Simplified Saturday: laundry

A house with small children tends to have lots of laundry. If I didn’t wash every day, we’d run out of clothes pretty quickly.

There are a few things we have learned to make doing the laundry easier.

1. Throw a load of laundry in the wash when you first wake up.

By the time the kids and I get ready and out the door, all of the laundry is washed. Do your “foldables” first so you can throw them in the dryer while you’re still home.

2. Do a small load of laundry everyday, so you don’t have a large load to contend with all at once.

If I waited until the end of the week to do laundry, my whole weekend would be shot. No dice! Doing a little load each night makes a huge difference.

3. Fold a small load each night so you don’t have to deal with an overflowing laundry basket.

Same reason: smaller loads= light work.

4. If your washer has a timer, use it.

Washing machines with timers are great! Throw your clothes in the wash before you leave, set the timer, and come home to laundry in the wash.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these time saving laundry tips. Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

Continue Reading

How to successfully purge your closet for the new year

Each year, we begin organizing and purging each room of our home starting in January.

This year, I started with our closets. We have now done all of the clothes closets, dressers and the linen closet, but we haven’t done the pantry yet. That one will take awhile.

When we purge anything, we make three piles: one to trash, one to donate, and one to keep. When we clean out the dressers and closets, we operate on a certain list of rules.

1. If it doesn’t fit right, donate it.

If you don’t wear it because it doesn’t fit, don’t hold on to it. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it. If you can honestly say either of these things, then give the garment to someone who’ll enjoy it. If it’s ripped, stained or worn, toss it. This rule applies to anything: clothes, shoes, accessories.

2. If it doesn’t go with three different outfits, don’t keep it.

Back in the dark ages when I kept everything, I had a closet full of cute clothes but nothing to wear with them. That is frustrating! I’d much rather have a few cute pieces of clothing that I can wear lots of different ways that lots of clothes that I can only wear one way.

3. Be ruthless

If you overthink it too much, you won’t get rid of anything! It’s way better to just ruthlessly toss, donate or upcycle without taking time to give it a second thought.

4. Don’t keep it if you aren’t using it regularly right now.

Don’t keep something just because you think you might need it. If you aren’t currently using something on a regular basis, get rid of it. If you need it later on down the road, you can go get one, but if you don’t need it, you won’t miss it.

5. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place.

The best way to de clutter is simply to not have any extraneous stuff! That can be easier said than done. Instead, have a specified place for anything and make sure it gets put away. And finally, conduct regular purges- at least twice a year to ensure that you stay organized.

Happy organizing!!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

Continue Reading

Organizing kids’ spaces

My oldest daughter loves clothes- she loves buying new clothes, but She also loves to change her clothes. Not surprisingly, this has led to some major messing up her dresser and her closet.

Emorie’s closet really needed some Jesus an exorcism some cleaning out. Actually I’m the one who needs Jesus- opening that closet makes me think bad thoughts.


And the dresser isn’t any better.


I finally got tired of it and decided to fix it. I started by removing anything extra, non fitting, or anything out-of-season from the closet. Then, I straightened what was left.



And suddenly, all of my mean thoughts have disappeared. Isn’t that way better?

And as for the dresser.  Some of the drawers didn’t need more than a minor straightening.


But for the ones that looked like a tornado had run through them, I took everything out of them and used my trusty drawer organizers.

When I was finished, it looked like this:


I know I’ll just be refixing the closet and drawers again soon, but in the meantime, this is so much better.

What small organizing project have you done lately?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Simplified Saturday: Fitting fitness into your schedule 


Gyms are popping up everywhere, but joining a gym can be costly. In addition to the cost, you also must find time to go to the gym. If you live in the country like I do, you definitely don’t have time to drive to a gym, work out, and drive home.

I’ve always been an active person, and interested in staying fit. Motherhood hasn’t changed the fact that I am interested in staying healthy and fit, but it has thrown a wrench in my ability to find time for health and fitness.

I have tried a number of DVDs and even YouTube workouts, but I’ve often found that there aren’t many resources available for working Mother’s with busy schedules and small children. I also don’t want to take time I already don’t have to drive to a gym, leave my children in a child care room with someone I don’t know, and work out.

I also know that several of us are already beginning to think about those New Years Resolutions, so I wanted to share this fantastic new resource I’ve discovered.

I recently started using an app called Aaptiv, where you can not only customize your own workouts, but you can also choose from ready made training plans.


There are so many different workouts available, in different levels of difficulty. You can choose short workouts, or longer workouts- whatever works best for your schedule.


You can even choose from a variety of personal trainers, based on their training style and personality.


You can even choose your music.

