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Monday, December 19, 2011

50's with a twist...

So everyone knows my desire to be the quintessential 50's housewife.  (sans martini to the hubs as he comes in the door) but I'm also doing it with a twist.  The 50's were all about convenience foods.  I'm not into that much processed foods.  (MSG gives me massive headaches) and I frankly like raw foods.  Now, I'm not going to go all nutty on you- that's on my other blog:  here.  I AM, however, going to let you in on a secret- when Charlie and I get stationed at our new place, I plan on gardening.  Not just pretty flowers, but serious veggie gardening.

I may or may not devote an entire blog to that, or I'll just keep labeling it so you can follow along if you'd like.  As I have NO CLUE how much space I'll have or what grows best in the climate we'll be in, I'll have to make decisions a little later; when we move.  Hopefully, I'll be able to figure out what, when and where.  I DO know I'll have raised beds though for higher yield gardening.

Man I'm excited!

Oh, I'm also going to make myself a collection of awesome retro dresses and tons of circle skirts to pair with my button down shirts.  Basically, I'm going to retro myself up.  I like it, though I don't want to do it all "costumey".  I'm not looking for poodle skirts, but basic retro inspired looks, and since I'm handy with a needle, bring them on! :)

one of my favorite day-time dresses is this.  Is this NOT the best for basic around-the-house/ going-to-market type wear?  I LOVE it, and I'm going to make at least 7 of them.  It's just too stinking cute, and oh- SUPER easy to sew.

BUT I'm not going to make any until after I've had the baby, and I"ll have to figure out how to adapt it for nursing... hmmm.  We shall see, huh?

oatmeal bath.

My sweet son (11 months old) is getting over a diaper rash.  Regardless of how often we changed him, he just got a monumental diaper rash.  Now I cloth diaper (mainly for economical reasons) and it's not typical for him to get a rash, but this one was a doosy!  (how's that for a 50's word?!)

Daddy to the rescue.  He bought Aveeno oatmeal bath.  I remember this from when I was a kid and had chicken pox.  I don't remember it doing much for that ridiculous itch, but I do remember that it had softening and drying properties.  So, twice a day he got a bath... until it got expensive.  What's a SSHDiva to do?  OH wait!  (insert theme song and internet here...)  MAKE some colloidal oatmeal!  (or as my daughter used to call it- oat-ma-neal)

Wait, what makes it so special?!  Colloidal oatmeal is basically oatmeal ground so fine that it is suspended in liquid, instead of globbing to the bottom like regular oatmeal in a bowl.  It's just the consistency.

So, I broke out my baby bullet (yes, I bought one, and used it for my son like 6 times; he decided he didn't want to eat baby food, he's decided solids are more his style.  From boob to solids.  Awesome, huh?)  anyway, put on the grinder (not the blender blade) and blended several cups of oatmeal into a powder similar to oat flour.

Tada!  store in a mason jar in the bathroom on the shelf above the toilet and voila!  His diaper rash cleared up  (also used desitin, but I really think that the oatmeal helped immensely!)

Oh, for a fabulous mask for oily skin, I use this.  1T-2T oatmeal and honey until a thick paste.  Spread on cleaned face and let sit.  Rinse off, using as a scrub also.  Super soft skin= yay!!

I am in L-O-V-E with this site!

I get no royalties, but these lovely ladies think very much the way I do.  They have a TON of cleaning info, and that is smart and savvy for all of us homemaker divas!  So, without further ado, please let them know how awesome you think they are too!  They have their stuff together (or at least act like it!!) and it looks great!  :)

I love all of their homemade cleaners and tips, some of them are super similar to mine.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm going all 50's housewife!

So, for those of you who know me, (ha!  both of my subscribers... :/  not even my husband is subscribed.  awesome, huh?)  know I have a penchant for most things retro.  Well, I've been doing research on how to be a "better" wife, and most people seem to think that the 50's quintessential wife is the out-dated suppressed, exploding to scrub a toilet kind of woman.

I've been reading Jen but not Jenn's blog on being an experimental 50's housewife and She seemed to have the idea before I did, but I also wanted to do an experiment.  HOWEVER I will not be serving 50's style food... for the most part.  Casseroles were a HUGE part of the 50's, so yeah, I"ll be doing that, but the gelatin not so much.

I am already a sewer and a crafter and someone who likes to cook, so I will be blogging about my experiences there.  What will be interesting is while I'm of a general 50's mentality (serve your man) I was brought up in a very feminist liberal household.  This is a COMPLETE 180 from where I was brought up.  I just love it though.  The simplicity of the time, with all the modern conveniences of today.  (I'm NOT giving up my mixer, and my dishwasher leaves grit over everything I'll have to hand wash them.  ugh.)

So, included in this experiment will be my nightly ritual of removing my makeup, and pin curling my hair.  I may even take some pictures for you.  Being pregnant, I don't have very many retro clothes, but I do have some that I can perk up.  But, since I DO sew, I will be making myself some more skirts, and finding some button down shirts that will fit, tailoring them to my body (or hopefully finding them big enough to fit my ever expanding belly of twins at places like motherhood maternity or some other place rather cheaply).  I'm also going to be making myself several aprons.  Both tea aprons (just from the waist down) and some more klutz-friendly aprons that will help protect my clothes better.  (I'm trying for something a little better than full-body tarp here, though that would help me!)

Ok, well I'm going to head off for now.  BUT, I will let  you know that I'm going to be giving up internet except for this blog and my emails which I will be calling people back unless I absolutely can't.  (I have international friends and family, but no international calling plan.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crock pot cooking!

I have been compiling some crock pot recipes.  A few of my favorites are pot roast, stuffed cabbage, chicken burritos, soup, pork butt, meatballs in sauce.. the list goes on and on.  If you're not familiar with your crock pot, or you don't have one, may I suggest you get one and learn to love this little convenient appliance?

When I first got one for my first marriage 11 years ago, I had NO CLUE how to use it.  It's become my favorite little gadget in the kitchen, particularly when I'm pregnant, and KNOW I'll be tired that day.  Not to mention, for all of you working Divas out there, you know that you'd LOVE to come home to a home cooked meal that you prepared that you didn't really have to do anything for.  I mean, throw the ingredients in that morning (or even the night before, and keep them in the fridge and just start it when you get up in the morning!) and you're good to go.

My biggest brainfart on this is not plugging in the pot and not realizing that.  Yeah, I've done that.  it's not the highlight of my day, but you remember to make sure it's plugged in next time, trust me! LOL!

