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Frugal & Simple » real life http://frugalandsimple.com living a green, minimal & sustainable life Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:10:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 Spring Break http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/04/10/spring-break/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/04/10/spring-break/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:21:12 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=8764


Dear Frugal & Simple Friends,

Just wanted to let you know it will be quiet around here the next few days! I’m taking a little Spring Break from this space during the next week. It’s birthday week around here, Paxton is turning two next Monday!  I also have some special projects I want to invest some time in.

Thanks for your friendship and being part of the Frugal & Simple community. I hope you have a blessed week!


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2012 Goals http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/01/03/2012-goals/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2012/01/03/2012-goals/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:12:44 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=7418 I love setting goals and achieving them! I enjoy the challenge some goals present as well as the accountability that comes with having them written down.

I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2012 for a few months now. Knowing that I’m starting the year as a mama to two, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with a ton of goals. I decided to keep things very simple this year but if I achieve each and every goal on my list for 2012, that will still be quite an accomplishment!

Goals for 2012:

1. Read 1 book per month.
2. Memorize 1 verse/passage of scripture each month.
3. Write at least 8 blog posts per month. {I want to be more consistent with blogging this year!}

1. Read 6 parenting books with my husband.
2. Daily family devotions and prayer.

1. $8,000 towards the principal of our mortgage.
2. $1,750 towards car savings.
3. Set up a legal will. {I believe this has been a goal for 3 years now! 2012 will be the year!}
4. Start college savings accounts for the boys.

So that’s it, they’re fairly simple this year and completely do-able! The financial goals make me a little nervous. Mathematically paying $8,000 towards the mortgage and $1,750 towards car savings, doesn’t work with my husband’s salary but with my transcribing, selling things and being creative, we hope we can achieve these goals!

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Major Productivity http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/24/major-productivity/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/08/24/major-productivity/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2011 18:00:12 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6911 My husband left on Sunday afternoon, leaving me alone for 3 days with Paxton {I wasn’t excited about being left all alone with a moody teething toddler!} I usually dread him leaving but I’ve found that keeping a positive attitude combined with keeping busy is the best way to make it through these days.

I made a lofty to do list and started working! I accomplished a lot by using nap time wisely and once Paxton went to bed each night, I spent time blogging. {There will be posts coming more frequently on this somewhat neglected blog!}

  • I started Sunday afternoon on the big project I wanted to accomplish, painting our bathroom cabinets! I painted the bathroom cabinets black. I applied the first coat Sunday afternoon and finished up Monday morning during nap time. The cabinets look great. {Pictures coming soon once we get some of the hardware updated.}
  • I stayed up several hours past bedtime Sunday and Monday night writing blog posts! I spent the bulk of the time writing a series titled “Our Financial Story,” which I’ll be posting once John David has a chance to read over it and gives me the okay for sharing some of the personal details.
  • Monday evening I made curtains for both bathrooms! The half bath has a simple white curtain and I made a black and white curtain for the bathroom! {I’m so excited about finishing this mini bathroom makeover and sharing with you!}
  • Tuesday morning was nice and cool so Paxton and I headed outside to vacuum and de-clutter our car! He played in the drivers seat while I vacuumed. A vacuumed and clutter free car looks so much better!
  • During nap time Tuesday, I finally made laundry soap. I’ve been out for a month and was lazy and bought a container of detergent! It was easier to make than I remembered and I was kicking myself for wasting money on detergent when I had the supplies for homemade detergent already at home.
  • I spent Tuesday afternoon lightly de-cluttering. We’re planning a yard sale in a few weeks and I want as much of the excess clutter gone as possible! I went through our hall closets, Paxton’s closet, toys and dresser and my craft chest. I have a box full ready to go out to the yard sale pile in the garage.
  • And I did the usual, playing with my sweet boy, changing diapers, washing diapers, doing laundry, washing dishes, going outside to play, snuggling with Paxton in the mornings and many more daily joys!
Yes, I’ve missed John David but he had to be gone so I’m glad I spent my time being productive instead of moping around missing him!
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Fighting Stains http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/29/fighting-stains/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/29/fighting-stains/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2011 19:23:01 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6503 We’ve been using Charlie’s Soap for a year now on our cloth diapers and love it. However, I’ve found that it’s perfect for fighting stains!

A few month’s ago when Paxton was learning to walk, he fell and busted his nose resulting in blood all over his white bodysuit (it is white, forgive the picture quality.) It just so happened it was the very first time he wore this new bodysuit and I did not want it to be permanently stained.

The solution: a soak in Charlie’s Soap!

I put about 1/4 teaspoon Charlie’s in a large bowl, filled with cold water and stirred until the Charlie’s Soap was melted and then placed the blood stained bodysuit in it to soak overnight.

