Friday, February 25, 2011

Whats Wrong With Today?

Monday always seems like a good day to start anything. Its the day I am going to start a new diet, start excerising, restart my journaling, call and make an appointment. But whats wrong with today? What am I  waiting for? We are always waiting for the right time to do something. We wait for the right time to tell someone we love them. We wait for summer to take a vacation. We wait for Monday to start a diet. We wait for a special occasion to call or see friends or family. We wait to Sunday to worship the Lord. Why are we waiting? We dont know if we will see another summer, another special occasion or even another Sunday. We wait for others to make the first move, or  a special occasion to use our good china, or the weekend to spend quality time with our families. But whats wrong with today? Why dont we call our mom or sister and tell them today we love them. Why dont we start excerising today? Why dont  we pray and give thanks to God for what we have today? Lets not wait for an opportunity to come before we do something, lets make today the day we do something we have been putting off. Start living today instead of waiting for the right time to come along. Dont wait for the conditions to be right, Dont make excuses. If you're not happy today, do something about it now. Dont look for a more convenient time. Just do it! So think about all the things you have been putting off, all the people we can call and tell them we love and care about them. All the fun things we can do with our families, all the things we can pray about. Pull out the good china, make your favorite dinner, read that book thats been sitting on the shelf, wear your best outfit. Just do it. Make today the day. Dont wait for the right time, make today the right time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This recipe is scrumptious I will never make lasagna any other way again, Its easy and tastes so good!
You will need:
1 lb ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup water
1 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cup shredded cheese(I use marble)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
6 uncooked lasagna noodles

Brown meat in large skillet, drain , stir in pasta sauce and water. In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese and egg. Spoon 1 cup sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker, top with 3 noodles broken to fit. Top with cheese mixture, cover with 2 cups of sauce, then 3 more noodles, cheese mixture then remaining sauce, cover with lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and let stand for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy this, let me know what you think!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Setting A Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Good housekeeping starts with a good routine and there is nothing like walking into a house that looks clean and organized and smells good. When your house is clean, your family is comforted by knowing their surroundings are under control. Its amazing how a clean, organized home can make you feel.

So the plan is to tackle one area of your house a day. With every week it gets easier and before you know it your house will be sparkling!
There are a few items that need daily tending, these include:
1 Making your Beds- If your kids are old enough , have them make their bed before school everyday.
2 Laundry- keep up with it as much as the size of your family indicates. Make sure it gets folded and put away too, cause piles of laundry defeat all your hard work.
3 Wash Dishes-whether you wash by hand or use a dishwasher, keep up daily so you dont have them piling up, cluttering up your counter , taking up work space and making your kitchen look messy. Everytime you wash the dishes, sweep your kitchen floor.
4 15-20 minute clean up- set a timer and tidy up. Put away anything that is out of place, organize, and straighen up. Its amazing how much you can get done in this small amount of time.
5 If you are like me, I like keeping lists and things organized so I have a Home Maintenance Journal. I keep my grocery lists, my meal plans, my "to-do" lists and my daily cleaning schedule all in a journal to keep me on track.
Then there are items that you can do weekly. I will share my own weekly schedule with you but you can make your own that fits your home and lifestyle, do what works best for you:
Monday: Bathroom and Cooking Day
I scrub and thoroughly clean my bathroom every Monday morning. Remember , when guests are sitting on your throne, they have nothing better to do but observe what kind of housekeeper you are. Cooking day is where I make snacks for home and for Carl's lunches for the week, including muffins, crackers, homemade chips, cookies or granola bars. I make my meal plan and grocery list( next week we will talk about this in more detail!)
Tuesday:Bedroom Day
I change the bedding and wash the sheets. I organize clothes, dust and put things away. Your bedrooms should be open, organized and clean. It should be comfortable because it should be the most peaceful ,restful rooms in your house.
Wednesday: Kitchen Day
Organize your pantry, clean out your fridge, clean your oven, microwave and other appliances. Wash your counters and disinfect them. Wipe the outside of your fridge and oven and organize any cupboards that need it.
Thursday: Sweeping, Mopping, Vaccuming, and Dusting Day
Move furniture, like your couch and clean behind and under them, Grab a dusting rag and dust any surface you havent touched yet this week. Clean mirrors and windows and  vaccum any rugs.
Friday: I like to spend Friday morning refreshing anything that needs touching up before the weekend, because normally with a family  the weekend is a busy time. I also spend some of Friday as "Me Day". Take a bubble bath, get your hair done, a little time for yourself as a reward for all your hard work during the week.
Saturday: Family Chores
Gardening, clean out the garage or car or do some home maintenance
Sunday: Spend the day enjoying a day of rest with your family!