Here's my recipe for potroast: (for reference, T= tablespoon, t= teaspoon)
1 beef roast- FROZEN!
1 bag of stew vegetables (bag of carrots and potatoes)
2T onion powder,
2T garlic powder
2 t of kosher salt
1 T italian seasoning

Put frozen roast in crockpot, and arrange frozen veggies around it.  fill with water until about 2/3 full.  Add the seasonings and put on lid.  (make sure pot is plugged in) and turn on High.  Cook for several hours until done.

more crock pot cooking to come!

Yeah, we get it...

It's 3:20 in the morning when I started writing this, so please bear with me.  (or is it bare with me?  Either way, humor me will you?)

Every one of us knows how to be a home keeper. Now if anyone has any issues with that, let me start off by saying that is SO MUCH MORE than chores.  Any monkey can be trained to do dishes or run a vacuum.  I'm talking about truly keeping our home.

First and foremost, (and I've said it before) I'm a Christian. While I have yet to shove my beliefs down someone's throat, I am not ashamed of it, nor am I going to cowtow while someone comes to me trying to shake my beliefs.  Now, with that said, I believe that the proper way to run a home is with God at the forefront.  After all, if God is for us, who can be against us?

There are days when it feels like not only the world is crashing in around us, but that we've been abandoned by God in our daily tasks.  Take for example my situation:  I realized lately that I'm sort of a hoarder.  I didn't know it had an official name.  I always thought that it was just "how I am".  I've heard words like pig, sloth, lazy, trash heap, and other cruel, hurtful, belittling, and demeaning names all of my life mainly by my parents.  Funny, my mom was the same way.  I have to ask- when did someone ever change by making them feel like crap?  Anyway, I veered off the path here, let me regroup....

I've found that there are a few ways to bring me back to Godliness in my home.  Fun sidefact:  no where in the Bible does it say "cleanliness is next to Godliness".  Kind of makes those of us who feel so unworthy (my hand is raised here!) relieved to know that my salvation isn't tied up into the sanitary level of my home.  The ways I've found are NOT the be-all end-all list, they're just what helps me get through the day and start the day right.

What is my attitude like?  Have I spent time with God this morning?  Have I TRULY spent time with God this morning, not a quick prayer as I'm taking care of my morning bladder drain, but really sat down before the kids get up (Proverbs 31:15), before life "starts" and set my soul right with God?  I notice a monumental difference in the fact of when I do this to when I don't.  When I do, the kids are more compliant, the daily grind of chores seem to get done quicker, there is peace in the home.  What happened?  The only thing I did differently than I normally do is I spent time with the ultimate attitude adjuster. I realized that decision was made by me and I alone hold the key to the family's attitude for the day.

I'm not talking cheerleader peppy here (though if you are, that's great sunshine!)  I'm speaking more along the lines of doing what all mothers have done through history.  Shutting up and putting a smile on their face.  NOT a plastic smile that is not only demeaning but cold but truly smiling.  The kind that gives you lines and you don't care smile.  The smile that makes other people wonder what is it that you have that they don't.

Oh now Ruby, I just don't FEEL like smiling today.  I don't FEEL like being cheerful, why can't the family just do what I tell them to?  Suck it up, buttercup!  It's not about you!  (woah!  Hold on, I'm about to lose some of you here... this is the bear with me)  Remember what I said about your attitude?  attitudes are catching, and if you don't believe me, for you wonderful women who work outside of the home, does your boss's attitude not set your mood?  You're the boss of your home sweetie!  How do you think that hierarchy works; everyone else's attitude should be great and they are there to put you in a cheerful mood?  Sorry peanut, doesn't work that way.  You're not the king to be served, you are in fact a servant of your family, but there's great news about this!  Jesus said (paraphrasing here!) that if you put yourself first, you will be the least.  If you serve you will be greater.  (Mark 9:35)  So see, people aren't there for your martyrdom.  You're here to help your family, so would you rather trudge and have everyone "see" your sacrifice, or would you rather do it cheerfully, train your children that it's not something to be "burdened" with and instead it's something to be rejoiced over!

Frankly, bring on the cheerfulness for me.  I'd rather do it with a kind heart than be obnoxious about it.

This goes hand-in-hand with cheerfulness.  2Corinthians 9:7 says (at the end) that...God loveth a cheerful giver.

Filling your home with junk from stuffmart will NOT make you happy.  Donating or giving away that extra waffle iron, or the cookware you NEVER use, or the kids clothes that they've grown out of WILL.  How do I know this?  Because the harder I cling to something the more I get convicted of letting some things go.

I have a cricut.  For my non-crafty friends, it's a die cutting machine that allows me to cut various shapes and fonts out of paper or vinyl or even fabric so I can etch glass, scrapbook, make cards, decorate my home, etc.  This is my baby.  My kids aren't even allowed to touch it, BUT I have done so much for others with it.  I've made everything from wedding invitations to baby announcements and favors, but most recently for my BFF's son, I made 17 hot cocoa holders with reindeer and snowmen on them for him to give to his class before Christmas break.  (we homeschool, she doesn't.)  Now, my point to that was I CLING to my cricut.  That's something that unless convicted by the Lord, I'm not giving up, HOWEVER in that, I use my talents to create for others, and I have made things to share with people.  And it's been cheerful!

So, give what you can, BUT the key to this is DO NOT OVER-GIVE.  Now I'm not talking about "you can't out-give God" I'm talking about:  Yes, you have a PTA meeting on Wednesday, you have a church bake-sale on Saturday, and there's the canned good drive, and don't forget the costume your child needs by thursday night, and oh by the way, you promised Goodwill that you'd have all of those clothes boxed up by 9AM tomorrow morning, and Friday is your husband's boss's dinner party that you're expected to look perfect for, and what do you mean you're coming down with a cold.. stop. Stop. STOP!

Life gets busy and overwhelming, and hectic, WE GET THAT.  Ha!  We're moms, boy howdy do we get that.  My point is that scheduling yourself into oblivion will ruin your family.  Doing for others is wonderful.  Why are you doing for others what someone else can be handling?  For those of you wonderful women who think the world would collapse and would completely fall apart if you just ignored what everyone else was relying on you for do me a favor:  Put your fist into a bucket of water.  (just do it.)  and yank it out really fast. Do you see the hole your hand left?  no?  are you sure?  Oh wait, the water rushed back in, didn't it?  THAT is how fast someone can fill your place, superchick!  God made you one woman, not every woman to everyone.  He designed you for a purpose and that purpose wasn't to serve others while your family is left to the wolves.  He also didn't design you to overschedule yourself so you have nothing to give to the ones you love.

