Posts filed under Building Your Home

1 Peter 2:9 Printable Jar Label

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A while back, a blog friend of mine created her own candle labels, and that has always stuck with me as such a clever idea! For our “Entrusted Freebie” this time around, I decided to do something similar, and create a label with a beloved verse that you can use on a vase, jar, or candle. It looks like an old fashioned apothecary label, but it’s Scripture!

1 Peter 2:9 is my daughter’s school memory verse this week and I cannot get it out of my head. It is such a beautiful truth about our identity in Christ, what he has done for us, and as I meditate on it, the excellencies of God just ring through my mind. He is so wonderful!

So, to use this printable, you can download the PDF and print out onto a full sheet of sticker paper in your printer. The sheets I use are Avery 8165 shipping labels. I formatted the label in several sizes to fit most jars Once you print it, just cut out the size that fits your vessel best. You can use it on an antique apothecary bottle or something similar, as I did, for a flower vase. Or, you could put it on the side of a colored glass vase and pour a candle into it (or even replace an ugly candle label in a pre-poured jar). Really, it can be used on any kind of jar or vase that you would like. I’m also attaching a large 8 x 10 version if you just want to print it on regular cardstock and hang it up on the wall.

Enjoy!

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Posted on October 6, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Savory Poppyseed Crêpes

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I really enjoyed Laura’s authenticity last week in her post about Dinner Table Games. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one whose children come to the table whining and can’t stay seated! We highly value the practice of dining together in our family as well, but at times I have to admit I stare at the three rambunctious boys across the table—all embarking upon their own escapade of poor manners—and my eyes glaze over because I don’t know where to begin (and I’m shocked that more hasn’t penetrated their little minds by now)!

It truly is a time in which consistency is key… and unfortunately after a long day caring for the kids and cooking a nice meal, I just can’t train in my own strength. Thankfully I don’t have to do it on my own, but it is refining nonetheless!

As Laura alluded to, it is much easier to make sure your kids are excited about coming to the table for their dinners. Yet, I deeply want my kids to be adventurous eaters—and I want to eat like an adult! Sometimes I just pick my battles. Sometimes I come up with strategies. One trick that has worked for me is to make a grown-up meal for Travis and me, and “deconstruct” it for my boys. Here is one recipe I’ve created that seems to keep everyone happy:

Savory Poppyseed Crêpes

Ingredients:

Eggs
Milk
Water
Flour
Avocados
Sliced Beets (from a can or jar is fine)
Spinach Leaves
Goat Cheese
Chicken Breasts
Olive or Coconut Oil
Poppyseed Dressing

1.  Following a Crêpe Recipe (I follow Alton Brown’s recipe because he is a scientist and a chef, and I think he’s pretty great.), mix the crêpe ingredients together. You can do this in a blender, which is incredibly efficient when clean-up rolls around!

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2.  Put this in the fridge for at least an hour to let the gluten set.

3.  Begin cooking the crêpes. You will need to flip frequently, so stay near the burner! If you’ve made these French pancakes before, you can cook the chicken at the same time.

4.  Slice the chicken, and sauté in a pan with a drizzle of olive or coconut oil.

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5.  Slice the avocados.

6.  Begin assembling: Down the center of a crêpe, place a thin layer of spinach, add several slices of chicken, a few slices of beets and avocados. Next, crumble some goat cheese over the top to add some creaminess.

7.  Finally, drizzle some poppyseed dressing over the top.

8.  Serve with a favorite side dish. Roasted sweet potatoes pair well with this. I chose to serve it with a side of butternut squash soup this week.

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Okay… now for the kid “deconstruction” part! All you do is roll up a crêpe, and put the sides from above next to it! Maybe you’ll need to supplement with another veggie like carrots or peppers, but the ingredients are mostly the same, and the kids will be thrilled that they are having pancakes for dinner! Of course I allow a little drizzle of maple syrup to get those little feet running to the table! (Quick confession: I can only get one of my boys to eat beets so far!)

