Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Here We Go Decluttering

Whew!  We have been busy!

Between filling dings, sanding, painting, decluttering, building shelving, weed whacking and installing a toilet, I haven't had a moment to spare.  Well, I have had a few moments but exhaustion led me to reading instead of blogging.

I'm writing today to encourage you to get started with decluttering.  Find one thing...one item you don't use or love.  Put it in the garbage, or if it is still in good condition, the give away or sell box.  Just do it.  It feels so good!

And if you like how that feels, grab a box and go around your home and find 5 things to give away or sell or toss.  If you are very ambitious, fill the box!  Fill it to the top.

I can't be bothered to try to sell my stuff.  No time to do all that is needed to make that happen.  I am blessed just by having the cleaner, easier to clean, easier to find things, home!  I also know that God will bless me with what I need.  So, if I come across something of value, $30 or so, I will sell that item but not stuff worth $2 or so.

It is not easy!  It is hard work and sometimes very emotional.  Feel the feels and let it go.

Speaking of "Let it Go"...my 3 year old son had been singing/screaming that song every day we have been working on decluttering, keeping me focused.  Amazing little man.  God uses children!

I've now decluttered the...
---dinning room
---living room
---master bedroom
---school room
---front yard
---back yard
---kids clothes X6
---my closet and husband clothes
---book shelves

Again I'll say, "Whew!"

Yesterday, we tackled decluttering the storage room, where I built some shelves out of scrap wood laying around the house.  Next we decluttered under the stairs.

Three van loads of garbage and give away.  THREE.

Why was I holding on to these things?  Oh the freedom!  FREEDOM!!

I also found some brackets for more shelves!  The perfect size to fit behind the door of the store room.  Building functional storage solutions for ONLY the stuff we use.

AND, I'm still not done!  I have the kitchen to work on, front closet, movies, Christmas decorations, laundry room, furnace room, our parking area and the kids bedrooms.  My oldest two boys have been pretty good at never having too much stuff.  I'm glad the the hoarding gene missed them!  Letting go of things is something we need to teach to our children.  I think the key to them learning how to give stuff away is to teach them first that things are not important.  People are important and relationship are important.  When our "stuff" begins to interfere with our relationships, that is when there is a problem.

Oh, I forgot to mention how my husband was inspired by the less-ness.  He worked on decluttering his office on his last day off.  He is really enjoying his much more functional work space/man cave.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hard Work and I Need a Salad

This week has been so busy.  So much needs to be done as I try to simplify our home and lives.  It amazing how much time, work and energy is involved with decluttering.  Life gets busy and plans derail.  That is why I am doing this.  To be less busy and to be healthy and well to live life...not have life, live me.  (Read that from Dani Johnson on her Facebook page.)

On a few of my days this week, I have subsisted on fast food and hard work.  I’m not eating enough veggies and somedays, none at all.  Not so good.  I need a salad!

But…I’m still here.  I’m not about to give up.  I don’t even need to start over.  Just going to keep going!

My weight remains steady at the lower number.  That is good, too.  My steps/day are not where I want them to be but that’s okay.  Tomorrow will be better.

I haven’t been reading my bible.  That really is the most important.  My focus will now be to get my bible out every morning and read for 10 minutes…give or take.  Pray and meditate.  Then I can get on with everything else in a much better frame of mind.  God is good like that.

My Fermented Salsa is delicious!  I need to eat more of it…all the time.  It makes my tummy feel so good and my taste buds so happy!  I have more fermenting ideas for future blog posts and I will add all of them to my Fermenting Page if you want to have a look.

Oh!  And water!!  I must drink more water.  I’m drinking more water than I was before starting this Journey, but still, it’s not enough.  Especially since it has been so very hot, lately. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Glimpses of...

1. Well used recipe book.  Pancakes!!
2. A little something I'm working on.
3. A Peony bud in the backyard.
4. The chives in my backyard.
5. My Little Girl playing with our Young Living Essential Oils.
6. Coffee with blogging.  Where is my cream?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Be Kind to Your Skin

My son is a picker.  He loves to pick his scabs.  Gross, right?  I know.  I’ve tried to reason with him.  I’ve explained the health hazards.  I’ve told him about how it’s going to scar him if he keeps it up.  I’ve asked him to stop picking the bandages off and sticking them to the wall.

The thing is though…he is three.  None of what I have done to try to help him matters to him.  At. All.  He is a picker and nothing I do is going to change that…at this time.

