Taking Ownership

I think one of the biggest problems in society that we face today is taking ownership for our role in problems we face.  There are instances where we are not at all at fault, but those are few and far between. The majority of the time, we are responsible for the issues we face in some way, shape, or form.

If you take a look at the stories on the so-called “millennials”;  you will see a group of young people who lack ownership.  They are always in need of therapy, a time out, or a day from school.  These are the children who were raised in environments where they never lost.  They were given a trophy for everything even though they may not have won or simply did not deserve it.  When they shared with someone, they were praised.  When they did anything that they should be doing, they were rewarded.  When they did something they should not be doing, we had an excuse as to why they did it.  Many of us laugh at there behavior, but it really is not funny.  My age group is the one who raised these children.  We are directly responsible for some of this behavior.  If you own it, you will see it is not so funny anymore.  Where did we go wrong?  Perhaps it was the fact we wanted life to be fair when it simply is not fair.  In life, things happen.  Behaviors of some kinds are expected and not rewarded.  When we stumble and fall, we must look at the problem and brush off and start again.  We learn lessons as we go.  Our school systems, our parenting styles, our media, and many others have made them feel they have rights they simply do not have.  We have also been quick to call it a disorder and hand them a pill to solve it all.  We blame it on anger, resentment, or whatever we can.   They at some point, must learn to own their problems.  We at some point, must check how we are parenting.

We also see lack of ownership in politics.  I have not seen one politician take ownership for the mess our country is in.  They are always pointing the finger at another group.  I see many Americans upset about the condition our country is in, but yet none of us used the power of the people to demand change.  We must own the fact we have sat around and allowed this to happen. Complaining and arguing about it does not solve it.  It takes work to get things done.

I have saw countless news stories involving murders or crimes where people actually want to look into the psyche of a person who committed the crime.  The list of blame games on social media goes on and on.  Until we decide to take ownership, we will continue to have a whirlwind of problems.

How do we change these problems? How do we handle these issues? We must first evaluate how we are taking ownership in our own lives.

SELF-EVALUATION

It is important we start looking first at our own issues in life and how we tackle them.  In almost any situation, you are to blame for part of it.  Start looking at your situation and deciding how you can change to avoid future problems like the one you are facing.

For instance, my current court case caused me to do some self-evaluation (See my article on filing pro-se for more info).  Here, I had a landlord who did not do as he promised, who lied in court, and tried to sue me for $15,000.  It was not my fault he did these things and it was quite astonishing to find out how manipulating this man truly was.  However, I am to blame in some of this.  I did not bother looking into my landlord.  I did not ask around about how he was as a person. I chose to believe the rosy picture he painted and not think twice about the potential problems my living situation may cause.  I did not bother to drive through the neighborhood at different hours of the day to see what was going on.  Lastly, I stretched my budget to the limit by renting in the first place. When problems arose, I did not have the money to solve them immediately or fight back.  This is a lesson I have learned and it was a very difficult one. However, I now know it is just as important to look into your landlord as it is for your landlord to look into you.  I have learned not to stretch my budget this far.  I have learned not to believe everything that you have been told.  My situation shows how important it is that we self evaluate each and every problem we face and see where we can change.

RAISING CHILDREN

It is our duty as parents to make sure our children learn to take ownership.  We have a school system who has become highly political and oftentimes will even buck the way we have raised our children.  We have given the school system far too much control over our day-to-day child rearing.  We have been too busy with work or other life issues to pay much attention to it.  Schools were put in place to teach, not to raise.  We must fight the added curriculum they want to enforce that does not involve learning, but involves their own political agenda.

We must quit allowing our children to rule over us.  We must start making them abide by the rules.

The other day, I watched a video of a young child running up and down the pathway of a bowling ball game at a entertainment venue.  She was having a blast running up and down the aisle with ball in hand.  The parents were video taping how cute she was.  However, I am certain the people around her who paid money to play their game were not so happy.  They are trying to play while she is in the way.  Although this act was innocent, and she was having fun;  there is a rule being broken.  You are not allowed to run up and down isles no matter how fun it is.

I have also seen countless videos of children enraged and screaming on videos whether it be in the car or at a public event.  The parents are perplexed and asking questions on how to handle the situation.

I have saw children in stores throwing fits while parents are calmly asking them to quiet down. You can tell the parents are highly stressed and worn out by this enraged child.

I see parents who get no sleep because their children are up all night.  Yet, they do nothing to solve the problem.

These same parents are running to the doctor asking what is wrong with their child.  They want to make excuses for their behavior.

Folks, it does not hurt to punish a child.  Matter of fact, it is very important.  Children need structure and it is our responsibility to do it.  It is a form of neglect not to punish your child.  You must be firm and strong and teach your children rules.

There are several times that I have left a fun place because my children refuse to listen. There are times I have had to be firm and warn my children to get in bed or else.  I have had to make my children sit out of the fun because they refuse to obey rules.  However, this taught them a lesson.  They know when they are out of line, they miss out.  Fits and screaming are not tolerated in my home. When it happens, you are punished.  If you do it in public, I leave and I take you home and I go out without you next time.

If one form of punishment does not work, you try another.  Once a child learns that fun is taken away when they act out, they will stop.  Always give your child a second chance to redeem themselves.  Nine times out of ten, their behavior will change.  Praise them for it and show them how fun it can be when they behave.

