Showing posts sorted by relevance for query clutter. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query clutter. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Vacuum Packing Made Easy-One Great Kitchen Tool!

Vacuum packing is not new, but it is a wonderful tool to have in your kitchen. ~ A Product Review




If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that nothing stays the same!  While the world is healing slowly, we
are left with finding ways to make our budgets go further.  I don't know if you have noticed, but food prices are on the rise again.  

For my family that means buying vegetables and fruits when they are in season.  You get twice the bang for your buck by doing this.  First you get the freshest of fruits and vegetables and because they are in season, the price usually reflects the abundance, by being much lower than when imported.

I prefer to go out and shop at my local farmer's markets, or when I visit my Sister's family, we make a trip out to the St. Jacob's Market, in St. Jacob's Ontario.  This is a great place to visit for a day trip or if you live close by, to shop at!  You know you are supporting local farmers and the Mennonite Community as well. (I digress!)

We try to buy our vegetables when the season is high.  They are the freshest and tastiest vegetables that you could ever want.  Picked at the perfect time and very cost effective, you just know you are getting nature's best.  But, if you don't have a way to keep them, all that goodness is missed.



With our new Vacuum Sealer, we can purchase more of these vegetables and bring them home.  My husband and I sit and clean, divide and package the goodness either the same day or the day after.  Once they are all vacuum packed, they go into the freezer.  Summer fresh goodness is ours even in the middle of winter.

We don't stop at the fruits and vegetables though.  When we go to market, there are many farmers who make homemade sausages. Some farmers have,  cattle, chickens, pigs and lambs.  Yes we love our meats!  There is a real pleasure involved in bringing home the freshest, grain fed, and antibiotic free meats.  You know you are eating the finest quality foods available.

With our Vacuum Sealer, we separate our meats into family (for us it's two) sized portions. Some of the  Roasts and chicken get treated with spices and then packaged. 


When it's time for dinner, out comes a package and while it is defrosting it is also marinating in the spices.  We save a lot of prep time, by having everything already put together.

Our Vacuum Sealer is getting a really good workout. We have a roll of freezer sleeves, that can be custom sized so there is no waste in the plastic.  It is entirely up to you how small or how big you make your bags.  The sealer seals both ends, one before you fill and one after you have filled the bag to your liking.  Then you have the choice of just bagging it and sealing it, or bagging and vacuum sealing.  Both are options.



This is the exact model that we have purchased and we are delighted with the ease in operation.  We spend a day or so with the prepping, but once it's done, we can relax and just enjoy. 

When we purchased our Vacuum Sealer we also purchased extra rolls of plastic because we knew that we would be making great use of this new addition to our kitchen.  This Sealer is so much better than plastic wraps and easier to use too.  We have even frozen leftovers for use at a future date.  

Now, just a word of caution, you still need to prepare your vegetables like you would normally do.  Wash them, blanch them and then pack them into the freezer.  It couldn't be easier than that.

If you are a baker, then you will love this sealer too!  Bake breads and buns, some for today and some for a later date.  Freeze them and when you are ready, it's like you just baked them that day.


I don't like clutter in my kitchen, and have found that many gadgets are "extra" stuff.  However, I would highly recommend that you think about getting one of these Sealers!  If you are interested in saving money,  buying food that is fresh and wholesome, even freezing your herbs, then you won't be disappointed.  Gardeners will love this Sealer!  When the cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and your other vegetables are ready, there will be no waste!  Use what you can and freeze what you can't!  This really is a winner in my books.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, July 24, 2020

Bird Decor for the Home Reviewed

Bird Decor
I like all wildlife decor, but I recently realized how often I choose bird decor for my home.  

I love birds, but I'm not sure if my decorating choices are because of my love for birds, or if it is because of availability.  I do see a lot of decorative accessories that feature birds.  

I also take a ton of pictures of birds.  Again, they are what "decorate" my backyard daily and are easily available to photograph. I enjoy seeing the flashes of color zipping across the sky, as well as, sitting in my trees. 