I like Aaptiv because I can look at all the available plans and plan my workouts ahead of time to suit my schedule for the week. I can also use the app on my phone, or log in on the computer, meaning that my workouts go with me wherever I go.

I thought the Aaptiv maternity initiative was great, too. I am not expecting, nor planning to be, but I wish I’d had this when I was expecting my daughters. I had a hard time finding workouts that I felt were safe for me, that weren’t “pregnancy yoga,”  and I didn’t think there was a lot of information out there for expectant mothers interested in staying fit. If you’re interested in checking out Aaptiv’s maternity initiative, visit their site.

The Aaptiv app itself is free to download, but costs $9.99 per month.Sign up today  and use the code “BURPEES” to receive a free 30-day trial.

Head on over to the iTunes Store or Google Play Store and download Aaptiv today. You’ll be glad you did.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Back to school: how we save time in the morning 


Preparation is key to a less stressful morning. Do Anything you can do ahead of time to get yourself prepared for the next day. Some people are far better at this than I am, but I still want to take the time to share what works for us.


1. Use an agenda to be more organized overall

I like to read my agenda the night before to make myself aware of any to do list items for the next day, and any appointments or meetings we might have. This way I don’t have any “surprises” and I know what I’m facing (for the most part) when walking out the door.


2. Get your clothes ready the night before. 

I like to lay out everything I’ll need AND make sure it’s ironed the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning. This includes workout clothes and my work outfit, down to undies and shoes. I do this for my kids’ clothes as well.


3. Use grab and go breakfast items. 

I like to make several breakfasts ahead of time and freeze them. Then I just grab them, heat them and eat them. It saves a lot of time.

4. Put everything you’ll need by the door. Then you can just grab it and walk out.

5. Pack lunches the night before so you aren’t scrambling to do it in the AM. 

6. Unload your dish washer at night so you can put your dirty breakfast dishes in the dishwasher before you leave. 

7. Check your bags the night before to make sure you aren’t missing anything you need. 


Lastly, don’t forget to say goodbye to your loved ones!! I hope this list has been helpful! What do you do to prepare for your day the night before?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Trim Healthy Mama cooking day part two

Freezer meals are one of the surest ways to save time in your busy schedule. I’m a teacher with two small children, one who is extremely busy with a number of activities. Time constraints make it easy to fall into the fast food trap. 


Perhaps you remember my post two weeks ago when I posted about my breakfast cooking day? I ended up with three weeks of breakfasts frozen in our freezer, which is definitely making our mornings easier. 

I just used this printable meal planner I made and it made the cooking day so much more organized. 


To download, just right click on the blank pages and save to your device. For best results, click “fit to page” and print on 8.5×11 paper.

I used my second cooking day to make freezer dinners and some condiments. One of the great things about the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook is that they include a “freezer to crockpot” note in all their crockpot recipes. This tells you how to easily prep your meals for the freezer so you can just take them out and pour them in the crock pot.

At the end of the cooking day, I had  made peanut junkie butter, sugar free chocolate syrup, sugar free strawberry jelly, sweet and tangy salad dressing, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

I also made whatcha want Mexican chicken, Cajun cream chicken, lazy lasagna for two…

Wicked white chili, 

Wipe yo mouth BBQ,

Taco soup 

And rich ‘n’ tender stew


This will make my nights so much easier AND ensure that my family has a healthy meal each night for dinner. 

Here is my recipe list. All are Trim Healthy Mama recipes and are sugar free and white flour free. Some special ingredients are required.

Peanut junkie butter

Slim belly jelly

Sweet and tangy salad dressing 

Chocolate syrup

Balsamic vinaigrette 

Lazy lasagna

Cajun cream chicken

Watcha want Mexican chicken 

Wipe yo mouth BBQ

Wicked white chili

Taco soup

Rich and tender soup

Hope you’ve enjoyed this list! Keep your eyes pealed for yet another cooking day in the near future.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: How I use my agenda to be more organized

As we prepare to go back to school, I am trying to make sure I’m as organized as possible. There have been cooking days so the freezer will be stocked with healthy meals, there have been closet and dresser cleaning days, and now I’ve purchased a new planner as well. I was enjoying bullet journaling, but it wasn’t the best use of my time. 


I looked at pricier planners like those designed by Erin Condren and Emily Ley, and while I liked them, I wasn’t sure I could justify spending $60 on an agenda I’d only use for a year and a half. Enter the Day Designer by Blue Sky.


Cute, lightweight, and only $20. The front pages of the agenda contain spaces for setting goals and creating a plan for accomplishing those goals.



