Homemaking Tips and Tricks

20
Mar
2014

Homemaking-Tips-Tricks
As I sit and type, it is 2:12 PM on Wednesday, I am behind on my blog writing, I need to leave in 25 minutes to pick up my little guy from school, this post will likely be left to finish later, I just threw my first load of laundry in the washer, have two phone calls to make and I have no idea what is for dinner.

UGH!  But I was able to get together with my ladies for our bi-weekly bible study.  Sometimes days just do not go as planned!

“There are no perfect homemakers – just real moms, deciding what’s right for their families and working to create a warm, nurturing home for those they love.”

I share, because I want you to know there are days……often many days where I struggle a lot to keep things together.  For me, it seems to be especially when my hubby is out of town. 

After thinking though, I remember – I have some soup in the freezer that is perfect for days like this.  I was out of town at the Hearts at Home Conference all weekend and have yet to get to the grocery store, so when I remember those ‘bits’ in my freezer I am quite relieved.  {I still have to tell you all about my wonderful trip and the time I septa visiting with Jill in her home before my flight home….so treasured!}

I love this chapter of homemaking and learning tips (From No More Perfect Moms) on how to make it work a bit better for you.  We all have areas that we are strong at and areas we are weaker in.  For me, meals are a bit stronger, than say decorating.  I always seem to feel defeated before I even start with decorating, and right now while we are in the midst of ‘re-decorating’ or family room I am feeling very un-inspired.

Hospitality is also a weak area for me, but this year I am trying to stretch myself and invite more people into our home, even in the midst of it feeling like it is not together yet.  Will it ever be all together?  I think we can all feel like our homes will never be quite there, so instead of fretting and delaying, just step out.  I am doing that more and I feel so thankful.

What have I learned about these areas of homemaking?

There are no perfect meals, but there are ways to streamline the meal-making process!

Meals

I love the tips Jill gives and will reiterate a few.  I have already shared my little tip on preparing in bulk and freezing, think about all your family favorites and then out of those what can you cook in larger batches to freeze?  I bet you will be amazed.

I also use eMeals to help me plan meals and keep me sanity.  I honestly enjoy looking at recipes on Pinterest, but to take the time to put together all the ideas, make a shopping list and such is a bit too time consuming for the season I am in right now.  I love that I can grab my eMeals meal plan from my computer or even their new APP and decide if I like all the ideas on the menu or delete a few and add in some family favorite, like simple tacos or chili.  My life is made easier and it doesn’t break the bank, especially when I am trying to eat PALEO or at least Gluten Free.

Decorating

I am like Jill, not much of a creative thinker when it comes to decorating – but I can re-create an idea from Pinterest or a magazine. I can allow the negative self-talk get me down as well, but try to remember that I can’t be great at everything, so that I why I have friends who are gifted in decorating!

Hospitality

This is a goal for 2014 – creating and spending more time in relationships.  

“Hospitality is our opportunity to be Jesus to those around us.”

What resonates with you when you read that line?  Are you living out your life as The Lord would want you, sharing His love with others?  I know that I am not and am intentionally working on this.  I am happy to report I have stretched myself and it feels good. Relationships are important, in fact….they are almost THE most important thing.

Which of these areas spoke to you most?  What do you feel is truly at the heart of the issue and why you struggle?

Where did you learn about the art of homemaking?  Did you have a good role model or did you have to learn to ‘wing’ it?

In what way can you stretch yourself this week or weekend?

Please begin reading Chapter 10, I will see you Monday!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a great giveaway you will not want to miss – if you care about improving your family’s health – do not miss it!

If you missed my post on Facebook {Which most do since only 2% of followers see it!!} here is the opening from the Hearts at Home Conference on Friday – it was incredible!!  The best part, the performer is none other than Jill’s son Austin.  It was incredible – take a minute and enjoy – YOU ARE AWESOME!!  

If you are reading this in your email – you will need to click through to the blog to see the video  🙂

 

No More Perfect Moms Week SEVEN

10
Mar
2014

Main-No-More-Perfect-MomsOh, boy……this week will really hit home for so many of you.  It sure did for me – especially watching the video to kick things off.  We juggle so many things as moms and there is hardly a spare minute ever!