We also enjoy walking wooded trails, driving along jeep trails, and exploring nature.  I get really excited when I capture on bird's photo in a unique setting.  That was the case with the gorgeous owl photo (shown below) now available in my Zazzle store.

Birds always remind me of scripture.  So many verses come to mind when I see a dove, a sparrow or an eagle.  Perhaps, that is the main reason I love birds so much.  They always remind me of God and His promises to mankind. My relationship to God is the core of my very being and I delight at every reminder of Him. 


Bird Pillows Make Home Decor Impact

Barred Owl - Here's Looking at You! Throw Pillow - Available on Zazzle - Photo by Cynthia SylvestermouseBarred Owl - Here's Looking at You! Throw Pillow - Available on Zazzle - Photo by Cynthia SylvestermouseCheck Price
I have multiple throw pillows on my couches, chairs and even beds that feature birds.  Several are only birds, but others have birds as part of the wildlife & nature scenes with flowers, rabbits, or foxes.  All are welcoming additions to my home decor.  

Using pillows that feature birds are such a great way to add a touch of color  or contrast to a room, just like they add to nature.  

Most of my furniture is tan or brown with dark wood.  My home needs those sparks of beauty interspersed among those otherwise bland decor choices.  I consider the brown to be the background for the beauty.

These are a few of the bird throw pillows that liven up a room by adding contract or color in home decor. 




Bird Magnets Hold Reminders


Click Magnet Image to Purchase
I have at least a dozen bird magnets on my refrigerator.

We use them to hold notes, newspaper clippings, recipes, or even photos in place.  My favorites are the ones that also feature quotes from the Bible.  I like those little reminders around. 

I work in the kitchen almost all day long.  Whatever happens, conversations, accidents, or actual work, it is usually in my kitchen or I hear about it in my kitchen.  

I find myself glancing at those scriptures as I catch my breath.  They help calm me and remind me that God is always in control and is here with me.

I find it rather ironic that something so inexpensive can make such a huge impact on my daily life. 


Bird Coasters in Every Room

Click the Coaster Image to Purchase these Bird Coasters

We have coasters in every room of our home to protect our wood and marble table tops.  

Most drinking glasses or mugs will leave a ring on whatever surface it is resting on.  Therefore, I always want my coasters to protect my tables.  

I have several sets of the bird coasters featured on the right.  They are my favorite coasters in my home.  Not only do I adore the bird images, but I also like how easy they are to clean.  These coasters are made for ceramic tile and have a protective backing to prevent scratching the wood table tops.  

It is really hard for me to choose which of these birds I like the best because they are all so beautiful.  Even the female cardinal, which is not known for her color, holds a special place in my heart.  After all, without her, there would be no vibrant red male cardinals.


Bird Trinket Boxes


Bird Trinket Box
My Photo is Linked to a Similar Trinket Box Available on Amazon
I also collect trinket boxes. Among my favorites, are of course, my birds. 

My husband has sought out and given me some of the most beautiful bird trinket boxes. He even gave me a display tree for my bird boxes for Christmas one year. It certainly makes displaying my jeweled boxes a lot easier. Now I can adore them all at once and they take up a lot less space. 

I know some people consider these knick knacks to be useless clutter, but I consider them trinkets of love. After all, it took decades to build my collection of bird trinket boxes. Each one reminds me of a special occasion, a thoughtful gift and a very considerate giver. 



Additional Ideas in Bird Home Decor include Kitchen Towels, Bed Linens, Decorative Lamps, Bird Teapots, Bird Platters/Trays, Sugar Bowls & Creamer sets, Salt & Peppers Shaker Sets, Figurines & more.  The ideas really are extensive.




 Bird Decor for the Home Reviewed by:

House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, December 15, 2019

7 Ways to Maximize Space and Get Your Home Organized

7 Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Home or Apartment

With the New Year approaching, you'll soon be into cleaning and organizing again.

If you're like me, you may already be thinking ahead to a few changes you want to make to maximize the square footage in your home.

Let's review some creative ideas:

1. Chairs that Convert to a Bed

That's right; there are chairs that fold open and turn into a bed. These are ideal for small apartments or small rooms where you need a place for company to crash. Here are some examples of various styles; some unfold, some fold down, and others sit and fold directly onto the floor.

