Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge December 2014 Part 2

This month I have purged 255 items from my home. I thought I'd take a break but I keep finding things that I want to dispose of. I plan to go lower in the New Year with my possessions.

I am enjoying having my stuff pared down and the feeling of frugal luxury that my home has. I have more free time to enjoy my hobbies with less stuff to care for. I have the minimum of beauty products, books, and craft supplies to keep me happy.

My purge pile this week:

You may be interested in:
Clutter Busting Challenge December 2014 Part 1

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 2014 Reading List

Love Finds You Series:
On Christmas Morning Collection
Deck the Halls by Debbie Mayne
'Tis the Season by Trish Perry

Monday, December 15, 2014

Simple & Frugal Christmas

I like to keep Christmas Simple and frugal. We spend a lot of time at home doing things as a family like watching Christmas movies, making gingerbread houses, making token gifts, and baking cookies. I prefer to give small token gift like baked cookies, homemade candy, or a small crafts during the month of December to people. I enjoy many Frugal Luxuries.

We have spend a lot of time volunteering as a family but after burning ourselves out over several years volunteering over 40 hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas we decided to cut back. 

I’m sharing a few links to previous posts I have written about Thanksgiving and Christmas. You will see a common theme in my posts "Do the holidays-NOT BUY the holidays!"

You may be interested my label Celebrating the Seasons were all my holiday post are located.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge December 2014 Part 1

I was suppose to be taking a break from purging this month. It seems that I just can't stop myself. LOL Once you make it a habit it's ingrained into you. This is everything I've collected since the 1st of the month. I don't count normal trash. I do count items when I do a big food purge of things that have been around awhile. I'm purging 150 items so far this month.

My purge pile this week:

Bra, books, and food.

My step-dad's clothes.

Grocery bags and gloves.

Frozen Food.


More frozen food.


Food and miscellaneous. I bought 2 banana boxes for $10 each at the Ding-N- Dents Grocery Outlet. They sell food that is close to expiration. The $10 boxes are their last attempt to sell.  I've bought a few over the years but it had been over a year since I had bought them. These are the things that I didn't want.

DVD cases.

Christmas stuff.

Shower stuff.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Baking for the Holidays

I love to bake. I try to be realistic with how much I can do. I like to give cookie plates to family and friends. There are a lot of people who don't bake and appreciate homemade cookies. I make candies too. I'm the first in 3 generations to bake or be into homemaking. My grandmother, mother, and neither sisters bake desserts of any kind. They really never did any holiday fun or traditions accept Christmas dinner and gifts. I'm not sure where it comes from but I'm the creative one in the family.  I prefer homemade rather than buying packaged.

It has saved us a good deal of money over the years to make our meals and dessert homemade. There were years raising our kids that our holiday budget was very small. If I hadn't been creative we would have done without many extras. I learned to make our fun all year, along with at the holidays instead of spending it. I'm thankful!

We usually premake cookie dough in October, and bake some each week starting in the middle of November. My young adult children all have fond memories of making cookies, candies, and other holiday desserts. We do make less since we are all watching our weight. Baking is just one of the frugal fun things we enjoy doing together.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Give This Christmas Away

Our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13

Once again this Christmas season at the very center of our celebrating we are opening our hearts to worship and giving outside of ourselves. 

We are baking. We are cooking. We are buying. We are giving. We are wrapping. We are delivering. But we are doing these things for other people. We are serving. What a blessing it is to focus our time and energy on others.

People are always more important than things. Sounds simple. Simple to say. Simple to repeat. Not so simple to live out...especially in a season that tends to focus on me-me-me and not Him-Him-Him.
I challenge you to simplify - even here at the holidays. What this means will look different for each family, but as Christmas draws close, I urge you to make this season less about things. Make it less about you. Make it less about your kids (gasp!). Make it more about Him. Make it more about others. Be intentional about setting aside time for your family to worship together whether at church or around your tree.  Immerse yourselves in numerous opportunities to give of your time, talent, and treasures. I believe that approaching the holidays this way is the key to a truly Merry Christmas.

