Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Simple Living

Living simply does not mean that I scrimp on everything. I don't have bare bones walls (although, I have to admit I'm not fully decorated around here, yet), I don't dress plain, and I'm not "cheap". We live frugally out of necessity, but that doesn't mean that I don't try to create a nice atmosphere to live in and look my best when I'm out and about.

Over the next few months, I'm going to take you on a tour through my life. I'm going to show you what living simply means to me. I'll show you around my house and I'll share with you our menu and things like that.

This is a journey for me, I haven't arrived, yet. I'll get where I want to be some day. In the mean time, come with me on my journey through discovering what it means to live a simply delicious life!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting There

Back when it was just my husband and me things were simple. We lived in a one bedroom apartment and it was no problem at all to keep it neat and tidy all the time. Then, we moved into a large 3 bedroom house, got a dog and then had a baby all over the course of 18 months. From there things started digressing quickly. We had hardwood floors through most of the house that were impossible to keep dog hair-free. I went from working to being a stay-at-home-mom when my son was born and somewhere along the way I lost it, the house was always a mess and I was more unorganized than I've ever been in my entire life.

The dog was too much for me and we had to get rid of her. We moved into a smaller house which I love to bits and had a second child. But I never really regained my organized, cleanly sense of being. Chasing my two kids is enough to keep anybody busy without adding on the cleaning, too.

I finally had a melt-down last week. I figured out that it's really hard for me to be the one to create the structure and plan. I do great falling someone else's plan. So, my husband went to work doling out the responsibilities onto a chore chart. It's been liberating!

He knows what he's supposed to do, I know what I'm supposed to do and the house has been clean and tidy at the end of each day which really is a wonderful way to start any day! There are a few things on there that we have our 3 1/2 year old get involved with and he loves it, too. It's all very simple and doesn't take very long. It takes at most 30 minutes a day for us to re-set and clean the house for the next day. Wow! I'm blown away!

It's great to feel like we're all pulling our own weight and I don't have to ask my husband to do anything because he already knows what to do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

SUYL: What I Make

I would love to share my little hat shop with you today! It's called MJ Hat Shop on Etsy. I started this shop almost a year ago and it has been such a fun creative outlet for me. I love fulfilling custom orders, making something exactly like a person wants it!

My children are the inspiration for my shop. Their names are Maddox and Juliette, thus the name MJ for my shop.

I taught myself to crochet and I love it. It's so much fun to do while my husband and I are watching TV in the evenings together. It keeps my fingers busy and my mind sharp and I like that. I have personally designed all of the patterns for my hats, so they are original!

I'm the process of designing some new hats right now, so stay tuned!

Thanks for letting me share a little piece of me with you today!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I grew up loving to read and then somewhere along the line in Highschool and College my love disappeared. I'm sure it had to do with the need to read for school rather than reading for enjoyment. I've read a few books here and there in my adult life and can probably count them all on one hand.


Just about three weeks I noticed a John Grisham book sitting on my books shelf that I hadn't read yet and decided to pick it up.

Then, things changed, something clicked. It renewed my love of reading. And, not just my love of reading, but my husbands, too.

In the last 3 weeks we have read a combined total of over 12. He tends towards mondo huge thick books where I tend more towards easy-to-read entertaining ones.

I feel like reading sharpens my mind so much. We have hardly watched any television since we picked up reading. It really does feel great.

We invested in a Nook and we LOVE it. We only have one, so the other person has to read an actual book, but between the library and Paperbackswap we haven't had a problem keeping books in our hands for free or cheap. Our local library system allows you to check out ebooks and audio books on your Nook. It's the coolest thing!

Happy Reading!

I am not affiliated with Barnes and Noble, Nook or Paperback Swap.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clear the Clutter Challenge

I have decided to participate in Money Saving Mom's Clear Out the Clutter Challenge. We can all use a little less clutter and a little more organization in our lives. And, since I'm doing a garage sale in the next 4-6 weeks, I felt like this was the perfect motivation.

We don't have a pantry, so I always have to get creative when it comes to string our food. Here is the cupboard that we keep our food in before. I threw away about 15 items from here.

And, after.
We also have these two shelves between our fridge and wall that I try to keep looking nice since people can see them if they're in the kitchen. I moved a few things into the other cupboard.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something I'm L.O.V.I.N.G

My husband and I switched cell-phone carriers a few weeks ago to a plan that has unlimited text and data for an awesome price. I almost just got a regular cell phone, but Kyle convinced me to buy the Palm Pixi because he thought it would be really great for me. I have not regretted my decision for one second; this phone is awesome! It's very simple and easy to use, but it's sincs with my Google calendar and e-mail. It has really help to simplify my life and for that I am SO thankful! I keep all of my to do lists on there and everything.