So…I keep his finger nails short.  I keep his sisters finger nails short…because she likes to scratch him when he makes her mad.  More scabs to pick.

All I can do, for now, is to keep his injuries (relatively) clean and use some EO’s to support his skins own ability to heal.

Actually, I use this for any skin issue.  My skin got a bit red a few weeks ago when I was so busy trying to keep everyone else in the shade and protected from the sun that I forgot about myself.  I applied this blend every 4-8 hours and my skin healed without peeling.  I’m not one who burns badly by the sun but I do peel from time to time.

I use this blend on my face and neck before I go to bed, as well.  It feels lovely and smell amazing.  I've been blessed with very nice skin but I'm not going to let nice skin stand in the way of Great Skin!  When my husband cuts his face when shaving, this is the blend he goes to...'cause I tell him.  Use a very small amount.  A little goes a long way.

It is so nice to have something that I feel very comfortable with putting on my skin…and on my three year old son.

Skin Support Cream

1/4 cup Coconut Oil 
15 drops of Frankincense EO
20 drops of Lavender EO  

Mix together and store in a jar in the fridge if you want it more solid.  Use a spoon (or whatever you want) to dish out the amount you want to use.

Essential Oils while I write.

I keep a small jar of this blend in my room to have on hand when my boy and I are snuggling.  Perfect time to put it on his “wounds.”  Best thing, it doesn’t sting!  He loves it!

Can you believe this is the first time I've seen that little heart on my table?

If you wonder where you can buy your own Young Living Essential Oils.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Brown Sugar Baked Chicken Breast

I love food.  You could say, “Food and I are in a relationship.”  

I love my kids.  My kids and my food are not in a relationship.  

They just don’t get along.  It’s getting better.  The kids are starting to get older now and will try more things.  That being said, we go through a whole lot of peanut butter.

More for me.

So when I find something that the kids like, and I like, I run with it.  This is what I have found in this recipe titled Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken by Rachel Schultz from A Household Almanac.  I tweaked it a little the first time I made them so my children would like them more but this time I made as the recipe is written.  Both were delicious and I loved this chicken even more the next day as leftovers!

I whipped this chicken up the night before and had it marinating in the fridge, Bessey, all night and most of the next day.  Also, got my husband to cut the chicken breasts into one inch thick slices because he’s the trained chef and might as well use his talents when I can.  Also…children.  They like “things” like small pieces of chicken to put on their plates.

While I was getting ready to put the chicken in the oven, I looked at the recipe again and noticed this divine looking Crispy Baked Broccoli she served with her Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken.  

Why not!?  So I did.  

I added thinly sliced carrots to the broccoli as well because baked carrots are wonderful!  And GARLIC!  Yeah, baby!  And the veggie and chicken all bake at the same temperature is almost like a little bit of heaven fell down and landed in my kitchen to make everything beautifully perfect for one miraculous moment.

Oh…I also baked the veggies for 10 minutes before I popped the chicken in the oven with them.  Rachel says to bake them for the same amount of time but she has whole breasts going in the oven.  Mine were much thinner pieces and cooked up faster.  Didn’t want underdone veggie nor overdone chicken.

I served the Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken with the Crispy Baked Broccoli and white Basmati Rice, fresh red bell peppers and cucumbers, and a Caesar Salad. 

I’ve linked to her recipes above.  This is my version.  I changed the name a bit because I used less Oregano and less Paprika so it's not spicy.

Brown Sugar Baked Chicken Breasts
serves 6-8 people

6-8  Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into 1 inch thick strips.
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Paprika
1 teaspoon spoon Oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
1/2 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper 

Mix everything, except the chicken, together in a one gallon ziplock type bag.  Add the chicken and toss/kneed the bag until all the chicken is coated.  Marinade for three hours or up to overnight.

When it’s time to cook your supper, preheat your oven to 425* and lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Pour the contents of the ziplock onto the parchment and lay them flat, keeping them from touching.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until your meat thermometer reads that the chicken is done.

Thank you, Rachel!  You've helped me get over my fear of messing up when cooking chicken breasts.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Treadmill Walking Desk

Ever since I heard about the Treadmill Desk I have wanted one.  I love killing two birds with one stone.  I have much that needs to be done in one day, having a way to do more with the same amount of time is precious, not to mention wise use of time.  Why I could even do all my blogging from the comfort of my Treadmill.  Walking whilst I type!  Yes, please.

