Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where have I been?

Life takes many twists and turns.  Some are unexpected and happen at such a fast pace that everything else in your life goes on the back burner.

Such change has happened in my family.  If follow me on instagram, you have seen some hints of it.

I have taken a new job, we are in the process of selling our home and we have moved in with my in-laws (temporary) .  Why haven't I been writing?

Well a few reasons:
1. New job = more hours (I put in over 60 away from the home last week)
2. No home/kitchen = fewer things to write about on a homemaking blog.
3. All of my crafting supplies are in storage

It is difficult to write on homemaking when you are currently without a home to call your own.  I know that blogging and writing is good for my soul, so I will continue.  Just at a slower pace.  Fear not, this blog is not dead, and I am so thankful that so many of you are enjoying many of my older articles and recipes.  Those will have to do for now.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 Reasons You Are Homemaking Challenged and 10 Simple Ways to Overcome (part 4)

Today is the day where you will discover the final 5 simple ways to overcome being Homemaking Challenged.  Make sure you check out part 1 & part 2 for the 10 reasons you are Homemaking Challenged, and part 3 for the first five simple ways to overcome.

6) Plan ahead - overcoming a lack of Planing and Organization
It is simple.  You must create a plan of attack, and FOLLOW THROUGH.  Know that the 2nd Tuesday of the month you are responsible for snacks at school.  Put a reminder on your phone the day you go shopping and then the night before to prep it.  Two simple things that take less than 20 seconds that will save you a frantic headache in the end, but only if you take those few moments and plan ahead.

7) Leave the past where it belongs, behind you - overcoming your past
This is hard, but don't let your past failures have too big of an impact on the now.  You have grown, and (hopefully) learned from the last time, and can make adjustments.  So what if last time you spent 10 hours cleaning your home from top to bottom to only have it seemingly destroyed by your family in less than half that time.  Guess what, surface messes are quick and easy to clean, even if they appear overwhelming.  This time is different, it is a fresh start.

8) Know what you want - overcoming a lack of direction
Sometimes we simply don't know what we want and WHY we want it.  When you have a purpose, it can help drive you, and give you a reason to go for it, even when you don't feel like it sometimes.

9) Sleep - overcoming Exhaustion
Honestly, give yourself grace.  Baby waking up in the middle of the night?  You are exhausted, don't stay up late, wake up early and try to get everything done during nap time.  You will just make it worse.  Sleep when you can, go to bed early and drink tons of water.  You may need to make some adjustments nutritionally, and schedule wise, but there are ways to fight the sleepiness.

10) Just do it - overcoming laziness.
It is so hard sometimes to fight this.  Honestly I mean, who wouldn't want to simply read, or relax watching a movie?  Here is the deal, you need some down time but you also need to get things done.  My favorite trick is to set a timer.  Say 20-30 minutes, and work as hard and fast as I can for those 20 minutes.  Then I set a timer for the same amount of time and read/watch a show.  Small increments work well.  I also like a challenge, so sometimes I set a timer and see if I can clean "xyz" before it goes off.  Sometimes, you just have to get off your bum, and get it done.

I hope that you have gained some insight throughout this series (part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4) as to why you may be Homemaking Challenged, and need some help in this area, as well as some insights that will help you on your journey as a Homemaker.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I had a realization this week.

I think it is appropriate to share today, as it is Mother’s Day.

First, I have a confession.  I have been feeling exhausted and overwhelmed lately.  I have been firing on all cylinders, and I have been very task oriented lately.  I have learned that when I am too task oriented, I have a tendency to hyper focus, and get cranky when anything stops me, or distracts me from completing my tasks.  Even my precious children.

I just need a break from them, if I just had two hours away to get all this done, I would feel so much better.  Then they wouldn’t be distractions, and I could finish faster and relax for a bit to recharge... Or so I thought.

Yet, when I am away from my children, my heart aches for them, and it is just as every bit distracting.

Then it hit me.

I have it backwards.  I should not be so task oriented, because my kids are not a distraction.  My kids need me more than my tasks.  It is more important for me to read another story, or go play in the backyard with them, than reply to a work email, or to blog.  It is more important to push them on the swings or watch them play than to try and do practically anything else.

I am not saying let everyone starve while you choose to not make dinner, I am saying find other things that you don’t need to do while you are with your kids, and truly be WITH your kids.

Put away your phone, unplug the TV, close the computer & tablets, and fully invest some more time with your kids.  Away from the distractions of the rest of life.  Forget your to-do list for an hour.  I mean it, forget that it even exists.  Give your children a full hour or two of undivided attention.  Fully enjoy and embrace motherhood.

Sure, after that time, you may be tired, and more overwhelmed by the less time you have to accomplish your todo list.  However, your heart will be full, your babies will know how much you love them, and you will have the sweet reminder of what an amazing blessing it is to be called “Mom”.

