Friday Favs – 5 Podcasts You Should Listen To

Friday Favs – 5 Podcasts You Should Listen To


Podcasts are one of my favorite things. You can find a podcast on pretty much any topic you want- self-improvement, faith, health, comedy, current affairs, and even the Gilmore Girls. Here are 5 of my and my teams’ favorites right now. What are some of yours? I love finding new gems to listen to so give us your recommendations so we can all join in on the fun!

Gilmore Guys

Gilmore Guys

It’s two guys talking about Gilmore girls. It’s hilarious!

Recommended by Kathi Lipp

Mud Stories with Jacque Watkins

MudStoriesPodcast250x250Mud Stories is dedicated to bringing you inspiration in your muddiest moments, hope to make it through your mud, and encouragement for you to know that you are not alone. It was an honor to be interviewed by Jacque Watkins!

Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey


I love to listen to Jamie chat with her friends. I feel inspired, encouraged and connected with so many authentic women.

Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey


MH Podcast

Michael Hyatt helps you to live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey

Family Life Today

Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine interview such interesting guests about faith and family. I appreciate their commitment to help us develop godly marriages and families who change the world one home at a time.

Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey

8 Simple Steps to Clutter Free Kitchen Cabinets

8 Simple Steps to Clutter Free Kitchen Cabinets

8 Simple Steps to Clutter Free Kitchen Cabinetsby Amberly of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team

If you are wasting “thyme” because your kitchen cabinets are “peppered” with too many spices, it is time to declutter. Spices are expensive, and having too many or not having an organized system can be costly. (I’ve been known to buy a spice twice if I can’t find it!)

Follow these eight simple steps for decluttering your cabinets:

1)      Resolve to simplify and succeed.

2)      Clean your countertops so that all items can be removed and cleaned.

3)      Label three boxes: Put Away (items that will stay in the kitchen), Other Room (items that will go somewhere else in the house including the garage), Give Away (think of newlyweds or community organizations that might be able to benefit from your purge. You’ll also want a trash bag and a recycling bag.

4)      Remove all items from cabinets. Sort them into the appropriate boxes and bags (see above). Throw away items in an opaque trash bag to avoid decluttering regrets and dumpster diving in your own garbage!

5)      Throw all old spices away. They are no longer valuable and take up unnecessary space. Make a mental note of those you infrequently use so you do not rush out to replace them with something new.

6)      Before putting items back into them, clean your cabinets and shelves so that your slate is clean.

7)      Organize spices in “families”: those you use all the time, those used for specific purposes, those rarely used, etc. and  group them in the cabinet for quick access.

8)      Once your cabinets are organized, avoid buying bargain spices and/or warehouse-sized spices. Although it may seem to save a few pennies, it will cost you space and sanity.

Decluttering those cabinets can help alleviate stress and expedite your cooking time which is quite a “sage” decision!

Do you want more Clutter Free? Take the 5 Day Clutter Free Challenge!

Clutter Free Kitchen Cabinets

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Friday Favs — 5 Blogs You Should Be Reading

Friday Favs — 5 Blogs You Should Be Reading


Ask Anna

Ask Anna


Anna’s tremendous! I learned how to clean between the glass on my stove. She’s got so many DIY, “figure it out,” etc. If there’s something that you don’t know how to clean, she’ll figure out how to do it. It’s really good!  Recommended by Kathi Lipp

Raising Boys and Girls
Raising Boys & Girls



This is, by far, my favorite parenting blog. Written by Christian child/youth psychologists, Raising Boys and Girls is a practical resource for parents raising kids in today’s world with today’s challenges. They tackle gender-specific issues, basic parenting challenges, and technology with practical tips on how to raise great kids in a difficult world. Recommended by Jessica Fall

The MOB Society
MOP Society



As a mother of two boys (and no girls), this blog is a regular read for me. MOB stands for Mothers of Boys. These gals just capture the joys and challenges specific to raising boys in a way that encourages me to press into the hard work, celebrate all the “boyness” in my house, and stand firm in raising boys who love the Lord. Recommended by Jessica Fall

Steve Wiens

Steve Weins


Steve is a fresh, grace-filled voice in Christendom. Not “kitchsy” but real. His desire is for us to become who we were created to be. To find that God is for us, is delighted in us. Often he includes thought-provoking questions and exercises to help us know ourselves better and grow into all that God designed us to be. Recommended by Emily Nelson

Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt2


How to succeed at work and win at life. Michael provides wonderful uplifting content that helps you be more productive. Recommended by Robin Smith.