The result:

Stain free! You cannot even tell blood was ever on this bodysuit.

That’s a victory to me!

When Paxton was exclusively breastfed and had blowouts while wearing disposables when we were out, Charlie’s Soap preventing poo stains!

Even if you don’t cloth diaper or don’t want to use Charlie’s Soap for your laundry, it might be worth getting to prevent stains (and save money since you won’t have ruined garmets.)

*And no, I was not paid to share about Charlie’s Soap with you! I just wanted to share this stain fighting tip!

This post contains affiliate links.

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I’m Still Here! http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/09/im-still-here/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/06/09/im-still-here/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:46:14 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6655

I’m really still here and we’re happy and healthy!

I’m sure some of you might have thought I had a breakdown after to my most recent post, The Lack of Togetherness, that was not the case! All joking aside, I was blown away by your sweet words, encouragement and suggestions! I’m striving towards making our home a more orderly and peaceful place but learning to be content with the imperfections and the constant mess a 13-month-old can create!

The week I posted The Lack of Togetherness, John David worked late every single night so I was playing single mama and there was not much free time at all!

We celebrated our 5th anniversary on May 27th {and my husband didn’t arrive home until 11 that night…but he came home with cheese sticks and a milkshake from Sonic! Yum…and super healthy for 11, I know!}

On May 29th we left for our anniversary trip to Banner Elk, North Carolina, which we’ve been planning for over a year! We left Paxton with his grandparents Sunday and Monday night. This was my first time away from him overnight and we both did just fine!  I left milk with him and brought my pump and everything was great!

We celebrated John David’s 25th birthday on May 31st with Paxton and John David’s parents. We stayed in North Carolina until June 3rd and had a wonderful relaxing time filled with yummy food!

We returned home on June 3rd and I began deadline week for work as well as making preparations for John David’s trip to Ethiopia. We enjoyed a nice weekend just spending time together in the swimming pool!

This Tuesday John David left around 1:00 for Ethiopia! He safely arrived Wednesday afternoon!

I’ve been keeping busy with deadline week (which I finally finished my last transcribing file about 30 minutes ago…yay!) I had my mom’s group over yesterday to swim, Paxton and I sold a few clothes at a local consignment store today and had a mama/son date for lunch!

Hopefully all of this explains my absence! I haven’t logged into or thought about my blog for days and I do apologize for that! I should be posting more regularly in the next coming weeks!

Thank you so much for being such wonderful and encouraging friends to me!

{And that is the most recent picture of our family, taken Monday! Doesn’t Paxton look like such a big boy?}

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The Lack of Togetherness http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/24/the-lack-of-togetherness/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/24/the-lack-of-togetherness/#comments Tue, 24 May 2011 13:28:08 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6649 I have a desire to “have it together.” I’m not seeking perfection just balance and an organized and orderly life. Most of the time I have it mostly together but lately there has been a total lack of togetherness!

I suppose moving throws a big wrench in routine but it’s been nearly 2 months since we moved and I’m struggling with establishing any routine {other than sticking with nap times and bedtimes for Paxton.} And, my ability to get things done is really lacking!

I have this long to-do list of things that we need to do for our home. {And it follows me around like a dark cloud!}

We need to paint patio furniture, clean off our deck, paint all the doors in the house, build raised beds for our garden, hang up our clothesline and purchase a rug for Paxton’s room {just to name a few!}

I need to edit cloth diaper videos with my husband so we can post them here.

I need to meal plan consistently {if you noticed, I have dropped sharing a glimpse of our May grocery budget. Why? I’ve not meal planned in weeks and our grocery shopping has been sporadic!}

I need to set a date for a yard sale so we can get rid of about 1/3 of the stuff in our garage! {The yard sale stash is huge!}

I suppose we all have seasons where life just seems incredibly disorganized! {And when you add in an active and curious toddler it makes it even more disorganized!}

Honestly, many days I’m just amazed that I fed my family 3 meals, kept up with the laundry, washed diapers and managed to sweep the constantly dirty floors!

I’ve got it somewhat together when it comes to the bare basics of managing a home, it’s just all these other projects and a good routine that have me feeling behind and completely not together.

So, there’s a glimpse into my not so together life right now!

What about you? Do you feel a lack of togetherness or have you figured out some magic system of getting things done, staying on top of things and establishing routine? I’m open to I need suggestions!!

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Gallery Wall http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/14/gallery-wall/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/14/gallery-wall/#comments Sat, 14 May 2011 13:00:37 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6500 When we moved into our new home, I wanted to change  the decor in our living room, making it more modern and a better reflection of us – without spending much money! A gallery wall is a perfect way to use elements you have and love and give them a new life creating a new look.

