Couponing for the Rest of Us

Simplify Sunday 12-11

 

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

In case you haven’t noticed Christmas is only 2 weeks away. If just reading that line makes your stomach turn and your last nerve go off the deep end, I can almost bet you are not enjoying the holiday and missing out on a lot of Christmas cheer.

Several years ago we completed a financial workshop at our church called “Financial Peace” by Dave Ramsey. At that time we were in serious trouble in our personal finances and it seemed our life was spinning out of control.  For years I thought I could handle it, needless to say I couldn’t!  Because of the financial chaos in our home, Christmas was the most stressful time of the year. Bills went unpaid to make sure our kids had plenty under the tree and our friends received a gift to show that we cared. Needless to say during this time of year I was stressed to the max and did not feel much like celebrating our Savior’s birth. I had allowed the world to dictate what Christmas was all about for me and I had lost focus of what really is important.

I will tell you it was not easy to get our finances in order, in fact it took several years of resetting our priorities to dig our way out. There were some Christmases that there wasn’t a lot under the tree and our friends received baked goods instead of store bought gifts. During those tight days I shed many tears and felt like a failure as a mom. I thought that my kids would be disappointed in me and may not love me as before. Needless to say, looking back those were the day that I learned the most about my family and friends. I now know that it isn’t the gifts that make someone love you; it’s the relationship that grows during the day to day time spent with those we love. [Read more...]


Simplify Sunday 12-4


Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

As I am writing  this article I am sitting in the middle of our Christmas decorations. I can easily get overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done to finish the decorating. Just getting ready to decorate can take the biggest part of our day.

Not that the house is that messy (until you start dragging all of the decorations into the middle of the living room) but I am a firm believer you might as well clean really good while you have everything in total chaos anyway .Unless you have a permanent spot for your Christmas tree and keep it cleaned and clutter free, you probably are like me and spend time dusting, mopping getting the perfect spot ready. Once we decide on the perfect spot (which could take a while) then begins the whole cleaning process which could also mean relocating some of the furniture.

I like to move furniture around several times a year so this is a perfect time to do this so, that means extra dusting and mopping, now you see how decorating can take a bit of time at my house. I also change the drapes mainly because my winter drapes (a plum colored and a thicker drape) do not match my decorations. So begins the ironing of the white sheers and packing away the winter ones (some place that I will remember where I put them so they can go back up after the holidays).  Yes, I know it sounds like a lot work but it will drive me crazy looking at all the red, silver and white items near the plum drapes (sometimes it is just easier to go over the edge when you decorate than stressing your brain out).

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Simplify Sunday 11-27

 

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Well, the beginning of winter has finally arrived.  As I am writing I am sitting in front of our fireplace with a nice warm cozy fire going and listening to it rain outside. I will try to savor this moment as it may be the last time for a while that I may have the opportunity to sit and relax by the fire while the house is quiet and I do not need to jump and run for anything or anyone. Ahhhhh!  It is hard to really wrap my head around peace and quiet if it only comes a few times a year.

I hope you were able to enjoy time with your family and friends and took a little bit time to realize how blessed we are in a world that tells us we constantly need bigger, better and more.

This Thanksgiving I was blessed to have one of my sisters and her family for the holiday. I loved the time in the kitchen with my daughter and wonderful hubby as we stepped all over each other cooking and getting ready for the feast. I am not sure why but every time we are in the kitchen we are flooded with all kinds of stories of cooking when the kids were little. It is so much fun to tell those again and again as we are making new memories that we will talk about in years to come.

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Simplify Sunday 11-20


Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

How did it get to be Thanksgiving already, I’m not really finished with summer?  I still have so many things to get done before the holidays arrive. In August I invited lots of family and friends to come for Thanksgiving, the problem is that it is now November and I am still not ready.  Oh well, it family and friends that won’t really care or even notice so I am ready to have a good time and relax.

In reality the word relax should not even be used in the same sentence as Thanksgiving, but I am going to plan on it. I will pencil in relaxing after I get everything else on the list finished. Why do I feel the need to clean every closet and drawer before company arrives, will they really be impressed with the way I roll socks and neatly organize our underwear drawer? [Read more...]

