Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 2013 Reading List

God Is In The Small Stuff and it all matters by Bruce & Stan

Denali Dreams Series by Ronie Kendig and Kimberley Woodhouse
Mountain Wishes
Daring Heights
Taking Flight
Denali Guardians

Submitted to: 2013 Booking It @ Life As Mom

Friday, June 28, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge: June Update # 4 Final

This is the end of my June Challenge to get rid of 7 things each day. I didn't count up my donations but I am pretty sure I exceeded my goal.

The things I got rid of since my last update:

Dollies, flavoring, book, coupons, decoration, and tissue paper.



Party and Gift Supplies
Toys, card games, and bowels.

TV Stand
Outdoor Furniture Cushions
4H Project Books

Homeschool Books

2 pairs of old shoes, a shirt, 3 bags of confetti, creamer packets, moist wipe packets, and a flower pot.

A bag of toys, and a bag of corks.

2 bags of bags, and a plastic container.
My List of Things that went into the trash:

A big stack of homeschool papers
A big stack of used 4H books
A collection of egg cartons

This stuff filled a tall kitchen trash bag.

You can also read:

Clutter Busting Challenge: June Update #1

Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Bake Desserts: Vanilla Orange Cookies

1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons corn syrup

In a food processor, combine vanilla wafers with almonds and coconut; process until fine crumbs form. Add powdered sugar and process until blended. Or, pour wafer mixture into a bowl and add powdered sugar.

In microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate chips and butter. Cook on 50% power for 1 minute, remove, and stir. Continue microwaving for 30-second intervals on 50% power until mixture is smooth and blended. Stir into wafer mixture along with orange juice, marmalade, and corn syrup.

Form 1" balls. Roll into additional powdered sugar or coconut, then let stand until firm. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge: June Update # 3

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. -Henry Ford

I am finding this quote to be true especially with this Clutter Busting Challenge. I start looking for something to donate and the next thing I know I have a whole stack of things that we can let go of so that someone else may enjoy them. I am finding that some of the things were well used for a period of time but other things never really got used at all. It has not only cost us space in our home but money that didn't really need spent. If I had taken on the task of going through everything I own and deciding if I still want it at the beginning of May it might have seemed like a huge project but broken down into 7 things per day and it seemed doable. I still have my craft office to go through but its over half done and more stuff in the basement but every other room in my home has been completely gone through more that once looking for more things to donate.

The things I got rid of since my last update:

3 bowls, and an assortment of beverage container.

A collection of board games.

A pair of shoes, a candle, a cake server, a pamphlet, and 3 magnifying glasses.

A stack of magazines.

Magazines, storage container, sunglasses, and 2 placemats.

A stack of old calendars that I was saving for a craft.

Chip clips, and art supplies.

Craft supplies, 2 plastic containers, and a three hole punch.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

No Bake Desserts: 15-Minute Oreo Pie

1 package Oreos
½ stick butter (or margarine)
1 ½ cups cold milk
2 packages (4-serving size) vanilla-flavored instant pudding
1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a food processor crush 24 to 30 cookies. Mix with melted butter and pressed onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Beat milk and pudding together until thick (approximately 1 to 2 minutes). Carefully stir in whipped topping and blend well. Crush at least 12 Oreo cookies; fold into the pudding mixture, and the spoon onto crust.  Garnish with Oreos and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge: June Update # 2

Everything that I got rid of this week came from our basement or outdoor space. It is looking real nice and clutter free at our house. I am enjoying the empty space and the freedom of caring for so many things.

The things I got rid of since my last update:

Cereal that no one would eat.

Drink mixes that didn't get used.

Dog stuff that we didn't need.

kitchen and bathroom stuff that was not in use and was stored in the basement.

Outdoor cushions that I have replaced.

The next 5 pictures are stuff from the shed and garage.

Storage containers that we didn't need.

a old tent.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

No Bake Desserts: Chocolate Peanut Butter Creams

1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
40 vanilla wafers
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

In small bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar and mix well until blended. Make sandwiches with this filling and the vanilla wafers, using a scant 2 teaspoons filling for each sandwich cookie.

Place 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips in 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes; remove and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips until they are melted and mixture is smooth.
Dip the sandwich cookies, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Set on waxed paper and let cool until chocolate is firm.

Makes 20 cookies.

Note: I used White Chocolate with graham sticks and butter crackers.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge: June Update #1

The clutter busting challenge went so well in May that I am continuing  into June. Most everything I got rid of this week was from the Living Room. My stepdad has lived with us the last 3 years and was in our living room but after some room shifting he is out of our living room and into his own room. This caused me to clean and declutter the room.

The things I got rid of since my last update:

Dessert trays for my daughter's wedding that are no longer needed.

Popcorn seasoning packets that no one liked.

Living room decorations that I didn't want after moving things around.

Duplicate kid movies and all my music CD's that I have converted onto my computer.

More living room decorations.

And more living room decorations.

