January 30, 2015

a few notes...

Positive Thought:
My chickens have been very busy girls!

Jan. 26th-30th

Mon., Wed., and Fri.-Water Walked 40 minutes each day!
I really enjoy this water walking. I look forward to these days and feel I am doing well, learning more, sharing with great friends, and getting invigorated. It's a win-win for all of us! Got these shoes for the pool, so I can stop doing prat falls in front of the lifeguard stand (as Megan says). Teeheehee!  


January 28, 2015

Baby Steps...

I just have to say this...deciding to become a Minimalist is not an easy choice. It takes patience and practice. You must take 'baby steps'.

Today my mission was to buy Cameron 3 filler paper packs and 3 sets of index cards for school (new semester). I walked into Dollar Deals, picked up a few other items automatically, thinking;

"Cute."... when all of a sudden my inner voice spoke to me. (Spoken in a 'Valley Girl' voice):
"Um, hello? What do you think you are doing there? Oh-My-Gosh, Peggy! How do you think you can you minimize your entire life if you continue to think and act in your old ways? Fer Sure! I mean DUH!!!"

So....after rolling my eyes, I put everything back except for Cam's supplies $6 worth, a $3 much needed pair of sunglasses for myself (totally), and a $1 notepad (included a pen) for my purse- also much needed (I'm a list maker). Hey...I said Baby Steps! Spent $10 total....and walked out feeling like, OMG, I can totally do this!

Just saying...you have to be willing to listen to that inner voice and break old habits. Even if it's a good deal or on sale....do you really NEED it? If not, put it back! This also goes for crafting (for us crafty types). I won't NEED yarn for a very long time. I don't NEED anything else craft related for a very long time. In fact....I NEED to get rid (donate, sell, give to friends) some crafts supplies, rubber stamps, etc...Craigslist may become my close friend after all.

Peace Out!

January 27, 2015

Becoming Minimalists...

I am wanting to learn how to have a minimalist life....here's some major tips for doing so in this article.

We are starting with our kitchen and pantry first. We will scale down even bigger than we have in the past. Next, comes the bathrooms and linen closets. After that, our bedrooms....these are going to be the biggest task for all of us! Garage- that will be my husband's hardest. And so on...

I figure it's going to take some time, so I am giving us this entire year to make it happen. Hoping to blog about it as well.
15 Clutter Busting Routines for any Family

Here are 15 Clutter Busting Routines we have found helpful in our home:

