Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Birthday

My husband and I hate traditional. What is sad is that we are exactly that- Traditional. However, this year we are breaking the mold. We are stepping out. We are becoming new people. We are being innovative. We are not having a plain cake for our Halloween birthday! Okay, I know that it isn't THAT crazy, but we are getting there people!

Benjamin's birthday is October 22nd. We, mhm, I mean, I like to have people over, and I am very excited to try this new cake design I found.

HOW FUN!!! Now, that is NOT a traditional cake :). I think this will go really good with the candle project I just completed. Again, I can't show you MY pictures, because I still haven't found my camera cord. :( Someday, I will have money to buy a new one, but until then you get my inspiration pictures.

Instead of the Christmas lights in them, I found a few candles around my house to put in each one. That way I have a dual purpose. I have these little guys lining my kitchen window right now. They look (and smell) great!

I think with the perfect brown tablecloth and burlap (LOVE burlap) runner, my kitchen and dining room will be decorated just enough for the birthday party next Friday.

Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have always enjoyed decorating, but never had the time or money to be able to do it. Now, I will let you know, that I still do not have money or time, BUT I want to a little something here and there. These ladies have inspired me to go to the next level:

Lindsay from A Design Story

Diane from In My Own Style

I am learning that I can reuse some of my normal everyday decorative items, which are very few, since I am a new homeowner (YEAH ME!!!). Now, I haven't done anything yet, but tonight when I get home, I am going to put a few fall items out. I think I might have a red sheet that I can reuse for my tablecloth. I know I have a some vases. Maybe I can find something around the yard to put in it. I do have some gourds from the garden that need to be picked. That might work for my table anyway. I can almost guarantee that I can find some candles around that are a fallish look. Even if it isn't much, I am excited to try to do SOMETHING to get ready for the next season.

Thank you ladies for inspiring me!

Blessings! - Heidi

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Label Everything!

I was so excited last night as I was digging through a box of chords. I thought I FINALLY found the cord to my camera. (my computer is too old to have a SD slot so I have to connect it via USB.) I brought it to my computer at work, so I could upload all my pictures during my lunch break. The time had finally come and I was sitting in front of my computer screen ready to plug in the camera, only to my dismay - it was the wrong cord!

New lesson for me - label everything even if you don't think you need to. I have a label maker even, the question I really need to ask myself is -"Why don't I use it?"!

Tonight's project ...... Oh, label maker! Where are you?!?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aaahhh... The Smell of Accomplishment

I love the feeling of accomplishment. I have accomplished much this last week, and that is why I haven't been on to tell of things that I have done.

I have finished up all the pastys. There are a total of 89 of them made. They all looked really great, and tasted pretty delicious as well. One landed on the floor and my puppies gobbled it up.

I have started practicing again for volleyball. I am hoping to be able to play in the APAR league here in Munising. It is a fun time of competitive volleyball.

My garden has produced many vegetables throughout the summer and yesterday was probably the last picking. I was able to make an additional 4 pints of garden salsa from all the veggies in my garden. Not a ton, but enough to last me for the year (as my husband doesn't like salsa).

This past weekend, my husband was out of town, and I hosted a girls night. I had three little youngsters (Amanda, you are not a youngster!) running around my house. We did the girly things such as eat ice cream and watch Princess Diaries :) It was a blast!

Also this weekend, my parents hosted a missionary family that is raising money to go to Togo West Africa. Their story is quit remarkable and very
exciting. Rory Moore is going to be an administrator and accountant for The Village of Light, a school for the blind. You can read a little more about the program by clicking on Village of Light. Rory, his wife, and his two boys have been raising money for almost three years. They are getting close and the dream will soon turn into a reality.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Homemade Cornish-Swedish Decedent

Above is a picture of a pasty. It is a food of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I live. However, it did not originate here. The Cornish came to the U.P. in the early 1800's to work in the mines. They came bringing in the prospects of a new food group. Because I wasn't there, I don't know exactly what they brought, but in the later 1800's, the Swedes (that were also here working in the mines) tweaked it, until it is what it is today. A pasty is a pastry shell filled with beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions. There are many variations; some people use pork, a combination of pork and beef, chicken, rutabaga, or turnips. There is no right or wrong ingredient in a pasty, as long as it has meat and a couple of vegetables. OH SO YUMMY!

