Thursday, March 30, 2017

{ Spring Cleaning 2017 }

6:32 AM 5 Comments

Good morning everyone :)

Come on in and sit with me a little, let's talk Spring Cleaning, the how to's, the why's, and if it's indeed necessary or not.

Do you spring clean every year?  Do you do a deep cleaning of each room, or do you just make do with the usual cleaning you are used to doing in each room?

I will say that I don't always stick to a very rigid plan.  Some years I am more inclined to really go all out, others I get by with just minimum effort, I think it depends on what I'm doing or what is going on around me.

If you want to see previous Spring Cleaning posts, you can check out Spring Cleaning Entryway,  Spring Cleaning Office and Bathrooms, Spring Cleaning Kitchen and Dining Area.

I'm going to try very hard this year to give every room a good and thorough cleaning, this house is certainly needing it.  It's huge, it has a lot of crooks and crannies and I haven't been able to give it a good deep clean since we moved in almost 2 years ago.

But you may be wondering, why.  Why spring clean, isn't what I do on a daily basis, or even weekly, enough to keep my house clean?  Well yes, of course cleaning up on a daily basis is a good thing, but we don't exactly throw curtains in the wash every day or even every week, we don't wash the walls or the corners of the ceiling, or reorganize and throw out clutter.

Here are some reasons why spring cleaning is actually a positive and good thing to do, just in case you're looking for an incentive to roll up your sleeves and get to work on that detailed cleaning list.


1. SPRING CLEANING INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY

When you take the time to organize, get rid of unwanted items, and pack everything neatly and tidy, you can find what you're looking for much quicker without spending a lot of time searching for a certain item. 

2. SPRING CLEANING IS HEALTHY

In our family we suffer from allergies, or rather, my son and I suffer from allergies and we can be quite miserable especially when Spring comes around.  A good clean can remove the allergens from the house, therefore making us feel better and healthier. 

3. SPRING CLEANING MAKES YOU HAPPY

I don't know about you, but I quite enjoy cleaning my house.  It does indeed make me happy, I feel so much better when my house looks and smells clean and it definitely makes me less anxious.  I tend to feel quite overwhelmed when I see an untidy house. 

4. SPRING CLEANING REDUCES STRESS

This goes with what I just said above, because when things are neat and tidy and in their place, my anxiety levels greatly decrease.  It's amazing what a chaotic house can do to your soul, it definitely increases my stress levels. 



Here's my list of what I intend to do in each room, I'll try my best to keep to the list, but I may miss a thing here or there if I feel that it doesn't need to be done quite yet.  The list is from Imperfect Homemaking and I'm adapting it to my needs.


FOYER

  1. Dust lighting fixtures.
  2. Wash walls and trim
  3. Wash doors, knobs and switch plates.
  4. Empty out coat closet.  Wash walls and floor, if needed.  Sort items as you return them to the closet.  Store out of season items, donate unneeded items. 
  5. Clean or replace entry mat.
  6. Sweep and scrub floors.  

BEDROOMS
  1. Open windows
  2. Dust furniture.
  3. Remove everything from closets. Vacuum closet floor. Put everything back neatly.  Donate items you no longer need.  Try not to store things on closet floor.
  4. Move Bed.  Sort and put away anything that was under bed.  Sweep or vacuum under bed. 
  5. Put bed back.  Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and the vacuuming it up.
  6. Launder bedding and curtains.  Wash pillows and duvet in hot water.  Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
  7. Dust lights. 
  8. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  9. Wash switch plates.  Wash walls and trim as needed.
  10. Wash mirrors or dust art.
  11. Wash doors and doorknobs.
  12. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  13. Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.

BATHROOMS
  1. Open windows
  2. Empty all cabinets and vanity.  Wash inside, replace items neatly.  Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
  3. Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
  4. Clean tub.
  5. Clean toilet, inside and out. 
  6. Clean sink and drain.
  7. Shine faucets.
  8. Clean mirror and frame .
  9. Dust light fixtures. 
  10. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
  11. Wash switch plates.  wash walls and trim.  Wash doors and door knobs.
  12. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  13.  Sweep and wash floors.  
  14. Reseal grout lines if necessary.

KITCHEN
  1. Open windows.
  2. Remove and clean window coverings.  
  3. For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
  4. Wash and sanitize cutting boards
  5. Sharpen knives
  6. Wash cabinet doors and knobs
  7. Clean and organize pantry.  Check food expiry dates.
  8. Clean oven.
  9. Clean stove top. 
  10. Clean and organize fridge and freezer.  Defrost freezer, if necessary.  Check food expiry dates.
  11. Clean under fridge and stove.
  12. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  13. Clean microwave.
  14. Clean crumbs out of toaster.
  15. Clean and descale kettle.
  16. Wipe down any other counter appliances
  17. wash counters and back splash.
  18. Wash and shine sink.  Shine faucet. Clean drain.
  19. Clean Dishwasher.
  20. Dust light fixtures.
  21. Wash windows and window sills.  Remove window screens and wash.
  22. Wash switch plates.  
  23. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  24. Wash doors and door knobs.
  25. Wash floor registers and other vent covers
  26. Sweep and wash floor.  
  27. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.

