• budgeting,  cleaning,  faith,  homemaking

    7 Ways to Start The New Year Right

    The upcoming new year brings anticipation for the beginning of new habits and leaving behind negativity. Starting the new year on the right foot has always given me motivation to work hard towards the goals that I have for the upcoming year. Here are some practical tips to help your new year dreams become a reality.

    photocredit: hackcollege.com

    Jones, J. M. (2013). In U.S., 40% get less than recommended amount of sleep. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx

    Mayo Clinic. (2018). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

  • faith,  homemaking

    New Year’s Resolution: Sabbath

    Since I have been on Christmas Break this past week, I recently finished a book titled “Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World” by Sarah Miller. Her and her family’s journey through finding a rhythm of Sabbath was not easy or painless. It was difficult and even guilt-wrenching for her at times.

    As I read through the book I could relate to her feelings so deeply. For example, Miller described the panicked “need” to finish the laundry and the dishes before Monday morning birthed the new work week. I completely relate to these feelings as though these measly tasks will help me feel more at peace during the week knowing all of my “ducks are in a row” before the craziness of work begins yet again.

    As she inserted the Sabbath “baby steps” as she called them into her weekly routine, she started to look forward to these days of rest – even if she didn’t “accomplish” something on a to-do list during that day. Some of the first small and practical steps that she incorporated were starting a crock-pot meal on Saturday evening for Sunday’s lunch instead of making the meal that day. Additionally, instead of using normal dishes, she and her family would use paper plates to avoid the dish cleaning dilemma post lunch. After lunch she was able to enjoy a walk with the Lord, or read a book that spurred her to bask in rest and peace with her Creator before the next week begun.

    As she started describing some of the ways in which she incorporates the Sabbath on Sundays I started to feel somewhat tense at the thought of not being able to finish all my laundry on Sunday or finishing the cleaning touches in the house before the work week started. Alas, as I kept reading the more I processed through Miller’s words the more I started to realize that if I obey the Lord’s command of keeping the Sabbath holy (and enjoying rest – as my Creator did) – then I will be more energized to do the mundane tasks through the week.

    Relating these practices to my own life of homemaking – I think that I can be a better, more effective, and more caring homemaker if I listen to this command of rest. I feel as though I need to be doing something instead of sitting around reading a book or enjoying a small walk. The irony of it all is that God is not a to-do list. Our Father is our source of strength and energy to accomplish all of the things that we have yet on our to-do list for the rest of the week. Yet, I have gone all of these weeks without connecting deeply with my Creator on the Sabbath, and come up empty trying to accomplish all of these things that I simply cannot without my power source.

    As I move into this next season of life I am diligently going to try to implement a stronger sense of Sabbath into our home. Since I am more of a practical learner – I will start with making Sunday’s meal on Saturday evening, and implementing the paper plates for Sunday’s Sabbath lunch. The second step that I am going to take is trying not to do any cleaning or laundry on Sunday. This is something that may take some serious discipline on my part – but I think it has a great potential to reap wonderful fruit in my spiritual life.

    I pray that we can take our busy-obsessed society and realize the gift of Sabbath. If my Creator rested on the seventh day, how much more do I need that rest? I believe that the Lord will allow me to accomplish more by resting on the day that it was intended for. This is a true New Year’s Resolution – a resolution to rest more, and “do” less.

    photo credit: www.runnergirltraining.com

  • cleaning

    schedule your cleanings

    Cleaning the home can be a daunting task in the beginning. There are so many rooms, so many tasks, and (what seems like) so little time for all of these things to be done. Thankfully, with a little coordination and some time spent on planning, cleaning can become a joyous routine that you perform daily, weekly, and monthly.

    There are certain tasks that I do daily because they are a constant and urgent need to be cleaned.  Next, I focus on weekly tasks and spread out throughout the week (even though I do a large portion of it on the weekends).  Last, there are other tasks that I do each month to ensure that detailed work continues to get cleaned.

    Daily: Wash dishes, straighten the house/pick up items in the living areas

    • Even if it is getting late in the evening, I will always take a few minutes to straighten up our living area couches and coffee table, and finish any uncleaned dishes. I know, I know, thinking about doing dishes when you’re ready to go to bed at 10:30 can seem like a real drag, but in true reality it will only take 10-15 minutes of your time, and it will help your next day go a lot smoother because you are starting fresh in the morning without any dishes to clean.

    Weekly: Vacuum all carpeted floors, sweep floors (intermittent throughout week), mop floors, clean bathrooms, deep clean kitchen, wash bed sheets

    • Break these tasks down over a course of a couple of days. I typically will vacuum, sweep and mop all on Saturday while I intermittently deal with the bed sheets, and then I will clean the bathrooms on Sunday morning before I go to church. Then after lunch on Sunday I will typically deep clean the kitchen and then bask in how clean my house is Sunday afternoon!

    Monthly: Dust surfaces all around the house (I break this up throughout the month), refrigerator/freezer, clean inside/outside of trash can, vacuum out car

    • Ensure to clean all of the areas that dust can collect: door frames, book shelves, lamp shades, tops of the TV, etc! Keeping up by dusting once a month can be a world changer in your home.
    • Go through the items in your fridge/freezer once a month and reorganize for functionality since things can easily get jostled around!
    • Trash cans easily collect residue on the rim – make sure to clean this off to avoid any bacterial growth
    • Vacuuming out the car once a month will help to keep your car clean! You will also be less likely to keep any junk in your car – thus leaving it even more clean.

    Remember that scheduling your cleaning habits can be difficult at first, but once you are in the routine it will be second hand. You will be happier and be able to focus more when your space is neater, cleaner, and kept up! Happy cleaning!

    photo credit: http://hgtvhome.sndimg.com/

  • baking,  cleaning,  cooking,  recipes

    Welcome!

    Welcome to my blog! I am excited to share with you about my hobby of keeping a home through writing about recipes, cleaning, and homemaking ideas. My love for homemaking started as a kid as I watched my mom be a homemaker. She always cooked, baked, cleaned, and taught my sister and I with such poise and joy about how to be excellent home keepers. She has continued to inspire me to keep a haven for my husband and others who come into our home.

    I am from the Minneapolis area, and came to Bolivar, Missouri for my undergraduate degree. My junior year I fell in love with my husband, and we have now almost been married for a year. I teach first graders in a rural elementary school, and I am close to finishing my Master’s Degree in Health and Human Services Administration.

    I hope that you find joy in the art of homemaking. Please reach out to me anytime with any insights or questions that you may have!