Last night, Amanda (she is in almost every post isn't she?) and I chopped many potatoes and carrots. My husband wanted to say he helped, so he used a pampered chef chop master for the onions. (Thanks for ALL the help sweetie.) Tomorrow, we will be finishing them up; adding the ground beef, making the pastry, and partial cooking them. We only partially cook them, so we can put them in the freezer and pop them out, bake for 20 minutes, and vaw-la dinner is done!

I love to eat them topped with a beef gravy, but many people eat them with ketchup. I am looking forward to eating a homemade pasty tomorrow night for dinner! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Challenging Ourselves

It is always good to have a challenge to face. Whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. I believe it strengthens and refines. This weekend was the 7th Annual Tour da Woods Mountain Bike Challenge. It is a great race; always fun filled. The motto of the race is "Your Race; Your Pace". You don't have to be fast or the best to ride it. Click here to learn more about it. Anyway, every year I have volunteered on putting together packets, cutting fruit, handing out water, and chip timing; and every year I tell myself, "next year, I am going to race." And every year comes and goes, and I volunteer and have no time to train for this challenge. So, I am on a hunt to find a new challenge, preferably not mountain bike racing, because I am not all that good trail riding, but a challenge non-the-less.

A new challenge (along with the FLYlady system) is about to start. The only question is, what is my next challenge?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The End is Actually the Beginning

I love summer. I especially loved this summer. I was able to enjoy the sun, the beach, and the love of friendship. Even though I was hesitant about the summer ending (mainly, because I didn't want my fun times to end!), I am starting to look forward the fall. The first thing I have to get done though is buy a Dairy Queen Blizzard Cake.

See, where I live, the Dairy Queen is a walk up to the window outside type. You don't go inside to order, nor do we have all those burgers. But, what we do have are this amazing blizzard cakes. I LOVE the blizzard cakes. Every year, I have to order one last me throughout the winter. (Read it again! THE WHOLE WINTER!!!) They stay good in the freezer for as long as it lasts in my house, which can be up to 10 months.

The DQ closing and school beginning is the marking to the end of the summer. BUT it is also the marking of the beginning of all the fun fall activities! Sitting wrapped up in a blanket sitting on the stands cheering on the football team, or going to the pumpkin patch to get lost in the corn maze. Or raking up the leaves just to jump in the pile, or sitting in front of the fire reading a book with a cup of hot apple cider.

I don't need to be sad or upset that summer is ending. The possibilities of what lie ahead are exciting! I just have to remember to embrace what is given to me!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am a Procrastinator

I started the FLYlady routine, sort of. I started it in my head. As I keep reading, I am realizing that I just need to buckle down and get things done! Yesterday, was a very hectic day in our lives. Amanda and I "revealed" my mother's office to her. It was so awesome to see her excited face and tearful eyes. It was a beautiful moment. She is ready for us to do the next room.

Anyway, after that, grandparents, husband, bosses, dogs, and friends all needed me. I love the feeling of being needed, but I just didn't have time yesterday. Want to know why? Because I am a procrastinator. I have procrastinated on this one project for almost two weeks. It needs to be finished by Friday afternoon. It is easy for me to get caught up in everything else - help everyone else.

Here is a quote from FLYlady herself. I has helped me tremendously.

Ask for help: this is tough - this means that we will have to admit that we are not Super Woman.
Guess what I found out when I hung up my cape for good? I FLY a lot higher and happier without it weighing me down. I also found that asking for help allowed others to feel as though they matter and are important. How about that? Who knew that being a martyr and carrying around burdens made others feel left out and unimportant? Asking for help allows you to lighten the load that you have been trying to carry around all these years. When you want to ask for help, go to the person that you want help from and using very few words.... Just ask for what you need.

