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1.13.2017

My Sunday Do What I Want Day


I have no days anymore. Well I shouldn't totally say that. Because sometimes, every once in a while a Friday feels like a Friday or a Monday feels like a Monday. Oye.

But as a mom and a stay at home mom, my everyday is throwing in the laundry, feeding the chickens, frying the eggs, kissing the toe-head, and drinking the coffee. I find extraordinary in the ordinary and even joy in the mundane most days. But sometimes, sometimes I get in a rut. We all do that in every season, in every occupation, in every situation. I think the culture likes to pin mundane on the SAHM lifestyle but I know the truth. We all deal with it.

During the week I work hard. I don't say this to gloat or to gain accolades but I do. This life is also my job. It is my contribution to our family and so I work hard, keep moving, and put my heart into it. But I learned about 2 years ago that I needed a weekend of sorts too. Seeing Saturday as any other ole' day wasn't working. Talk about a rut.

So on the weekend I work just as hard at taking it easy. Sure, the chickens still need fed, I certainly need to kiss the toe-head, and don't forget the coffee. However, things like laundry and vacuuming wait. It's part of why I work hard around here during the week. I keep up so I don't have to play catch up. It works for me and for us. I feel like I actually get a weekend and I generally feel rested and refreshed come Monday.

A couple weeks ago I had a few too many "meeting of the minds" with my two year old. It was just a thing with her, a thing with me, so we tussled a bit. The weekend came around and I lamented to my sweet husband on the Friday night. "I don't want you to work this weekend. You are leaving me alone with her." Like the two year old was the plague or a scary monster. Or...just a two year old? Yeah, that. Lets face it, my attitude hadn't been peachy by Friday either. He chuckled. Rubbed my back and said "I trust you." Kind words from a man who trusts me implicitly.

We survived Saturday. With my parents help. Come Sunday I woke up and refused to put the day before, heck the week before, on repeat. I didn't just want to survive. I wanted to thrive that day. So I declared it My Sunday Do What I Want Day.

Our girl loves to bake. So when her eyes fluttered open for the day I said "Wanna make muffins with me?" Instantly, the day was off to a great start. While that baked she dried the dishes I washed and she sang songs. We enjoyed the muffins. We painted pictures. We had a small easy lunch that required no dishes to wash. Outside was nice enough to enjoy some sunshine so we did. I didn't want to fight about nap time-it'd been a point of contention that week-so we didn't. We watched a freakin' movie instead. A definite treat for both of us. I made chili for supper-hello easiest meal on the planet. When daddy came home, we were in a good space. I told him it was Do What I Want Day. He was all for it. We enjoyed a quiet evening together.

So while I always try to take it easy on the weekend, that Sunday in particular I worked extra hard at taking it extra easy. We did what we wanted, when we wanted, and it was great.

The next morning was the start of a new week. It was time to throw the laundry in again. It was time to vacuum. I think I even cleaned the bathroom. But that was ok. I didn't need to feel cheated of my weekend. I didn't need to feel swallowed up by the mundane. No, I felt refreshed because of my Sunday Do What I Want Day.

We needed it. My girl. Myself. Heck even Daddy needed to come home to see his girls at peace and fulfilled by a day well spent.

Do What I Want Day. You should try it. You deserve it.

Blessings!

1.12.2017

Houston We Have A :: Closet



A few weeks ago we were playing a game of Apples to Apples with friends. My turn came around and the word was "Happiness" someone had laid the card "power tools.". My response was "Well I'm happy when the power tools are out because that means another project around the house is done." 

My husband laid that card. 

When we moved in we hadn't touched our bedroom closet. It was small, tight, and not well organized. My mom brought a large clothing rack to our house. We put it against a wall, hung our clothes on it and hung our coats in the tiny closet. We have been living that way since May. And I was done. It was time. 

Jerrel was on the case. 

The glory of having high ceilings is the possibility of a double rod scenario. The previous owner left a large dowel rod behind-large enough for a closet rod and it was long enough to make our double hanging side functional. Jerrel made the brackets for the rod and lookie there! 


Top rod-Jerrel 


Bottom Rod-ME! It all fit wonderfully. 

I went through a major de-cluttering mood and got rid of SO many clothes. Clothes that I can't wear because I'm pregnant. Clothes I can't wear because I'll be postpartum. Clothes I can't wear because I'll be nursing for the next two years. Clothes I haven't worn since 2009. Seriously. And now?

Now I'm pretty sure Jerrel has more clothes than me! 


I really apologize for this awful picture. But this is our long hanging storage. My dresses and his/her coats. We left this side alone besides a coat of paint.


The closet had a light at one time but didn't anymore. So Jerrel put in a new centered light and switch. Pay off of hanging around electricians!  I have a vintage light that needs rewired and it will look nice and finished. Also notice those high shelves? I am not using them so efficiently yet. I don't want to have to get a stool to reach things. 

Not that I'm lazy. I'm just more of the mindset that if I have THAT much stuff then maybe I have TOO MUCH stuff. But the possibilities are there, if one needs them. 

The next problem was our shoe storage. I wanted it up, off the floor, out of the way. So my nifty husband got to work. 


First, you need some shelves that your wife wouldn't let you put in the dumpster. You called her a hoarder. Now? Now, she's a genius and money saving goddess. 

I'd been using them to spray paint, obviously. I wanted them for open shelving in the laundry room or kitchen. I decided I could spare five if he was thrifty with them. He was. 


He cut off the front trim. 


Cut the shelves to the correct length and width and then used the "waste" to make the end pieces. He then screwed that all together. 


Then brought that trim piece back for, in his own words a "Nice finished detail." and functional piece to hold the shoes.


