Jan 26, 2015

Cleaning out your closet


This post is written by fashion contributor, Cami!

I’m not one for making “New Year’s Resolutions”.  I am of the belief that if you want to make a change in life, you just need to make the change; don’t wait until January 1 or Monday or next month – do it now.  I think we should look at each new day as a fresh start, and make changes as we deem fit.  I am also not a very sentimental person – I consider myself somewhat of a realist.  I don’t believe in holding onto things because they hold sentimental value or because one day I might wear (fit in, need) something again.

Now, it may be because I am somewhat of a nomad, and I tend to move frequently, but one of the rituals I participate in a few times a year is the cleaning of the closet.  For many people, this time of year lends itself to a cleansing – as part of a fresh start for a new year.  My rule of thumb for cleaning the closet is: if I haven’t worn an item of clothing for the duration of the season it is appropriate for, I get rid of it.

Now, because I tend to buy nice things, and I genuinely like each item of clothing I own, I am hesitant to just donate clothes to charity as a first resort (that might make me a bad person).  If given the opportunity, I would rather see my clothes go to someone I know.  If you know someone who is your same size and isn't much of a shopper, or may be on a limited budget, they are always a good option to offer the clothing.

One of my favorite options for cleaning out the closet is getting a few girlfriends together who all wear the same size, and have a clothing swap.  When I lived in Atlanta, I had 3 or 4 friends who wore my same size, and every few months when one of us would clean our closet, we would get together for dinner or pedicures or some other fun activity, and bring out bag of clothes – the other friends would then be able to go through and pick out anything they wanted – and the leftovers would then be donated.

If you are willing/able to go to a little more work, you can sell your old clothing items.  There are so many great options for listing clothes online, and it is not difficult to ship clothes, so that is a great option if you want to make back a little of the money you spent originally.

I think the key to creating a timeless wardrobe, is buying pieces with classic cuts and patterns – invest some money in those items, take care of them, and they will last a long time.  Then, each season you can “fill in” your wardrobe with less expensive items (I don’t like the word “cheap” – it connotes bad quality) that you don’t have to feel bad about wearing once or twice before giving or throwing away.  I have just finished a purge of my closet, I have a few items ready to go to new homes.   One of the best perks of periodically cleaning out your closet – you free up closet space (a hot commodity) for new duds!


Jan 23, 2015

Stay Sane Cleaning Series Step 4: "Room Rescues"

cleaning rooms_room rescue_set timer

This one comes straight from Fly Lady.  She is a genius I tell you.  I love the idea of rescuing a room everyday.  I choose a different room everyday.  Currently I follow this routine:

Monday-Living Room/Family Room (yes I do 2 rooms)
Wednesday-Master bedroom
Thursday-Hannelore's bedroom/Playroom (yes I do 2 rooms)
Friday- Office
Saturday - Laundry room
Sunday- My day off!

A routine is good to follow so you can stay consistent on all your rooms in the house. That way you rescue each room once a week.

This step is a simple step in the cleaning series, but I can break down what I do for you.

Step 1:
Step 1_set timer

You got it!  Set your timer for 5 minutes.  This will make sure that you do not overwhelm yourself.  You will make progress, but in baby steps.

That is the only step I am going to give you because the rest is completely up to you.  All you need to do is rescue the room for 5 minutes.  Which means clean it up quickly.

This is not deep cleaning.  If the room is really clean then I will usually sweep and/or mop.  I try and have my rooms pretty clean each night during the evening tidy up.  So on these tidy days I like to sweep/mop.  (I have 90% hard wood in my house so that is what the rooms need most of the time)

However, if the room needs tidying then that is what I do to rescue it.  I rescue it in anyway I feel the rooms needs.  It changes every week.

This step has changed my life.  You might think I am being dramatic when I say that, but it has.  No room in the house will go too long without it being "loved" by me.  This can help me have peace of mind many weeks.

cleaning_set timer_room rescue_cleaning rooms
Don't forget this important step

Don't miss out on the other steps in this series!

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Jan 22, 2015

How does getting more sleep affect your happiness?

One of my goals for January is to go to bed earlier.  I made this a goal because I am the type of person that will keep going even if it is not healthy for me.  I actually have to set a timer to tell myself to go to bed.  Sad, but true. 

I have said this before, but I work a full time job, I am a full time mom, and I write on this blog. Those are my every day duties.  I also have church duties, community duties, and other family duties that come up as needed.  

Life is so busy for me that I sometimes forget to slow down and take care of myself.  That is why I decided to make going to bed one of my goals.  Like I said in the post about my quest for more happiness, I am focusing on positive energy this year.  It is hard to be positive if you are exhausted all the time.  

I am happy and proud to say that I have been going to bed earlier.  I have been getting at least 7 hours of sleep.  The only problem is that I am so exhausted from being so sick these last 2 weeks that I am not reaping the full benefits.  At least not YET.  That time will come.

Even if getting more sleep is not one of your goals this month still try and get at least 7 hours of sleep.  If you want to truly fight fatigue then you need to do this.  Try it for a week and notice the difference in your happiness and in your life in general.

Side note: I am still taking entries in this month's giveaway, The Happiness Project.  Check out the first post this month about what the requirements are.  I want us all to be a little more happy this year. You all inspire me and I am grateful for the entries that have already came in.

