Grab a cup of tea and enjoy browsing! I've divided them into categories for you so you can quickly find what interests you the most.
*Disclaimer: I do not necessarily endorse all of the content found on these other blogs. Please read at your own discretion.*
If you want to find a bunch of other great posts from our network on all kinds of topics like Homeschooling, Home Remedies, Christian Growth, and lots and lots and LOTS of healthy recipes, be sure to visit these other blogs between 12/23 and 12/31.
The theme on the blog for 2014 is “Project Simplify”. I want to simplify my life by reducing clutter both in my home and my schedule so that I have more space to accomplish more!
As I babystep my way toward simplifying my life, I'll be sharing helpful resources with you as I go along.
I'm starting with this printable gift inventory because right now there are lots of after Christmas sales going on and I am already starting my gift shopping for 2014.
Here's how I plan to use this list:
With everyone already listed out for the year I can think ahead and shop for good deals all year long. I also won't have to worry about scrambling for gifts at the last minute!
If you want to make sure you don't miss any of the other resources for Project Simplify, be sure you're subscribed to free email updates! You can subscribe right below this post.
What areas of your life do you need to work on simplifying?
Do you ever feel like you just don't have it together?
Are you disorganized and undisciplined?
Are you ever ashamed when your husband comes home because you haven't used your time wisely that day?
Do you snap at your kids and speak unkind words to your husband?
Do you think back over the day with feelings of guilt because you know you should have acted differently in the area of __________(you fill in the blank)?
But you know what? I struggle with them all sometimes. I'm not telling you that because I'm proud of it. I'm telling you that because I'm sure some of you struggle with these things too.
Let me be honest here: tomorrow is the last day of the healthy living bundle, and I was originally planning this post to highlight some of the great books on self-discipline.
But as I began to write, God spoke to my heart and said, “What's more important? What's going to help women more? Books? Or THE Book?”
So here I am to say,
If you're an imperfect homemaker, struggling with certain areas in your life that you know need to change, turn to the ONLY book that can change your life. The author is perfect. The book itself will act as a mirror, revealing what's in your heart. It will act as a sword, cutting out those hidden parts of your life that need to be removed. It will act as a light, to guide you when you know you need to change, but aren't quite sure how.
If I lose some sales because I'm telling you that self-help books won't change your life, so be it. If I've encouraged someone…anyone…to seek God's face and rely on Him to be the woman He wants you to be, I rejoice.
Do I think your health will benefit from the books and resources in the healthy living bundle? Absolutely.
But I know what's far more important, and if you only choose one book to read, study, and follow, choose God's.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
I'm a pretty frugal person.
Just come over and check out my beat up furniture, old car, and closets full of yard sale clothes and you'll see I'm telling the truth.
So why in the world would I purposely waste money?
Let me give you some real life examples.
1. Every time I sweep the floor I come across about 13 tiny black ponytail holders that belong to my daughter. I could be frugal and pick them all up and put them away, or I could finish sweeping the floor after being interrupted by 16 other minor emergencies and not give myself cause for one more interruption. Decisions, decisions…ponytail holders in trash or one more gray hair? Trash.
2. When the kids finish a session of coloring, there are usually about 8 or 10 crayons on the floor. About half of those end up broken when the kids get up from the table and start walking around without picking them up. I suppose I could be frugal and save the broken ones to make one of the million craft ideas on Pinterest. Or I could just throw them away and get it out of my already too-cluttered house. Clean house or cute crafts that I'll most likely never get around to anyway? Trash.
3. 2-year-old destructo-man decides to rip a page out of a book. I could tape it back up, but it's highly possible that it will sit on the desk for a while, adding to a really annoying pile of other junk. Or I could waste money and just throw it away. I think I will. Ahhh! No more annoying junk sitting around!
4. Suppertime has arrived, but the lunch dishes are still not done. It's just been a fast-track day with no time to breathe. I could save money and set the table properly or I could waste money and use paper plates that will go straight into the trash, leaving me more time to enjoy playing with my kids after dinner. What sounds like a better life – playing with cute kids or washing dishes while I get annoyed that everybody else is in the other room enjoying family time without me? Paper plates, please. My money-wasting bills are tallying up, but I'm enjoying life and eliminating stress!
5. Most of our grocery shopping is done at local farms and the farmer's market, and we fill in all the gaps at one particular grocery store. I could wait and buy dish soap and tissues at Walmart for probably a good couple dollars cheaper than I could at the grocery store. Or I could spend a couple extra dollars not to have to unbuckle 3 kids, walk to the back of Walmart while wrangling said children to stay with me, check out while keeping children from annoying the cashier by touching the weight sensor on the self check-out, maneuver our way safely back across the parking lot, and successfully buckle all three children back into car seats. I'll waste the money, thank you.
Shall I continue with my examples, or do you get the idea?
While we ought to be good stewards of our finances, we should also remember that time is money. I've never heard the expression “lack of stress is money”, but I know it's worth money to me!
While I will do all that I can to practice being frugal in ways that will not cost a lot of extra time and headache, I will not worry so much over pinching every penny that I drive myself insane in the process!
You all may know by now that I'm not the most artistic person in the world. However, I still enjoy beautiful things and crafts as much as any other woman. It's just that anything I do has to be pretty much dummy-proof or I will find some way to mess it up!
When I found out that I would have the opportunity to try out items from the Martha Stewart Decoupage line, I immediately thought of an easy project that even someone like me could complete.
First, here are all the goodies I recieved:
The supplies I used for this craft were:
Here's how I did it:
First, I found a font that I liked and printed it off on the computer.
I cut it out and used it as a template to cut out an identical piece of black fabric.
Next I used a piece of card stock as a template to cut my base fabric the right size.
I applied a layer of decoupage on the back of the monogram and adhered it to the center of my base fabric.
Then I applied several coats of decoupage over top of the whole thing to seal it. I did this several times, giving it a couple hours of drying time in between.
Finally, I adhered the entire thing to a piece of card stock and stuck it in a frame. I opted to leave it without the glass so that the texture of the fabric could be more prominently displayed. (By the way, this is a great way to use thrift store frames that are missing their glass!)
That was it! Done quickly and easily! If I can do it, anyone can!
Be sure to follow Plaid for lots more ideas:
You can also check out what other bloggers are doing with the Martha Decoupage products: