All That I Know… All That I Want

I sit quietly at night after the house is still and dimly lit and I exhale after the long fast paced day has gone to night… and I count my blessings… I am so grateful to God and all he has given to me. If measured by man they would consider it few but as I see it I consider my blessings to be wonderful and bountiful. This is all that I know and all that I want. This small space that is my home and call it my own… these tiny humans God has trusted me to grow, teach and nurture… a man that calls me queen and a boss that depends on me to save lives as a nurse when needed and a family whom I was born to. This is all that I want… and I want all that I have. Living in the moment and want what you have … But that is just advice from me to you the things that have satisfied my soul may not satisfy yours..

This Life

I live an extremely busy life. If I didn’t stay organized everything and everyone would fall apart. I work 60 hours a week, have a sewing business, a candle business and I home school my children. How do I do this? It sounds impossible right? I run my life on  written schedules and so does everyone else in the house. I have a daily docket that I keep on me at all times that is for my personal use. My children have a schedule on the fridge for home schedules and one in their binder for school. I have a cleaning schedule that spreads the cleaning, shopping and laundry out over  a five day span so nothing ever gets forgotten and everything stays clean and organized except the kids room and they are well….boys.

I have a budget that I use weekly as well. I plan my meals in 3 day intervals. I plan any outings even down to our bike rides in the park. I schedule time for myself and encourage everyone in the house to do the same. Once a week a sew 3 or 4 outfits that takes  6 hours and make 70 candles in 5 hours. I even schedule and plan my blogging times and subjects. It sounds very constricting but it has brought us freedom because we dont spend time finding things or heavy cleaning.

If you would like my Easy Peasy Daily Life Planner email me @ angelialewis01@gmail.com.live simple

My Simply Mommy’s Clothing Collection Is Starting To Take Form…

I am so excited to share that I am starting a childrens Collection of  Hand made clothing. It is going .. slowly but going. I have about 20 outfits started and multiple collections for Spring/Summer 2017.  Im not going main stream.. just a small business venture of me making clothing. I am too excited given the rate of failure in this industry. But I am too optimistic to give up without a fight.

I love to sew. I always have so why not at least try. I am pretty good at it too.. So follow my journey…

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Welcome to Simply Mommy’s Kitchen

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This is my kitchen, yes kind of small I will admit but I like it like that. As you can see I have been canning… a lot. I have canned so much in the last month not sure I want to do it again for a while.. lol. But on the subject of canning it’s not as hard as it seems. Once you have the recipes, have the items prepared it is pretty simple. Now the quantity to can for your family that is a little tricky. So I use a simple method to calculate what we might consume in a 1 year span. The idea is to use all of our garden supply until the next years come in. Now I by no stretch use everything from our garden I don’t grow everything we need so I buy from the local farmers’ markets in our area so we can support our community. I go through my menus from the previous year. Yes I do meal planning and menu’s it just works better for me. Then I try to can to fit that. I have gotten around to canning around 160 jars of various items.

 

I’m going to be honest, I don’t like canning with a pressure cooker. There I said it I prefer a water bath any day, so I do purposely avoid canning anything that has to be pressure cooked. I do however can items that I end up using a pressure cooker on. I do jams and jelly’s , Pie fillings, salsa’s, Mexican sauces for homemade Mexican dishes, Italian sauces for Italian dishes, green tomatoes for fried green tomatoes, cucumbers with dill and just plain so you can season with what ever you might want, Tomato juice with a twist, I can plain tomato juice as well as a spicy tomato juice , and an Italian with basil, rosemary, and garlic. I do have to say I have a salsa verde recipe that is very amazing. The recipe’s I use are handed down to me by my grandmother and the Latin recipes I use are handed down from my son’s grandmother all of them are very old. They are truly amazing. I do have several of my own.

One canning tip acidic water bath… all others pressure cook. I learned this the hard way. So first thing in canning… Wash vegi’s, wash jars and sterilize, water bath, and your done. Typical water bath is between 15-30 min. .  I use any and all  modern kitchen appliances  food processor, any chopping and juicers,   to make my canning experience as enjoyable and painless as possible. I use canning tongs for the jars and a funnel. I use only… and I do mean only natural products in my canning…  natural preservatives are salt, sugar, vinegar,  garlic, and oils. Now I know what the new canning recommendations are and I in no way agree with the majority of them. Due to the fact that I have been canning for 20 plus years and I still use the old methods and always will you simply must get the temperatures high enough to kill spores and that’s that. I really hate when people use store-bought mixes, preservatives, and most people when they can food you open it and it is tasteless and the textures are lets just say not desirable.. Season as you would if you were cooking the meal… yes you can do that… So enough on canning this time… as the seasonal canning is almost over, but  I will be covering more than jellies and vegis later in my blog. We will talk about canning your soups and other items and how. However  In my next post we will discuss freezing foods. Ok so see yall’ later. So bye now from Simply mommy..

