Eliminating The Unnecessary……..2000 Things In 38 Weeks

_RYA0064
Decluttering my life is something important to me.  Over the last few months I’ve been working on myself a lot and other things like decluttering my house for example have been pushed aside.  Yes, I’m admitting I’m not super woman & cant do a hundred things at once.  But this weekend while I was cleaning, I began really looking at my house and  realized that I really need to do a deep cleaning of our home.  That there are numerous things throughout my home (inside & out) that we don’t use, add no value, & just simply take up space.   It’s time I get back on the decluttering wagon.
Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight but from now till the end of 2016 I’m making it my mission to get rid of 2000 things in our home.  If you think about it, it’s kinda of interesting that I would have 2000 things clogging up our lives, taking up space & adding no value,  which in the end will take up my time that could have been spent doing something enjoyable, doing something that added value to my life, & or spending it with the important people in my life.  It’s kinda of embarrassing.   But I’m not even close to being a hoarder.  I can’t imagine so people’s home & how many things that are taking over their lives.  It’s crazy when you think about it.  Now think about your home & your situation?  How many things (big or small) could you live without?

Now 2000 may sound like a lot but if you break it down, it really isn’t.  2000 things @ 38 weeks equals 52.63 items per each week.  If you divide that by 7 it’s only 7.51 things a day I need to get rid of.  Piece of cake, right?!
And because I’m all about sharing, I’m going to share my progress with all of you.  I’ll even break it down to let you know what I’m doing with the things for example: where  I’m getting rid of my things like selling it, donating, or simply throwing it away.  That way I can honestly share what I do with my things, which I hope inspires others to join in with me. And I want to show people how easy or hard it is to make money from what we have in our house.  Any money I make from decluttering, I’ve decided to put towards my credit card, hoping to have it paid off by the end of the year with only using the money I make from this endeavor.

Week #1-
1. bag of stuffed animals the girlies no longer loveput in yard sale pile (April 30th we are doing a school wide yard sale that we can rent spaces from.  I’m doing it with my daughter so it’ll only be $7.50 for a space)
2. two shirts that no longer fit my boys- put in yard sale pile 
3. 5 brand new texture paints I’ve been holding on to for a yr now- put in yard sale pile
4. 3 pairs of skinny jeans that I’ve been saving for when I lose all my weight- put in yard sale pile ( if I ever get to my goal, I’ll just buy myself some new jeans.  Holding on to my skinny clothes hurts my weight loss journey more than it motivates me)
5. 5 pairs of shoes- donated to goodwill
6. 2 cake pans I haven’t used in 2 yrs-put in yard sale pile
7. 2 Furby booms- Sold super quick on Craigslist….made $10
8. rug remnants- trying to sell on Craigslist

This week’s breakdown is:
*3 items on Craigslist (2 sold & 1 waiting to be sold) making me $10 so far
*5 items donated to Goodwill
*12 items + bag of stuffed animals (about 20 in bag) for our yard sale on April 30th
totaling: 20 items & $10 in cash for 30 mins of work

FYI-If you look at my list, each item has numerous items in it.  I didn’t see the need to count things individually like doing 8 stuffed animals as my week’s goal.  If I did that to begin with, I’d take even longer than I am to declutter my house, & I’d lose steam.  But you can do whatever suits you.  It’s all about our own unique goal, perspective, & how fast or slow you want the process to go.  For me, by the end of the year I’m hoping to have more than 2000 items gone.

How about you?  What have you gotten rid of lately?  How’s the decluttering going?  Have you pushed it aside like I did?  If so why don’t you join me & share your progress each week with me.  I would love to hear your thoughts, see your progress, &/or ways you can make money from it.  


Sharing with:
Sew Crafty Angel,

Saving Money With Soap Nuts & 10 Recipes To Get You Started

I have been wanting to try soap nuts for a long long time.  The other day I finally was able to do so and I’m so glad I did.  It not only worked much better than I thought, but after doing some research, I realized how versatile these little berries are.  After sharing with I found with some friends, very few of them knew what they were.  Have you heard about them before?  If not, read below.  If so skip to the recipe part.
12345

