Practical DIY 13: How to Paint a Room

We are repainting the entire interior of our home. 4 bedrooms and a main living spaces. Here are several tips for how to paint a room yourself.

1. Did you know you can buy sample jars of paint? Before you paint any room, narrow your choices to 3-4 colors that you may like. Buy samples of those colors and paint swatches throughout the house so that you can see the colors in your own light. The light at the hardware store is bright white light meant to reflect natural light. In your home, walls receive different types and amounts of light. Paint colors throughout. I once painted the same colors in three different rooms of my house and use the color in only one room because it looks drastically different in the other rooms.

Continue reading “Practical DIY 13: How to Paint a Room”

Convenience for Relationships

When did we begin to value convenience over relationship? I had a thought the other day about selfies. I was actually thinking about cameras, and then I started thinking about other ways that we use the things we have to live our lives in the now normal of today. So many inventions in the past 30 years have added to our convenience culture. We are buying products that we believe help us save time and reduce overall consumption/clutter, but this is coming at the expense of the most important human need – relationship. Convenience causes disconnect. Let’s look at some items that are staples in our every day lives to see if this is true.

Continue reading “Convenience for Relationships”

Where Did My Life Go?

There it is. It’s right in front of me. I’m living it, yet it seems so far out of reach. I’m really over the season of reflection. When I look back at the last year, there is so much that I miss from my previous married life. Divorce is the hardest thing I’ve ever lived through, but I likened the second half of my marriage to saving a dying cat, which is something I also once tried to do.

My sweet orange tabby, Joey, had something wrong with him. It was a slow fade kidney disease that we were trying to tackle as an allergy issue. He was the sweetest, most tolerant cat I ever had. He always struggled with hair balls and vomiting (writing on the wall now that I think of it). He would let me shave his entire body in the summer months to help with his digestive tract. We had such a special bond, but I knew he was dying in the last few years that I had him and I let it go for too long. Selfish on my part really. I think by the time you’re feeding your cat a full diet of Ensure supplement shakes, it’s time. That’s where I found myself at the end of his life. Poor thing was needlessly suffering and I was too, although in that moment I thought I was doing my best with what I had. In reality, I was denying that I could no longer change the outcome no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I loved him.

…and that was my marriage – Saving a Dying Cat.

Continue reading “Where Did My Life Go?”

Low Price Does Not Equal Savings

Have you ever noticed how much the word saving is associated with spending? Take note as you watch TV, shop online, or walk into your favorite stores over the next several days how seamlessly the idea of saving has been marketed to us as a way to spend, but step out of that context for a minute and think of saving vs spending as the two different things that they are.

Continue reading “Low Price Does Not Equal Savings”

Why You Need a Declutter Box

Several years ago when I was going through the crazy-making season of being a mom to two under 3, I started to realize how much stuff just happened upon us and ended up in my house. Infants and toddlers need big things: swings, highchairs, bouncing things, play pens, teaching to walk things, big strollers and little strollers (they need both), changing tables and then tiny porto potties. It seemed like everything the kids needed consumed so much floor space in the house. I told myself it was for a season, and it was, but then after those things went away other things kept coming – smaller things. . . so many smaller things. There were interactive loud obnoxious toys, plushies, big blocks and little blocks, tiny cars and dolls with elusive doll shoes, and puzzles with all of their pieces. There was also packaging from these small things that cluttered up the house as much as the toys themselves did.

Continue reading “Why You Need a Declutter Box”

For What’s Ahead

Being at a turning point in your life forces self awareness to some degree. You can’t help but reflect on where you’ve been and anticipate what’s ahead.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

That’s a hard one to swallow but its a reminder that’s needed when I begin to plan and fixate on uncertainties. I find empathy in those words. Today has enough to think about. Work on what you’re doing today. One thing at a time. It’s easy to be overwhelmed in thought. The time to worry about tomorrow is tomorrow.

Continue reading “For What’s Ahead”

Practical DIY 12: Easy Stewed Tomatoes

Oh my, my! Two years ago our neighbors brought over a small bucket of tomatoes from a local farm and left them on our porch. The kids said they were the best tomatoes they’d ever had and they were. He later told us that he and his wife visit a local farm every year. We’ve been wanting to get to the farm for 2 years and finally made it this past week. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The u-pick option to buy tomatoes was very reasonable. A large bag of tomatoes was $3. We picked about 30 tomatoes before we filled the bag so I have a LOT of tomatoes.

Continue reading “Practical DIY 12: Easy Stewed Tomatoes”

A Blessing in Stressful Times

Guess what I don’t ever want to do? Go through my clutter. I like to have a clean house but I don’t really like to clean my house. I think that is why living with less is so appealing to me. Hindsight is 20/20. Let’s talk for a minute about how having less clutter has helped in a season that has nothing to do with my stuff.

2, 5, 10 years ago I didn’t think I would be going through a divorce, during a pandemic, 18 months after purchasing our second home, but I did, and I am. When I began the intentional pursuit to have less, I hoped that it would benefit many aspects of my life. It has but sometimes things happen in life where you actually get to see the worth of your efforts.

Continue reading “A Blessing in Stressful Times”

When Your Stuff Becomes a Burden

You know the feeling. Anxiety, tension, suffocation when you walk into a room and it’s like, “How. did. all. of this STUFF get here?” I’d like to comfort myself and believe we’ve all been there at one time or another. Looking at it is exhausting. Tackling it seems defeating. Our stuff doesn’t just magically appear in our homes. It doesn’t have legs, walk in and sit down in the middle of the floor and say, “Deal with me now!” And I know, I know it seems cold to point the blame back onto you, or me, or anyone dealing with it. After all blame shifting never solves anything. Truth is, we have all developed habits that make us proned to hoarding too many things. It’s the world we live in. Any way we turn, we are pressed to buy one. more. thing. So it’s the world’s fault, right? Well no, not specifically. If anything, it’s a self-awareness issue. Clutter exists in our home from one of two ways or a combo of both – Buying too much or keeping too much. I’ve comprised a list to determine which side of the coin a person’s clutter causing habits fall.

Continue reading “When Your Stuff Becomes a Burden”

Practical DIY No 11: Kitchen Recipes

If you aren’t using the back of cabinets for secret storage and organization, you’re missing out. I started taping my favorite recipes on the backs of my kitchen cabinets years ago and although I now know most of the recipes that I have on display, my daughter has begun to follow them. She loves to cook and every now and then, she’ll be quiet in the kitchen working on something creative to bake in the oven. Our most often used recipe is my Christmas morning muffins.

Continue reading “Practical DIY No 11: Kitchen Recipes”