My first step was to pick out all the elements that I wanted on the wall and arrange them on the floor! {Thanks to a long nap!} Once I created an arrangement I liked, I then took newspaper and traced each frame/item, noting where the hangers were and taped it to the wall. {This was not an original idea, it’s one of the many clever tricks I’ve found at Young House Love!}

A positive to hanging the newspaper was that it was super easy for my husband to hang everything for me! {He is the ‘picture hanger’ here since he’s the real perfectionist. He always says, I’ll happily hang anything as long as you tell me exactly where to put it! This sure is telling him exactly where to put it!}

Our completed current gallery wall.

The best part, I spent less than $25 for this look because I only purchased one item, the Urban Soul Fruit of the Spirit Wall Art. {It was only $25 and I used a coupon for 20% off!} Everything else was reused from our decor stash!

We threw this up in time for Paxton’s birthday party {so our living room wouldn’t be completely bare!} I have plans to spray paint the wooden tone frames black, paint the star an apple green and replace the blue fabric in one of the frames with apple green zig zag fabric that matches our throw pillows {that I still have to sew!}

Here’s a shot of the living room as it is today! The gallery wall is the only wall with anything on it, still! I have no clue what I am going to put on the other walls! {I am open to suggestions!}

I love that I captured Paxton sitting on the rug, reading a book and looking like an angelic child. {It literally lasted about 20 seconds but doesn’t it make it look like I live such a peaceful life? ha!}

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The Stuff Keeps Multiplying http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/12/the-stuff-keeps-multiplying/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/05/12/the-stuff-keeps-multiplying/#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 15:35:02 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6431

We moved into our home on April 2 and we’re slowly but surely settling in and really making this house into a home!

As usual our office/guest room space became the catch all! Everything that didn’t have a home was shoved into this room. It wasn’t so bad the first day or so, in fact I was quite excited and felt like we didn’t have a lot of excess clutter!

Then as we started unpacking more, we kept shoving more stuff into the back room.

It really seemed as if it were multiplying daily!!

This is a shot of the worst that it was. {And honestly, it still hasn’t been completely dealt with, thanks to simply shoving in a closet!}

Just keeping it real and sharing our clutter! {I suppose we have a lot of decluttering to do on the way towards rational minimalism!!}

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Moving Chaos http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/04/10/moving-chaos/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/04/10/moving-chaos/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2011 20:50:24 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6423

Moving is fun and exciting! I tend to romanticize the positive parts of moving, like a new kitchen, organizing and decorating differently and forget the reality of a move and the stress, hard work and chaos that comes with it.

Moving day was quite peaceful – I was the calmest I’ve ever been during a move and my husband definitely noticed!

The hard part is settling in with an active baby! Not to mention we’re moving into a smaller home with smaller and fewer closets and cabinets. And quite frankly, we still have too much stuff!

This past week has been chaotic but peaceful at the same time. The house is becoming more and more of a home each and every day and we’re working in short bursts while Paxton naps or while he is content playing or snacking!

This was the scene last Monday morning as John David was putting in the last of the contact paper (my husband is awesome!). Paxton was completely content watching daddy while eating breakfast!

{New pearly whites!}

Over the course of the week we’ve managed to organize almost every room in the house. They all lack those small touches that make a house more cozy but it’s coming together and really starting to feel like home!

What about you? Do you really love moving? Or, are you like me and romanticize it but don’t really like it?


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A Laundry Tale http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/04/08/a-laundry-tale/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/04/08/a-laundry-tale/#comments Sat, 09 Apr 2011 03:47:53 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6456

What do moving, a broken dryer, no clothesline and a baby with a stomach bug have in common?

If you guessed piles and piles of laundry, you’re correct!

Laundry has been backing up all week at the Boreing house!

These “evidence” pictures were taken Thursday morning…it got worse! And there also was a hamper in Paxton’s room that was heaping!

We found out Monday evening that our dryer needed a minor repair. No big deal, we ordered a replacement piece and knew we’d be fine until it arrived.

That was without factoring in Paxton’s stomach bug that began Tuesday. We found him Tuesday night around 11 covered in vomit so we had to change sheets, pajamas and give him a bath. The next morning, he vomited all over our bed (and me!)

Without going into details, there was throwing up on our bed again and all over himself and me multiple times.

Without a dryer, I had to get creative to deal with the excess laundry and to keep clean sheets on our bed and pants on Paxton!

I used my drying rack to dry a couple small loads of clothes {remember every other day this is necessary to dry cloth diapers so I couldn’t wash much!}

Thursday it was nice enough to dry some of the clothes outside. This was great until the neighbors started a fire. Ugh…our clothes (and Paxton’s only clean pants) smelled like smoke!

Friday morning our laundry hamper was heaping higher than it’s ever been before.

