A new find…

Occasionally I stumble on something that at first doesn’t interest me.  After some time passes and I find I have the “need to know,” the interest is there and draws me in.  Such is the case with The Daily Connoisseur.  A friend was talking to me about Jennifer and her books and recommended her website.

I have read several of her blog posts.  I signed up for her 10 Item Wardrobe course.  I have watched many of her youtube videos and I am hooked!!! I am not quite down to a 10 item wardrobe, but I am paring down and I long to live a simpler life that is not bogged down with so much stuff.

In her book, Lessons from Madame Chic, she writes about life lessons she learned while living with a French family in Paris.  I’ve just begun to read the book, but I can already tell it is going to be a favorite and that I am looking forward to learning from her experiences.

At least one of her books has been translated into Japanese and has been a best seller here.  That piqued my interest as well.  I am anxious to see for myself why the Japanese find her so interesting.

Below is an introduction to her 10 Item Wardrobe course.  Click over to her site and see if there is something there that may be a help to you.  There is no benefit to me.  I’m just sharing with you what was shared with me.  I’m so glad that it was!!



I’ve been keeping busy doing some housekeeping at the blog and at my house.  I’ve been getting rid of obsolete links and tidying things up around here.  I’m sure I am overlooking something, but I am making progress.  One of my “cleaned up” pages is about books.  It isn’t quite finished.  I hope you will stop by and check it out from time to time.  I’ve also started a list of books I’ve read as a form of accountability to keep me reading!

The Lord very graciously provided us with a new dining set and dish cabinet.  I am thrilled!  I have been busy sorting and rearranging cabinets and shelves.  I have so much more room now, more room for storage and more floor space!!  It makes such a difference in our tiny 900 square foot house.  The table will seat 6 as is, or I can pull out the end and add a leaf and seat 8.  It’s perfect!

new table_cabinet

As a result of this new table, I had a tablecloth that needed altering. It was a favorite that I didn’t want to part with.  It was a 70″ round tablecloth, but I was able to square it off, sew a new edge around it and pull out threads to make fringe so that it fits the table nicely.

new tablecloth.JPG

I’ve also been wanting some new runners for the shelves that run under my kitchen windows, but couldn’t find any to my liking.  I bought some fabric and finally got around to making them.  I thoroughly enjoyed being in the sewing room again.  🙂  I was surprised that the fabric I bought matched the tablecloth perfectly!! It wasn’t planned on my part, but God knew.

new runner

Thanks for stopping by!  Until the next time…

Planning, Part 2

As I said in my previous post, I have come up with a way to combine digital and paper for the perfect-for-me-now system to stay organized.

My husband has asked those of us in leadership at the ministry here to use Google Calendar so that we can see each other’s schedule. I didn’t really like this at first, but now I have learned to use it with ease. I like the fact that my calendar is on my phone and it sends me reminders of what is ahead. I need those reminders. Trust me!

Instead of carrying around the big, fat notebook from the past with sections for projects and notes for meetings, etc., I use Evernote. I have posted about this app before. I have “notebooks” for Bible studies I am teaching, projects I am working on and recipes that I want to try. The sky is the limit. I have the app on my computer as well, so it is easy to copy documents and pictures into a note. It then syncs to my phone or ipad automatically.

Another tab that used to be in my big, fat notebook was lists. I had lists for everything!!!! I like lists. Someone introduced me to the app Wunderlist . This is wonderful. I use it for lists of things I don’t want to forget like things to buy when I am in the USA or things I need to look for whenever I run errands. I also keep a grocery shopping list for short runs to the store. For my bigger grocery runs or trips to Costco, I have a shopping list on my computer that I can print, check off what I need and go. This helps me to think and not forget something when I make the longer trek to Costco.

In days gone by, I kept a flipper for chores. I learned how to do this when reading The Messie Manual. It was a life-saver when I was raising kids and trying to keep my house from becoming a warzone. The Home Routines app replaces this now. I like that I can add my own chores to the lists. You can check them off and they reset each day. There is also a built-in timer. Now that there are only two of us in the house, I don’t need this app as much as I used to. It’s sort of second nature to do some of the chores on the list and others don’t have to be done as often. I do refer to it from time to time to see how I am doing and if there is anything I need to work on. This app is currently $4.99 in the iTunes App store.   It is worth the money.

Another tab in the big, fat notebook was for addresses. This is now on my devices in my contact list. It is always at my fingertips and it is easy to edit when necessary.

Today we talked about my digital tools. In part 3, we will talk about my paper tool. I am enjoying using this and it is keeping me on target!