I am trying so hard to take this to heart. I even called up my bestie and asked if she would come out and help me with my project. Now, I have to remember there is a line between laziness and overburdened. In this case, it was pure laziness. I wanted to hang out with the family that was up this weekend. I wanted to do the makeover room. Things that were important, but I didn't need to waste the whole weekend on them.

So today is a brand new day. After work, I am going to do some laundry, finish the project, and get caught up with my cleaning. I am NOT going to procrastinate any longer.

Ready, set, HERE I GO!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Power Grab

Over this past weekend, my friend (Thanks Amanda!!!) and I entered a new adventure of construction. Well, not really. We decided to do a makeover room for my wonderful mother. See, my brother had taken over one of our front rooms and for the longest time it was the "football room". It was painted dark grass green with white strips for each of the yardage lines. It literally looked like a football field. It was cool for a bunch of high school students to come and play video games and watch football, but now that he is out of the house and on to college, we decided to redo the room and give my mother an appropriate office space.

Hopefully, I will soon find my camera cord and will be able to upload some pictures, but until then, I want to tell you about this wonderful product called Power Grab. We put a small molding around the ceiling. Instead of using a nail gun and having to haul that all around the house, we used this Power Grab. You cut the molding to size, squirt the goop on the back of the molding and stick it the wall. It stayed!!! Without any problems we were able to put up molding in the whole room in under 30 minutes. That includes cutting, measuring, and sticking.

Thanks Dad for having odd things in your basement!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Routines

Even though I do not have any children nor do I work at a school, I love to change my routine for the school year. This makes me feel like I have a summer vacation, even when I really don't. As people are in the stores buying crayons, notebooks, pencils, and folders, I find myself buying storage containers and label makers.

I am starting the FLYlady routine, and I am SO excited to get my whole house organized by her routines. After stating that I was going to purge, I didn't know where to start. I started last night at my front door, and I didn't get much past that. I was just going to go through everything that collects on the counter and move on to the next cluttery spot, but I found myself DEEP cleaning every nook and cranny. I soon became exhausted and had no desire to continue. FLYlady has babysteps that help you get started and help you continue so I do not live in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). My routine for this school year, will hopefully continue through the summer.

Click here to go to FLYlady, and learn how to make your home spotless and your view of life positive.

