Saturday, January 7, 2012

Video: Declutter the Spice Cabinet

One mama to another... "What's in your spice cabinet?" Do you even know? My spices were sort of out of control and I had no idea that I had spices in there from 2006. Crazy!! I've been working on an ADD Bootcamp and this was the next project to simplifying my life.

The main idea was to get rid of spices that you don't use or that are old. I got rid of a whole lot of obscure spices that I used once or ones that were way too old to be yummy anymore. Some questions to ask yourself when going through your spice cabinet:

  1. What recipes do I use this in? (off the top of your head, no cheating)
  2. When did I purchase this? If it's older than 1 year (most people say 6 months), I think you should ditch it.
Some ideas for keeping it decluttered:
  • Challenge yourself to use it up by making those recipes.
  • If you aren't ready to throw it out, write today's date on it and store it near the others (maybe an empty drawer because you've decluttered so much you actually have empty drawers!). As you use something, you've earned the right to put it back in the cabinet. Revisit the drawer in 3 months. Chunk what's left.
We buy a lot of our spices at a small Mennonite store that carries large amounts. That makes it very difficult for me to use up everything, but I will be more cautious to buy what I really use.

Here's the video on decluttering the spice cabinet. Hopefully it will inspire or help you.

I'm not sure what area I will do next. Praying about that. I did tackle my craft table today just to declutter it. I took a pic before, but I want to take more of the process, so I'll skip that for now. Maybe I'll show you my prayer closet. See... I think these videos are helping me to tackle one area at a time because I can post them here. Maybe... in my mind, I think someone is actually looking forward to the next video and that prompts me to do it. My desk is a mess... maybe I'll do my desk. We'll see. A surprise! Who doesn't like surprises!

What about you - what's your most used spices? Or if you have decluttered, what's the oldest spice you found?

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Video: Declutter Plastic Food Storage Containers

I decided to try something different this time. Some of you may have seen my ultra long dishwashing video (we no longer wash dishes exactly like this) on youtube. A little bird told me that there is also a HILARIOUS blooper video from that. My kiddos were so little that I would NEVER recommend you going to see it RIGHT NOW. They would be too embarrassed and might die of embarrassment and I would not want them to do that.

I put together a slide show of me cleaning out my plastic food storage containers. The background music is a little loud and I hope to do that better next time. I dubbed over with my "how to" stuff to show you that it really wasn't a big or expensive job.

Hope you find something worthwhile on there that you can use in your own kitchen.

Now I'm off to pare down the spices....

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012: Spiritual Goals

You can hop all over the blogosphere and see everyone talking about making goals, so I'm not going to reiterate any of that here. I thought the best way for me to actually complete some of my goals was to make them and then post them here. Maybe what I will share will be helpful to you or give you some new resources you haven't heard of or thought about.

Personal goals

Would you go days without speaking to your husband? or friend? This is an important area and too often, as moms, people excuse us from our responsibility to have a growing relationship with Christ. How does God teach us more about Himself, speak to us, and grow us - through the reading of His word. Please make this an important part of your day. Don't stay a baby Christian.

I've been reading Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund for several months. What an awesome little gem. Let me share a few of her quotes in this post.

"Everybody knows stories of someone who says, "If I have a normal day, I can get by with one hour of planning and quiet with God. But if I have a very busy day, I need at least two or more."
Okay - let me just say... I need two, every day. All of my days are busy so I have to get up really early. In the last month, since my surgery, I have had a hard time getting up and it has shown. This morning I did it. Praise the Lord - and my time with Him was so sweet! So, yes, I need 2 hours everyday and that means I have to get up by 5am.

Goal #1 - Meet with the Lord daily, waking up by 5am.

Mrs. Ortlund goes on to say:
"Most important, every Christian needs to become a specialist in God! Many of your magazines, books, and papers need to feed your spirit. These lives of ours are to get us ready for eternity, you know! So we must "be diligent [or study, as the King James Version says] to present [ourselves] approved to God as [workmen] who [do] not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). We need to be knowledgeable women - knowledgeable in doctrine and in Christian world affairs. This world globe has a timetable with it; we need to be alert, discerning the times and living with care.
Submerge as much of your day as you can, to make it your invisible keel, by eliminating less important things. You need time to look into the face of God, time to read and study his Word systematically, time to think and plan for your life, time to praise, time to intercede, time to get wisdom for handling people and for making decisions."
Goal #2 - Daily Bible reading - using the M'Cheyne plan along with D.A. Carson's devotionals. Here is a link to our pastor's blog post about daily Bible reading.
Goal #3 - Morning and evening habit of reading Daily Light on the Daily Path. I have this in the NKJV in a book version, but with this link you can read it free in the ESV.
Goal #4 - Continue Colossians/Philemon study with our ladies at church.
Goal #5 - Lord, Teach Me How to Pray - Kay Arthur. I will start this in mid-February. Prior to that my extra study time will be used to prepare to teach on Colossians 3:1-17 to the ladies at church.