You can not put emotions into play when bad behavior is exhibited.  You must also teach your children their emotions can not be a reason to misbehave.  It is called emotional regulation.  Emotions are validated.  We all get angry, sad, and upset.  However, we must learn to control and contain those emotions and act civilized.  Not everything in life is fair.  Not all rules we abide by are fair.  However, we do have rules and behavior we must exhibit and we must control our emotions regardless.

One of the biggest beefs I have today is the amount of young children being diagnosed with ADHD.  They are given drugs such as Ritalin and are given an excuse to behave the way they do. The schools are notified, the parents use it as a tool, and they are drugged in the process.  ADHD is a problem, but it is not as big as people claim.

The majority of time, children need behavior modification.  This comes in the form of better parenting skills and teaching children emotional regulation.  Behavior cannot be corrected by a drug.  Do not allow your child to be labeled until all else fails.  This is something they must live with the rest of their lives.  Why would you want them labeled if behavior is the sole issue?

Find a behaviorist that can help you teach a child critical skills.  Focus on how you parent and approach situations.  Do all you can to change them without the drugs.  It takes work, but it is worth it in the end.  There are people with disorders in life, but not as many as we want to claim.  These labels and drugs are being handed out like candy.

We have been given a gift of parenting and we must enjoy and savor every moment of it.  However, we must not allow a child to be in control or lose our sanity in the process.  Parenting can be enjoyable and discipline is a must.

CONCLUSION

It is time each and every one of us start focusing on our own doings and on our own families first.  Like the old saying goes “when you point fingers, three are pointing back at you”.  There are very few times when we are not to blame at all.  Most of the time, when we look at situations, we see we have some things we need to own.  Focus on being a better person, a better parent, and the changes you need to make in your own life. It never hurts to admit when we are wrong.  Matter of fact, it feels good to take ownership.  If we all did these things, the world would be a better place and our children would have a better future.

 

 

 

Filing Pro Se: You can do it!

There are times when some of us are faced with an issue in court that we must resolve. Some of these issues are more complicated than others.  Sometimes we are guilty and others we are completely innocent.  Most of us are faced with the daunting task of hiring an attorney to help represent us.  However, some of us simply cannot afford an attorney.  You can file pro se in any case you are faced with.  There is a wealth of information and books made available thanks to the internet.  If you are willing to put the research and time in, you can file pro se.

My story is a very long and complicated one so,  I will keep it short and sweet.  I had a terrible landlord who made a ton of promises that were never kept.  I signed a two-year lease thinking I would be there forever based on the promises that were made.  The story is so bizarre, I could write a book about it. Within 8 months of staying, we found that signing this lease was the biggest mistake we had ever made.  The landlord at this point knew he had us backed into a corner.  He knew that if we broke the lease, he would have the ability to charge us in court and garnish wages if he won.  He also knew that we were financially strapped as it was and had no room to save and move out.  He was aware that we could only afford our rent and our bills.  Come to find out, court cases were very common with this man.  He is a con and this is how he makes a large majority of his money.  The more we looked into him, the more we found out how he truly was.  If we had only thought of this beforehand it would have saved us a lot of heartache. Things were so bad, the legalities of the issue were no longer concern.  Getting out and never looking back was our top priority.  For him, charging us with everything possible was his.  Needless to say, he was able to go into a court with complete fabrication and try charging us 15,000.00 for past rent and damages.  We realize that it was a mistake on our behalf not to investigate and it was a mistake to go into an agreement that left us with little. However, there is no reason anyone should have to pay this type of price tag for a mistake or poor decision.  Therefore, I have fought this man in court.  This mistake has come with a ton of financial burden for us.  In order to keep up our bills, we must file pro se and fight him ourselves and that is exactly what we have done.

Here are my tips for filing pro se:

  1.  Research your cases like yours.  Google is a useful tool in finding both law and cases that are very similar to your situation. Do not read just one story, read many.  If you can find cases specific to your state, look for those as well. Each state has different rules.  You will find a common theme in all you read.  I read at least 10 cases that sounded like mine to get a feel for what I was up against.
  2. Find law books on the subject.  Do not get suckered in to buying videos or documents.  You can research enough to find them for free.  Find actual books written by lawyers that speak about your specific problem.  There are a multitude of ebooks readily available on places like ibooks, Amazon, and Kindle. NOLO press is highly recommended.  These books have helped tremendously in my situation.  They explain from start to finish how to fight your case and are written by lawyers.  The even go on to list problems that may arise and how to handle them.  This was a twenty-dollar book.  The investment is worth it and it costs far less than an attorney.
  3. Look at the format of your documents.  You will have to file responses and various documents in court to fight your case.  There is a certain format that is required.  Take a look at court documents related to your case on Google images.  This will give you a general picture on how to properly file responses.  From my experience, the court has not been too particular about how I respond as long as I have what is needed on the document such as case number, parties’ names, etc.
  4. Answer every document you get on time. If the judge is ordering you to do something by a certain amount of days, you must do it.  If you are not sure how to respond, use the internet to find out how others have responded to a similar issues. You must listen to this time stamp the judge has given and take it very seriously.  If you do not, your case could be awarded to the opposite party or dismissed.
  5. Ask for extension of time if needed. If you need time extended to figure things out, ask the judge.  I have done this in my case one time.  I was allowed a few extra weeks to figure things out.  I would not recommend doing this more than once.  They do not have to honor your request, but many will the first time around.
  6. Research the court for information and documents A lot of times, you can find the documents you need at the courthouse or on the court’s online website.  Look into the court’s website and take a look at the rules and papers they have available.  Sometimes, they even have paperwork that you can fill out and print easily online.  Check out their rules.  Sometimes they are picky about how they want documents filled out.  For instance, my particular court prefers to have their documents filled out in Times New Roman.  Try to do what the court likes.  You want to be on their good side as best as you can.
  7. Buy a book of stamps and a box of envelopes.   Your appearances in court can be limited to only scheduled appearances such as trials etc.  Your responses to the court can be made through the mail. However, not only must you mail your response to the court, but you must mail it to the opposing party and their attorney.  So, when you respond, everyone must know about it.   You will be using a lot of stamps and envelopes for this reason.  If you have a response that is needed within a couple of days, I recommend driving it directly to the courthouse and handing it to them.  However, if you have time for the mail, you can avoid the hassle of going to the courthouse.
  8. Have faith in yourself You will be told time and time again that you need an attorney. Oftentimes, the judge will even tell you this.  It is much easier with an attorney and if you can afford one, do that.  However, you can do it alone.  It requires research and time, but you can do it.  Do not go broke hiring and attorney.  If an attorney is not in your budget, plan on spending a lot of time and hours into fighting your case.  Read and read some more.  With this knowledge, you will have the basic understanding of what you are getting in to.  You may make some mistakes, but the court will be quick to tell you of those and give you opportunities to respond.  The opposing party will be sending documents in like you are.  Do not let this intimidate you.  You will be given an opportunity to respond almost every time.  You must respond or they will take the opposing party’s word for it.
  9. Do not give up.  Do not give up your fight.  If you feel what you are doing is right, do not stop until the court case ends even if you feel like you may be losing.  Keep plugging away and researching every time something new arises.

CONCLUSION:

My case is not completely over yet.  However, it looks like as long as I keep obeying the orders of the court, I will win this case.  It is in my favor.  My landlord has an attorney and the money to fight me.  However, my research and responses have kept this case going.  My landlord did not think he would be in for this type of fight.  He had no idea that I would not give up and give in.  He thought I would be intimidated by his attorney.  He thought I would throw my hands up and let him win.  You see, he is a con and used to bullying people to get what he wants. He was looking for a paycheck out of me.  I am currently fighting him on perjury as well as he has lied to the court.  I am not asking for any counterclaim or doing anything that would benefit me in this case.  I am simply fighting for the truth. If you do things the right way, respond to the court appropriately, show up to your scheduled appearances, and are honest; you have a fair shake at winning.  Do not give up your fight!

Just Be You

Each of us are created by God differently for a reason and it is time to Just Be You!

I have been on a search for the past year about what to do with this blog site.  I have tried to conform to society’s standards.  I have attempted to refrain. I have deleted posts.  I considered not mentioning my faith in Jesus at all because I may offend some.  Today I realized it is time to just be me!  From this point forward, I talk about what I want when I want to.  I will not try to go by any rule book or schedule.  I will write what I want, when I want to.  After all, I pay for this site and it belongs to me. Why not just be who I am?

You see, we have all been created differently for a reason. Each of us are here to serve a purpose.  All of us are unique in personality. If there was no need for that, we would all be the same. Some of us our lovers, some of us our fighters, and others just observe behind the scenes. Each of us as people play a huge role in our world today.  We need lovers, we need fighters, we need observers…the list goes on and on.  Life on Earth would not function if we were all the same.  It is time we focus on being who we are and doing what we enjoy without worry about what others think. Strive for the things you want in life.  Pray about your future.  Worry less about the world around you. I think the key to true happiness is being satisfied with who you are and the unique way God has created you. It is obvious you can not please the world.

All of us also have a negative side.  We have areas where we need improvement. We must focus on enhancing our good traits and reducing those that are bad.  This does not mean stop being who you are.  It simply means stop the bad habits.  It means enhance the good qualities you have.  It is not a bad thing to be a fighter, but how do you use that trait?  If you are physically knocking people out left and right, then you are fighting the wrong way. However, if you are showing your passion for something by voicing an opinion without name calling, there is nothing wrong with that.

Society needs to learn these things.  A healthy debate is never bad.  An opinion is never bad.  It is how you choose to voice your opinion that is the problem. When you shout and scream, no one listens. Having an open mind and speaking your voice are wonderful gifts we have been given. However, you must listen to opposing views with respect. You must be willing to think outside of your box.  These techniques help make a better you!

I am a person who is passionate about my beliefs, I love art, and I love giving advice and helping others.  I love sharing my opinions on politics, products I have purchased, and ideas that make life easier.  I have a variety of things I want to share.  I am all about sharing my ideas on how to make life simple.  That is why I call myself overwhelmed Holly.  Life is so overwhelming for us all and we need simplicity.  There are times I may offend some, but it is simply my opinion and I am entitled to it. You are also entitled to not agreeing or not reading my posts.  These are the posts you will begin seeing on my page.  I am going to simply be who I am.

For far too long I have worried about what friends or family think, what my church family thinks, or who I may offend.  I am a work in progress and so are you!  Be you!  Make changes you want to make in life and enjoy the fact you were created the way you are for a reason!  Do not change what you do not want to change.  There is nothing wrong with you!  Have a blessed and successful week.

