Infertility – Letting Go Of The Shame

A trip to the mall.  A stop at the grocery store.  A dinner out.  Simple, every day tasks.

Unless you struggle with infertility.

Then these “simple” activities can turn into painful and challenging events.  And sometimes even make you feel shameful.

I’m not just saying this as someone who has heard a lot about infertility or has friends that have dealt with it.

photo credit: morefertile.com

photo credit: morefertile.com

I’ve been thereReally been there.  I’ve had to say no to invites from friends that were expecting because I just couldn’t be around them.  I’ve had to try to put a smile on my face while listening to someone talk about how they were upset that they found out they got pregnant again without trying.  I’ve had to excuse myself from conversations about how overjoyed someone is to be done having kids.

In addition to the hurt I’ve also felt the shame.  The shame of being different and feeling like I don’t fit in.  The shame of having a body that doesn’t work right.  The shame of not feeling like a true woman.

But there is one more aspect of my struggle with infertility that has made me feel the most shame.  The path I chose to deal with it.

In 2006 I had my first appointment with my endocrinologist.  It led me down a path of a variety of fertility drugs and treatments.  After various attempts and a diagnosis of both male and female factor infertility, my husband and I proceeded with in-vitro fertilization.

We were very blessed that I got pregnant on the first try.  And now I have a beautiful, smart, creative little girl who just turned 5.

But the journey was far from over.  In early 2010 I was first starting to learn about real food and natural health…while in the midst of trying for another child.  I had already been through two failed attempts via IVF.  And was in the middle of a third.

As I learned more and more about real food I became more and more hopeful.  Maybe I could heal my body and restore my fertility without all of the medications and procedures.  Maybe.

photo credit: powerhealths.com

photo credit: powerhealths.com

I went on to do 3 more IVF transfers.  And after a lot of heart-break and physical endurance I now have a wonderful son who is just about to turn 2.

I was overjoyed when I got to this point.  I was opening up and sharing my story in hopes of giving others hope.  But I didn’t expect what came from sharing my story…more shame.

In the world of real food and natural health, saying that you conceived via IVF is kind of like saying you feed your kids fast food and candy bars every day for lunch.  I got some nasty remarks and questions.  How could I promote a natural lifestyle and support “unnatural” fertility treatments at the same time?

I’ve thought and prayed about it a lot.  I’ve felt the shame…and I’ve let go of the shame.

Although I fully support natural means of improving fertility and health,  I also know that this was my path.  I started my journey with infertility before I even knew what real food was.  I’ve also learned that real food doesn’t always work.  It really can help most of the time.  But sometimes no matter how hard you try there are things that you can’t change.

No matter how many raw egg yolks and plates of liver I eat, no matter how much raw milk I drink, no matter how many detox baths I take, no matter how many supplements or vitamins or herbs I take, no matter how much yoga I do or how much sleep I get…my fertility status will not likely change.

I have a condition called polyfollicular ovaries.  And to this day I’ve never heard of any real food remedy for it.  I’ve never found any research that explains what causes this or how to treat it (aside from working around it with IVF).  I don’t know what hormones control it.  The only solution I know of is time…some day when my egg supply diminishes my body will hopefully work normally.  It could be tomorrow.  It could be when I’m 45.

But I still deserve to be a mother.  God created my children and gave them to me.  Not a doctor.  Not a pill.

I don’t know what is going on inside my body.  But I do know that I don’t have to be ashamed.  This is the way God made me.  I didn’t cause this.  I’m not eating the wrong food.  I’m not lacking in effort to give my body the nourishment it needs.  I am fully supportive of natural fertility, health and healing.  I strive each day to keep my own family healthy.

But I also know that sometimes things don’t go the way we would like.  And sometimes we have to let go of our ideal situation.

If you’ve struggled with infertility please don’t be ashamed.  You are still just as complete and worthy as any other woman.  No matter what road you’ve been down know that you are right where you need to be.  Be kind to yourself.  Accept yourself.  Let go of the shame.

