Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Confusion

Are you confused about what's really healthy to feed your family?

Me too.

I'm still learning, but here's a few basics ideas based on the way people ate for thousands of years before the rates of degenerative diseases skyrocketed.  I'm guest blogging today over at Kari Patterson's.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inspiration for Organization

I've always loved organization.  But as I got into this wonderful world of having kids, I stopped being any more organized than I absolutely needed to be for survival.

Now that Bode is four and a half, I feel like this January has been my best ever.

And if you're in the mood to get organized, I'll share what has helped this crazy mother along.

First off for me was January's issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  I perused it during the Christmas break, and it made me itch to get back home and clean off my desk.

My desk has always been the thorn in my side.  I've never been able to stay on top of the paperwork.  It has certainly never stayed clean longer than a week.  And while this may not seem monumental to you, I am proud to say that it's been perfectly clean before bed, every night, for three weeks.  I sure hope I have turned over a new leaf.

I think the secret is that I've applied the Flylady's shiny kitchen sink theory to my desk.  It must have taken me three years to consistently get the kitchen sink clean before bed each night.  Prior to that I didn't try at all, due to the fact that I was nursing babies, changing diapers, not sleeping through the night, etc.  

Of course, the Flylady wouldn't quite approve of my sink.  Only the left half shines.  The right half usually has dishes from late night snacks, but I don't mind... as long as they're covered in a mound of Mrs. Meyer's honeysuckle dishsoap bubbles.  Somehow that makes it okay.

So applying the kitchen sink theory to my desk is simply this:  It must be clean before bed.  Every night.

To get things started, I put away all the stuff that I didn't really need (and probably should be filed, but I never got around to it) in a remote file drawer under my desk.  And only kept out the stuff that really matters.

I reclaimed a cute container from my gardening armoire to be my catch-all, and this is all I'm allowing myself to keep on my desk.  My desk, by the way, is one half of a country pine table.  It's roughly one quarter of the office that is shared by four or five of us, so I have to be content to keep my little corner of the world tidy.

I have a few active files on the side of my storage armoire.

And pretty new things always help me get organized.  I love these antique-looking butterfly file folders.
This is it.  It may not be much, but it's tidy and I'm happy.
I take care of paper work daily, instead of weekly, monthly or when I'm in trouble :-)

And you know how it goes... you organize one spot, and it leads to more!  You should see my bathroom.  And schoolroom!  I'm sure I'll keep it up... until gardening season starts.

Happy January!

P.S.  I can't help myself.  I have to post pictures of my bathroom.  Look at those cute bird stickers down below!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Way of Shopping

I have continued to enjoy this new pursuit to shop fair trade.  It's kind of like when I woke up to the reality of how badly I ate.  I started reading labels and switching to whole foods, and it hit me: What was I thinking before? When I would stick anything that tasted good in my mouth without thinking about what it really was and where it came from and what it was doing to my health.

What was I thinking when I cared only about the cost of an item?  Why did I never consider the benefit of buying a costlier item from an ethical company?  That you really do get what you pay for and I want to pay for workers being treated fairly.  

So it's adventure every week, in some way or another.  I still have lots to learn, but I am enjoying the journey.  One of my favorite finds so far was prizes for Abby's birthday party.  I purchased bottle cap necklaces made by eleven-year-old Sami on the east coast.  All of the proceeds go to buy shoes for orphans in Ethiopia, including our Adanu.  Sami's dad pays for all her materials, so 100% of the proceeds go to buy shoes for kids who are being cared for by Children's Hope Chest and learning daily about God's love for them!

She also has cute polka-dot backgrounds with an initial of your choice, 
and other styles, so be sure to check them out here!