Bonus Blog!!

You should follow Proverbs 31!

While you’re there, sign up for the next Online Bible Study, my book, The Husband Project!













Recipes to Crave: Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Recipes to Crave: Goat Cheese Bruschetta


This bruschetta recipe is proof that not all yummy things are hard to make. Goat cheese bruschetta is a fantastic appetizer for a lunch with friends, or for a refreshing dinner.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4-6


1 baguette, sliced

2 T. balsamic vinegar

2 T. chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, or basil

Goat cheese



Preheat broiler to high. Combine balsamic vinegar and herbs. Place bread slices on a broiler pan. Char bread on each side under hot broiler. You can also grill bread if you prefer. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over slices of toasted baguette and spread with goat cheese. Finish with another drizzle of vinaigrette. Garnish with thyme.

Boom! Done.

How to Kick Perfectionism Out of the Kitchen

How to Kick Perfectionism Out of the Kitchen

How to-Kick-Perfectionism-Out-of-The-Kitchen

by Bethany of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team

Although my kitchen is now clutter free, I can still find plenty to feel insecure about. After sixteen years of marriage, my dishes are showing some wear, and our silverware has morphed into a hodgepodge of unrelated utensils. I have become proficient in the kitchen, but not exactly stellar.

It’s so easy to focus on all the things we want to make just a bit better before we invite anyone over for dinner. But this habit can lead so quickly to perfectionism: an unwillingness to do anything we can’t do just right.

Magic happens when people gather around a table to eat and chat together. If we fret about the details and try to cover up the shortcomings that are obvious to us, we’ll miss out on the beauty of communing.

Here are five reminders to help us kick perfectionism out of our kitchens:

  1. Dinner is not a photo shoot for a magazine.
  1. A cooking show isn’t filming in your kitchen as you cook.
  1. A professional organizer will not be present to evaluate your progress in your clutter free journey.
  1. Your food, service, and decor will not be rated by Zagat.
  1. It’s all about the welcome, the hospitality, and the food.

Think about the around-the-table moments you treasure in your heart—moments threaded together with conversation while forks clinked on plates. You likely remember these snapshots because those occasions were special and you felt cared for. You don’t treasure these memories because you sat in the midst of perfection; you treasure them because despite imperfect people, the burned chicken, and a wobbly chair, you felt included. This is our aim when we welcome people into our kitchen: to make them feel like they belong.

If this is all true—if hospitality really isn’t about being perfect—then we are all capable of hosting a fantastic dinner party. We are all more than qualified to love on people by inviting them over for conversation and a bite to eat.

So be brave! Go ahead and invite friends over, despite the fact that imperfection resides in your kitchen. Don’t let the goal of perfection warp your idea of what it means to be hospitable: don’t allow it to taint the food you serve. Confidently invite friends and family into your home and decline to feel shame about the imperfect. (After all, every home has it.)

Show perfectionism the door, and make room to welcome people at your table.

CureForThePerfectLifeKick Perfectionism to the curb in every area of your life! Check out my book, The Cure for the Perfect Life, where we deal with the 4 P’s:

  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination
  • People-Pleasing
  • Performancism

Embrace your imperfect self and go change the world!

Fri Fav – 5 Essential Items for Your Kitchen

Fri Fav – 5 Essential Items for Your Kitchen


Quality Potato Masher & Ricer in One

Essential items for your kitchen

This mashes potatoes like nothing I have ever used before. It’s spring-loaded. It’s FUN! I look forward to mashing potatoes!