This is National Infertility Awareness Week.  Get informed.  Be aware.  Never be ashamed or make anyone else feel ashamed.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Save The Color For the Eggs. Your Kids Will Thank You.

You may not be able to tell by looking out your window, but it is finally spring!  And Easter is only a few days away.

Time for Easter eggs, baskets full of candy, bright colors – signs of new life.  But if life is what you’re concerned with you might want to take a second look at all those colors.

photo credit glogster.com

photo credit glogster.com

Colored food and candy is appealing, especially to small children.  We eat first with our eyes.  So naturally kids will be excited by a basket full of brightly colored treats.

A few jellybeans.  A handful of colored chocolates.  A marshmallow chick.  Innocent fun.  An ok treat here and there.  Right?

Not really.  Artificial coloring is very harmful…for everyone.

Even if you avoid the obvious brightly colored candies you still might be getting more artificial coloring in your diet than you think.  Crackers, macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, chips, cereal, jello, sweetened beverages, yogurt, ice cream, ketchup, fruit skins, meats.  The list goes on and on.  It is even in products such as toothpaste, shampoos and medicine.

A small amount of food dye can have a big impact.  Depending on the color and variety it can cause many kinds of tumors and cancer.  It can also cause damage to a growing child’s brain and lower IQ.

One of the biggest side effects of artificial coloring is hyperactivity and inattentiveness.  Does your child have some ADD/ADHD symptoms?  Are you struggling with behavioral/obedience problems?  Before you try to get a diagnosis start with your family’s diet.

I have experienced this first hand with my daughter.  After trial and error we discovered that she has a very strong reaction to any kind of food coloring.  It makes a huge impact on her behavior.

Do you feel bad taking away these “treats” from your child?  Try to look at the situation differently.  We have adopted a strict no food coloring policy for our kids.  It might be hard to say no to a few gummies or a sucker.  But this is the best “treat” we can give them…being able to feel good and have control over their minds and bodies.

photo credit robinhoodintegrativehealth.com

photo credit robinhoodintegrativehealth.com

My daughter is very smart, creative and funny.  I love allowing her to think clearly and let her true personality shine.  It’s heartbreaking when she can’t do that, when she seems out of control or in a fog.  And by allowing her to consume foods with artificial coloring I am taking away that freedom.  Not much of a treat is it?

The first step in tackling this problem is reading all food labels carefully and checking for harmful substances.  You might be surprised what you find.  Take a look at this list of ingredients.  Can you tell what this is?

“Skim milk, sugar, strawberry puree, whey, contains less than 2% of sodium tripolyphosphate, modified food starch, pasteurized milk and cream, sodium citrate, salt, artificial color, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate as preservatives, carrageenan, citric acid, cheese culture, sodium phosphate, natural flavor, artificial flavor, red 40, carob bean gum, vitamin a palmitate”

These are the ingredients in strawberry cream cheese.  Artificial color and red 40.  No thank you.

In addition to dyes and colors check for sodium benzoate.  It has the same effect on your health.

Once you eliminate foods with artificial coloring and dyes you can move on to making your own goodies.  Use real food to color your food.  Want to make something pink?  Use strawberry juice or jam.  How about green?  Try avocado.  Have fun experimenting with foods like blueberries, beets and carrots to add color to your baked goods.

Or better yet…leave out the color.  Who said mint ice cream should be green?  It’s actually white or yellow (depending on whether or not you add egg yolks).  If you really want colorful food reach for fruits and vegetables.  And leave the treats their true color.  Don’t worry, they’ll still taste great even if they aren’t neon colored.

photo credit thehotsheetblog.com

photo credit thehotsheetblog.com

Check those Easter baskets and your cupboards.  Get rid of anything that contains artificial colors or dyes.  You’re giving your family a wonderful gift and a fresh start by keeping these harmful substances out of their diet.  Save the artificial coloring for the Easter eggs.  Just be sure not to eat them.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

A “Hot” Breakfast For a Cold Morning

It’s January in Michigan.  Which means it’s cold (most of the time).  You wake up and drag yourself out from under a pile of warm blankets.  You shower and dress quickly to avoid getting chilled.

