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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    the expense of my family or me I love blogging It delights me to share my thoughts with you and I am honored that you would spend a small part of your day with me I enjoy what I do I write about living simply and it didn t take much time at all to figure out that my new blog was making my life a lot more complicated I had a little girl to take care of and I knew I had to learn how to blog simply When I hear about other women who are struggling with trying to balance blogging with everything else I know what they re going through I wrote this book because I long to help people be successful at blogging without feeling discouraged and overspent I want them to enjoy blogging without feeling like they need to spend so much time on the computer Most blogging advice leaves you overwhelmed that you ll never have enough time to do it right This book is written with awareness that most of us are not full time bloggers Simple Blogging is written for you if You wonder how other people seem to manage a blog but you re struggling to find the time to do it all You want to grow your blog but you re not sure what else you can do You wonder if you ll ever make peace with your email inbox again You just want to hear good blogging advice from a friend Or perhaps you don t have a blog but you ve been reading here and you d like to know what I do behind the scenes This book has 17 chapters with topics such as dealing with email guilt social media is optional how to stop staring at a blank computer screen and time management so you don t stay up until two in the morning You ll learn how to improve your blog to better attract readers and focus your blogging efforts in the most effective ways possible You will get 143 pages of practical help in a pdf document ready for immediate download Application questions at the end of every chapter to help you use what you ve read A bonus chapter with smart insights from 7 well known bloggers the women of Nesting Place The Happiness Project Simple Mom Inspired to Action Owlhaven Made by Rae and Life Your Way I m very excited to tell you the price of this book is only 8 I m hoping that by keeping the price affordable more people will read it Will you help me by telling people about it The book has an affiliate program you can join click here to become an affiliate I m launching the book from a brand new website SimpleBlogging net To peek inside the book you can read the first ten pages for free You can purchase the book right here by clicking on this button So that s my

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/67/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    of the struggles Doug and I faced when we first got married Only seven years ago or is it eight Seven I think Or six When we got married we had very little and it was weird to see our hand me down thrift furnishings mixed with brand new wedding gifts What was good enough for college didn t seem so nice anymore Doug and I didn t like each other s stuff as we tried to combine it all My old couch was older than me but it held my memories of sitting on it while watching Family Ties and the Cosby show feeling sick with chicken pox and making forts with the cushions Doug thought it was too small and it was We got rid of that one and kept his couch which had been in someone s garage before he owned it It was shabby not shabby chic I think we kept it a year before we decided that having no couch at all was better than owning that one it was dreadful Doug s twenty year old washing machine ate a hole in my brand new white sheets the first week The really nice thing we had was a soft new mattress and bedding plus new kitchen stuff that wouldn t fit into our tiny rental kitchen That first year we were married we paid off all our debt We went gung ho about it not stopping to buy a throw pillow or a lamp but I did buy 21 worth of curtains It was a couple of years into our marriage before we added nicer furniture and decorations and we did so a little at a time Anyone can buy a room full of matching furniture all at once down to the matching lamps but I don t think that would have solved anything for us It takes time to develop the lived in character of a home that feels comfortable and suits both people Yes we put up with an ugly couch but that was temporary Paying off debt soon in our marriage had a deep impact and it set the standard for how we make our decisions By waiting we realized something more important we don t really want a house full of furniture after all I m not sure what we want exactly We re still deciding But I could care less about granite countertops The last thing I want new couples to be saddled with are big monthly payments for new cars and furniture Don t limit your options that way especially if your cash is limited from buying a home It s much easier to add extras later if you want them Do you have any stories about things you lived with when you were first getting started that seem funny now 83 Comments Quick Cleaning Tip Baseboards Baseboards Really I know you re thinking Whatever Rachel like I m really going to clean the baseboards any time soon I