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Another win: I always double the batch of crêpes so I can use them the next morning for blintzes or breakfast crêpes with berries. If you want to do this the morning before, it will save you the hour of waiting for the batter to set before you can make dinner.

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Bon appétit!

Posted on September 13, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Key Lime Pie Cookies

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Every so often I get a hankering for sugar cookies. Not the ones that are a bit crispy around the edges but the ones that have more butter than sugar and well...just plain melt in your mouth.
I grew up with this yummy kind of sugar cookies my entire life. Every Christmas we would make cutouts with them and decorate with gobs of frosting, and every Valentine’s Day my mom would make giant heart cookies with frosting for each family member with our name on it.

Needless to say, the cookies went very quickly and unfortunately we only got them twice a year.

Last summer as I was craving a sugar cookie (it had been 6 months without a bite!), I decided it might be fun to create a variation so I would have an excuse to make them in the summer months; thus the Key Lime Pie Cookie was born.

They are super easy to make…

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Place butter and sugar in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add in the key lime zest and mix to allow the flavor to incorporate throughout. You can use either a lime or a key lime. (I have found it is easier to juice and zest a lime rather than a small key lime.)  

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Add in your egg and beat until creamy again and then add vanilla and lime juice and mix.

I have been using pure Mexican vanilla for about 7 years now in my baking and let me just say, it makes all the difference in the world.

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Mix your flour and baking powder together and slowly add to the mixer. The dough will eventually form into a ball and will not be sticky.

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Transfer the dough and roll it out to about a half an inch. Pick any shaped cookie cutter (even the top of a round drinking glass will work) and cut them out. I chose a star because I realized I had only Christmas cookie cutout shapes and that wasn’t going to work in summertime. Since the Fourth Of July is coming up, I thought the star would be very patriotic!

Place in the oven and make sure to not overbake. Pull them out before they get any color.

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Let them cool and in the meantime it’s time for the homemade frosting! You will never want to use another can after you taste this! So easy too!

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Beat the butter and key lime zest together in the mixer. After it becomes a little fluffy, add in powdered sugar and key lime juice, alternating until you get the taste and consistency you desire. Now, I like my frosting to be a bit more tart than sweet, so I discovered that adding a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice as well, gave it the tart I craved.

Frost those cookies and voila, you have a key lime pie cookie! Hope you enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe card.

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Posted on June 21, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale-Part II

Continued...(see part I)

GET SELLING:

11. TRY MORE LUCRATIVE MARKETPLACES FIRST

There are many places besides garage sales to sell used items. If you think you can get more for an item or you think something has real value, try a used bookstore, consignment shop, Craigslist, eBay, or an antiques dealer first. If they sell there, you’ll get a higher price for them. If they can’t sell there, you’ll feel better about letting them go for cheap at your garage sale.

12. ADVERTISE BEFORE AND DURING!

I cannot stress this enough. I know it was THE key to my success (I had one woman drive from an hour away to “pre-shop” my stuff and then come again on the day of the sale)! List your garage sale on Craigslist a few days in advance with as much detail as possible. (Other garage sale sites pull from CL so you don’t need to re-list it. You can, but it isn’t absolutely necessary). 

Your listing should include:

-Your address
-Date and start time of sale (don’t bother posting an end-time—you’ll know when to shut it down).
-An itemized list of merchandise WITH prices
-As many photos as possible.
-Any other information you want to convey (“prices negotiable,” “please no early birds,” “all proceeds go toward adopting our puppy,” etc.) 

You also need to advertise the day of your sale with neighborhood signs. Put up as many of these as your township or association will allow. Make them large, sturdy, and legible, and place them at prominent intersections as well as along the path to your house from those intersections.

13. USE RETAIL TRICKS FOR PRESENTATION AND SALES TECHNIQUES

Put big-ticket items closer to the curb, so passing cars can see them. Like pretty window displays in a store, this draws people in.

Group categories of like items together. Furniture goes in one spot, kids’ stuff in another. Think about how department stores are organized into zones.


