homemaking


I am 38; is that when your mid-life crisis begins? 

Ok, actually I haven’t done anything drastic, but I have noticed a change in my thinking lately.  My oldest is going to be 13 this year.  My hubby turns 40.  We will celebrate our 15th year wedding anniversary. 

As my children grow, as well as other events, I start to realize just how important it is to enjoy the “Season of Life” I am in.  Kids coming over to play, cooking meals for a family, even being busy.  I say that not to encourage busyness but to enjoy being able to go around like crazy and burning a few calories while doing so. 

If this is 38, who knows what I am going to be doing in the next few years as the Seasons begin to change.

What season of life are you in?  Are you enjoying it?

Have a “Seasoned” Day!

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As we recently painted our house I am reminded, that although I like to do things well, I am hardly a Martha (S).  I am a Real World Martha and here’s why:

(Martha) Pick best paint                                         

(RWM) Pick paint you can afford

(Martha) Wash down all walls of bird poop and dirt.                              

 (RWM) Get the big chunks off and try to paint over the rest.

(Martha) Caulk all areas for a perfect finish.            

(RWM) “Ooops, ran out of caulk.  Will have to add more paint in those places.”

(Martha) Use Primer                                                

(RWM) “What’s Primer?”

(Martha) Have proper tools on hand.                                    

 (RWM)” Has anyone seen the small paintbrush I was using?”

(Martha) Replace all parts that are dented, worn, and have old paint that can’t be removed.    

 (RWM) Is anyone really going to notice?

Well those are just some of the difference I am sure.  I do know that I am happy and it looks pretty decent. 

P.S. – That’s not our house in the pic above.  It’s just a pic that would fit in that space 🙂 

Have a “Real World Martha” Day!

 

 

But I don’t think she’s very simple.  She is a respected blogger, an accomplished author, speaker, crafter, a wife, and a Mom.  And I am sure that’s just the tip of the iceburg.  I don’t remember how I found her blog but have loved going there for great info, mom journal entries, and biblical posts (and to look at her cute charm braclet..I LOVE charm braclets!).

Since today is my actual birthday I couldn’t be happier than to introduce her, if you don’t already know her.  You can find her blog below and a bio from her hubby.  Isn’t that great?  Proverbs 31!

http://thesimplewife.typepad.com/the_simple_wife/

Biography

Joanne’s Biography,
by her husband Toben Heim

When it comes to Joanne I am biased. After all, we have spent literally half of our lives together. Having met and dated in high school and married during our junior year of college, we have spent a lot of time together and I have known Joanne through a lot of different seasons and circumstances of life.

Some of those seasons include:

Joanne as a beautiful, smart, hard-working high school student who took a lot of AP classes and held down a part-time job at a Christian bookstore after school.

Joanne as a college student, working on two majors, helping to pay her tuition by working as a graphic designer.

Joanne as a publicist and copywriter for a publishing company, and later becoming an editor and author of a number of really good books (including her latest, Living Simply).

Joanne as a young mom, looking after two little ones and still making the time to keep a home that was always open to anyone needing a good friend and a good meal.

But this season is the best—Joanne is living out the fullness of her gifting. She is a Girl Scout leader, a Bible study leader, and a student of Scripture. She continues to develop as a writer and is an avid blogger. She is a crafty girl, spending hours in her “mad workshop” sewing and knitting and making all sorts of cool things. She is a great cook and gracious hostess.

But more than what she does, there is who she is: a great friend to her friends, a loving daughter to her parents, a doting aunt to her niece and nephew, a caring and thoughtful sister, a devoted and committed mother, and a loving and supportive wife. Of course if you already know Joanne, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Interests

Reading, knitting, writing, decorating, collecting antique treasures, ballet

Now you want to get one of her books don’t you?  She is going to give away her book Living Simply and one of her small homemade Zippy’s.

15843132                              

and here is a picture of her small sippy purses:

100_3774

Here’s how to win:

1) Answer the question below in my comments.  One entry is all I need.  You DO NOT need to comment everyday to be eligible…just once. 

2) POST about my contest on your blog (but not your answer to my question-I am looking for links to my contest for others to participate too).  I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site. 

3) That’s it!!!!  Just wait to see if you are a winner of a week’s bounty of prizes.  Isn’t the EASY????

 Question for Week 3 – Since this is my Birthday week tell me something that you have done on someone else’s birthday that was really special.  Did you make a cake when you usually buy one?  Or what about making a scrapbook for 6 months?

Have a “Simple” Day!

Do you wanna participate in my month long contest (with weekly drawings)?  Of course you do.  Here are the rules:

1) Answer the weekly question in my comments that week.  One entry is all I need.

2) POST about my contest on your blog.  I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site. 