Looking at Treadmill Desks, I realize that I was never going to buy one.  They range between $800 and $2000.  Just never was going to happen.  So, I started looking at Do-It-Yourself projects and found a simple yet effective DIY Treadmill Desk.  

Following these instructions, mostly, I made my own Treadmill Desk in ALMOST no time at all.  That is if you aren't counting...

...the drive to the hardware store.
...the stop at the grocery store before the hardware store because somedays your Manifesto just ain't working and you need some frozen pizza to feed the Starving Horde.  
...leaving the children in the van in hopes of a quick trip at the store only to have one the the children track you down while you are standing in front of the frozen pizzas to tell you the baby has set off the vehicle alarm and he now needs the keys to stop the alarm from blaring. 
...a few moments later an announcement over the intercom system stating your vehicle make, license number and would I please come to customer service.
...paying and loading groceries.
...wondering what is that SMELL in the van!!
...driving to the hardware store.
...bringing two of the Starving Horde in with me in hopes of things going better in the van this time.  AKA, no alarm sounding off.  I left the keys with them this time.
...trying to find shelving.
...waiting for guy to cut shelving.
...trying to corral the kids playing hide-and-seek around the functioning, display of doors at said hardware store.
...the quite personal conversion I had with the clerk.  
...loading children into van.
...tearing van apart looking for lost item that I bought but somehow has disappeared.
...taking children back into hardware store looking for said item.
...finding said item and returning to van only to run into someone whom I haven't seen for forever.
...loading kids again.
...putting van back together.
...the drive back home.
...unloading the van.  
...getting everyone back into the house.
...turning oven on.

Is it bed time yet?  NO!  It's time to build a Treadmill Desk!

These instruction will work for a Treadmill where the balancing handles on either side on the machine are parallel with the floor.  You could make it work with angled handles but that kind of math is way beyond me tonight...or ever.  (You did just read about my adventure to the hardware store...and that was less than an hour of what an average day in my life, looks like.)  

Start by measuring your machines balancing handles.  (I don't know what they are called but you know what I mean.)  You want the measurement from the outside of one to the outside of the other one.  Mine measures 34 inches.  Add a couple of inches to each side.  My finished desk top length should be 38-40 inches long.

Next measure the depth of your handles.  Mine are about 11 inches.  I chose to go with 12 inches in depth for my desk.  You don't want it to be so deep that it will get in the way of your walking!  Unless your putting your PC on there, 12 inches will work just fine.

So, 38-40 inches by 12 inches.  Always write down your measurements before hitting the hardware store.  Even if you are going to remember them.  Write it down!  AND take that paper (or notes on your phone, whatever,) with you when you go to the hardware store!  I did not do this.  I usually never do.  I almost always regret it.  

My shelf is too short.  It's 36 inches.  I asked the guy to cut it to 36 inches because I didn't write it down.  I can make it work but it would have been better a little bit longer...like 38-40 inches.

When you go to the hardware store, leave the kids at home and bring the list of things you need...including your measurements.  Yes...really important.

Next, ask for help.  That is why there are people working there.  I use to think how awesome I was to be able to find everything I needed at the hardware store.  Whatever!  I can find it...I just don't want to spend all that time looking.  Ask and follow the "guy" to where the "stuff" is.  Follow "him," so that when you find what you want, "he" can then show you to the next thing.

After you have everything you need, go pay for it and put it in a bag.  Could be your purse or a bag you brought.  Does not matter.  Just get your small things in a bag!  Then you won't need to go looking for it when it has disappeared.

D. I. Y. Treadmill Desk

So...you will need:

- a treadmill, of course.
- a wooden shelf.  I am using a piece of Laminated Pine.  It was 96 inches and I had them cut it into 3 pieces.  One at 36 inches and two others at 30 inches each.  (I have plans!)
- 4 screw eyes.  Yeah, that is what they are called.
- a sanding block or sand paper.
- 2 @ 24 inch bungie cords.  I couldn't find separate bungie's but you will see in the pictures what I did buy.
-a drill.
- paint or stain if you wanna.

Sand your shelf to remove all the rough bits off.  You don't want to get a sliver while walking/typing/checking your email.

Paint or stain if you are going to.

Find the nicest side of your shelf.  That will be the top of your desk.  Flip it over and measure one inch down from the top one one inch in from the side.  Mark this spot with a pencil. Repeat on the other side, on the top side.