DINING ROOM
  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash curtains.
  3. Wipe down table and chairs.
  4. Wipe down or dust other furnishing.
  5. Polish table, if necessary
  6. Create a pretty spring vignette on table!
  7. Launder table linens.
  8. Shine silverware.
  9. Dust art.
  10. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  11. Wash switch plates
  12. Wash walls and trim.
  13. Wash doors and door knobs
  14. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  15. Clean floors.

LIVING ROOM/ FAMILY ROOM/ PLAYROOM
  1. Open windows.
  2. Vacuum sofas.
  3. Spot clean sofas, if applicable.
  4. Launder throw pillows and blankets.
  5. Dust shelves, furniture and decor.
  6. Clean lamps and lampshades.
  7. Wash windows and window sills.
  8. Take out and wash window screens.
  9. Clean television screen.
  10. Carefully dust electronics.
  11. Tidy electronics wires.  Tuck nicely out of sight.  Label them, if practical.
  12. Sort through music and DVD collections. 
  13. Sort books and magazines. 
  14. Wash switch plates.
  15. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  16. Wash doors and knobs.
  17. Wash vent covers.
  18. Clean floors.

LAUNDRY ROOM

  1. Wash cabinet doors.
  2. Wash inside cabinets.
  3. Wash laundry sink.  Shine faucet.  Clean drains.
  4. Wash outside of washer and dryer.
  5. Wash inside of washing machine.
  6. Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
  7. Wash switch plates.
  8. Wash walls and trim.
  9. Wash doors and door knobs.
  10. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  11. sweep and wash floors. 
  12. Reseal grout lines, if applicable. 

OUTSIDE
  1. Sweep porches and walkway.
  2. Wash thresholds.
  3. Wash exterior doors.  Give front door a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
  4. Clean or replace welcome mat.
  5. Wash siding.


So that is the plan, I will for sure take you along as I go, starting with today where I'm tackling the Foyer. 

I would love to hear from you, do you spring clean, do you stick to a certain list, what are your thoughts on this old tradition?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

{ Sweet Blessings }

5:53 PM 4 Comments
Well hi everyone :)

It's just gone 7pm here in Texas.  We are under a severe weather/Tornado watch, so it's rainy, cloudy and just weird outside.  We're expecting the worst part of it later this evening, which I don't like because it's when we're asleep, but I'll have my phone on and charged and will be able to get notifications from the weather app.

I was just thinking earlier though that it's one of the things I most miss about Arizona.  Not having to do the whole daylight savings thing or worrying about tornadoes  Hahah

So, I've been busy with house stuff the past few days.

I had every intention of starting my spring cleaning today, but for that to happen, I want to be wash all the windows, open the windows and curtains all the way and carpet clean and all that fun stuff.  It doesn't help when the weather is overcast and rainy, so I had to put that chore aside until tomorrow.

I spent the day working on computer stuff, schooling with the kids, and crocheting on my Mandala Madness.

March 28, 2017

But the reason I wanted to come in and share is because of some blessings that have unexpectedly come our way.

It's no secret that things have been kind of difficult for our family the past few weeks.  The stress has been real people, like overwhelming at times.

 So when we receive blessings in the middle of all the chaos, it's a welcome reprieve and it completely shifts our moods.

My husband handed me a box from the mail.  I had no clue what was in it, I wasn't expecting anything, nor had a I bought anything.  The minute I opened it I knew immediately who it was from, my sweet friend Rhonda.

I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly kind and thoughtful she is.  You all probably know her too here from my blog, and it's not the first time she's blessed me with some of her amazing work.

I needed this little blessing, I actually started crying when I saw what she had so kindly sent me.

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

How amazing are those? My word, she is one talented lady. Thank you again Rhonda, you are a blessing :)

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

So I wanted show you what happened to the Hygge Shawl CAL I was doing.  I still plan on making another one, or rather, the full one, but I've realized that I am not good with these pattern follow alongs when I have to wait a week between each release.  It tends to unmotivate me and make me lose interest quickly.

Also, I was running out of white yarn and that's the yarn I am needing on my Mandala Madness, so I decided to scrap the project for now.

I didn't want to just leave it as it was and so the only way I could think of making use of it in it's current state, was to turn it into a pillow.

I'm so happy with the way it looks, it's beautiful :)

March 28, 2017

I know this post may seem all over the place, and I apologize for that, but I have a few things on my mind that I wanted to share with you all.