VHS from homeschooling that we don't need. This was the last of the VHS from our home.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

No Bake Desserts Series

I make a homemade dessert every week but with no air conditioning it can be hot to bake in the summer. I mostly try to avoid baking during the heat of the day but sometimes I am in the mood in the afternoon. I thought it might be a fun project to make different No Bake Dessert during the summer.

If you have a recipe to share you can email me at awelcomingheart(at)gmail(dot)com If I post your recipe I will give you credit for the submission. Be sure to leave your name and a blog link if you have one.

So let’s have some fun making a couple types of No Bake Desserts.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Planning

I have always made a plan for our summer for my family. I have seasonal notebooks that I use to make my plans but haven’t started working on my summer schedule yet. I need to work on that this week.

When my kids were younger I would include all the library events sometimes from 2 local libraries, VBS at more than one local church, and we participated in 4H when they got older. Those were our backbone and then I would fill in the rest with other activities. I never spend much for us to have a fun summer always low cost or free.

Now that my children are mostly adults 24, 21, 20, and 17 it frees up my days and I spend a lot of time reading, doing crafts, gardening, and walking or biking in the evening with my husband.  We like to visit local State Parks, Farmers Markets, and Flea Markets. I usually work on organizing projects such as the shed, garage, and basement that I don’t get to do during the cold months. It has been an adjustment to fill my summer without kid centered activities. I have a granddaughter that is 1 yr so I am sure I will be adding a few things back in as she grows up. We have family dinner every Sunday year round but I also plan events that my kids and their significant others enjoy doing with us during the summer at least once-twice a month.
My youngest son does Volleyball camp, Ultimate Mondays, and Youth Group, and Fair week so I still have stuff to do with him. I visit my girls at least once per week to help them with stuff, visit, or go someplace so I will see were the summer leads us. I became a Certified Yoga instructor in April so I will be teaching a class on Wednesday’s this summer to both my daughter’s friends. In the evenings I will continue with the yoga class I attend on Monday’s, and Zumba on Tuesday’s/ Thursday’s.
I am finding these links helpful:

Monday, June 3, 2013

How I Declutter

I'm a big fan of decluttering even if I have the space to store something there is no reason to hang onto anything I don’t need, use, want, or love. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and if I’m really honest, there have only been one or two times I’ve ever regretted a purge.

I’m always up for a good opportunity to declutter which is why I am always joining in on organizing and declutter challenges. I’ve noticed that every Spring and Fall, I have an extra urge to declutter. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly weeding through the shed, garage, basement, bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen/dining room, living room, and laundry room as I have done the Clutter Busting Challenge to get rid of 7 things per day in May. It sure feels good to have created a little more space in our home. We usually give our unwanted stuff to a local donation center but sometimes to family.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for exactly what you should and should not purge. So I ask myself:  Is this something we LOVE? or is this something we USE? Or have a plan to use in the very near future. If I can’t answer yes to any of those questions, that’s a pretty good indication that I can purge a particular item.

There are also a few other ways I make my purging decisions:

1. I assess how easy the item would be to replace. If it’s relatively inexpensive and readily available, my decision will be a bit easier than if it’s a pricey heirloom or irreplaceable antique. However, I’m still completely fine with purging those “irreplaceable” items if I honestly don’t need, want, use, or love them.

2. I try to come up with any other ways I could use an item. I’m frugal, so I don’t like getting rid of something I could re-purpose for another use. Sometimes just a fresh coat of paint or a little creativity will save me a trip to the donation drop-off and a trip to the store. However (and this is a BIG HOWEVER) I absolutely refuse to keep something because I “might be able to come up with a use later on”. If I don’t have a use for it in the near future, and if I can’t think of any creative way to use it, I’m going to “lose it”!

3. I realistically evaluate how much space the item consumes. Large bulky items have less chance to survive around our home because I’m not willing to “waste” storage space on stuff we may never use. However, I may hold onto smaller items if I have a convenient storage space for them and if I can honestly see myself using the items.

 4. I ask my husband’s opinion. Usually he’s also in favor of purging, but there have been times when he wants to hold onto an item for a specific purpose I didn’t realize. So before I make any major purges, I usually let him peruse through my piles. This system has worked well for us, however if your spouse or other family members tend to keep everything, I might not be as eager to let them look through my piles.

 That’s it — pretty simple, but unfortunately not very “black and white”.

Yes, there’s a small chance I may regret purging a specific item, and have a twinge of guilt as I give the items away… but I always try to remind myself that someone else will be thrilled to find my cast-offs and I will enjoy all my extra space. I hope this “Love It, Use It, or Lose It” approach will help you to simplify the decision-making process for your next declutter session.

 You can also read:

Clutter Busting Challenge
Clutter Busting Challenge: Update #1
Clutter Busting Challenge: Update #2
Clutter Busting Challenge: Update #3
Clutter Busting Challenge: Update #4 Final
Keeping Clutter at Bay

Submitted to: Money Saving Mom