Happy New Year

Happy New Year2018!

2017 didn’t hold many good things for us, but I am glad a new year is on the horizon. I am optimistic that better things are ahead for us.

I never make new year’s resolutions, because I cannot keep them. Instead, I like to reflect on the past year and think about what I’d like to accomplish in the year ahead.

“Just me” goals

I have a number of things I want to work on this year, but I mainly want to improve my health and my relationship with God. I was doing well with diet and exercise, and managed to lose 30 pounds, but when I lost my dad, I began to stress eat and gained back 15 pounds. I also stopped exercising. I plan to go back on Trim Healthy Mama and start exercising daily again.

I also plan to do another Bible study and dive back in to my Bible. I was learning so much and I felt like I’d really grown in my faith, but I dropped the ball. I notice when things aren’t right in my heart and my walk with God, everything else tends to be in turmoil as well. I have often found when I fix that first, everything else falls into place.

Home “resolutions”

On the homefront, we plan to install a lamp post in our front yard, and do some sort of upgrade to the garage area of our home. I really love these carriage doors and trellis.

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Source: Dykast

lamp post

Source: Our Southern Home

We also plan to upgrade our bathrooms a bit with some new mirrors and lights. I really love the mirrors, lights and floors in this bathroom:

bathroom

Source: House of Rumours

We also plan to change our unnused office into a family room we will all enjoy. I love these built in bookcases with cabinets on the bottom.

bookshelf

Source: Easy Wood Projects

We have many more projects in mind, but we do try to limit our major projects to a few each year. Gets too expensive!!

Have an amazing New Year’s Day. We’ll be back online on regular schedule tomorrow.

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!

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Verses about New Years

A New Year is upon us, and with it, a time for renewal and purpose. Last year I talked to you about the word “time,” and how I intended to use my time more purposefully in the new year. I also talked about spending time with others more.

While I did do a good job spending more time with the people important to me, I don’t think I always did the best job using my time purposefully.

This year, though, I want to focus on the word “new.” Yes, it’s a new year, but I’m hoping a new me emerges this year. A new me with a new, much more positive attitude. I’m hoping a new, healthier me emerges and I lose the weight that I’ve gained back. I hope a new, less worrying me emerges.

These are all things that I need to work on to see improvements, but more importantly, I need to let HIM work on me.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old is gone, the new is here!”

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Source: Biblia.com

I have dropped the ball in my spiritual life, and I’ve not been faithfully reading my Bible and praying. I’ve dropped the ball with nutrition and have resorted to eating junk again and not filling my body with good things. I’ve stopped exercising and getting enough rest. I’m planning to work on all of these areas in my life.

I need to be a new creation again in more areas than one. I ask that you pray for me to get myself back on track.

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2018 Agenda Round-up

2018 Planner and Agenda

2018 is upon us, and for some of us, it’s time to buy a brand new agenda. I purchased an 18-month agenda back in August, so I do not need to replace mine yet. I wanted to create a roundup for those of you who are shopping for a new agenda.

When I shop for an agenda, I look for one that’s durable, has large calendar blocks because I write big, has a weekly schedule page, and plenty of space for making lists. Tabbed pages are a bonus, as well.

1.  Blue Sky Day Designer, $19 at Office Depot

day designer

I purchased this exact planner in August and I love it! I’m a major checklister and this planner contains checklists for each day of the week, plus a space for reflections and your top three goals each week. I love how neat and organized this planner is and I love how lightweight it is. Plus, it’s so much cheaper than it’s more expensive counterparts.

2. The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

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Emily Ley is my spirit animal. She loves simplifying and getting organized more than I do, and I’ve tried several of her ideas. I love how this planner, like the Day Designer, contains daily schedule grids, list making areas and even space for making long term goals. It’s a much pricier option, though, at $58.

3. Erin Condren LifePlanner, $55

lifeplanner

The Erin Condren Life Planner is similar to the Emily Ley planner. It has monthly grids and weekly grids, but also includes a built in folder and built in pouch. It also has tabbed pages and a place for making goals.