When you need to get a little aggression out, this is the potato masher.

Recommended by Kathi Lipp

Link to purchase

Essential items for your kitchen

Ninja Mega Kitchen System

I’ve always had a blender and a food processor, and I hardly ever used either of them. The food processor was so heavy it was a pain to lug and the blender was a pain to clean. The mega kitchen system has one base, a great processor bowl, and great blender/blade combo, and individual cups for blending a single-size smoothie to go.

Recommended by Jessica Fall

Link to Purchase

Essential items for your kitchen

Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker

I love that I can toss frozen chicken breasts into the InstantPot (with salsa to make chicken for taco salad or with chicken broth to make soup) and have dinner ready in about 30 minutes. It has saved me numerous times when I’ve forgotten to plan ahead or plans have changed last minute.

Recommended by Brooke Martinez

Link to Purchase

Essential items for your kitchen

Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet

I cannot live without my cast iron skillet. Reasons include:

1) Cooks beautifully

2) It goes from the stove top to the oven seamlessly

3) It is non-stick

4) No toxic fumes that go along with most non-stick cookware.

Recommended by Amberly Neese

Link to Purchase

Essential items for your kitchen

Vitamix Blender

I’m a runner and this is an absolute must for my post-run shakes and smoothies. I’ve tried a regular blender and the Ninja and none perform like this one. Absolutely a must for my kitchen.

Recommended by Edith Pont

Link to purchase

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Fri Fav – 5 Books You Should Be Reading

Fri Fav – 5 Books You Should Be Reading

Top 5 Book Recommendations for May 2016

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

I so rarely read fiction these days because it feels like an indulgence. This book has letters between an American and a British used book store owner. It’s during the war and she sends them food and treats. She does things that only an American would do. He searches for books for her. It’s lovely, charming and wonderful! Recommended by Kathi Lipp

Purchase Link


Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Two Harvard Professors unpack the mysteries and agonies of giving and receiving feedback effectively. It is a practical approach for anyone who struggles to use feedback to their advantage and view it an an invaluable tool for growth. Recommended by Amberly Neese

Link to purchase


The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God by Shelia Walsh

Shelia Walsh immediately captured my attention when I saw a video promotion of this must-read book. The Longing in Me will help you see that your longings are built from the blueprint of your needs: for protection, for love, for God. And those needs aren’t going anywhere. Your cravings are not the problem. It’s where they lead you that makes all the difference. Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey

Purchase link

Rising Strong by Dr. Brene Brown

Rising Strong offers an opportunity to see that failure is not to be feared, but used to rise stronger. God uses people who feel unqualified to do amazing things. Recommended by Mary Lou Caskey

Purchase Link



Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

Each of us has but one life to live on this earth. What we do with it is our choice. Step by step instructions on how to stop letting our lives slip away and making the most productive use of your time and your life. I love the message in the book and how it encourages action. Recommended by Robin O’Neal Smith

Purchase Link

“If you purchase the product or service I referenced next to the link you just clicked, I will receive an “affiliate commission.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Recipes to Crave: Asian Chicken Wrap Ups

Recipes to Crave: Asian Chicken Wrap Ups


(This recipe was first seen in The “What’s for Dinner? Solution ~Kathi Lipp)

Recipes to Crave

It’s Spring and yummy, fresh recipes are an absolute necessity. Try these amazing Asian Chicken Wrap Ups. They are healthy and so tasty. While this may not be the fastest meal in the west, it’s “no cook” if you buy the chicken precooked. And everyone can construct their own wrap, saving you even more time!

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
(Cut your prep to next to nil by making the chicken mixture ahead of time)

Cook Time: None!

Serves: 4 as appetizers or 2 as a main course


2 cups skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
(save time by using precooked chicken breasts)
3 T. rice vinegar
1 1/2 T. light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Seasoned salt and pepper
1/4 cup crispy rice noodles
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded broccoli slaw
4-6 butter lettuce leaves
1/3 cup Peanut sauce (store bought)
1/3 cup Asian salad dressing for dipping sauce (store bought)


In a medium glass bowl, combine chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and almonds.