Like my absolute favorite dish soap. Actually I really love the Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, and usually go for the Lavender and Peppermint scented, but when I saw this one at the commissary last week, I had to grab it.  It says Limited Edition Scent, but I'm hoping and hoping really hard that they keep it around, because OH MY GOODNESS, it smells amazing.

March 28, 2017

I've also started making some Easter decorations.  Just some simple white eggs and a little embroidered flower.  What do you think?  Cause I think they turned out so adorable :)

And finally, this Mister here.  He has stolen my heart.  He is almost 7 months old and weighs almost 60 pounds LOL  He is huge, but not a single mean bone in his body.  Cutest, sweetest, meekest, gentlest, baby ever.

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

We also have another blessing, but I'm not going to tell you about it yet, I'll wait until Saturday to show you.  Let me just say that it's one of the biggest blessings we've had and it means the absolute world to us, especially my husband.

Well friends, I need to get off here, the lightning and thunder are now in full splendor and Marley is terrified.  I am hoping for some good rain but no tornadoes.  Please keep everyone in the areas affected in your prayers, and if you're in the same path of the storms as we are, please stay safe.

God Bless,
Sandra
xoxoxo

Monday, March 27, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/27/2017 }

5:49 AM 10 Comments
Happy Monday friends!!!

Welcome to another Happy Homemaker Monday.  It is the last one of March, can you believe that?  I need this year to slow down a bit, it's going a bit too fast but then lately the past few years, I feel like it's been the norm.

I remember when I was a young child and time seemed to be so slow, days dragged on, months dragged on, especially when you were waiting for your birthday to come around again hahah

Anyway, I just need time to slow a little and not be in such a rush to finish the year, I'm not ready for that yet.

I had a few crazy stressful weeks, and my blogging kind of took a back seat, not as bad as previous years, but I didn't get my daily blogging like I wanted to.  Now that things have calmed down I can get back on track, thank goodness.  Let's see what we have coming up this week.






The weather:::
It's finally Spring, beautiful hot gorgeous days here in North Texas.  But it also means the start of Tornado season and we're already well into it.  The state had some tornado watches and warnings yesterday, thankfully not in our area just south of us, but tomorrow we are having pretty bad thunderstorms, so praying it doesn't get too bad.  Looks like this week we'll be staying in the upper 70's which if you ask me, is pretty perfect weather :)      


On my reading pile:::
It's sad that I haven't changed this category yet, but I'm still slowly getting through Phillipa Gregory "Meridon".


Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
I watched We're The Millers with my daughter, on Saturday night.  I had already seen it but she hadn't and we stayed up late watching it.  I also watched more of the Women Behind Bars.  Not much else, we were pretty busy this weekend.


On my TV:::
General Hospital
Dr Phil (if it's a new one)
Have to watch last night's Walking Dead
Hoping to watch Beauty and the Beast as well as Get Out this week.


On the menu for this week:::

Monday 20th
Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and Salad
Tuesday 21st
Roast Chicken and Potatoes  
Wednesday 22nd
Homemade Tacos and Mexican Rice
Thursday 23rd
Salisbury Steak, Basmati Rice, Green Beans
Friday 3rd
Homemade Pizza 
Saturday 4th
*Grocery Shopping, need to make the new menu this week*
Sunday 5th



On my to do list:::
Monday - Loads of Housework to do, Bake Bread
Tuesday - Homeschooling, Plan my Spring Cleaning
Wednesday - Spring Clean Living Room
Thursday - Spring Clean Den
Friday - Spring Clean Kitchen


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
On the last row of Part 9 of the Mandala Madness.
Still haven't caught up with the Scheepjes CAL, hoping to get all those single crochet rows done before Wednesday when the big middle embroidery pattern is released. 


Looking around the house:::

It's a mess, it needs a lot of attention this morning.  I took the weekend off and did just the bare minimum, usual dishes, cooking and laundry.  Then I spent pretty much all day yesterday hanging with my daughter, and playing The Sims 4.  I don't often do that and it was so nice to relax and take it easy. 


From the camera:::
I took this pic of my Mandala Madness progress, and of course Mister Marley always thinks I laid it down for him to enjoy.  It's quite funny. 




What I'm wearing today:::
Still in my pajamas at the moment, just finishing off this post, then will throw on some comfy shorts and a tshirt and get to working on the house.   


One of my simple pleasures:::
You will find me completely insane for saying what I'm about to.....but.....housework is one of my simple pleasures.  I know, sounds nuts, but it's true.


