In celebration of National Homemade day we’re sharing our most popular post on making your own laundry detergent: http://www.kathilipp.com/2013/02/1-simple-thing-how-to-make-homemade-he-laundry-detergent/
Join us for a FB Live with KariAnne Wood, March 28 at 7 pm PDT
Decorating. Ugh. This is a stumbling block for most of us self-proclaimed “clutter people.” Because how do you create style when you are laser-beam focused on getting rid of substance?
Controlling the clutter can already feel overwhelming. But to style my home? To not only have a functional home but a beautiful home? I love the idea of it, but I’ll be the first to say that without the right guide, it can be completely overwhelming. Here are some questions I wrestle with when it comes to creating a cozy and cute home AND being clutter free at the same time:
- I see cute prints in all the magazines, but any print feels overwhelming. How do I get overcome my minimalist white-walls, white-space vibe and incorporate a print or—GULP!—two?
- As soon as I go to spend money on something I love, I mentally begin adding up the cost of all the other items I’ve bought that I now consider clutter. How can I embrace new design and get over the guilt of past decorating mistakes?
- I feel overwhelmed by the number of choices I need to make and struggle to find a starting point. How do I pick which room in my home to start with, and where can I focus my efforts to make the biggest bang for my buck?
Maybe, like me, decorating fills you with a bit of buyer’s remorse before you’ve even bought a thing. (Or maybe after you bought four of one thing!)
If you find yourself wanting to decorate, but are scared of the process, I want to invite you to my Facebook Live event with KariAnne Wood, author of the new book “The DIY Home Planner: Practical Tips and Inspiring Ideas to Decorate It Yourself” and blogger behind the acclaimed Thistlewood Farms.
She has promised to help my readers sort through the overwhelm and give us key strategies to help us all create cute and comfy homes while keeping clutter at bay. She’ll give us pointers on:
- Where to start if you hate everything in your home.
- What to get rid of and what to re-purpose.
- How to make smart (not cluttery) choices.
- The best place to shop.
Seriously, you guys. You will not want to miss this event. And I’m so excited because not only is she giving us all of this DIY wisdom, but she’s also giving one of our lucky readers a copy of the The DIY Home Planner.
This book serves as an all-in-one resource for inspiration, organization, creative encouragement and personalization so you can have confidence in every decorating decision you make. I can’t wait to give it away to one of my readers for free!
To join our live event and get your name in for the free book, go to the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/clutterfreeacademy/ on March 28 at 7 pm PST. Be sure to comment once you’re live to say hello and let us know you’re on!
Can’t wait to see you—and can’t wait to help you make your home cozy, cute and, of course, clutter free.
Ever feel like you will never get a handle on your breakfast routine? Kathi Lipp guides us in this episode to developing strategies with several practical tips that will help you to eat healthier and be less stressed for breakfast.
Get unstuck with a variety of different tools to aid in easier cooking, recipe ideas, prep ideas for ahead of time, and storage ideas that Kathi shares to take the hassle out of breakfast. Come on in and get your breakfast time rejuvenated!
*Bonus: GET A FREE DOWNLOAD of 30 breakfast ideas from Kathi!*
I shoo the dog from the cramped kitchen, greet new arrivals, and point to the bottle opener’s location — “The next drawer over. No, other side. There, in the front” — sticky sauce splatters the stovetop. Breathe.
“What can I do to help?” she asks.
I feign casual confidence: “I’ve got it under control” — and change the subject to her family’s most recent adventure.
The truth is, I don’t know what needs to be done. Or how to articulate it. So I might as well do it myself.
Avoid the stress of hosting?
Does this happen to you? Last-minute details keep you from enjoying time with your guests. And when someone offers to help, you’re so busy doing that you can’t think if there’s anything someone else could do.
Summer’s around the corner and, with it, the opportunity to host year-end celebrations, picnics, and potlucks. But can you host a meal, and truly enjoy your friends, without all the stress?
Is There a Better Way?
It began unintentionally.
My head throbs. But I’m unwilling to cancel tonight’s social event.
I can always excuse myself early; there’s no reason others can’t have fun!
Knowing my middle-aged brain is more compromised than usual, I list all the menu items and tasks to perform on our kitchen whiteboard.
I work my way down the list, erasing items as I complete them. When guests arrive, I hear the familiar question: “What can I do to help?”
“I’ve got it under control …”
I stop, look at the whiteboard, and say, “Could you finish the deviled eggs?”
Ahhh … My headache begins to fade.
Other guests offer to help. I ask one to cut strawberries. Another wipes down the picnic table.
Peals of laughter and conversation fill the air as we prepare the meal together.
Reduce the Stress in Your Celebrations
We’ve since perfected this dinnertime ritual:
- Line the countertop with the necessary serving dishes
- On a sticky note in each dish, provide simple instructions (e.g., fruit salad — strawberries, blueberries, banana, grapes).
- Hang a list of non-food instructions on the fridge (e.g., bring chairs from the garage)
Now you can enjoy your guests from the moment they arrive rather than ushering them into the living room with drinks.
Or tripping over them as you attempt to balance food prep and conversation.
You’ll create a welcoming atmosphere and your guests will feel at home — nothing says “you’re family” like being asked to set the table!
You may even avoid scrubbing sticky sauce from your stovetop.