2. End Tables That Double as a Pet Crate

These are especially handy for smaller homes. They're an excellent solution for apartment dwellers with pets. They range in style, design, and color. Put one or two on either side of the couch, and you now have a place for the fur babies and coffee tables all in one piece.

3. Plano Storage Unit for Crafts and Supplies

Wednesday Elf from ReviewThisReviews discusses how she uses the Plano Storage Unit to organize her crafting supplies. If you're not interested in spending too much money but need an efficient organizational unit, this one works. We use these as well. Ours is in the basement, holding our Christmas decorations. They're also handy in garages.

4. Elaborate Ways to Use Space Under a Staircase

If renovations and a good-sized budget are in your organizational future, check out these design ideas for using space under the stairs; a reading nook, a washroom, extra sleeping space, a playroom, a dog house, and the list goes on.

5. Space Saving Table and Chairs

These aren't your grandmother's table and chairs, although some of those were pretty nice. Today's space-saving tables come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and designs: There are the standard folding leaf tables, chairs the tuck directly under each part of the table, bench type seats, and more. These are the perfect solution for a tiny kitchen or enclosed porch and balcony.

6. Creating Additional Storage in a Bedroom

Here you'll find five suggestions on how you can add more storage space to the bedroom. My personal favorite is the bed skirt organizer. It's an actual bed skirt with plastic storage inserts for both sides. If you don't want to see the clutter in the bed skirt, add a bedspread that covers it, or put a cloth bed skirt over it. Other suggestions include a bedside cubby that stores items and fits under the mattress, ottoman storage, over-the-door storage units, and under-the-bed storage.

7. Loft Beds for Adults

Check out these funky designs. Living in an apartment in a city usually means that the square footage is minimal. If that's the case, you'll want to consider one of these lofts. Designs vary with some featuring desks, a table and seating area, and daybeds. Going vertical solves the small space problem, and these designs do precisely that.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Understanding the Yin Yang Theory Relating to Home Decor

A Basic Understanding of the Yin Yang Theory

Opposing forces exist in all things. In ancient Chinese, this is known as the Yin Yang Theory. The whole cannot exist without both sides pushing and pulling towards or against each other. Nothing exists without its opposite. Easy life examples are light and dark, up and down, and hot and cold.

A Review of The Yin Yang Theory in Home Decor

Home decorating choices, like all things in life, will impact the energy flow in a space. The approach to a positive home environment is known as Feng Shui. Learning a few basics about Yin and Yang can help pre-plan a room.


What is Yin?

Yin is feminine energy, sometimes referred to as passive energy. Think of Yin as the calming and relaxing aspects of a room's design. Here are some typical examples of Yin energy as it relates to home decor:
  •  Calming music
  •  Soft color tones
  •  Simple water features
  •  Cozy blankets
  •  Ambient lighting
  •  Flowers
  •  Candles
  •  Eliminate clutter
  •  Peaceful wall art

What is Yang?

Yang is masculine energy, sometimes referred to as active energy. Think of the sleek, fun, movement side of life. Here's a shortlist of suggested items to consider in a room that needs the balance of Yang:
  •  Energetic music
  •  Windchimes
  •  Tall house plants
  •  Industrial decor items
  •  Rod iron pieces
  •  Metal wall art
  •  Angular architecture
  •  Concrete floors
  •  Large windows
  •  Natural light
  •  Bright lighting
  •  Large family table in the kitchen
  •  Cheerful colors
  •  Bold wall art
  •  People gathering in a space
  •  The laughter and fun of kids playing

Yin Yang Doesn't Need to Be 50/50

In other words, some rooms will lean toward Yin energy, like a bedroom, and others toward Yang energy, such as a kitchen or place where the family gathers.  

Even though a room doesn't need a 50/50 balance, in order for it to feel right, it still requires both Yin and Yang energy. 

For example, your bedroom should be a calm relaxing retreat and feature items that enhance those feelings. This means the bedroom will be designed with mostly Yin energy in mind. However, in order for the room to have a sense of balance, you'll still need some Yang energy. You could add a rug with brighter complementary colors, or bold furnishings with a masculine edge. If that's not your thing, try a few pieces of strategically positioned bold wall art.