I had to laugh at my husband the other night, as he was a bit upset as the past few weeks I have just wanted to sit down in the evening to watch the Olympics with my family and have a glass of wine!  He was miffed that I didn’t want to “do an activity” like a game, or go bowling or ________  {fill in the blank}.  

Okay, let me explain a bit, I am often very tired in the evening, I will admit that – but in the past month we have spent only about 10 days in our home as we’ve been having painting and hardwood floors refinished, I was behind on writing blog posts as I have had no “work hours” to actually write – I’ve squeezed writing into my day and it means it takes me 3 times as long to write a posts as it would be otherwise, when I don’t have a 4 year old needing me too, interrupting me.  Plus, I was out of town for 5 days in a lovely vacation.  I am not complaining, but this old mom can only take so much!!

My house is a mess, furniture is not back where it needs to be, pictures are not on walls and dust is everywhere!  So, I just laugh at the fact that he doesn’t quite see my day as I do and pray that maybe he will – one day!

Motherhood is the ministry of Interruptions – I loved that!

 

Here is the agenda for this week:

{If you are viewing this post via email, you will need to click through to the website to view the video}

 

Week 7:  March 10 – 14 , 2014

Monday – watch the video, download the discussion questions for WEEK SEVEN  

Tuesday – come prepared by having read Chapter Seven, join the conversation

Wednesday – check in over at Facebook for a few questions 

Thursday – read the blog post on applying what we’ve learned this week; get started reading Chapter 8 {next week we will be doing chapters 8 and 9, so get ahead!!}

Was there something that spoke to you in the video?  

Are you a mom who can roll with the punches during the day or are you better with schedule and routine?

Please share in the comments and hop over to the Facebook page.   

I Used to Be So Organized Book Study – Week 6

25
Nov
2013

 

I-Used-To-Be-So-Organized-Study-Main

  

Week Six Reading Assignment:

Read Chapters 17, 18, 19

I will be posting my thoughts on Chapter 17 on Tuesday,  Chapter 18 on Wednesday, and Chapter 19 on Thursday.  

If you will keep me and my family in your prayers, I will be traveling this week – my story with our dog continues.  I am flying him across the country to his new home.  I promise, you will be so thrilled when you read the entire story and I cannot wait to share it with you.  If you are tender hearted at all, I know it will tug your heart strings BIG TIME!

Here is the bible verse for this week.  

 Week-Six-Bible-Verse

Also, for those who signed up for the “Getting Real – Conversations that Spark Change” Conference Calls, we have a call tonight!  

Jane-DeLaney-Call-1

Get ready to hear from Jane DeLaney, the creator and founder of eMeals.   You can listen in live to the call tonight, or refer to the recordings page you have access to and download the file to listen to on your own time!

If you didn’t purchase it before now – don’t worry, you can run over and get it now  and the rest of the series too.

What has been your biggest ‘take-away’ so far from the study?  Only one more week to go ladies!!

The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook

9
Sep
2013

The Christian Homemaker's Handbook
I have tantalized you a bit with a few Facebook posts about the book, The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook, the past few months. I am a bit embarrassed it has taken me so long to read through this book, but at 544 pages, it is chocked full of incredible information, insight, and thought provoking tidbits. I was a highlighting fool while reading!

There are a lot of books out there on caring for your home, organizing, meal planning, Christian parenting, and motherhood – but this is the only book I have read that contains information on all relevant topics that the Christian homemaker would need and want, plus a few more.

“Homemaking is not employment for slothful, unimaginative, incapable women. It has as much challenge and opportunity for success and failure, growth and expansion, perks and incentives, as any corporate career.” – The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook, Dorothy Morrison, pg 21

We can easily become overwhelmed, but that is not where God wants us to be. He desires us to care for our home and The Christian Homemaker's Handbookfamily in a way that become routine, that glorifies Him, and where our true strengths and gifts can shine. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a resource to go to when things are a bit confusing, you’re not sure what to do, or can’t seem to figure out what to cook for dinner?

This is it ladies. An all-inclusive reference tool gives you tips and training on everything from God’s design for the home to Biblical insight on birth control, meal planning to interior decorating, Biblical womanhood to teaching and training children, so that you can become the homemaker God intends for you to be.