 

 

Adult coloring: my tips

I am very excited the adult coloring craze is back again. I have colored in these types of books since I was 13 years old.  I remember mom buying me the “Designs for Coloring” books and I loved them. As time when it on, they became harder and harder to find.  I had to buy them in art supply stores and specialty book stores.  Even then, a good book was hard to find. Now, you can find them everywhere!  I thought I would offer my tips and tricks to those of you who are either considering the hobby or just getting into it.

Make sure it is right for you

Before even starting, I would make sure the hobby is something you really will enjoy.  I was shocked to find my very crafty daughter does not enjoy these at all.  They are too challenging for her and she becomes stressed trying to stay in the lines.  They say this is very relaxing and therapeutic.  I would agree to some extent.  However, there are some who will not find this to be the case.  I think it is all about finding things you enjoy.  I do suggest trying it if it peaks your interest.

Start off by purchasing one of the cheaper books and set of colored pencils at the grocery store. It should cost you less than ten bucks.  If you enjoy it, then go for the items I suggest on here.

Books to buy: 

There is a variety of books to buy and each of them are different.  What you buy simply depends on your preference for coloring.  My favorite artist is Johanna Basford.  I love her Secret Garden coloring book.  The pages in her book are also nice and thick so you do not have to worry about your coloring bleeding through to the other side.  The more expensive books tend to have a higher quality paper and better designs.  Sift through the books and look at the pages in both the art supply stores and grocery stores.  Before buying, I highly suggest you compare your book of choice to the price it is listed on Amazon.  Most of the books I buy are between 5-10 dollars cheaper on Amazon.  I have my Amazon app handy in the store.  I physically look through the pages first to make sure I will like it.  Then, I check the price in store and compare it to Amazon’s prices.  Most of the time, Amazon is a bit cheaper.  Some of the books listed on Amazon will also allow you a viewing of some of the pages. I would suggest not buying a book on Amazon if you can only see the cover and have not been able to find it in store. The cover can be deceiving and you could end up with a book you do not like.

Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Prismacolor Premier pencils are the best you can buy.  Be sure you are getting the Premier and not just the regular kind.  You want artist pencils.  The good thing about having these pencils is you can also learn to sketch with them as well.  Premier pencils come in both soft and hard leads.  The softer leads are for your actual coloring while the harder leads are for your shading and outlining.  My set had both. I have only seen these pencils in art stores.  The ones you find at the grocery are not the ones you are looking for.  Amazon also sells these.  I have come to find Amazon actually has these pencils at 50-60 percent off what my art store sells them for!  A nice set is around 40 dollars.  They should come in a box like mine above or in a tin.  If you are really into this hobby, I highly suggest getting these pencils. I also suggest getting the artist pencil sharpener and sand paper to go with these.  This will help keep the life of your pencils.  The cheaper sharpeners are not as good as the metal ones.

Gel pens

I just recently started adding gel pens into the mix.  I really like them!  They add some flare to your picture.  I just purchased a cheaper set to start and I have no complaints.  I like getting the metallic ones and use them for a little highlighting. They really give your coloring a boost.  I am going to buy some more soon and will let you know if there is a difference in quality when I do.  For now, I am happy with just a cheaper set of pens.

Other coloring tools:

You have a variety of coloring tools you can use when adult coloring.  I am not a big fan of crayons when coloring. If you decide to use them, I suggest getting the twistable Crayola type crayons.  To me, crayons are just too hard to stay in the lines with.  Crayons are also harder to highlight with because of the wax.  Markers are another one you can use.  I am not a big fan of markers either.  Many times, the markers will bleed through to the other pages. I prefer to stick with solely gel pens and colored pencils.

Videos and blog pages: 

If you want some really cool tips and tricks in coloring, Google videos and pages related to adult coloring.  There are a ton of unique ideas and tricks people have to enhance your coloring experience.

Conclusion:

Adult coloring is one of the cheaper hobbies and a book will last you a while.  How much you spend really depends on how into it you truly are.  If you are going to pick it up on rare occasions, then spending a lot of money is not useful.  If you are like me and do it often, it is nice to have top-notch products that will really make your pictures look good.  I tend to grab a book every time I have an extra few bucks and I have a collection here.  I like having the variety.  There are all kinds of fun things like pencil bags etc. that you can also use to organize your supplies.  I made a wish list on Amazon of some of the things I would like to collect.  That is something you may also enjoy doing.  That way, when you have a few extra dollars, you can order what you like.  Happy Coloring!

 

 

Most simple and easy cake recipe out there: it is safe for egg allergies too!

I have developed a sensitivity to eggs as I have gotten older.  I cannot eat anything containing egg at all.  Now, for those of you who have allergies to egg or a sensitivity to it, you know it is difficult to find good food that does not contain eggs.  With my sweet tooth, it has been hard finding treats that do not have egg.  A friend of mine on Facebook will often share with me egg-less recipes.  It has been heavenly making goodies again that taste just as good, but do not have egg. She recently shared a post with me about an egg-less cake recipe.  Not only is this cake egg-less, but you can make it in a flash!

This recipe is perfect not only for those who have allergies, but for those who want something quick and tasty.  I’m not a good baker or cook.  If you are not either, this is the recipe for you!

Above is the picture of the two ingredients you need to make any of these cakes!  All you need is a can of pop and a box of cake mix.  Pick whatever frosting you would like.