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/68/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    reason It s fine to ask if someone will accept less but if you think something is a great deal pay it willingly and don t try to get a further discount Pay with cash Nobody wants a check Be ready to haul it home Borrow a truck if you need to and bring blankets and rope This vintage dresser was a fraction of the price of a new one How to Sell the Clutter It s a great feeling to watch someone take away stuff you don t want in exchange for cash Use these tips to attract buyers Always include a photo Potential buyers will skip your ad if you don t have a photo This post shows you how to make sure your photos look big and clear and as good as possible Be descriptive in your title Say Sage Green Loveseat from Pottery Barn don t just say Couch Preempt questions by providing details in the listing Include measurements and mention any flaws Also be sure to describe your terms such as Pick up only no delivery Price is firm Located near Available evenings and weekends Check similar listings to make sure you don t overprice your item Set your price Items priced low tend to sell faster but you might want to price something a little higher to leave room for bargaining Be safe Try to meet in a public place but if someone must come to your home have someone there with you Delete your ad once it s sold so you won t continue to receive emails I ll admit I ve bought things on Craigslist used them and then sold them again when I no longer needed them sometimes for a profit It s also great for baby gear free stuff and all kinds of other things We ve even rented an apartment for vacation saving money over a hotel What s your best tip for buying and selling used furniture and other items 33 Comments We re Having a We re having a boy My precious girl tries on my clothes creates secret hiding places and arranges my makeup into little stacks I have no idea what I m in for this time Fill me in what good things do I get to look forward to with a boy 96 Comments A Home With Your Favorite Things Photo by Krikit How can you have a home free of clutter with just the things that make you smile Obviously there are a few things that are good to own even if they don t make you happy to look at them the toilet plunger for instance This exercise is more for things that are optional the keepsakes personal belongings and decorative objects As you go through your stuff ask yourself this question What is the very first thing you feel when you look at it Does it make you happy to see it Do you feel indifferent Or does it make you

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/134/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    if that fixes some issues This is in addition to our already dairy free and wheat free diet Somehow having to give up more food is not such a big deal anymore But sometimes during Lane s nap I still eat ice cream Actually yesterday that was my lunch and it was good I finally tried this black bean soup from Salt and Chocolate It was tasty and best of all it was ready in less than fifteen minutes I can t even bake frozen french fries that quickly This weekend I hope to spend some time working on my patio garden with the dove Hope you have a good weekend 4 Comments Live Simply By Staying True To Yourself The following is a guest post by Emily of Remodeling This Life I have written before about Staying True To Yourself At the time that I wrote that post it was about how it can sometimes be a challenge to be who you are in the face of criticism But the concept of being different and willing to be true to yourself extends to so much more in life A willingness to be different by being who I am as an individual has been key to living simply For me it has helped me let go of any inclination to do what others do which could cost me more in terms of money time and sanity One of the hardest yet most rewarding things I have done in my life has been to accept that I can live no one else s life but my own I have to live my life by staying true to my heart my budget my time and my family s needs Once I embraced that it made it easier for me to say no when others wanted me to say yes It made it easier for me to only spend what I have on things that I need or love Having the confidence to live like no one else but me has helped me keep on my path of simplicity and frugality Making the most of what I have instead of extending myself beyond my means makes for a simple life I don t spend time money energy or resources that are beyond me Isn t that what simplicity is all about Staying true to who you are living with what you have and making the most of it Emily blogs at Remodeling This Life about living simply frugally and fabulously all a part of her family s downsizing journey She s a stay at home mom to two who enjoys writing running and all things home and family 16 Comments Spring Clean How to Put the Voom Back in Your Vacuum I used to think all I needed to do for my vacuum was empty the canister I kind of forgot there was a filter too And oh yeah there were some other things needing attention I gave my vacuum a little cleaning