For the bottom end, measure one inch from the side and two inches from the bottom.  Make a mark with your pencil and repeat on the other side.  You should now have a mark in all four corners.

Pre-drill your marks using a bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the screw end of your screw eyes.  Don't dill too deep.  2/3 of the depth of the screw part of your screw eyes is enough.  I used a much smaller bit because I wanted them to be very tight.

Don't forget to feed the Starving Horde!  Everyone uses their work surface to serve supper, right?  No, wait!  Everyone uses their dinning room table for their work surface!

Turn your screw eyes into the holes you just pre-drilled.  Use a screw or nail to help turn them in.

Try out your bungie's.  You will want them to cross in the middle.

Now put it on your Treadmill.  Lovely.

I am going to need to put a book or two under my MacBook Air to raise it a bit for a more comfy typing hight.  I'm cool with that.

My plan was to write this while walking on the Treadmill, using my new desk.  Yeah, no.  I am writing this while sitting on my couch, feet up and drinking a glass of white wine.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Glimpses of...Drumheller Trip

1. The kids almost posing.
2. Plants from the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
3. About to enter the Museum!
4. Albertasaurus!
5. Little man showing some dino love.
6. Some random Ice Age skeletons.
7.  Suspension Bridge!
8. Worlds Largest Dinosaur!
9. Messuring up.
10. Hiking fun with the Hoodoo's.
11. Our Birthday Boy!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Food Waste Management Manifesto

As I look into the abyss of my refrigerator I wonder about what happens when the door is closed.  Marvellous and Magical are the microscopic life forms that do wondrous and amazing things inside of bags and containers within dark quietness of the back of Bessey, my fridge.

The fungi and fuzzy and slimy and stinky…wonderful microbes at work reverting material into compost to nourish the soil, which in turn, feeds the plants.  Blissfully, I think about the interconnectedness of the little things and how the little things, especially the microscopic things, make the BIG things happen.

Image from greengineers.wikispaces.com

Which is great...BUT…That’s my food!  Slowly rotting in the back of my fridge who’s sole suppose to keep my food fresh!  My food, stored in the containers I bought, becoming a slimy and fuzzy and smelly substance, that was once upon a time for our ingestion and pleasure, now, only fit for the fungi and bacteria and worms.

I don’t want to use my money to pay to feed microbes and worms.  They shouldn’t be getting the choice items that I have grown or bought or prepared for my family.

Today, I am banishing the wastefulness in my kitchen!  I will use what I buy and use up our left overs!  No more will the symptoms of clutter, sleep deprivation and life, keep me from meal planning and following that plan.  No longer will they keep me from nourishing my family to the utmost of my ability.  I will spend my hard earned money wisely.  Food will be eaten and eaten up!

This, I feel, is the battle cry of all stay-at-home Mom’s, who also happen to work eight million jobs, everywhere.  We work our butts off only to be too tired to cut up the broccoli we planned to have as our side dish with supper tonight.  So we go without our veg and that broccoli gets pushed further and further, to the back of the fridge.  

That’s right…my health suffers, as well as my pocket book, when Bessey doesn't hold up her end of the bargain.  

Actually, it’s not Bessey’s fault.  How can she possibly keep food fresh for as long as I’m asking her?  I mean, good food is perishable.  That’s why we choose to buy fresh fruit and veggies.  We want the life that is in them to become part of us.  We want that fresh, tasty goodness to feed our families.  Bessey does a great job with the milk and cheese but really, I can not expect her to keep fresh produce, fresh, indefinitely.

Poor Bessey!

Okay, I admit it.  It's my fault.  Hundreds of dollars every get fed to the worms, or worse yet, thrown in the garbage!  Well, No More!!

This Weeks Food Waste Management Manifesto

-Tonight I will clean Bessey using Thieves Cleaner

-Tomorrow I will go to the grocery store and buy what I need.  

-This week, we will use every morsel, feeding ONLY the scraping and cuttings to the worms, and saving the best for us.  

-Leftovers are going in the fridge, and will be used up within two days.

Working on the meal plan.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Favourite...at the Moment

When I first started with Young Living Essential Oils there were some oils in the Premium Starter Kit that, honestly, I did not like the smell of.  I’ve never been someone who buys the scented candles or the pretty smelling soaps.  I’ve never even liked the smells of cleaners.