For those of you who haven’t soap nuts are actually berries found that when combined with water, produces a natural soap called saponin that helps clean, deodorizes, & lift stains.
I’ve always been allergic to all the laundry & body soaps out there.  They make me itch insanely, which makes me very uncomfortable.  When I stumbled upon soap nuts, I knew it was something I had to try.  And boy am I glad I did.
So far my laundry has been super clean & actually smells clean.  It’s great.  Since they don’t leave a scent, I did a few drops of grapefruit & lavender essential oils.  If you have sensitive skin like me, soap nuts are the way to go.  But don’t just stop at laundry soap, they can be used for so much more.  Plus, using them can save your family a lot of money.  Here’ s how:

*you put 5-6 nuts into a small bag for your laundry
*these nuts can be used up to 5 times (if using cold water) or 3 times (if using hot water)
*once you used them up, you can boil them in water to create a liquid soap nuts
*This liquid then can be used to make household cleaner, facial cleansers, shampoo, soap etc.

By using soap nuts for all these different things around the house, you can save a lot of money by simply using soap nuts as much as possible.  You won’t have to buy any of products that contain harmful chemicals, instead you can clean the house, yourself, & your clothes naturally.
There are 4 different forms of soap nuts that you can use:

  • The whole nut/shell, which is good for laundry.
  • Liquid, which you can learn how to make in this post. It’s this form that’s handiest for most soap nut uses.
  • Paste, which is basically running the boiled soap nuts through a food processor. This is good for shaving cream and heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
  • Powder, which you can buy in powder form, or make yourself by grinding the shells VERY finely (in a coffee or spice grinder – the good news is, it cleans out really easily). This is good for laundry or adding to a homemade dishwasher detergent, which I’ll talk more about right now (taken from Crunchy Betty)

To get you started, I searched the web & come across 10 great recipes for you to try.  All recipes taken from Crunchy Betty.

Soap Nut Power Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1 c. Borax
  • 1 c. Washing Soda
  • 1/8 c. Finely Grated Castille Soap
  • 1/8 c. Finely Ground Soap Nut Shells

Stir everything together well, and use as you would a dry dishwasher detergent. (Don’t forget to put white vinegar in the rinse well, too!)

Soap Nut Glass Cleaner

  • 1 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 2 Tbsp c. Isopropyl Alcohol (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Use as you would any glass cleaner. This doesn’t streak, and it’s also really great for windows/glass that are particularly messy (like toothpaste splatters or mud on the outside of windows).

General Household Soap Nut Cleaner

  • Straight Soap Nut Liquid

or

  • 1/2 c. Soap Nut Liquid
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/8 c. Water

Combine everything in a small bowl or spray bottle, and use as you would a kitchen or bathroom cleaner.

Soap Nut Bathroom Cleaner

  • 1/8 c. Baking soda
  • 1/8 c. Borax
  • 1/2 c. Soap Nut Liquid
  • 10 drops Eucalyptus Oil or Peppermint Oil (optional)

Stir everything together well, breaking up any clumps. You should have a thickish paste, which you can add more liquid to, if you’d like it thinner. Scoop out a bit of the paste with your sponge and clean your bathroom counters/tub/toilet with it. If you have any remaining, drop it in the toilet and use the toilet brush to clean the bowl well.

Soap Nut Hand Wash

  • 1/2 c. Liquid Castille Soap
  • 1/8 c. Soap Nut Liquid
  • 5 drops Essential Oil (Lavender, Tea Tree, or Rosemary would add extra antibacterial power)

Mix everything together in a small pump bottle and use as you would any hand soap. Alternatively, you could just wash your hands with a little bit of soap nut liquid, but adding this all together will give more cleansing power, and mixing the essential oils and castille soap in with the soap nut liquid will prolong the life of the liquid.

Soap Nut Jewelry Cleaner

  • 3 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
  • 1/4 c. Distilled Water

Mix the two ingredients together and place jewelry into the liquid. Allow the jewelry to sit for 15-20 minutes. With a small toothbrush, gently scrub your jewelry clean. Sparkly!

Soap Nut Dandruff Treatment

  • Pre-Wash: Mix together 1 Tbsp soap nuts liquid with 3 Tbsp coconut oil. Massage into scalp for a few minutes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Then wash with:

  • 3 Tbsp soap nuts liquid
  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp Liquid Castille Soap

Mix the above ingredients together, and use as you would shampoo. If you do the coconut oil scalp treatment beforehand, there should be no reason to use conditioner after shampooing. Repeat three times a week until dandruff is gone.

Soap Nut Facial Cleanser

  • Soap Nut Liquid

Rinse your face with warm water. On a clean, damp washcloth, pour a tablespoon or so of soap nuts liquid. Gently scrub your face with the washcloth and rinse well.

Alternatively: And this is the way I’m really enjoying the soap nuts liquid at the moment.

Mix the two things together in a small bowl. Rinse your face well with warm water, and then gently scrub the mixture onto your face for 2-3 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and finish up with moisturizer.

Soap Nuts for Athlete’s Foot

  • 3 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid or 1 tsp Soap Nut Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 drops Tea Tree Oil

Stir everything together well and massage into freshly washed feet, concentrating on the effective area. Apply socks. Do not rinse off.

Soap Nut Shaving Cream

  • Flesh from 15 Soap Nuts, leftover after boiling them for liquid
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Soap Nuts Liquid

After pitting and removing the hulls around the pits (as well as any “harder” chunks of the boiled soap nuts flesh), put the flesh into your food processor and turn it on. After the flesh has become a paste, dribble in the olive oil and liquid. Watch out! The paste starts to foam A LOT. Shave immediately after making.

Some other ways to use soap nuts are:

  • Kitchen counter tops
  • Powdered laundry soap
  • Floor cleaner
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable wash
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Non-toxic spray to deter pest from garden plants
  • Car wash
  • Body wash & bar soap
  • Pet shampoo

As you can read, there is so much you can do with these little berries, which is how you can save lots of money.  You can do so much with so little, it’s definitely worth your money & time.
Have you tried them before or is this a new product for you?
Would you try them, now knowing about an alternative to what’s out there?


Sharing with:
Denise Designed, Moms Small Victory, My Soulful Home, Create With Joy, Strangers & Pilgrim On Earth, Sew Crafty Angel, Creative Home Keeper,

8 Weight Loss Tips: From One Average Person To Another

I’ve been doing a lot of research online about weight loss and I’ve come to realize, that a lot of the information out there isn’t doable or realistic for the average person.  Those of us, who are out of shape, that want to get into shape can get easily discouraged when taking advice from the experts that don’t take into account that we are “average.”  We live an average life, make average money, live on an average budget, & must work with what we have.
It’s hard to weed through all the information out there. If you started now, 10 yrs down the road, you will still be weeding out the information.  It’s a never ending stream of advice.  What I’ve noticed about losing or maintaining your weight, is all about finding the proper equation that fits you.
Below are some tips that I have found that helps with weight loss.  By in no means am I an expert, I’m just an average Joe sharing tips that could make it easier for you to lose weight.  Any of these tips could help anyone, no matter where you are.
weight-loss-diet 1

Tip #1- Don’t Expect Results overnight or even in a few weeks
I knew this but when a few friends just dropped their weight, I assumed it would for me too.  But that’s unfortunately not the story.  It not only takes time but it take a lot of effort.  This journey has def opened my eyes to the whole weight loss world & the struggles people have.

Tip #2- Know what your BMR is 
This is something my husband introduced me to recently.  BMR or Basal Metabolic rate is ” The amount of energy (in the form of calories) that the body needs to function while resting for 24 hours.  This number of calories reflects how much energy your body requires to support vital body functions if, hypothetically, you were resting in bed for an entire day.”  taken from Daily Burn.  Click on the link to read more about this.  And this site has a BMR calculator you can use to figure your calories out.

Tip #3- Use a calorie counter till you can do it on your own  
I’ve been using My Fitness pal app for a little bit but now I’m able to do calculate my food better without the app.  Just like with anything, the more you use it, the easier it will be figuring your calories & what type of foods are best for you.  One of the things I love about this app is how they break down your foods into different categories like fats, carbs, protein, & other nutrients.  And when you sign up, you get an email a few times a week with food ideas, recipes, exercises & more.

