From a young age I was interested in organizing things and I liked my space to be tidy. I grew up with 3 sisters and my room was always the tidiest.
While I didn’t have a hoarder’s amount of belongings, I did have organized clutter. As I got older and collected more and more stuff, it felt like a never ending cycle of decluttering. I would go room by room and get everything neatly organized and within a few weeks or months it was back to disarray.
Making My House A Home
Currently, I live in an older style rental house with terrible floors and wood paneled walls. Everything is outdated, from the floor to the ceiling. I like the layout and the space the house gives my family, but cosmetically, it is lacking. This year I am really working on making my house a home and updating it as much as I can as a renter. I previously blogged about how I re-did my laundry room and bathroom, but now it’s time for the rest of the house.
As I get to the bigger rooms I notice they need a lot more than just a fresh coat of paint. They need the KonMari method. This is a peek into my older son’s bedroom. As you can see, it has turned into a storage room of sorts since he hasn’t been sleeping in there.
The #1 Recommended Method
I noticed a trend on Facebook of people asking for advice on how to declutter and one common answer was among all threads. The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up by Marie Kondo, AKA the KonMari method.
I got my hands on a copy of it within a few days, read it quickly, and couldn’t wait to get started. Her method of decluttering and tidying up takes you category by category instead of room by room.
The KonMari method takes somewhat of a minimalist approach where you keep only things that bring you joy. Even though I had just made over my laundry room and gotten rid of a lot of things, I realized I held onto items that could have gone. As I was reading, I was thinking of all the things that were stored in there that I didn’t actually need or want.
Putting The Method Into Action
While I am following her advice and using a majority of the KonMari method rules, I am not going category by category for everything. I have started in my living/dining room and oldest son’s bedroom with the items that I KNEW I could get rid of with no problems. So far this is working. I am even making some money off of selling all the items that are no longer taking up space in my house.
Okay, technically they are still taking up space, but only temporarily. I have the middle of my living room designated as the place to put all items that will be finding a new home.
As a busy single mom – that just started a new year of homeschool – I don’t have a lot of time to do the entire house at once, but I am slowly getting there. I can’t wait until my house is in order and actually tidy! I already notice a change just from the things I’ve already done – Hello, less dusting!
I’m excited to finish so I can show you guys some before/afters.
What are your tips for decluttering and tidying-up a house?
When your good boy is a great boy and needs a special treat, regular store bought treats just won’t work. So, gather these ingredients and make your favorite pup some delicious homemade dog treats.
These treats contain only 5 ingredients and come together within minutes.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup flax seed
2/3 cup broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the broth and peanut butter, stirring until the mixture forms a ball of dough. If mixture is too dry, add more broth. Roll out the dough on a slightly floured surface, cut into desired shapes. Bake for 10 minutes, turn treats over, and bake an additional 10 minutes.
The best part about these treats is I always have the ingredients on hand. So grab a mixing bowl and your favorite dog shaped cookie cutters and treat your good boy – or girl – to these homemade dog treats.
What I lack in decorating skills, these treats made up for in taste. Rok (our husky) LOVES them.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Additionally, any information contained in this post is not intended as a substitute for a medical professional's advice.
Hashimoto’s and Dietary Changes
This blog seems to be turning into a journal of my health journey. My goal has always been to document it for my own personal reasons, but also to put it out there for anybody else who may be chronic Googlers(see #2) like myself. So, if you are one of those; keep reading…
So You’ve Got Hashimoto’s Disease
I was recently diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s disease. I had a feeling for many years that I had something wrong with my thyroid, but for whatever reason didn’t get the testing done to verify it.
A few weeks ago that changed when I requested lab work from my doctor. My TSH levels were 38 times the normal level.
I was immediately put on a starter dose of synthetic thyroid hormones. I was amazed at how quickly they began to work and how much more energy I had. I actually felt rested after sleeping for a decent amount of time and wasn’t requiring 10+ hours of sleep each night and still feeling exhausted. My need for a nap everyday decreased too.
And then my body adjusted to the medication. I began having a hard time sleeping at night and felt fatigued during the day. My symptoms seemed to have returned as if nothing was ever done in the first place.
And that’s where I am now. I’m pretty sure the dosage will need to be increased, but I haven’t had my labs drawn yet to check the levels.
