Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Coming King of Zion

Happy Palm Sunday!



Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zechariah 9:9


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Tips for the Toilet

Talking Toilets... It's disgusting, but sometimes we just have to do it. Gulp. So, you know that gross layer of built-up grime that forms around the toilet seat where the lid screws onto the rim? Even daily cleaning can't seem to do it justice if you have boys in the house. (Yes, my sons, I'm talking about you!)

Here's a quick spring cleaning tip:

Courtesy of Ecohomemagazine.com
 Unscrew your toilet lid and place the entire thing, including plastic screws and washers, into the bathtub. Spray it with Scrubbing Bubbles tub cleaner. Wait five minutes, and rinse with hot water. Dry with an old towel, and VOILA! It will absolutely look like new, and you did NOT have to touch it for more than 10 seconds, tops. (Just don't forget to wipe down the rim well before you reattach it.)

 I tried this last week and it worked so quickly, and my toilets looked so shiny, that I felt the strong urge to add "Remove toilet seat and spray down" to my Cleaning Day task list. Well....we'll see. :) But when you need to DEEP clean the toilet, it just doesn't get easier and gross-less than this: Remove, Spray, Rinse!

And here's a bonus fun tip for those who have little bottoms in the house: We have simply NEVER found a better potty-training product that Dr. Merry's Potty Pal. The training seat is built INTO the adult seat, so there is no nasty potty chair to dump, no seat to remove and clean (every time you have to go...ugh!) It's always there and can stay on your toilet as long as you have little ones. It's even perfect for grandma's house! Now, if only potty training itself were so simple...

What are your tips and tricks for making the bathroom shine? Leave a comment and let me know!
Now put on a pair of gloves and GET TO WORK!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Freezer-Friendly Freebie

Malia Russell of Homemaking 911  is offering a WONDERFUL resource today: a free e-cookbook of make-ahead freezer meals, specifically for the crockpot.

Photo courtesy of Hub Images
Malia's e-book, titled From the Freezer to the Slow Cooker, is chock full of freezer-friendly crock-pot recipes and wonderful tips on organizing and preparing for a freezer-cooking day, from shopping, to setting up your kitchen the night before.

These recipes are wonderful to have ready for your family if you can't be there, for post-partum or post-surgery, or even for church meals or ministry meals to share with others in need. Add in some disposable slow cooker liners, and  hubby, or even your older children, can make dinner (and clean it up!) in a snap on days when you aren't available.

It's a PERFECT help for a Red Day!

Go grab yours now before the offer's gone. And while you're there, sign up for Homemaking 911's e-mail newsletter, with helps, tips, and special offers. You'll be glad you did!


Thanks, Malia!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Envelope Please...

Good morning and HAPPY SPRING, Bootcampers! Tulips, Sunshine, and Basketball...it doesn't get any better than this!

Let's pick the winners for the Spring Clean Fling book giveaway!

There were 55 entries on this blog, and an additional 8 on the Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers Fan Page (which I'm going to accept, because they linked to the giveaway through the fan page, and might have gotten a little confused about where they were supposed to comment. Hey, I'm a nice Drill Sergeant. :)
That makes 63 total entries.

First, for the digital copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers, Random.org says....


That's Stacey (goobler08(at)hotmail.com)!


And for the print copy, Random.org has chosen....


That's Robin M. Harris from the Facebook Fan Page!


Winners, please e-mail me at bootcampforlousyhousekeepers@gmail.com with your information (Robin, your e-mail, and Stacey, your address) so I can send you your copies!

To those who didn't win, remember, use the promo code "IDES" to get 10% off a copy of Bootcamp at Lulu through the end of March.

Happy Reading, Bootcampers!