We have tried the cherry and the devil’s food cake mixes.  Both have been delicious.  We typically add vanilla frosting as the cake can be rich.  I have noticed it takes a little longer to bind.  If you do not want your cake crumbly, simply let it sit overnight.  We often will eat a piece after it’s just cooled and it is flaky. After sitting overnight, it is just like any other cake!  My kids love it and no one has noticed it does not have egg.

So, there you have it!  If you are not a baker, if you are allergic to egg, or if you want something quick, this recipe is for you!  Enjoy!

Why good cleaning supplies matter

house-cleaning-stuff

Cleaning supplies are important and using the right ones will make your job easier.  As parents, it seems we have to spend a majority of our time off from work or other duties cleaning.  After 20 years of parenting and five children, I have come to learn what products work best for cleaning the home.  I often use these same products in my cleaning business and my customers are elated with the look and the smell of their house.  I think it is important we invest our time in finding products that clean well, that are effective, and actually enjoyable to use!

method Method:

Method is an excellent product that does not burn the nose hairs when you are cleaning.  Method is safe around children and pets and has a very pleasant smell that is not overwhelming.  There is a wide variety of products to choose from designed for specific areas of your home.  I have tried nearly every Method product with the exception of laundry detergent.  Some of my personal favorites are the multi-purpose cleaners and dish soap. What scent you choose is based upon your preference. I enjoy the Cucumber and the Sea Mineral smell in the dish soap.  I like the Bamboo scented Anti Bac multi-purpose cleaner and the regular multi purpose cleaner in lavender.  Another great product they carry is their “wood for good” line.  This line is created for wood flooring, cabinetry and furniture. It has a heavenly almond smell. Their hand soaps work well and leave your hands feeling clean without drying them out.

The back of their bottles is very handy as they will tell you what each product is best for.  Some products are created specifically for certain surfaces.  Believe me, it is important you buy specific products for certain surfaces or you could ruin them.  Check out the back of the bottle to make sure it will work well with what you have.

Method cleans well with minimal scrubbing.  Your home will smell fresh and clean after using their product.  It is safe around children and pets and does not have the high chemical smells that other products have. Method prides themselves in being one of the safer cleaners out there.

Target carries the largest line of Method products that I have seen yet.  I know Kroger and Meijer here in my town sell them as well.  They just do not have the variety Target does.

I highly recommend checking them out when you shop for cleaning products.  Take of the cap and see what smells you like the best. If you cannot seem to find them, they do have a website available as well.

household-cleaning-productsMrs. Meyer: 

Mrs. Meyer is another excellent cleaning product that requires minimal scrubbing. They are also easy on the nose and safe for children and pets.  They also pride themselves in offering products that are safer than others.  I have come to find that Mrs. Meyer has a stronger scent that will last longer after cleaning the house. I do not care for as many of the smells, but enjoy Lavender, Lemon Verbena, and Geranium.  There are several scents I have not checked out yet. They also carry seasonal scents and come up with new smells often.  I have also tried every cleaning product of theirs and am completely satisfied. I really like that they carry refill bottles.  These refills will last a very long time.  Mrs. Meyer seems to last a lot longer than the Method products. However,  they are not as surface specific as Method is.  They have the basics such as toilet scrubber, multi-purpose cleaner and so on.  I have tried their laundry detergent and fabric and was OK with it, but would not buy it on a regular basis.  I like to have a fresh and clean smell to my clothes and I was not getting that from their product. I have heard that it has less perfumes and is safer,though. It really depends on your preference.  Mrs. Meyer hand soaps are one of my favorites.  The smell is amazing and feels good on your hands.

downloadMagic Eraser: 

I love Magic Erasers and they are truly a wonderful product for many reasons.  If you have something that requires heavy cleaning, the magic eraser will do the trick without breaking your arm scrubbing. They are also heavenly for cleaning marks from walls. They are quite expensive and disintegrate quickly. Therefore, I only use them for stuck on stains and marks on the walls.  They will bust out soap scum as well.  You need to be careful with these on some surfaces.  I used them once on a wood table and it pulled up the stain.  I mostly use these for my sinks, bathtubs, and walls.

Conclusion: 

Cheaper does not always mean better. Many times, products at the dollar store and similar places will have cheap products, but it will need more work out of you and more product to get something clean. The products I have suggested have a reasonable price tag and are worth the money. With the exception of a couple of items; my cleaners are solely Mrs. Meyer, Method, and Magic Erasers.  I like a change of pace here and there, so I often switch up the scents I choose. I have pets and kids and have had no issues with any of these products.  I like finding products that require minimal effort when you clean.  Most of us do not want to spend our time off scrubbing.  These items make cleaning easier and leave your home smelling great.  I have three dogs and there has been several occasions when people have mentioned how great my house smells and how amazed they are that they cannot smell dog.  I hope you try these out and enjoy them as much as I do. Feel free to leave comments about your favorite products or what you think of my suggestions after trying them. Happy Cleaning!!

 

 

 

 

Need a new washer and dryer? I highly recommend the Whirlpool Cabrio

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It seems as though my appliances have been wearing out left and right these days.  Although it is expensive, I enjoy getting new things.  I have enjoyed it so much that I wish I could afford to replace my appliances each year.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  This review is about my new washer and dryer I got in November: the Whirlpool Cabrio.

I have had this washer and dryer for several months now and have no complaints at all.  I absolutely love how large the basin is.  I can do three loads of laundry at once in this washer.  This washer and dryer will easily wash and dry a king sized comforter.  The cycles take about 90 minutes to wash and an additional 90 minutes to dry.  Even though this seems like a long time, you are washing triple the amount you would in a standard size washer.