Tip #4- Not eating enough calories will stunt your metabolism & slow your weight loss
Most diets I’ve read about over the last few months, always used 1200 calories as there go to for losing weight.  So, I just assumed that’s what I had to do.  But it wasn’t helping me to lose weight, I just stayed at the same weight.  And I was always hungry.  After my husband told me about the BMR and proper amount of calories my body needs (which is 1623 but I aim for 1600), my hunger went away.  In fact, the last few days, I’ve had a hard time getting enough food into my body.  I do feel much better when I did switch.  The reason behind knowing how much calories your body needs & feeding it healthy foods is because if you are way under your calorie intake, you will end up slowing your metabolism down because your body will think it’s in starvation mode.  To read more about this click here Women’s Health

Tip#5- Don’t be embarrassed by your lack of progress or hitting a plateau  
This plagued me for almost a year.  I went from 148lbs. to 230lbs due to my medicines.  Then once I took myself off my meds, I dropped 32lbs. & hit 198.  There I stayed for yr.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t lose or gain.   It was ever so frustrating, embarrassing, & depressing.  Once I got over myself & how I was feeling, I began to make a plan which includes a gym a few times a week, walking as much as I can, eating better, & learning to love my body where I am now.  Once I started doing these regularly, I started losing weight, a little at a time.

Tip #6- One healthy condiment makes all the difference
I hate the taste of chicken.  Ever since I got food poisioning years ago, it grosses me out.  But it’s such a great food to eat so instead of cutting it out completely, I cover it in green salsa.  That is my go to condiment.  Find something you love, that isn’t full of sugar & other crap & use it as often as possible.  I use it on chicken, rice, beans, & eggs.  Plus, it adds a little more flavoring.

Tip #7- Get an encouragement buddy
I can’t stress enough how important this is.  If you don’t have anyone cheering you on, going the a similar journey, or supporting you, it will be hard to motivate yourself.  Having just one person in your corner, does make all the difference.  And it’s always fun to have company along the way.  Don’t have an encouragement buddy, look online.  There are so many different communities you could join.  Or even hit me up, I’m always looking for new buddies to help motivate me & encourage them.

Tip #8- You won’t lose weight till you’re really serious about it……..Whether you lose  or keep the weight on is all about your mental state & where you are in this moment
For me that year that I hit the plateau, I really wasn’t ready to commit myself to losing weight.  I wanted to but I didn’t want to do the work.  So I spent that year sabotaging myself.  It wasn’t till I quit drinking soda & caffeine that I was ready.  Once I did that huge step, I knew I was ready to work hard & get some of this weight off.  I might not be able to get where I want to be ideally, but I know I’ll be able to lose some & I’m ok with that.

Any advice or things that have worked
for you?


Sharing with:
Denise Designed, My Soulful Home, Moms Small Victories, Create With Joy, Sew Crafty Angel,

Walking & Metabolism Go Hand In Hand

Before I started on my weight loss journey, I never really understood how walking could be life changing.  How just getting up off your butt and getting out the door matters a whole lot.  The hardest part of walking, is getting the motivation to start your journey, getting out the door.  But once you do, I am telling you, your whole world will change.  I underestimated the power of walking, which won’t happen again.

Woman walking in mountains in sport shoes

@ Inner body

When I 1st began walking I started out doing 2 miles, but I huffed and puffed most of the way.  Going up my steep hill, made me loose my breath, & felt chest pains for a few hours.  My heart rate at resting was 125 or so, but it has gotten as high as 140-152 at rest, when I was really sick .  I was a huge mess and I was scared of what would happen if I continued down this path.

Walking Kick Start My Metabolism: 

“Walking briskly on a daily basis not only results in calorie burning, it increases enzyme and metabolic activity that may result in increased calorie consumption for up to 12 hours after walking as little as 2 miles. The more deconditioned you are, the greater the metabolic effect of walking.

Increased metabolism means more than simply BURNING CALORIES, it means that your body will be more likely to draw in nutrients from your food and supplements.” taken from http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/the-power-of-walking1.htm#

*************************************************************************************************

After walking 3-4 times per week for a month, I started noticing that I was losing weight a lot faster than most people.  I couldn’t understand why, till I looked into walking and realized that it helped kick start my metabolism.  Before I got sick, I had a crazy insane metabolism, where I couldn’t gain weight.  And before anyone asks, no I didn’t have a thyroid problems (I’ve been checked numerous times in my life), I just had a crazy insane metabolism.  It was something that I took for granted most of my life, because it was something that was always a part of me, something I didn’t need to work for or towards.

But when I got sick and was put on different medicines everything changed.  Weight kept increasing up to 90lbs., no matter what I ate.  Walking helped kick start my metabolism, which helped in turn to start losing more weight.  No matter where you are along your weight loss journey, make walking a top priority.  Walking does matter, no matter how much or how little.  So get out, move your butt, & start walking more.