1. Place junk mail immediately into a recycling bin. Take note of the natural flow of mail into your home. Placing a recycling container prior to your “mail drop-off zone” can catch most of that junk mail before it even reaches your counter. And as an added bonus, you’ll begin to look through less of it too (think advertisements).
2. Store kitchen appliances out of sight. Toasters, can openers, coffee makers… they all take up space. And while it may not seem like much space by looking at them, the first time you prepare dinner on a counter without them present, you’ll quickly notice the difference. If you think it’s going to be a hassle putting them away every morning, don’t. It takes less than 6 seconds to put each appliance away… once you’ve found a home for it that is.
3. Remove 10 articles of clothing from your closet today. Go ahead. If you are typical, it’ll take you roughly 5 minutes to grab 10 articles of clothing that you no longer wear and throw them in a box. Your remaining clothes will fit better in your closet. Your closet will be able to breathe again. And if you write “Goodwill” on the box when you are done, you’ll feel better about yourself as soon as you drop it off. Most likely, you’ll find yourself inspired to do it again.
4. Fold clean clothes / Remove dirty clothes immediately. The way I handle clothes these days is one of the biggest clutter changes I have made in my life. Unfortunately, I used to be a “throw-them-on-the-floor” guy. But now I handle each one right when I take it off. Dirty clothes down the clothes chute. Clean clothes back to the hanger or drawer. That’s it. It’s really that simple. How do the dirty ones magically appear clean and folded in my closet you ask… I’m not sure. You’ll need to ask my wife.
5. Kids’ bedroom toys live in the closet. Not on the floor. Not on the dresser. But in the closet. And when the closet gets too full of toys, it’s time to make some room. Hint, it’s usually safe to remove the toys at the bottom of the pile.
6. Kids pick up their toys each evening. This has countless benefits: 1) It teaches responsibility. 2) It helps kids realize that more isn’t always better. 3) The home is clean for mom and dad when the kids are in bed. 4) It’s a clear indication that the day has come to an end. Gosh, you’d think with all these benefits it would be easier for us to get the kids to do it…
7. Fill your containers for the garbage man. Use every trash pick-up day as an excuse to fill your recycling containers and/or garbage cans. Grab a box of old junk from the attic… old toys from the toy room… old food from the pantry… old paperwork from the office. If once a week is too often, do this exercise every other week. You’ll get the hang of it. And may even begin to enjoy trash morning… okay, I won’t go that far.
8. Halve decorations. No seriously, I mean it. Grab a box and walk through your living room. Remove decorations from shelves, tables, and walls that aren’t absolutely beautiful or meaningful. You may like it better than you think. If not, you can always put them back. But I’d bet my wife’s old high school yearbooks that you won’t return all of them.
9. Wash dishes right away. Hand washing some dishes takes less time than putting them in the dishwasher. This applies to cups, breakfast bowls, dinner plates, and silverware. If hand washed right after eating, it takes hardly any time at all. If however, hand washing is just not an option for you, be sure to put used dishes in the dishwasher right away. Nobody likes walking into a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter… and it’s even less fun eating in there.
10. Unmix and match cups, bowls, plates, and silverware. Uniformity makes for better stacking, storing, and accessing. If there is a souvenir cup or mug that is so important to you that you can’t live without it, that’s perfectly fine. Just don’t keep 5 of them. Mom, any chance you are reading this?
11. Keep your desk clear and clean. Drawers can adequately house most of the things needed to keep your desk functional. And a simple filing system should keep it clear of paper clutter. The next person who sits down to use the desk will thank you.
12. Store your media out of sight. Make a home for dvd’s, cd’s, video games, and remote controls. They don’t need to be in eyesight, you use them less than you think. And if you remove them from your eyesight… maybe you’ll use them even less.
13. Always leave room in your coat closet. There are two reasons why coats, shoes, and outerwear keep ending up scattered throughout your home rather than in your closet. The first reason is because your coat closet is so full, it’s a hassle to put things away and retrieve them quickly. Leave room on the floor, on the hangers, and on the shelves for used items to be quickly put away and retrieved. The second reason is because you have kids… but you’re on your own with that one.
14. Keep flat surfaces clear. Kitchen counters, bathroom counters, bedroom dressers, tabletops… After you clear them the first time, keeping them clean takes daily effort. Receipts, coins, and paper clutter just keep coming and coming… it’s just easier the second time around.
15. Finish a magazine or newspaper. Process or recycle immediately. If you’ve finished the paper product, process it and rid yourself of its clutter immediately. Good recipe in there? Put it in your recipe box and recycle the rest. Good article that your husband will enjoy? Clip it and recycle.  Article that your friend will enjoy? Clip it, mail it, and recycle (or better yet, search for it online and send it that way). Coupon too good to pass up? Cut it out and recycle. Stacks of magazines and newspapers serve little purpose in life but to clutter a room.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.
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January 26, 2015

Avocado Hummus...

Avocado Hummus
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, well drained
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled (13 oz before cored and peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
  • Red pepper flakes, for topping
  • Pulse chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I did a scant 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp pepper), add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 - 2 minutes longer.
  • Serve topped with more olive oil if desired and sprinkle with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


Home and enjoying some coffee...

First Day (1/26/2015)
40 minutes water walking...done!
Love this!!!
Going every Mon, Wed, Fri!!!!

Last night...Downton Abbey, Knitting, Tea, and Friends!

January 25, 2015

Shelly's Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake...