You clutch a big mug of hot coffee or tea to warm your hands while you think about breakfast.  Some of your staples don’t sound so great – smoothies, cold cereal, fresh fruit.  You want something hot and steamy to start the day.

So you reach for…ice cream?  That’s right.  Ice cream for breakfast can really warm you up!  Plus it can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories all day long.

It may sound crazy, but starting your day with a good mix of starch, sugar, salt and saturated fat will help raise your body temperature and metabolism.  As long as you don’t wash it down with a lot of fluid.

Ice cream is just one example of a warming breakfast.  You could also choose things like pancakes with butter and syrup, crackers with cheese, salty fried potatoes or sweet bread with butter and salt.  Any combination of starch, sugar and salt that you enjoy will work.

An important factor to remember is to not drink a big glass of water, tea, coffee or soda with it.  Save your fluids for later in the day.  Drinking too much may overhydrate your body and flush out your vitamins and minerals.  Your cellular fluid and mineral levels will be out of balance.

You’ve kicked off your day with a breakfast that gets your body burning.  Now you can gradually eat lighter and add more fluids as the day goes on.  Try some protein and vegetables for lunch, including at least some starch and salt still.  Then pile on the vegetables for dinner.  Maybe a little fruit for a bedtime snack.

Just keep in mind that if you start to get cold you should grab a small snack that contains starch, sugar and salt.  And if you’re getting really hot add some extra fluids.

Think it sounds crazy to drink less and eat more sweets and salt in the morning?  Give it a try.  See if it gets you warm on a cold winter day.  Try ice cream for breakfast paired with something salty.  Or better yet, salt your ice cream!  Your family won’t mind helping you with the experiment.

Plain vanilla ice cream is always great.  You can eat it as is or add your favorite toppings.  Don’t forget a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt.  It will help bring out the sweetness in the ice cream.

Do you have a hard time getting warm in the winter?  Have you ever tried ice cream or another dessert for breakfast?  Choose your favorite salty sweet combination and see if it helps you get warm.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

3 cups cream (preferably raw)

3 – 5 egg yolks

1 – 2 tsp. organic vanilla

1/2 cup sweetener of choice or combination of sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)

pinch sea salt

Method of Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Adjust sweetener to taste (make it a little overly sweet…the flavor will go down when processed).  Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.  Store in a freezer safe container in freezer.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes before scooping.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Cookies: More Than Just A Christmas Tradition

When I was little I loved to sit in the kitchen while my mom baked.  I could just watch for hours.  She always had something delicious coming out of the oven, and I loved to see the process.

As soon as I could I wanted to join in the fun and start baking myself.  Whether it was rolling pie dough, frosting a cake or adding chocolate chips to the cookies it made me feel like I was helping and connecting with my mother…sharing one of her passions.

This was especially true at Christmas time.  Every year we made traditional Christmas cut out cookies.  Usually mom would make the dough and the kids got to roll, cut and decorate the cookies.

Sometimes all four of us helped.  And sometimes it was just me.  I would take on the challenge of decorating all of the cookies by myself if nobody else wanted to help.  If there was any way I could participate in the baking I would.

Thanks to my mom to this day I have a passion for baking (and writing about food and nutrition).  I am happy to be passing that passion on to my own children.  I am a firm believer in getting your kids in the kitchen from a very young age.  And what easier way to start than by making cookies?

You don’t have to wait until your kids are older to have them help.  My daughter helped me with her first batch of Christmas cookies before she was one!  And she has loved our countless hours together in the kitchen ever since.

Now she is four and is a bit more help.  It is so fun to watch her progress every year in her decorating skills from haphazard sprinkling to careful placement of chocolate chips for eyes on a snowman.