And one more quote from Mrs. Ortlund (this really is an excellent little gem - chocked full):

"What are you papers, your magazines, your books? They tell volumes about whether you're a dawdler, like a sheep nibbling on any tuft of grass that comes along, or whether you're going after's important to you. They represent a quiet part of your life - part of your ship's keel. They should be a reflection of the depths of you."

I would add that they should be a reflection of the woman you want to become. In that vein, I give you my final personal goal.

Goal #6 - Continue non-fiction reading plan. You can see more about that here.

As a family

I think that it is very important to make personal spiritual goals as well as goals as a family. We are keeping our family goals very simple this year and they will add on to what we are already doing (church 3x per week, Sunday school, etc.)

Goal #7 - Usher children to the lunch table with Bibles and ready to listen to Daddy have family Bible study. We will also sing one hymn before prayer and lunch. This particular goal falls more under personal, because I have accepted responsibility for getting the children there, while Pete has accepted responsibility for teaching the hymn and Bible.

Goal #8 - We will have discussions about the sermon with our children following every church service.

Goal #9 - Memorize Westminster Shorter Chatechism. This is a program that our church is starting and we won't complete it in one year. Each quarter there is a section of the catechism (question, answer, and Scripture verses) that we will memorize together as a family, and thusly as a church (whoever wants to participate).

So much for my resolution of shorter posts.... Hope some of this is helpful.

And you? What kind of spiritual goals do you have for yourself this year? Or your family together? Please post in the comments!

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Sorry for all the posts

As I started seeing a jillion emails fly into my inbox, I realized what had happened - and you probably did, too. I was messing around with my blog yesterday trying to get my signature the right size. Finally got that accomplished, though there isn't an easy way to see it complete until you post. Blogger... are you listening?

Then, running on a simplicity theme here, I decided to combine the blog that I had started - Live Life Uncluttered, with my normal blog. I exported, then imported, and ended up with a kajillion new posts -without a clue that it would email them all to you. I'm sorry to flood your in-boxes and I hope you'll stick with me.

My mom emailed me about my little cleaning/decluttering kick (the kajillion imported posts) and wondered how in the world I completed all of that among Thanksgiving, having gallbladder surgery a few days later, then Noelle's birthday (she's 1 already!!!), and Christmas! Nope, not that ambitious - most of these projects were done in the early fall.

Preparing my post for our 2012 Spiritual Goals. Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Family Purpose Statement

It has been so very long since I posted on here. Almost 3 months. A lot has happened, but I won't digress. One thing I would like to start doing on my blog is keeping up with it. I know that several of you have emailed me and asked "where are you," "why aren't you posting." Usually my posts ended up being so long that I get interrupted several times. Or I am aiming for perfection instead of completion and ended up with nothing. This year I am going to focus on concise posts, practical posts, more frequent posts - and hopefully more pictures. Maybe my iPhone pictures, as uninspiring as they may be, will speak a bit for me.

So, to start 2012 off with a bang, I want to share our family goals and my personal goals. I hope to do that over the coming weeks. For Christmas, my little ones gave me a new book (I asked for it). Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. I requested the hardback version, versus the Kindle, because it has charts and such and I wanted to be able to make copies.

One of the very first things that Tsh recommends is making a family purpose statement. I have tried to do this on many ocassions, but it just ended up being my purpose statement instead of one for our whole family. This time, Big P and I took several of the questions that she gives you and talked about them at length. Me being the wordy of the family, compiled it all together and Big P tweaked it with me. She emphasizes how this should be timeless, and not really goal oriented, but values oriented. That took some thinking, prayer, and work. It was a fun project!

Here is our family purpose statement is (this is just an example - you must go through this process yourself to have the desired effect):

We, the Salinas’, believe that our purpose as a family is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 
We hope to accomplish this by:
  •  Growing in Christ likeness, purposing to raise godly adults, and ministering to others.
  • Making our home a place of safety, joy, and peace.
  • Choosing time together (producing or exploring) over personal entertainment.
  • Interacting with each other in a spirit of kindness and servitude.
  • Working to get out of debt and taking care of what we have.

 I purchased a document frame at Walmart for $3 and an iron easel for $5. Printed up a copy of our statement with a very cool font - (Jellyka Delicious Cake available free on and boom, here's what I got....

I then printed up a copy to go inside my planner so that I can reference it when we are making plans during the year. Our #1 goal is to stay on track with the things that God has willed us to do and be a part of.

What about you... Have you thought about making a family purpose statement? I'd love to see yours. Please leave a comment below with your statement or link to your blog post about it.

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