Kitchens tend to work best with more Yang than Yin. A kitchen is usually the 'active' gathering place. Large windows, natural light, and cheery colors all help to bring a kitchen to life. Again, you'll still want some yin energy items featured. Soften the room with a lovely soft floral centerpiece. Since the scent of coffee or even the thought of it can be calming, create a coffee station in the kitchen, with cakes and cookies nearby. 


The Quick and Easy Way to Create Balance

A simple way to tell if a room isn't balanced is to ask yourself, "does the room's overall decor feel too warm or too cold?" If you sense it leans too much one way, then add some of the opposite to create balance.








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Sunday, August 11, 2019

5 Creative Ways to Store or Display Books

Unique Ways to Store or Display Books


We can certainly accumulate a lot of books throughout life. Some end up in a bedroom end table, others buried in closets, and the rest make it to their home-base, a bookcase.

This review lists obscure or odd ways to store or display books in the home. When a bookcase is out of the question, try one of these options.

1. Decorative Storage Trunks

Not all storage trunks are old, dusty and stuffed in an attic or basement. Modern decorative trunks can be featured in main rooms as a functional accessory. This set of 3 accent trunks can be placed in a living room, office or bedroom with your favorite books stored inside. It's a clutter-free way to bring books into a room. They're stored away and the trunks are a piece of furniture that adds to the overall look of the room.

2. Cotton Canvas Storage Bins

This playfully printed cotton canvas bag is normally used in a child's room to store toys. The bag is light and safe, has carrying straps and is easy for kids to lift or move. Instead of using them for toys, put books inside. Complete the look of a room, by designing a reading area that features three or four of these lovely canvas storage bins surrounded by a plush comfy rug. Create an actual reading circle by placing the storage bags in the middle of a large round rug. Gather on the rug for story time.

3. Rolling Storage Cart

There is an endless number of rolling cart designs. However, this cart works for a sunroom or porch. Imagine being cozied up on your porch swing as you reach over to get one of your favorite books. Get a number of carts and position them along on a wall as a long unit filled with books. 

4. Storage Ottoman

Place books inside an ottoman. Ottomans can be positioned anywhere in a room; against a wall, in front of or beside a sofa. You'll find that Ottomans come in multiple sizes, with some being quite large. With an Ottoman, you'll get extra seating or a place to put your feet all while storing books.

5. Book Slings

Book slings are a popular choice for a child's room or reading area. However, this particular one can work in a den, office or family room. Unlike several of the above options, the books in a sling are on open display. You'll often see Slings in professional waiting rooms as a way to hold magazines or books for waiting clients.

To see elaborate ways to display books, you can check out how the other side lives here.





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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home - 7 Simple and Necessary Improvements that Don't Require Renovations

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home Without Renovating

If you're getting ready to sell your home but can't afford any major renovations, lets review a list of updates you can do that won't cost a fortune.

1. Declutter

When getting ready to sell, the first step is to declutter your entire home. Include the basement, sheds, and garage as well. Go through all cupboards and closets and get rid of or store items you don't/won't need during the selling process. Remove unnecessary knick-knacks. Keep coffee and end tables sparingly decorated with lamps, candles and plants.

About the garage: Empty out the clutter so prospective buyers can easily determine whether their car(s) will fit inside. 

2. Paint Rooms

Painting can be time consuming, but it's an affordable first step to give your home a face lift before selling. Keeping the color scheme neutral will attract a broader range of potential buyers. Think in terms of grey, tan, beige, or white. Keep the baseboards and doors a nice crisp white. Avoid multi-colored baseboards! White baseboards provide a lovely border against the wall, rug/floor. Add pops of color with accessories only. Colorful pillows and throw blankets can bring interest to a space.

3. Create a Feature Wall(s)

A feature wall is an affordable and faster way to give your home something extra.  As an example, in the master bedroom, consider a focal wall behind the bed. Ideas for feature walls include faux brick, real brick, vinyl designs, wainscoting, and murals. Anything 'peel and stick' is the easiest.

