Decluttering continued.

See? I’m doing it. I’m getting rid of some of my excess. Actually, I’m getting rid of a lot of my excess. And it feels wonderful! Very liberating!

It does help that I’m trying to follow the FlyLady method. For whatever reason it seems to be working for me. Also, the more you get rid of the easier it is. In the beginning it is hard.

The Box

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What’s Inside?

  • 9 x 13 cake pan
  • broiler pan
  • 2 pie plates
  • 9 x 9 silicone brownie pan
  • griddle
  • 2 bottle koozies
  • glass pot lid
  • 3 bottles of baby lotion
  • small ceramic piggy bank
  • bottle of hair conditioner
  • 5 shirts
  • coat
  • 3 bricks of Wonder Soil
  • 2 coin purses
  • pair of kid’s shoes(you know- my kid’s shoes- not some random kid. weird.)
  • small basket
  • microwave food cover
  • 2 glass serving bowls
  • small candle
  • 2 pairs of cat nail clippers
  • 2 books
  • 3 cloth tote bags
  • colander
  • level(a tool for making sure stuff is level)
  • handle set for a Bissell carpet sweeper
  • bottle of Aquaphor
  • 8 ornaments
  • 6 small stuffed animals
  • 4 bracelets
  • 3 bottles of shampoo
  • small breath mint tin(minus the breath mints)
  • 2 pairs of scissors
  • 2 combs
  • small dishpan
  • Reynolds Handi-Vac sealer

70 things altogether! Pretty good. That brings the total to 714.

Gotta keep at it. That’s what you would say too if you saw my house. Sad face here. For me.

Anyway- let’s keep it up! It’s nice to have little spaces being cleared.

Are you decluttering? How’s it coming along?

SAJ

 

 

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Decluttering- back on the wagon!

I am nearing my deadline. 1,200 items removed from my house by the end of the year. I was doing pretty well. Then I just kind of stopped unintentionally.

You know. Things come up. Bad timing. Whatever.

I kept thinking I should start this up again.

Now I’m really under pressure!

Here it is: The Box.

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What’s in it?

  • 2 towels
  • 2 blenders
  • 8 knives
  • 4 oven mitts
  • 3 funnels
  • 2 pie servers
  • bottle of lotion
  • onion keeper
  • 2 headbands
  • corkscrew
  • book
  • 2 whisks
  • 3 spatulas
  • 2 coffee mugs
  • wallet
  • 4 CDs
  • 2 bracelets
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • glasses case
  • 3 ornaments
  • 2 can openers
  • 2 car window shades
  • 4 sweaters
  • 2 board games
  • veggie peeler
  • 2 serving spoons
  • paper towel holder
  • 3 skirts
  • 6 shirts
  • kitchen hand towel
  • jacket
  • pair of pants
  • pair of socks
  • 4 dresses

78 things I got out of the house. Some of those things aren’t pictured because I gave them to a friend before I took the picture. ūüė¶ That’s okay. These aren’t the most interesting pictures anyway. It’s the journey that’s important. Right?!

The last time I did a declutter box, which was in June in case you were wondering, the total was 566. So now it’s 644.

Now as long as I don’t stop doing this for 4 months, I should be okay. As long as I stay on track.

Hopefully if you’re decluttering or getting rid of your hoard- you’re sticking to it! Good luck!

Updates soon…

SAJ

What should I have for dinner?

I thought I’d share a new recipe I tried. I have actually been trying many new recipes in the last two weeks. I just haven’t been taking pictures…

This is a Whole30 recipe. Before you start freaking out about not giving up your sugar and dairy and gluten- hear me out. I’ve never been on a diet before but I felt this was necessary. I love my sugar. I love it in ice cream, cookies, ice cream, cake, ice cream, pies, ice cream cake, and so on. I love sugar. And over the years it has occurred to me that I eat a heck of a lot more sugar than other people do. So I am kicking the habit. That’s it. That’s the¬†biggest¬†reason I am doing this.

So I knew I’d have trouble with this diet for many reasons I can visit on at a later date. Because of this, I wanted something that just walked me along so that I focused more on the next step rather than the sugar I was missing.

Enter this website. Excellent. It plans every meal out for you. Even gives you the grocery list. A slightly intimidating list- but I did it. Even with an unhappy toddler in tow. No small feat.

We have had some excellent meals this way. Really. I will make them again after this 30 days is finished.

Here’s what we had last night(you know-when I finally remembered to take pictures). Oh, and this one is in the slow-cooker- nice in the hot weather.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken (linked to recipe!)

So you take some canned artichokes, quarter them and put them in the bottom of your slow-cooker. If you’re a real foodie, you may gasp at the whole “canned artichokes” bit. I was like,”Where do you find artichokes?” Obviously not a foodie. But I do like to eat- does that count???