How has walking benefited you?

Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Butternut Squash Soup (DF)

Soup, is something that I’ve been really into since I’ve decided to change my way of eating.  Eating healthier is much easier if you add soup to your meal list.  Soups are a great way of adding veggies & nutrients, and a great way to have leftovers, which is something that my house usually doesn’t have.
20160223_180823
So, I searched Pinterest for awhile and didn’t find anything.  There are thousands of soup recipes on there, but nothing was sticking out to me.  Then I came across the recipe below & thought about how delicious it sounds.  Plus it’s dairy free so my little ones could eat this without worrying about their bellies hurting.
20160223_200041
This recipe was easy to make, it just takes a bit since you have to cook your squash.  But even with cooking the squash, you can enjoy a delicious dinner with minimal effort.  And if you are looking for a great site, with delicious healthy food, check hers out.  I’m a new fan of it & love all her recipes.

yhni
**adapted from Anya Eats **

Ingredients:
*1 small-medium butternut squash
*1 small onion, diced
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*5 pieces of turkey bacon, chopped
*1-2 TBSP olive oil
*3 C chicken broth
*1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
*salt & pepper
*crushed red pepper

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350-375 depending on your oven
*Cut butternut squash in half & place on baking sheet
*Bake 30-40 mins until soft
*In a skillet pan, add bacon & cook till it starts browning
*Add onions & cut together till the onion pieces are translucent
*Add garlic.
*Once all are cooked together, add in the coconut milk, chicken broth,  & swiss chard pieces
*Mix well.  Cook on low & let simmer
*Add cooked pieces of the butternut squash
*Add salt, pepper, & red pepper flakes to taste
*Simmer for about 15 mins
~And Enjoy~


Sharing with:
Second Chance To Dream, Ducks In A Row, My Soulful Home

10 Simple Ideas That You Can Do To Reduce Waste Around Your House

“If you want to get serious about sustainability we have
to start with our waste.”

 

Waste is a serious problem that impacts all of us. Here’s 2 charts that shows how much the US wasted in the past years.  Could you imagine how much that has increased over the last few years.  How sad is this, when so many people in our world is starving to death?!?!

@http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/26-trillion-pounds-of-garbage-where-does-the-worlds-trash-go/258234/

@http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-glickman/the-true-cost-of-food-was_b_6769352.html

Here’s 2 charts showing how much the world wastes

@http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-glickman/the-true-cost-of-food-was_b_6769352.html

The best place to start, is within our own home.  There is so many different things we can do, to reduce our own waste from recycling & repurposing items & materials, buying less things which means less clutter, & learning new ways to use up everything we have.  You can be as creative as you want, but if you need ideas there is so much out there.  It also doesn’t have to be some elaborate plan, oftentimes simple is better.  Aren’t sure where to begin, here’s
10 simple ideas that you can do to reduce waste around your house:
1. Use a gallon milk jug to water the roots of garden plants without standing there with a hose: Poke small holes in the bottom of the jug and bury it; fill with water for slow and steady irrigation.

2. Place old silica gel packets with personal papers and important documents to protect them from moisture and mildew.

3. Make a bird feeder out of a 2-liter plastic bottle.

4. Pour used bacon grease into a tuna or cat food can, chill until firm, and wire the can to a tree to give your feathered visitors some food. Bacon grease may be gross to some of us, but it attracts bluebirds, crows, jays, ravens, starlings, woodpeckers and Carolina wrens.

5. Missing game pieces instead of throwing away, use game board as a wall decor or coasters, & use the game pieces for jewelry, magnets, decor items

6. Compost everything that you don’t use ****put in a compost chart****

7. Coffee grounds- use in homemade soaps, exfoliate, use in garden to keep ants & slugs at bay, dried grounds used as a scouring agent, in fridge neutralizes odors,

8. Newspaper- lay down while painting, lie our snack cages with, wash windows with, use a layer in garden to help keep weeds at bay, compost,

9. Tea bags- for eyes, insect bites,

10. toilet paper tubes- for crafting, packaging & packing material, nesting materials etc

Additional readings:
Top 10 Ways To Reduce Waste
Waste Less Live More
The True Cost of Food Waste
2.6 Trillion Pounds of Garbage: Where Does The World’s Trash Go?
What are some ways you reduce wastes in 
your home? 


Sharing with:
Create With Joy, The Jenny Evolution,