4. Remove Personal Photos

Some sellers resist doing this. The general thought by those who aren't keen on removing their personal photos is that they feel displaying photos promote the family aspect of their home. However, that's not the way to think about this. 

When potential buyers walk into a home, they're not thinking about your family, they're thinking about how their own family will fit with the property. 

From the moment a buyer steps onto a prospective property they're analyzing the 'feel' for their own family. Emotion guides that process and a multiple combination of the smallest things move buyers closer to a decision. Looking at photos of your family is a distraction to the natural flow of this thought process. Why add a distraction? Let the buyers achieve an emotional connection to your home without disruption.

Your photos represents 'your' house, no photos allow the buyer to imagine their family in this new home. 

5. Clean, Clean and Clean

Let's go through a quick cleaning list:
  •  Declutter kitchen counters, shine kitchen sinks, wipe the cupboards and clean appliances
  •  Clean the grout on all tiles (floors, backsplash, bathtubs)
  •  Scrub bathrooms spotless!
  •  Steam clean all carpets and wash floors
  •  Vacuum your entire home
  •  Wash all the bedding, fluff pillows, and make a pretty bed (it's the focal point!)
  •  Steam clean couches and chairs
  •  Touch up any wall scuff marks with paint where applicable
  •  Ensure all light bulbs work
  •  Wash all the windows and screens
  •  Double check that all closets and cupboards are organized. Buyers will open them!
  •  Rid your house of unsavory pet and cooking odors - Try essential oils
  •  Give your pet area and/or litterbox a thorough disinfecting - Think good smells
  •  Trim overgrown trees, weed the garden and present a lovely entry way by ensuring there's a clear path to the front door.
6. Do You Have Pets?

If you have pets, and are able to, have your fur babies stay with friends or family during the selling process. If you can't arrange that, ensure your pets are secured or removed from the house before a buyer views your home. 

7.  Staging Your Home

Not everyone can afford a professional stager. However, you may reconsider staging when you read about the return on that investment! On average having your home professionally staged costs between .5 to 1 percent of a homes value. But get this: According to the National Association of Realtors for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400! 

If you can't afford a professional stager, complete these fundamentals:
  •  Minimize furniture in smaller rooms
  •  Position furniture so that people can walk through a room naturally without having to walk around pieces to get to doorways
  •  Use simple window coverings, leave them open for viewings
  •  Bring energy to a room by adding plants where applicable
  •  Display baskets of fresh fruit and/or herbs in the kitchen
  •  Turn on lamps and lights before viewings
  •  Ensure the laundry is completed and your mudroom or front closet is organized
  •  Clear the entry way of coats, shoes and boots
  •  Put a lovely seasonal wreath on the front door






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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Simple DIY Hack to Help Organize Your Kitchen Drawers

DIY Hack for Organizing Kitchen Drawers
Yesterday was the day I tackled the massive kitchen drawer disaster.

It was Instagram's fault. An amazing organized drawer systems stole my attention and that was all it took. However, the Instagram post featured a stunning brand new kitchen with professional pre-installed drawer sorters.

So that got me thinking …. How can I DIY this with things I already own?

DIY organizational hacks are one of my fave things to do. For me, sorting and organizing is relaxing. Yah, I know, to some of you, that's crazy talk. It's the end result that drives me. I'll work my tail off to get to that finished look!

A Flower Vase to Hold the Important Cooking Utensils

First I had to lessen the amount of utensils in the drawers. So I put all the most useful cooking items in a vase, and placed it beside the stove. Very handy indeed. If you hate counter clutter, put it inside a cupboard or pantry.

Use a Flower Vase to Hold Cooking Utensils

Line the Drawers with a Piece of Carpet

No, not shag or thick carpeting. We used a piece of industrial hard twist with shallow grooves. They're actually extra rugs we have on hand. The most important part of this DIY hack is to ensure the carpet has a rubber non-slip backing.

Just measure the drawer and cut the carpet to fit. With a non-slip backing, even if it's not a tight fit, it won't slide around.