3) That’s it!!!!  Just wait to see if you are a winner.

Today will be a DOUBLE FEATURE –

BETH MARIE 10 @ ETSY

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6062303

Hi to all,
My name is Beth, I’m 24 years old. I’ve been married to the love of my life and highschool sweetheart, Jeremy, for 4 years (been together 6 years). We have a beautiful daughter, who is almost 2 years old. She sure is handful sometimes but we love her so much!

I started sewing when my fiance (husband now) went to college in Wyoming for a year. I spent everyday with my grandma who taught me how to sew. She helped me make my first quilt for Jeremy and I in a week! Yeap a week, and since then i’ve been sewing like a crazy lady. I have made 6 king size quilts for me, i havn’t been able to part with the big projects i make. I also have made many, many purses/bags, potholders, placemats, table runners, and small quilts and wall hangings.

I started to scrapbook after Jeremy and I had our daughter. I have 4 12X12 scrapbooks of just her already! I fell in love with this hobby. It has turned into much more than just scrapbooking, i make cards, calanders, and much more. In the beginning of June 08′ i made 200 programs for my Brother-in-laws wedding, boy was that a task but i loved doing them.

So I guess you could say that i am very creative and love my two hobbies and someday i hope to have many more hobbies.

Beth will be offering up a set of gift tags.  Just in time for the holidays.  Won’t your packages look great?

CHRISTMAS gift tags/favor tags  handstamped  snowman and MORE set of 16

The other feature today is from ZADYBALL. http://www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=5536688

What is a ZADYBALL you ask?  I am glad you asked.

Here is one right now :   Hoots the Owl - ZadyBall(TM)

That is “Hoots” and he is a best seller with ZADYBALL.

Description
Meet Hoots. He’s looking for a good home. He’s a bit of a night owl, but he’s ready to play any time! Squeeze his adorable face, and he’ll squeak!

Make Zadyball™ your baby’s first toy! Zadyball™ is easy to grab and hold, soft to cuddle, and makes the perfect lovey!
Each Zadyball™ is made with 100% cotton, super soft flannel and stuffed with high loft poly-fil. A Zadyball™ is about 7 inches in diameter with 16 knotted strings, each about 1/2 inch wide and 5 inches long.
***100% MACHINE WASHABLE***

———————
What is a Zadyball™?
———————
A Zadyball™ is designed first of all with babies in mind. They are soft to hold and cuddle, and have lots of strings to grab and rub.
Lots of babies have a “lovey” and many times the item they pick has something for them to rub – whether it’s the corner of a blanket or the nose on a teddy bear. The knotted ends of the strings are great to fulfill baby’s need for something to rub!

Why Babies love them:
1. Easy to grab and hold on to from a very young age
2. Good for teething
3. Soft to cuddle
4. Knotted ends are very soothing to rub
5. Makes a great lovey

Why Toddlers love them:
1. Once a lovey, always a lovey
2. Soft to cuddle (everyone loves soft things!)
3. Easy to throw and catch, especially when you are just learning how

Why Mommies love them:
1. Babies love them and we love our babies!
2. Easy to clean, just throw in the wash!
3. Safe!
4. Soft enough that you don’t have to worry about things breaking or anyone getting hurt when it is thrown around

Here is HOOTS MAKER BIO

 
This is my second shop. View my feedback at alaynacreations.etsy.com

I am a stay-at-home mother of two wonderful children, ages 2 and 4.

When my son was about 6 months old, he had a toy giraffe with a knotted string for a tail. He loved playing with the string, and would rub it to help him fall asleep.

He loved it so much, that I thought it would be great to create something for him that had lots of strings for him to play with. So, that is how the Zadyball was born — out of love for my son.

I hope that you and your family will enjoy Zadyball as much as we have. My four-year-old son still won’t sleep without his!

Learn more about me, my family and everything else at http://alaynacreations.blogspot.com

Now be sure to visit these fine shops and don’t forget to answer the question and post about the contest on your blog/site.  Stay tuned tomorrow for another wonderful “made with love” (not China) product!

 

Question for Week 2 – Has you done a random act of kindness in the last year or has someone done one for you?  Please share about it in the comments and don’t forget to link the contest on your blog.

Have a “Zady” Day!

…Crunchy Clean.  I am very concerned about the chemicals we use in our home.  My mother died of cancer and just breathing some of the cleaners that are on the market just makes me feel like a disease is coming on.  And read some of the warning labels on most …. YIKES!!!!  Well I was really impressed with this next ETSY Shop.  So Let’s learn more shall we?  And don’t forget to enter the contest!