Mix well.

Season to taste with seasoned salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

On platter, arrange lettuce leaves and small containers of peanut sauce and Asian dressing. Place a mound of chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf. Top with crispy noodles, carrots, and broccoli slaw. Roll up the leaf and dip in one of the sauces.


The-What's-for-Dinner-Solution-300 For more recipes to enjoy, check out Kathi’s The What’s for Dinner Solution in her book shop!

Removing the Clutter of Shame

Removing the Clutter of Shame


by Sharon Jaynes
Kathi Lipp is the queen of showing us how to de-clutter our lives. And if there was ever an area I needed to de-clutter in my heart, it was in the area of shame. I wonder if you can relate.

One morning I sat on my back porch, wrapped in my fuzzy worn robe—the one that’s twenty years old but I just can’t seem to get rid of. The birch tree leaves shivered in the cool morning crispness and the gerbera daisies that had been sleeping beneath the soil through the winter months, stretched their faces to the sun . . . just a bit higher than the day before.

Then I heard him. The rooster.

ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I’m not sure where he lives, but it’s within earshot.

ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I thought of Peter. I thought of me. I thought of you.

You know the story. At the dinner table, on the night before Jesus went to the cross, He had a chat with his friend Peter. He referred to Peter in his pre-disciple-days name—Simon.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Don’t you know Jesus thought…sure you are, buddy?

“I tell you, Peter,” Jesus said, “before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

A few hours later, Peter did just that. Denied that he even knew Jesus. Three times. And then the rooster crowed. ER-er-ER-er ERRRR.

And Peter went outside and wept bitterly. He cried and cried and cried.

The next morning, the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered his failure.

And the next morning the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered his failure.

And the next, and the next, and the next.

With every cock-a-doodle-doo came a fresh reminder. First thing in the morning.

Have you ever been there? I have.

I have failed. I have cried and cried and cried. I have remembered.

Shame has poked drain holes in my Spirit-filled confidence and I have hidden behind the wall with Peter…behind the bush with Eve.

And even though I had asked God to forgive me, and I knew that He had, the rooster still crowed in my heart, and I remembered my failure all over again.

Like a trapeze artist who takes hold of the second bar, but refuses to let go of the first, I have hung—dangling over “life to the full.”

Not quite letting go of the life that’s “less than” in order to soar fully and free as God intended.

And God calls to me…Let go. Move forward. Live bold. It’s the only way.

And Paul tells me how… Here’s what I doI press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what lies ahead… (Philippians 3:12,13)

And I see it clearly. For me and for you.

When we finally take hold of, grasp, and make our own all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us, we begin to experience life to the full—the faith we’ve always longed for.

But taking hold is not enough. We’ve got to let go.

Let go of shame-filled ponderings and and take hold of grace-filled pardon.

Let go of crippling bitterness and take hold of radical forgiveness

Let go of weak-kneed worry and take hold of sure-footed confidence.

Let go of insecurity and take hold of your true identity as a child of God.May-2-Shame-Square

Let go of preoccupation with self-doubt and take hold of God’s power-filled promises.

Let go of comparison and take hold of your God-fashioned uniqueness.

Let go of the lies that hold you hostage and take hold of the truth that sets you free.

Let go of paralyzing doubt and take hold of fleet-footed faith that’s ready to dance to the daring rhythm of God’s drum.

I get excited thinking about it and I’m ready. God has placed lavish promises in the safety deposit box of my heart and fashioned a cross-shaped key just for me…just for you. And letting go of shame and taking hold of grace is where it all begins.

What did Jesus have to say about Peter’s failure? Three strikes, you’re out? Not hardly.

After his resurrection, Jesus pulled Peter aside…

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Jesus removed the shroud of shame hanging from Peter’s guilt weary shoulders, and called him to get back to the ministry to which he was called. And He does the same for me and for you.