You can make your own schedule, do what works for you, your family and your house. Dont sweat it if you get behind, either squeeze in some extra work the next day or wait until the chore comes up again. Once you get in the habit it will come naturally and you will enjoy it, especially when your house is clean and organized, your family will feel more comfortable and they will thank you!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Tasty Thursday- Blueberry Muffins!

Ok so I know its Friday and I am a day late with Tasty Thursday but yesterday was busy and I didnt get a chance to post it but it is worth the wait. This is the first recipe ever I made on my own and its my favorite blueberry muffin recipe ever. I know you will love it too.

You will need:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350, grease 12 cup muffin tin. Cream together the sugar and shortening, add egg, add in milk, flour and baking powder until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for approx 25 minutes. Enjoy!
I like to double the recipe cause they go fast and they freeze excellently.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where to start!

I believe that your home should reflect you and be a comfortable place to relax for you and your family. I also believe one of the greatest gifts you can give your family is a clean, organized home where they can feel comfortable inviting friends and family. A place they can have fun, a place filled with memories and things that mean the most to you and them. Now I now getting started can be very overwhelming. So I am going to share a few things to help you get started. And in the next coming weeks I will go into more detail about each.
1.I set a weekly cleaning schedule. I dont always follow the schedule exactly but its a good place to start. For example, Monday is bathroom day and cooking day, I make snack stuff for the week, like muffins, or crackers, etc(and every second week I make a meal plan and grocery list). Tuesday is bedroom and living room day, Wednesday is kitchen day and Thursday is sweeping, mopping and dusting day. Friday is usually a free day where I do stuff for me(like a facial or pedicure). Saturday Carl is home so we do stuff together that needs to be done around the house, and Sunday is a day if rest, where we do as little housework as possible and enjoy  the day together as a family.
2.I do a 15-20 minute cleanup around the house everyday. You wouldnt believe how much you get done in that short amount of time. I go around the house, putting stuff away that doesnt belong there, straightening stuff up, maybe it dusting or sweeping that needs done in between or a window that needs cleaned, what small things need cleaned up that you can get done in that time.
3. On top of my weekly schedule I have certain things that get done everyday. I make my bed, do dishes and make my sink shine.Its amazing how by doing those 2 things everyday can make your house feel neat and clean. Its nice to wake up to a clean sink and its even better to go to bed to a clean, made bed every night.
4.Laundry! I totally believe nothing says I love you more than having clean socks and underwear to put on( I can hear some of you laughing now). But by washing, drying and most importantly putting away clean clothes saves you and your family time each morning. No one likes a scavenger hunt during the chaos of getting ready for the day.
5.Declutter!!!! I know this is hard, but its really about getting rid of stuff that doesnt matter to us, the things that really make our house messy. One of my favorite sayings is "The most important things in life...arent things" We are all slaves to things and our possessions. We work to have things but when it comes down to it they arent important. So here is a challenge to do this week: Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a trash bag and walk through your house, throwing away stuff. Throw away old magazines, broken toys, paper, etc. The rule is if you havent used it for a year then either give it away or trash it! Clutter attracts clutter! Take this challenge, you wont regret it and trust me you wont miss any of these things. Things will never make you happy. Unused clutter will only weigh you down. So only keep things that mean something to you, let go of things that dont. Give them away to people who may actually need them, you will feel good for sharing with  those that are less fortunate.

Cleaning your home is just a routine and once you establish the habit, your family will always feel loved!
In the next few weeks on Wednesdays I will go into further detail about each of these.  Soon  I am going to introduce my throw away a thing a day Challenge!Have fun decluttering this week!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thankful For The Roof!