Carpet with Rubber Backing Keeps Utensils in Place

We open and close the above drawer multiple times a day and not one utensil slips or slides. Each item has a spot and stays put. When we need an item, it's clearly visible. No more digging!

The Carpet Prevents Slipping and Sliding

We already had an inexpensive silverware divider in the top drawer, however it kept sliding around. The constant opening and closing of the drawer would cause the items placed in front to get caught or slide completely under the sorter.

Take a look at the silverware drawer now. With the rug as a base, the plastic sorter doesn't slide and the few items we keep in the front no longer move.

With the Carpet as the Base
the Sorter and Loose Items Stay in Place

The same thing applies for the third drawer. The plastic sorter no longer slides and the items along the side and edges stay in place.

The nice thing about using a piece of carpet (with rubber backing), is that even if your plastic sorters don't exactly fit, they won't move around on the carpet. So you can put utensils in front, behind or on the sides, and they too will stay in place.

Line the Kitchen Drawer with Carpet

Since renovating our kitchen is on the agenda, I've been avoiding tackling any projects, because, well, I want the reno more! But this DIY hack was fun. Glad we did it. 

If you're planning a kitchen reno, check out these professionally design pantries! There's nothing DIY here, they're all 10s!






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Monday, June 11, 2018

Reviewing Caroline: Little House, Revisited

Book Review: Caroline: Little House, Revisited.
I just finished reading Caroline: Little House, Revisited.  It is beautiful historical fiction by Sarah Miller and written from the perspective of Ma Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie fame. Caroline was written with permission from the Little House Heritage Trust and with a focus on historical accuracy. Little House on the Prairie fans will recognize the Ingalls family and this fan was thrilled to find a book written from the perspective of an adult in the family.

If you have ever tried to imagine what it might have been like to be a parent in the late 1800's, hauling your children and every belonging you own across the states in a covered wagon, you'll want to read this story. I found myself trying to carve more time out of each busy day to read. 

Caroline begins as Charles sells their house and land in Wisconsin. In February 1870, the Ingalls family loads the covered wagon (complete with the cover sewn by Ma) and heads toward Kansas - leaving all of their extended family behind.

As the story unfolds, the love Ma has for Charles, Mary, Laura and the child she carries within her is clear. Her thoughts and fears of moving to a new land, transcend the decades and resonated with me. She is pregnant and leaving the family who helped her birth her children. Who, if anyone, will help her when the time comes?



Finally arriving in Kansas, the Ingalls family begins to set up a home. Life totters precariously on the brink at times as they build their home, dig a well, and settle in Indian Territory. The cultures are clearly very different and there are no translation apps at their fingertips to help provide any sort of communication assistance. 

Times were different then. Daily chores (cooking, sewing, darning, taking care of the garden and the animals) moved at a slower pace. Sundays were the sabbath and the family strictly observed the sabbath. Parenting was different. Ma worked at protecting her young children from anything that may cause them fear - including any stressful feelings she and Pa had. Adults and children had clear roles - very different than modern parenting.

I found this to be a beautiful book. I could relate to Caroline's inner dialogues and her observations of the world around her. Without the distractions and noise pollution of modern life, it would have been easier to note the sunlight shining through the canopy of the wagon and the prairie grass waving in the wind. Of course our private thoughts will become more clear if the constant assault on our ears by televisions, radios, cell phones and each other is absent. 

Some reviewers found Caroline's observations to be distracting. I found them to be beautiful and an integral part of the story. Perhaps that is because I have similar thoughts and observations while alone and off-grid at The Shack. Without the clutter of modern life, the mind drifts to the natural things around us.

There was one piece of the story that I found a bit confusing as a Little House on the Prairie fan (confusing but not distracting from the story at that point). Ms. Miller speaks to that in her Author's Notes in the end:
"Caroline is a marriage of fact and Laura Ingalls Wilder's fiction. I have knowingly departed from Wilder's version of the events only where the historical record stands in contradiction to her stories"
Caroline: Little House, Revisited was a beautiful story and one of those books that I will read again later - just as I read Little House on the Prairie over and over.