Thankfully we were able to get the dryer parts and get them installed. And yes, I excitedly spent my Friday evening catching up on laundry!

I’m looking forward to getting our clothesline set up and I’m so thankful to have a working washer and dryer and a healthy throw-up free baby!

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When Things Don’t Go As Planned http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/03/27/when-things-dont-go-as-planned/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/03/27/when-things-dont-go-as-planned/#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 03:03:02 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6414 I had our entire weekend mapped out in my head. Close at 2:00.  After closing swing by and get the electric transferred, call about the water, pick up our Crock-Pot of Chili and carry to the new house so we can stay there late and paint Paxton’s room and some trim. Then on Saturday, more painting and cleaning!

Those were my plans but things don’t always go as planned!

Thankfully, I woke up Friday morning and told John David that I was letting go of my expectations about the weekend and was going to be flexible! I am so thankful I made that decision!

{A peek inside! This is the front door and small bit of our living room. The front of the door is red, I love it!}

We closed at 2:00 and from there our plans went south! Both the water and the electricity were turned off. We had to go out to the house within 30 minutes of closing to get the water back on and we didn’t make it in time to have the power turned on!

That’s right, we had no power!

It’s pretty much impossible to paint walls and trim with no electricity, especially when it is dark and gloomy outside.

We stayed positive and were able to knock out a few projects like spray painting fans, painting exterior doors, putting matching door knobs and keys on the exterior doors and switching the handle on the fridge around.

We were incredibly excited that there was enough light Sunday afternoon to allow us to paint the first coat in Paxton’s room.

You don’t realize how convenient electricity is until you don’t have it! I also was amazed at how much we were able to do without it. If I had to chose between running water and electricity, I’d chose running water over the electricity because it is possible to function and be productive without it!

I’m learning that letting go of my expectations really helps me to remain positive when things don’t go as planned!

I know we’re not the only ones with crazy house closing stories! What are your house closing adventures?


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When Frugality is Not a Priority http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/01/12/when-frugality-is-not-a-priority/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/01/12/when-frugality-is-not-a-priority/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 03:01:41 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6099 We’re frugal. Our friends, family, acquaintances and blog readers know that!

There are sometimes, though, when frugality is not a priority.

This past weekend was one of those times. John David and I were very sick, at the same time. {You can read the whole story on our family blog.}

Our sickness resulted in a late night trip to the ER for me. {A $250 co-pay later, I was hydrated. I’m dreading the possibility of more bills!}

My very sick husband was not dehydrated and not admitted so he ran to get some Gatorade and Pepto while I was receiving fluids. He told me, “I ignored prices and then threw the receipt away on my way out the door!”

The next day he ran to get some Chicken Noodle Soup {we didn’t feel like making homemade soup}, Pedialyte {he did purchase the off brand!} and juice. He confessed, “I didn’t even care about the prices, I just wanted to get back home.”

As we were talking about his trips, once we were feeling better, we both agreed that sometimes it’s okay to not practice extreme frugality. Sure, spending $250 on a trip to the ER seems excessive when you’re healthy but when you are extremely ill, it’s completely worth it. When you are sick and just need medicine and foods that will make you feel better and rehydrate, it’s okay to just grab the first thing that looks appetizing and nutritious. At times, like when you’re sick, frugality is not a priority.


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Goals for 2011 http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/01/06/goals-for-2011/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/01/06/goals-for-2011/#comments Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:00:50 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=6089 I am a planner and a goal setter who loves lists and organization!

However, over the course of the past two years, I’ve become disorganized and unproductive. I attribute some of that to not having specific goals set for myself (as well as adjusting to life as a mama!)

During nap time last week, I wrote down my goals for 2011. A lot of these have been floating around in my head for months but since they weren’t written down, I wasn’t taking action on them!

I set SMART goals for myself; they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely!

Some of my 2011 Goals:


  • Read the Bible in 90 days. (I’m beginning tomorrow!)
  • Memorize 1 verse/passage each week.


  • Develop a daily and weekly routine.
  • Organize my household management binder.
  • Continue eating healthier.


  • Read ‘Tell Your Time’ and apply.
  • Set goals at the beginning of each month to help accomplish 2011 goals. (Yes, a goal about goals!)
  • Read 24 books to help further educate myself.


  • Develop a blog schedule and stick with it.
  • Video blog twice a month.

Our family goals:


  • Family devotion after supper.
  • Pray together daily.


  • Set up a legal will.
  • Consolidate our checking accounts from different banks to one account.
  • Open a new savings account at our local bank.

I’m excited to finally have these goals written down and have already began taking steps to accomplish these goals in 2011!

Are you a goal setter? Did you set goals for 2011?