If you are in the place of feeling like all you need is a break today, sweet mother, use the fact that it is Mother’s Day to have someone else do your “todo” list and fully enjoy your children.  If they need something, have someone else meet that need, and just spend some time, loving on your sweet babies, like only you can.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10 Reasons You Are Homemaking Challenged and 10 Simple Ways to Overcome (part 3)

So you are Challenged in the area of Homemaking?  Have no fear, challenges are just opportunities for us to grow and overcome.  Here are 5 of 10 things that you can become less Homemaking Challenged.  If you missed the 10 Reasons you might be Homemaking Challenged, be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 of this series first!

1)  Get creative - overcoming a "Lack of Funds"
Getting creative is AWESOME.  I have been working on a dinning room makeover for 5 months now.  Sure sometimes the results don't come as quickly, but don't let that deter you!  Eventually things will come together.  It can be fun to get creative, I mean you can even find 30 different cool ways to make toilet paper roll wall art here.  With the invention of Pinterest, it is all to easy to find creative home solutions for free or cheap.

2) Plug in - overcoming a "Lack of Knowledge"
There are so many easy and amazing "how to" guides out there, that it is so easy to quickly and accurately gain knowledge on a topic that you don't know anything about.  I'm not saying blindly trust the almighty google with how to get a stain out of your grandma's lace doily.  However, if you see the same ideas over and over again, it typically means they work.  There are so many great books, blogs, and other resources out there that if you are looking for an answer, chances are you can find one.

3) Make Good Choices - overcoming "lack of management"
Honestly, this seems too simple, yet it is often overlooked.  Sometimes to get it done, you have to do it yourself, and other times you can easily delegate something to someone else.  You have to make the smart choice and decide which one is the most effective.  If I had the funds, I can tell you right now, I would weekly delegate cleaning to someone.  Since that isn't in our budget, we have to split the cleaning.  I have to choose jobs for everyone that they can do, and know they are going to do them to their ability, and not always my standards.  I have to choose which tasks I'm OK with that.

4) Find YOUR groove - overcoming a "lack of routine"
Some people paper check lists work, others post-its everywhere, some to the computer/ipad/phone list, others don't have a list.  Here is the deal.  Having a routine at some point during the day, when you can get some home tasks accomplished makes a HUGE difference.  It is really all about what works for YOU.  You a morning person?  Sweet!  Get up a little early and every morning pick a task to do in 15 minutes.  Stay home and the kids have naps?  Perfect!  Do all the dinner prep while they are sleeping so you can toss it in the oven and be done with it come eating time.  Find little things that you can build into your day regularly that will help you get things done.  Honestly there are some awesome charts and systems out there.  Not one has worked for me.  Why?  I can't do it regularly.  See routines only work if you work them.  You have to do it daily, build small habits into your day that will make your home life easier, and in a few months, you will notice a big difference.

5) Make time - overcoming a "lack of time"
Ok, I know, you can't actually create time out of thin air.  But you CAN manage your time better to help you find some more of it.  Prioritizing, stoping time wasters are two big ones.  Somethings can be multi-tasked such as laundry, but typically focusing on one task at a time will help you get things done more effectively.  You can read some other posts I wrote about time management here.

Come back tomorrow for 5 more simple ways to overcome the areas where you are Homemaking Challenged.

Friday, May 2, 2014

10 Reasons You Are Homemaking Challenged and 10 Simple Ways to Overcome (part 2)

Are you challenged in the area of homemaking?  Don't worry, you are in good company.  I am extremely challenged in this area, but it is an area I am learning and growing in every day.   I have started to make some changes and realized that coming of with some specific reasons that I am challenged, as well as solutions for those challenges could be the key to helping me grow even more in this area.  Have you ever sat down and asked yourself a very important question?  The question is simple.  Why?  This four part series will explore 10 reasons you are Homemaking Challenged and 10 simple ways to overcome.

If you missed yesterday's post with reasons 1-5 please read it here!  Here are 5 MORE reasons why you might be Homemaking Challenged:

6. Failure to plan/ Lack of Organization
I cannot express how many times this trips me up.  You would think I would learn and prepare better, but I don't.  For example, we do a weekly game night at our home and I always make a dessert.  You would think that I have it down by now, but half the time hubby is running to the store for an ingredient I was "sure" we had and we are scrambling to make our home "company ready".  It is stressful, and can be frustrating.  If I would actually plan in advance, our home would be "company ready" when I left the house that morning and dessert would be already completed or at least I would know what I was making and have everything ready to go.

7. Poor Results in the Past
It is so discouraging when you get in a rut, and know that no matter what steps you take, it won't do anything to fix the problem.  So why bother even trying.  You mentally set yourself up for failure before you even start.  It is so easy when you have kids to just let things go, because you will pick up after the kids and then turn around and it will be a mess again.  Or you will pour hours into a project only to have it fail and not live up to your expectations.  When you picture your past failures, it is challenging to try again.

8. Lack of Direction
It is impossible to make something great if you don't have a plan or path to take to get there.  What is your plan for your home?  What do you want to achieve.  If you don't know, then one of your challenges may be a lack of direction.

