Posts Tagged ‘Simplify’

Sitting AreaWhen we replaced our 12′ by 32 ‘ deck last year I was so happy to set up this hidden  sitting spot.  In the morning, we love to sit out here to: have breakfast; read; and enjoy the sounds and scents of nature. Sometimes I practise meditation here.  An outdoor area is so easy to set up. I previously had the bistro table, bought the umbrella at a garage sale (5.00) and picked up the mat on sale (20.00).   The plants are on stands with rollers so I can wheel them around. Bamboo blinds are good for creating privacy also. I use them in another sitting area on our property. Because this area is not permanent, we take it down before the snow arrives.  I hope you give this a try if you aren’t enjoying your outdoor space.

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I really like these time saving ideas that I came across this morning on Real Simple. Maybe you will too.

1. Send gift certificates for presents. Order online—no shopping, no wrapping, no exchanges.

2. Buy bagged salad greens and rotisserie chickens, two cornerstones of quick, healthy dinners. Add shredded chicken to casseroles, salads, soups, and pastas.

3. Ask for the earliest appointment. The later in the day you book a doctor’s visit, a haircut, or a meeting, the greater the chance it will be delayed.

4. Keep a stash of all-purpose birthday cards on hand, at home, and in the office.

5. Put a list of movies you want to rent and books you want to read in your wallet or smartphone.

6. Keep doubles and triples of things you use all the time (scissors, tape, reading glasses, cleaning supplies) in every corner of the house. This will prevent extra trips up and down the stairs for minor projects.

7. Get an electronic tag for your car if it is accepted at toll plazas in your area.

8. Invest in a wireless handheld e-mail device (such as a BlackBerry). Keep in touch with friends during unexpected downtime.

9. Sign up for automatic bill paying at your bank’s website.

10. Buy a case of your favorite olive oil or wine so you don’t have to make last-minute trips for hostess or birthday gifts.

11. Buy movie tickets in advance using Moviefone or Fandango to avoid wasting time on lines.

12. Whenever possible, double a recipe. Eat half right away, and freeze the rest for a future meal.

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I can’t say enough about ‘ to do’ lists or ‘lists’ in general. That’s because I’m simply better organized, at home and at work, when I use one. I transfer things from my mind to a list.  I save time (and money) because with a list,  I’m not being pokey. Otherwise, I go from this to that and I don’t really accomplish much.  Lists help me prioritize too. My recent lists have included: Thanksgiving dinner, fall gardening,  and clients to contact this week. I keep a daily list too.  It’s for things that  I dont want to fall through the cracks like: meditation, exercise,  call a friend, or pick up library books.   Today I came across this amazing online tool called Wunderlist, maybe you’ve heard of it.  It’s very easy to use and it’s FREE.  Starting today, I’m managing my tasks from my home computer, office computer and my iPod Touch.  If you’re like me, always looking for ways to stay organized, give this a try.  I think you’ll like it. Have a nice day. Linda

                                                                                (Wunderlink screen)

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Stepping Lightly – Simplicity for People and the Planet by Mark A Burch has been one of my favorite reads lately. When I finished reading the book the first time, I flipped back to page one and started all over again. I read the book a second time because it is such a thought provoking read. Although the book was published in 2000, it’s timeless.  The author has such a great way of describing the spiritual, soulful and planetary reasons for living a simple life. I first came across the book in the local library.  I’ve purchased two used copies  now. One I am keeping for myself and the other I lend out to friends. If you wish to simplify your life, this practical guide will give you good direction. I hope you consider reading it. Bye for now, Linda

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It’s Fall! Previously, I shared my spring chore list, here is my fall list. Really, ordinary days are less complicated by having these not so common chores organized. 


Clean out freezer.

Vacuum and Spray beds with dust mite spray

Move coats from storage to back door and front closet.

Move summer coats to closet in storage room.