Make it easy to shop. For instance, have tables next to clothes bins for people to lay them out as they look through them.

Give customers laundry baskets as they do their shopping. This is a classic retail trick: When their arms begin to fill up, hand them the basket and say, “Here, you can use this to help you carry your things.” They’ll feel like you’re being helpful (which you are!) and they’ll usually end up buying more.

As things sell, rearrange. Fill in gaps on the driveway and knick-knack tables. You want your sale to look full so more people will stop their cars. This also really helps you look busy and active. If you’re just sitting in a lounge chair, it seems like all the action, and all the good stuff, is gone.

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14. TAKE ANY OFFER

This was my own personal motto, and I was ok with it because I reminded myself each time that my end-goal was getting rid of stuff. I decided in advance that, other than for my “non-negotiable” list, (and one obviously ridiculous early offer) I was going to say yes to any offer. I learned this lesson trying to sell a picnic basket at a friend’s garage sale a few years ago. I had it priced for $4 and a lady offered $2. I said no, and then sent it to charity at the end of the day. Did I really haggle over $2? That wouldn’t have even bought me a sandwich at McDonald’s! You can see what I mean about the value of money taking on new meaning in garage sale world. 

15. PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES, SMALL ITEMS AND CASH

I was warned about this and blew it off. And someone stole every last piece of jewelry at my garage sale. Thankfully, none of it was valuable, and thankfully I did listen to the advice I read to keep my cash in a fanny pack (yes, swallow your pride and do it), so it wasn’t too much of a loss. 

16. EXPLOIT YOUR KIDS' CUTENESS

I never thought I would do this, but I reluctantly let my kids run a lemonade stand at our sale (I’ve never liked being guilted out of my quarters by other people’s too-adorable offspring). But they really wanted to be involved. So they made a big sign with our puppy’s picture on it and sold cookies, brownies, and soda, and gave away free lemonade. I just made sure to warn people in my ad on Craigslist. I wrote “Fair warning: Cute kids will be selling cookies to raise money for their puppy adoption.” People were really sweet about it, and when the sun got hot, those sodas were lifesavers! And guess what? They made $50. I thought that was a shocking total! I’m now a big fan of kids’ lemonade stands. 

17. WEAR SUNSCREEN. 

I was so busy the day of my sale, this never occurred to me. And I was burnt as a lobster afterwards. On a related note, make provisions ahead of time for your basic physical needs: Someone to take over so you can have a bathroom break, a ready-made sandwich for lunch, and a supply of bottled water close at hand. I had not anticipated the steady stream of customers and meeting those basic needs ended up adding even more chaos to the day.

18. ANTICIPATE YOUR SUPPLY NEEDS

Have a Sharpie, extra price stickers and shopping bags within reach. Pretend you are a retail store and stock supplies accordingly.

19. BE FRIENDLY

This is another retail trick: Greet your customers. Say hello to everyone (this helps them know who to ask questions of, who to pay, and that someone is watching in case they have thieving intent). I say, “Hi, welcome! Let me know if there’s anything in particular I can help you find.” And then leave them alone to browse.

20. UPDATE YOUR LISTING AFTER DAY ONE

Remove sold items from your Craigslist post and update the date of your sale. (If it said Thursday/ Friday, just change it to Friday). This will make your sale feel fresh and new, and will avoid disappointing anyone coming on the second day who wanted an item that was already sold.

I hope this list has been helpful! My final advice is this: Pray. It may feel silly, but it’s perfectly ok to pray about a garage sale. God cares about everything in your life, big and small. I invited Him to be at my house that day, to bless my efforts and to bless the people who would shop there. 

Posted on May 26, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale-Part I

(Note: This is a popular post from our archives. We thought we'd repeat it early in the season so you have time to implement some of these tips if you have a garage sale planned!) 

Warmer weather is finally here, and that means garage sales will start popping up soon. If you’re like me, you have a lot of items accumulating (like mountains of kids’ toys), and it would be great to earn a little cash for your efforts to see your playroom carpet again. A garage sale can be very rewarding.