Bible verse, Devotional::: 

Friday, March 24, 2017

{ In this grave hour by Jacqueline Sears - TLC Book Tour }

10:16 AM 2 Comments
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About In This Grave Hour

• Hardcover: 352 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 14, 2017)
“A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander.”  Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air, on Maisie Dobbs
Sunday September 3rd 1939.  At the moment Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation Britain’s declaration of war with Germany, a senior Secret Service agent breaks into Maisie Dobbs’ flat to await her return. Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War.
In a London shadowed by barrage balloons, bomb shelters and the threat of invasion, within days another former Belgian refugee is found murdered.  And as Maisie delves deeper into the killings of the dispossessed from the “last war,” a new kind of refugee — an evacuee from London — appears in Maisie’s life. The little girl billeted at Maisie’s home in Kent does not, or cannot, speak, and the authorities do not know who the child belongs to or who might have put her on the “Operation Pied Piper” evacuee train.  They know only that her name is Anna.
As Maisie’s search for the killer escalates, the country braces for what is to come.  Britain is approaching its gravest hour — and Maisie could be nearing a crossroads of her own.

Purchase Links for In This Grave Hour

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Jacqueline Winspear 

About Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.
Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook.

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My Thoughts:

I love anything World War II related, and especially England.  The book takes place in the Fall of 1939 when everyone is awaiting the impending War, but there's not really much going on.  There's no war, but there are a bunch of murders happening which Maisie Dobbs is well immersed into.  She is trying to solve a couple of murders, one being that of an immigrant to London from the World War I.

The whole book focuses on the murders but also on how people are dealing with the impending war looming over their shoulders.  Mothers struggling with their children going off to war, wives and girlfriends watching their husbands and boyfriends enlisting and so forth.

There is a lot going on in the story, not so much about the war itself but the preparations, the anxiety, the emotions and feelings surrounding it all.

I have never read a Maisie Dobbs mystery before, but I enjoyed this one so much that I am on the look out for the previous books in this series.  I believe this is the 13th one so I have a lot to catch up on.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

{ Praise the Lord }

6:37 PM 9 Comments





I'm just about to head to bed, but I wanted to come in super quick and thank you, each and every single one of you, who prayed for me, and let me know that you were thinking of me.

I went in for my mammogram call back this morning.

I can't even put into words the anxiety, worry, fear that I lived under the past week.  When I got the call back last Tuesday, I felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet.  The worst part of it all, aside from the fear of what it all meant, was having to wait so long to go back and get some answers.  I just don't understand how some hospitals do that, it is the worst thing you can do to a woman.

My husband took me to the hospital this morning.  He can't really take much time off because he is not a salaried employee, therefore if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid.  He already had to take Monday off for his uncle's funeral.  But he took time off this morning to take me because he knew how absolutely terrified I was.

He held my shaky hands in the waiting room, he wiped my tears, he told me I was fine and everything would be fine and that if anything came up, we would face it together, no matter what.

If only he knew how much that meant to me.

So anyway, I had a spot compression done, and let me tell you OUCH.  It's not that it's any different than the normal mammogram, other than the fact that paddle they use is smaller so they can really magnify and concentrate on the area in question.

I was shown what they wanted to get more imaging of.  A small lump on my right breast.  When I saw it, my heart dropped, I was even more nervous then.  After a few more images were taken, she asked me to wait for a few minutes while she took the images to the radiologist.  She placed a hospital bracelet on my arm and said that I was also scheduled for a sonogram. 

The 10 minutes I sat in that cold room, in my hospital gown, seemed like an eternity. 

She returned, and immediately told me that we were all done, she removed my bracelet and told me that I was ok, everything was fine.  The lump they had found was just tissue because of my dense breasts, and that the radiologist said I'm all good to go and see you in a year.

Isn't it funny how a few simple words can either make or break you???  Just like that, the worry and the fear from the past week disappeared.  I actually started to cry, I was so relieved.  First thing I did, I thanked God because I knew this was His doing.

I know that when I go back next year, there is a big chance of this happening yet again, but I think this time when and if it happens, I won't go into completely panic mode. 

Do I want to go through that fear again?  Absolutely not, I wouldn't wish this past week on my worst enemy.  But knowing that I'm ok and that everything is fine, is such a huge relief to me that it completely overshadows the worry.

I learned a big lesson, yet again.  It's a lesson I am constantly being forced to learn and you would think by now I would know better, but I continue to fall and fail.  STOP WORRYING until and if you have to worry.

Give it to God.  Lean on Him.  Put it in His hands.


Goodness, I need to learn this already. 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know what had happened and again thank you all so much for the prayers.  You are amazing :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

{ Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore }

12:45 PM 2 Comments


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Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (March 7, 2017)

The author of Skin Cleanse returns with a comprehensive guide to the ultimate ingredient for living an all-natural, plant-based lifestyle: essential oils.

For millennia, essential oils have played a key role in health and beauty rituals. From references in the Bible (frankincense and myrrh) to Hippocrates (who documented the effects of oils from over 300 plants) to Ancient Egypt (Cleopatra pioneered the use of fragrance), essential oils have been revered throughout human history for their healing powers and their unparalleled scent.