Need more ideas for focusing on fun and fellowship instead of stressing out about shindigs? Stop by my blog to grab your free copy of Helpful Hospitality Hints: How to Host a Meal Without Losing Your Mind.
Kendra Burrows delights in encouraging others to see God’s grace in the everyday — when she isn’t chasing the animals (and boys!) out of her kitchen. She’s still learning hospitality requires we share it all, not do it all. Connect with her at www.kendraburrows.com.
I have an overwhelmed heart. It’s not because my calendar is crammed full of responsibilities, social gatherings or obligations though.
I’m overwhelmed with the mundane.
• Overwhelmed with two toddlers who need my attention for what feels like every minute of the day.
• Overwhelmed that the moment all the laundry gets folded and put away it’s time to start all over.
• Overwhelmed by the dishes that never seem to be done. The day-in-and-day-out responsibilities never end.
And it makes me weary.
This is a unique sense of being overwhelmed, one less talked about. But it is a reality for all.
Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling undone by the mundane. I mean, mundane is better than a crisis, right? Of course. Yes.
But our feelings – of being overwhelmed from the day-to-day grind – are still valid. It’s real and a daily struggle for many of us. So what do we do with our beat-down hearts?
Undone by the mundane
We engage our minds to bolster our hearts.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy. So, what if in the middle of unloading the dishwasher for the umpteenth time this week, we think about what is praiseworthy about getting to unload a full dishwasher?
For example, as I’m putting away dishes, I praise Jesus for the simple fact that I have dishes to put away. Also, a dishwasher full of dishes is an indication that we ate well that week and no one is hungry.
Or when I’m folding my kids’ laundry that only seems to multiply, I think about what’s lovely about all of those clothes. My kids have never been in want for clothes that fit. They have warm clothes when it’s cold and cool clothes when it’s hot.
Shifting our mind to think on these things places a new song in our heart. It’s one of gratitude, awareness and renewal. In doing so, gradually the mundane begins to melt away, and you feel overwhelmed in a completely new way. You’re overwhelmed with thankfulness.
This isn’t an easy practice to start, I know. It’s hard when our hearts are tired. But it is worth it, friend!
Pick one mundane activity this week, something you despise even and consider Philippians 4:8 in light of that activity. How can you turn your mind toward things that are true and pure about that activity to bolster your heart?
Try it for one week with one activity, and I promise you will see change in your mundane.
(As for me, I have linens to move from the washer to the dryer. I’m choosing to think about how wonderful it is to have fresh-smelling bed sheets.)
One Small Win: Identify one activity this week you dread and begin thinking about what is pure, lovely or admirable about that activity. Then, pay attention to how God begins changing your heart toward that mundane act!
Kate Hollimon delights in helping women learn their God-given purpose while growing in Christ through the study of scripture. Kate is a speaker and blogger who designed the Live Your Purpose Workshop Live Your Purpose Workshop to help women discover their purpose to glorify God. Kate is married to her husband Matthew of seven years and together they have two kiddos – a boy and a girl – and are in the thick of sippy cups, potty training, temper tantrums and peanut butter and jellies. You can connect with Kate at www.katehollimon.com.
I feel like I’m running in circles and accomplishing nothing!
As a newlywed, 23-year-old first year grad student, I found myself constantly repeating this refrain.
I was working a part-time job, getting my toes wet in ministry at my new church, and sharing a vehicle with my husband who just started his first full-time job.
Add household chores and trying to make new friends to the list, and I was one busy lady.
Do you know the feeling?
Always doing and going and then you close your eyes at the end of the day and think, “Surely I accomplished something…” Then as you lay there you discover your primary accomplishment was making it out alive!
I certainly felt that way. And I still do sometimes.
The acknowledgement jar
Which is why I created an Acknowledgement Jar.
It’s a repurposed vase, which I sat on my desk next to a stack of notecards and a pen.
At the end of each day, I challenge myself to think of at least two accomplishments for that day and write each one on a notecard, fold the cards into squares, and drop them in the jar.
These can be small victories, like completing my daily workout or avoiding late fees at the library.
Other times I write down bigger accomplishments, like landing an internship or earning a bonus.
Some days my only accomplishment is just making it through the day. And you know what? That’s okay!
The longer I’ve done this, the more accomplishments I am able to think of. I even have moments now where I’ll think to myself, I can’t wait to add this one to my jar!
Pull out your own vase
Maybe you’re learning to be an adult like me (hello bills!).
Perhaps you work over 40 hours a week and come home to children, hungry for your food and attention.
Or maybe you are a stay-at-home mom, making sure your home stays a haven.
Regardless of your routine or stage in life, I am confident that acknowledging your daily accomplishments will be encouraging!
This one simple habit has given me an eye for noticing all the little victories. I am thankful as I linger in these feel-good moments.
One Small Win: Create an Acknowledgement Jar today and be motivated by your own every day accomplishments!
What you need:
____Container (I used a vase I found under my sink, but a box, mason jar or basket works)
Kelsee Keitel is a graduate student and blogger, living in Indianapolis, IN, with her newlywed husband. She is passionate about cultivating sisterhood through vulnerability and introducing young women to the freedom and abundance of life in following Christ. When Kelsee is not snuggled up with a book and sipping tea, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen or chatting with her mom.