A quick double coat of paint and the shoe storage was complete! Screwed into the walls at the studs, then I had functional, vertical, and kinda pretty storage solutions! 

And again. Everything fit! 


We feel like we have a little bit of our life back honestly. Some organization, some functionality, and we feel like we live in the room now, not that we are just visiting. It's small but it's mighty!

I can decorate the rest of the room now. We had so much of the supplies so we we are in at only around $30 for our closet redo. Use whatcha got people!

What we did,
Patched big cracks
Wired and installed lighting and switch
Painted
Hung new rods
Made and painted shoe storage.

Whew. I do love power tools. They do in fact bring me organization and happiness.

Blessings!

1.09.2017

New Year


 I've made a tradition of writing a post about the New Year and the past year for the last few years.

Did you catch all that?

At this time last year we were getting ready to close on our house. Not sure if the closing date was actually going to stick this time. Hoping it would, we were ready to get to work. It did and we promptly got to work. Four months later we were moving in and from there I can tell you that the year got uninteresting. At least that's how I felt. I was drained. I lacked inspiration. I was overwhelmed. Then summer came, and I was hot, unhappy and pregnant.

Yes, you read that right. So I was sick, hot, tired, and unhappy. I stopped writing. I stopped documenting, for I felt I had nothing of significance to say or share. I was just blank. Then that 2nd trimester hit and I felt a little better. Just hot. Now here we are at week 32 and I feel good, just a little back aching. Today I looked through the photos I took last year I became sad because I was good, I was on a roll, we were well documented-which is important to me-and then I stopped. So while the past year again has been fantastically blessed with big changes and happy developments it's also been trying. But that's when growth comes.

"For that you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." 
James 1: 3-4. 

That's one of my birth affirmations but it fits my year so wonderfully as well. Last week I had an itch I couldn't scratch. And no it's not because I'm approaching "Large and In Charge" status. I got out of bed at 11:38 pm. Sat down with the ole MacBook and finished a blog post I started in September. Then I pushed publish. It was 1:00 am when I lumbered back to bed and as I felt my way there in the dark, a little voice inside me said "There, didn't that feel good?" And it did. Then the next day I got out my camera and photographed a project we have been working on. Then I fought with my toddler about nap time. Then I wrote this post. And the world seemed back on it's axis.

I'm working really hard on simplifying our life because I'm tired of feeling heavy. I'm trying to do more of the things I love, like reading, or sitting down to a picture with my girl. I'm trying to learn new things and turn more things over to the Lord. I'm working on not getting overwhelmed by the undone but satisfied in the finished.

That's my New Year post for 2017. That's where I'm at right now. And now I need more chocolate. Because that's been something that's helped me "grow"...in more ways than one. Here's to 2017, to fullness, to simplicity, to letting my Faith grow.

Blessings!

1.06.2017

Elderberry Syrup:: My favorite Home Remedy

September is generally my month for making sure my natural medicine cabinet is well stocked. It just seems to go along with the rhythm of the seasons at our house. But naturally I'm just now, here in January getting around to telling you about my love affair with Elderberry.

I remember when I first discovered Elderberry. I was in college. Knee deep in homework and a head cold. My interest in holistic health had just started so when I came down with a bug I saught out natural relief. I ran across some awesome information about Elderberry. Not having the means to make my own syrup I ran to the most natural grocer I knew, found and paid through the nose for a bottle of syrup. And guess what. It helped. 

I've continued to use this tried and true immune booster for years now. While I have yet to get my own Elderberry bushes-they are on my long list of plants for the Urban Farm I buy the dried berries on Amazon, the raw honey from local beekeepers, and make the syrup every few weeks because we go through it that fast! 

Urban Farm note: I have added blackberry bushes to the backyard. But they didn't look so good in the Fall. So I'm praying they make it through the Winter. Blackberry jam is the stuff dreams are made of. But I digress.



Over the past few batches my own recipe and method has went something like this. 

2/3 cup dried Elderberries
3 1/2 cups of water
2 1/2 TBS fresh ginger 
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp whole cloves 
3/4 cup honey 

Pour water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in medium sauce pan. bring to a boil and then reduce for a simmer for about 1 hr. You want liquid to reduce by about half. Remove from heat and strain liquid into a glass bowl. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Then add honey and mix together. Store in glass jar or bottle and store in fridge. 

Should last several months
Wait to add honey until liquid is cool to protect medicinal properties! 

Elderberry is incredibly immune boosting, because it is high in Vitamin C, then you add all the medicinal properties of raw honey, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and bam! It's like a super food. Or super syrup. Last year I started giving our girl a dose of Elderberry everyday with supper and we have continued this practice this year. Prevention is key and I like to have a strong line of defense in place.

When we do feel under the weather we up the dose. Two or three times a day. And you know you are doing something right when your two year old asks for her "Ederberry Syrup". Sure thing baby. All day everyday.

Sometimes I get creative and make gummy snacks for her but at it's simplest form Elderberry Syrup tastes delicious on pancakes and waffles. Next batch is going to get made into a few popsicles for a new snack time treat. I've also read that it makes a fantastic jelly...which would be very handy when trying to give a dose to a squirrely little girl.

I've seen and felt this remedy stop bugs in the their tracks and offer quick recovery times. Along with our healthy homemade diet, my other favorite home remedies, including essential oils, cod liver oil, garlic, activated charcoal, Redmond Clay, colloidal silver, and of course common sense, we have remained generally healthy and happy through many a cold and flu season.

Want to know more about my holistic medicine cabinet? Check out my Healthy at Home Pinterest board. I ONLY pin things I've used or am actually going to try!

Hooray for the things God made!

Blessings!