With the Kit comes samples of Peace & Calming which, at the time, I could not ever imagine giving to anyone.  To my nose, it was horrible.

Now, I use it almost everyday to help calm my children…and myself!  Once in a while I get a bit anxious and start freaking out inside of my mind.  Two drops of Peace & Calming under each foot helps to bring me back to this side of “that line” in my head.  

On the other hand, I could not stop smelling Purification!  I NEEDED it.  I would take up to 10 long, slow, deep breaths, holding Purification just under my nose.  Could. Not. Get. Enough.

As my body (chemistry) changes throughout the day, the week and the month, I am drawn to different oils and their smells.  Some days I still want Purification.  I love it in my diffuser, but lately I am using more Stress Away…especially in the morning.  Thieves in the afternoon and Ylang Ylang in the evening.
Image from truthinaging.com

Thieves, I find, I use in the diffuser when I have work to do that I don’t really want to do.  I feel home-y and determined.  I like to mix a few drops of Lemon or Grapefruit to get a bit of a mood lift as well.  Determined, happy homemaker!

My new favourite oil?  Ylang Ylang.  I can not ever see myself without Ylang Ylang in my oil collection…if not on my body!  Whenever I use it, I feel instantly grounded and focused.  Relaxed and…balanced, might be the right word.  Ready to tackle my day.

If you are wondering what it smells like, in the book, “Reference Guide for Essential Oils,” by Connie and Alan Higley, they say the scent of Ylang Ylang is sweet, heavy, narcotic (I don’t know what they mean by that!) cloying, tropical floral, with spic-balsamic undertones.  

Image from aqua4balance.com

Ylang Ylang Body Scent 

1/2 cup Coconut Oil
30 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil from Young Living
10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil from Young Living 
4 drops Balsam Fir Essential Oil from Young Living

Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler.  The easiest way I have found is to heat water to almost boiling in my kettle.  Pour about an inch of the hot water into a pot.  Place a jar with your coconut oil in it, into the pot of hot water.  Stir the coconut oil a couple of times until it has melted.  It’s quick and it won’t get your coconut oil too hot.

Remove the jar from the pot.

Add the drops of Essential Oils and mix well. 

I keep mine in my room or bathroom.  It is sometimes almost a liquid and sometimes almost solid depending on the temperature of my home on a given day.  

I apply it in the morning or after a shower.  I like it on my tummy and hips…I don’t know why I apply it there…just feels right.  

Let me know if you try this mix.  Do you like it?  What would you change?  What are your favourite blends?

Where to get your own Essential Oils!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Easier Fermented Salsa

A few years ago I picked up the book “Nourishing Traditions” from amazon.ca.  I love that book.  It’s full of wonderful recipes and stories that are incredibly informative.  I haven’t tried all of the recipes but those I have tried are wonderful.

I would love to do “Slow Food” all the time.  It would be wonderful if I could be organized enough to plan our meals, and start them, a week in advance, sometimes.  Pulling the eggs right out of the nest to cook and be eaten within 5 minutes…my dream.

The thing is…I’m kind of busy.  

I know everyone is busy and we need to find the time to do things right and soaking the oats is the best way to prepare them and it only takes a minute.  Sometimes, though, can’t we take a short cut?  Why can’t I do it the easy way?

Guess what…I can!  And I will!  And I did!  

The first time…the second and the third time, as well…when I made this recipe I used fresh tomatoes.  I scored them and blanched them and peeled them and seeded them and chopped them and put them in the bowl.  Now, if that is your thing, go ahead and do that but right now, I just can’t do all of that.  I just can’t.  My children…

I would be 10 years before I made this fermented salsa again if I had to do all of that.  But I really love fermented salsa.  I need fermented salsa!

Anyway, now I use CANNED diced tomatoes.  I know!  NOT CANNED!  Yes canned.  Find some canned diced tomatoes that are BPA free.  Check for other ingredients you don’t want in your food…other additives.  You also don't want salt or seasonings, unless you want the seasonings.  Whatever floats your boat.  Find the best canned tomatoes that you want to find.  Probably will cost less, and taste better than “fresh,” store bought tomatoes, too.