 

 

 

Small living brings large insight..

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“It is so profound and we nearly missed out on all of it…

  I was gardening one day it was a clear, perfect blue sky- sunny day . I paused for a moment and looked at our house. We had a 6 bedroom home with 4 bathrooms. A garage and a basement… It was full of stuff. I would look around and just looking around made me overwhelmed just at the sight of all those things. I could never feel comfort in my own home. It never felt relaxing, clean, or cozy… just cramped.. mainly because all the stuff we owned. Yes the perfect  suburban dream. So why was I not happy? I really did ask myself that.

The days and weeks ticked by after that day and it kept nagging at me, what was so wrong with my life, that I could be this unhappy about this house, this life we had made, the things we owned, our careers, It never became clear to me until some months later, our lives had become unmanageable and stressful trying to keep up the things we owned and trying to get more things. It then occurred to me that this was insane.

So I paused  my life and studied it and  found myself overwhelmed  in an effort to try to understand this crazy pattern of why we are all constantly trying to get what that one has, they are trying to get what we have.. then everyone has a bunch of useless items to them. I mean we really are buying things that we have no use, no idea how to use and when on earth would we ever use that just becuase the neighbor or co worker has it and was talking about it. No I ask a question to you, why is harder to accept and comprehend the thought of simplicity over that jungle mess of trying to out do each other? Well that is where are thinking has gotten as cluttered as our lives.

“You see, the more opportunity we find to walk quietly into our rooms and notice the blessings around us, the more we discover how much we have to offer.” another true statement. What exactly is Minimalism?     minimalism calls out to us with a smaller, quieter, calmer voice.  “Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.” —Richard Holloway.

One of my favorite quotes sums up simplicity for me: The more we remove ourselves from the ever-increasing speed of the consumeristic treadmill we find ourselves on, the more we are drawn to others-centered living.

When you start removing the clutter from our lives and we find that we also start to rid ourselves of other habits, feelings, and thinking that just frankly no longer serves a purpose. We start to break chains of uncertainty free ourselves of habits and fears that bind us as well. Maybe you ate too much for comfort because of stress, maybe you had more than a few glasses of wine to take off the edge, maybe you had to take anti anxiety medication, maybe you had to take depression medication. It can make us anxious, depressed and crazy trying to buy things, keep up with the Jones but freeing yourself from all  and that it is possible you will be freeing yourself of much more.

Final thoughts from Simply Mommy:cabinfever3

We become happier, more content, not stressed about how are we going to buy that or store that, keep up with that, and with the knowledge if you buy that unneeded item it will cause you to possibly need to work overtime there by robbing you of family time and peace.

 We might lose weight ( because you don’t stress eat), be healthier ( you move more, it free’s you and you have more time to go out)I know less stressed (not trying to keep up and more time with family and alone time), less fatigue,( because of less work and cleaning haha) and with Simplicity it brings a few more welcome things to your life, mentally you will start to feel  free, whole, at peace, and comfort in your soul.  So live simple and natural, it brings great freedom.

Beginning your new life as a minimalist.. But where do you begin? Part 2

tree Ok Like I said in a previous post  you don’t just wake up one day and decide or even try to become a minimalist. It is a process, it is emotional, empowering, peaceful, life changing process. But if you are reading this your are either in the process or are flirting with the idea of becoming a minimalist and simplifying your life, freeing yourself… In the first part of this article we went through a couple of rooms, now lets minimize that dining area or great room. 

Dining room: The catch all room, for most normal people and I say that lightly because what is normal may not be for every one the same. This is the room that was traditionally made for dining and possibly you have decorated it with that in mind and furnished it for that purpose, but over the years it has collected many items that well frankly do not or ever have belonged in a dining area. First look around.. do you see items that never belonged there..? For me I had collected art supplies, I had a sewing machine, patterns, crafting, board games, the pet bowls, you name it was there… So lets start there first by removing anything that is not dining room related. Thats right Donate, trash, or sell. You know this routine. Ok also if you are hoarding 5 sets of china, sorry but that is way too much. Do you know someone who doesn’t have a set? If you do this is a great opportunity to give a great gift to someone. Re gift it and it does mean something the fact you held on to it means you admired something about it. What a great thing to share. Now Do you really need a 6 seating arrangement of dining gear? Do you have regular meals in there? With regular I mean at least weekly? If not maybe it is time to rethink the furnishings. Now look around how many trinkets, wall hangings are there? Can you part with any of those? Now if you have went through all these things you should see a new open area, it feels good doesn’t it.

