items you already have. Save yourself some cash and take note of the food that’s already in your kitchen.

The first inventory does takes up a bit of time, but once you get it set up you are ready to go. You will have a list to work off of for the next inventory and can scratch off or add to accordingly. It’s good to have separate lists for the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Kitchen Inventory Pantry

An inventory also helps me a lot because I’m frequently a “double up” shopper. If something I use regularly is on sale I will double up what I need and have an extra ready for next time. In addition to just the main storage areas, I like to have a list for my baking supplies, spices, and emergency food stores.

As a real food eater that makes a lot from scratch, bulk shopping is an important money saver. An inventory list is critical when storing things like grain or dried goods for long term use. This allows you to make sure and rotate your food stores so that nothing spoils. It’s especially helpful if you order meat in bulk from your local farmer. There’s usually a waiting list for us and it’s nice to get on it before we eat up what we have!

I haven’t always been an inventory taker, but now that I’ve started doing so, I find my minimalist side quite happy. I don’t end up with hoards of uneaten food stocked up in the pantry. I know that the things we do have will be eaten in a timely manner.

That wraps up this week’s edition of Saving Time and Money in the Kitchen. I hope you can see how a kitchen inventory will save you time and money! If you want a pretty inventory list to work off of, I created a set of inventory lists just for my email subscribers. To get your copy, make sure and sign up here for my weekly newsletter.

Come back next week to hear part 3 of Saving Time and Money in the Kitchen!

Do you take inventory of your food storage?

 

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