But in modern times, they’ve often been misunderstood, underappreciated, even cast as “dangerous”—and relegated to the dusty shelves of health food stores. That is, until recently. Today they’re back in the spotlight as increasing numbers of consumers are looking for all-natural alternatives to skincare products and opting for fragrance-free detergents and soaps, natural remedies for common ailments, and toxin-free home cleaning solutions.

Enter Adina Grigore, owner and founder of the wildly popular all-natural skincare line SW Basics. A former essential oil skeptic, Grigore learned everything she could about these potent plant-based compounds when she began formulating her products. And what she learned was that essential oils are some of the most powerful, healing, health-promoting compounds found in nature. That, and they smell pretty great too.

In Just the Essentials, Grigore offers a 21st-century guide to these ancient oils, offering a fresh, fun, and authoritative overview of what they are and how they can be easily incorporated into anyone’s life. From plant-based medicine to all-natural skincare to safer and cleaner household products to aromatherapy, this handy and entertaining guide provides detailed advice for a wide array of oils, safety guidelines, and a range of do-it-yourself recipes to get started. Inside you’ll discover such fun facts as:
  • Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial that is proven to be as effective for treating acne as benzoyl peroxide; it also kills oral bacteria and is a life-saver for tooth infections.
  • Cinnamon oil is a circulation-booster that helps to ease everyday aches and pains as well as headaches (even migraines).
  • Peppermint oil is brimming with antimicrobial properties; peppermint oil can be used for everything from alleviating digestive problems to cleaning your kitchen counters.
With lists of the best oils for beginners; instructions for diffusing and safe handling; and DIY recipes from dish soap to toothpaste to facial masks, Just the Essentials makes it easy and enjoyable to reap the many benefits of these pure plant extracts. 

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


 http://tlcbooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Adina-Grigore-AP-Photo-by-Liz-Andrien.jpg

About Adina Grigore

Adina Grigore is the founder and CEO of the all-natural, sustainable skin-care line S.W. Basics, which she started out of her kitchen in 2011. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Adina has worked in the wellness industry since 2007 as a private holistic nutritionist, a personal trainer, and a workshop coordinator teaching people about the DIY nature of wellness. S.W. Basics products are now sold internationally and have been featured in Vogue, O Magazine, W Magazine, the New York Times, InStyle, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living, among others.
Follow Adina on Instagram.

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My Thoughts:

I love essential oils, always have.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to be sent some to review and try out and since then I've been hooked.

I truly believe in the power of essential oils for a myriad of things, from well being to healing wounds, to helping pets and just overall well being.

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I was so excited to be able to partake in this review, I have quite a few essential oils and have done a lot of research on them, but I'm always willing to learn new tips and tricks. 

I guess you could say this book is geared more towards a complete newbie when it comes to the oiles, which is not a bad thing because it really gets down to the nitty gritty, explains it in an easy form and teaches you about the different oils and their uses. 

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You want recipes, there are recipes too, which I can not wait to try.  Face masks, skin care, simmer pots and all sorts of great ways to use your oils.

I love that it's a small book, easy to read and go back to for reference, but contains enough information to get you started on your own journey to a healthier you.

I know that I'll be using it over and over as I make the switch to possibly all natural, I already use tea tree oil, lavender, peppermint and a few others, so it will be great to incorporate a bunch more and figure out how they can help me detox and feel healthier.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

{ What I've been up to }

6:08 PM 3 Comments
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Hello everyone :)

What a crazy past few days we've had, but I wanted to come in and do a quick post, a little recap of what I've been busy with.

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The weather has been glorious, we are finally in Spring mode and I'm loving it.  I took the two photos above just the other morning, I stepped out to let Marley potty and really liked how the fog looked in the distance.

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As the weather has warmed up, Mr Marley has finally decided that he likes grass and exploring the big back yard.  He spends so much time out there just walking around, running through the grass, sniffing and barking and having a great time.

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He is so cute, I just love watching him.

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I did my usual 2 week grocery shopping, and I apologize but really haven't had time to do a grocery haul at all.  I haven't gotten anything out of the ordinary just the usual so you're not missing out on anything good :)

Updated the chalkboard which I hadn't done in, oh, a few months?  It's been insane.

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On Friday we took the kids to Cracker Barrel for dinner, they had been asking for a while.  I had been out earlier with my sister in law and we had grabbed lunch together so I wasn't hungry, and my husband had lunch with his coworkers and wasn't hungry too, so we really just went for them.

I try so hard to not get anything at their store because I love everything in there and if I could, I would take everything home with me.  One of the things I've always really liked and first started buying back when we were stationed at Luke AFB, is the Goat's Milk Lotion Blue Ridge Wildflowers.  It smells AMAZING!!!