Guest room:

Well in its previous life it was supposed to be a guest room anyway. IF you are like me or most people it has become the home for every homeless object in your home aside from the garage or basement this room will have the most odd assorted items in your home. That old hoodie you don’t know exactly where it came from….maybe it was a get together and someone left it..maybe your husbands long-lost hoodie you havent seen since you bought it 4 years ago.. all those clothing items you don’t know where they came from… hummmm well this is the guest room maybe past guest items? who are you kidding tell the truth when was the last time a guest stayed there? it has been too piled up for anyone to sleep there… hell the dog won’t even lay down in there he is afraid he will never return,,, this is the odd item, catch-all graveyard of things in your home. Ok so start digging the grave yard up and get rid of it… yes Donate, trash, or sell. That’s right go on… get rid of the clutter and free your soul…

Bedroom: Okay by far this will be the most emotional, hard, tearful, room in the house to do. It holds all your memories, you have kept tokens for years and ions just so you could pull it out and sniff it, touch it, embrace it, look at it, re visit it as often as you like. But when cleaning out this room and getting rid of the clutter keep in mind these are objects the true memory is deep inside you and you can pull it out any time you want and you don’t have to store it in your home, it is tucked away in your heart some where neat in a place and it will surface when you need it.. now for the other things that you hold on too that maybe holding you back now it is time to face those things, why are you holding onto pictures of ex’s, letters from an old flame, that T-shirt your first love gave you? Maybe it is time to remove all those feelings, items, and what if’s that are holding you back in some other part of your life now and your future life, you will be shocked what will happen once you have done this, it is a very soul changing life changing event… So now go pour your self a cup of hot tea or a glass of wine which ever you need to finish . Now that your tea or wine is finished..you guessed it Donate, trash, sell. Okay lets give you a few days to get over this and we will get to that garage or shed…. 

Next post/article we will be cleaning out that garage, or out shed.

Beginning your new life as a minimalist.. But where do you begin?

tea living as a minimalist is just not something you just wake up one morning and decide to do. It has been on your mind for a while, maybe you have always had that simplistic view of the world, maybe you didn’t like nic nacks everywhere, or mountains of clothing, or junk in drawer. Or maybe the weight of the stress and bills spilling in everyday and you decided you just didn’t want to keep up with the jones’ anymore. What ever the reason you are here, you are wanting to live a more simplistic life. That doesn’t mean you have to jump up, widdle all your belongings down to less than 50 items, buy a tiny 250 sq feet home and drive around finding a place to park it. No and you don’t have to be a gypsy or a hippie to want this either. There are thousands of people finding that working 70 hours a week is just not living anymore to pay for a bunch of STUFF. You can definitely find your comfort zone. If your comfort zone is 1500 sq feet so be it, living as a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to give up living it just means you are letting go of all that you don’t need anymore or maybe ever needed. Start small. Remember stuff is an addiction.. 

Step 1: The kitchen. Are you there? Okay, look around you, see all those appliances? Juicers? blenders? all those other kitchen gadgets you have never used? Why do you still have them? Right? Okay time to donate or sell. Keeping only items you use at least once a month.. okay big done. Now go into the cabinets.. oh my… yes look!!! What the crap? Why do I need all these bowls? Just so I can have 5 sinks of dirty dishes instead of 1. Okay donate? Trash? your choice. Now look under… yep there.. Pots and pans… REally do you actually cook with all those? if not donate? trash? Oh.. look you have space….Nice… Yes it did took all day. Imagine … think.. yes you feel lighter already don’t you?

Step 2: The living area… Okay.. nic nack heaven? haven for all the floral vomit in the world? See what you have used in the last month, keep that the rest … that’s right.. donate? sell? trash? ok this might only take half a day… but see you feel even lighter now don’t you.?

Step 3: Lets move to the bathroom…. Oh my.. look at all those half containers, almost empty ones… towels how many fricken towels does one actually need? Ok this could take about a couple of hours.. but see… look you feel good don’t you?

Step 4: This step is only for the strong heart.. the faint of heart should not tackle this.. the laundry room… oh my… what is all this.. you are even trying to out do the neighbor on lint as well.. and dust bunnies… ok get rid of all that stuff… do it.. come on you will feel so much better… 

This is a huge process. So next we will be covering bedrooms/guest rooms/great rooms/dining rooms/. My next post we will move on to other rooms and We will itemize a statement for tax purposes with all the donating you have done.