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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Thing Last week s Clear the Clutter challenge was to put away the worn but not dirty yet clothes that pile up next to the bed This is traditionally a struggle for me because I m so tired when I go to bed but this week it was easier to put my clothes away since I took care of the pile first This week s challenge is to sell or give away something one thing that is in the way big or bulky so that by getting rid of that one thing you can clear up a lot of space This does not mean you have to go through all the rooms in your house to find a bunch of stuff to donate or sell We re going for big impact with little effort I m always impressed by how much space I get back when I can finally get rid of something big If you sell it that means someone is paying you to improve your home The motto for this is Remove to improve My job this week is to sell my old TV stand I sold the TV and the speakers long ago so right now the stand is sitting in the garage and we don t need the storage You might have an old couch or chair unused exercise equipment an old appliance or TV baby gear such as a swing or exersaucer If you don t want to go through the hassle of selling some charities will come to your house with a truck to pick up furniture or appliances If your stuff is not in good enough condition to donate to charity put it on the curb with a free sign or find what day the city will do a bulk trash pickup I

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/31/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    The Minimalist Mom s Guide to Baby s First Year ebook by Rachel Jonat Is buying a bunch of baby stuff supposed to make your life easier That seems to be the common advice for new parents but not in this guide I contributed the Foreward for The Minimalist Mom s Guide to Baby s First Year and here is part of what I wrote about it The must have baby lists at the stores and in the catalogs are all written by marketing teams who want to sell you something you don t really need Rachel Jonat wants to give you something that every family needs more time more money and more space Her advice is a welcome relief from promises that the latest and greatest baby gear will keep your baby happy and give you more sleep In our consumer driven society the word minimalist may sound extreme but as Rachel describes it honestly it means conscious consumer There is a lot of freedom in that as well as time and money Congratulations on becoming a new parent It is the most awe inspiring responsibility in the world with a wonderful mix of crazy and serene A shopping list can t fully prepare you for it but the common sense advice in this guide will definitely make it easier One Bite at a Time 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler ebook by Tsh Oxenreider From the book Sometimes it feels like simplifying is actually adding one more thing to that list making it ironically another thing to stress over Oh my word yes If you need to simplify your life but you don t know where to start then start here One Bite at a Time is a rich resource it takes all those ideas you know you should do and you ve brainstormed about and it gives you a blueprint to actually make them part of your life My ebook Simple Blogging Less Computer Time Better Blogging If you blog in your spare time like me this book will show you how to make the most effective use of your time so you can grow your blog but still find balance It will help you avoid blogging burnout and let the meaning and purpose in your blog remain This post contains affiliate links I ve added some great books to your reading list I hope you find them as helpful as I do 46 Comments Clear the Clutter The Pile of Clothes in the Bedroom If you want to make some real changes in your home every Monday we re going to take action on a trouble spot It won t be hard but it will make a big impact Are you with us Are you ready to make some changes I sure am The place we re going to start is the pile of clothes in the bedroom the one that s beside your bed or on your chair Why start there Because I know you

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/32/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    buy the things we needed Then I realized thousands of people in my neighborhood have the same idea too I don t even like to shop at after Christmas sales so I don t know why I d want to struggle through the last minute crowds No Risk I ve never had to live through a real emergency so the risk doesn t seem as real I guess most people don t perceive a risk but let s prepare anyway Supplies I ve found a helpful resource for emergency preparedness I looked through the list of recommended supplies and it had good ideas Fortunately I already had some things on the list so I just needed to find and organize them It could be easy to get overwhelmed by all the suggestions but doing a few is better than none at all So let s just start with the basics bottled water food first aid prescriptions blankets useful tools like a can opener flash light and matches gas in your car Our gas stations ran out of gas during Hurricane Rita even though our area wasn t hit by the storm With so many oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico a hurricane could easily disrupt the supply of gas What do you think Does this seem hard or worth it Does seeing news events make you want to be more prepared Do you have ideas for being better prepared 17 Comments Poll Last Minute Guests You just found out guests are coming over in 5 minutes Are you prepared Do you A Feel confident that your home is presentable Know that you can open the door with a smile and even offer your guests a snack B Look around hmm it looks pretty good Rearrange your piles to be a little neater maybe check the bathroom and the kitchen C No worries your guests came to see you not the house You prefer to keep it real with a few dirty dishes in the sink D What do last minute guests expect They should just be happy you re not dressed in your bathrobe E Hurry Five minutes is just enough time for a frantic stash and dash Run around tossing all the papers clothes and clutter into any available bags Throw them into the closet or spare room and shut the door F As your guests walk in the door boldly declare what a productive morning you ve had since you decided to clean out all of your closets today G Well you certainly didn t invite them Hide and hope they go away Which answer do you relate to the most Vote 14 Comments Is Your Bag Too Prepared Photo by Valerie Reneé This month we re focusing on ways to be more prepared and organized But I have to ask is your bag too prepared Do your friends tease you for having a bag that looks like luggage Does it weigh so much your chiropractor is