Researching Alternative Treatments
In the meantime, I started researching the medication and treatment. Call me naive, but I was slightly surprised to find that most people who are put on medication are on it for their entire life.
Y’all, that’s a long time!
I don’t want to rely on medication my entire life so I have been researching alternative treatments. While there is no cure that I have found, I have come across many articles where people were able to get their Hashimoto’s in remission by making lifestyle and dietary changes.
This book, Hashimoto’s Protocol in particular helped me. It has an incredible amount of information to get you started on your own journey.
Lifestyle & Dietary Changes
My lifestyle isn’t the healthiest and I’ve known for a long time I needed to make some changes, but I’ve always felt overwhelmed when trying to make those changes and ultimately giving up.
So, here I am. Changing everything, starting with my diet. Saying “Goodbye!” to some of my favorite foods.
This is the first step into trying to treat this disease without medication.
For the record, I will continue taking the medication, until I have completed all of the steps needed in order to start weaning off to test my levels off of the medication.
Going Gluten Free
I’ve realized that in order to make it manageable and something I can stick with without getting overwhelmed, I need to take it slowly and begin with just 1 meal everyday. While there is a whole list of trigger foods, I am beginning with just one: gluten. I know I won’t see immediate results with this method, but it will help me get used to the new dietary changes over a period of time.
I am beginning with gluten as that is the biggest trigger for Hashimoto’s. For 1 week I will only eat breakfast foods that do not contain gluten. I typically just eat fruit for breakfast, but will sometimes have foods containing gluten like biscuits, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, toast, or cereal.
After a week, I will begin eliminating gluten from snacks and other meals. I figure as time goes on, it will get easier.
Since this is my beginning, I’d love any “been there, done that” advice. What are some of your favorite gluten free breakfast foods?
How To Survive Any Illness: The Sickness Survival Kit
Y’all, I recently went through hell.
Of course I don’t mean that literally. But I felt like my entire body had betrayed me. It started, innocently enough, as a slight fever and a headache. I thought it would be one of those “here today, gone tomorrow” types of illnesses.
Oh boy was I wrong!
I had a non-stop fever for days.
I don’t have time to be sick. I’m a single mom and when I’m sick, my entire life stops.
This recent illness kicked my butt! I was too sick to even go to the doctor. Luckily, I have some family in town and they made sure I didn’t need anything and that the kids had plenty of food. They mostly survived off of Pop-Tarts and cereal amongst other forms of junk food. That’s when I started thinking about the things we should keep on hand when sick. I’m going to call it the Sickness Survival Kit. Here is what I would put in mine:
Pop-Tarts, Cereal, and other “Feed Yourself!” foods
If it weren’t for Pop-Tarts, Lucky Charms, and Doritos, my kids may have starved while I was sick. That’s only a slight exaggeration. They may not be the healthiest foods, but they worked.
Don’t Forget Chicken Nuggets
Kids cannot live off of breakfast/cold foods alone. Even kids get tired of their favorite foods. If they are old enough to cook, then have something hot they can make themselves. Chicken nuggets is a huge step up from cereal for the 7th time today.
Seriously, you will need this to pay the delivery person who comes to bring your kids dinner for the 5th night in a row.
Extra Tylenol / Ibuprofen
During one of the first days I realized I was allergic to the tylenol I had on hand and ended up running out of Ibuprofen. Here I am, days into the sickness, finally feeling well enough for a shower.
When I wasn’t sleeping, I was watching Netflix. I have never binged watched so much TV in my entire life. I watched so much that I ran out of things to watch. It’s good to keep your options open.
Rok, our husky, enjoyed breaking the rules and getting on the bed with me. He watched the chickens while I watched Netflix.
Between my mom and the kids’ grandpa, we didn’t lack anything. They came over, made my kids clean up the mess that was masquerading as my house, and even brought the kids food.
I’m glad to say that I am finally feeling better, though still have a headache. I’m waiting to hear from my doctor to see if the labs they ran showed anything. They said it could be a couple weeks. In the meantime, my kids are enjoying some proper home cooked meals, but would probably rather not be cleaning.
Update July 15th, 2017: Turns out that sickness was pretty bad! I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, one of the most severe tick borne illnesses there is with approximately a 20% mortality rate which drops to 5% if treatment is started within the first few days of illness. Luckily I was put on the exact medication needed and didn’t need to be hospitalized.