Bio
I am a wife and new mom of a baby girl. I started making our cleaning products over a year ago in an effort to cut down on our exposure to chemicals and be friendlier to the earth. As my zeal for living a green life has increased with new motherhood, I have worked on my recipes and made them perfect!

Crunchy Clean Homemade Green Detergents

CrunchyClean’s Shop Announcement
Crunchy: Adjective. Used to describe persons who have ALTERED OR ADJUSTED their lifestyle for ENVIRONMENTAL REASONS.
<Urban Dictionary>NEW WEBSITE at http://www.CrunchyClean.com – check it out – if something is out of stock here, its probably available there!Shipping in 5-7 days! Thanks for your patience!CrunchyClean got a MAKEOVER 🙂 Check out:
http://www.Urbanature.etsy.com/ for a makeover for your store!

Introducing a homemade clothes detergent!
* All natural ingredients
* Phosphate-free
* Non-toxic
* PLANET FRIENDLY!
* Gray Water Safe

This detergent works great in any temperature wash.
It is GREAT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN and BABY SKIN (we have both and its perfect!)
It can be used to pretreat stains in paste form.

Use 1 Tablespoon for regular sized/soiled load – Also great for high efficiency washer – use 1/2 amount. Its a non-sudsing formula, so it works great for any washing machine!

Available in customized scents or unscented (can combine as well)- available are (please specify scent in message box when purchasing):

100% Essential Oils
-Unscented
-Lavender Grapefruit
-Camphor
-Lavender
-Chamomile
-Orange
-Peppermint
-Sage
-Vanilla
-Vanilla Lavender
-Lavender Chamomile
-Grapefruit
-Lemongrass Orange
-Lemongrass
-Lemon
These scents will be very light and airy.

Fragrance Oils
-Monkey Farts – (delicious smell – bananas and juicy grapefruit, middle notes of kiwi, juicy bubblegum, and strawberries; and a hint of vanilla)
-Apple Orchard
-Apple Vanilla
-Baby Bee (Great for baby laundry- smells like Burts Bees – peaches, mandarin oranges, coconut pulp, bergamot, grapefruit, tropical guava, and tangy lemons)
-Oatmeal Milk-n-Honey
-Mango Papaya
-Pink Sugar
-Clean Crisp Air
-Clean Breeze
-Crisp & Candied (orange peels, apples, and lemons; followed by middle notes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg; and well-rounded with base notes of cinnamon bark and woods)
-Banan-za
-Cafe Mocha
-Bergamot & Tarragon Leaves (tarragon leaves, grapefruit, and lime; followed by middle notes of bergamot and jasmin; well rounded with base notes of oakmoss and bamboo)
-Buttercream Cupcake
-Nag Champa (patchouli, sandalwood, and dragon’s blood work together to create this wonderful blend)
-Coconut Cabana (cocoa butter and tropical fruits)
-Oatmeal Milk N Honey
-Cinnamon Sticks
-Caribbean (coconut, fresh sliced pineapple, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)
-Gingered Bergamot
-Pumpkin Apple Butter
-Grapefruit Mango
-April Clean (Similar to Downy April Fresh – clean, flowery, powder smell)
-Vanilla Insanity (French vanilla and whipped cream butter; followed by middle notes of cotton candy, chestnuts, and maple sugar with vanilla bean scent)

Please put the scent that you want in the “message to seller” box when you check out.

PLEASE NOTE: I have seen many other detergents claim to be “cloth diaper safe”, but they are not if they contain soap or enzymes (and borax has been said to ruin elastic, as well). Soap has potential to build up on diapers, enzymes can cause a horrible open rash on your DC. Please beware and check ingredients for your child’s and diaper’s sake!

Plenty of people use the diaper safe detergent for ALL of their laundry with great results. We use regular on all of our clothes and DD’s messy clothes, and diaper on our cloth diapers —
The difference, you ask? The regular detergent has soap in it to give it the extra “OOMPH” of cleaning tough stains as well as a few other ingredients which help with inorganic stains and dirt. The diaper detergent has safe ingredients for diapers (NO SOAP, ENZYMES OR BORAX) that are realllly great on organic waste and cleaning your diapers.

 
 
  

SAMPLE- Choose TYPE of Detergent      GREEN Laundry Detergent

This is a great prize to add to our weeks collection isn’t it? 

Do ya wanna win?

You will need to answer the question in the comments and post/link my contest on your blogPlease leave me your link that directly shows the post/link for my contest on your blog.  And remember there is only one entry per day.

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

And if you want to see the other prizes for this week, just scroll on down the line.  There are really wonderful things up for grabs!!!!! 

Now go visit CrunchyClean at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5760585

Have a “Crunchy” Day!