Fermented Salsa
For when we just can’t bring ourselves to peel the tomatoes

3 CANS of diced tomatoes, drained 
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow or orange bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2-10 Jelapenio peppers, depends on how hot you want your salsa.  I use 5.
1-2 onions, diced, depends on how oniony you want it.  I use 2 onions.
1-2 limes or lemons, you want the juice.  Pick your favourite.  I use 1 lemon.
One bunch of Parsley or Cilantro, pick your favourite.  I use Parsley.
4-6 cloves of Garlic crushed then diced.  I use 5 cloves.
3 Tablespoons of Celtic Sea Salt.  Trust me.

Let the work commence.

I don’t have any lemons so I am trying it with Lemon and Lime Essential Oils.  I used 1 drop of lemon and 2 drops of lime because the second drop dripped before I could stop it.

Chop everything as small as you would like.  Use your food processor if you like your salsa smooth.  I like mine chunky, so that’s what I did.

All that chopping.

Mix it all together in a big bowl.

So pretty.

It's smelling divine!

Wait about 10 minutes and stir it again.  We are giving the salt time to dissolve so it can get mixed throughout.  It is the salt that will keep your salsa from spoiling while the good bacteria gain a foot hold and start to multiply. The salt will also draw moisture from the veggies giving them a protective, and delicious brine to hide under while fermenting.

Put everything in a large glass jar.  Push everything down and try to get the liquid brine to cover the veggies.  I then use a large Ziplock bag and place that on top of the veggies with the opening, open, and out the top of the jar.  Add water to the bag while pushing down, through the ziplock, trying to get all those veggies under the liquid and packed down a bit.  Zip up the bag with the water, push it into the jar and put a lid on it.

It's an old pickle jar.  Notice the extra liquid.  
That is from the salt doing it's thing.
Party, little microbes, Party!

Place the jar on a plate and put it in a corner on your kitchen counter.  The plate is to catch any spills that may happen from the action of fermenting.  You will want to open the jar everyday to let out some pressure.  You might want to open it in the sink.  Keep out of direct sun light.  You can place a towel over it if you'd like.  I don’t.

Check on it in three days.  You can taste it if you'd like but if it isn't done make sure you seal it up again like I wrote above.  You want to see bubbles in the salsa, through the jar.  Then you will know it’s doing it’s thing.  I usually let mine ferment for 7 days, give or take.  

Put everything into smaller jars, if you want to, and put it in the fridge.  I don’t know how long it will last in the fridge because when I have it, I eat it, with everything!  Fermented salsa goes wonderfully with eggs, nachos, pirogies, tacos...everything!

Just remember not to heat it up!  Warming a bit is okay but heat will hurt or kill any of the probiotic goodness you've got going on in there.

This is a recipe that I have adapted from “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.

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A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Monday, June 15, 2015

The First Weeks...

health and wellness

It has been a couple of weeks since I started my new journey to health so I decided to give an update.

I’ve been thoughtful about how much I eat instead of just eating until I am done eating.  I eat until I’m not quite full., no longer hungry but not full.  This, I believe stems from my de-cluttering.  My home is no longer FULL.  I’m satisfied in the rooms that I have de-cluttered.  The room is not FULL, so maybe I do not need to eat until I am FULL.  

Satisfied is more satisfying.

Along with not eating as much, I’m drinking more water.  Not so much that I’m floating away but more than the almost none that was me in the past.  Lemon or Grapefruit or Citrus Fresh or Lime or Peppermint Essential Oils fromYoung Living are a wonderful addition to water.  Helps to drink more water when you don’t really like it that much.

I can go all day and never think about drinking water.  Then comes bedtime and water becomes the nectar of the gods!  Can’t. Get. Enough.  But that makes sleeping the whole night through almost impossible.  Sometimes, I have let myself get so dehydrated that my body feels extremely heavy.  My arms and head, my legs…it gets hard to lift them.  They are HEAVY.  

While de-cluttering my bedroom, I managed to find my Fitbit charger!  Yeah!!  So, I'm endeavouring to walk more.  10 000 steps a day is my goal but somedays I'm hardly breaking 5000.  That's okay.  I just need to be aware and take more steps when I can.

Everyday, or almost, I eat a large salad of mixed greens usually with some Chia Seeds, raisins, a bit of Shredded Cheddar, with real Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Raspberry Vinegar for the dressing.  Working in extra fibre, vitamins and minerals.   I am also drinking at least one glass of Kombucha daily for the probiotics and other loveliness it has to offer.  It is divine with a drop of Lemon Essential Oil.

This journey to health isn't about weight loss.  It about getting healthy.  That being said...

