Friday, August 19, 2016 0 comments

Our New Homeschool Space

Since we moved into this house mid-year last schoolyear, we've been working off the dining room table. It was mainly because I had to worry more about actually getting the work done, rather than thinking (or caring) much about *where* it got done.

While I had the entire summer to think and plan about how to organize things this year, I didn't come up with our new arrangement until the night before we officially started school.

I realized that the only thing this neat table/island thing was doing in my kitchen was collecting a random assortment of things that had no designated space yet.

That certainly wasn't an efficient use of a space that could perfectly fit two workspaces! So I cleared off the miscellaneous things and replaced them with school things that you would keep on your school desk.

Well, I was still planning to hike in our books from the living room until I looked at the overhang at the end of the table space. I measure the height and then checked several microwave-type carts that we have on hand. Sure enough, one was low enough to fit!

So now we have our entire homeschool setup right in our kitchen. I can easily fix a meal while working with them, so it's very convenient.

While I've had much bigger rooms and setups in previous years, I think this scaled-back, cozy setup is my favorite so far.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, August 12, 2016 0 comments

Altering Shirts for a Slimmer Fit

My son is tall and thin - much taller and thinner than most guys his age. And since we shop mostly at thrift stores, a lot of times we find an otherwise-perfect shirt that's a bulkier fit.

Up to this point, it has been a source of frustration for my son. He wants a perfectly-fitted shirt, not one that could fit two of him inside. I totally understand, since I have some of the same problems.

I got the idea to take in the shirts at the sides. We experimented with some shirts that were getting a little short in the sleeves (hence the rolled sleeves).

This one started out like this:

It was so big that I have to admit it looked a bit sloppy. When it was tucked, it made him look like he was wearing his dad's shirt (which is a few sizes bigger).

After taking it in almost 3" on each side, it turned out like this:

Perfect! He even likes it tucked now, so that's a grand success in my book.

I just took it in at the existing side seams, tapering off about halfway down the arm.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 0 comments

Changes to My Bullet Journal

I know I said that I preferred to do my bullet journal loose-leaf, but I decided to try a composition notebook just to see how it would go for me.

It has been a week or two, and I actually like it. For one thing, the pages are bigger, so I can record more details. I modified it just a bit by putting all my list/collection pages in the back (starting at the last page and working forward) and all of my dated pages in the front. When they meet, it's time for a new notebook.

I found this graph-lined composition notebook at Wal-Mart for $1.

To get the most mileage out of my index pages, I divided them in half and listed the lists/collections separate from the dated pages. I left 3 full pages for the index, since there are 200 pages in this book.

My current monthly layout looks like this:

I was away for the first few days of the month, so my habit tracker isn't quite up to date.

This is one of the weekly layouts that I tried and liked:

And I experimented with several daily layouts. This is one that I liked:

(The stickies are from Dollar Tree.)

I've found myself journaling more about my days and thoughts now, so that's a good thing.

There are a few special pages sprinkled in my dated pages. One of these is a weekly "brain dump". My mind goes a hundred miles an hour sometimes, and this is very helpful to get everything out on paper so I can prioritize.

And here is one of my collection pages from the back of my notebook:

I add to this list as I run across quotes that I like. I'll end up using some in my bullet journal, but probably not all of them.

I've been enjoying adding a little color to my journal with pens and washi tape, but I'm no artist. As such, my journal will probably never be a work of art. That's fine, though, since that's not why I'm keeping one.

I hope you enjoy these peeks into my bullet journal, and I hope they inspire you to create your own customized planner that's perfect for you. It makes me feel so much less stressed, knowing that I have everything written down, and I love that I can customize it to my own unique needs.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 0 comments

My Treadmill

So I've been thinking lately about how inactive I am. My mind goes a million miles an hour, but my body just sits there while I think.

I've been working on eating healthier for awhile now, but I knew that wasn't enough. I had to add in some activity. I'm getting close to middle age, and tons of health problems run in my family. (So far, so good. But I want to be a wise steward of my body, too.)

Well, I sat down and tried to think of what might work for me. I hate to be hot and sweaty when it's already nearly 100* outside, so I knew walking outside wasn't going to happen in the summer. But I also knew that I could do it if I were in an air-conditioned building with a fan blowing on me. (Please don't judge me too harshly. My rosacea acts up in extreme heat, and it's just not worth it to me.)

The only solution I could come up with was a treadmill. The problem is that we're not in a place to be dumping money into a treadmill right now, new OR used. I had resigned myself to seeing if we could borrow my parents' treadmill until we found a killer deal on one.

