Monday, April 20, 2015

Simple coucous chicken salad

I just wanted to share a simple meal idea!  I cooked a roast chicken the other day and had leftovers in the fridge.  There was some meat left but not a whole lot to feed my family of five.  I took as much meat as I could off the bones while I boiled water for coucous {kinda like itty bitty rice but is pasta and takes minutes to make!}.  Once it was all ready, I added it to a bowl of spinach and chopped tomatoes, coated it all with Italian dressing.  Here's my fav:
Served it with sliced Italian bread and a meal was done!

All my kids ate this which is rare in this house so I had to pass it along!
Happy eating!
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Cleaning Endeavor 2015

Back in November of 2012, I wrote this post {HERE} about the clutter in my home, how it accumulated and how I intended to deal with it.  I started a Facebook group called "Clutter Cleaners Accountability" so those of us who needed extra encouragement could post before and after pics or simply verbalize our goals to make them more real!  {It is a closed group so if you are on FB and want to join, come on over!!}

While looking around my home, I realize how much I need this group again!  I posted this photo last week!

It's a fun way to conquer little jobs that you often pass by!  There is something so satisfying in seeing before and after pictures!!

Now that Spring is here, many of us want to Spring Clean but it seems too overwhelming.  If you'd like to join me on my journey, I'm going to tackle it little by little and post regularly on CCA while perhaps blogging about it in chunks.

I created a cleaning schedule some time ago.  It just gives me a guideline to go by so I have a focus each day!  I do not always follow it {my endeavor!}, but it's nice to have a plan.

The first step is to write down all the little things that need to get done in that specific zone that you do NOT do on a regular basis.  These are the things you walk by and say "I'll do that later."  {ie. get that cobweb in the corner!}
Let's take my kitchen for example.... My lower priority list looks like this:

  1. change lightbulb
  2. fix tile on floor
  3. clean vents
  4. wash windows
  5. caulk counter edge
  6. vacuum under fridge
  7. clean oven

I always do general tidying and dishes but tend to stop there. This really helps me so when Monday rolls around I can attack one or all of my lower priority items depending on my availability.

What do you have to do?  Organize the pantry?  Purge mugs?  Organize spices?  Write it all down on a sheet of paper!  One room per sheet!  And it's good to walk around your home and SEE what you need  to do!

When the cleaning day comes around for that assigned zone, look at that list and DO something on it!  You'll soon discover it didn't take as long as you thought and you end up doing more!  For those of us on CCA, it's fun to post a photo of the zone we are about to attack, while others prefer to show the before and after photos together.  Either way there is something motivating about sharing these little things with others!  So again, you are welcome to join me on my Spring Cleaning 2015 journey over at Clutter Cleaners Accountability.  Hope to see you there!  {But if you aren't on Facebook, don't worry, I plan to summarize things here on my blog too!}

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Declutter your mind

Please join me over at the OneStopforMom blog where we're talking about decluttering your mind!  If you have a hard time falling asleep, this simple tip might help!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

I was greedy

Many years ago before I was married, I had my own apartment.  I was in the Canadian Reserves and had to go away for 5 weeks one summer for training.  I had a friend who was in university and worked but still lived with her parents.  I talked to her about subletting my place to help me with costs plus to bring in my mail and water my plants.  She told me straight up that she didn't want to spend a lot of money because she was on a tight budget.  Yet for her, the idea of living alone for a few weeks and in town {shaving time off her commute} was appealing to her.  We agreed on a set amount for her to pay me and I went away knowing my home was taken care of.  It was a mutually convenient situation.

When I came home after my medic course, this friend announced that she bought a car.  She was so excited and wanted to show me, but I was mad and refused.  I was so annoyed that after telling me about her tight budget, she had enough to buy a car!  That was the reason we had agreed on a very low amount for her to stay in my apartment!  She explained that we had agreed on an amount and she worked around that, but I was stubborn.  I felt taken advantage of.
Fast forward to this morning.  I am reading the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20.  A landowner hired workers for his vineyard and they worked all day long.  Other workers came on the job site later in the day but they all got paid the same amount.  The workers who were there first and worked the most hours, felt that it was unfair to be paid the same as people who worked fewer hours.  But the landowner reminded them that they hadn't been cheated.  They agreed to work for a certain wage and he paid them that.  If he wanted to pay the others the same, he could do what he wanted with his money.  Here's the passage:
11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

photo credit
After reading about the vineyard workers, my mind drifted to that friend and apartment situation that was 18 years ago!  I was so wrong!  I should have been grateful that someone even stayed at my apartment and paid me what she did to help with my rent.  After all, it was my responsibility anyway!  I should have been more understanding of my hardworking friend who was in university full-time plus working.  {This is the same friend who had a paper route when she was in Junior High and always demonstrated a strong work ethic.}  And I was wrong to get mad when we agreed on an amount because I was being purely selfish and greedy.