Don’t let gender get in the way of your baking fun, either.  My one year old son already has a passion for baking.  He begs to bake every single day almost as soon as he gets out of bed.  Which is how we ended up making our first batch of Christmas cookies this year just a few days after Thanksgiving.

Making Christmas cookies is a tradition I had with my mom and one that I now have with my kids.  But it’s not just a tradition.  It’s a way for us to spend time together.  It’s a way for them to learn some basic baking skills.  It’s a way for them to feel helpful and needed.  And it’s a way for me to teach them about homemade, real food.

The look and taste of our cookies have changed over the years along with our view on health and nutrition.  No more bleached flour and margarine cookies.  We use real ingredients and make our own frosting.  We’re still working on replacing those lovely sprinkles.  But regardless of the ingredients our tradition stays the same.

Spend some time in the kitchen with your kids this Christmas.  Let them make a mess.  Let them have fun.  Let them be creative.

Maybe you’ll spark a passion in them for baking.  Maybe not.  But you’ll definitely make some lasting memories and have an opportunity to connect with your children.  Making Christmas cookies together is a great Christmas tradition…eating them is a fun one too.

Worried about creating unhealthy habits by baking treats?  Have no fear.  Feed your kids real, nourishing food from the start and they will develop a taste for healthy food.  My son was grain and sugar free until he turned one.  Now at 19 months I can’t even get him to taste a bite of anything we bake.

Even if your kids do enjoy the treats it’s a great opportunity to teach them about moderation and the importance of nourishing foods.

What Christmas traditions do you have?  Do you have a favorite cookie recipe for Christmas?  How do you get your kids in the kitchen and teach them about real food?

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Facing the Holidays

Few of us can escape the holiday season without feeling a bit worried, anxious, or stressed. The demands to perform perfectly and deliver exceptionally can be overwhelming.

What’s interesting is that according to Dr. Stephen Ruppenthal, the top five stress triggers are finances, health, family, weather, and loneliness.  All of these experiences are snowballed into the next  two months as we approach Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.

Whether we realize it or not, stress not only complicates life, but it has a far greater effect on your health as well. Feeling stressed out instantly releases a cascade of hormones throughout the body. One of them being cortisol, which causes you to over eat and store excess energy as fat rather than expend it. Those same hormones also lower your immune response against disease.

For decades, stress management wasn’t part of most health practitioners toolkit because its effects were thought to be mostly psychological.  That’s beginning to change. Recent studies show that even negative emotions (like stress) are a precursor to cardiovascular dysfunction and disease. Are we writing our own prescription for poor health?

 

Stop Stress in its Tracks

When stress is at its peak, it can be difficult to stop and regroup. So what do you do? Lock the front doors and eat turkey in the dark?  Certainly not.

The best way to handle stressful situations is to prepare yourself in advance. There are plenty of resources that talk about ways to reduce stress but you can’t always say “no” to grandma and you can’t escape to meditate in the middle of a holiday dinner either. Perhaps the best way to manage holiday stress is to simply understand the temporary nature of it all.

Below are three practical ways you can pause and try to understand the circumstance – while keeping stress hormones in check.

1. Look Ahead into the Future

When you are overwhelmed  by the day look into the future. Three, six, nine months from now ask yourself will it really matter?

2. Take a Wider View

Are you seeing the entire picture? Try to not have a narrow mind when there is a room full of people with different backgrounds and stories. In a conversation that is polarizing try to understand each other rather than proving points.

3. Change Perspective

Walk into the next two months knowing the real meaning of the holidays. Be thankful for the small pleasures in life.  Celebrate generously by giving more of your time than your money. Appreciate the peace when you find it, even in the small moments.

 

Words of Wisdom

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” ― Thomas Merton

Tomas Merton said it perfectly. Lead with love this holiday season and try to see things from a larger, healthier perspective.

What ways have you found to manage the stressful season ahead? Feel free to share your success stories in keeping your health and relationships at their best this busy time of year by leaving a comment below.