I’ve lost 10 pounds and gained almost two back. (Girl weight fluctuates.  I’m cool with that.  I don’t know what boy weight does, so don’t ask me.)  That is awesome because with all my workouts and weight lifting last year, I never lost a pound.  I never gained any weight, either, and my strength increased incredibly, which is awesome, but I do need to loose weight to see if my feet will feel better.  I never had Plantar Fasciitis until I became heavier.  Here’s hoping a few more pounds down from now my feet will be able to heal.

Next, I need to start incorporating more fermented foods into my diet.  Ultimately, I would like to eat a little something fermented with each meal.  Ferments help with digestion and fermentation actually increase the nutrients in the food being fermented.  I have my Milk Kefir Grains making Kefir for me right now.  I use milk kefir in Smoothies and other places where I can hide the taste.  I’ve tried, I just don’t like it much.  Making Fermented Salsa is on the to do list for this week, along with Fermented Radishes.  I mean, they would be on the list, if I had one written up.  

First on the to do list is to write a to do list for the week!

Friday, June 12, 2015

More With Thieves Household Cleaner

Just a quick update, regarding the awesome of the Thieves Household Cleaner.

I am quickly running out of dishwasher detergent.  We have been using natural cleaners, vinegar and baking soda, in our home for 7 years but haven't used anything "natural" in the dishwasher.  Mostly it's because I'm cheap.  Just can't pay almost a dollar per load on natural detergent.

I've researched DIY dishwasher detergents but no one seems to be very excited about the recipe they have.  Plus, I can not stand and etched glass.  The feel of a glass that has been etched by dishwasher detergent makes me cringe like I was scratching my nails across a chalk board.  This is what I am afraid will happen to my glasses if I use DIY dishwasher detergent.  Also, they can be hard on the machine itself.

I really really really really REALLY don't want anything to happen to Daisy, my dishwasher.

Tonight, I tried the Thieves Household Cleaner as an alternative to a detergent.  The directions say to use a cap full but again, I am cheap.  I used 1 teaspoon, which is just over half a cap full.  Well, everything came out very clean.  I wasn't expecting how lovely they turned out.  The plates were all clean without any residue.  The glasses, are they spotless, no.  But they weren't spotless with regular detergent either.  (We use vinegar as a rinse aid.)  They didn't feel etched either but etching takes time, so only time will tell.  The bowls felt smooth.  Even my 11 year old mentioned it.  I did not wash any pots or pans.

The best part, other than Non-Toxic...and it smells great...and it work...and Daisy seems to like it?  Money!  It's not going to cost me any more to switch to a non-toxic cleaner vs. what I'm using now.

Dishwasher detergent has gone up like crazy at my discount grocery store.  What was once $11 for 75 loads is now $23 for 80 loads.  (I bet they didn't know I was watching.)  If I can keep to the 1 teaspoon per load, (I might use more for heavier loads) I'll get 85 loads for $25.

It's a bit more per load, $0.294 for the Thieves Household Cleaner vs. $0.288 per load from the store.  (Roughly.)A smidgen more cost, less than a cent per load, but with a bunch of benefits.

I'll update here if there is any etching of the glasses or if something tragic happens to Daisy.

Update...June 14th.

The Thieves Household cleaner it having a tough time with Peanut Butter and the cutlery isn't as nice as I'd like it.  I'm going to try pre-soaking all my cutlery before washing them in the dishwasher to see if that will help.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tiny Homes for a BIG Life

Have you heard of the Tiny House Movement?  It's about living with less.  Less stuff.  Less environmental impact.  Less square footage.

It's also about More!  More time because you aren't shuffling your stuff from one place to another in an attempt to clean.  More time because you only have a few lovely items of clothing to choose from...and they all look good together.  More freedom because your stuff isn't keeping you trapped...you don't need to take care of all of it.

Fy Nyth, Welsh meaning My Nest.

Why do we all want more?  Are we predisposed to think we will be happy if we get this one more item?  I've fallen into that trap more than I like to admit.  Wanting to find my happiness inside of a new pretty box.  What we get is clutter and the Clutter Monster that follows.  Our lives become filled to the brim with nothing.