Last year I held my first garage sale. It was very busy with steady traffic and we made a good haul at the end. I did a ton of research beforehand, channeling my retail background to create my strategy, and I’ve compiled a list for you of things I learned from the process.

GET READY:

1. PREPARE YOUR HEART

Before you even put these tips into practice, I want to prepare you that having a garage sale is not for the faint of heart. It takes way more sweat and work than you’d ever imagine, and sometimes there is little return for your investment of time and energy. You need to be prepared with the mindset that this is stuff you would otherwise be donating to charity. When the sale is over, plan to load up everything in your van and take it there immediately. Your goal should be to de-clutter and clean out, with any cash you get in the process being viewed as a bonus. In garage sale world, the value of a quarter suddenly becomes so elevated you can make yourself crazy. Take a deep breath and don’t let it.

2. INVOLVE THE KIDS

The reason we had a garage sale was because our kids wanted (ok, I wanted) a puppy. Having a cause to rally around helped involve everyone in the family. The kids were more willing to part with old toys because they knew the money would bring home “Dyson.” (Yes, we named him after the vacuum). They happily helped me sort, purge and price because they wanted something more than their old junk. Your family could decide beforehand what any money earned would go toward (Disney World?) and you’ll find it enjoyable to work toward a common goal.

3. INVOLVE THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Once we decided what weekend to hold our sale, the kids and I passed out flyers to every home on the three streets surrounding ours. We let them know about our sale and invited them to have one the same weekend. Neighborhood sales have a much better turnout of traffic than individual sales. I gave my phone number and asked for a text if they were going to do it. I made it clear they were totally on their own, but that I would advertise. Four other homes said yes! And we did have a TON of traffic.

4. INVOLVE YOUR FRIENDS

If more than one family is selling items at your sale, you can advertise as “multi-family,” which will also help boost traffic. I had three friends drop off their items at mine, meaning I had more merchandise and variety to appeal to potential shoppers. Just be sure to agree with your friends beforehand about a method to keep income straight. Another bonus of this method is that you’ll have more people to “work” the sale because your friends will stick around. Hopefully!

5. DECIDE WHAT TO SELL

I remember when I took Betsy’s class, on “tips day” she said: “Only keep items in your house that are either beautiful, functional, or you just love them.” That stuck with me, and I have tried my best to live by it. (Read: NOT always successfully. Yet!) This is going to be a wonderful opportunity to de-clutter. Be committed to those three criteria, and you won’t have any regrets.

6. CLEAN IT UP

When you go through your stuff, throw away anything with stains or holes. Don’t bother trying to sell it. It will make people mistrust everything you are selling if they see one item in unwearable condition.

Wash or wipe down everything. Make it as clean as possible.

Put as many items as you can in gallon size or XXL Ziploc bags. They feel new!

7. GET IT ORGANIZED

Bag like items together (for instance six Star Wars figures in a bag, or a baby outfit that includes hat and socks in the same bag).


In your staging area, organize your merchandise by category (kids’ stuff, household items, adult clothes, furniture) so that you can set it up that way on the day of your sale. It will be easier for people to shop for what interests them, and they won’t get frustrated by digging through piles of unrelated items.



8. GET IT PRICED

In retail, “signing” (i.e. pricing things clearly) was directly related to sales. If a customer picks something up with no price, they will often leave without asking what it is. Clearly marked prices lead to more sales.

If you would rather negotiate, put a sign on your table saying “no reasonable offer will be refused,” or “MAKE ME AN OFFER!!!!” (whichever your style). The price tag will help get the process started for your customers and help them feel comfortable.

9. PRICE TO SELL

Infant toys and newborn items don’t sell well. Price them CHEAP. (New parents don’t want used stuff and third-time moms know better than to overpay at a garage sale.)

Feel free to discount items bought in bulk. For instance, “Treasure Toys 25 cents each or 6/$1,” or “Books 25 cents each or $5 for the whole bin.” This worked very well for me to clear out groups of items quickly.

