Friday, March 23, 2012

Tiffy's Top Ten...March 2012

I have really enjoyed my journey toward simplifying my life. So I thought I would share the top ten ways that I have simplified. I decided on Monday that this would be my Top Ten for the month of March, and all week I've jotted down little things as I thought of them. I'm sure I'll post this and I'll think of another way...but these are the ten that I'll share for now.
OK...Here we go...
The Top Ten Ways I've Simplified My Life:
1. No Nail Polish.
Now, I really love nail polish...but, the reason I let it go, was because I would take the time to do my nails and they would look really great, and then...2 days later, there was a chip. Rats. Then, 3 days later, a couple of chips. After about 5 days, they look completely ridiculous and then I stress about finding the time to remove the polish, clip the nails, add my 3 coats of polish (base coat and two top coats...kind of like painting walls...huh), and then letting them dry. That's actually kind of time consuming...and I just didn't like the part of me feeling overwhelmed with yet another thing to add to my list. So, while this one seems so tiny and in-significant, it has actually made a world of difference for me!

2. (Almost) No Make-Up
I started this one last summer. I hardly ever wear make-up in the summer, and if I do, it's just mascara and lipgloss. Well, I love the ease of that! So, I challenged myself this fall to see how far into our Minnesota fall I could go without make-up. I figured for sure by winter I would be sporting some serious make-up b/c let's be honest, our winter's get long and us Minnesotans can get rather paste-y. But, nope. I got by with mascara and lipgloss all winter! I just loved the ease of only worrying about a little mascara and some lipgloss or chap-stick and heading out the door. It really freed me up! I know not everyone can do this...but wow has it simplified my morning routine. This winter I asked Matt if he noticed that I wasn't wearing much make-up anymore (just curious, you know, b/c he never said anything and I thought it was quite a change...I used to really wear the make-up people!)...and he said, "what? huh uh...I didn't notice." I think I giggled and gave him a big kiss. I thought that was an adorable answer. Oh, and the only other product that I use from head to toe is whipped coconut oil. Love this stuff! I'll share my recipe another time.

3. Homeschooling
Yep...this one has been amazing for me! Where do I start. Well, my mornings and evenings are mine. I don't have to wake kids up, quick feed them, and quick shove them out the door. I used to dread those mornings when the kids were in school. Stressful. The bus comes at 7:12am in our neighborhood and the winter is long and cold and dark. Not fun. Also, I don't miss the after school/evening chaos of homework. Everyone coming home with something different. Half of it I didn't understand (and that was 1st grade work!) and the other half I couldn't stand. Like, busy work...what's the point? I love that when we finish up our list for the day (usually around 1pm), we are D.O.N.E. The kids are free to play, head outside for free time, read, explore, craft...it's kind of dreamy...I think. I love being able to plan around busy weeks, and making adjustments where needed. It has really made my life simpler! Huge fan!

4. I Don't Use Coupons
That's right. Oh, I used to. Yep, Sunday afternoons were spent pouring over ads, clipping coupons, sorting coupons and placing them into my little coupon caddy. Then, I'd make a long list of all the stores that I needed to go to for the best deals. Some weeks, I was hitting 10 stores. I was so exhausted and relieved when Saturday night finally came and then I would start it all over again on Sunday. Come on! Tracking all over town for things that I didn't even know I needed until I saw them in the ad! So...I stopped clipping coupons. And then...I stopped looking at ads. Advertisers know what they are doing! You see it...you need it! I decided that I would rather decide all on my own what I actually "needed". And, big surprise...I don't need much!

5. I Only Shop at 2 Stores (for groceries)
Yep...Costco and Marketplace. Marketplace is our little local, in town, grocery store and I love them. They have every thing I would ever need, and if they don't have it, they will get it for me. And, if they can't get it for me, I go on Amazon. Like when I needed beeswax for some lipgloss I was going to make (still need to make that!). Or when I needed Citric Acid Powder for some Bath Bombs the kids were making. Amazon to the rescue. Free shipping and only minutes of time. Now, I love Target and Trader Joes...but I only go there about once a month. Just trying to keep it simple.

6. I Cook With Real Food
This is a new one for me. I thought this would be so much more work, but it's really not! Less options actually makes it easier. The kids snack on fruit, nuts, cheese...Dinner's have become much more basic with homemade breads or pizza doughs...We have more vegetarian meals and get our protein through our greek yogurt smoothies and beans. This topic is still a work in progress for me, but it has been amazing and one that just makes sense to me. This will not be the last you'll hear on this topic! It's kind of my new pet. I'm so thankful that the family is on board!

7. I Constantly Declutter
I used to designate a day to declutter a certain room or drawer or closet. Now, every minute of every day items are at risk in my home. I always have a bag or box in the garage ready to be filled. Any time I see an item or a piece of clothing or a kitchen utensil that we don't need or want, it gets the boot. Often I ask, "where does this stuff keep coming from???". It's wild...just when you think you're getting super de-cluttered, there's more! I will never stop. I saw this quote on Pinterest and just loved it:
“Have nothing
in your houses
that you do
not know to
be useful or
believe to be
beautiful”
By William Morris


8. I Say "No"
Super simple, but not always easy. You have to know your limits!

9. Cleaning Products
Norwex, baby. A microfiber cleaning cloth and water. So simple. I also love their window/mirror cloth and I have their toilet bowl cleaner and their mop. Hmmm...I never mop. I'm a total sweeper and spot cleaner. Our entire main level is wood flooring, and I'm sure it could use a really good once over with the mop, but I guess that always falls too far down the list. Hmmm...maybe I've shared too much.
10. My Kitchen Filing System
I shared this little baby back in January as I was getting organized for the new year. Well, this has been an awesome improvement to my old system. I love having a mini-file super handy...filled with the files that I use frequently. My master file cabinet houses everything else, but to have this one handy with: current bills, recipes to try/meal planning, current receipts...it's been really great.

Well...I think that's it! I have a super crazy fun weekend ahead of me! I'm leaving in about an hour to meet friends at the theatre to see The Hunger Games and then out to dinner...then, tomorrow I'll be scrapbooking all day with two neighbor friends...and then we're meeting up for Ladies Night In at another neighbors house in the evening. Crazy! Sunday is church, small group, and a soccer game. Our weekends are usually busy, but so rarely is it so much stuff to do with me! I'm kind of excited!

I'll share a recipe on Monday...either my whole wheat cheesy pizza fries or my sneaky green smoothie. Not sure yet...I'll see what I'm feelin' on Monday morning.

Tiffany

"After we stretch - which hurts - there's a couple of hours of strengthening exercises - which hurt - and a five mile run - which kills". Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (in honor of the Hunger Games)

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