Maybe we are trying to escape life and our responsibilities.  The reality of our past bringing us to our present existence.  Buy more to cover the heartache of having to much to deal with already.  Too much regret and anger, to many mistakes.  So many people we should forgive and many more we need to ask forgiveness of.  Buy containers to hold and hide what we have, as if a container outside of our hearts can hold the growing bitterness and dread of what we have become...what we have done with the Gift of Life we have been given.  We don't want to think or feel...just want to buy and get that thrill moment.  But that moment is always tainted with that yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach.  You know the thrill will be over almost as fast as it came.

I won't even comment here about debt!  The slow killer of everything.

Think back to the happiest times of your life and I can almost guarantee that they had nothing to do with something you bought.  Or even "something."  Most, if not all of my happiest days, have been about people.  When my children where born.  When I fell in love with my husband.  Walks with friends.  Laughing and playing and joking and hanging out with my family.  These are the what give me the most pleasure in life.  These are my fondest Memories!  This is where I want to live.

                                                                      Tiny House Blog

AND our stuff suffocates our memories and our ability to make more of them.  So busy with our clutter and schedules that we can't remember how to have fun or play or dance in the rain...we can't remember the last time we did anything FUN.

Back to Tiny Houses!!  I love them!  Many people are building their own on utility trailers.  Reminds me of a turtle...always bring your home with you where ever you go.  If you have an online occupation, you can go anywhere...live anywhere!  Plans can be purchased online and there are so many to choose from.  The price per square foot is more than conventional homes but less in total money because of the smaller foot print.

I love the idea of the Tiny Home!  BUT, My family of 8 just ain't going to fit in a home that is 8 x 12 or 8 x16.  (Some would argue one person can't live in a place that small.)  To explore and go places with my home on my back!  Lovely!  Not going to happen anytime soon, although, I am encouraging my children to build a Tiny House.  What a great gift to themselves.  Start their lives away from home rent and mortgage free!!

The other day I was thinking about Tiny Homes and how much I would like to live in one.  Live with less because I had too.  No room for me to put anything more.  Clear spaces.  Empty wall space.  Purchase high quality when I buy anything at all.

Then I had an epiphany!  Why can't I live the Tiny House life style now?

I mean really, all a person needs is to have the desire to change and do something different and then have a plan and a follow through.  Have less.  Down size.  Work less.  Play more.  Read more.  Give.  Sing.  Dance.  Love.  Forgive.  Repent.

The funniest thing about all of this is that while dreaming of a Tiny House life, I live in a tiny house.  Well, small anyway.  At 1040 square feet (plus a basement) it's on the small side of average but we don't have an average sized family either.  Every member of my family has their own stuff that they bring into the house because of life.  Kids have toys and clothes and art and school stuff and we can't have only 4 plates, glasses, knives, forks.  Eight or more of all dished and cutlery.  (How much do I keep for when my siblings and their spouses and children and spouses of children and their children come over?)

We need more stuff because of more people.  I just need a creative way to keep everything from becoming clutter...then multiplying!  Not to mention my youngest few need the work done for them.  I guess that is fair, I'm the one that let it accumulate.

Although we have been on this Journey to minimalist like living for a while, I think my mind is just starting to understand what it means.  Living with less, so we can LIVE MORE!  It's going to take so very much MORE work to go through all of this "stuff" but I'm looking forward to the process and, of course, the result!  Having stuff that is meaningful and needful instead of burdensome and exhausting!  It would be nice to get down to the point where if we were going to move, we could pack and be out in two days...easily.  (Not that I'm in need of a quick escape or that I'm planning on running.)

I realize that it is not going to happen overnight.  Also, I will never be finished.  A continual work in progress...like laundry.  Something I want to keep today may become something I give away tomorrow.  There are always birthdays and Christmas's where we will get more stuff again and we will need to go through our things, again.  Plus, getting stuff out of your home, your life, can be very emotional.  Things might be brought to light that have been buried deep inside of you that you didn't even know existed.  I've found this out, without any warning.  I wasn't expected to feel angry or so overwhelmed or anxiety or so very tired.  Instead of running from these feelings, or shopping to cover them, it's time to face them and figure them out!

More Freedom!

Yesterday, we gathered a big box of toys that we are giving away.  Today, we went through two boys dressers and we have an entire garbage bag filled with clothing to give away.  The boys said they feel so  much freer.  They can easily put their remain clothes into their dressers with room to spare.  Plus, they kept nice clothes.  The mostly worn out shirts and pants will find new use as rags or the such.

Still planning on de-cluttering the book shelves in the living room and dining room, today.

Tomorrow will be my room!  (I've been saying for two weeks!)