Personal Soapbox: Don’t overcharge. Nothing is more disheartening to me that to arrive at a garage sale full of great stuff and see they want $5 for a kids shirt or $10 for a pair of shoes. Those are consignment store prices. The garage sale is the last-ditch effort to get rid of stuff for a few coins before you throw it away, so price accordingly. Clothes (kids and adults) should be .50-$1 and shoes no more than $2-3 ($5 for unworn condition in a box). The good news is, when you price low, people will buy more. Remember, your goal is to get rid of your stuff.

10. DECIDE IN ADVANCE HOW LOW YOU WILL GO

Of course there are some items that are too valuable to just give away or to let go for next to nothing. Decide in advance what those are, so you won’t have to make a gut-decision with a haggler that you might regret later.

**CHECK BACK ON FRIDAY FOR PART II: GET SELLING!**

 

Posted on May 24, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

House Hacks: Quick & Easy Tips for Managing Paper Clutter

House Hacks: Organizing Paper Clutter by Entrusted Ministries

I’ve always wondered how people conquer the influx of papers that come into a home. I know that normal people struggle with this. Single, family, retired, it doesn’t seem to matter. We all have bills, catalogs, to-do lists, things to file, things to shred...on and on. And when you throw three school-aged kids in that mix and the incessant deluge from their backpacks every night, you’re just buried.

Right now, the piles of paper at my house are overwhelming (as in, taking up kitchen floor space at this point), and I’ve been wanting to get some counsel on this topic for a while.

So I sat down to interview my friend and organizing expert, Holly Herrick. She is a former paralegal, mom of two (a 2nd grader and a preschooler), and trademark owner of what I have dubbed “Herrick Clean.” It’s not that her house is always impeccable...she’s human for sure...but she has this way of keeping organized that is remarkable. For instance, she always knows where her Band-aids are — purse or house! She never has stray papers on her desk. She knows where her tupperware lids live. All of them. When she runs out of something, she puts it on the grocery list in her phone — immediately. She’s stressed if she has 5 emails in her inbox. (In case you’re curious I have over 75,000 unread emails in my inbox. Yet somehow we’re friends). She even folds her socks. Shocking!

Listen in to our conversation about how Holly “stays on top of things” so diligently. I definitely had some a-ha moments and I hope you will too if you’re in my shoes! And if you’re more like Holly and have this all figured out, then please, I need all the help I can get...e-mail me your tips!

House Hacks: How to Organize Paper Clutter by Entrusted Ministries

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LI: What is your system for incoming mail?

HH: Mail comes in and is set on the kitchen counter. It isn’t allowed to stay there longer than 1-2 hours. All junk mail is immediately recycled. Bills are opened and put in a letter sorter on the desk in the office.

LI: Then do you pay the bills on a certain day of the month?

HH: I usually pay them twice a month. Whatever is due before the 15th in the first half of the month, and anything after the 15th in the second half.

LI: Once they’re paid, do you file the bills, or toss them?

HH: I file them. We have a file drawer in the same desk where I sit to pay bills (our office is right off the kitchen), and I have a folder for each utility company. Once it’s paid I just put it in the file drawer right away since it’s within arm’s reach.

LI: What about catalogs?

HH: That is tricky because I am not much of a catalog junkie. Chad [my husband] has a couple subscriptions that I put on his nightstand. The kids have one that goes in their special bin. Any newspaper-type catalogs are put in a drawer to use in our guinea pig cage at a later date.

LI: So you don’t subscribe to any magazines? And you don’t get too much mail that you want to “read later?”

HH: No. Not since having kids. But if I did, like I know that you do, I would probably purchase either one of those pretty magazine files or else a flat shelf system to organize magazines within the office.

LI: Because I know your house, I know that Chad’s nightstand and the kids’ bins are all the way upstairs. Are you just really disciplined to get them to their spots in a timely fashion? Do you ever leave them on the bottom stair to “take up later?” I ask because I think that’s the hard part for me. I’ll have a “go upstairs” pile in the kitchen, but it’ll be hours or days before I actually take it up there.