It also features both monthly spreads and weekly spreads. I have started color coding my calendar entries: one color for each family member and a separate color for church activities.

I use it to record activities and appointments for all four of us, plus work and blog stuff for me.


Each calendar has a space for a to do list, setting goals, and reflection.  


I use the weekly spread to track habits and set three main goals. There is also space to record things you’re grateful for.


I also track fitnesss plans, blog posts, and plan meals. A weekly to do list is included as well. 


There are also blank pages in the back where you can do whatever you like. I use them to make lists, plan blog posts and record important dates:




I like to use sticky note pads for my shopping lists and things that are subject to change, such as Christmas lists and thrift store shopping lists.


Each night before you go to bed, reflect on the day, but take a peek at tomorrow. What do you need to do? Where do you need to be? Looking at your agenda each day ensures that you remember what you’re supposed to do and where you’re supposed to be.

How do you use your agenda to simplify your life?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: tricks for a more organized closet


I am intrigued by bloggers who create capsule wardrobes but I’ve never been able to create one myself.  I have, however, managed to pare down my wardrobe and simplify it a bit.

Today I’d like to share a few tips on how you can have fewer clothing items to choose from, but still have more to wear.

Basically, I have three separate occasions by which my clothes are categorized: Workout and exercise clothes, dress clothes/church clothes, and casual clothes. I also keep one or two formal dresses.


I have been bad about buying things because I liked them, not necessarily because I had anything to wear with them. Then, I’d end up with a closet full of clothes I liked, but nothing to wear with them.

1. Only buy an item of clothing if you can make three outfits with that piece. 

If you cannot think of three different things that you already have that will go with that piece, then don’t buy it. It is hard at first, but you will get used to it.

2. Clean out your closet twice a year

I always clean mine out twice a year, usually when I switch out seasonal clothes. If something is torn, worn or stained, pitch it. If something is too tight or too big, donate or consign it. I keep a consignment bin where I throw things that my family outgrows. When the bin is full, we donate it. If you haven’t worn something in a year, then donate it.

3. Know what your colors are

Know your favorite colors, favorite styles and what colors you feel most confident in. It’s ok to go out on a limb just a bit, but if you’re unsure about wearing it, you probably won’t.

4. Be ruthless

Remove any and everything that doesn’t fit or you no longer wear. Don’t keep it if there’s a chance you won’t wear it.

I was able to pare my spring/summer wardrobe significantly: I reduced my wardrobe to six dresses, four pairs of shorts, two dress pants, four skirts, six short sleeve shirts, four dress shirts, and two pairs of jeans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my closet simplifying tips!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Planning a Trim Healthy Mama cooking day…and a free printable menu planner 


First of all, I am not affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama, or its founders Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. I am just a loyal follower and a greatful fan. 

Have you heard of make ahead freezer meals? We are on a quest to make meal times easier and more simple at our home. I have always wanted to have a cooking day so I could make some meals ahead of time and freeze them. 

I decided to create a seven day meal planner so I could plan what meals we’d eat each week and then create a shopping list for each week as well. 

I am printing off four of these seven day planners, filling them out, and then buying the ingredients needed to make the meals. Here’s a little snapshot of what I’ve done so far:


I intend to have about a month’s worth of meals in my freezer when I’m finished cooking. The idea is to cook all day and have a whole month of foods to eat. In order to have a successful cooking day, you must plan ahead as much as possible. I want to make sure I have all the ingredients I need before the cooking day begins. 

You can find all the Trim Healthy Mama recipes in their cookbook, but you can also find tons of them on Pinterest or BrianaThomas.com.

You can download this meal planner as well. Just right click on the images below to save them to your device and print them. 


Happy cooking!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Simplify your morning routine

No one in my house is a morning person. In fact, everyone in my house dislikes waking up early and getting out of bed.

You might say for this reason, our mornings are always rushed. Here are a few tips for getting yourself out the door in a relatively calm fashion, even when mornings aren’t your favorite time of day.


1. Be as organized as possible. Having to look for things not only makes you late, it makes you stressed. If you know where everything is, your day will start much easier.


2. Prep your outfits, right down to undies and accessories, the night before. Then you just get up, get ready and get dressed.


3. Set the timer on your coffee pot and eat a make ahead breakfast. Mufflets, pictured above, can be taken out of the freezer, popped in the microwave, and eaten on the go. Overnight oats is a good option too.


4. Put any bags you’ll need to take either in your vehicle the night before, or by the front door. This helps you to not forget things you need to take.

And lastly, don’t forget to look at your calendar/planner/to do list each night to see what you need to do the following day.

Have a wonderful day!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

Continue Reading