Here is what wikipedia says about FLYlady:
Babysteps and Routines
New recruits to Flylady are called "Flybabies" and are introduced to "babysteps" - a series of 31 small daily tasks which introduce and then reinforce aspects of cleaning and decluttering which build into a daily routine, with tasks split into morning routines, after-work routines and bedtime routines.
Shine Your Sink
The first task is "Go shine your sink!" By clearing away the clutter in the sink, scrubbing and shining it, the entire kitchen looks better from such a simple step, and the Flybaby gains encouragement from seeing such a clean and shiny sink and is inspired to help make the rest of the kitchen gleam, too. Flylady asserts that each room has its own "shiny sink"-- making the bed in the bedroom and cleaning the desk off in the office will all have the same effect.
15 Minutes at a Time
A crucial part to the Flylady system is that you should only spend 15 minutes doing something, as otherwise you will become bored and get sidetracked. Flylady refers to people who need her system as "SHEs"-- "Sidetracked Home Executives" who are perfectionistic and fear beginning to tackle housework because there won't be enough time to do it all or it won't be done perfectly. SHEs are in contrast to "born organized" people who are naturally very organized-- but even "born organized" people can use Flylady's system with success. Because of this perfectionism, the SHE cannot ever get started cleaning and the clutter gets worse. By focusing on spending only 15 minutes at a time on cleaning, SHEs learn that a lot can be done in 15 minutes, a task is always quicker and easier than you would imagine it to be, and you do not have to spend all your time cleaning in order to get your home company-ready. Flylady also highly encourages the actual use of a timer to measure the 15-minute increments, to measure them accurately.
Clutter Cannot Be Organized
Another important aspect of Flylady's system is her attitude towards clutter. She tells her group that if you look at something and it doesn't make you happy, you should get rid of it. Many people fill their houses with clutter and then try to organize it in some way. Flylady says that clutter cannot be organized, because by its very nature it's an obstacle. Only when Flybabies reduce their clutter can they expect to be able to organize their household. This is done in Flylady's system, 15 minutes at a time, through the "27-fling Boogie," in which a Flybaby goes around an area and chooses 27 things to either throw out or give away. FlyBabies are also encouraged to prevent clutter to enter the home - buying less and buying only what they need.
Weekly Routines
Once Flybabies have learned the basic habits and are able to manage their daily routines, Flylady then advises including weekly routines, whereby each weekday is assigned an additional task - Monday is daily cleaning, Wednesday is errand day, Thursday is grocery day and Friday is "desk day" - sorting out paperwork and finances, as well as the day to declutter the car. One additional day can be a "weekly home blessing." If a Flybaby has been keeping up with her routines, 15 minutes at a time, during the week, she will only have to spend a small amount of time doing a weekly dusting/cleaning, or a "home blessing."
Get Dressed to Shoes
Flylady encourages Flybabies to "get dressed to shoes"-- getting dressed in street clothes down to lace-up shoes, which help them to get moving during the day and have a better effect on the mind than staying in pajamas. For women it is also important to do their hair and wear make up as this is intended to have a positive effect on their self-esteem.
Once your home is decluttered and your daily and weekly routines established (which may take months or even years, depending on how cluttered your home is!), Cilley advises "zone work" - each month, the home is split into five zones, and a daily 'mission' is set in that week's zone. Each mission covers more detailed cleaning but should take no more than 15 minutes. Some missions are repeated in subsequent months, so that the missions take less time as there is less clutter and cleaning. As this point, Flylady recommends you tackle detailed zone cleaning, which cover the kinds of tasks you would usually expect of a spring clean - cleaning skirting boards, cleaning windows etc. However, as you should only tackle what you can do in 15 minutes, this spreads the detailed cleaning over a period of time, so that rather than 'spring cleaning', you simply do a little bit every day and your home stays tidier and cleaner.
Control Journal
Flylady advises the use of a "Control Journal," a notebook or binder, as a personal manual for noting one's routines. This may also include a folder in which important papers and bills are kept so they can be worked on while waiting in public places such as doctor's offices. A Control Journal should also include important information so it can be had at a moment's notice in case of an emergency. Before taking someone to the emergency room, a Flybaby might grab her Control Journal, where she knows she has stored a list of medicines taken by the patient. Knowing that all that important information is kept in one place saves a lot of time, money and stress, according to Flylady, and is certainly worth the initial time involved in setting up the journal.
Flylady Reminders
Daily reminders of the routines, zones and missions are sent out when you subscribe to the Flylady groups. There is a UK group which sends out reminders according to GMT rather than US timezone, and many alternative 'non-official' groups.
Perfectionism leads to Procrastination
According to the FlyLady system, the most frequent reason for procrastination and inefficacy is perfectionism, as people won't start a task if they think they don't have the time or the ability to do it perfectly. Some frequently repeated sayings in this respect are "good enough is good enough" or "housework done incorrectly still blesses your family".

Here I come CHAOS!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My new and UNcomplicated Life

As I start viewing my life, I realize how complicated I make it. Nobody else does it to me; I do it to myself. I thank God that He has made me realize this. I was so used to blaming others for my complications, but now I am here to take action and make my life UNcomplicated - starting by making my home a better environment to live in. It is a new passion that I am SO excited to be involved in.

I start thinking about how to make my life UNcomplicated, and I realize my love of simplicity. Mason jars, brooms, vinegar - who needs tupperware, swiffers, and bleach? I still use them, but I think how much easier my life would be without.

Purge. Now that is where I should begin. Purge away stuff in my house, and stuff in my life. There is no need for all those cd's when I have them all on my computer. There is no need for worrying, because then I just bring added stress, which is not UNcomplicated or simple.

Purge - just the beginning....