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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring Cleaning of the Soul or Soles or Both

Creative Shoe Bench! See This & More Here
When spring is springing we get the urge to neatly place, organize and tuck

Things around the home that didn't bother us over the winter months, like piles of shoes and boots in the closet and the front door, start to get under our skin.

So we spring into action.

Typical Scenes Across the Country...

With hands on our hips, crookedly we stand in the foyer evaluating our winter clutter, thinking ... 'how did I stand this for so long' !

And before we know it, the itch to organize turns into a full blown rash and we're looking around the house trying to reshuffle pieces of furniture, repurpose dressers, and re-do closets.

Freeing ourselves of the unnecessary, we start with the basics ... we bag'em and tag'em.

We only mean to clean the house, but our soul gets spit and polished too.

What?

We don't plan for this to happen, in fact we never do. But year after year, without fail, we feel lighter.

Closets Come First...

We've jammed our closets with extra sweaters, bulky coats, mitts, hats, boots, and too many pairs of shoes. It's not right.

We know it's not right. Guilty.

But, during the holiday season we really did have bigger fish to fry ... Like cozying up to a warm fire. Overflowing closets somehow made the fire feel better. It's winter ... we're not all there. There's a name for our condition: Cabin Feveritis.

But the frequent appearance of the sun along with the disappearing biting cold begins to wake us from our tolerant coma and we're ready to make tough choices ... But where do we start? ....

We figure it out.

To clean our soul, we start with soles.

The stinky invaders come first.

Ahhhh, we've lightened up just thinking about it ....

Sorted shoes; who'da'thunk that all it took was 'sorted shoes'?

All this time we thought life was complicated. Sole ... Soul? Well my gawd, life's greatest mystery has been solved.

Moral of the story - clean your closets, organize your soles, and the future is yours! ... Not really, but at least your closets will look great while your soul floats.

Don't Stop with Shoes, Here are additional Ways You Can Organize Your Life:


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Sunday, February 21, 2016

How to Change the Look and Feel of a Room Without Spending a Fortune

A Simple Facelift to our Washroom: A paint job,
new accessories, de-cluttering and cleaning
Total Cost: $150
If you live in a place where changing seasons are a part of life, you know exactly what it means to 'feel the coming change in the air'.

You probably find it hard to explain to someone who's never experienced this artful conversion, what it does to the senses, and how it unwittingly triggers a multitude of emotions within us.

How Changing Seasons Get Us Thinking About Changing our Homes or at the Very Least, Changing Our Decor

Since, at the time of writing this, Spring is on it's way, typically many urges hit us. Some of them include renewal, freshness, cleanliness, and in the case of selling and buying a home, the urge for a new beginning. However, before you jump into the often exhausting process of selling a home, read this article to test your resolve.

So How Can You Make Changes in Your Decor Without Dropping Big Bucks?

Here are Four simple, inexpensive decor ideas:

  1. Add an Area Rug to a Room: If you have a room with tile or hardwood flooring, changing your existing rug, or adding one where one never existed, can dramatically change the look and feel of the space. You may be thinking that Area Rugs are just too expensive, however, be sure to check out these very popular and affordable rugs, you'll be surprised by the big bang you get for your buck!
  2. Clean and De-Clutter Your Space: This one change costs nothing but time and effort. Stand back from your room and take stock at what's in your room, and make a decision to remove any pieces of furniture and knick-knacks that seem to overwhelm the space.
  3. Re-Arrange Your Space: This makes the biggest change. Take a look at your space; look at the position of the window, the door(s),  and how the traffic in the space flows, then change the space by keeping 'traffic flow' in mind. In other words, don't block any area where people would naturally walk as they enter, with furniture. This small technique will visually increase the size of your space and also give your room a greater sense of openness. 
  4. Add Accessories to Warm Up the Room: Point number two talks about de-cluttering, but that doesn't mean you have to remove every single decorative accessory. The items that generally add to the 'feel' of a space are Throw Blankets and Pillows. Without over doing it, sparingly include these items and you'll absolutely soften the space. 
There are many other ways to change the look and feel of a room without spending money, as well as an endless supply of DIY projects you can tackle, however, before you jump into these more complex tasks, start by using what you have - look around your house, re-use pieces from another room - creatively use the pieces you already own! 