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Next I sliced up some lemons and some carrots. The carrots were actually just for me to eat immediately. They have nothing to do with this recipe. IMG_2498

Ignore the carrots!IMG_2499

Then I took the skin and fat off of chicken thighs, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and finally lightly browned them on both sides in a skillet. IMG_2493.JPG

I did this all in a backward way from what the recipe said. If I did it the right way- it would have gone more quickly. But I was trying to save myself from cleaning extra dishes. Oh, the shame.

So when the chicken was browned a bit, I laid it over the artichokes. BTW- I put in 2 extra thighs because I’m a rebel. And because it was packaged that way.

Then I mixed up some chicken broth, arrowroot starch, and coconut milk. I poured it over the chicken and laid lemons on top. (Actually, I put the lemons on first, then glanced at the directions and took them back off to pour the broth mixture on. Then I threw those babies back on. Doesn’t matter except for the pictures people!)IMG_2501IMG_2502.JPG

Cook it on high 4-6 hours. Remove lemons- I don’t care where. Just don’t put them back in your Crock-Pot! They’re super soft at this point anyway. Ugh. Take the thighs out and shred them with 2 forks. This is super easy. Mix up a little more of that starch and some water and stir that into the liquid in the cooker. Then add your chicken back in and mix it all up.

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So I had some more carrots…

This is what it looks like when you’ve finished and decided it’s kind of a stew. And that you have to have some other veggie with it, because…BECAUSE. (I have this fear that on a diet you have to starve, and I let this fear drive me to make extra food. Sad really.)

This does not look like the photo that came with the recipe. She obviously did not shred the chicken before her photo!

What did I think of it?

Pretty easy to make. My husband loved it. Do you like honey lemon cough drops? The flavor of this kind of reminded me of them. It was okay, but I kept thinking of those cough drops which I don’t care for. My husband loves that flavor. So it was a hit with him. Our daughter liked it too. There you go. Try it.:)

Stay tuned…I have more coming. Especially from that website(ourpaleolife)– check it out. She’s got some great recipes.

SAJ

 

Declutter Thursday. It’s almost Friday.

It’s late at night, but I have a box and I want to share it!

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Here’s what’s in it:

  • new set of plastic sandwich containers
  • pair of children’s shoes
  • 2 placemats
  • George Foreman grill
  • new cookie press
  • metal grater
  • VHS movie
  • small wicker basket
  • candy spoon mold
  • 5 fabric kitchen appliance covers
  • beer can poultry roaster stand (oh man…)
  • 2 water bottles
  • aluminum fry pan with lid
  • small bag of hair accessories
  • decorative pillow
  • medium sized candle
  • doll clothes
  • 2 children’s shirts
  • baseball cap
  • water filter
  • pair of socks
  • makeup brush
  • Tupperware ham keeper (it seemed like a good idea)
  • single cup coffee maker
  • small bag of random craft supplies
  • 2 stuffed animals
  • box of shower curtain rings
  • Frisbee
  • small makeup bag

37 items in this box…Well, some were on the floor. ūüôā Not bad. That brings the total to 566. Only 634 more things to get out of our house!

Actually, since my goal is to hit 1200 items by the end of the year, it looks like I’m almost halfway there with my time and how much I’ve been able to get out of the house. That’s promising, right?

Are you decluttering too? Do you want to?

SAJ

Declutter Update

In the fall of last year, two friends told me that if you don’t love something, you should get rid of it. At the same time I was reading Sink Reflections by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley. She is a big advocate of decluttering. Basically she tells you to get rid of things you don’t use, need, or love.

I was hearing and reading this, but honestly, I couldn’t comprehend doing it. Get rid of my stuff? All my stuff? Stuff that didn’t have a name, but it was mine. I would look around our home and just couldn’t think of anything to take out of it.

I knew that our house was packed to the brim. We didn’t have pathways through it, but I knew it was too full. I just didn’t know where to start.

Things are different now.

The Box

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The Contents

  • 2 lip glosses
  • bath mat
  • cuticle oil
  • bed skirt
  • bathrobe
  • scarf
  • 9 shirts
  • 3 nightgowns
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 puzzles
  • wooden mailbox
  • 3 stuffed animals
  • 1 large bundle of pens
  • plastic tiara
  • 2 baseball caps
  • wall sign
  • ceramic egg holder
  • penguin toy
  • pig candle holder
  • bunch of plastic eggs
  • bowl
  • eyeshadow brush
  • book
  • large potpourri sachet
  • kitchen timer
  • decorative pig pin
  • curling iron cover
  • pig rubber stamp
  • 3 figurines

That’s 47 items, and that brings us to a running total of 529 items that have left our home. Good!