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Extreme Frugality http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/14/extreme-frugality/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/14/extreme-frugality/#comments Wed, 15 Dec 2010 04:07:05 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5366 Extreme frugality is being practiced by the Boreings these days. Owning a home and renting definitely has put us in a tight financial spot. We are still “in the black” each month but it’s with careful spending that we are achieving this.

One positive to this, we’re learning how to be even more frugal!

Our $160 grocery budget has been cut to $100 for the month of December. Somehow we’re halfway through the month and have only spent about $7 (actually we know how- God provides!) We have plenty meat in the freezer, about 20 pounds of wheat, plenty of potatoes (thanks to John David’s mom and my grandpa) and are making most everything from scratch and avoiding all convenience foods! We are not being picky about what we eat and we’ve been stretching our food as far as it will go (example: 2 split breasts have made us 2 servings of chicken and rice, 4 servings of chicken noodle soup and 2 bbq chicken quesadillas!)

Our $60 miscellaneous budget has been reduced to $20 and so far we’ve yet to purchase anything! Staying out of stores really helps. I’m so thankful that we’re cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and making our own baby food, we really couldn’t afford to purchase diapers, formula and baby food these days!

We’re not eating out and we’re trying to combine errands to save on gas as much as we can. I am borrowing books and videos from the library – several of the books have been on frugal living! I borrowed and read through<The Complete Tightwad Gazette, that was very inspiring!

As for Christmas, thankfully we had saved a little money throughout the year. We’re working with a $175 budget. We’ve managed to purchase small gifts for our families, used Swagbucks to purchase Paxton’s gifts and aren’t buying each other anything.

We have faith our house will sell and until then, we know God will provide for our every need and we’ll learn how to practice extreme frugality better than we did before!


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Maybe I’m a Messie http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/08/maybe-im-a-messie/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/08/maybe-im-a-messie/#comments Thu, 09 Dec 2010 03:29:20 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5353 I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I’m a messie!

Yes, I love neatness, organization, order and simplicity. And I did organize my closet and drawers for fun as a child.

But, lately keeping our home neat and orderly has not been easy. I’ve been allowing piles to accumulate: junk mail in the kitchen, bills on my desk, laundry to iron in our bedroom. Add to my messiness, a 7-month-old who loves playing with toys and makes huge messes wherever he is and you get a home that feels really cluttered.

Allowing papers to begin piling up in the kitchen is a recipe for disaster! The cluttered spot becomes a magnet for more stuff and then you start saying, “I’ll get to that later.”

We’ve somehow become content with allowing our garage to be cluttered! We’ve been here 2 months and have neglected taking recycling off and getting rid of things! Now that it is 20 degrees, I really want a warm car to put my baby in!

The master bedroom is still not put together at all! Plus I am letting laundry pile up instead of promptly putting it away (there is a huge pile waiting to be ironed in the corner!) And the bed hasn’t been made in nearly a week!

Am I a messie? I hope not! Right now I’m arguing that adjusting to an active child, recovering from sickness and deadline week and maybe just a bit of laziness is the reason my house is messy.

I still love clutter free spaces. In fact, after I snapped these pictures I took 10 minutes in the kitchen, living room and master and put things back in their proper places and tossed some things. It made the spaces look so much better!

Right now, I’m planning a decluttering day next week in preparation for Christmas (see, that is the real me, the one who loves neatness, order and minimalism!)

I am not a messie, I am not a messie, I am not a messie!


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Sick Days http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/03/sick-days/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/12/03/sick-days/#comments Sat, 04 Dec 2010 00:10:08 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5345

The past few days have been sick days in the Boreing household. Paxton has had a terrible cough at night and a runny nose for several days, yesterday I woke up congested and miserable and John David may be coming down with it.

Being sick when you are a parent is quite challenging. The most important things have been drinking fluids, nursing the baby and keeping his diaper changed, everything else doesn’t matter at all! Last night when Paxton woke up coughing horribly and whimpering, I nursed him and when he wouldn’t go back to his crib we caved and let him sleep in our bed. Neither one of us had the energy to soothe him back to bed in his crib. It is certainly not something that is going to become a habit (mainly because this little guy is one rough sleeper) but it worked for us last night!

Here are a few ways I’ve survived these past days (and a few cute shots of the baby):

Fleece sheets result in bad bed head for fuzzy headed babies!

The bed positioned for Paxton and I after John David left for work, I slept on the right side, with Paxton in the middle and pillows acting as barriers so he wouldn’t roll off! (We’ve been able to sleep past 11 thanks to this…I know it sounds like I’m lazy but that good sleep is making us better!)

Yesterday I took a nice hot shower to help ease my congestion, I put Paxton in the stroller in the bathroom so he could take advantage of the steam! (And that stroller also worked as a nice method of transportation since I was feeling weak!)

After our afternoon nap Paxton woke up with the cutest bed head ever…his hair was all spikey!