That was Monday. Today we were out running errands when my husband decided to stop in at a tiny thrift store I hadn't been to yet. What did we see as soon as we walked in the door?

Yes, you probably guessed it. This:

I took a quick look at it but couldn't determine if it worked, where it might plug in, etc. Then the sales lady told me that someone had just brought it in (no price yet), and it didn't plug in. Your momentum is what makes it go. (This is good, since electrical parts aren't the cheapest things to replace on these things.)

I asked how much it was, and she paused just a moment.

"Oh, how does $5 sound?"

REALLY?! It took me all of five seconds (if that) to tell her I'd take it.

Bonus: It's not a huge, bulky thing, so it will fit nicely into an unoccupied corner of our bedroom.

God came through again, and even I was taken off-guard by this one! He knows what we need before we even ask, and He provides for us when we allow Him to be in control of our finances. As someone has said, "God shovels it in, and I shovel it out. But God has a bigger shovel."

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 0 comments

Bullet Journal: What's Working for Me This Week

So far, I'm in love with my bullet journal. I think I've already used it more than I've used any planner since I became a stay-at-home mom. The key to this is the fact that I can design it to fit MY needs, which probably aren't the same as anyone else's needs.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few things that are working for me, a few that didn't work, some new finds, and a recent page that I especially love.


1. Loose leaf - I keep wanting to buy a graph paper composition book ($1 at Wal-Mart), but I honestly don't know if I could stand to have my specialty pages in anything but alphabetical order. I may try it sometime, just to see how it works for me ...

2. Washi tape headers - I found this washi tape at Dollar Tree on clearance because it was supposedly Easter-themed. At 10 meters for $0.50, I may just buy more if they have any left the next time I'm there. I especially love that it makes simple headings a little extra-special without taking a lot of time doodling. The dots make it easier for me to form the letters uniformly, too!

Along that same line, I need to tell you that most pens and markers will not write on washi tape. At least not this kind.

The only thing I could find in my house that would write on it was my trusty Sharpie Ultra Fine Point. (Regular fine-point Sharpies just bead up.)

3. Cheap-ish felt tip pens - I dearly love PaperMate Flair felt-tip pens. I looked around and found some off-brand felt-tip pens at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. So far, I'm pleased with them. I've been using them longer than the gel pens lasted, so I think they may work for me.

I got this (2/pack) at Dollar Tree. They have both black and blue inks, but in separate packaging.

I got this (2/pack) at Family Dollar. Yes, it does smell great. You can even faintly smell it for awhile after you've written, if you sniff the paper. (Of course, I don't recommend sniffing the marker for any length of time.)


The only thing that hasn't worked out recently is a set of gel pens that I bought at Dollar Tree. I wasn't surprised because I've never liked gel pens - not even the expensive ones. I got them as an experiment, and I've already handed them over to my kids. I need ink that flows consistently, and gel pens just don't do that for me.


A lady in an online group posted a picture of cute stickies that she found at Dollar Tree recently, and I've been searching for them ever since. While I was out of town recently, I found them and picked up a few of my favorites. I haven't used them just yet, but I'll share when I do.

They're not necessary, but they're fun and add some color and design to a layout with minimal fuss.


I haven't read much since I had kids, but my kids are old enough now that I can read for awhile without them needing me to do things for them. Since it's summer break (from homeschooling), I decided to start reading again.

I used someone else's page as inspiration, and I love how this page turned out! As I read books, I color them in.

I'm feeling more comfortable with where I'm going with all of this, and I'm using pens a lot more. I may trace over this with pens at some point.

Well, that's it for now. I'd love to hear your experiences with bullet journaling, if you've tried it!

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 15, 2016 0 comments

Faith, Family & Friends pillows

I posted last time about the pillows I knit for my sister-in-law. Today I'm sharing the ones I knit for my own living room.

I also made the blue flower pillow at the end, but I haven't made a matching one for the other end yet. I'll try to post about it (with a better picture) when I get the second one finished.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 11, 2016 0 comments

Faith, Hope, Love Pillows

I recently rearranged furniture and started working on making the color schemes of someone else's furniture more palatable to my tastes. (We're currently filling in at a church with a fully-furnished parsonage, so the color schemes came a bit pre-programmed, at least with the upholstered furniture.)

I had seen pillows with words knit into them and really liked them. Most of the patterns weren't free, so I decided to design my own. They aren't difficult to design, if you've done much colorwork at all.

After I finished them, my husband commented on how perfect they would be for his older sister, who is like a second mom to him. They are the names of her daughters, except she didn't get the third daughter. ;)

Well, they were easy enough to make, so these went to his sister. Fortunately, the color scheme works with her living room, too.

posted from Bloggeroid