Simplify Sunday 11-13

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

I don’t know about you but putting on makeup is not an everyday event for me.  Makeup is usually saved for weddings and Sunday church. I don’t put it on every morning so to decide to put it on later in the day for an evening activity is a big deal at my house. I don’t mind wearing it; I just am not in the habit of planning out my time to include enough time to put all the glitz and glamor on.

Since last night was a special evening, my husband was in a play at church, I thought I would try to go the extra mile and wear makeup. Only another lady would understand the effort that goes into the whole makeup thing.

The problem was that as I opened my makeup drawer all kinds of crazy things started jumping out at me. I realized it is time to clean out and wade through all the gizmos and gadgets that I seem to have collected over the past few months. [Read more...]

Simplify Sunday 11-6

 

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

The older I get the more I look forward to the extra hour of sleep that comes with the sweet daylight saving time change.  The problem is that I wake up at least 3 times during the night to make sure my cell phone resets itself. Yes, every phone I have owned resets with the time change, every year. But for some unforeseen reason unknown to me I must make sure it happens.  So at least the extra hour made up for the time I spent checking the clock.  Rest assured all is well, time did not stand still and all systems are go for sunny mornings and evenings that now start at 5:30. For some strange reason when the sun sets earlier I tend to make it to bed earlier than normal so here’s to winter evenings by the fire (or heaters on high) and early bedtimes.

This week I did get my craft table set up and all organized.  It was such a great feeling to make progress early in the gift giving season. As I was moving my furniture around I discovered the dreaded dust that has spent the summer months growing on the wall.  It is fine as long as it served as Halloween decorations but since that has past now I have to deal with it.

Yes, it’s that time of year to dust your walls. If you are not in the habit of doing this please understand I only started doing it a few years ago. This is not a long standing family activity or anything that I grew up doing. [Read more...]

Simplify Sunday 10-30


Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Ok, it’s officially almost Christmas!  Christmas decorations are on all the shelves, commercials are telling your kids what every good parent will be buying this year and my house and my brain look and feel like a train wreck.

There I have said it now I must fix it!! If only it were that easy.  As soon as I see one Christmas item my brain goes to the dark side of the craft zone.  This means every time I see a great gift idea my first thoughts are “oh, I could make that for ______ (and this list of family and friends starts to grow).  If you have not visited Pinterest.com, foodgawker.com and craftgawker.com please check them out so you can join me as I slowly slip in the crafting abyss.

I know life would be much easier if I didn’t think about making gifts, I know that the shelves are packed with a wonderful selection of great gifts, but really that would be too easy. I know people (my best friend as a wonderful example) that have already finished their Christmas shopping. Yes, every time she mentions it I want to hit her HARD! I am still racking my brain as to where to put the table in my living room so I can craft while I do 600 others things during the day. It is not a good sign to start off the holiday season hating your best friend, but I will move that to the top of my prayer list! (Really, I am just teasing, I don’t hate her but I may really hit her, not tooooo hard of course). [Read more...]

Simplify Sunday 10-23

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

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I must say, after a week in New York City to visit my son and daughter-in-law, I am amazed at the ability of the people that live there to do so much with so little room. The spirit of making do with what you have and making the best of it is alive and well in the “Big Apple”.

On our adventures one day we found a tiny little hat shop, inside a room about 6 ft. by 10 ft. (not even as big as most of our bathrooms) where hundreds of hats and one little older gentleman spent the day. To even see what he had to sell only one person could step just inside the door and tell him what you wanted to see. He knew where every size, make and model of any and all of his hats were. The place was so small he could just about reach any hat from his stool in the middle of that room. I am not saying that this little shop was neat as a pin or didn’t need a good dusting, but he had that place as organized as could be.

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There were entire convenient stores in rooms no bigger than my little kitchen. The secret is to know what you want before you go in to the store because there is no room to look around or to even think about what you might want to buy. Most places are not up to our normal standard of clean and neat but organized they have down to a science.

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