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/170/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    save so I m glad we talked about it We should also plan where we could meet like Karen suggested This reminds me that laying out clothes is not simply a good habit at night but it would also be helpful for emergencies I d want to find my shoes easily and not trip over anything Ok what am I missing What would you take with you 27 Comments What Makes a Good Morning Photo by visualpanic As you start your day don t forget to Sit still and be quiet knowing that it will be night before it is this quiet again Show kindness to your loved ones since they will face hard challenges today Smile at yourself in the mirror when you brush your teeth Look outside and be thankful for this new day Listen to inspiring music and sing along loudly if you get the chance Remember what is most important because a thousand distractions will bid for your attention today In the quiet of the morning this day offers great potential Do you face it with dread or hope Maybe you have so much confidence a chorus of backup singers could be singing your theme song as you walk strut down the street Maybe you ll be happy to just make it through the day How do you decide if your day is off to a good start 25 Comments Good Night for a Good Morning Photo by ellievanhoutte How do you wrap up your day With a calm routine to quiet your thoughts and prepare for tomorrow Or a flurry of just one more thing before you finally quit and fall into bed I love staying up late the quiet the lack of interruptions the feeling that I get a couple of extra hours added

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/169/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    and protect hair from rough treatment Let me show you how I style my natural wavy hair Styling Products It takes a lot of styling product to achieve a natural look I use mousse and pile it on You want to try to boost and enhance the curl While I like Aveda s Be Curly enhancing cream I actually prefer using a less expensive product such as Herbal Essences mousse It doesn t make much difference and if the product is expensive then I tend to skimp and use less and my hair doesn t look as good Use a lot and scrunch it in while your hair is wet You have to use a lot of product if you want your hair to look as good after lunch as it does in the morning For smoothing my hair Frédéric Fekkai s glossing cream is nice for the rare times when I blow dry it straight Cleansers Conditioners When it comes to shampoos and conditioners I think I ve tried everything While the Curly Girl book advises to only use conditioner and never shampoo that s a bit extreme for wavy hair I use the gentlest cleanser possible based on what my hair needs that day Sometimes it just needs a little conditioner on the ends and also rubbing it on your scalp like you would do with shampoo I mostly use sulfate free gentle shampoos such as Jason Biotin Shampoo I also like Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo which is even more gentle and made mostly from aloe vera that s what I use on my kids Once in a while I use a regular shampoo such as Dove Volume Boost Shampoo if my hair is looking limp and it seems to have a lot of build up I even tried the no poo method for almost a year which involves using baking soda instead of shampoo and diluted apple cider vinegar for a clarifying rinse That seemed to be better suited for shorter or straight hair not long wavy hair It made my hair heavy and I had to brush it often to keep it looking clean I switched back to a regular shampoo method when I grew tired of keeping my hair straight all the time For conditioners look for moisturizing formulas such as Jason Biotin Conditioner Avoid conditioners and products with silicones which coat your hair to give it that slick feeling in the shower but don t give moisture to your hair at all so your hair ends up dry and brittle Look at the ingredients to avoid words that end in cone Hard Water I was amazed at the difference water can make when I moved to a city with extrememly high mineral content in the water also known as hard water from the mountains It felt impossible to get my hair clean there was a lot of calcium buildup and residue and my hair felt both oily and frizzy Shampoo made my hair