Change doesn't have to involve spending a fortune!

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak



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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Celebrate Earth Month

It's springtime in April, the Earth's having a birthday. Clean up our environment, plant a tree. Make this world a better place for everybody.

Hello Friends of the Earth!

Welcome to April and the warming rays of the springtime season. Springtime is my favorite time of the year. The air is fresh, the birds are singing and the plants are sprouting new blossoms. As I finish the Spring Cleaning Challenge of the Century, I look forward to the clean and environmentally friendly events yet to come this month.

Showcase Your Best Upcycled and Recycled Easter Crafts

Easter brings a wealth of opportunities to celebrate the rejuvenation of the earth by reusing what we have to celebrate the holiday. The Recycler Network is hosting an Easter Crafters hashtag event. Do you have an upcycled and recycled Easter craft that you'd like to share with the world? It's easy to be seen.

To enter, you'll need a Twitter account (or a friend who Tweets). Just tweet your Easter craft along with the  hashtag, #EasterCrafts between 12 am Eastern time on Monday, April 14, and 11 pm on Friday, April 18. You'll find more information about the event at The Recycler Network News.


Find Creative Ways to Recycle Everyday Items

Springtime holidays and spring cleaning bring opportunities to reduce the clutter around the house. Before you throw your unwanted stuff into the garbage, Find Inspiration to Turn Trash into Treasure. I put together a list of books that will spark idea after idea to make something new out of something old. If you read one of the books on this list, I'd love to share your review.

BritFlorida was the first to tell us about her favorite recycled crafting book. She finds inspiration while browing the pages of Eco Craft. A book to inspire you to make recycled home decor items. This crafting book has some unique projects that you won't find any place else.

I hope you enjoyed today's recycling stories and found some inspiration to recycle more in your own every day life.

Until next time, be happy and be well!

The Recycler

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The Recycler likes to have fun and wants you to have fun, too!
Let's get together and turn trash into treasure.
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Ask questions. Share stories. Get inspired.


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Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Recycler

There's a little bit of recycling in everything we do!


Hello!

Whirlwinds of activity have been happening around my home office this week. On top of everyday work and living, my family is buying a house. It's keeping us busy and keeping me distracted. But, my writing and my friends at Squidoo have been keeping me on course. Moving has provided an influx of ideas and my friends are filling my inbox with projects that will help us turn that house into a home.

I'd like to share some of the recycling inspiration that has come my way this week.

One of our biggest chores will be moving a yard full of potted plants and vegetables. While cleaning up the plants, I was reminded that even nature recycles. Some of our plants die back only to reappear magically in the spring. We've never had a failure when we Grow New Zealand Spinach in Containers and Recycle the Seeds. New Zealand spinach almost grows itself and the plants provide enough seed to share with our friends.

After packing up my mother's 1958 sewing machine and yards of fabric scraps from her past quilting projects, I told myself it was time to get serious about sewing again. But fabric is so expensive. Valerie Proctor Davis comes to the rescue with tips on How to Save Money By Sewing Your Own Clothes. She has some great ideas for turning old clothes into new clothes and how to reuse clothing patterns.

Nothing is perfect when moving into a new home and there are always unexpected expenses. When a new bill pops up, another planned purchase must be delayed. Furniture is one of those items that can be worked around when money is getting tight. Eva shares a great idea for saving a few dollars on furniture in her story of How to Decoupage an Old Desk.

Paigsr reminded me that moving creates a lot of unwanted trash. Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter and find a new home for the stuff that is no longer needed. As we pack our belongings, we'll be thinking of ways to reuse and recycle every little thing because even small recycling gestures like Returning Bottles "Can" Make a Difference!

I'm getting excited about moving into our new home and all of the recycling opportunities this new venture will bring. And, I'm looking forward to finding even more exciting and creative ways to recycle in our every day lives.

I  hope you enjoyed today's recycling stories and found some inspiration to recycle more in your own every day life. It's cool to recycle, even nature does it!

Until next time, be happy and be well!

Coletta



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