Changing the diaper of a 7 month old requires a lot of energy on mamas part since he likes to fight it! Today I put baby legs on him instead of pants and it has made changing him much easier!

The congestion is easing and I’m hopeful that I’ll be feeling much better tomorrow!

And I’ve tried just about every natural remedy there is: sipping on hot broth, drinking orange juice, gargling with salt water, drinking hot tea, drinking EmergenC, hot shower, hot bath, sticking my head in the freezer, taking a brisk walk and they’ve all provided temporary relief.

Tonight Chicken Noodle Soup is dinner and we’re turning in early!

Being sick reminds me how much I take our health for granted. I’m so thankful that we are blessed with excellent health and only have a few sick days a year!

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Having it All Together http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/15/having-it-all-together/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/15/having-it-all-together/#comments Mon, 15 Nov 2010 18:00:50 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5328

My dream – having it all together! I often find myself wishing, hoping and dreaming that I will have it all together! I tell myself if I have a day or two to catch up, then I’ll have it all together.

To me having it all together means that the house is neat, clean and clutter free, there are no dishes in the sink, a hearty meal is served nightly, the laundry is caught up, the garage is perfectly organized, I manage my time perfectly, answer every e-mail promptly, read at least 4 books to my son each day, update this blog daily, just to name a few!

The fact is – I’m far from having it all together!

Our home seems to always be messy, I can’t seem to win the dish or laundry battle (seriously laundry is crazy around here…somedays I question my desire to have several children simply because that will mean more laundry!)

I follow absolutely no schedule and don’t really follow a routine – except the routine of feeding Paxton every three hours! The area of time management is a weakness at this season in my life.

Some days I just want to lay down and cry – or just not get out of my cozy bed in the morning and face reality – and a small mountain of laundry!

I am taking baby steps in an attempt to have it {somewhat} together!

  • A load (or two) a day keeps the piles manageable!
  • A 15 minute pick up makes my home appear neat!
  • Simple meal plans make cooking dinner easier.
  • Intentionally taking time to sit in the floor to play and read with my son is wonderful!

He really doesn’t care that his mama doesn’t have it all together!

He does care that she takes the time to play, read, nurse, cuddle, laugh and tickle!

Once my children are grown and gone, maybe having it all together will be easy! Until then, I’m embracing the reality of having a small child and taking baby steps towards becoming a better homemaker.

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This Season of Life http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/04/this-season-of-life/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/11/04/this-season-of-life/#comments Fri, 05 Nov 2010 03:03:44 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=5313 This season of life I’m in is challenging.

I often feel like I’m always behind and never do anything worthwhile. Then I remember, the most worthwhile thing I do is take care of my son. Changing diapers, rocking, wiping noses, nursing, cuddling, reading, feeding, singing, every one of those things are worthwhile.

However, I’ve had a hard time lately realizing that something has to give. Right now, it is almost impossible to nurse my son, play with him, hold him, wash diapers, stay on top of our laundry, prepare meals, bake the occasional batch of bread, wash dishes, transcribe from home, blog fairly regularly and keep our home tidy and clean.

So what gives?

Honestly, it’s been probably 2 weeks since I’ve vacuumed or cleaned. As far as dusting goes, it’s been a month; I haven’t dusted since we moved in! I’ve managed to keep things around here tidy but they are far from perfect.

We have papers strewn here and there – we have yet to bring our filing cabinet in from the garage and file things. Plus, moving and switching insurance plans equals a lot of papers being mailed to us.

Our financial bookkeeping is in disarray. Thinking about getting it in order makes my stomach hurt. We have things to sign, water bills to pay, papers to mail and they just sit.

The ironing pile is just growing. I even shared earlier this week about expressing love to my husband by ironing for him – he had to iron his pants one day this week. And notice some of the shirts are just thrown on the pile too- that’s a result of folding laundry with a fussy baby.

Now Paxton is adding to the mess. I had no clue a 6-month-old could create such a big mess. I left him playing in his nursery for 15 minutes while I transcribed today and I came back to find toys and books pulled off the bookshelf and his playmat moved about 2 feet.

Even though the house may be chaotic, I’m not going to bed at night and regretting not spending quality time with my son.

This season of life is challenging – it may not be neat and organized but it sure is worthwhile!

Linked to:

Friday Fails

Finer Things Friday

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There’s Still Work to Do http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/15/theres-still-work-to-do/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/15/theres-still-work-to-do/#comments Fri, 15 Oct 2010 16:02:39 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4669

As you can see, there’s still work to do in our new home! I thought it would be best to share pictures of the rooms that aren’t so together after receiving comments about our living room and our kitchen and how organized and together I am…ha!

Yes, those rooms are together and orderly and I’ve managed to keep them that way but I’m far from completely settled in and there are some areas that need major work!