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I also saw these adorable herb mason jars and I didn't want to grab them, but my husband made it a point of grabbing them for me.  He is so sweet :)

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I haven't planted them yet, they're still closed because again, I just haven't had time for much of anything.

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We did our first mow of the year and I have to tell you the smell of the fresh cut grass made me smile so darn big :)

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Everywhere we look it's Spring. 

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The kids are doing good with school, I can hardly believe that we are but 2 months away from the end of the year.  Jasmine is graduating and Nick will be moving on to high school.  Crazy!!!

Anyway, just a bit of what's been going on around here.  I also picked up my Mandala Madness again and am hoping to get some progress made on that, it helps to keep my mind occupied.

We got through our Uncle's funeral, it was a beautiful service and a perfect send off for him. 

Now I just need to get through Thursday, as you all know I need to go in for a Spot Compression and Sonogram.  I try to stay strong and positive and not worry, but to be honest, I flip flop back and forth.

One moment I tell myself it's fine, it will all come back fine, then the next minute I tell myself I'm just setting myself up for a big let down and I'm going to hear what I don't want to hear.  I just wish I could let it go and let God, but it's something I've struggled with my whole life, God knows this, and it's probably why I'm constantly being thrown into such situations where I need to learn to trust and let go.

Anyway, I best get Marley back inside and start getting things done and ready for bedtime, didn't have a very good night's sleep last night and am looking forward to maybe getting an early night in.

I hope you are all doing well, I miss interacting with you all and knowing what is going on in your lives.  Sending everyone big hugs and blessings.

xoxoxo

Monday, March 20, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/20/2017 }

5:12 AM 13 Comments
Good morning friends, welcome to another Happy Homemaker Monday!!!

I have a pretty difficult week ahead of me, so not really looking forward to it at all.  Heading to our Uncle Mike's funeral in about 2 hours, it's going to be a tough day and I'm looking forward to being home later.

On Thursday I have to go in for a Spot Compression exam and an Ultrasound for my right breast.  I'm still really scared but I'm trying very hard to stay calm.  So if you could send some prayers my way, I would greatly appreciate them.

Well let's get going shall we?
 





The weather:::
Beautiful spring days the past week.  We've been in the upper 80's and 90's, today we are reaching a high of 94 and then 80's the rest of the week.  I'm happy for that, been looking forward to Spring for a while.     


On my reading pile:::
Phillipa Gregory "Meridon".


Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Didn't watch much at all this weekend, just didn't have time.  Watched The Dead Files, Ghost Brothers and my usual Vlogs.


On my TV:::
General Hospital
Dr Phil (if it's a new one)
Need to watch last night's Walking Dead
Need to watch the new Ghost Adventures from this weekend


On the menu for this week:::

Monday 20th
Will be out all day for the funeral
Tuesday 21st
Deep Dish Taco Squares  
Wednesday 22nd
Slow Cooked Sirloin, Mashed Potatoes
Thursday 23rd
Pork chops, Salad
Friday 3rd
Homemade Pizza 
Saturday 4th
Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Sunday 5th
Chicken Fried Steak, Mash Green Beans


On my to do list:::
Monday - Funeral
Tuesday - Housework, Homeschooling
Wednesday - Post office, Homeschooling
Thursday - Mammogram exam in the morning
Friday - Housework, Homeschooling


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still working on the Mandala Madness.
I haven't yet done Part 5 of the Scheepjes CAL from last week, it was just a whole lot of boring single crochet rows in preparation for the big middle embroidery, but I haven't gotten around to it, a lot happened last week and my head just hasn't been in the game.


Looking around the house:::

Not much to clean, just have to tidy up a few bits and bobs here and there.


From the camera:::
I didn't pick up the camera the whole of last week.  I'm sorry guys, since I got that phone call I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself and just didn't have the energy or motivation for anything else.  I will do better this week.



What I'm wearing today:::
Still in my pajamas at the moment.  Need to get dressed for the funeral in about an hour, I'll be wearing a plain black dress, black shoes and then diamond earrings and a diamond cross necklace.  Keeping it very simple but comfy because it's going to be a very long day and we have a 2 hour drive to get there too. 


One of my simple pleasures:::
Not worrying.  Really!!!  When I am actually calm and relaxed and not worried about something, it is one of the nicest feelings on earth.     


Bible verse, Devotional::: 

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom


I am feeling very scared and anxious and worried about Thursday, so I'm adding in a prayer for myself, but if any of you are going through something similar, feel free to use the same prayer.

Gracious, Heavenly Father, You already know the worries on my heart.  I pray that You will give me the peace that passes all understanding in the trials that are ahead.  I am scared about this week.  I give these worries to You Father and ask that You will carry me through this difficult time.  You already know that I had my mammogram, and that I have to return on Thursday, you also already know the results.  I pray Father that the results will give me a clean bill of health.  But if they don’t, I pray Lord that you would free me of this disease and heal me completely. I will obey You Father no matter what.
I thank You and praise You for Your patience with me.  I love you Father!  Amen.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

{ Rest in Peace Uncle Mike }

5:36 PM 15 Comments
 
I'm sorry I haven't been updating as often as I would like, but I'm sure you understand that a lot has been going on.

