Thursday, June 23, 2011

And the winner is.....

BIG thanks to all who participated in getting the word out about the Keehns adoption! We just have two entries but there were more people who prayed, spread the word and even bought items from the adoption store! I call this a success! The winner of the onesie is:

Congrats #1 post- Angela! I will be forwarding your email to Heather to get your order in place! 

Thanks again to all for participating! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Giveaway: Onesies, babies, adoption..

Bringing home their child...

I would love to introduce you to Team Keehn. Heather is the mom of this team and I met her at work! My first impression of Heather was that she is talented and crafty. As she was sitting in the waiting room, I watched her create a beautiful little butterfly, perfected stitched onto a onesie! It wasn't until later that I understood that this cute little craft she had in her hand, was the means to bringing home her African child. They want to adopt a child from Africa, and let me tell you- I am SO excited to help be a small part of that!

Please visit their blog to read the whole story!


Team Keehn is giving away a onsie to get the word out about bringing their little one home from Africa. 
Heather sells onesies and other cute baby items to raise money for the adoption! I've already bought one so I can give it to a friend for her new baby; in the card, I will be sharing their story and blog so my friend can know that the onesy was bought for her little one, and also a beloved child in Africa.... how cool is that?

You know you want one ;) 

Also, Heather just sent me this about the program/fundraiser "Ordinary Hero Store":
"We get 40% plus a chance of earning an extra $500 grant for our adoption if we are in the top 3 for sales. The grant opportunity is for sales that happen through Tuesday.  I was just notified that so far we are in the top 5 so I am trying to get the word out as much as possible before Tuesday."
click here to check out the store! Click on their affiliate name at checkout, and they will get 40% of what you spend for the adoption! Do you have Grad gifts to buy? ;)

On to the giveaway!! (3 ways to enter):
  • Go to the Adoption Craft Shop and comment below on which item you think is the cutest. 
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook (using the link in the sidebar on the right) and tell me that you did below.
  • Tell me if you would keep the onesie for your child, or give it away if you won, in a separate comment.
The drawing will be through and I will announce the winner Thursday afternoon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

staying organized...

I don't know if this is the same issue you have, but when I walk into a room and find something out of sorts, like a super dusty window pane or cobwebs, I stop and think "ok, when was the last time I cleaned that?!"

Or maybe it's the day-to-day cleaning. You know- wiping down the counters, washing dishes, cleaning off sinks, vacuuming- and the list goes on. Do you ever find yourself wanting to go into a room and do a "quick clean" but then start on some project that's too big for what time allows, you leave it an unfinished project ( and now you have a  bigger mess) AND you still have your "quick clean" undone!

Cleaning can be overwhelming at all times. I believe it doesn't have to be! I mean that!

In the next several posts I'll share with you three things:

  • Clean 'N Simple house organizer
  • weekly "ta-da" sheets
  • You're outta here! (simplifying your home)
Clean 'N Simple
Whether you are more admin prone, or more of a "spur of the moment" kind of person- I promise you this will make your life easier.  Making a home organizer is all about what works for you. It doesn't have to be a certain way, other than a way that works for you! It's a place to put your creative ideas for your home, your project ideas, home recipes (such as homemade laundry soap), cleaning schedule, inspiration for making your house a home, etc.
So how do you start? Well, it's easy:
1) Find a binder in your home that you never use (we all have at least ONE of these lying around!) find or make (with card stock) dividers  and tabs so you can write the categories on them.
2) Find some loose leaf 3-hole paper, and place them in between the tabs.
3) Pray. I'm serious! By inviting God into your organizing, you are inviting Him to be the one that makes your house a home. Pray for wisdom in your category making, for strength to stay organized, and for ways to make your home welcoming, hospitable and a comfy place for everyone who walks in your doors.

Now on to the really fun part!
Make your categories, remember to keep them simple and only make what you will actually use.
Here are some of mine: cleaning schedule, cleaning recipes, Daily Docket, Summer bucket list, (and I have room to make more!)
I still have  to decorate the front cover of my organizer! I encourage you to do this; it will make it more fun to use and adding a personal touch is always a good idea!
Just an example I swiped from the internet to get your creative juices flowing!

If you want a cleaning schedule for your home, make your own on your word processor! This is what I have:

  • Weekly "ta-da!" sheet: I made a "get it done in 15 minutes or less" chart, that allows me to quick clean each room. (i.e the bed room is: new sheets/make bed, vac, dust, put randoms away.) This allows me to not be overwhelmed, and also keeps me on track so I don't get distracted my "I don't even know how that happened" unorganized closet! I also have bi-weekly chores on my document too! Slip it into a plastic sheet cover and use a dry erase marker to "tick" the things you've completed! (*cough* show your hubby how to use the list too ;) )
  • A monthly list: This includes anything that you feel needs to be done monthly
The moral of the story is to live simply, stay organized and keep from being overwhelmed! I will talk about "You're outta here!" in the next post! Gotta leave you hanging! ;) Happy organizing! 

** if you have your own home organizer, please leave your tips and comments in the section below! I'd love to hear what you've found! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lovin' this soap!

There's just something about any kind of berry that reminds me of Summer: strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry!!
I have to tell you, when I saw the package in the mail, I knew it was my much anticipated blueberry soap from Hen And Chicks Soap! When I opened the package I was immediately taken back to Summer memories when the fresh scent of blueberries hit me.... I was so excited to try it!