This was a lesson I learned the very hard way.  PLEASE don't make the same mistake.

Love is.... ?  I always thought love was doing for others and not expecting things back.  Well it is- to an extent.  Do you love yourself?  I'm not talking about selfishness, I'm talking about loving yourself enough to lock yourself in the bathroom, light a few candles, put on some soft music and de-stress once or twice a week with a warm bubble bath, or going to exercise to get the tension out.  True, honest, love of the one that our Creator made to care for your family.  Taking care of yourself, regardless of Armageddon happening just outside your bathroom door.  Between the toddler screaming for your attention, the older kids arguing, and the husband needing one thing or another, surprisingly it will all be ok for the next hour.  You will be missed, but you will be so much better a mom/wife if you take care of yourself.  If this is something your family will have to get used to, schedule it on the calendar.  Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons if need be.  (or whatever days work for you, this is just a suggestion)

Delegate.  please note, this is NOT dictating.  You are not the Hitler of your home, you are a delegate.  You assign things like chores, NOT demand.  You teach not tyrade.  You show how your home is to be run.  You train your children how to do things, and teach them the skills they'll eventually need to run their own homes.  THIS is what makes you a great mom, not how many cookies you've baked, or how spotless you've kept their clothes, or even how the bed corners get folded.

Teaching your children (and yes, in my case even my husband) that dirty laundry goes in the hampers (we have 4- whites, colors, darks, and towels) is delegating.  I'm not a bad wife for not being a slave to my husband!  I keep my home, and as such I fail to see how picking up his uniform/socks/undies/etc off of the floor makes me a better wife when I could spend that time loving him.  It's just as easy for me to train him that if his clothes don't make it into the hamper, they don't get washed as it does for me to do it for him.  Not to mention, I'm pregnant with twins right now and it's frankly easier on my body if I don't have to constantly bend over.  This is one of those love things.  I love myself enough to not put extra strain on me.

Making my family solely dependent on me is NOT love.  That's selfish.  Training them to do things for themselves if ever I am out of commission, THAT is love.

We have a binder in our home.  It's our (last name) home maintenance binder.  It has all of my routines in it for morning, afternoon, evening and before bed.  I also have it broken down into zones for the home, as well as days of the week.  (it's a modified version of the one flylady has.)  it's CONSTANTLY under tweak.  Why?  because the needs of my family varies per season.   For example, right now it's Christmas time.  WE have much more things scheduled this month than we do in say... May.  Well, not this coming may, I'm expecting the twins, but you get my point.  My HMB will be cleaned out the first of the year, and will be made to update for the next three months.

This binder lets anyone know that in my absence, not only where I'll be (check the calendar) but if I'm out of commission for a while, what needs to be done.  My 7 year old daughter is so well trained in the running of my home (proud mama moment here...) that I can basically check out for a few days and she would continue to do it, INCLUDING change and bathe the baby.  This is a LOT of responsibility for this girl, however she is also in training to be a Godly woman who will run her home.

Well, I've taken a left turn at Albuquerque but my basic point is this:  homekeeping is so much more than chores.  It's the attitude you have to go along with it, it's the spending time with God and making sure that you are right with Him, so you can be right with your family, and it's the running of the home and those in it that make things worth it.

Lastly:  I'm comparing you wonderful ladies to a lighthouse.  You are the beacon that draws your family in.  You let them know when there's danger, you show them how to go, you even guide them through times when they can't see for themselves.  You are a light.  Enjoy it Diva!

Matthew 5:16

King James Version (KJV)

 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Are you a hoarder?

 Are you a hoarder?   Wow that question hit home for me.  I was watching hoarding: buried alive on netflix and I looked at some of those people and asked out loud "why can't you just throw your crap out?"  And I looked around and discovered- I don't always through out my stuff.

The reason we cling to things is complex.  We find emotional value in it.  Some of us were even raised/partially raised by people who have survived the great depression.  Heck, my grandmother was born in the middle of it, (mom's mom) and my other grandmother was born in 1915 so she DEFINITELY survived the depression.  My grandfather was born in 1914 and when he died, you could see the hoard he had.  his entire detached garage was stuffed full of things that he placed emotional value into but meant nothing to the rest of us.  It took weeks to clear out the junk from his stash.

I wasn't raised in the cleanest house either.  I mean it wasn't a landfill, but there was usually quite a bit of clutter.  After seeing my grandfather's stash and how my house was, I figured everyone lived like that.  Boy howdy was I wrong.  You can't breathe in clutter.  And after a while, I'm convinced it breeds on it's own (much like dust bunnies!).

The magic pill:
Sorry, there is none.  There is an old-fashioned remedy though.  I want you to completely ignore the saying  "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" for a minute.  There will be a time and place for it in a minute.  The old-fashioned remedy is sweat.  Much like sweat rids toxins from your body, you need to sweat out the stuff you don't need.  We LOVE getting organizing things and thinking "finally, this is waht I need to organize the stuff I have, etc."  Listen to me very carefully- there is NO WAY on God's green earth that the things you have will all be organized.  Why?  Because clutter and junk has no place.  That combination flashlight, swiss army knife, perm rod, curtain hanger and pocket iron has zero room in your home even though it "multi-tasks" because there's no where to put it!  Get rid of it.

I'm all for yardsales... when it's yard sale season.  At the time I'm writing this, it's December 9th, 2011.  Needless to say, it's not the season for yardsales.  Who in their right mind is going to get up at 6 in the morning to hop into a car to schlep themselves to your home to look through your used junk... in the cold?!  In spring, early summer and early fall is the time for yardsale.  Here's the catch though:  DO NOT SAVE YOUR CRAP FOR THE NEXT SEASON!

Yes, you can potentially make money on yard sales.  Do you always?  Nope.  I had a yardsale when I was moving from Illinois to Virginia.  I made $65.  I had it open for two days, heaved all of my crap out onto the lawn several times.  It was the worst weekend I'd ever experienced, particularly for two days worth of work (6-4 both days!), I brought in 3.25 an hour.  I bawled like a baby when I realized that.  Not to mention some of the things I sold were so under-priced it was ridiculous.  Surprisingly it wasn't like the shows that put all of your stuff on sale and make thousands of dollars.  shocker, I know.   Now I'm all for shopping at yardsales- WHEN you need the items you're purchasing.  For example, I'm due with twins in May.  I will be yard sale shopping for baby clothes (and jeans for my son who is super hard on clothes!) in the spring.  I will not be shopping for that end table that is absolutely fabulous and while there's no particular need for it right this second, I'm sure I"ll find a place for it somewhere... no.  NO!  NO! NO!!!  Ma'am, step away from the bargain bin.