Thankful At Every Age

We are all busy.  We all get stressed, anxious and worn out, especially around the holidays.  There are parties, kids, meals, work, errands, etc.

Add to an already crazy life the onset of colds and flu, homework and school schedules and attempting to keep your holiday festivities full of real, healthy food.  I’m guilty myself of trying to do too much and then feeling overwhelmed.  A negative attitude sets in and life gets even tougher.

This year I want to make our holidays different.  What if instead of trying to take on the world we simply stop and give thanks?

This is a great lesson to teach your children.  We can and should be thankful at every age.

I took a moment recently to sit down with my four-year old daughter to find out what she’s thankful for.  She made her own thankful list (as you can see).  Then I did the same.

It was a great exercise to do together.  And it made me smile to see that our lists were quite similar.  Right down to being thankful for ice cream.

Focusing on what we have instead of what we want or what is going wrong is wonderful at Thanksgiving.  But it shouldn’t stop there.

Try focusing on being thankful when you’re making your Christmas lists or buying presents.  Try focusing on being thankful when the little ones are sick and you’re not sure you can manage one more sleepless night.

photo courtesy of my daughter

Try focusing on being thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY.

It is a great habit that will impact your whole day and have a positive influence on your children and everyone around you.

It doesn’t cost money.  It doesn’t take much time.  It doesn’t involve a change in your diet.  It is not complicated.

But it can help you lead a happier and healthier life.

Take a moment today to think about, talk about or write about what you’re thankful for.  You may be surprised by how blessed you really are and how much joy there is in your life that you’ve been overlooking.

Start with some of the big things like family, friends, a good job.  Then every day start focusing on the little things like a healthy home cooked meal or a refrigerator stocked with farm fresh eggs or a hug and kiss from your spouse and kids.

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of each day.  This holiday season challenge yourself to truly be thankful.  Then teach your children to do the same.  It’s a healthy habit that can be done at any age.

What are some of the little things you’re thankful for?  How do you focus your family’s attention on being thankful instead of always wanting around the holidays and throughout the year?

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Active, Educational Summer Activities For Kids of All Ages

It’s summer. All of the regular activities are done and school is out. So now what?

Here are a five fun activities to keep the kids busy, healthy and learning this summer.

Farmers Market

photo credit: 86805724@N00

1. Farmer’s Market

Taking weekly trips to the local farmer’s market is a great way to get outside, and teach your kids about real food. And letting your kids help pick out fresh produce is also a way to get them to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Eating seasonal, local fare will really give you and your kids a taste of summer – fruits and vegetables at their peak can’t be beat.

There are quite a few farmer’s markets in the area (you can search for one close to you at Local Harvest) and every Tuesday my kids hop in the wagon, and we walk to the Grandville market.

We love our little walk, and we stock up on fresh produce so we can preserve it for the rest of the year. My daughter even likes to help me pick out what we buy and enjoys trying new things.

And visiting the market is also a great way to meet local farmers and learn more about your community.

2. John Ball Zoo

The zoo is a fun place to get fresh air and exercise and learn about animals.

John Ball Zoo is great because it’s small enough that it doesn’t take a whole day to see all of the animals and yet there is still so much to see:

  • you can feed some of the animals and take camel rides
  • there is a zip line and rope course
  • there is a petting zoo and play train
  • and new this year is a funicular

John Ball Zoo is great for a quick outing or an afternoon of picnicking and fun. Memberships are also very affordable so you can enjoy it all year-long.

childrens literature

photo credit: terwilliger911

3. Library

Looking for a rainy day activity? Check out your local library!

The library is a wonderful place to learn and play. There are toys, computers and of course….books. Our local libraries also offer summer reading programs with incentives for the kids to keep reading through the summer. Visiting the library is a great activity for kids of all ages.

And the best part? You get to bring the fun home.

Check out a few (or a lot) of books and keep learning all summer long. Reading with your children is one of the best things you can do for them.

4. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Another great place for learning and never-ending fun is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. It has many hands on activities for a wide range of ages. The GRCM has activities all summer long (view the event list).