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I have a family of seven and have lots of laundry and have been through many different types of machines.  This machine, by far, is my favorite.  If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 (low) to 10(high); I would not hesitate to give it a 10.  If you are purchasing a washer and dryer soon, I would definitely look into this set.

The cost for this set is roughly 2200.00 at Lowes.  This is also available at places that rent to own.  This would be the one and only purchase I would recommend from a rent to own company.  Although you are paying triple the price for the machine, you are paying what you would pay at a laundry mat each week in payments.  You can rent to own this for roughly 45 per week and will have it paid off in 24 months.  It also looks good on your credit.  It is always best to buy outright if you can.  If your choices are limited financially, rent to own would be a decent option if you have no other.  I would spend 45 per week at the laundry mat easily for a family of seven.  If you choose this option, always ask for a new set.  Do not let them sucker you into used products as you will pay the same price.

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The care for these machines is fairly easy.  The washer has a setting for cleaning with a product called Afresh.  I do a cleaning cycle of Afresh once per month.  I have a link to Amazon to where you can purchase Afresh if you have trouble finding it in your store.  The Afresh cleans the gunk and the drum very well.  I use a paper towel to wipe out around the drum as well after the cycle of Afresh has ended.  The dryer has a fold over lint trap which traps lint a lot better than other machines.  It also has a large opening so that it is easy to get your hand down there to clean what has fallen down into the dryer.  I typically clean all other areas with a glass cleaner.  My machine has stayed looking brand new with these simple steps.  Do not ever use dryer sheets in these machines.  The dryer sheets form a build- up on the display and it will cause the machine to quit working.  It is a very expensive fix as well.  I keep dryer sheets handy and will just simply rub my clothes with them if they have static as I take them out of the dryer.

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While we are on the subject of washers and dryers, I would never recommend the fancy front loaders that are out these days.  They harbor bacteria and mold and are extremely heavy and hard to move.  My previous machine was a front loader.  I had consistent problems with the seal getting moldy.  Not only that but, there is a trap in the washer that must also be cleaned.  My trap was in the back and I had to move the machine.  It was so heavy that it took two people just to move it to reach the trap.  I had to dismantle part of the washer as well.  Once I got to this trap, the smell and the nasty gunk was atrocious.  After a while, your clothes do not smell as well in these machines too. The constant care and upkeep of these machines is not worth it.   From my experience with these machines, I will ever buy one again.  A friend of mine also purchased a front loader and had the same problem.  If you are in the market for a new machine, avoid the front loaders completely.

Whirlpool has never failed me on any appliance and I tend to gravitate toward their product.  They offer a good quality at a decent price.  I am willing to pay a little extra for things I know will last.  This washer and dryer set is yet another great product made by Whirlpool.

 

 

Do Not Allow Negative Emotions to Consume You

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I am a very emotional person and I tend to dwell on any negative emotions that I may have.  I wear emotions on my sleeve and am easily hurt and disappointed.  These feelings will often consume my day.  I have had a feeling of insignificance for several days now: my children have not been listening, my husband and I have been arguing, and things are piling up. Everything seems to be going wrong that can.  People’s words hurt more than usual.  It seems when things are dumped on me at once, my negative emotions take over.  I am sure many of you can relate.  If you wear emotions on your sleeve like I do, it is time to put the umbrella up and shield yourself from those emotions!  I have a great way of getting in a slump, but also pulling myself out of that slump quickly. It is easy to tell which emotions are negative or positive.  Do not allow negative to control you.  Box up those negative emotions and let some positive out.

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You cannot allow emotions to control who you are or how you react.  In my psychology courses, we talked about behaviorism.  It is one of my favorite practices in psychology and one I firmly believe in.  Your behaviors and your thought processes define who you are.  You must first be willing to change and correct behavior.  This is a practice you can use with your negative emotions.

One way is to replace your negative feelings with positive thoughts.  Look around and see what you are thankful for.  Do you have a home, pets, or kids? Those are things to be thankful for.  Be thankful for the simple things as well.  Imagine life without your simple pleasures such as a stove, a microwave, or running water.  Sit and think about how many other people have it worse than you do.  Reading a story of tragedy really will help put your life in perspective.

Emotion regulation is an important part of life.  It is okay to act appropriately to a situation.  If something is sad and you cry, that is normal.  However, if you cry for days about one thing, that is not okay.  Emotions can cost you many things.  Negative emotions can make a good day go bad, it can cause you to miss an opportunity, it can harm a relationship, and it can cause an argument.  It can cause you many health issues such as:  heart disease, anxiety, and depression.  This is why it is important that you allow emotions to surface but, not to consume you.

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Everyone’s emotions are valid.  When people tell you that you should not be crying over something or you should not be feeling the way you do, it does not help.  We all react to things differently.  You must ask yourself why you are feeling the way you do.  You must know that any feeling you have is fine.  Not everyone has to have the same feelings you do.  You must always be honest with who you are and yourself.  You are responsible for your emotions and you are responsible for changing them.

Find things to help get your mind off your emotions.  Take a walk, read a book, or do anything that you enjoy if you are able.  I enjoy listening to music, reading the Bible, adult coloring books, painting, and writing.  I may start doing these activities in a bad mood but, they do help relieve tension and stress.  You must also try to remove yourself from situations that are causing your negative emotions to trigger.  If it is a friend, take a break from talking for a bit.  If it is your kids, you cannot run but, you can send them to a room or outside to do an activity while you decompress.

