Friday, March 31, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge March 2017

I'm purging 31 items this month. I forgot to take pictures of 18 of the items that left.

Our oldest son and his fiance moved out this past weekend. They left with everything in their bedroom, their stuff in the family room, barn and basement. We gave them 5 pieces of furniture from the family room including an 8 ft. folding table, 2 chairs, a small bookshelf, the couch, and a few other smaller household items.

My purge pile:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Start of Our Patio

Woohoo! My husband and I got 2 truckloads of free brick from a local FB Yard Sale group for free. We spent 2 evening this week loading the bricks and bring them home to unload. One of the days we loaded bricks in the rain. It took about an hour each night to load and a half hour to unload because our boys helped unload. We plan to build a patio in the backyard. The patio may not be built until next summer but at least we got a huge start and didn't have to purchase the bricks.

 Loading free bricks in the rain from a local FB Yard Sale group member's home.

At home our first load of free bricks.

Our second load of bricks before we start unloading.

Our new brick pile for our future patio.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 2017 Reading List

Black Hills Blessing Collection (Romancing America) by Mary Connealy
Buffalo Gal
The Clueless Cowboy
The Bossy Bridegroom

Massachusetts Brides by Lisa Harris
Michaela's Choice (read August 2016)
Rebecca's Heart
Adam's Bride

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tater Tot Casserole

1 ½ lbs. ground beef

2 cans mixed vegetable, drained, or 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1 (10 ½ oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 c. milk

1 (32 oz.) pkg. frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 350. Cook and drain ground beef; place in bottom of 9X13 glass dish. Spread mixed vegetables over beef. Mix soup and milk; spread over vegetables. Top with one layer of tater tots. Bake 45 min. Serves 7-8.

Friday, March 17, 2017

My 6 Year Decluttering Journey

This past January marks 6 years of my project of purging unneeded possessions from my home in a larger volume. We’ve lived in our home 15 yrs. and raised/homeschooled 4 children. Our home was very organized and didn’t look cluttered. We still had way too much stuff. I’ve completely redecorated over these years, painted, and redid wood flooring too. I’ve completed many projects around the house. The stuff that left wasn’t from rebuying and reaccumulating stuff. I personally went on a spending/buying freeze for those years and bought less than 10 things each year over the 6 yrs. Once you decide to embark on the task to declutter it becomes a change of mindset and you use whatever program helps you to move along in your journey.

I don’t like the idea of cutting down any program/book that helps people get uncluttered or get their lives together. Every program may not be for you, but that doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t benefit or that people can’t take a few ideas or things of value to use for themselves. I started with purging 7 things per day for multiple months, moved onto multiple rounds of 40 bags in 40 days for a couple years, played the minimalist game for 2 years, and purged 2015 items in 2015 and 2016 items in 2016. My goal this year is to purge 365 things by the end of the year. I don't have as much stuff anymore, 365 items feels like it will be a challenge for me at this point in my rational minimalist journey.

I’m on my second round of KonMari which I started last July. I wasn’t sure if KonMari could help this far into my journey but I decided to give it a try anyway. I’m using the program to refine/advance my categories. I’ve discarded about 900 things since I started KonMari and the majorities of items were not while doing a specific category. I got uncluttered with my own persistence and by motivating myself over the 6 yrs. I used bits and pieces of organizing advice and any program that I thought would move me onto my next step of decluttering. The different programs and challenges have helped kept me motivated. I don’t think one program would have worked for me. The Life Changing Magic has happened for me, but it wasn’t KonMari that got me there. I’m thankful for all the organizing/purging/uncluttering authors/programs that have benefited my journey. I’m thankful to God for laying this project on my heart. And most of all I'm proud of myself because I did the work.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chicken and Dumplings

1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed, or more as needed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 (16 ounce) package baby carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
 salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 1/4 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk

1. Combine chicken broth, chicken breast cubes, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Mix baking mix and milk in a bowl until dough is sticky; drop golf ball-sized pieces of dough into the soup. Cover pot and cook until dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes.