Go to Bed with a Clean House for a Less Stressed Morning

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Hello everyone!  I hope that you are enjoying your week!  We have been really busy with family events.  :) When we are busy, I house seems to fall apart really quickly!! I am not sure what happens but we are in and out so much and it’s hard to keep things in line.
One of the ways that I try to keep a clean is house is to go to bed with it clean and tidy!
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If I take the extra time at night to pick up,  we wake up feeling great and less stressed! :)  My kids go to bed at 7pm so I have time to clean up and relax with my hubs!
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Then I can spend my day doing activities, projects, homework, cooking, etc. and not worry about the house as much.
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I clear and wash the counter.
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I do all the dishes.  Sometimes my hubby helps with that!  :)
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I don’t like a lot on my counters…I like to KEEP IT SIMPLE!
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I listen to my music while I clean…that totally helps me! :)
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I wash out the sink!
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Get the coffee ready.
2011 03 25_3161 My butler’s pantry is sometime our “dumping ground” as you can see. 
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I have the kids help clean the family room before they go to bed.
2011 03 25_3165  I will also try to check the bathroom and do a quick wipe down.
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So, that is how I try to keep a clean house and a less stressed morning! :)
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Do I do this every night?
No, but I try to and when I do, I feel so much better!!!
What is you trick to keeping a clean home?

Homemade Barrettes

Friday, April 29, 2011
Do you have 10 minutes?
In ten minutes, I made several cute, barrettes for my daughter!!!
I don’t have great pictures because this was a last minute project.  I keep all my materials in this basket.  I was already in the process when I took this photo, ha!  I wasn't planning on blogging about it but I thought I would after I started.
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I just use my hot glue gun.
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I use flowers, ribbons, buttons, sequence, etc…pretty much anything that I can find.
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(Again, sorry about the blurry photos.  It really was a ten minute project.)
2011 04 19_3567 2011 04 19_3568 Here are the afters!  I love them and so does my little girly girl! :)
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We love making barrettes together!!!
They are fun, easy and cheap!
What quick and fun project do you like doing with kids?

A giant visited my garden earlier this morning

No no no noooooo! No! No! Well, yes, we were ‘graced’ by a much unexpected snow storm last night. Snow-covered roofs had white little ghosts dancing on them earlier this morning, and an invisible giant had covered the garden in sugar. Maybe he thought that my garden was a cake and wanted to have it decorated with cream cheese frosting? Ah yes, that must be it! A giant with a sugar sifter shaking powdered sugar in the garden because everything was covered in a thin layer of something white, something that looked like sugar, but really it tasted more like snow… What would you have done? I wanted to shout at the giant for doing such naughty thing, or maybe shoo him away, but then I decided that anyone can live with flowers, even in the midst of a snow storm... even if all you have is a container and some roses from the market… at last, I can enjoy a bit of summer…. Sigh!

Rain or snow, sunshine or shade.... may you all have a blessed weekend, my friends!

How to Organize Magazines and Newspapers

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Welcome to Week 10 of our Organize your Life series!
Organize your LIFE
If you are just joining in, please link up your blog here so we can all help motivate each other!
I am reading and using the book called, Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry, to help me organize my life! :)
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Are you a magazine subscription junkie?
Can you remember the last time you actually had the time to read one of the many magazines or newspapers that you’ve bought?
Do you have several years of the same catalogs piled high?
This week’s challenge is to…

Organize your Magazines and Newspapers!
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This is pretty easy for me because I only subscribe to three magazines (and that’s only because I got a great deal on them) and we don’t get any newspapers.
I get Better Homes and Gardens which is my favorite!
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I also like Traditional Home just because I like looking at all the pictures, hehe!
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Lastly, I get House Beautiful.
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I would LOVE to get more but I don’t even have the time to really read the ones I have now.
After I am done reading them,  I give away, sell at my garage sale or recycle. 
Currently, this is my collection…small, huh?  I just read blogs now, lol!
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I saved a couple that I still need to read and a couple other good ones that I like to look at once in a while.
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I keep them in my drawer to look at before bed.
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Or in my kitchen mail holder for easy access downstairs.
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Every month
Recycle anything that you don’t want to read!
Cut out any articles that you want and put them in a plastic protector in your magazine binder.
Binder Magazine Holders
Every 3-6 months
Go through magazines and binders and organize.
Magazine Holders
Every year
Cancel subscriptions that you don’t want anymore.
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Next week is organizing your email, so get ready to link up! :)
Today,  link up your Magazine and Newspaper Organization Post!!!
Thanks for following along.
Happy Organizing!!! :)

To Your Vitality The Three Colors You Should Be Eating More Of

With spring here and summer coming, I though you would enjoy this post! :)


The Three Colors You Should Be Eating More Of
Remember ROYGBIV? I do. The mnemonic is how I learned the seven colors of a rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Nowadays I use the acronym to represent the colors of food I should be eating.
Because nature highlights the beneficial nutrients in fruits and vegetables by giving them bright colors, eating by color is an easy way to load up on nature’s superfoods. Each color represents phytochemicals—compounds that benefit our health in different ways—which is why you should eat a colorful variety of vegetables. For example, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins—two antioxidants associated with keeping the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally—make foods like blueberries, eggplant and cranberries blue, purple and deep red.
The USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however, suggest paying particular attention to three colors: dark green, red and orange.
Here’s how much of each color you should aim to eat every week:
Red and orange vegetables: 5 1/2 to 6 cups each week for most adults
What counts as a “cup”? 1 large red bell pepper, 8 large strawberries, 12 baby carrots or 2 medium carrots, a sweet potato or a medium pink grapefruit.
Why they’re important: Red foods—such as tomatoes and red peppers—contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help protect against prostate and breast cancers. Alpha and beta carotene make foods like carrots and sweet potatoes so brilliantly orange. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals.
Dark green vegetables: 1 1/2 to 2 cups weekly

What counts as a “cup”? A cup of cooked greens, 2 cups raw greens or 10 broccoli florets.

Why they’re important: Dark, leafy greens (spinach, chard and arugula) are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that accumulate in the eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people. They’re also rich in beta carotene. Dark green cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, provide compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates, which may help prevent cancer by amping up the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body.
How many colors did you eat in your last meal?
By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.
Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as nutrition editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master's degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. A Registered Dietitian, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.
Thanks Brierley for that info!
If you are not getting everything you need, I love Shaklee CarotoMax to make sure I am getting enough vitamins!!! :)

Have a great day! :)

Excerpts of my life

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It rained all day last Friday. Then on Saturday a marvelous bright sun came up bringing with him a sort of magical vapor that wafted from the ground, making the garden smell like maple syrup... We had a special Easter program at church that morning, and so I got to wear my favorite silver high heels. I love those shoes... I can’t tell exactly why, but when I wear these shoes I feel like Cinderella in her beautiful ball gown. I say they're enbued with magical properties. They’re my talisman. I wear them almost on every special occasion.

Oh and I do have a face! ;) That's just the back of my head on the above picture! ;) People say long hair can be aging, and I see so many women my age with the same short, layered hair... but I want to be me, and you can never go wrong being who you are, right? So it will always be extra long hair for me!

I hurried back home after church, as some of our friends were coming for lunch and I had to get things ready. So I went to set up a pretty table with all sort of yummy and pretty things in it.

I had already prepared a marvelous cheesecake the night before, and because this was my first time ever making a cheesecake, I was super thrilled at how it turned out! That cheesecake was simply the best, most wonderful cheesecake I have ever had, and have ever made! ;) You can find the recipe I used here.

I made extra frosting and let it drizzled onto the plate for extra goodness. This recipe produces enough sour cream topping for a thick layer, but I used a thinner layer by reducing the amount of sour cream in half. It was super yummy!

Do you ever find yourself waiting impatiently and watching the flower buds, just wanting them to open so badly? I faithfully stroll through my garden every single day to see what small miracle is unfolding out there... I do this every year. Even in the grip of below freezing temperatures, at the beginning of March when nothing is alive. I talk to my plants. One by one I check them, one by one I talk to them and tell them to hurry up and grow and unfold. It’s a game of patience but really, it is more a game of eagerness and excitement, and sometimes even annoyance. Things just don’t grow as fast as I’d like to, and the sight of my dear roses in early spring could be very discouraging... waiting to see if they have yet survived another winter kills me...

Oh, and remember my "Enchanted Ivy Path", last year?

Well, now it’ll have to be called the "Enchanted Daisy Path! Yeap, my precious ivy had to be removed to keep it from tearing up our walls. Removing ivy roots wasn’t a fun job. I don’t like the use of herbicide, so the job had to be done all by hand and the help of Mr. Muscle.

I love English Ivy; they’re such a lovely intricate little plants and they conjure such fascinating mystery. They remind me of shadowy places, and abandoned castles and ancient stone walls and lovers in secluded secret gardens. But ivies are infamous for suddenly popping up in cracks and holes, and they can causes building walls to break further and badly damage the entire structure.

The impairment becomes more severe when ivies come into contact with wood. The roots would cause the timber to split, allowing moisture and fungus to enter and begin total destruction of the material. So I had to give them up.

I have planted a full row of Shasta Daisies in their place. Daisies are native in our area and they’re a magnificent source of attraction for birds and butterflies. I can hardly wait to see them grow! And of course, I have to have another type of climber growing there, but I haven't done that yet. Any suggestion on what would thrive in a semi-shady environment and won't destroy my wall?

May the birds come sit upon your window sill,

and may the flowers sing you an enchanted song
and may the sun shine sweetly upon your shoulders.
Peace be with you.

I'm linking this post to: Cottage Flora Thrusday