There was so much in our house. There still is. I had to just force myself at first; and I only started because I knew it was a problem. I had known that for a long time, but it really hits you when you have a kid and realize that you have to start making room for him/her.

I started getting rid of things that were just random and useless. Then I started getting rid of some duplicate items. Now I’m letting go of things that I felt guilty about getting rid of. Letting go of the things I don’t want, use, need, and finally(though I have trouble admitting it) the things I don’t love.

Maybe I’ve become attached to some things that have no sentimentality to them. Maybe someone that holds an important place in my life gave me a gift or something they didn’t want. Maybe I think it was expensive to begin with and that alone should be reason enough to keep it. All these excuses just hold me back from a life that isn’t so complicated and cluttered. I’ve been holding myself back.

Letting go can be really hard. Whether it’s¬†your grandfather, your cute pigs,¬†the world’s best chiropractor, or that quilt your mom gave you. Obviously these are not all on the same playing field. I’m just saying¬†that sometimes you have to let go and move on. Otherwise, you may be stuck in the same place for a long time.

Tell me what you think.

Are you having trouble letting go? Are you finally getting there?

SAJ

 

 

What should I eat for dinner?

Have you been cycling through the same meals for supper? I have. Getting tired of them? Yup!

I thought it would be a good idea to start introducing new meals into our nightly rotation. I should tell you now that I am not a gourmet chef. In fact, until I got married I hardly ever cooked meals. Just simple stuff like grilled cheese. And it wasn’t any four-cheese-smoked-gouda type of grilled cheese. Just some fluffy enriched white bread and some yellow American cheese. Hmm. It’s been a long time…

Anyway, I went through the cabinet where I stored all of my recipes and recipe books and made a stack of recipes to try. Mostly so I could get rid of some of the books in my Thursday declutter box, but also because I’m tired of making the same old, same old.

My one stipulation for the recipes I try is that I must already have most of the ingredients called for. I don’t want to have to buy any more than¬†2 or 3 ingredients. That can break the bank folks!

Also, I’m going to try just one recipe a week because I meal plan, and let’s face it, when you meal plan you’re kind of used to the luxury of knowing how long your meals will take to make. Trying a¬†recipe for the first time usually takes a bit longer for me than the prep time given¬†with the¬†recipe.¬†So I’ll save the new recipes for a night when I have more time to make them.

So if you want some new ideas for dinner/supper- follow along!

Today’s recipe is Farmhouse Hash with Eggs from Sandra Lee’s Money Saving Meals & Round 2 Recipes. Click on the name of the recipe if you want the specifics on how to make it. I’ve had this book for at least three years and finally decided to look through it when I decluttered my microwave cart/cabinet. I decided this had¬†a lot of¬†recipes I’d like to try.

 

 

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So, this meal is supposed to look like the picture below.

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This type of meal is something my husband typically likes: meat and potatoes. ūüôā

I had to brown up some sausage first. Be warned- I cooked a lot of sausage! Especially since the recipe only calls for a half pound of the stuff. This came out of a 2 pound package. I just fried it all up because I freeze the excess to save time in preparing other meals.

 

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Two pounds of sausage right there. Note: only half a pound needed for this recipe.

 

While I fried up the sausage, I started dicing up carrots, potatoes, and onions. The recipe does also call for celery, but my husband has an unnecessary amount of malice toward that veggie so I left it out.

 

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So lovely, and a little OCD. Don’t judge!

After the sausage was finished, I emptied it into a separate bowl and started cooking the diced vegetables.

 

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Diced vegetables sans celery. Not as colorful.

You have about 12 minutes for those veggies to cook. At this point you put some water on to boil in a pot big enough for 4 poached eggs. So I put the water on medium heat and started washing some dishes. I stopped every couple of minutes to stir the veggies and, later, to add the eggs to the water. They did stick a bit to the fry pan- the veggies I mean.

 

Not pictured: poaching eggs. Why? Because I don’t do well at keeping the whites together on them and it just looks so messy!

So if you’re poaching eggs and it seems almost disastrous- take heart! The meal still came out looking like this and I think it looks pretty close the book’s picture.

 

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Done!

So, there were some other ingredients like garlic, paprika, white vinegar(for the poaching), red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and parsley. I didn’t use the parsley because I didn’t have any. The red pepper flakes did add a little heat to the meal, so if you don’t like spicy I’d omit them.

Overall, it was a pretty easy meal to make and we really liked it! My husband said he would like to have it again, so I’m putting it in the rotation.

As I try more recipes, I think we’ll get a lot more in the meal rotation and I am certainly ready for that!

Is this something you would try? Any dinner ideas you would like to share?

SAJ