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/133/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    to take care of them as well but the T shirt breaks away from those feelings because it is expendable unloved by her free to go under the hood free to get torn or stained Like some kind of man armor protecting me from having to be overly careful or civilized 3 T shirts that are well worn are softer and more comfortable than most other clothes During the summer I greatly appreciate a thin cool tee Hey it s hot outside Also when worn under a sweater or other clothes a worn smooth tee is very nice against the skin So girls don t blow off the old T shirts because in a small way it could be blowing off your man Okay that s a little dramatic but seriously understanding can only help And understanding your man always helps If you want to work on the T shirt collection do it together and talk about it When we talked I found out that Rachel certainly wanted me to have things that I cared about She didn t want to get rid of things that I was sentimental about and I didn t want to keep the ones that she thought were gross Guys I still have my old T shirts but it s a much smaller collection Have a question Send it to Ask Doug Doug s first job was in a meatpacking plant He ran with the bulls in Pamplona He s read the works of C S Lewis He s manly and he s here to help 72 Comments Display Memorabilia and Paper Souvenirs We used to travel often when travel meant hopping on trains in foreign countries with an overnight bag not juggling car seats and snacks Most of the souvenirs we brought home were bits of papers tucked into envelopes or taped into notebooks drawings ticket stubs and maps For this picture I taped a train schedule postcard and Metro stub inside a frame I like to see reminders of the places we ve been Do you save little bits of paper memorabilia too Maybe movie tickets or note cards What do you do with them 46 Comments The Guide to Imperfect but Clean Laundry If you do an excellent job taking care of your laundry each week this isn t a post for you If all of your clothes are neatly put away you should skip this post You don t need to read it If your goal is simply to have you and your family dressed in clean clothes let s talk strategies 1 Have one laundry basket for clean clothes just one I ve had a load of clean clothes sitting in the laundry basket for four days not even folded Pretty soon my kids will start getting dressed from it when their drawers are finally empty I don t care it s just one basket I put away all the other laundry because I only have that one basket 2

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/69/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    by that collate them all together into one timeline Now we have groups 2 3 cake cutting photos from each camera 2 3 photos of the bouquet toss from each camera etc From those groups she decided how much space to allocate in the album and pared down to fit This continued for an afternoon and by the end she had all the best photos telling the story of her reception from the guests point of view And most importantly there wasn t anything missing The hundreds and hundreds of photos that didn t make the cut well they wouldn t have added anything to the story Junior s first haircut Three photos tops before during and after Progress on the room addition One a day absolute maximum And if all you did on day 23 was put a second coat of the same paint you put on in day 22 No photo Eiffel Tower From a distance up close with you in it panoramic from the top maybe maybe some architectural shots Think about how you would describe or caption the photos if at any point the description becomes and here s another shot of the Eiffel Tower I hate to break it to you but it has ceased to be interesting You can MAKE it interesting with good storytelling if you re actually making a scrapbook but if your screensaver or digital frame is just scrolling through fifteen different views of what is after all scaffolding you may find yourself explaining well you had to be there an awful lot Thanks so much for your advice Sarah I do want to print out some recent pictures to make a baby album for Tom since he just turned one Do you have any photo album plans 61 Comments How to Prep Your Home for the Weekend Photo by sashafatcat When I have time on Fridays I like to take about thirty minutes getting my home put back together after a full week so that we ll enjoy spending time here on the weekend Or if we re going out of town it makes it a nice place to come home to We re not really cleaning this time just sprucing it up visually Make the bed Throw dirty clothes in the laundry basket Wipe spots off the bathroom mirror and faucets Run the dishwasher so there will be a place for dirty dishes Take out the trash Pick up a few things If you have guests staying with you you need clean sheets and towels Snacks never underestimate the importance of snacks What do you do to make your home a nice place to relax on the weekend 66 Comments Essential Tool to Organize Your Digital Photos There is a special tool you need when you start organizing your digital photos It s simple It s free You already have it It s your delete button Oh foo my grandmother would say She keeps every single photo including ones