HH: You are kind to call it “discipline” — more like some sort of mental weakness where I can’t tolerate clutter. ESPECIALLY downstairs. So yeah, it gets moved to a better spot by the end of the day.

LI: Is there a pill I can take to make me more averse to clutter?

HH: Ha! I’ll look into that…

LI: Well it’s interesting how a lot of this comes down to your personality and tolerance levels. I can obviously ignore the clutter (to an extent), but you’re saying that you’re totally compelled to deal with it right away or you can’t relax in your house.

HH: Exactly.

LI: How do you handle coupons that come in the mail?

HH: I have a mini accordion file that I keep in my purse and have all store coupons organized within it by store. Every so often I go through it and throw away the ones that have expired.

LI: So every time a coupon comes in the mail, within a certain time period (but definitely on the same day it comes), you either throw it away, or clip it and put it into your accordion file?

HH: Yes, usually at the same time I am unpacking backpacks. I do not like how high-strung I sound in this interview. Make me sound more interesting and less uptight!

LI: Ha! Well, I do not like the fact that your paper management system all comes down to personal discipline and there is no magic trick that automatically sorts and declutters your house.

HH: The truth is, like most other things, once you start from a clean slate it is actually very quick and easy to maintain. It sounds horrible to you because you have a metric ton of paperwork threatening to become self-aware and kill your whole family. But really, on a daily basis I literally spend 3 minutes going through mail.

How to Manage Paper Clutter: House Hacks by Entrusted Ministries

LI: The other thing that comes to mind is you need a cooperative partner...but that’s a whole other topic. Your husband is on board with the system, I assume?

HH: Yes, for sure, and that really helps. I think if he wasn’t though, that I would still sort the mail the same way I do now. If there were things of his, or that I knew he’d want to keep, I’d start a bin for him somewhere the same way I have bins for the kids. It could be out of sight to me, and he could do with it as he pleased.  

LI: What is your system for managing the school papers that come home in backpacks every day?

HH: I unpack the kids’ backpacks immediately after school (most days). What are school papers to you?

LI: OK that’s interesting. Currently, I make the kids unpack their lunches and water bottles when they first come home from school. Then they put their backpacks in the closet. Later after dinner, when it’s homework time, they will take out their folders and then start handing me their papers.

Sometimes it’s homework, but that’s usually kept in their folders and backpacks. The only things I get are field trip permission forms, advertisements or notices about upcoming school events, and then LOTS of kids’ artwork or tests (bad and good!). They hate throwing away their artwork so I have it piling up in the kitchen. I tried to have a special bin for each kid to keep favorite ones, but those are full now. I also tried taking a photo of each thing to turn into a book, but I’m not very disciplined about doing that.

HH: Yeah, that is hard. This is the drawback of my personality. I can too-often do things for the kids because I want it done right. But I neglect building personal discipline in them. This year I have wanted ownership of their backpacks because it is our first year of school and I wanted to stay on top of what is going on. But that is good to think of implementing for this coming fall.

LI: I should point out that even though the “rule” is they must empty their backpacks after school, it took [my 8-year-old daughter] until NOW to get into the routine, and [my 10-year-old son] still throws his backpack on the kitchen floor when he gets home. I have to call him into the room to remind him to unload it and put it away every day.

HH: That is comforting. :) To answer the larger question of where the paper goes, if it is graded homework I either toss what is not needed any longer, or else keep tests or things with bad grades so we can review again during homework time. There is a pile on my desk of my daughter’s homework folder where I keep those kinds of tests.

Field trip notices or other announcements from school I read right away, put any necessary dates right in my iPhone calendar and then toss the paper.