If you have a hard time letting go of things ask yourself, "is this item still in usable condition, AND if it is, would someone actually purchase it?"  be honest with yourself.  If you don't want to throw it away and it meets the criteria of actually being loved by someone else, why not donate it to your local church, thrift store, goodwill, etc?  I'll add a list of ideas for places you can deliver to at the end (if my preggo brain remembers!).

But Ruby, what do I do if I just CAN'T let the item go?  Well this is where you have a cross-roads type of decision.  Is the baby blanket you've held onto for the past 40 years because your child whom you brought home from the hospital in it has not only moved out, but had a family of their own and didn't want the blanket so you got stuck with it really that sentimental?  Yes, you have memories, but is the person not more important to build memories with?  If you don't think you'll have memories, may I suggest scrapbooking?  Take a picture and put it on a page with a note "I brought Skippy home in this blanket from the hospital".

Sentimental value is worthless to everyone else.  Will it be worth it to your children and grandchildren to have to clean out years of things you felt were important?  If they don't value your things as you do, how can you be sure they will after your death and they have to clear out your "valuables"?  

True collections are something else.  My ex husband collected comic books.  Surprisingly, they're not as collectible as people make them out to be.  He HOARDED this for years, wouldn't read them but refused to get rid of them.  It drove me nuts.  If you truly have a collection you think is worth something, why not get it appraised by an auction house?  If you don't like what they have to say, you can always go to another auction house or meet with another appraiser.  If anything, try to find the Antique Roadshow... you never know when they'll be in your area.

With that said, I just cleaned my living room for 2 hours with my two oldest children.  There are tons of things that I'm willing to get rid of that kids find some sort of value in.  I don't recommend throwing things out behind their backs most of the time, but I DO recommend you get them involved.  If they feel part of the process they will be more apt to throw things out.  Here's the rub though:  if you're not willing to chuck anything, why should they be?  Don't get mad at their clutter when yours is there.  In Biblical terms, don't point out the speck in someone else's eye when you've got a plank in yours, honey!  Now, that 2 hour marathon cleaning- unfortunately my living room still isn't clean.  I am pregnant and constantly tired, so I wasn't moving as fast as I could have and I definitely wasn't on my "A" game.  I am not finished, but I am closer to my goal.   It's my hope that I can put my christmas tree up this evening.  If I get it, great, if not, I'll finish cleaning the living room tomorrow and the family and I will get it up then.  Will my day be ruined if I don't get my tree up tonight?  Nope; if anything I'll be able to breathe a little easier in a more clutter-free environment.

It's my goal to throw out/ give away/donate most of the things I haven't used in over a year.  Why keep it?  my extra waffle iron isn't going to give me the warm fuzzies, but it does take up space and make me feel bad because I don't provide my family with warm homemade breakfasts regularly.  I am still a good mom even if htey eat a granola bar!  Out it goes because of this.

So, are you a hoarder?  I think that I have the tendencies for it and I want better for my children so I'm working toward getting rid of junk.  I have decided that people are more important than things.  Things can be replaced so in the hopes to live a more simple life, I'm downsizing my possessions.

I'll be posting a 4 part post on the statement "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" in a little while.  Watch for it. :)

Places you can donate:
thrift stores,
nursing homes (blankets, scarves, etc)
homeless shelters
women's shelters (GREAT for unused, unopened beauty products)
church donations,
red cross (usually willing to take clothes, blankets, extra backpacks, etc)

The best part:  when you bless others, blessings will come back to you!  I'm a SUPER firm believer in the fact that you CAN NOT out-give God.  The more I bless others, the more He blesses me- I'm going to be giving away and throwing out what can't be given.  It's time I gave to others more.

Am I a hoarder?  If I ever was, the answer is no longer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I want to be a Proverbs 31 wife!

This IS going to be long, and PLEASE understand this is my interpretation of proverbs 31:10-31.

If you're a Christian woman, there is no reason on earth that you wouldn't want to be exactly like this.   If you're not a Christian, you are still more than welcome to hang around and maybe learn something about how we think.

I used the KJV version for this because there is so much that can be lost in translation, I went straight to the original translation.  Please, don't bother telling me how "inaccurate" it is, etc.  if you like a different translation, great!  I personally prefer the amplified version as it's an "overexplaination" of the word, and it's super easy to understand, but I went with the KJV becuase it's a great simple explaination of the verses.

Proverbs 31: 10-31
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Broken down:
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

What is your value?  Rubies are a beautiful pinkish-red stone that is second hardest only to diamonds!  The point of this passage (in my opinion only!) is what you'd pay for an incredible clarity, large stone, beautifully set ruby, a virtuous woman is so much more valuable!  You are the one who can be worth more than this.  Abraham paid baskets of jewels for Isaac's wife Rebecca (he also offered fine linens and other things) and she was a virtuous woman.  Could you imagine being worth more than baskets of jewels?  If you were to be sold, what would your price be?  priceless?  I would like to think that mine is. 

Where women trust openly, and often too much, men guard their trust until it's earned.  We need to earn our husband's trust, and if we do things to break it, it hurts them more than we could imagine.  Well, for our husband to trust in us, knowing that he will have no need for anything unfairly gained is a HUGE thing!  That means quite a lot!  This tells a lot about the woman who can stretch her husband's dollar (for sake of the thought process, let's assume you're a SAHM.) so that he has no need for "spoils".   for her to be frugal, and smart with his money and property will earn his trust, but more on this later.