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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Home Within a Home

Today's spring cleaning goodness comes from guest blogger Chautona of Paradoxology. Thanks for allowing me to pass on your post, Chautona!
(Hop on over here to read the original post.)
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There’s no place like home.  You know, whether humble, you’ve roamed, with or without palaces… there’s no place like it.  No matter where you go, no matter how wonderful it is, there’s always that “aaahhh” feeling when you step back into your own house, kick off your shoes, and collapse in your own little corner of the world.
Imagine how everything in your house feels when it’s where it belongs.  See, we all need a place to “live”.  There’s a reason that “living out of a suitcase” is considered sub-standared to real life in a home.  Within every house, there are lots of residents who have their own homes.  It’s like your house is one big apartment complex and each item in it belongs in its own apartment.  Some things, rarely leave their homes.  You know, a couch, a recliner, the coffee table… they are homebodies and really don’t enjoy getting out.  From time to time, they upgrade to a nicer apartment or downgrade due to budgetary constraints, but most beds, dressers, and dining room tables move in and stay put– sometimes for life!  Other things like the baby’s toys, your shoes, a book etc all take trips from their homes.  Imagine how discouraging it must be for the book to find itself an unwelcome guest in the dresser’s house!
Some things, however, move into the complex and wander the corridors looking for an empty place to live.  A new knick-nack, tool, or even the brush may never be given its own home.  So like transients, they wander the halls hoping to find an empty place to call their own.  Of course, under the couch might not be the ideal place, but they’ll move in if no one helps them find a permanent residence they can call home.
I know, I know.  It’s a silly way to state the obvious, but I’ve been thinking a lot about house ordering in the past week or two.  As I’ve droned on about so much that you’re probably sick of it, I just did my little craft nook in my room recently.  Before that time, I rarely sat down at my machine.  Doing so meant taking it out, leaving it up for days, and then putting it away unsatisfied with what I’d gotten accomplished.  Since I’ve set up that little corner with everything being assigned a home, I’ve made four skorts, 2 pairs of capris, three shirts, a roman shade, made a skirt, and that’s what I can remember at the moment.  It’s so rewarding to skip in there, pull out my cutting table, reach for my scissors that are always in their home on the hook on my pegboard, reach for thread that is where it belongs, grab the seam ripper, tape measure, pencil, or fray check from exactly where I know they’ll be, and have no stress, no fuss, no muss.  It’s fun to sew when everything is readily accessible, in their home, and waiting to be used.
This is true of my children as well.  When we scrub up the living room, clear all surfaces, organize their coloring and drawing materials, put games on the shelves correctly etc… suddenly they want to use those things.  They want to be in here, doing things near us, talking to us, and tension is pretty much unheard of.  However, if the room is cluttered, noisy, or the things they want to use too difficult to access, it won’t happen.  Now that my room is clean and organized, would you like to guess where the favorite hang out is in my house right now?  Would you like to guess who is the fanatic about keeping things clean and kicking them out if they leave a mess?  Yeah.  That’s because I know I won’t want to go in there and sew or make pretty paper things if it’s a nightmare like it was back when it was a catch-all for the rest of the house.
Do yourself and your family a favor.  Give every item in your home a home.  If there is no room for it, either get rid of it or evict something else and move it in.  Whatever you do, give each item in your house a home.  Your possessions will be used instead of abused, you’ll know where they are, and you won’t replace the extension cord fifteen times because you didn’t know where you put them the last time.  If they always belong on a hook at the back of the sink cupboard … you’ll know right where to find them, won’t you?
It’s a simple principle.  It’s one that, for the most part, people use without thinking about it.  However, most people (who are not or have learned to overcome the C in OCD) have a dozen or two things that are homeless in their homes.  If they have too much stuff, it’s usually worse than that.  One thing that’s important, the home has to fit the item.  Just as you wouldn’t put a six foot eight inch man in a house with six foot ceilings, don’t try to stuff six girls’ worth of clothes into one dresser.  Not that I’d know anything about that.  I mean, it may seem logical that a large drawer each for things like socks, undies, and pjs would be sufficient and they could hang the rest in their spacious closet, but the fact is, it’s not enough.  Just thought you oughtta know.
Simple principles, but I’m going to break them down even simpler.
  1. If it walks, is dragged, carried, or in any other way enters your door, it needs a home.
  2. If you don’t have room for it to have a home, it can’t stay or you must evict something to give it a home.  Everyone needs a home.
  3. When your homes are overcrowded, find new ones for things you don’t need anymore.  It’ll give the rest of your things a chance to “breathe” and likely will help them last longer not having to “rub elbows” with other things quite so often.
  4. If your house seems to have a lot of clutter about, either things aren’t staying at home enough, or you’ve missed one of the other three things up there.  Do something about it.
Home-  there’s no place like it.  The song said so and John Howard Payne wouldn’t lie.
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Thanks again, Chautona! Your sentiments are mine when it comes to finding a home for your possessions!
For more wisdom on organizing your life, I HIGHLY recommend Julie Morgenstern's wonderful book, Organizing from the Inside Out, -- mentioned, of course, in my book, Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers. Be inspired!