Take hold of grace.

But the rooster still crows.

The question is, what will we remember when it does?

Not the sin…but the grace.

Oh friend, don’t let the enemy accuse you of what God has already forgiven you of?

Don’t let him fool you into thinking that the cross was not enough.

Don’t let him clutter your heart with shame and condemnation that God wants to sweep out the door.

Take hold of what Jesus has already taken hold of for you.

And He asks…

“Daughter, do you love me?”The Faith You Long For Galley.indd

“Yes, Lord, you know that I do.”

Feed my sheep.
Is God calling you to de-clutter your heart and let go of something in your life? If so, leave a comment and we’ll pick 5 and give away 5 free copies of Sharon’s book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For.

Jaynes Sharon HeadshotSharon Jaynes has penned a passel of books and loves linking arms with women all around the world through the written and spoken word. In her brand new book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, she reveals the most common reasons we get stuck in a mediocre faith. By sitting fireside with Moses at the burning bush and looking at his four arguments with God, you’ll discover how to let go of all that holds you hostage to a life that’s less than what God intended, move forward into life to the full that Jesus promised, and live bold with mountain moving faith that is filled with expectancy. To learn more about Sharon’s ministry visit  To learn more about Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, visit


7 Ways to Really Live in Your Living Room

7 Ways to Really Live in Your Living Room

7-Ways-to-Really-Live-in-Your-Living-Roomby Bethany of Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy Team

When I make the choice to control the clutter, I find freedom waiting in the living room. A lot of family life happens in the living room, and I want to make it a point to spend a lot of time in there with my hubby and three kids. But I can only do this well if I keep the clutter from sucking the life out of the living room. Our living room needs to be a place where we connect and laugh together, not trip over junk and shift piles of books to find a spot on the couch.

Here’s what I know: The kids won’t remember if the pillows, couch and rug coordinate but they will remember the tickle fights. Guests won’t remember if clean floors or dust bunnies greeted them when they crossed the threshold of your living room but they will remember your kind hospitality. Why? Because these are the things that actually matter, not sparkling floors and not throw pillows.

Contain clutter and gain freedom to live—really live—in your living room. 

Here are seven ideas to get you started.

1. Dance Party
Turn up the volume on some of your favorite tunes and dance until you drop. Learn a line dance together and hilarity will follow.

2. Indoor Picnic
Spread out a blanket on the living room floor and break out the picnic foods, whether it’s 95 degrees or raining outside! Bonus: Dinner is easy peasy!

3. Game Night
Choose a night and invite a few friends over for pizza and games. The invitation and the fun are all that matter. Enjoy your guests. Repeat.

4. Lightsaber Fight
It just doesn’t get much better than a lightsaber fight. Get ready to watch the force in action—everyone is a kid with a lightsaber in hand. For extra fun, make it as dark as possible to stay safe and then record it. Everyone loves to see the action over and over again.

5. Coffee Shop
Make (or buy) a batch of cookies or muffins. Set out books, magazines, and candles. Brew your favorite cup and turn up some background music. Relish the blissful sips of clutter free life with family or friends!

6. Putt-Putt
We have a little putting mat that we bring into the living room now and then because…well, why not? Make a game of it and see who can sink the best out of ten putts. Winner gets to choose the snack.Kathi Lipp's Clutter Free Academy

7. Date Night Movie Night
After the kids are in bed, break out an appetizer extravaganza, whether its from your grocer’s frozen section or an exotic array of cheeses and fruit. You pick the food, fancy or fun, and hubby gets to choose the movie.

• What’s your favorite way to live — really live — in your living room?

• How does becoming clutter-free make it easier to enjoy life in your living room?


21-ways-to-connect-300While you’re at it, how do you connect with your kids? Each of them has a different personality and each has different needs to feel loved. With 21 Ways to Connect to Your Kids, you’ll learn each of his/her personality traits and how to use that information to create real connection.