This morning I got a phone call from our Aunt letting us know that our dear Uncle Mike had passed away.

He is Curt's dad's brother, so my father in law's brother.  He had been battling brain cancer for a while and fought extremely hard.  Our Aunt was fighting right along side him, helping him, praying, doing everything she could to make him comfortable.

Unfortunately this morning he succumbed to the disease and went home to be with the Lord.

It's a very sad and difficult time for the family.  Even though we all knew he was unwell and declining, it's always a shock when it actually happens.  You get left with the feeling that you didn't do enough, you didn't visit enough or tell him enough how important he was.

Curt and I wish more than anything that we could have made it up to see him, unfortunately the opportunity never presented itself as they live 2 hours away, and even the times we've made it to Oklahoma to drop off Jasmine, was always in a hurry, literally driving up after Curt got home from work and straight back.

Anyway, Uncle Mike is now at peace, free of pain and rejoicing in Heaven, and for that I'm thankful.

We will be heading up to Oklahoma to attend his funeral on Monday, Curt is a pall bearer which he is more than happy to be, even though he is quite heart broken with the loss of his uncle.

Prayers would very much be appreciated for him and especially for Aunt Nita.  Mike was the love of her life, her companion, her company, and this is excruciatingly difficult for her.

Love you Uncle Mike and will miss you!!!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

{ Incomplete Mammogram....oh boy }

11:15 AM 10 Comments
Well friends I was planning on coming in and doing a different kind of post, but this is my online journal and I need to talk and vent and write down what is on my mind.  Good, bad, worrying, exciting, it all needs to be documented no matter what.

I'm sure many of you will understand what I'm thinking at the moment, what I'm feeling, the questions, the fears and all that.  I'm also pretty sure some of you won't and that's a good thing, because this is not something I would wish on anyone.

As you all know I went for my yearly mammogram last week.  Unfortunately my hospital doesn't give me the results right away, they send it to my doctor and then if something is wrong they will contact me and have me go in for a second mammogram.

I hadn't heard anything until this morning when I got the dreaded phone call which stopped me right in my tracks, I didn't even want to answer because I knew what it was going to be.

I guess the good thing is that they didn't say they found something and needed me in right away.  But, I was told that it was incomplete and that the radiologist needs me to come in for a second mammogram to my right breast so they can get a clearer picture of one of the areas.  She followed it up by saying that it doesn't mean it's something serious, it just means they need a clearer picture of that breast.  They will do a mammogram and if need be, an ultrasound as well.

When I was 18 years old, I found a lump on my right breast (surprise surprise).  My doctor sent me for a mammogram and at the time they couldn't really see well either, so they had me do an ultrasound and it came back that it was fibroids.  It's something I've deal with my whole life, my mother has them and often gets very lumpy breasts which need to sometimes be aspirated. 

After I had my daughter, one of the first yearly exams I had, my doctor thought he had felt something on my right breast (again surprise surprise), so he had me go in for a second opinion.  I was 25, and they told me the chance of it being anything serious was minimal, and after checking it was fine.  Again, fibroids.

I knew that the chances of getting called back were high for me.  My breasts are dense, like I said, get lumpy during that time of the month and swell up and so on.  It's the reason why I opted for the 3D mammograms which are a lot better than the usual mammogram, and the chances of getting called back are not as huge as with the other normal mammogram.

Getting that phone call today knocked the wind out of me.  I am not even going to lie, I went into panic mode because this has always been the one thing that has scared me to death.  My mind goes to the worst case scenario, I start thinking the worst, and worrying myself sick.  I was a total mess by the time I got off the phone with the lady.

After talking to my daughter, to my sister in law, to my niece and my husband, I've finally started calming down. 

  • I allowed myself to cry and to panic and to worry and to get that initial shock out of my system.
  • I calmed down, I hit the ground and I prayed.
  • I have not asked why, it's not for me to ask, it's not even for me to know.
  • I have tried to put it out of my mind and to force myself to be rational and realistic.
  • I posted about it on Facebook, to ask for prayers mainly because I need to stop worrying and need to think clearly and logically.
  • After reading so many of my friend's comments (some of you here too who are friends on facebook as well), and realizing that this quite common and it does happen, especially when you have dense breasts, I've calmed down a lot.

I don't know what is going to happen.  I've felt an overwhelming sense of calm come over me, almost like I can hear God saying "you're going to be fine, stop worrying".

Way I see it is, I won't know until next week Thursday, what is going to happen or what is wrong, if anything is wrong.  If nothing is wrong, then I went through a scare, and maybe I needed to go through it to learn an important lesson.