12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

12-There are times in a marriage that you will want to throw a spatula at his head.  Don't kid yourself, there will be times when he wants to do it back!  But, the idea here is this:  Your attitude reflects on the outside of you.  If you're ticked at your husband, that's ok, but CALMLY talk to him about it, don't complain to anyone behind his back, don't throw insult punches that land brutally, our goal is to do him GOOD every day that we are with him (and the days we're not!).   That is why you're Mrs. __________.  he's not mr. yourlastnamehere.  He becomes your husband, by taking you as his wife.   We should want to honor him, make him KNOW that we want that- and believe me there will be times that we mess up.  we are human (and I say that in a derogatory manner) and we will screw up, however those screw ups should NEVER be with an effort.  We should strive to show him excellence.
13- Now we're getting into something here.  I have quite a few ladies tell me "Oh, I wish I could do that" or "I don't know how to sew/crochet/knit/weave" etc.  Well, the only thing I have to say to them is learn.  An intelligent woman and wife works hard with her hands, and creates things to help save her family money.  for example, I'm a fabric junkie.  I LOVE beautiful cottons, and have made quilts, clothes, crocheted blankets, scarves and hats, I make cloth diapers and all the "fixin's" and have saved my family thousands of dollars by doing this.  If you don't know how, I HIGHLY recommend you check out a book from the library, or get together with a friend or someone who knows how to and ask/pay for lessons.  You will be doing a HUGE service to yourself and your family if you learn to work with fibers to help your family.
14- The merchant ships is a good analogy.  Merchant ships would bring fruits and spices from far places in biblical times.  We now have fruits and veggies available to us in minutes from grocery stores and the internet.  I live in middle TN.  There's no palm trees around here, however I can get coconuts in seconds by driving to my local grocery store- in december, in a snow storm.  Merchant ships would come once every few months, and their trading/selling would be incredibly profitable, particularly considering that these spices and other foods weren't available all the time.  People buying from these ships would plan for about a year in advance.  To be like the merchant ships and bring your food from afar is to be wise, and profitable.  To be smart, and trade with those who don't have what you have to offer, and to get something that you need from them as well.  It's to be a wise woman and gain profit for your family.
15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

She is a hard worker and not a sloth.  She's not the type to lay in bed until noon.  15- is a complex but beautiful one.  This woman is a planner.  She rises while it's still night- dark out- a.m.; very VERY early A.M. to prepare food for her family, and a portion to her servants.  Well, I'm going to go at this one backwards.  Very few of us actually have servants/ hand-maidens anymore.  We DO have dishwashers, and washing machines, and mops and vacuum cleaners, and refridgerators, freezers, etc.  We have more conveniences than we've ever had and less time to do anything, BUT there's good news.  When we plan ahead and have our to-do list so to speak, we are planning our time wisely as the woman in 31:15 does.  That is exactly what this means to me.  When we "giveth meat to [our] household", this says a LOT about womanhood.  We are the caregiver, the heart of the house, the nurturer, the one who creates the meals (more than just food, I'm talking about emotional here also) and the one who cares for her family always.
16- talks about her wisdom and maturity as well as how hard she works.  She carefully considers if this field will be fertile and produce gainful fruit.  Is she taking on too much and going to ignore her daily tasks?  Will she be able to make a profit from this?  Is it a frivilous purchase or will it help her family?  Is she getting a fair deal for the land?  After deliberation she decides that it will be worth it, and she plants a vineyard.  She is crafty and can make things with her hands, and decides that out of her labor, she will plant what she is adept at, is skillful in and understands how she will make money at it, and she has a plan.

17- She takes care of herself!  She's strong, and vibrant.  She is healthy and seeks to make herself a hard worker so she can accomplish much.  She doesn't turn to chemicals to alter her state, SHE makes HERSELF strong.  She doesn't rely on any type of drug (though coffee is natural and does kick-start my day!) like the kid's Ritalin, or performance enhancers to give her strength.

18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

18- This woman is intelligent, quick, and a decision maker.  She is sees that the things that she buys is worth her money! She doesn't get sucked into the infomercials because she can.  She doesn't need an electric hamburger flipper and realizes it.  No, that sock drying rack will NOT make her life easier. She is savvy when it comes to purchases and she isn't afraid to bypass something if it's cheaply made, just because it's inexpensive!  She doesn't need junk in her life, she demands quality.  Just because she has money doesn't mean she has to spend it.

She keeps the home-fires burning and guarantees that she is ready at a moment's notice.  She is ready for emergencies, or a sick child.  She prepares to ensure that her light is burning through the night to support her family's needs just in case.  She doesn't necessarily broadcast this either!  She can achieve this thankless task, that will only benefit her if something happens, but she does it anyway just in case something does happen.

19- she makes quality with her hands, and knows what her household needs.  She knows how to repair things in her home, and keeps a supply of repair products on hand.  She takes the time for herself, but in doing so she ensures that her house has things that they will need.  Because she is capable of making most things, she doesn't squander money on things that she can easily make herself.

20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

20- This is pretty self explanatory.  However, I don't believe that she abandons her house to volunteer with "busy work".  I think that she donates things to help the poor, will make extra meals, will comfort when she can but she will NOT neglect her family to do it.  She is first and foremost a wife and mother, so she will take care of her household first.  Then she will offer what she has to the poor.  She is hospitable and caring.  Her heart is a servant's heart.  I think this also goes for church work.  In my opinion, she doesn't neglect her house by doing "good works" at church either.  She isn't in the choir to the avoidance of her family.  She doesn't volunteer for all the busy work that churches can provide to the detriment of her household, she ALWAYS puts her household and it's affairs first and foremost.

21- Because she has worked all spring, summer and fall, she was wise in her decisions, and she has portioned out for winter the goods that her household will need, she has no problem when the weather gets colder and her family could be in danger.  She has looked well to the affairs of her household to make sure all the family members and servants are taken care of and warm in the winter months.  She has stored up food for when she can't get out (i.e. emergencies!) and for when it isn't readily available.  Not much grows in the winter, so she has prepared food ahead of time for when she will need it in the winter.

22- This woman is stylish and a woman of importance.  That does NOT mean she puts on airs, she is a woman who is befitting her husband, and since purple was a royal color in biblical times, this implies that she values herself.  The wife/mother is an integral part of the family dynamic!  We as women tend to put ourselves last, however this woman IS of value, but NOT better than her husband.  She wears fine clothing because she has tended her home wisely.  She is skilled in making herself clothing, and she is adept at keeping herself modest and stylish.  She is someone people go to for advice on how to run their own homes, because she has done it well, and according to God's guidelines.

23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

23- This is perhaps the most revealing about the woman.  Because of the wife being in her place in the home, and fair, and smart, and well dressed, and a hard worker, and a strong business woman,and a help to the needy, her husband is considered wise for choosing her!  Her husband holds a place of honor because she honors him by doing her job.  Sitting with the elders of the land was a great honor, and men with lazy wives didn't/couldn't.  They were the ones who were tending to their own homes when they should have been out working to provide for their families.  Women are designed to be a compliment to their husbands, not have their marriage all about them.  This woman was wise in running her home, and made sure that her husband had the time to read the scriptures with the elders of the land, and because of the respect and reverence she has for him, he was well a well known and honored man, who was known and liked by many people.  Frankly, it's my goal that my husband is known as a wise man for choosing a wife that is a reflection of Proverbs 31.