"Give This Christmas Away" by Matthew West

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 2014 Reading List

Hope Springs Series by Lynne Hinton
Friendship Cake 
Hope Springs
Forever Friends
Christmas Cake
Wedding Cake 

A Quaker Christmas Collection
A Crossroads of Love by Lauralee Bliss
Simple Gifts by Ramona Cecil
Pirate of My Heart by Rachael Phillips
Equally Yoked by Claire Sanders

Friday, November 28, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge November 2014 Part 4

I've purged 100 items this month. I really didn't think I'd make it to that many items. My purging the homeschool books was what helped get to that total.

My purge pile this week:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings!

I baked extra cookies for Thanksgiving to give away. I removed the pie crust I bought from the tins pans into glass baking dishes. I made a tag with yarn, card stock, and thrifted wallpaper. I sent the cookie tins home with my daughter Brittany to give to people at work. I hope this small token of thought blesses and touch's their hearts with a smile of peace.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge November 2014 Part 3

I had planned to take some time off the week of Thanksgiving until the New Year from actively purging. It seems like it has naturally happened this month without my planning. My focus has been directed towards my step-dad's health for the past 6 weeks with doctors visits 2-3 days per week. His age and Alzheimer's makes a doctors visit into an all day affair. I did several challenges on my blog last month but this month has slowed down. I'm keeping up with my homemaking and need time to focus on the Holiday's. I figure that since its a habit I'll still end up purging things. I have some Christmas decorations that I'm planning to offer to my girls.

I've decided to go ahead and stop actively seeking to let stuff go until January. I'm real close to being finished. I'm thinking a break will either give me fresh eyes to purge more or confirm that I'm finished with my daily chore of decluttering and I can move on to maintenance.

My purge pile this week:

Memo board

Homeschool books and supplies.

Homeschool book.

Homeschool books and supplies.

Homeschool books.

Homeschool books and supplies.

Homeschool books.

You may be interested in:
Clutter Busting Challenge November 2014 Part 1
Clutter Busting Challenge November 2014 Part 2

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plans for Thanksgiving Week

I serve 10-15 people every Holiday. We will have all the kids home for Thanksgiving. I need to make the menu and shopping list for this weekend. I have a ritual for the Holidays and adjust it based on the holiday and the days leading up. I'll follow the same basic routine for Christmas week with additional stuff added throughout the month. 

Thanksgiving week: 

I do a deep clean in the living room, kitchen/dining, and bathroom. I clean the fridge and make sure leftovers get eaten before Wednesday. I make candy and fill the candy dishes.

I have my kids clean up their computer areas and I deep clean the family room. I bake cookies and place on serving trays. I make desserts and token gifts.

I bring in the extra table and chairs from the garage, wash the tablecloths, set the extra table in family room. I set up the side counter for desserts, set the bunch bowl and serving utensils on the kitchen counter. I make the side dishes and appetizers.

I set the kitchen table. I make the main meat and heat sides. Set up the food on the kitchen counters and appetizers on the table. I clean up the kitchen after dinner and wash dishes.

We relax, hangout in our pajamas, eat thanksgiving leftovers, listen to Christmas music, and watch movies. 

I return the extra table and chairs from the garage. I wash any extra dishes and return serving pieces to storage. I pick up the living room and family room.

Monday, November 17, 2014


The bathtub/shower.

The glass door medicine cabinet is for hair brush, toothpaste, and tooth brush, deodorant, and perfume. Its mostly empty except my step-dad's products. The kids keep their toiletries in their bedrooms, my husband keeps his in his office, and I have mine in my closet. My stepdad has Alzheimer's and will use our products if we keep them in the bathroom.

I've had the plant for several years and the candle a couple months.

The dresser for towels, toilet paper, and bathroom supplies.

Our medicine cabinet.

The bathtub and the towel bar behind the door.

The training potty seat and step stool for my granddaughter.

Bathroom scales.