I am not affiliated with Palm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maddox's 3rd Birthday Party

Here a few pictures of my son Maddox's 3rd birthday party we had on Saturday. The theme was blue and yellow and I had a blast putting this little party together! I made the flag bunting out of flannel I had picked up inexpensively a few weeks bag and used these instructions from Frenchie and Flea to make it.

I also used some ideas from Design Dazzle to create a few of these things. Obviously, there stuff is WAY better then my amature-ness :-)

I was so excited to find blue and yellow Juicy Juice boxes!

Here is the birthday boy ready to head home with his loot.

It was a simple party, but I was so pleased with the way it turned out! Be sure and check out the wonderful sources I linked to for ideas for planning your next party.

My pictures aren't that great because my camera stowed away to Boise with my mom in her purse and didn't get it back until today. I had to borrow one from our church.

I am not affiliated with any of these blogs/websites. I was just giving credit, where credit is due. Those ladies are truly amazing!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fun With the Kids

My cute kids playing together. What a treat!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Recoup Day

I worked a wedding a the church all weekend and I was wiped all day yesterday. Usually I take Sunday as my day to get ready for the week, but that's going to have to wait until today since yesterday I just needed to rest. My simple plan for the day is to menu plan, clean up the house and play with my chicka-dees.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shop News

I have had the wonderful privilege of working with a professional photographer to get some professional pictures done for my Etsy Shop.

Thank you Annie for taking such great pictures! I can't wait to work with you some more!

*Pictures courtesy of Annie Smith Photography*

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I've never been one to take lots of medicine when I'm sick. I just don't like the thought of pumping my body full of that stuff. But, I'm finding as a mother that in order to survive my days sick while caring for children, cold medicine is a must. It's truly the only thing that has kept me going the last 2 days. Oh cold medicine, how I love thee...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Black Bean Salad

I just made this Black Bean Salad for a salad potluck tonight and it is SO yummy and SO healthy! I wanted to bring something that was a little more unique than just another green salad. I used mango instead of pineapple and that was the only substitution that I made. There isn't a bit of oil and it sure doesn't need any! Thank you Food Network for coming through one more time! I'm eating a little bowl full right now as a snack..yummy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bakers Twine

I'm obsessed with baker's twine right now. It's just so pretty! I bought some from an Etsy Shop called Swann and Merlin. Not only is it just so pretty to look at, it also came from Ireland! AND, the packaging alone is just beautiful. I want to order more just so I can get the packing in my mail box again!

There are lots of places on Etsy that you can find it and it comes in lots of different colors! I can't wait to wrap up some brown paper packages with string!

*Picture courtesy of Swann and Merlin. I am not affiliated with Swann and Merlin, I just purchased something from her, I loved it and I wanted to share it with you!*

SUYL: Where I Shop

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I am cheap. I was raised to be frugal growing up and now I'm frugal by necessity. My husband is a pastor and I'm a stay-at-home-mom, so funds are limited. The problem is, is that my husband needs to dress nice, I like to dress cute, and I like to dress my two children cute. So, I have to get VERY creative to stretch our meager clothing budget and to dress nicely.

I do the majority of my shopping at my mom's consignment store in Boise, Idaho called ReNewed Expressions. It's a really fun place to shop and only carries the nicest used clothing. They are very particular about what they carry. And, their prices are always good! I frequently have credit there, as well, from consigning my own clothing, so that makes my budget stretch even further. The only problem is, is that I don't live in Boise, so I only get to shop there 3-4 times a year when I go to visit.

For fill-in shopping I frequent our nearest GAP outlet (GAP Generation or something) and can always find great deals on basic tops and jeans. Last time I was in I found awesome jeans for $7.99 and $9.99! Since GAP outlet has changed to GAP Generation I've also been able to find great deals on clothing for my husband there which is a huge plus, because I find men's clothes much more difficult to find cheap.

For more ideas on where other women shop visit Kelly's Korner!


I LOVE tea. I drink at least a pot a day. I love it for so many reasons. 1. it's calorie free 2. it's healthy 3. it's warm. I can come up with many more, but those are just some of them. My favorites tend to be black tea based, but my husbands love for green has grown on me and I do really like green, too.

I've always appreciated the taste of Earl Grey. It has a sweeter taste to it than just plain English Breakfast. I bought a new box the other day of Bigelow because it was cheaper. I'm actually very disappointed in it. I don't usually like Stash teas, they just seem much lower quality to me. But, in this case, I have to say that Stash Earl Grey is much better than Bigelow Earl Grey.

*Pictures courtesy of Amazon.com. I am not affiliated with Stash, Bigelow, or Amazon. This is simply my personal opinion.*

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

These are a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack cookie.

1 C. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. packed brown sugar *I use Rapadura (unrefined sugar) instead to increase healthiness*
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 egg
1 Tbs. butter

Soak cranberries in warm water and drain before adding them.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients. Place 2 Tbs of batter on a cookie sheet and flatten until they are about 3/4 in. thick.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.

Store in refrigerator.