Simple Living Newsletter #1

Hello, friends! I’m super excited to share the first ever Simple Living Newsletter with you!

If you enjoy the content that you find on my blog, then this newsletter is for you. I hope you enjoy this newsletter, with several articles found inside.

So without further ado, here is the first newsletter for all to enjoy!

Clearing Clutter Out of Our Homes

Oh my, has my home ever been full of clutter lately! It seems like for every one thing that’s brought out of our house, five things are brought in! Besides working on renovations and all of the “stuff” that entails, my children received a lot of gifts last month. Rooms and closets are filled to the brim.

Now, I’m no minimalist, nor will I ever be. I’m more of an “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” kind of gal. But unfortunately, not everything has a place right now! I hope to tackle more of my home shortly, and last week I was able to clean out an entire curio cabinet full of junk. This definitely helped me to realize that yes, I can do this!

The steps I took were pretty simple, and they will work for just about anybody, I think. The first thing to do when looking at an item, is to ask, does this bring value to our lives? If the answer is no, it is better to donate or throw away the item. There are many things in my home that don’t seem to have much “purpose” besides that I find them beautiful or they hold sentimental value. And yes, this is enough. You can hold onto these things without guilt!

I purchased two under bed storage containers to help clear the clutter from the cabinet. I designated one for my children’s homeschool work, and the other for sentimental items and “gifts” my children have made me throughout the years. Storage containers are a great way to clear clutter, as long as they are organized. Believe me, I used to be the queen of unorganized storage containers, but I’m doing much better now!

I used gallon storage bags to organize note cards and photographs. Ladies, gallon storage bags can be a life saver when it comes to organization! They are so inexpensive, and work for pretty much every budget.

Before I knew it, I had the cabinet cleaned out, and my husband moved it to the basement to be refinished. We moved in my new desk (which to be honest, was why I was so eager to clean out the cabinet!) I was able to be very intentional when it came to what I put into the desk, after cleaning out so much clutter. And honestly, I threw away very little. Yep, I’m the mom who cannot throw away anything her children have ever given her…except for a few rocks…my children love to gift me with rocks, and sometimes they have to go, or find a new home in my garden!

I decorated my desk with a primitive flower arrangement, and hung a picture of a barn to the right. Directly overhead hangs a painting of an Amish buggy. Oh, how I love simple and primitive decor! I might be growing quite the collection, but that’s okay. It all brings a smile to my face!

Check out The Organized Mom for lots of organization tips!

It’s Time to Purchase Seeds for Spring

Ah, it’s time to begin thinking about purchasing seeds! I just love this time of year. I still have quite the stash of seeds from last year, but I wanted to go ahead and purchase a few new varieties of our favorite vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers. I struggled with disease and insect infestations at our new homestead last year, and I decided I wanted to try a few hybrid varieties this year to see if we have a better outcome.

I was delighted last week when not one, but three seed catalogs made their way to my mailbox last week! Talk about happy mail! During nap time, I happily looked through them, dreaming of spring. And finally, just a few hours ago, I placed our first seed orders!

I ended up purchasing from two companies: Totally Tomatoes and MIgardener. Ah, I’m so excited! I went with Hybrid varieties from Totally Tomatoes, and Heirloom varieties from MIgardener. I have purchased from MIgardener before, and have never been disappointed. Their seeds are only $2.00 per packet, and several varieties are already out of stock on their website. I would recommend that you check them out soon!

Another seed website that I really like is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They are definitely more expensive than MIgardener, but their seeds are wonderful in my opinion.

Soon I will be sitting at my kitchen table, organizing seeds into my seed container. I use a plastic photo box that I purchased from Hobby Lobby for this purpose, and it works quite well. We might upgrade my seed starting set up this year, too. We are currently using a plastic shelving unit and grow lights in our basement. When my husband purchased it, I asked him to purchase the cheapest thing possible since we were aggressively paying off our house at the time. I believe it was $17.00. It might be time for an upgrade, hooray!

Changing Our Habits Can Change Our Life

I used to believe it was selfish to concentrate becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be. And yes, it sometimes definitely can be. If we want to improve ourselves for our own selfish motives, we might need to take a look at our hearts. But if we want to better ourselves so that we can be better wives and mothers, it is definitely a good thing.

We have the potential to do great things for our families. To be excellent wives and mothers. Of course, not all of our days, hours, and minutes will be “perfect.” We are humans, after all. But we can definitely improve, day by day.

Our days are filled with many tiny moments. Throughout the day, we likely have systems in place, or habits. Our habits may be good, or they may be bad. They may make us better versions of ourselves over time, or worse versions of ourselves over time. While it may seem like only time will tell, it is likely that we can look at our habits today and decide if they are good ones.

It might seem like it is impossible to change our habits, but we can do it, especially if we do it a little at a time. If today, you decided to change 1% of what you do for the better, and then do it again in a couple of more days, before long, you will have made a life changing decision!

About three years ago, I decided to stop drinking soft drinks. I had battled migraines for years, and I truly believed that cutting out the caffeine and aspartame would help me. I was nearly addicted to Diet Sunkist, ha! I cut out one drink at a time, and before long, I had transitioned to drinking only water. It seemed nearly impossible at the time, but by doing it slowly, I was able to succeed.

If you are struggling with something in your life, I would love to encourage you to make one tiny, little change. Once you have that under control, make one more. Before long, you will have changed your life!

My children and husband will benefit from a headache-free, healthy mama and wife. It is not selfish to change for the better. Don’t believe it is someone tells you that.

Homestead Happenings

Cleaning out the garden and a pregnant goat, oh my! Our small homestead has been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures which has been wonderful. Today, I finally decided to get out there and officially rip out most of my garden, which was way overdue. I pulled up tomato plants, marigolds, and peppers! I pulled out weeds, too. Unfortunately, the temperatures have contributing to weeds growing, once again. It is way too early for that! I fed the weeds to our chickens however, and they were very appreciative.

While outside, I added organic fertilizer to my “fall garden.” Things are growing slowly, but at least they are alive. I think my problem is that I have not been fertilizing regularly enough. An Amazon purchase fixed that, and now I have enough fertilizer to last another couple of months.

We attempted to breed one of our lamancha goat does about a month ago, and we have been eagerly watching for signs of pregnancy. I’m so nervous. We have never had baby goats before, and if she’s pregnant, I hope and pray everything goes well. She would be due in April. What a fun spring we have to look forward to!

We call our little homestead “Sweet Grass Farm,” after a couple of local natural landmarks. We don’t have a whole lot going on in December, but I feel blessed to call it my home!

Resources for Moms

Check out the FlyLady Cleaning Method here!

My Favorite Sourdough Bread Recipe

January No Spend Challenge to Help You Save Money

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