Do you have one of those days where only comfort food will do?  You need to check out Nanas Comfort Foods over at ETSY: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6150180

nanascomfortfoods’s Profile
Bio
I retired from my day job for many reasons, but one reason was to spend more time with my grandchildren. I began to stir up spices to create great tasting dips. Many times my grandchildren, Alexsis, Drew and Ashtyn were in the kitchen with me when I conducted my experiments, so I thought it was perfect to name my business Nana’s Comfort Foods!!! I have had great success at craft fairs for the past year and in May branched out to become licenced by the State to sell in retail businesses.

So the winner of my contest will get a dip mix from Nana along with all the prizes for this week.  YUMMY!

 Garlic Lover's Ranch Dip/ Dressing Mix

To win:

You will need to answer the question in the comments and post/link my contest on your blogPlease leave me your link that directly shows the post/link for my contest on your blog.  And remember there is only one entry per day.

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

Here are the prizes so far for this week:

The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple Cover      Itty Bitty NoteBooks (Pack 2)

Reusable Amy Butler Temple Garland Fabric Grocery bag         Pink and White Floral Key Fob

Flower Velour Hairband     Garlic Lover's Ranch Dip/ Dressing Mix

How about that?  Can you believe it?  And there is more to come.  Blessed winner if you ask me!!!!!

Have a “Diplishous” Day!

First, I would like to say thanks to those who are participating in my contest.  I love hearing all the great stories on giving!  If you would please make sure you link and post about the contest on your blog that would be great and that is required to win.

If you aren’t familiar with the contest, please see here: https://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/tis-better-to-give-than-to-receiveright/

Today I would love to introduce to you Donna Smallin.

The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple Cover

Organizing expert, Donna Smallin, is the bestselling author of seven books on uncluttering, organizing and simplifying life, including The One-Minute Organizer. You may have seen her on the Early Show, HGTV’s Smart Solutions, or CNN Open House or listened to her on BBC, Lifetime, and CNN radio programs. Her tips appear frequently in Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World and other leading publications. One of the organizing industry’s most recognized and respected members, Donna received the 2006 Founders Award from the National Association of Professional Organizers for outstanding contributions to the industry.

‘Tis Better to Give Than Receive

An interview with Donna Smallin, bestselling author of 7 books including The One-Minute Organizer (www.unclutter.com)

 

Deb: How do you define clutter?

 

Donna: Clutter is all that stuff that serves no other purpose other than to take up valuable space in you home and create unnecessary stress in your life. It’s what you end up with when you have more than meets your needs. Clutter, then, is physical proof of our abundance. Take a look around. If you’ve got clutter, you are richer than you think.

 

Deb: What are the benefits of uncluttering?

 

Donna: I see clutter as an opportunity to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in my life. By periodically cleaning out my closets and drawers and giving away what I no longer need, I am able to share my wealth and that makes me feel good. It also makes it easier for me to find and put away the things that I love and use regularly.

 

Deb: Why is it so hard for us to let go of clutter?

 

Donna: Often, we hold on to things we no longer use because we paid “good money” for those things. But what is the value of a designer suit that just hangs in your closet, getting older and dustier every year? The answer is “zippo” if it’s not being used or enjoyed. All that stuff you’re hanging on to in case you might need it someday could do immediate good in the hands of someone who really needs it right now.

 

Deb: What is the best way to let go?

 

Donna: The simplest way to donate items is to pick one place such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army that allows you to drop off everything from clothing to furniture. That way you don’t have to make a decision about what to do with every item. The decision has already been made. Domestic violence shelters are another good place to donate sheets and towels, dishes, cookware and other housewares as well as women’s and children’s clothing and toys.

 

Deb: What if we just can’t bring ourselves to let go of something?

 

Donna: If you are reluctant to let go of clothes that no longer fit, shoes you haven’t worn in years, or whatever, try this: pack it up in a box and write the word “Donate” and then date it for six months from today. If you haven’t opened the box before that date, you know you didn’t miss the items inside.

 

Deb: Any final thoughts?

 

Sharing your abundance (I’m talking about your clutter – not the stuff you love and use) will go a long way toward uncluttering your home. But the best part about donating your stuff is what you get in return – the joy that comes from giving.

Don’t you want to read her book?  The winner of this weeks prizes (all that are featured this week) will get an autographed copy!!!!!!!

To win:

Answer the question below in the comments.  Then post about my contest on your blog with a link back to it.

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

And don’t forget to “give” this info to others so they have a chance to get to know these wonderful people and products and check out Donna’s sites:

http://www.unclutter.com

Here’s a tip from Donna:

Organizing tip #597: Did you know that you can send real paper greeting cards from your computer — with your own handwriting font and signature? Learn how at http://www.yourcardconnection.com

Have an “Organized” Day!

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