Always remember to focus on you.  You cannot control what others are doing or saying.  When you are feeling negative it affects the whole family.  You may say things you do not mean or you may react on things you normally would not react on.  Do not do these things.

Lastly, sometimes going through a negative spell will help us to see things in a whole new perspective.  It will help us to make changes to get rid of the emotion.  We will ponder on what we are doing wrong and what we need to change.  If you were happy all the time, you would never notice the changes you need to make in life.

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Here are some great quotes to live by:

Think before you speak:

T- is it truthful?

H-is it helpful?

I- is it inspiring?

N- is it necessary?

K-is it kind?

Here is another:

Never reply when you are angry.  Never make a promise when you are happy.  Never make a decision when you are sad.

From a Biblical Perspective

As a Christian, the Bible teaches us many things and has a fancy way of helping boost us when we are down.  There are many verses and stories in the Bible that you can read that relate to emotions.  There are often references, sermons, and articles that you can look up online that will help you with Bible study on emotions.  God does not want his people sad.  He has given us scripture to bring us hope.  Here are several verses I read often when I am down.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you future and a hope. 

Isaiah 41:10 (my favorite!)

Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Praying and meditating on the word of God really helps me to feel better when negative emotions take over.

 

References:

Tyrrell, M. (n.d.) How to control your emotions. www.uncommonhelp.com

Whitbourne, S.K. 5 ways to get your unwanted emotions under control. www.psychologytoday.com

It’s time to spring clean! Start by getting rid of the clutter!

 

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The first step in spring cleaning is to declutter your home. I do not just set aside spring for this event. I declutter each season. Reducing the clutter we create is overwhelming when I choose to do it once a year. By doing it each season, my job is easier.
There are many ways you can go about the daunting task of removing clutter from your home. You can start with your closets, drawers, etc. I like using what I call the “room by room method”. When I start with one room, I am not creating a mess throughout the entire house and am limiting it to one area. It is very unlikely you will be able to declutter your entire house in one day. You may not even be able to complete one room in a day. Having the mess confined to one area will keep you from feeling so overwhelmed.
Before beginning, take a look at each room and see what needs to be done. You can make a list if that helps you. Take a look at the time you have for the day and decide if the project is right for your schedule. If you only have a little bit of time, you may want to start simple. Set aside your larger projects when you have a full day to complete them. After you have chosen the room to work in, begin by picking up every part of the house except that room. All you want to do at this time is make the rest of your house presentable: pick up, do your dishes, start a load of laundry etc. Reducing clutter can be an exhaustive task. The last thing you are going to want to do afterward is clean the rest of your house.
Begin by getting motivated. Burn some candles, open the windows, and turn on some music or a show that you like. Anything that gets you moving, you will want to do. Having some fresh smells burning and the sun in my face really helps to motivate me. Music keeps me moving as well. I always like taking a trip to the store before I start cleaning. I will go and purchase some cleaning supplies needed for the room and any organizational items that I need as well. If you have a lot of things lying around in your room, you will want things to put them in. There is a wide variety of organizational items that you can purchase. I like using shelves and tubs to organize my rooms. The under the bed containers are great for storage and it keeps things out-of-the-way. They are also easy to pull out and put back especially if they have wheels on them. Keep a budget in mind if you have one. Go for the simple and cheaper storage items if you need to. If you do not have a limit, you can find some really cute storage units and items to decorate your space. Either way, your goal is to make things look organized and nice along with making it easy to get to. Do not go crazy buying a bunch of items either. Focus on one area at a time. You can go back and get more for each area. If you go too crazy, you will have a bunch of things you have wasted your money on. Believe me, I have done this before.

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Start each room by working from the top to the bottom. Start with upper cabinets, closets, and drawers. Work your way down as much as possible. This way, you are not messing up the bottom area you just cleaned by working at the top. By going top to bottom, everything you dust or clean, goes to the floor last. Grab you a couple of baskets and use them to help organize the room. You will want to use one basket to put things in that belong in another room of the house. The other basket you will use for things you want to get rid of or sell. Have a trash can or bag handy as well to throw away any junk. Items you want to get rid of can be donated or sold but, you will worry about your baskets when you are done with the room.
Start clearing one space at a time. For instance, if you start with drawers, dump them. Go through each item. Toss what you do not use or need in the trash or your “get rid of” bin. Throw junk items away. Anything that belongs in another part of the house will go in your relocation bin. My rule of thumb is to give it away if it has not been used in one year. However, if it is a major purchase such as a sewing machine, I will keep it. Items such as these are costly and come in handy when you need them the most. If you have multiples of large items, reduce it down to one and sell the others. If they are small items such as pens, find a space to put them in and fill up the space and throw out the rest. While your drawers or your space is empty, take the time to wipe it down or vacuum it. Continue each area of your room this way. When you are uncovering spaces you do not normally see, take the time to clean them while you have them in front of you. Do not be surprised as you go if the room looks worse. Items on your floor will be done at the very end of the room. If you notice there is still too much in your room after this process, than you need to revisit what you have. Can you move items elsewhere that has more space? Perhaps you are hanging on to too much. Sometimes you have to decide whether cleanliness and organization is more important or all of your items. I always choose organization over clutter. Think about your rewards of a clean space and an organized house if you are having trouble. Nothing is more overwhelming than a bunch of stuff piled in every corner of your room.
Once you have completed your room, go through your baskets. Put things in the correct rooms that are in your relocation basket. Bag or box what you want to get rid of. Put those items in a garage or area where you can get rid of them later. You will worry about getting rid of them all when you are completely done with your whole house. There are many sites devoted to selling used items. Almost every area has some form of rummage page on Facebook. I use my area’s rummage site to sell most of my things. You can also consider places such as Amvets. They will actually pick up your items for you and take them. They will provide you with a receipt that you can use as a tax deduction.
Once you have uncluttered one room, you will see how much nicer things can look in your home. It will motivate you to want to do the other rooms. Having your home clean and organized helps reduce stress for all. You will enjoy doing your daily and weekly cleaning more as well because you will have a desire to keep that area clean. If you do this every season, it will become easier each time. It will also be faster and will require less time. Your home will continuously stay organized and free of clutter.
Below I have listed some target areas in your home to focus on when reducing clutter:

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Closets:
Go through your closets. Throw out things that no longer fit or items you do not wear. Put up any off-season clothes. I use a large Rubbermaid tub with a lid on it to store my clothing. I put my off-season clothes in the attic. Each season, I will grab what I need out of my tub and put the others in. If you have no space to store off-season clothing, consider renting a small space at a storage unit. This way, you are getting rid of some of the clutter in your home. A small storage space can hold a lot of barely used items such as Christmas trees, decorations, and seasonal clothes. Throw out any old or worn out shoes. Keep one pair for yard work. Save only the shoes that work for the clothing you have. Consider a shoe rack of some sort to put shoes on. While the closet it emptied out, vacuum and clean it up.

Toys:
Throw out all toys that are broken or have missing parts. This can become difficult while the kids are there so, consider clearing out toy rooms when they are not around or have them go somewhere when doing it. Half the time, the kids will not even notice these toys are gone. My kids never notice when I clean out their rooms. They are more excited about the clean room than anything else. Give away or sell toys your kids do not play with. My kids like getting involved with this activity and I often end up with more toys for sale than I expected. I always motivate my kids by telling them a portion of the money made will go to something they like once the items sell. I will give them things such as pool passes, décor for their room, or clothes shopping. We always try using that money for something sensible and not more toys. You will be pleasantly surprised with what they are willing to part with if you offer incentives.
Books:
Keep books that you can refer back to or ones that have meaning. Hang on to children’s books your kids enjoy. Toss out, sell, or donate the rest of the books. Books take up a lot of space and if you are not going to read them again, get rid of them. Find a bookshelf or space that you choose to keep the remaining books. Think of the space you will have versus the book you will never read.
Paperwork:
Go through all of your bills and paperwork each season. If you have kids, you know how hard it is to part with the many projects they make throughout the year. Pick only a few that you love and put them in a memory box for storage. You can also take pics of the projects you are throwing away so you still have the visual. Create a folder on your computer that stores those keepsakes. Although this is very difficult, projects take up a lot of space and a picture to refer back to is just as nice.
Throw out any bills you have that you paid and that are a year old. I save all of my paid bills in a filing cabinet. I have categorized each folder by the name of the company. I hang on to any tax or court documents for several years. A filing cabinet and folders are very important in helping you keep track of all the mail. You can also buy a file box and put your folders in there for a cheaper price. I have my filing cabinet with a box on top of it. I put all of my mail I get each day in my little box and go through it once a week. I pay my bills and file them. Any junk mail is thrown away. This is a good habit to get into to stay organized with your very important documents.
Dated items in areas such as: medicine cabinets/ food cabinets/ fridge:
Many of your spaces have items that are dated. Go through these spaces each season and check the dates. Throw out your expired items. If you are in your pantry and have a ton of unwanted cans and dry foods, you can always reduce the clutter and donate them to a church or local pantry. Another thing you should consider is items in your makeup. Makeup expires and you need to check the dates on them. If there is no date, look it up on the internet and find out the shelf life. Toss out any old makeup. Consider changing your make up brushes each season too or at least once a year. Brushes harbor bacteria. Also look through your cleaning supplies. Cleaning supplies do not work as well after a certain period of time. If you having items lying around you have not used in a while, consider throwing them out and starting anew. Throw out dirty and stained cleaning rags. Use old t-shirts or buy new cleaning towels. Some of my favorite cleaning towels are the flour sack rags. These work great for cleaning and they are white so they do not leave any kind of stain. The fiber also does not go onto the area you are cleaning. Wonder rags are also an awesome product. They are great for cleaning windows, computer screens, cell phones, and dusting. You can wash them a couple of times before having to throw them out as well.
Laundry:
Get rid of all socks that have holes or do not have a match. Save a couple for cleaning. Old socks are great to put on your hand and clean your blinds or dust hard to reach areas. Throw away worn out underwear. Get rid of your stained shirts (tear up a few for cleaning rags).
Invest time in reducing clutter in your home. You will soon see how nice it is to walk in your house and have it clean and organized. There is no point in doing a spring cleaning if you have not removed clutter from your home first. My future blog will discuss spring cleaning the house.
Below I have listed some of the products I use for clutter reduction in my home. I encourage you to try some of these items out. If you click any of the links, it will take you directly to the item for purchasing. By doing this, I also will get credit for the sale.

 

*pictures were taken from:

worldartsme.com

clipartpanda.com