9. Exhaustion
Middle of the night feedings, late nights, early mornings.  All of these things can add up to feeling exhausted.  When you are run down, and tired doing anything is difficult.  Doing homemaking tasks well, near impossible.

10. Laziness
There are those times when I'd rather sit or lounge on the couch and watch netflix or amazon prime than do the dishes.  Sometimes, it is simple laziness that is our biggest challenge to overcome.

So there are my 10 simple reasons why you might be Homemaking Challenged.  Next in this series,  I will share 10 simple ways to overcome these challenges so that you can be less Homemaking Challenged!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Sweet Freebie!

Just wanted to share a sweet freebie with you, this is a new resource for mom's that is FREE for the Kindle!  Hope that it can help you!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

10 Reasons You Are Homemaking Challenged and 10 Simple Ways to Overcome (part 1)

Are you challenged in the area of homemaking?  Don't worry, you are in good company.  I am extremely challenged in this area, but it is an area I am learning and growing in every day.   I have started to make some changes and realized that coming of with some specific reasons that I am challenged, as well as solutions for those challenges could be the key to helping me grow even more in this area.  Have you ever sat down and asked yourself a very important question?  The question is simple.  Why?  This four part series will explore 10 reasons you are Homemaking Challenged and 10 simple ways to overcome.

why am I homemaking challenged?

Why am I so Homemaking Challenged?
Personally, every time I feel like I am finally making headway in this department, I feel like something happens and I'm forced to take 5 steps backwards.  I have been analyzing this question a lot over the last few months, and trying to come up with some concrete reasons why I might by Homemaking Challenged.       I personally am challenged in EVERY area of the home.  Running it, decorating it, cleaning it, cooking for it, maintaining it (what else did you expect from someone who names their blog 'Homemaking Challenged').

Are you Challenged in this area too?  Perhaps some of these reasons apply to you:

1. Lack of Funds
Pottery Barn?  Hahahahaha, not in my budget.  Target and Home Goods - maybe the clearance rack, if we are lucky.  Honestly, 'Home' isn't even a line item in our budget.  We just really don't have the money to delegate to it right now.  I remember watching a show where they showed a room transformation in 1 year with just $50 per month.  Instead of inspiring me, it discourage me greatly.  I'm lucky if I can come up with $10 per month from our "spending money" budget.  It isn't because I don't care, or don't want to do anything, it is genuinely that our budget is that tight.  It can be frustrating and discouraging having to wait 4 months to save up just for a gallon of paint.  Sometimes just funds alone can be a challenge.

2. Lack of Knowledge
I am no Martha Stewart.  I do not in any way have a decorating gene in my body.  I look through magazines and Pinterest, and wonder, how do they do that?  I even follow blogs, read articles and flip through books that show you step by step how to decorate.  I can look at something and see that it is lacking, play with it and make it better, but I rarely feel it is ever "Pinterest" worthy.  I can assure you, that even IF I had all of the exact items in the photo I'm attempting to recreate... it would not look nearly as good.  Sometimes my challenge is lack of simple recipes that are cheap and my family will actually eat (bonus it they are healthy!)  I have been scouring the web, and have yet to find enough easy recipes that will actually work with our hectic schedule and my family will actually eat.

3. Lack of Management
Sometimes, delegation is our best tool.  Sometimes, it is an enemy.  You know, there is one task I delegated to my husband at the beginning of February, which I told him was a HIGH priority, and have reminded him of it multiple times since, that he has YET to do (it is now the END of April folks!).  Obviously, not my best choice in delegation, as I have probably spent more time and energy reminding him and worrying about it, than if I had just done it myself.  Knowing what and when to delegate to others is an important thing to figure out.  I'm still learning this.

4. Lack of an effective routine
I pined all the charts, have made multiple attempts and having a "morning" or "evening" routine.  I have found that it doesn't work.  I know that if I could figure out a way to do some of my home tasks each day, that things wouldn't get so out of control, but I always seem to start with such great intentions, and then they just fall apart.

5. Lack of time
In my job, there are several weeks that I work 50 hours outside of the home.  Trying to balance running a home, being a mom, a wife and my job can be super challenging.  Those weeks, I get so far behind it seems as if I will never catch up.  I don't have enough time in the day to do the house work and make sure I get quality time with my kids.  It is a struggle and it is a challenge when time is tight.  This issue for me compounds on the pervious four.  When money is tight, you need more time to be creative, when you don't know how to do something, you need more time to learn and figure it out.  When you delegate, you can get more time, if you do it the right way, and it is hard to maintain an effective routine if your time is short.

How many of these things challenge you in the Homemaking Department?  Didn't find your challenges listed?  Don't worry, in part two there will be 5 more reasons you could be challenged!

Then in parts three & four I will share 10 simple ways to conquer all of these challenges.  After all, challenges are only challenges until we overcome them.