I have so much to be greatful for this week. But today I am most greatful for the roof over my head. Early last week, we discovered a leak in our ceiling. We took down a few tiles, tore out the insulation and let it dry out. We thought it was just a small leak since the roof was covered with snow and Carl discovered a shingle missing. He replaced the shingle, the water dried up so we thought we had it all taken care of. So this past weekend we decided to take down the rest of the tile ceiling and replace it with gyproc. But when we did, we found a bigger problem, all of the insulation was soaked, it was a huge mess. We tore out the rest of it and its in the process of drying now, we did manage to find the leak between the old and new roofs. The roof has been open now for a couple days and it gets kinda chilly in here, so I cant wait till we can replace the insulation and ceiling on the weekend. But even though it was a huge mess and a pain in the butt, I was thankful. Thankful that we found the leak before it got worse and cost us alot more money. But mostly thankful for the roof over our heads. Thankful we have a home, that we arent homeless and living on the streets. Thankful that I have a husband who is handy and can fix things cheaper than hiring a professional. I love that even in a bad situation I can be greatful. It is a blessing to be able to see good even in a bad situation.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
I love the whole idea behind this day! Spreading love to everyone is a wonderful thing. But it can also be a sad day for some people. People who are alone, people experiencing a recent breakup and  people who have recently lost a loved one may have a depressing day. So lets make this day about spreading the love to everyone around us not just our significant others. Everyone needs love, everyone needs to feel appreciated and cared for. Carl and I dont really make a big deal of Valentine's Day. We would rather celebrate days that are important to our relationship, like the first day we met, the day we moved in together and birthdays, and the most important day to us, our anniversary(07/07/07)!!! We dont make big plans for dinner out or big gifts, or roses(not my favorite flower anyway!) Its the small things that we do everyday that mean more to us , like a small gift for no reason, a love note left on the computer screen or in someones lunch, a surprise candle light dinner in the middle of the week, or a cuddle while watching a movie! I love coming up with little ways to show Carl that I love him, but I dont need a special day to tell me to. I prefer using this day to tell people that I may not see everyday that I love them and I am thinking about them. So lets all spread the love,  call your parents and siblings and tell them you love them, let your best friends know how much they mean to you and smile at strangers you met today saying hello, do something nice for your neighbor and bring your coworkers a treat and lets make this the year that we spread the love everyday and not just on February 14th and make this the year the year that we show everyone in our lives the love!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

I have been trying to find healthier snack foods for us, I tried this recipe and they turned out great so I thought I would share it with you. They are easy to make and so much better for you than boxed crackers from the grocery store! All the ingredients you need are:
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix the flours together, add the oil and water and mix. Make smooth kneading as little as possible. Roll out as thin as possible on a ungreased cookie sheet(about 1/8 inch). Mark with a knife the size of crackers desired but do not cut all the way through. Prick each cracker a few times with a fork.
Bake at 350 until crisp and light brown for 30-35 minutes. Once done let cool for awhile then finish cutting the rest of the way through. Store in a plastic container. Great for dipping, with cheese or just the way they are!!
Hope you enjoy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making your Home a Haven Wednesday

I love being a homemaker. I take great pride in having a clean house. I love decorating our home with things that we love, that mean something to us and things that make us comfortable. I love welcoming friends and family to our home and making them comfortable. Not everyone enjoys housecleaning or decorating. Most people dont get as excited as I do over a clean shiny sink or an organized closet. Plus we dont always have the time with our busy schedules. So every Wednesday I will share some of my ideas, tips and tricks on how you can make your house a Haven for you and your family.

Here are a few of the ideas to come in the next few weeks:
1.Easy steps to getting started on a cleaner home
2.Making a daily or weekly cleaning schedule
3.Steps to Decluttering
4.Surrounding yourself with only the things you love
5.My Throw Away A Thing A Day Challenge
6.DIY projects

If there any topics you want discussed just let me know, soon we will all have a shiny sink!!!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thankful Tuesdays!

I have always considered myself a positive "glass is half full " kinda girl. Dont get me wrong I have bad days, where I can be negative, but the majority of the time I take pride in the fact that I am upbeat and can see the good in most things. Last year when making my New Year resolutions I decided it was going to be the year of "positivity". I made the decision to try to be even more positive than I normally am. Because I believe that life is what we make it and if we continually see the negative then our lives will ultimately become a vicious cycle of negativity. I take great pleasure in enjoying  even the simpliest things like a clean bathroom and instead of complaining about a snow storm I see the wonderous white beauty of it. Life is what you make it and our thoughts can determine how we feel about our lives. So why not make them positive thoughts?  Earlier in this blog I wrote a list of 100 things I am greatful for, so now every Tuesday I am going to compile a short list of the things that I am greatful for this week! Here is this weeks list:

1. the beauty of winter past experiences(good and bad) cause they make up who I am today
3.Pledge Multi Surface...this stuff rocks, I have been using it on everything!
4.Finding and trying new recipes
5. trying to stick to my schedule(not always done but I am trying!)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Marriage Monday!