If something is wrong, then I will face it and deal with it and again, learn an important lesson. 

One thing is for sure, I have an amazing support system, family and friends who will not let me fall, who will be there no matter what.  People who tell me when I'm overreacting, people who tell me when I'm not thinking clearly, people who tell me that I'm loved, people who tell me I'm making a big deal and getting worked up without needing to right now.

I think the biggest thing for me is the fact that this has always been my biggest fear, so when the phone rang and I saw that it was the Women's Clinic, it came true in a sort of way and took me completely by surprise.

Look, I have no idea what this means, what any of it means or what is coming my way.  But, I do know that no matter what, it's going to be placed in God's hands.  I'm not going to allow the devil to steal my joy for the next week, to make me doubt, to make second guess God or my faith.  I'm going to leave it and go with the flow.....no matter what.

I do appreciate any and all prayers, and I'm not even asking for it not to be something or whatever, I'm just needing prayers to not panic, to stay calm and to let it go and let God.  That's it!!!

Whatever happens, when I go to my appointment, I'll certainly let you all know, I promise.  :)

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent and talk this through.  It really does help to type it out and get it out of my mind.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow with a much nicer post :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/13/2017 }

7:00 AM 8 Comments
Good morning friends, hope you've all had a wonderful weekend.

I'm sorry I'm a bit late starting today, but this time change has me all messed up.  I honestly feel like I'm jet lagged without having gone anywhere.  That and the fact that I was enjoying waking up to sunrises and now it's back to waking up in darkness.  Ugh!!

Anyway, let's get going with this week shall we?
 



The weather:::
Rainy day, it's currently 40 degrees.  It's supposed to clear up and warm up throughout the day and it looks like a nice week ahead.  


On my reading pile:::
Phillipa Gregory "Meridon".


Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Yesterday, Curt, Jasmine and I watched "Christmas Office Party", it was quite funny.
I'm still binge watching Women Behind Bars which I really enjoy.
Finished Outlander, started Underground and am hoping to finish that one soon too.
Watched the new Ghost Brothers episode for Season 2, and also watched The Dead Files.  Going to watch The Walking Dead sometime today, I'm the only one watching it here at home, everyone else gave up on it.  


On my TV:::
General Hospital
Dr Phil
Documentaries
Underground
The Waling Dead


On the menu for this week:::


Monday 27th
Tavern Sandwiches with Onion Rings
Tuesday 28th
Chili Con Carne, Rice 
Wednesday 1st
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti noodles
Thursday 2nd
Slow Cooked Sirloin, Mashed Potatoes
Friday 3rd
Deep Dish Taco Squares, Salad 
Saturday 4th
*Grocery Shopping*
Sunday 5th


On my to do list:::
Ironing
Vacuum, Dust
Unload and reload dishwasher


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Almost done with Part 9 of the Mandala Madness, set it aside for a few weeks so I wouldn't get bored, but picked it back up last night.
Still want to get the bunting done for the living room, hoping to get to that some time this week.

Wednesday I'll be making Part 5 of the Scheepjes CAL 2017.


Happening this week:::
Jasmine has a doctor's appointment on Thursday
Kids are also on Spring Break but we need to catch up on school, so they'll be doing that


Looking around the house:::

It's not looking bad, I cleaned up a bit yesterday.  It's just the usual tidying up, dishes, cooking etc.


From the camera:::
Portuguese Cookie Cake that I made for Saturday night.  We had family over for dinner.  I will get the recipe up on the blog some time today. 




What I'm wearing today:::
Patterned Leggings, V Neck Grey flowy t-shirt.  Black sweater. 


One of my simple pleasures:::
Having family over for dinner.   


Bible verse, Devotional::: 



Friday, March 10, 2017

{ All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank - TLC Book Tour }

12:32 PM 0 Comments





  • Hardcover: 384 pages 
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 31, 2016)


Dorothea Benton Frank novels are smart and witty fiction that readers want on their bookshelf: soulful, edgy stories about realistic characters familiar to us all that explore the most deeply felt moments of life with wry humor and heart.
All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple–prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband, Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman. They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and have been in love for more than fourteen years.
As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina, Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, and downsizing. Nick is ecstatic. Olivia is not. She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought. Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling, and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work.  Thank God for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.
As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up in the world of the ultra-rich, exploring the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.
This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more. Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together. All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love; love that deepens and endures, but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.
************************************************
 My thoughts:
I really enjoyed the story of Nick and Olivia.  A married couple who have vowed to love each other, through anything that life may throw their way.  
As they travel through the summer, they are involved in numerous adventures, make new friends, meet interesting people and most importantly, show us what true love is all about.
It really is a the perfect summer beach read, a fun story, interesting characters and a good ol' love story to boot.
TLC

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