For artwork, we have two long pieces of ribbon strung across a wall in our playroom which we dubbed ”the art wall.” We keep the kids’ art hung there. Honestly there are some pieces of “art” which are just doodles or whatever and I leave those pieces of art on the kitchen counter “to show daddy” and then once the kids are in bed, they are thrown away! Only ONCE did my son catch me in that, and I feigned innocence on how that got in the recycling bin! In general I find that after 24 hours the kids forget exactly what art they have brought home, and seeing their art wall is a constant reminder that we do care and are proud of all their efforts. But I have seen my mother’s attic and knew from day one that if I kept every piece of “art”, things would get out of control fast. So I am choosy about what is on the wall and what gets “lost.”

LI: That’s a good point. I feel so bad throwing away their stuff now, but it really is doing them a favor in the long run. What 22-year-old wants a box full of their own first grade artwork? All that stuff would be a burden to them down the line.

HH: So true!

LI: Well, I feel like this gives me a good glimpse into how you manage papers. Essentially it boils down to taking the time to stay on top of it every day. When you do that, you’re only working on it for a few minutes at a time instead of trying to dig yourself out on a weekly (or worse) basis. And a huge takeaway is what a favor you’re doing for your kids in not teaching them to hoard papers that will be a burden to you now, and them later! Thank you Holly!

HH: This was great fun to talk about, so anytime!

**

I so appreciate Holly taking the time to sit down with us and share some of her insights. I am already putting her advice into practice. Last night when my daughter gave me an invitation to Mother’s Day Tea in her classroom, I immediately put the info on the calendar, RSVP’d to the teacher, and then threw the piece of paper away. It took about one minute and felt worlds better than putting the invitation in a pile of “to do’s.” I hope you found some helpful tips too!

 

Posted on May 4, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Home is where the heart is: making your house your home

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Home can be a tricky thing for us mamas in the cray of daily life. We want home to be a place where we walk in the door and it puts a smile on our face. A place that brings life, cheer and relaxation. 

Sometimes though, in the daily-ness of life and the doing "all the things," the prospect of making our houses feel like OUR homes gets pushed to the side.

I know this full well. Five kids in school and soccer, teaching art, leading a Bible study and so on... you get the idea or maybe you're even thinking, Hmm… that sounds like my life!  The reality is that daily life is full. Too full sometimes. 

Making a house home easily gets put on the back burner. But, I want to take a moment to encourage you that all the touches you bring to your house—as THE mom—matter. Making your house a place that reflects your loves, passions and style matters. Pouring your heart into your home to create an inviting, warm space matters.  

This doesn't mean you have to have an unlimited budget enabling you to just go buy whatever your heart desires. Rather, this means taking some time, a few minutes here and there, to intentionally walk through your house and decide what you want to tweak or what look you want in each room. 

So here are a few quick ideas in case you’re thinking, That sounds great but I have no clue where to start!

1. A good starting place is a new fresh plant that you love. I found one this weekend at Home Depot. A quick trip to a Goodwill or great thrift store to find the pot for it to sit in, and suddenly the corner on that shelf brings a bit of cheer and personality to the room.

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2. If you really hate your lamps and your budget is small, Goodwill is also the place, girls. Recently, I bought two hideously painted lamps. I bought them knowing I was going to spray paint them white and they turned out amazing. So find a lamp you love for its shape, give it a couple coats of spray paint and pick up a cute shade at Walmart or Target. Boom! Lamp magic!

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3. Selling what you have on Craigslist to buy something new or different is also a great way to change things up in your home—without spending anything! I recently did this with my boys’ beds. I sold their bunk beds and loft bed on Craigslist and purchased three black twin beds for the same amount. This has given me the opportunity to change the whole look and feel of their room. They are getting the Steelers football room they have always wanted.  Bless Craigslist! 

4. Moving furniture around also provides a fresh new look. Think through the flow of your house and what would work best for your family: creating intentional spaces for homework, play areas if you have littles, or arranging furniture with hospitality in mind. 

Don't be afraid to "break the rules."  Do what YOU love in your home. Not what Pinterest pictures or fixer upper shows tell you to do. Create spaces that make your heart happy. This in turn will make your family’s hearts happy.  

So make it your intention in the next couple weeks to pour some of your heart into your home. ❤️

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Posted on April 26, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.