Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Time to Simplify...Again

I'm not sure if it's that after-Christmas "where I am gonna put the new stuff?" feeling or some kind of nesting, but I'm certainly feeling the urge to purge right now. When our home is in order, I just feel so much better, more calm and relaxed, more engaged with my kids rather than focusing on the stuff, and more energetic for accomplishing what needs to be done. Physical clutter greatly contributes to mental clutter for me, so I need to be proactive on this. I made a big list of lots of areas that need a good purge and cleaning. My aim is to do about one item on the list per day and have our home refreshed by the end of January. The list is posted on our fridge so I can cross it off when each area is complete and I'm also noting how many bags or boxes are leaving the house thanks to this effort. Here's my list.

Space to Purge & Clean

DONE - Daughter's room

DONE - Sons' room

Linen cupboards

DONE - Medicines & toiletries

My closet

Husband's closet

Master bathroom

Kids' bathroom

Kitchen upper cabinets

Kitchen lower cabinets

Living room cabinet

Homeschooling shelves

Laundry room

Half bath

Kitchen & living room floors and baseboards

DONE - Christmas decorations

Coat closet


Creative space

DONE Gift wraps


File cabinet

Baby clothes / saved children's clothes

Kitchen counters

Primary email account

Items to sell



Yard & Front Porch

Are you feeling the urge to purge this time of year?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zesty Cheese Dip

I was recently asked to submit a simple recipe that could be made by our daughter for her American Heritage Girls group Christmas party. This was honestly a bit of challenge since I do so much cooking and baking without recipes or with recipes which are too complicated for a 7-year-old to do mostly on her own. The recipe I submitted for the little cookbook for the girls is below, just made up by me. But we did make it today and it is a keeper at our house. And in this season of an overload of sweets, this bit of savory hits the spot.

Zesty Cheese Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/8 to 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, to taste
1 C. finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 C. parmesan or asiago cheese, shredded (optional)

In a bowl, mix cream cheese and spices well. Add cheddar cheese and mix. Transfer to a small serving bowl and chill. Or shape into a ball and roll in shredded parmesan or asiago cheese, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
Serve with sturdy crackers or spread on bagels. Enjoy!