Every Monday I am going to blog about marriage so I decided I better start with a quick story about mine.

Carl and I met online about 5 years ago. We met in person soon after. I think he was much more interested in me than I was in him. I didnt think he was my type. I had dated men that I thought were my type or maybe more like what I thought I needed to get what I wanted out of life. Carl was from a small farming community. He didnt have money or a nice car, couldnt afford to take nice trips and he wasnt all that cultured, he had never been a movie theatre or concert. After meeting for the first time I remember commenting to a friend of mine that he was nice and would make a good friend but that was it. Carl was definitely more interested in me though  and kept calling and driving the 2 hour drive to come visit me. A few months after we met, we had a conversation about how he wanted to move out of the country and maybe try living in the city. I was roomateless at the time so I offered him the second bedroom in my appartment if he wanted to try city life. It was under the condition that we were only friends because I knew he wanted more but I didnt want to hurt him. He was not my type!

Wow, was I wrong!! Two weeks after he moved in, we officially started dating, four months later we were engaged and less than a year later we were married!

All the time I had been looking for the wrong kinda guy. I always dated men who were all about themselves. Guys who thought money and things were important. Men who needed fixing and I thought I could change them, I always had a thing for what I like to call"users" and I dont think I had enough self respect to want someone who wasnt one.

I found a man who isnt perfect, far from it actually, but he tries. He is sensitive, and caring, not always romantic, but thoughtful. He puts us first, our marriage is the most important thing to him. He cares about his family, and he works hard.

We have been married almost 4 years now, and I have loved watching  our marriage  changing and growing. We have a very strong marriage. We made a pact that no matter what no one leaves. No matter, how rough things get, we will work it out. We are at our best when solving problems together, even though we dont always agree we know we can work it out in the end.

We fight......we have disagreements, mostly over money, family and sometimes just stupid things when one or both of  us is tried, cranky or hungry! Nothing is ever perfect, no one is perfect so  your marriage isnt going to be perfect either. We have learned to compromise, and bend to what the other wants sometimes. We have both learned alot of patientence. We were both in our 30s when we got married and both kinda set in our ways and it took time to adjust to being a team instead of a single carefree individual. But now we are a team to be reckoned with. We have alot of the same values, ideas on life and we share alot of the same interest so it makes our lives together easy most of the time.

I am glad I found a man who I can be friends with, someone I trust, someone who I know no matter what will stand up and protect me and be there for me no matter what life throws our way. I cant till every Monday, where I will be sharing my ideas on marriage, fun tips to spice it up and how God can strengthen your marriage!


Friday, February 4, 2011

How Do You Walk When You Were Born to Run?

How Do You Walk When You Were Born to Run?

Wow.... Had to share this article, is really moving and would love to read Shaun's book!

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan, set aside. Combine bananas, eggs, melted butter and vanilla, slowly add flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and baking powder until well combined and batter is thick and chunky. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake until bread has risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, approx 55-65 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool, and then remove from pan and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Febuary Goals

1.Be quick to listen and slow to speak
2.Continue my Pray For Your Husband Challenge
3. Come up with something special for Valentine's Day
4.Plan our once a month date night

1.Continue the Ruth Bible Study
2.Better schedule my quiet and prayer time everyday
3.Try to find some way to get more involved in our church

1.Make my bed and shine my sink everyday
2.Make a weekly cleaning schedule and stick to it
3.Look for new bathroom flooring and countertop
4.Find new mats for kitchen and dinning room
5.Find some new candles

1.Walk everyday
2.Make a "30 minute" workout schedule and stick to it
3. Get my hair done and colored
4.Throw out old makeup and get new stuff
5.Get a pedicure

Fun Stuff
1.Superbowl Party
2.Daytona Party
3.Find new recipes to try
4.Stay Positve and live with joy and gratitude!