The theme for June is Fur, Fins and Feathers.

You can even get a membership to GRCM as well to enjoy it the whole year-long. The museum is even open in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

After church fun. <3 summer!

photo credit: donielle

5. Parks

What’s summer without a trip to the park?

West Michigan has a great selection of parks, so make sure you find one near you. And a walk to the park is a great way to get exercise and soak up some Vitamin D.

It is also a great place to meet with other families for socializing, so pack everyone up and enjoy company and fellowship.

Summer is a great time for learning, fresh foods and lots of fun. Get out (or in!) and enjoy it.

How do you stay active (and learn) during the summer with your kids?

 

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

The Simple Joys in Life

What are you doing to embrace the simple joys in life?

Simple joys



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Kids Rainy Day Activity

Rainy day

Being stuck inside with the rain falling and thunder booming, especially after such overly warm spring weather, can cause even the most well-behaved child to go a little…..beserk. I know my two got so used to being outside for hours everyday, that now with the cooler weather, we struggle to find things to do to fill up the day.

To keep at least a little bit of sanity in the household, I usually pull out my rainy day bag of tricks. Reading some extra books, painting, playdoh, and sometimes if it’s warm enough they’ll ride their bikes in the garage.

Homemade Ring Toss

I found this one via Pinterest and A Little Learning for Two on the last rainy day we had, and what a blessing it was. A few paper plates had been sitting in our cupboard (I bought them when I went to a conference – easy cleanup for Todd!) and I dug out my old paper towel holder.

Putting it together is as simple as cutting circle in the middle of the paper plate and letting the kids color or paint the underside.

And here I thought playing the game was going to be our morning activity. But instead, my kids spent almost an hour coloring their masterpieces.

And not only does this activity fill up time during the day, it’s also a great way for kids to get their creative juices going, their imaginations expanding as they make up their own rules and games, and of course help to teach and re-teach patience as we wait our turn.

One bit of advice though – tell your kids this is a throw away game. I just can’t get my five year old to toss them, and oh how I’ve tried. Most recently I tossed them in a box meant for the garbage and somehow he found them. And was less than thrilled with me.

 

What are your favorite rainy day activities?

 



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Organized Simplicity {book review}

This year I’ve started to set book reading goals for myself. I used to love to spend hours reading, but now with little ones and a website or two to run, I often find myself forgetting about them even when I do have a moment. My year-end goal is to read 50 books, about one per week, a mix of non-fiction mostly.

One of the books that’s been on my to-read list for months now is Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.

I happened to come across this when it was free on Kindle (currently only $2.99 on Kindle – and you can download kindle apps for your PC, iPhone, and iPad) , but it’s a treasure trove of good information.

It’s gonna rock my husbands world when I put it into practice this next month or so. If not for me, we might have a bit of a mini-hoarder thing going on…..

The first few chapters would a good teaching on how our “stuff” claims us as slaves. And I often feel this way as it takes my time to move things, organize them (a.k.a. hide them), clean them. I’m constantly dealing with my stuff when I could be doing something more productive or fun with my time.

She also helps lead you through making a Simple Living Purpose statement that works for your family. So that you can always remember how you defined it, and how you want to live *your* simple life.

It was also a bit convicting when she began to talk about how we use our time. How we should use it wisely (instead of the 28 hours per week/two months of the year TV habit that most Americans have). Guilty as charged.

After reading this book, I dug out my old home management binder, dusted it off and got it updated and running again. This keeps me on task.

Most days.

She also includes a ten-day schedule for clearing the clutter and organizing your home. And I am SO doing this. Except it’s going to take me more than ten days, so I’m stretching it out to a room per week.

My house needs some serious help.

And once I can get over to Ikea the next few weeks for a bit of shelving and organizing gear, I’ll be going room by room, emptying them, cleaning, and then adding in only what that room needs.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

 

{you can also find me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading – or want to read}

 



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.