Until the next time…

Daily Planning Got You Stumped??

I have been floundering for some time trying to find the perfect schedule keeper, day-timer, planner or whatever you choose to call it. There are different seasons of life and what used to work well for me wasn’t working any more. When I first discovered Day-Timer, it was a life-saver to me! Then I read The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum Smith and became a huge fan of the Franklin planner. Although the book is not written by a Christian, there are several Biblical principles that moved me in a new direction in my life. Mainly, making time for what is really important. It has been over 25 years (gasp) since I read that book, but I still remember the illustration of the I-beam. When Franklin merged with Covey, I read some of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey. I liked the first book better, but it helped me as I used what became the Franklin/Covey planner. I kept EVERYTHING in this notebook. I used to joke that it had my whole life in it. But times change…

Time management has always been important to me. I have always tried to find easier, less time-consuming ways to do things. I love to be organized. Life feels out of control when I am not. One thing that those who know me have heard me say often is, “There are so many last-minute things that happen that you can’t control, why not control the things you can so it isn’t such a crisis.” I am now an empty-nester. I am a missionary pastor’s wife and as a result I have to travel a lot. Now I have to deal with luggage limits and an aging back that just can’t haul things around like it used to. Then there is the fact that we live in a digital age. I have tried to switch to total digital. I love the convenience of having everything I need on my devices. It is always a finger touch away. The problem is…I am a paper person.

Recently, I was talking on skype with someone and she said that I needed to find what worked for me in the season of life I am in. While mulling over that conversation, I stumbled across bullet journaling on Pinterest. It interested me, so I did a little research. It is a grand way to journal, but for me it is way too complicated. I’m not going to sit there and spend hours drawing out my monthly and weekly calendars. I am not artistic. I am not going to draw all the cute little pictures. Besides, that would take too much time, time that I could spend trying to get something done.

I purchased a calendar notebook at the end of last year to keep track of my exercise on the monthly pages and eating on the weekly pages. It helps me to see how I am doing when it is in writing. Across from the weekly page is a blank grid page. As I was using this one day, it got me to thinking…

Over the last few weeks, I have sort of developed my own system that combines digital and paper that is working for me. I am accomplishing far more in my day than I have in a long time. And yes, I do add something to my to-do list that I have already done so that I can have the satisfaction of checking it off!

Stay tuned for part 2…

Holiday Update

We are so grateful for the Lord’s protection early in the morning on November 27th. We had a busy day ahead, so my husband got up a little earlier than usual. When he came out of the bathroom, he smelled smoke. When he went downstairs, he started yelling for me to get the dog and get out of the house. He was able to put the fire out before the fire department arrived. It could have been so much worse. Be careful how and where you store your batteries. Lesson learned.bookshelf

The actual fire damage was small, but we had smoke throughout the whole house.  A friend came over the day of the fire and helped me clean and make the upstairs livable. I couldn’t have done it without her! We lived in the upstairs while we did repairs and cleaned and painted ever square inch of the downstairs.   Most of the soot and grime settled in the kitchen, so it was a big clean up job.  As you can imagine this is our busiest time of year in the ministry, so we pushed hard to get all the work done.  Christmas decorating was at a minimum, but it’s o.k.furniture outside

The fireman came the day after the fire to give us their report. From what they can tell two batteries came in contact enough to spark and start the fire. I had one or two 9 volt and some button batteries for remotes in a basket along with office type supplies (envelopes, tape, hole punch, stapler, camera charger and the batteries).  I am in and out of that basket every day. Some of the batteries were in their original packaging; a few were not. I have gone through the house and tried to find other batteries. They are all out of the house now. The fireman also told Tim that he was amazed that he had the presence of mind to put the fire out. He said the flames had to be up at the ceiling. Tim acknowledged that they were and he just did it without thinking. I am so thankful that he did or the damage would have been much worse. When the fire dept. arrived, things were still smoldering and they ripped a hole in the wall to make sure the fire was completely out.  Wall

I don’t know why the fire started at that time. It was at a least 10 hours since I touched that basket, so why not sooner? Tim got up a little early that day because we had a full day ahead of us. The Lord obviously protected us. If Tim had waited 10 minutes later, the situation would have been much more severe. new wall

I had my hard drives next to the basket. They were in bad shape and melted together. Tim was able to clean them up and separate them. He plugged them in and I have access to all the files on them! That is such a personal blessing to me!!!

Thank you again for your prayers.  Your missionaries need them.