Don't forget to enter in to the Spring Clean Fling book giveaway for your chance to win one of two copies of Bootcamp!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Patrick's Breastplate


I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.


I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Bootcampers!


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Real Review

Not sure if Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers is for you? Afraid it's "too complicated", too much work, too much planning, and just not worth it?

Here's a real review from the wonderful book blog Just One More Paragraph, who addresses these issues once and for all!

Thanks for your kind words, Tweezle!

If you don't happen to win one of the Spring Clean Fling giveaway copies, head on over to her blog, read this review, and consider buying one for yourself. Your home will thank you for it!

(Don't forget to use the promo code "IDES" when you check out at Lulu, for 10% off your total purchase price, now through the end of March!)

Don't forget to pass on the giveaway info to your friends!
Now get to work!


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Monday, March 15, 2010

SPRING CLEAN FLING!

It's just SIX days until spring, and if you're anything like me, I know you're just itchin' to open those windows wide and shake loose the the winter's yuckiness from your home.

It's SPRING CLEANING time!

To make this therapeutic, if not overwhelming task a little easier for two special Bootcampers, and in honor of reaching almost 3000 visits since my blog began, it's also time for a SPRING CLEAN FLING -- that means I'm giving away one print copy and one digital copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers on this Saturday, the first day of spring!

There are four easy ways to get into the running:

1. Follow this blog, and leave a comment letting me know that you have! (Just click the Follow! button on the left and follow the instructions.)

2. Follow me on Twitter, and leave a separate comment letting me know that you have!

3. Become a fan of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers on Facebook, and leave a separate comment letting me know that you have!

4. Blog about this giveaway on YOUR blog, and leave a separate comment with the link!

You can enter one, two or all four ways, but the more ways you enter, the more chance you have to win -- I'll pick the winners randomly on Saturday!

May the Lousiest Housekeeper Win!! 


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bootcamp Talk!

From the past few weeks...

Lori from Serenity in the Suburbs follows The Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers Blog and had great results with the Jabs Homemade Dishwasher Detergent recipe I wrote about.

Thanks for passing it on, Lori!

Sorry I've been so absent lately; we are focusing on getting back into a good rhythm in our home: worship, work, and school. And my dear husband works from home now and controls the wireless router... so I often have no access during the day. I will try to post as often as I can!
Blessings to one Bootcamper and all!

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March to Savings

Hello Bootcampers!

Shakespeare's Caesar said, "Beware the Ides of March".... but I say beware the idleness of March. It's almost time for spring cleaning, so come along with other Bootcampers and march yourself toward a more orderly home! Need a little help buying the book? Here's a coupon for 10% off your total purchase price when you buy Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers at Lulu.

Put Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers in your cart, and use the promo code "IDES" when you checkout.
Enjoy saving of 10%!

Get the book and get to work!
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