4. Picturesque Florals 2017-2018 planner, $23 at Anthropologie

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This planner is a 17-month calendar and it features monthly grids, weekly grids, notes, goals and checklists. At just 8.75 inches X 7.5 inches, it’s the smallest and lightest weight planner on the list.

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup, and that it helps you decide which agenda to purchase. Have a great New Year’s Day!

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!

 

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2017: A Year in Review

2017-

2017 was not the best year. We had many difficult moments as my dad continued to worsen. In September, we lost both my grandpa and my dad four days apart. We’ve had some rough moments since then, but we are slowly finding peace among the pain and chaos.

Enough with the negatives: I am now going to focus on all the wonderful moments we have experienced this year.

The most wonderful thing that happened this year was my daughter’s salvation and baptism. Best of all, my grandfather and my dad were both living and got to witness this.

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Emorie turned six and went to the first grade. Aubrey turned two!

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And we did soooo many things to our house.

We shared our Christmas Home Tour and the 24 Days of Christmas kept us busy.

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Most recently in November, we got new bedroom furniture and a new mattress. 

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We built these farmhouse shutters for our kitchen. 

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We also redecorated our dining room a little…but we are not done yet.

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We shared our fall home tour. 

Organized and Simplified

I discovered the Day Designer planner and I’ve never looked back!

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We re-organized our linen closet and made it function a lot better for us.

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My dad and hubby built us a built-in coat rack in our front entry.

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We made some lovely container gardens. 

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We had our front yard re-landscaped and removed another flower bed that was completely overgrown. We also got a cement front sidewalk poured.

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I bored you to tears talking about my cedar chest re-do for weeks on end.

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I took a trip to the mountains in March with my friend Holly and we did some antiquing.

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We shared our spring home tour with you.

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I DIY’d my own version of Fridge Coasters.

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And, we started off our year with The 21-Day challenge, which got our home organized AND kept us extraordinarily busy.

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Year 2018 holds better and brighter days for us. I can’t wait to share our home and our lives with you!! Happy New Year!

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!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Organized and Simplified! May you and your family be richly blessed this Christmas season. We will be offline until the 29th and we’ll see you then for Year in Review.

Photo by Hillary Graves Photography DSC_4823.jpg

 

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24 Days of Christmas: Fourth Sunday of Advent

The fourth Sunday is upon us. Today, we will light the fourth candle, also known as the “angel candle.” The angel candle reminds us of the angel who announced the good news of our Savior’s birth, and it represents peace: the angel’s message was “peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

As you light your fourth candle tonight, read the following verses in John 3:16-17:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

This Sunday, let’s thank God for sending us peace in the form of His Son, our Savior.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictTThe 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!

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24 Days of Christmas: Country Christmas at Walmart

My ideal weekend is spent with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Lately, when I walk through the Christmas section at our Walmart, I see so many decor items that I love! I’m very into farmhouse style, and Walmart’s Christmas inventory this year is chock full of it. I thought today I’d share a list of lovely farmhouse Christmas items that I hope to buy the day after Christmas…when it’s 50% off! 🙂

  1. Christmas Tree LED Illuminated Sign , $25

christmas sign

How cute is this??

2. Merry Christmas sign, assorted sizes and prices

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I need this on my porch!!!

3.  Decorative pillow cover, assorted sizes, $4-$20

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I really need two of these quirky pillows (“You serious, Clark?”) They’d be super cute in my family room.

4.  Red plaid Christmas throw, $20

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5. Red berry Christmas wreath, 38.94

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There are also a number of rustic themed ornaments I am after. What things do you plan to buy after Christmas?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictTThe 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!

 

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24 Days of Christmas: Gift Wrapping 101

Cute Puppies!

I have never been good at wrapping gifts. In fact, I’m pretty bad at it. I have a few relatives who wrap beautifully, so I racked their brains for tips…tips to improve my own gift wrapping skills, but also tips to share with you all. My grandmother is the queen of wrapping gifts, and she shared these tips with me.

gift wrap

  1. Don’t use cheap paper- buy quality.

Cheap wrapping paper doesn’t make for a well-wrapped present. Plus, the paper creases and wrinkles easily. Higher quality paper is usually thicker, and most of the time, it also has a grid printed on the back so you can cut straight lines (another challenge of mine).