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/33/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    your floors 66 Comments Things to Make and Do with Kids During Christmas Vacation A month ago we turned the clocks back for the end of Daylight Savings but I neglected to mention it to the kids They don t know they ve been going to bed an hour early every night since then They still wake up at the crack of dawn just like always One day they will know how to tell time but until then the seven o clock bedtime is so so sweet Here are some fun things to do with the kids that I shared at Alphamom Christmas Craft Beaded Snowflake Ornament Create A Video Slideshow To Share Your Pictures I can see older kids having fun doing this when school is out next week Kids Apple Craft Paint Embellished Apples For A Holiday Table Tradition Start A Christmas Ornament Collection For Your Kids You know that I like to keep my crafts simple mostly made with felt or paper or pipe cleaners When the instructions say something like Now get out your modge podge I m probably not going to do that one The Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees to make from Pure and Noble are totally my crafting style Spy training when you re stuck inside because of the cold weather Via Tsh on Pinterest Sometimes it doesn t even have to be a craft The scissor practice activity just bought me a few more minutes to finish writing this post I drew a crazy line on the back of a piece of paper and now she s cutting up all the fliers that come home from kindergarten Also via Tsh on Pinterest What fun activities for kids have you seen lately 23 Comments Craft Cinnamon Ornaments The full directions to make cinnamon ornaments

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/34/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    and I learn so much from your ideas Thank you all 7 Comments Tossing Your To do List photo by Joyseph Are you trying to finish your to do list so you can get to the good stuff Hoping for time to do something you love something with meaning We all have daily small details to attend to and it can be frustrating to feel like that s all you do when you wish you were doing something bigger and better One solution is to keep trying and keep trying not quitting because you re almost there And if you could just get all your emails answered and your papers filed then you d be able to stop if you don t burn out first An easier solution would be to just stop Really Simplifying does not mean getting everything done first so you can finally live simply One time I was getting ready to go to a fun event but I wasn t looking forward to it I thought I would enjoy it if only the house was clean the laundry was done the dishes were cleared the trash was out the mail was sent I knew what to wear I wasn t so tired And so on I was letting minor things stand in the way of something more important and I needed to choose to let go of the constant stream of tasks I could be doing I know some small tasks are necessary and good Other tasks are just busyness they have little meaning or are done needlessly to the point of perfection Why do we get so caught up in the busyness of life that we don t allow ourselves to enjoy it Honestly I have no idea If anyone knows please tell me so I can stop doing it My friend Gay Nell wisely says that we are human beings not human doings I love this We all need a break from our lists at least once a day so that we can be still and refocus Has it been a while since you ve done something really fun Something that felt really purposeful and satisfying Something you ve been wanting to do for a long time Don t just wait for it to happen because it won t There s a three day weekend here Spend some time doing something that you really love And please please do at least one thing that s not the least bit practical 19 Comments Before Your Computer Goes on the Fritz photo by Johan Larsson When it comes to hard drive crashes it s a matter of when not if The despair of lost files can be prevented with a good recent backup So why is it so normal to not have a proper backup ready for the day your computer finally calls it quits You re making it too complicated Confession time I used to not back up my computer files and photos because I

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/168/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    with the item you planned to buy I used to go from store to store to find the best prices but with the expense of time and gas I don t do as much comparison shopping as I used to Especially for groceries I do more shopping at only one or two stores Have your shopping habits changed What do you do 22 Comments Laundry When You re Almost Done photo by Multiple fragments of tissue Do you procrastinate folding and putting clean clothes away It usually comes down to two reasons 1 It s a pain 2 You don t feel like it By the time you have gathered sorted pretreated washed and dried your laundry you really just want to quit The down side is if you don t put your clothes away they ll just sit there getting wrinkly and ultimately put on the floor so you re not sure what s clean or dirty anymore Then you end up washing them all over again Be kind to yourself and finish the job Put away each load as it comes off the clothesline or from the dryer Don t wait until there is a mountain of it It only takes a few minutes You won t have to see stacks of clothes on the dryer the couch the floor the counter the basket or the chair Is it hard to put your clothes away It could be a sign that you have too many clothes for the storage space It s not pleasant to cram clothes in a drawer or to search for an extra hanger when there isn t one If all of your clean clothes don t easily fit in the closet or the dresser drawers see if you can make some changes Do a closet cleanout and give away some clothes especially if you ve recently bought some new ones Store off season clothes somewhere else to free up more space and let you easily see the clothes you can wear A few extra tips You don t need to fold your underwear unless you just want to Socks can be washed in a bag If you have a hard time identifying to whom they belong write the person s initial on the toe with a permanent marker Most of our clothes go on hangers in the closet I think it s easier and I like it better than trying to get a folded t shirt off the bottom of the stack in a drawer Shirts don t need as much ironing when they re hung up immediately I also try to think about clothing care when I shop for clothes and try to choose things that won t need to be ironed If you need ideas to improve your laundry routine be sure to check out the comments from the post Avoiding the Laundry Pileup What do you think does having too many clothes make it harder to put laundry away What is

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/167/ (2016-02-10)
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