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Jan 21, 2015

52 Weeks to Fortify your Family

Disclaimer: This post is about my faith.  If that makes you uncomfortable then please stop reading.  It is not my intention to make my readers feel awkward in any way.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am very proud of that part of me and I love the church with all my heart.  

This world can be a scary place.  Turn on the news and you can see why I say this.  I only have one small child and luckily I can protect her from a lot of the stuff this world has to offer, which most times is not good.  

When I heard about "52 Weeks to Fortify your Family" I wanted to get my hands on it.  If I can help my family navigate this crazy world we live in then I wanted to wanted to be part of it.  When I had the opportunity to review this book I was excited.

I believe the best way to fortify yourself and your family is through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I also believe that there needs to be a place on earth that your family feels safe.  It needs to be in other words "heaven on earth".  I want that to be my home for me and my family.

This book provided and still provides this for my family.  It only takes 5 minutes each day, but it has made a WORLD of difference in my family and my home in general.  If you want to to notice a difference and fortify your family then read this review and pick up a copy for yourself.

I will answer some commonly asked questions when I have talked about the book to others to help you get a better idea of what the book is and what it is about.

52 Weeks to Fortify your Family 
5-Minute Messages
By: Nicole Carpenter

1.  What is the book about?

The book is full of 5 minute daily inspiration to help your family be strengthened in a crumbling world.  The book focuses on different topics each week.  You can choose to go in order or you can choose what your family needs that week.  There are also 7 weeks that go along with different holidays.  So I have planed to do those weeks on the week of the corresponding holiday.

2.  What's my favorite part of the book and why?

I would say my favorite part is technically not a "part".  I like the fact that it can be customized to what my family needs on a certain week.  I also love how it is packed information especially scripture  (Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants) and questions to go with the scriptures to get me to think a little more about what I am reading.

3.  What 3 things did I like about the book?

     1.  I like the categories that I can choose from.
     2.  I like that it is simple, but packed with information and inspiration to help you get through the             day.
     3.  I also like that each week has a supporting conference address.  Conference talks are always on           my list to read, but this has helped me actually read them because I want to surround myself                and  my family with inspiration surrounding the certain topic I am on that week.

4.  What 3 things do I not like about the book?

This really isn't a reason about the book, but it is about the format of the book.  I have an e-book version and I plan on getting a hard copy because I want to mark up the book and make notes.  I usually like tangible books over e-books anyways.  So I am excited to get my own hard copy.  Other than the format of the book I I love it.

5.  Who would I recommend this book to and why?

Anyone that wants more daily inspiration for themselves and their family.  My daughter doesn't fully understand what is being said, but it makes a difference in my thoughts during the day.  I am a better mom and wife when we start off the day reading the scriptures and turning our thoughts to the Savior. This book does not have to be for a family either it is great for individuals.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book.  I am planning on giving it as gifts to many friends and family members.

You can pick up a copy for yourself at Amazon or at www.fortifyyourfamily.com.  

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Jan 20, 2015

Organization has a direct affect on happiness

I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the title and saying, "Yeah maybe for you, but I do not need to be organized to be happy."  That might be the case, but I can tell you that everyone likes order.  

If your house is more orderly then you might not misplace your keys as much.  You might be able to find your favorite shirt when you are looking for it.  When things are de-cluttered and more organized then everything can function better. 

Jan 19, 2015

Declutter your makeup!

This post is written by beauty/makeup contributor, Danielle.

First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year and Holiday with family and friends. 2015 is going to be an  awesome year and great way to kick it all off is with a little de-cluttering.

Jan 14, 2015

My January 2015 Nails

I wanted to pop on here and let you know that I am still here.  I am still missing you guys very much. I wish I had more time and energy to write.  I have a few blog posts almost ready to post but we have been so sick in our house that I have been trying to get better and get my family better.  

Jan 12, 2015

Bare Essential Hair Products for this Year

This post is written by beauty/hair contributor, Laura!  

Feel free to give her a shoot out in the comments.  She is finished with school this Thursday and her final state exam is the 21st!  Way to go Laura!

Jan 7, 2015

Stay Sane Cleaning Series Step 3: Declutter

I've said it once.  I'll say it again.  Decluttering does the soul some good.  This is part of my quest for more happiness that I started (well restarted at the beginning of the year).  I wrote a post on an easy way to declutter.  I declutter the items on the calendar that I talk about on that post and then I add a bit more to it.  

I declutter about 1 hour a week.  You could split this over the 7 days in the week or put larger time chunks on days that are less busy.  That is what I do.  I split the hour over 4 days, 15 minutes each of those days.  I do not put decluttering on my calendar on days that are typically more busy to begin with.  

Jan 5, 2015

Busy Mom Exercise Routine

This post is written by Melissa, the newest contributor to Shambray.  She will be posting monthly on health and fitness!  Go to the contributors page to read more about her.  She also blogs at http://onthegohealthymoms.blogspot.com/.  

Let's face it, being a MOM requires more time on your kids needs, versus YOU time.

I am here to tell you that YOU can find time for yourself and throw those excuses out the WINDOW!

Here are some tips on how to find time during your day and to create an EXERCISE ROUTINE that will work for you -minus the excuses.

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