Brown Paper Packages

2. If you don’t have access to better quality papers, use craft paper or grocery bags and embellish with strings or ribbon.

I love this picture from Acasarella.net- so simple and so elegant at the same time. This is super cute. The craft paper and baker’s twine are inexpensive and fantastically cute at the same time. The “brown paper packages tied up with string” look is so classic .

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3.  No matter your paper, embellish the packages with ribbon, bows, cute tags, or floral picks

Be creative and use your imagination: I like to pick through my unused holiday supplies and repurpose them. One year, I embellished packages with ornaments. Embellishing your packages makes them more interesting and unique.

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4. When wrapping presents, use double stick tape.

This not only hides the tape, but also makes it easier to wrap the present. I think it makes for a more tightly wrapped gift as well.

AdobeStock_72632488-v2-300x200 photo via Adobe Stock

5. Wrap presents on a hard surface to avoid tearing your paper or wrinkling

Plus, wrapping presents on a hard surface instead of on carpet makes for a more crisply wrapped gift.

What are your favorite gift wrapping tips?

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!

 

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24 Days of Christmas: Christmas traditions

Most families have some sort of Christmas traditions they participate in each year. It might be a tradition that was passed down the years, or something your family hs begun in recent years. My family has a few tried and true traditions we love and look forward to each year. If your family doesn’t have any traditions, you can easily create some new ones that will lead to lasting memories.

1. Baking Christmas Cookies

I am the mother of two little girls. We love baking cookies at our house, and we love to try different kinds. Baking Christmas cookies is fun, doesn’t cost a lot of money, and you can share your cookies with others. Wrap up your cookies in a cute container or basket and deliver them to a neighbor or friend. They’ll love it, and so will you!

2. Opening Christmas gifts

We now have such a large family that we draw names to prevent everyone from having so many gifts to buy. On one side of the family we only buy for the children. Either way, we love shopping for things our loved ones will love. Seeing joy in those little faces when they open their gifts is the best feeling ever!

3. Visiting Santa and Riding the Country Christmas Train

There is a little town an hour west of us called Denton. Denton is home to the Denton Farm Park, which opens up each Christmas so families can enjoy music, the little farm town, food and hot cocoa, visit Santa, and ride the Country Christmas Train! We have been visiting each year for the past few years and we love it. This year, our oldest daughter enjoyed riding some ponies, and last year, we took a horsedrawn carriage ride. The train is definitely our favorite, though.

4. Reading “The Night Before Christmas” the Classic Edition

Every year on Christmas Eve, my girls, husband and I read “The Night Before Christmas.” We have this exact story book, which features full color fold out and pop up pictures. It’s a beautiful book, and we always look forward to reading it. You can order your own here.

5. Christmas is for family

“Each year, we visit both sides of my family and both sides of my husband’s family. We traditionally have lunch and open gifts with his family on Christmas Eve, and have breakfast at his grandmother’s house on Christmas Day. Visiting everyone is hard, but we always manage to do it somehow. When we’re all together, we love to settle down and watch a great family movie. Pure Flix has a variety of wholesome movies for the whole family!”

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictTThe 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!

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24 Days of Christmas: Christmas party invitations

Ice Cream Party

 

I am offering a special new service for my readers this week. For $10, I am creating custom Christmas invitations for you. I have three design options from which you can choose. After you have chosen your design, please email me with your information and the design number, and I will email you a proof. After you’ve approved your proof, I will send you a digital file for $10, and you can either print them at home yourself, or send them to somewhere like Office Depot, Staples, or Kinko’s to have them printed. I can also, for $1.50 per invitation, print and cut them for you.

Here are my design options:

Option 1, Christmas wreath

Ice Cream Party

Option 2, Holly

Christmas Dinner

 

Option 3: Evergreen

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Once you’ve selected your design, email me with the design number, and your information. Thanks so much for participating in this sale!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictTThe 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!

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