Sort summer and winter clothes and put away or give away

Move summer shoes to storage and bring out winter boots and shoes.

Check filters in vacuum and change if necessary

Furnace filter


Wash out rain barrel

Wash outside of house

Clean eaves

Spray for spiders

Clean up yard – move spring flowering plants

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Wide Open Spaces

Ladies, do you sometimes feel worn out; overwhelmed; and with nothing left to give? I have felt this way and at times, I long for wide open spaces. I do my best to implement two simples steps that protect my time and space; I hope they work for you.

1). Work margin into your life.  Don’t schedule appointments/activities back to back during the day.  Give yourself a little time in between so that you can catch your breathe.

2). Set a limit on the number of evenings you are out of the home and guard this.  If another evening out sneaks up, try to move one of the others. You may find yourself getting very good at saying “Let me get back to you in the next couple of days’ before you make a commitment.

Start with these two simple steps and begin to breathe a more peaceful life.

Photo: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-corn-rimagefree2669941-resi1872868

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This morning, I headed out to walk Beni, my daughter Erin’s dog.  It was a crisp snowy morning for the third day of Spring. I was content listening to inspirational music on my MP3 and I was nice and warm in my parka. As I walked, a car approached from behind, hugging the curb and on the wrong side of the road! I noticed the driver was talking on her cell phone. She parked the car (pointing the wrong way) in front of a home where child care is provided. Next, she exited the car alone; crossed in front of me; and proceeded to march towards the house – all the while on her cell phone. As I passed by the car, I was startled when the rear passenger door swung open and out jumped a little boy – about 4 years old.  When the little boy saw Beni, he began to gleefully repeat over and over ‘puppy puppy” – trying to get his moms attention. (more…)

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Happy Spring Ladies

Today is the first day of spring – how very exciting.

I thought I would share my spring chore list with you. Now, I prefer not to have a list at all, as I like to keep things up all year long, but some things are just better done at this time of year. I find that writing down jobs helps to better manage general maintenance and things that we tend to overlook. I keep my outline conveniently on my computer and update it when need be.  This way, I do not have to think about what needs to be done in spring, I just look at my schedule. Come spring, I print a copy; put in on the refrigerator; and we begin to tackle it. Ladies, if you do not already keep a record of tasks that need to be done for spring (or fall); I really encourage you to consider it. By doing so, you will simply your life and be far better organized.

Here is what our tasks look like this year: (more…)

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Do you have a list of your freezer contents in your kitchen? I like to keep one right on my fridge. This way, I know what is in the freezer when I am planning a meal or menu. We try to remember to update the list as we use things. My husband usually creates a new list every couple of weeks. Creating a list saves time and money. If you are not using a list, I hope you start soon.

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With Spring approaching, this article on Home Made Simple website caught my eye this morning. I am always interested in new ideas for entertaining  as well as planning and serving food in general. I like the suggestion to use small ceramic eggcups as tiny bud vases for sprigs of fresh flowers. Have a look, I am sure you will pick up a tip or two. Click here. Have a wonderful day. Linda

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Hello Ladies, this morning I was thinking about how important it is to learn to get by on less. There will be periods when we have a smaller amount of cash available. I am referring to times when we are experiencing cut backs – possibly due to loss of income, unforeseen expenses or nearing retirement.  Please do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the situation but do your best to be content.  If you are married, do not let this come between you and your husband.  Use the resources you have wisely.  Taking care of your family, yourself and your home can be done on less with a little creativity. Entertainment can become very inexpensive also.  The possibilities for reducing really are endless. Here are a few tips that I have found helpful. (more…)

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This morning I came across an article about de cluttering. I am always interested in this topic as I  like to keep things simple and organized in my home.  The suggestions in the article seem to be practical and manageable.   You can view the piece at http://homemadesimple.com.

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As we start the New Year , I thought you might like to read this poem.  It is one of my favorite pieces of wisdom. I hope you are inspired by it also.

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

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