24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

24- She is a smart business woman with many skills.  She not only is a talented farmer, she is skilled in crafts, and fabric making.  She takes time and effort to make FINE linen.  She sells it at a price increase, taking into account her time, and energy, and supplies, and not succumbing to pressure.  She makes sure her business dealings are profitable, not just with money, but also with making sure she is known as fair.  In doing so, her husband's name is honored.  She is a marketer and manufacturer and delivers her goods to be sold by others, so she can make a profit and still not worry about the time it would take away from her family.

25- This woman is noble.  She is wise, smart, strong, honorable, and incredibly talented.  She has looked so well to her affairs, that she has no problem laughing at the future.  In training her children, she knows that her household will be run the same if she were not there, because she had done such a fine job of making sure that her talents, and skills were passed on.

26- She realizes that she doesn't need to be harsh or cruel to get her point across.  All she has to do is speak with wisdom, kindness, understanding and gentle correction when needed.  She doesn't have harsh words for her husband and children.  She speaks love and kindness.  She values her relationships, and only wants to cultivate joy and productiveness out of them.  She would be a kind master because of how she speaks, and even her servants would find it a joy to work with her because of her attitude.  She doesn't allow cruelty to become her countenance.  Because her words are kind, her heart is tender, and it makes her more effective in running her household.  She finds less resistance and more cooperation  because of how she speaks.  Words are not spoken in anger, which means this woman thinks before she speaks.  She doesn't give snide comments, and doesn't make others feel belittled or "less" than she is.  Because of her words, neither she nor anyone she interacts with is bitter because of her.  Too often women will use words to hurt, and in this woman's case, it not only is NOT in her nature, but it's not even a thought in her mind.  Kindness is her rule and in my opinion, we should ALL be like that!  (for the record, yes I'm at fault of NOT being this woman!)

27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

27-  This woman is anything BUT lazy.  First and foremost, she puts her household and it's affairs above all else.  She doesn't make plans that will take away from her house.  She doesn't sleep the day away.  She is constantly doing something, even when she's sitting down resting, my bet is that she has something in her hands, be it wool to turn into yarn, or yarn turning into tapestries and blankets, or she's sewing something- this woman is constantly doing something, even when she's not doing "anything".  The exception to this would be sleeping, however as we saw earlier, she even makes sure that her lamps always have oil in them so her light will not go out at night.  This blessed woman is wise and makes sure that her house is always taken care of.  Even when she knows she'll be out and busy, she makes sure that her household is taken care of.  Fastfood is NOT an option.  She makes sure that dinner is always prepared by hand (or crockpot in our cases!) and makes sure there is plenty in the house to eat.  Her house is neat and tidy because she has looked well to her affairs, and stops fires before they start.  Through kindness, she makes sure that her home is how it is supposed to be before she even thinks about doing anything else.

28 and 29- these are tied together and this is the greatest blessing that we as women could ask for!  Her children call her an amazing mom.  "Mom, you take care of us, and you're teaching us how to be good children.  You show us your skills and are passing them on so we can be productive adults.  You never yell and make us feel belittled, and you don't speak to us as if we're stupid, and unworthy of your love.  You are a GOOD MOM!"

Her husband praises her, knowing that there are so many women out there that are not like her.  There are women who are actually the exact opposite of this wonderful woman and he knows he has chosen very wisely in a spouse.  Her husband tells her that "even though there are women who have done well, and have been righteous, YOU are greater than them all, because of how you have honored me, and our home.  You are the one I trust, the one I value, and the one I could not survive without.  My heart is safely secure in you and I have no need for things that are gotten through devious plans.  I have no desire for any other woman because you make yourself lovely to me and I want to honor you because of all that you do, and who you are."  When was the last time your husband honestly praised you- wasn't nagged into doing it?  Truthfully told you "because of you, I am able to ______.  You make it easy to love you.".  How often do your achievements get recognized and are honored because of you, instead of because of how hard you complained to your family that no one appreciates what (little) you've done, and no one thinks about you, or puts you first?  When was the last time you stopped acting like a martyr, and started acting like a servant to your family?  When your heart is in the right place, so will your honor be.  You will be praised for the selfless things that you do when you're not demanding recognition.

30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

30- A woman of such distinction and character as the one listed above (and yes, that's all one woman!) knows that she doesn't need special favors.  She doesn't look to make herself MORE beautiful and doesn't want to be the envy of all the women.  You know the saying "Men want her and women want to be her".  Well, that is ridiculous!  She doesn't go in to be the most beautiful, but I DO believe that she makes herself beautiful to her husband.  Yes, beauty is fleeting, however using makeup on a face with a blackend heart is simply putting spackle over a bandaid-ed bullet wound.  It won't work.  Being kind lovely will get you further than the newest shade of "your worth it" lipstick.

If you fear the Lord, you are the one worthy of praise.  Pleasing God in all that you do is worthy of praise.  Setting yourself up as a martyr and complaining that nobody cares about you, and withholding your love and affection to those around you until your demands are met is not only selfish, but also UNWORTHY of praise, and dignity.  You will get what you deserve if you selfishly act, NOT necessarily getting what you want.

31- This woman's tireless, selfless work; the work of her family and running a household; the work of making sure that everyone is taken care of, and future planning is done, creating, gardening, selling her products for profit, teaching her children, being kind and helping those she can, all while looking good, and doing her husband honor will ensure that she is well taken care of!  Her name will be known herself, and the good things she does will bring herself honor.  She will be a well respected woman if she treats herself, and others with dignity.  The fruits of her hands will be productive and will ensure that there is plenty for everyone.

This is the woman I want to be.  This is who I want to emulate and how I want to live my life.  My family deserves me to be this woman, and it's who God created me to be!  How about you?  How will YOU live your life?

Consumerism and all this crap!

I bought into it.  Hook, line and sinker I totally believed in the lies.  How pathetic is that?  Which lie you ask?  That would be the "stuff makes you happy.  You'll be so much better off with the more crap you have.  Don't have a place to put it? No problem!  Move to a bigger place that you can't afford, and go deeper in debt (because those credit card purchases for all the crap you didn't need anyway are piling up) and keep buying, buying, BUYING!" lie.  After all, that's the American way, right?  More = better?

Seriously.  I bought into the hype.  More is better for us, right?  Yeah right.

So then, frustrated with all the junk in my house that I had to have I needed organization for it, so I bought even more stuff (ha!) to "get organized".  While the shelves were a great idea for my crafting addiction (which IS under control- haven't bought anything for that in months, but have been using what I already have) I have storage out the wazoo, and am STILL not organized.