Our dining room is less than together. There are pictures on the table waiting to be hung (yes, we’ve been eating at the table for a week and a half simply ignoring the pictures!) Then there are boxes on the floor filled with picture frames and other decor items just waiting for me to decide where they are going.

One of the boxes is filled with yearbooks, where do you put those? 4 are my husbands, 1 is mine…I’m thankful my parents only purchased my senior yearbook! I thought it was a little unfair at the time but I’m glad I don’t have several more since I am a sentimental and wouldn’t want to get rid of my yearbooks (believe it or not I have pack rat-ish tendencies when it comes to pictures, photo albums, scrapbooks, letters and cards!)

Our guest room/John David’s office. Thankfully this is not my responsibility! I’ve given him full reign in this room (the only thing I will do is clear off the bed and make sure it is accessible when guests come!)

Then there is our bedroom which is 100% my responsibility and it’s far from peaceful and relaxing! Of course it’s not like our former master bedroom was anything special, it was the most neglected room in our home too!

I have big plans for this room today:

  • Make the bed! (I really do make the bed most days!)
  • Remove what doesn’t belong (like that box which is full of hangers we aren’t going to use!)
  • Bring in some pictures and decor items (from the boxes in the dining room floor of course!)
  • Sweetly ask my husband to hang some pictures on the wall for me!

It’s not like any of those tasks are hard, I just need to do them!

You see, I’m not really all that organized and together!

Now time to start moving since there’s still work to do!

Linked to: Friday Fails

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Settling In http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/10/settling-in/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/10/settling-in/#comments Sun, 10 Oct 2010 22:17:20 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4624

This past week we’ve been settling in! We arrived Monday evening and unloaded the entire moving truck! Our furniture went to the rooms it belonged in and all the other stuff was put in the garage! We’ve quickly settled in and are starting to feel at home.

(All of these pictures were snapped early Tuesday morning when I really began the unpacking!)

Cluttered kitchen! This was the first room I conquered! Everything is now in its place and we’ve been using the kitchen all week!

Paxton’s nursery! It was a maze for a day or so! We’ve since rearranged and organized!

The master bedroom. It’s much smaller than our former master and the closet is about 1/4 the  size! We somehow managed to get all of our clothing into the closet after we both went through our clothes (resulting in a box full to go!)

The guest room/office! We’ve since made the bed and brought in more of John David’s video equipment! He’s working on this room!

The garage! Oh me, oh my!!! We slowly have gone through the stuff in the garage, putting most of it in places throughout the house, organizing some in the garage and have a large pile of stuff to go!

I’ll be sharing the rooms of our new home this week and giving you the grand tour!


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Moving http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/08/moving-2/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/10/08/moving-2/#comments Fri, 08 Oct 2010 23:46:14 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4621

We moved to Georgia on Monday!

Everything went quite well, the last hour or two at our home were the hardest between packing up the odd things and saying goodbye to friends and neighbors. The 3 hour drive was quite relaxing and I was on my second wind when we arrived!

We had friends help unpack and were able to get the entire truck unloaded that evening! Paxton was able to sleep in his crib and John David and I slept  in our bed (that made it feel more like home!)

We’ve been steadily unpacking and making our condo a home this week! Paxton’s nursery and the kitchen are completely unpacked already!

I hope to begin sharing pictures of our new home soon!

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Changes http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/22/changes-2/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/22/changes-2/#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 14:55:10 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4540 Bittersweet changes are happening in our family.

We are closing this chapter of life in middle Tennessee and John David’s role as Media Director at The First Family. We are sad to leave good friends that God has blessed us with over these past 2 years.

The new chapter will be beginning on October 11 when John David begins his new job as Technical Director at a multi-site church in Georgia! We are excited about joining the staff of this church and the wonderful things that are happening there as well as developing new friendships with fellow believers!

Needless to say, things have been busy lately! John David received the job offer last Friday and we traveled to Georgia Sunday evening to look for housing Monday. After an all day search for housing, we found a nice 3 bedroom condo on one level with a washer and dryer hookup, which was exactly what we needed! The bonus is that is has a 1 car garage! (God provides!!)

I began decluttering our home (very thoroughly) weeks ago when  John David decided to pursue the opportunity and that has helped my sanity a bit! We’re planning on having a garage sale this weekend.

We will be moving around October 4 and between now and then we are packing, cleaning and spending as much time as we can with friends.

We also will be selling our home. Please pray that it sells quickly!

It is very likely I’ll be blogging a little less this next few weeks. Between preparing to move, putting a house on the market and nursing and caring for a baby, I don’t know if I’ll have much time to blog! (And if I do have time, I’m sure it will be moving related posts!)

