Thursday, October 8, 2015

Goodbye Lists, Hello Organized House

I don't know about you but I love Excel... you know the computer program.  Ever since I first learned to use Microsoft Excel I have loved making spreadsheets.  I make them for grocery lists, cleaning lists, school items and household things too.  I make them for the most mundane of tasks that do not require a spreadsheet at all.  I love making little boxes and putting borders around them.  I love to merge cells and wrap text.  Call me a nerd if you will but I love it!

I only just now realized that I need to stop making lists and spreadsheets.  Mind you I won't give them up all together but I need to think about how I utilize them and the stress they cause me.  I have been a stay at home mom for almost 8 years now... and if this was a paying job I would have been fired long ago.  Anyone else feeling me?

I have tried to fly with the FlyLady (she is great!!! but I can never keep up)... I have tried to modify her stuff to fit me.  I tried to send my boys to grandmas for the weekend and clean my house from top to bottom and then it gets messy again within weeks.  I made spreadsheet after spreadsheet, trying to keep myself on track.  I even bought a new notebook at the start of the school year, you know, when everything is fifty cents!!!  And nothing has worked.

I just keep trying and seems to do nothing but setting myself up for failure... until I found Marie Kondo.  Have you ever watched a news report and seen an idea and thought, hmm that is pretty awesome, and then file it away in your brain which already holds too much information?  This is what I did when I first heard about her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!  I really wanted to try it but was too cheap to buy the book or too lazy to try anything new.

Until I found it at Costco!!  Am I right ladies, everything looks better at Costco.  I love to walk up and down the aisles at all the things I don't need for my home.  I peruse the books as if I have the time to sit and read!  Then I saw this book...

I already knew that this is what it looked like and I have to grab it.  And it was only $10 and I thought lets do this.  I think you have to reach a certain point in your life where you need and WANT to change.  I thought I was fine but after reading this book I didn't know how lost I was.  This book reads to quick and easy and the more you read the more you want to finish the book so you can tear apart your house and find peace!

Being the mother of two young boys that word, PEACE, isn't something that I think of when I envision my house.  But I am learning that I can have it and how desperate I am to find it.  Do you ever come home and find yourself so angry with how your home looks that you really just want to climb under the covers and hope some magical cleaning fairy will show up?  I was in a constant state of moving piles, piles of papers off my counter and to my dining room table then off that again so we could eat.  They always were shifted from one place to another until I got so sick of it that I finally dealt with them.

But how is that a way to live?

After reading this book I tackled my closet since she says clothes go first.  I am not going to give away all the details because you need to have this book!!  I was able to refold my husbands t-shirts and underwear and freed up three drawers in his dresser and I cleared two whole hanging racks from my closet.  And was able to have this space to enjoy...

How crazy is that?  (By the way that is the first dollar I ever made!!)

I have a beautiful closet.  I got rid of some clothing items but for the most part I just folded them properly and put them away... GET THIS BOOK!!

Check out her website too!

But now that my closet is looking nicer and my downstairs catch-all closet is organized I still have to clean the house right?

And we are back to the lists... the never ending checklist of all the things that need to be accomplished on top of doing the dishes, making the beds, picking up after myself and my family, doing the laundry and finding some time to eat and exercise?

I was mad... so mad that I took my hedge trimmer to my rose bushes and trimmed those poor defenseless plants to almost nothing!  And then by the grace of God (my savior) I found the solution!!

No More LISTS!

Bye bye spreadsheets and never ending to do lists.  We all know that we need to clean the mirror, counters, sinks, tub, shower and toilet when we clean the bathroom, right?  So why did I have every single detail of every single thing I needed to do.  I know I need to make the beds in the morning and get dressed.  I know I need to do the dishes every day and water the garden.  Why was I setting myself up for disaster but overwhelming myself with a plethora (one of my favorite words to say!) of things to do?

So from now on for Monday it will simply say... Sheets and Bible Room.  (The Bible Room is our front room that we have dedicated to not only the first thing you see when you enter our home but also a declaration of our love for the Lord.  We read our bibles in there with our boys and display our collection of crosses that we gather on our travels.)

I know that Sheet and Bible Room means to wash the sheets and clean the Bible Room.  I don't need a list telling me that I need to dust and clean the blinds and sweep, mop and vacuum... forget that noise.  I know what needs to be done.  So once this is published I am taking down my silly checklists and putting up a simple weekly list... 7 sections (cause you know there are 7 days of the week) and their corresponding tasks.  DONE.

Granted I still have a long way to go to make my house tidy and organized like the book says.  But I feel so much better about making my life work.  And not having my husband want to fire me when he comes home!  (just kidding, I am lucky that the Lord sent me a patient and understanding husband and not the guy from Sleeping with the Enemy where all the cans had to be lined up and facing the right way!)

So please if you have $10 lying around and you need a change... get that book and see that it really is LIFE-CHANGING!!!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep

I was so excited to get this book to read to my boys.  They are 5 and 7 and they loved it.  There are many times that kids do not, I repeat, DO NOT want to listen to their parents.  I am sure that I am just starting to get my taste of it.  This book covers the story of a little polar bear cub who doesn't understand that rest is part of our day.  My boys are the same... they do not want to go to sleep and then wake up upset, just like this little cub when they don't get enough.  But this book seemed to break through to them.  They notice how their days go wrong, as if they woke up on the wrong side of the bed so to speak, if they don't rest enough.

I love this book and am going to get it for a friend to welcome her new baby.  I would love to get more of these books from the series.  For our family having books that speak God's wisdom to us is very important and I am thankful for books like this which help us guide our children.

** I was given this book for FREE as part of the Blogging for Books program.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I really wanted to like it!

My main reason for wanting to read this book was purely the title.  With  my husband and I planning our anniversary trip to Paris, I wanted to be surrounded with all things Parisian.  As I sat down to read it I was instantly lost... and not in a good way.  This book was difficult to follow and I couldn't quite understand who was talking and what it was about.  Perhaps it may be my lack of being "well-read" since I majored in Economics in college but I just couldn't get into it.  By the end of the book I was utterly lost and didn't enjoy it as much as I desperately wanted to.

Many of the characters were interesting and well written and I really liked the idea of The Little Paris Bookshop.  Having never been to Paris I felt I was transported there by her descriptions of the floating bookshop... but the story had me lost, completely and utterly lost.  I hope to pick this book up again one day and see if it is something I can grasp.  Perhaps I rushed into my whole Parisian themed life before I was ready to understand.  I may read it while in Paris or maybe when I return.

** I received this book free by participating in the Blogging for Books program.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I cannot put it down...

Most of my recent reads have been children's books, cookbooks or books about food.  I decided to take a chance and read an actual book... something that didn't have to do with spiders who write words in webs or how to make my own tofu!!

When I picked up The Accident I really didn't know what to expect.  But I was fully surprised to find myself reading at red lights and even hoping I hit a red light so I have a reason to read.  There are very few authors who are able to grab you within the first few pages and actually keep you hooked. 

Chris Pavone has done the amazing with this novel.  His words are so simple and descriptive that I just wanted to be in every single scene.  His words are weaved so expertly that it was like watching a movie and you had no idea the bad guy was going to burst through the backdoor!!  I loved this book so much that I cannot wait to go and read his other novels.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone!!

** Note: I recieved a copy of this book free of charge and am reviewing for Blogging for Books!