Essentially I wanted more of her money!  {Talk about humbling me now!}  I was so self-centered and my personal situation didn't change whether she had a car or not.  I realize how wrong I was and I will be sending her a message next to apologize for that!

Equally, the workers' pay didn't change whether more people came on the job site or not.  They should have been content too.  We must be careful to not compare what we have to what is going around us.  We will end up feeling cheated and slighted because of our selfish nature.

Reminds me of this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

I need to be more thankful and grateful for what I have rather than looking for more.  What about you?

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another Person's Treasure

Is Spring cleaning on your mind?  Do you have a lot of clutter lying around that you need to get rid of? Wondering…
032315 junk
If you have stuff you no longer use, join me over at OneStopForMom where I share some ideas on what to do with it all!
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Explanation of my recent FB trim

I have been pretty honest about my struggles with Facebook here on my blog.  {At the bottom of this post, you will see links to my old posts if you wanted to go back to read them.}  For me it goes so much more beyond just wasting time.  I have called it an addiction because of all the issues and emotions surrounding it for me, which I won't get into again, but you can read about in those links below if you want.

I did something last night that I have been thinking about doing for some time.  I did something that many do without any hesitations at all, but for me it was HUGE.

I "unfriended" over 200 people.  
Pfft... Big deal you say?  Well it was for me!

I was the person who added anyone I ever met!  I used to be on and before the days of Facebook.  I enjoyed catching up with old school friends to see what they looked like and what they were up to.  So when I got Facebook I added anyone I knew because I wanted to catch up and keep in touch!

But this added up to too many people to follow.
The Facebook timeline can only show you so much.  Aside from friends, I also "unliked" many of the businesses and pages I followed.  I did that because all those status updates and shares were just so overwhelming.  If I want an update on Kohl's or Target for example, I can just visit their page.  It's public anyway!

It's all just too much.  And it distracted me from what was most important.

So I decided to let my past be the past, and to start living fully in my present.
It was difficult to do because I was letting go.
And I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I do like people and I enjoy seeing the things they care about and post.  And I like to reminisce about the old days gone by with childhood friends, old classmates and old co-workers.

But I was feeling overwhelmed by all the information at my fingertips.
And I wasted time scrolling through looking at everyone's photos and updates.
I just needed to simplify.

Some say to delete my Facebook account if it's such a big deal!
But honestly, it is a super awesome tool!  And I love keeping in touch with family and friends.  I love having a place to stay connected to local friends and staying current with what's going on in the area.  As a homeschooling family this is essential!  Plus I've been doing my online bible study, and we connect through a Facebook group.  If I were to delete my account, I would be letting go of the good with the "bad".  And that isn't necessary.  So here I am again, tweaking how I do things so I can have the most peace in my life.

I was really convicted this week while we doing my bible study{Good Morning Girls}.  In Matthew 5 Jesus talked about cutting things out of our life that cause us to stumble.  When I read that part, I immediately thought about Facebook!  And cutbacks were what I needed to do.

The way I decided who to keep and who to remove was by asking myself some questions....
Are they in my life now or part of my past?
Can I say three things about them, like the names of their kids?
Am I friends with them just to be nosy?

If they were a part of my past and not bridged to my present OR if I didn't know much about them OR the biggy, I am hanging on because I am nosy, then I removed them from my account.

Not meant to insult.
Just meant to be realistic about what I can handle.

So I write this post to explain because of the guilt I feel towards some people who I have fond memories of.  This "unfriending" thing brings lots of emotions for me so I really hope people understand.  And I hope this post might encourage someone else who also has this struggle with Facebook too!  If the time you spend online is a problem for you, then you might also enjoy some of my older posts, links below.  You are not alone!!

Some of my previous posts about Facebook:
Tips for limiting time on Facebook
Limiting how I personally use Facebook
A video showing how I streamline my time on Facebook
A big confession on how Facebook is my addiction
{To find more, just use the search box in the right column of my blog!}

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Listening with fresh eyes {BTTB}

My Good Morning Girls group just started in the book of Matthew this week!  I am happy to be going through it again because there is so much to learn!  But because I already have read this a few times, my bible is marked up.  In order to read it with fresh eyes I decided to do things a little differently.  {And this is because my eyes kept drifting to my old comments and what I had already highlighted.}

I have the bible app called: YouVersion on my iPhone.  If you go in the App Store, search "youversion" and this is what it looks like:

They have an audio option for some versions of the bible.  So first I listen to the chapter with my notebook in hand.  {So yes that title was intentional...hehe!}  This has been really good because my kids have been in the room so they are hearing it too!

As things stand out, I just jot them down.  Then I open my bible afterwards and write down the verses that the words belong to.  From there I am able to do my observations and application, which is the current format we use at Good Morning Girls.  {Click here} for more information on this.

Here's my page for today if you are more visual and want to see...  Just click to enlarge.

I've done this for the second half of the week and it definitely helps me think about the chapter without distraction.  Hope the idea might help someone else!

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