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The Neglected Home http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/17/the-neglected-home/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/17/the-neglected-home/#comments Fri, 17 Sep 2010 16:05:03 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4523 This week was deadline week for work! In addition to my transcribing, last night I covered an event for a local co-op. Needless to say, with a busy work week plus caring for and nursing a growing boy who loves to eat, my house was neglected!

Here’s a glimpse into our home on a week mama is busy with work:

I think our bed was made once this week (and that was by John David!) I’m just realizing how bleak our room looks with nothing over the bed.

Our kitchen table. We ate maybe 2 meals on it this week! Notice the bag on the left, that is John David’s camo Diaper Dude he was given from another Dad!!

Dishes from the past 2 days! The sink was full also. Notice how grimy the sink looks…eww!

Bags haphazardly lying in the floor and yes, that is a Nerf gun, it belongs to my wonderful husband!

At least the diapers are clean, right?

The second bath…it is clean just messy!

Of course the house was “neglected” to care for this little fellow (who was 5 months yesterday!) He’s not missed a meal and his bottom stays nice and dry and he gets lots of snuggles and played with!

Today, I have a list that’s about a mile long, starting with tidying up most of the areas I’ve shared!

After a busy “work” week, I have so much respect for working mothers! I have no idea how they do it, all I can say is they must be very organized (or at least more organized than me)!

Linked to: Friday Fails


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What a Day http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/02/what-a-day/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/09/02/what-a-day/#comments Fri, 03 Sep 2010 04:30:04 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4470 Today started out like any other day (except I woke up at 5:15 which is rare!) I was planning on leaving the house promptly at 7:00 to meet a lady in a neighboring town for a Craigslist sale and then on to my parents house for a few days of spending time with them.

That was my plan.

Turns out the day wasn’t going to go according to my plan because I’m not in control.

At 6:55, I had my car completely packed, dog in his crate, Paxton in his car seat and my seat belt on. And just like I do every time I am ready to go somewhere, I turned the key to start the car. However, it didn’t start. I tried again and again, nothing. I called my husband (who had already left) and he called our wonderful neighbor to help me! Our neighbor was able to get the car started (it’s a minor issue).

I ended up being an hour behind my schedule.

My mom arrived home from work around 3:45 and we were going to go to a consignment store in town to sell a few things and do a little shopping.

That was our plan.

Turns out our plan wasn’t to be because we’re not in control.

After gathering the babies (Paxton and my niece Emerson), their diaper bags and carseats, my mom went in the attic to grab a box of clothes to bring to the store. The next thing I know, I hear a box fall on the garage floor and look over to see my mom on the floor.

I really can’t express what went through my mind in those few seconds before I got to her but it was a flood of emotions.

Thankfully, she was able to move her fingers and toes and neck and didn’t appear to be severely injured. However, since she hit her head, she went to the emergency room, where she still is at this time. (She had a CAT scan and they haven’t heard the results yet however she is feeling pretty good.)

I’ve just been reminded today that I am not in control, God is in control! I don’t know why my car wouldn’t start or my mom was injured. I do know that in spite of the change of my plans for today, that there is so much to be thankful for.

My car did start!

I made it safely home with no issues!

I was able to spend a few hours with my dad!

Most importantly, my precious mother was not severely injured!

God is good and faithful and is in control and that certainly is a finer thing!

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The Laundry Enemy http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/20/the-laundry-enemy/ http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/08/20/the-laundry-enemy/#comments Fri, 20 Aug 2010 16:49:23 +0000 http://frugalandsimple.com/?p=4409 Oh laundry…you are quickly becoming my enemy! I have always loved doing laundry, especially neatly folding everything.

It seems like lately if I can remember to wash before my husband runs out of underclothes I’m doing good!

Then once I get things washed I often neglect the folding!

And then once they’re folded they just sit!

Here’s the evidence:

What’s not pictured is the other laundry hamper in the closet…yeah, it often looks just like this!

Here’s more evidence from earlier this week! (And I realized I’m also sharing the fact that my bed was never made!) Notice that the whites are somewhat molded in the shape of a clothes basket! Yeah, they stayed in there that long!

Another shot of our mess! But if you look very closely on the pillow you will see progress: one folded handkerchief (I am a hankie user!)

Ah, baby clothes and kitchen towels awaiting placement in their proper “homes”!

Once Paxton moved to his crib over 2 months ago the pack ‘n play just stayed…John David has lowered it though, if it was up to me it’d still be like this! And, I’ve found that it makes an excellent “laundry catcher” for those nights when we just want to push the clean clothes off of the bed but not into the floor!

Of  course I have much better things to do than keep up with the laundry these days:

This little man doesn’t care about clothes! He’s just happy in a diaper! (And I have *mostly* mastered doing the diaper laundry, thankfully!)


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