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/70/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    dessert 16 Fly a kite at the park 17 Cuddle on the couch and reminisce about remember when telling your favorite stories of when you first started dating 18 Go to the botanic gardens and hold hands while you stroll 19 Get a pint of ice cream hang up twinkle lights on the patio and enjoy your ice cream outside together in the evening 20 Go swimming without the kids There are more great ideas in the comments after this post Keep reading Small Notebook is full of practical ideas to simplify your life and home We re minimizing our spending by doing a No Spend Month Find more money saving articles such as How to Reduce Your Budget in the Beginning Hint don t start with cutting back on the groceries Want to read more helpful posts like this one Subscribe Join thousands of other subscribers and start simplifying It s free 73 Comments Good to Own Small Useful After writing about tools that were good to have at home it was clear we needed a list of small useful things too Small things I rely on constantly 1 Tweezers I used to have the cheap kind but they got bent out of shape when I aimed them at my husband Now I have the Tweezermans that last forever 2 Sharpee permanent markers in black and brown The brown markers hide scratches in wood furniture The black markers make the faded edges on black shirt cuffs and collars look new again 3 Pens My favorites are black gel pens It s what I use for drawing including all the stick figures here and there on Small Notebook 4 Scissors In the bathroom in the kitchen in the sewing box in the office 5 Tape Pretty much all of my home decorating projects involve using packaging tape on the back side 6 Super glue Lots of things break around here 7 Safety pins Keep your clothes in place 8 Band aids Band aids are essential no matter if the boo boos are real or not 9 Spare keys Umm yes 10 Cell phone How did I leave the house without one when I was growing up I have no idea What s on your list 26 Comments Off Track Get Reacquainted With Your Finances Again Photo by kevindooley Your finances have a lot in common with your home When you ve been going through a tough time your home shows it Things start to pile up It s so easy to want to avoid it all Everyone knows this feeling I can t deal with this right now It s totally normal in a stressful situation but at some point you do have to take a look at your finances What would be the first thing you would do in your home to clean it up Do you pull everything out of your closet and then rearrange it from top to bottom sorting your clothes by color No you wash

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/132/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    read more subscribe to receive new articles via email That way you won t miss anything But don t worry there won t be any spam cluttering up your inbox I hate that too I actually didn t see the interview on TV but CBS had a video of it online so I got to watch it after all Watching yourself on TV Yikes But I should get used to it because tonight Wednesday I ll be on channel 21 and this time it s live I think it will be at 7 30 p m P S We don t have bikes and at 25 weeks pregnant I don t think Doug is going to let me ride on one Too bad It would have been fun But not down the highway 46 Comments Free Printables Menu Plan Shopping List If you liked the idea yesterday of combining your menu plan and grocery shopping list in one but you don t want to create a spreadsheet here s a simple blank one you can print Simply print it out and you can fill in your own menu plan 5 Day 7 Day 10 Day For a quick explanation of how to menu plan plus a ready 5 day dinner menu and shopping list read A Week s Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping List All in One 19 Comments A Week s Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping List All in One Photo by sporkist I don t mind menu planning It s really a good thing to do because if you already know what s for dinner you re less inclined to pick up something on the way home What s time consuming for me is the shopping list gathering all my recipes and checking the ingredients looking through my pantry to see what I already have and later in the week realizing that someone ate an ingredient I needed for a meal I came across an idea from NannyGoat that was so incredibly smart I almost fell out of my chair What if you organized your menu plan into a spreadsheet that you could also use as your shopping list Brilliant Then you can easily see what you need and what meal it s for Let s try it out Here s my menu plan for one week Day 1 Ranch Chicken Roasted Asparagus and Rice Day 2 Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Day 3 Summer Salad with Garlic Toast Day 4 Family Style Chili makes extra to freeze for later Day 5 Eggs Bacon and Roasted Red Potatoes I only plan five dinners for a week s menu The other two nights are something easy leftovers dining out or a meal from the freezer Most of these meals feed two to four people If you have a small family you can have leftovers for lunch If you have a larger family or hungry teenagers you might want to make extra Each week I include beans eggs or pasta to

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/131/ (2016-02-10)
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