WHHHHHHYYYYYYY?   I've whined.  I don't understand, I've done what the busty blonds and guys with Australian accents have told me to do on all the DIY home improvement shows have told me.  Why am I still not organized?  Why isn't my house clean, and why do I still have no places for some of this stuff?  What is going on?  This isn't what the American dream promised me.

And THAT is when I realized two things.  1- I've been lied to by the "dream" and have been told (just like YOU) that more = better and if you don't have more, then you're "behind".  Heck, even you have read the "she who does with the most ___________ wins!"  What are you going to do?!  take it with you?  OOH, are you going to leave all that crap for your family to get rid of, probably NOT in the most loving way that you'd like, because they see it for what it is- crap?

So, this is how I'm getting myself unburried before we move.

  • I'm donating clothes that don't fit.  This sounds like a no-brainer, HOWEVER how often do we say something like "I WILL fit into those jeans again?"  uh huh.  get rid of them, and bless someone else.  (and since I"m pregnant with #4, I probably won't fit into those clothes again!)
  • Get rid of the things I absolutely haven't used in a year.  My ONLY exception to this is baby clothes (because I may be having a girl this time, we don't know.) and Christmas stuff.
    Obviously that is a once a year thing, so I'm not getting rid of that.
  • If I it's broken- chuck it.  if it's expired- chuck it.  If it's missing parts that you "just know" that you'll find, throw it out.  it's not worth the anger that you'll have if you keep it.
  • don't be afraid to donate things!  I am a fabric junkie.  Actually I'm a craft junkie, however I have a TON of fabric (litterally it's around 2000 lbs!) and most of it I'll never use.  I'm going to donate it and darn it, I'll feel good about doing it!  It's hard when its your "stuff" but it'll get easier when you see how much free space it leaves you!  I'm actually REALLY excited about it!
  • Where else can you declutter?  I've recently gotten rid of my facebook.  What I mean is I wrote a note to FB and I haven't been on it voluntarily in almost a week.  It was time.  It got gossipy and I actually FEEL BETTER not having other people's problems in my life!  I am working on my REAL friendships, NOT pseudo relationships that fb offered.  I will most likely never meet most of those people in real life, and in all honesty, I'd take a cup of coffee and a good conversation over a brownie than he said she said crap on facebook, myspace, twitter, or any other social "outlet".  My place is in the home, WITH my family, NOT in the home, but living outside of it without my family.
Some of these things sound like no-brainers.. when it's other people's stuff.  But when it's our own, boy howdy does it get hard to do!

I would urge you to truthfully and prayerfully consider what is necessary and what is just "stuff" to you.  It's a long hard examination of ourselves, but it's completely worth it.

If you need help on where to start, check out  Marla and crew are really awesome and will help you get organized.  I promise, it'll be worth it!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chores vs. Blessings.

My home is chaotic.  Sort of.  Well, let me put it this way:  2 years ago, I divorced my husband (long and irrelevant story but kind of part of this, so that's all I'll say.)  and I moved a 3 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom apartment.  we have paths, to say the least.  Well, I've been decluttering and reorganizing but the kids are fighting me.

My current (and last!) husband and I are moving to PA in about 6 weeks.  I am in full panic mode.  I have SO MUCH STUFF, that I "love" and want to keep, but there's no reason for it.  So, I started to get stuff to declutter and deep clean so I don't have to pay extra when we move out of the apartment.

Anyway, to my subject line:  The kids and I have been fighting each other over "chores".  To them, (and honestly to me) it sounds like "heavy, burdened, boring, back-breaking work."  That's a LOT to fit into one word.

ding!  Lightbulb moment.  First, it's my job to teach them that there are things that we "have" to do just because we have to.  For example, I have to have the dishes washed so the kids can eat off of clean plates, right?  Well, instead of doing the boring, depressing, trudging work of washing dishes (yes, our dishwasher sucks; it leaves grit over everything!  I think it's circa 1988 or something- whatever it matches the wonderful piece of engineering that is our antiquated fridge.)  I am BLESSING my family!

I enjoy the fact that I can bless my family and when I get to bless my family, it's not a laborsome "chore" that I'm obligated to do, but it's a joy and a blessing that I GET to do for my family.

Well, intro this concept to the kids.  My children took to it like ducks to water!  They were absolutely excited that they got to help mommy by blessing her!  Shoshi (not her real name) my 7 y/o cleaned the kitchen floor for me yesterday as I did dishes.  Jubu, (not his real name either) my 5 year old was my gopher. Everything I asked him to go for, he did, and he also dried dishes for me, while Shoshi put them away.

They blessed me by doing something that I would normally have to do.  They didn't look at it as laborious, they looked at it as something nice to do for mom.

Because of this, we have officially changed our word "chore" to "blessing" and it's making all the difference in my home.  Another reason for that is because we get to bless others with the toys that we have but never use anymore.

Blessings.  They're awesome!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moving tip: don't take your crap!

This sort of sounds like a no-brainer, but don't pack things you absolutely have no intent on using in the future.

Clothes- what doesn't fit:  donate.  You can donate to your local church clothing swap, or goodwill and get the tax deduction. Freecycle is another good place!  Get rid of what is ripped, stained or stretched.

If you haven't used something in a year- donate it!
is food going to expire in a few months?  drop it off to a local homeless shelter.
If you live in an apartment, take advantage of your dumpster!  throw out massive amounts of trash, that way when it comes down to it, you won't have to pay for a trash service.

Label everything!  I have a meticulous moving system, and it's been known to drive people to madness.  all I do is label every box (color coded) with what room it goes into.  On a list in my Moving Binder, I put what is exactly in that box.  That way I can list boxes of importance (dishes, over tchotchkies) and what boxes need to be opened first.

I'll have more tips to come later. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Are you saving YOUR scraps?

So, it occurred to me- the ends of veggies I don't use- why not throw in a freezer bag in the freezer and use to make vegetable stock?

Charlie adn I are hoping to homestead in about 5-10 years, depending on if he's still in the military then, and where we'll settle down, etc.  Well, growing and canning my own veggies, there are parts that won't be used, like the end stalks of broccoli, greens of carrots, ends of onions and green beans, etc.  Why not save those wonderful little "useless" things to go into the freezer to make vegetable stock out of them? 

The things you can use veggie stock for are:  canning, soup base, flavor for mashed potatoes, brine-ing chicken and turkey, etc. (which you can then use the bones to make a chicken or turkey stock!), use it for the base for roasts, and SO much more!