I have to admit, while reading the book I began to feel a bit “less than” and almost like I was failing a bit in my role as a homemaker. In today’s society it can be very easy to feel that way, that you are not good enough, or not doing enough, or not teaching enough – but I heard God speak to me. I was good enough and He saw my heart. He saw my desire to improve, grow, and learn, and that is all I can do – offer my best to Him to help mold me into who He wants me to become.

I will never be the perfect homemaker, but with a resource like this – written by a panel of experts with nearly 50 years of marriage experience, 30 years of college-level home economics instruction, a commitment to Biblical womanhood – I am feeling like I have my own little teaching class of well-qualified Titus 2 women.

“The number one question Christian women are asking today is, ‘where are the older women?’ Singles, wives, and moms want to know God’s plan for them and are looking for help with how to live it out. Here, in one priceless volume, is instruction from the Bible and practical guidance from women who know how to make God’s teachings a daily reality. From time and life management skills, to building better relationships and much more, every chapter points women toward honoring and pleasing God while blessing others.” – Elizabeth George, Jim & Elizabeth George Ministries

Their hearts are true and evident in the information they share and how critical it is that we take our roles as Keeper of the Home very seriously.

Here are just some of the topics covered in this Homemaker’s resource:

  • God’s Design for the Home
  • Impact of Feminism on the Home and Family (one of the most eye opening!)
  • Home: A Prepared Place
  • The Role of the Wife
  • The Value of a Child
  • A Life Full of Days: Caring for the Aged
  • Placing the Solitary in Families
  • Biblical Foundations for Parenting
  • God’s Design for Nurturing Motherhood
  • Life Management Skills
  • Nest Building
  • Family Mealtime
  • Ideas for Holiday Celebrations

What I gathered while reading this book was that I had to remember to make a few small changes and not feel overwhelmed by reading so much and feeling that I had to change 101 things today! You know, my motto around here is making a few small changes that will impact things on a much bigger scale. It is true. Pick a few things to focus on and allow a routine to develop around those.

I especially love this which is on page 24 in the book. I typed it out and it helps to remind me to keep focused where I need to be.

An Attitude Check for the Homemaker

  • Appreciate God’s calling on your life to be a homemaker.
  • Visualize the overall purpose of your work.
  • Keep yourself at your best in appearance and health.
  • Strive without ceasing to keep your interfamily relationships as the most important in your life.
  • Learn good homemaking skills and fine-tune them by practice.
  • Choose women as friends who affirm your calling and happily encourage you.
  • Work diligently as unto the Lord and count your blessings.

Pick up your paperback version or Kindle version here. Or place it on your Amazon wish list!

What area of homemaking do you struggle in?

Weekly Household Quick Tip

1
Apr
2013


Tips for tackling tasks in the Weekly Household Planner:

Dust/vacuum floors

I love my hardwood floors, in fact – I cannot wait until we can replace the carpeting in our home with additional hardwood flooring!  With kids, dogs and just plain messy people, it makes life easier.

With the ease of hardwood floors, comes some special cleaning.  You certainly do not want to just use a typical harsh floor cleaner on them – you would regret it for sure.

Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful over the years:

  • Use a soft bristle broom when sweeping the wood floors.
  • When vacuuming, ensure that the beater brush is not used.  My Dyson Animal makes it easy to turn off and vacuum my hardwoods.  If you use the beater brush, you will run the risk of scratching the floors.
  • Immediately clean up any spills using a soft towel. Then dry. Water is an enemy of hardwood floors.
  • If your floors are covered with polyurethane, use a very dry damp mop for cleaning.
  • Use carpet runners in areas where there is a lot of traffic and in front of doors to trap excess dirt and moisture.

Weekly Cleaning:

If you’re happy to damp mop with straight water, try adding about 10 drops of essential oil per gallon of water for extra cleaning muscle. Some suggestions: lavender, tea tree oil, pine or eucalyptus oil will add great cleaning qualities.  I especially like lemon or purification – thieves is also a good one.

If you prefer to use vinegar in your damp mopping, add 1 cup with a gallon of water.  I do this usually once a month to add an extra bit of power.

I am a bit old fashioned, because I still get down on my hands and knees to clean my floors, no mops and swiffers for me!  I just like getting my hands into the action and I like wringing the rag out so that it is just damp, not wet.  Again, water is not your friend on hardwoods!

What tips have helped you manage your hardwood flooring?

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