And you should be too, Angela's soaps are made from organic oils, additives and essential oils! So not only do they smell wonderful, they are wonderful for you! She has a variety of soaps available here on her website. Can I tell you what a great gift this soap would be? Oh yes, I'm totally adding this to my gift list! Did I mention that they are also at a great price? a 5.1oz. bar is only $3.50... I know, right?? That's totally affordable!

The soap is so smooth and lathers very nicely! That is important to me- I want to know that it's working, and covering well. I even use this soap to wash my face and to shave with. When you finish with your shower you will have a lovely fresh scent on your skin, the clean feeling we all love, and the satisfaction in knowing that you are taking care of your skin the all natural way! Now, that's simply a beautiful thing.

When ;) you check out her blog, tell her that Rachel Z. from Living simply beautiful sent you! And be sure to let me know which bar you ordered!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who would have thought?!

I have officially fallen in love with the homemade laundry soap, it smells clean and makes the clothes cleaner and brighter (even my husband said so!) But what to do about fabric softener? I don't want to use the store bought liquid or the sheets, so how do I make my clothes come out soft and at the same time save $ and go natural?

The answer: White Vinegar

I know, right? I thought the same thing. "Smelly vinegar will make my clothes soft?" And I'm pleased to tell you that it's true!! 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the last rinse cycle of your wash will make your clothes feel soft and comfy!

If you have a washer like mine you'll have a little "cup" in the middle of the washer where fabric softener is supposed to go. Since I don't have the time to sit and wait for my last rinse cycle and jump to throw some vinegar in there- I just put the vinegar in where the softener is supposed to go and let 'er spin.

Are you thinking that your clothes will smell like vinegar? Thought so. Trust me, they won't! It's like a magic potion! Your washer will have a hint of the smell, but your clothes will not.

My husband told me last night that I may need to use just a touch more vinegar with the cycle because not all of the clothes were soft- so watch for that when you try it. *cough* when. ;)

**ONLY use white vinegar, any other kind may stain your clothes!

I know you'll be pleasantly surprised when you try it!

Have a beautiful day today!

(if you've found this post helpful, please share this blog link on your Facebook page and spread the simple love!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Simply delicious {and easy!}

It's so easy to find yourself reaching for the "instant fix" at the grocery store.

You know what I'm talking about...

The help-me-i-have-no-time-to-cook boxes that shout "pick me, pick me!" when your cart squeaks past them- especially after a tiring day of work, cleaning and taking care of the craziness from the kids.

But before you give in, here's some tips for making those recipes quicker and healthier than a rice box, or burger helper ;)

It's gonna take some time, but think through those "instant" boxes. What are they made of? Take instant Spanish Rice for example. It's rice, but what really makes up those other ingredients? I don't like the idea of preservatives going into my food when all it would take is 5 more minutes to make a healthy meal! Here's what I did:

Quick [yet homemade] Spanish Rice:
I cooked up some plain ol' white rice
Grilled bell peppers- all colors- on my stove top griddle. You can add seasoning if you like.
Then took some cherry tomatoes (about two handfuls) and pulsed them in my food processor until they were small chunks.
I transferred the chopped tomatoes to a bowl and pulsed the grilled bell peppers and also put those in the bowl.
Add about half a packet of taco seasoning and about a tablespoon of garlic salt and stir.
Add the rice to a sauce pan and the vegetable blend,  stir until hot and it starts sticking to the pan. It's delicious!

Seriously, it's healthier than a box mix and your family will have a home cooked meal and  nutrients! If you have a particular "instant" mix that you enjoy, utilize the internet to try to figure out how you can make it at home yourself. You will reap the benefits of money saved and health in the long run!

I have a fantastic produce store that I get some beautiful deals from, so take advantage of what your area has to offer. I have found that the produce is much better (and so are the deals) when you buy local and small as opposed to chain stores. I bought 3 packages of cherry tomatoes and 10 bell peppers for $2- I'm not kidding.

If you don't have a food processor do yourself a huge favor and go buy a nice one. It's going to save you so much time and make life much more simple.

What "instant" mix will you make homemade this week?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Voila! Homemade laundry soap!

Ok, so I don't like chemical stuff... I'm not OCD about it, BUT if there's a simple way to make it natural and healthy for my family, well, then sign me up! 

I've been getting into this book about making your life more simple through organizing and purging. It's AWESOME. But the best part for me besides the lists (I LOVE LISTS!) is the section in the back of the book for healthy chemical free household cleaners! Eventually I want to make my home chemical free, but for now, I'm starting with laundry soap. 

Here's the recipe I used: 

1 half bar of laundry soap Fels Neptha is what I used

1 cup of Borax

1 cup of washing soda* 

Few drops of essential oil-this is optional, but I wouldn't skip it! (I used tea tree and orange)

Also: one plastic container with a lid
*I used baking soda and it worked just fine
I bought everything from Walmart except for the oils which I found here.

In your food processor (I love the one I have! ) place the cubed pieces of the bar soap and chop until as fine as they will get. Add the bar soap, borax, oils and washing soda into the container and stir (or shake) until thoroughly combined. Use 1 tablespoon per load, 2 if heavily soiled. 

Let me tell you, I just did two loads of laundry and it smells GREAT. 
If you want to save even more money in the long run and eliminate the use of the dryer and dryer sheets (more chemicals..ick) then put up a clothes line and let the sun do the work for you! It's worth it. So glad I tried out this simple recipe!