Save your used coffee grounds too!  I put mine into compost and it helps not only add acidity to some soils, redworms just LOVE them to eat.  Redworms make the soil very rich and when redworm compost is added to manure and soil, boy howdy you get some awesome veggies from it (to keep the cycle going!). 

hope this helps, and tell me how you save your scraps!

best tip for your oven

My friend Sarah and her family just moved into a new home.  (super excited for them!)  This tip comes from her:

Put aluminum foil in the bottom of your CLEANED oven, and when you have drips, you can just replace the foil.  easy peasy lemon squeezie!  How much elbow grease will you save by doing that? 

that's SMART!  (oh, and you can get aluminum foil at the dollar store and/or there are bazillions of coupons out there for reynolds wrap- bonus score!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

a little skill goes a L-O-N-G way!

I was thinking about something today.  My family and I are going on a trip here in a few days.  We are going to be visiting family all over the country, total of 2600 miles put on my poor little car.  (I hear it whimpering from the parking lot).  I have a rather small-ish car, it's a Toyota Camry and holds exactly 5 people, one of them being an infant.  Nate's stuff takes up more room in my car than a little bit.  I have his stroller taking up most of my trunk as it is!  Now, I love my son, and at his age, there are several essentials that I need for him, for example- the stroller- but I also need his pack n play, and I would LIKE to have his swing.  I probably won't be able to bring his swing with us, but that all led to this thought:

Since we'll be in a small car, and have very little room for luggage, and we'll be using the rooftop carrier anyway, why not just put the carrier on top of the car and fill it with PUL bags instead of luggage.  If you're not familiar with PUL, it's a fabric that has been fused with plastic to make it waterproof.  It's on cloth diapers, and their covers, and it's used for "wet bags" -just what the name implies- etc.  Well, mama knows how to sew.  Why in the world would I NOT use these?  Just for example, a standard set of luggage costs (on the cheap side) $75.  You get 1 large suit case, 1 med, 1 small, and maybe an attache case.  This will hold about 4 people's worth of clothes for a week.  I can make 4 bags (for the price of $25, and have extra left over) PLUS they're automatically waterproof! 

So, since I have a ton of PUL, I'm going to make some bags (I need to make a trash can liner for my diapers anyway) and get it done.  I'll post pics when all is said and done. :)  I just got a new camera and yahoo- I'm digging it.

A little skill with a needle and thread really does go a long way!  You'd be amazed at how much you can save yourself on window treatments alone!

blessings and stay savvy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3 tornadoes; my kids.

Hello Everyone!

It's been a while since I've posted here.  I'm right now sitting on the only available seat in my living room.  Ever since I've had Nate I have been not only behind, but I'm starting to feel like a hoarder.  It's not as bad as all of that, but it can feel REALLY overwhelming at points.  I'm sure you know what I mean. 

My problem when it comes to cleaning:  I look at the whole picture instead of what's directly in front of me.  I can't see the forest for the trees.  Just like I can't see the carpet through the mess.  sigh.  Well, luckily it's clutter mess, not filth mess.  My whole house can be cleaned in less than a few days uninterrupted, (including laundry) IF I don't turn on the TV or climb onto my computer, or pick up a scrapbook or make some cards, etc.  (check out one of my crafting blogs HERE!)  Another problem I have is I'm a constant human feeding machine.  (a SSHD way to save money; breastfeed!)  I have to stop every couple of hours to feed/change diapers/ rinse out diapers/ etc.

So, having made homemade cleaners, I'm going to work on a way to declutter, especially since we're moving soon.  Don't know where (yay, Army!) and have a general idea of when- December(ish) timeframe.  I want to get as much done now, before I have to worry about "what do you mean we have 3 weeks?!".

I'll keep everyone posted.  Remember, it's SMART, SAVVY, Homemaker Diva.  Handling things on a one-at-a-time basis is smart.  I just need to keep reminding myself- housework is a process not a destination.  it will NEVER be "done".  sigh.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sometimes, and investment is worth it.

I'm going to talk a little girly here.  Well, the subject is about an investment, however the topic of the subject is makeup.  huh?  what?  trust me on this.  I wouldn't steer you wrong.

Okay, so my foundation alone costs around $45.  it has, however, lasted me 2 years.  It's a mineral powder foundation and I have to tell you- I put makeup on nearly every day, and it's lasted.  assume I put makeup on 300 out of 365 days a year.  this foundation has lasted me 2 years.  so... 600 days.  600 divided by 45 is around 13 cents a day.  Now, I still have 1/2 a container left of this particular foundation.  which means, my $45 investment will cost me when I'm done, about 6.5 cents a makeup application.

Now, what do I mean by all of this?  Well, 1- 10 cents a day to make up your face (I'm including other makeup like mascara and eyeliner/shadow, lipstick etc) will do a WORLD of wonder for your attitude, and 2- sometimes paying more in the beginning for something long-term.  It's always cheaper to pay for 6 months of car insurance than per month; even cheaper to buy the year in advance.

Most of you know I'm a cloth diaper mama.  Well, I will be as soon as my stash is back up.  In fact, I only have a few more covers to make and I'll be off the disposables permanently.  (unless he gets really sick or something.)  Well, CDing costs on average $3300 less than using disposables.  It's an investment that pays off in the long-run.

What investments are you staring at lately? 

Saving my sanity, one dish at a time.

So, my most vile, hated, loathed, abominated and despised chore is doing the dishes.  It wouldn't be half as bad if I had a working dishwasher.  sigh.  I don't, unfortunately.  well, it technically works, it just leaves sand and grit all over the "clean" dishes.  Don't know about you- but drinking oj and sandpaper... not my cup of tea. 

I am saving my sanity though.  After just having a baby 3 weeks ago on 1/14/11, I have let a few things slide, like cleaning, and laundry, and sanity.  I think that my sanity disappears easily because not only do I home school, nurse a newborn and run a home, I also do odd crafting jobs for money.  I'm currently working on wedding invitations and favors for a friend- I know, I'm awesome.  I'm exhausted, but I"m awesome.

Anyhoo- I have found a way to save some sanity, as well as some money while doing dishes.  I have to use a "special" soap for dishes because my hands break out with just about everything.  Litterally, they blister and crack and ache for days.  Well, I don't know about you, but I use my hands to do darn near everything.  You want to know what it is?

It's my household miracle product.  Baking soda.  Add 1-2T to your water before you add the soap.  GUESS waht lasts longer?  yup, the soapy suds AND it also helps to soften your hands!  aaah, no more blisters (yay sanity!) and less soap used!  (yay, wallet!)   Not to mention it has this uncanny ability to take out weird smells, so if you have some plastic wear, like rubbermaid, tupperware, or even glad containers, it helps to take out the accumulative funky odors out of it!

I love baking soda. :)