Shelly's Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake (aka Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties™)

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon
Sugar Free Chocolate Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Peanut Flour (aka PB2, aka defatted Powdered Peanut Butter)
2-3 cubes of Ice

Whiz in blender till smooth. Top with a squirt Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and shaving of SF Chocolate, optional.

Lazy Sunday...

DA Knit Night at Liz's...can't wait!

Watching 'Johnny English Reborn'...
Love Rowan Atkinson!

last 2 weeks in January...

"Grateful souls focus on the happiness and abundance present in their lives and this in turn attracts more abundance and joy towards them."-Stephen Richards

Lost 23 more pounds! I have lost a total of 87 pounds thus far since I decided to start this WLS journey. Still have more to lose, but after talking w/ my Doc, it's time for me to get serious and start exercising 30 minutes x 5 days per week or the weight loss will eventually slow way down and I could stall out.
OK, so...Monday I am starting 'water walking' w/ Megan McKee and Romelda McKee 3 x's per week at least and I will do the treadmill the other 2 days at home. Going to get much more serious....look out!

Greek Yogurt mixed w/ 2 T. PB Powder and 1/2 banana. Yum!

Babybel light cheese, warm edamame, hummus,...and tea.


Brig makes me giggle!


Jan. 21st-25th
More knitting, tea, and Sherlock!

Jan. 20th
Baby Owl Hat (for Mary's Friend). Need to add feathery-hair

Jan. 19th
James got a Gentleman's Haircut and a shave.


January 16, 2015

January happenings...

January 15th...
working on this cowl for myself...http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/present

January 14th...
January 12th...

January 11th...

January 10th...
3 Eggs per day now...
Mila: "mom I can't talk right now I'm on an important business call!"..."yes ms. Kitty,
I'll have those cupcakes sent right over.
Who was that? Oh just my mother trying to change my diaper, sorry won't happen again."
January 9th...

 Prissy approves my coffee...
January 8th...
I doctored up the sloppy joe mix to stretch it. Added 1 qt of my home-canned stewed tomatoes, extra seasonings, and 2 cans tomato paste to the TVP, Wildtree Sloppy Joe Mix, water.

Brigham was in charge of the Sweet Potato Fries: EVOO, Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub, and Kosher Salt...3 trays made!
January 6th.....
Porter was talking to the girls...told them to "shake a bootie!"
Dishwasher paste in the making. Liquid hand soap is cooked and has to set up
and can be finished tomorrow. After that I'll make more Landry Soap.
Made a Pear Bundt instead of muffins. Soup will simmer until 5pm, then I'll add noodles.
Out of egg noodles, so elbow noodles with do nicely.

January 6, 2015

DIY Liquid hand soap...


Chicken Soup...

Our plans to go out for sushi w/ the McKee's has been cancelled due to them being sick, so I will make Chicken Noodle Soup and Muffins for supper instead. Brig still has and cough and congestion, so this should help him feel better too.

~Chicken Noodle Soup~
(Recipe/Photo from 'See Mommy Cook')

1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
4-6 med to large carrots peeled and sliced into coins
1-2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 cup minced onion
8 cups Chicken Stock (I prefer organic)
Cooked Chicken (I have boneless, skinless on hand)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
4 bay leaves
1 pkg egg noodles
Salt and Pepper

In a large stock pot, heat oil over med heat. Saut̩ garlic 2-3 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saut̩ until tender and slightly caramelizedР6-9 minutes. Meanwhile, remove chicken meat from the bone and chop or shred to desired size. Discard skin and bones. Add chicken stock to pot with bay leaves. Add chicken meat. Bring stock to a boil and add egg noodles and cook according to package directions. When noodles are tender, add parsley. Remove bay leaves and serve.
Interestingly enough, the garlic and pepper in the broth act as an anti inflammatory–thinning mucus and helping us to breathe. The carrots provide a vitamin boost, which can be increased by adding some dark greens or sweet potato chunks if you prefer.