The fun is decorating! More pics of our home

The fun is decorating! More pics of our home

I’m still loving our new rental home. I’m slowly buying things to decorate it and wanted to share the pics with you.

This is the first time in 20 years of marriage that I’ve been able to buy furniture in my own modern taste, other than a daybed I bought the 2nd year of our marriage!

Below is the cute modern dinette set for our dining room.

We aren’t eating in there yet, because I want to first buy an area rug to go underneath it.

Our daughter Heather bought this same dinette at Nebraska Furniture Mart and I loved it, and decided to buy one for us, too.

Dining room dinette
Dining room dinette

Right now we’re still eating at the breakfast bar in the kitchen.

Kitchen breakfast bar
Kitchen breakfast bar

I love the red contrast of this Italian art picture against the cheery yellow painted kitchen walls.

Red Italian art picture in kitchen
Red Italian art picture in kitchen

The unique soapstone sculpture souvenir of a man and a woman as “one” that Ray bought me on one of his missions trips to Haiti goes perfectly with our kitchen countertops, beside our coffee bean grinder.

Green soapstone Haiti sculpture
Green, soapstone Haiti sculpture in kitchen

I shopped at several stores to find Italian art and wine pictures for the dining room. Kohl’s had these 4 pretty ones on sale. I plan to buy one more to hang in the middle of the pictures:

Italian pics for dining room
Italian pics for dining room

I hung 2 wine pics like this one from Kohl’s on the opposite wall:

Wine pic for dining room
Wine pic for dining room

One of the main reasons I wanted this house was the unique, Spanish archways and a little arch in the dining room. I found a beautiful, round, red votive candle holder and white votive for the cute little shelf:

Red glass votive holder and candle
Red glass votive holder and candle

 

I have claimed our front entry room as my room. 🙂 I wanted a black fabric loveseat and a red chair, but NFM didn’t have any, so instead I bought a chocolate-brown (looks black) loveseat on sale and a red chair marked 50% off online.

The loveseat is soft and comfortable – a place where I relax, text friends, check email and Facebook on my Iphone, pray, and take naps.

Red chair and loveseat
Red chair and loveseat

I found the beautiful picture of the man and the woman kissing in the rain at Kirkland’s in Lee’s Summit, MO, a treasure chest of pictures.

It reminds me of the time Ray and I kissed in the rain in Italy when we went on the honeymoon trip that we’d never had, for our 10th wedding anniversary – very romantic!

I love the stark red and black contrast in the pic, especially her red raincoat and the red umbrella.

Pic of man and woman kissing in the rain
Pic of man and woman kissing in the rain

I found this cute black pillow of a lighted city and bridge at night at Walmart for the black (chocolate brown technically) loveseat:

Black pillow with lighted bridge and city
Black pillow with lighted bridge and city

And this cute, red-orange, ruffled pillow at Walmart, too, to go with the red chair and the red in the rain picture:

Red-orange ruffled pillow
Red-orange ruffled pillow

For a decoration by the loveseat, I found this tall, red vase at Walmart.  Kirkland’s had these beautiful red and white flowers.

Red vase with flowers
Red vase with flowers

I love this expression on this black-framed pic for the front entry room: “Live well. Laugh often. Love much.”

"Live well. Laugh often. Love much." pic in front entry room
“Live well. Laugh often. Love much.” pic in front entry room

I found this cute girly-girl pic for the front entry room at Westward Flowers Shop in Butler. It says “Enjoy the little things.” Amen!

"Enjoy the little things" pic in front entry room
“Enjoy the little things” pic in front entry room

I also found this pic at Westward’s of a bird flying free out of a cage. It says “Free to be.” LOVE IT! Are you free through Christ?

"Free to be" bird pic
“Free to be” bird pic

It took several weeks to go through the plastic tubs of letters,  papers, and photos in my office. My office is now organized.

When we moved here, Ray got his desk back and it is downstairs in the “man cave” (which we aren’t through with yet creating into a man cave).

For now, my “desk” temporarily is a black card table and chair. Use what you have at hand and make it work! I will get a new desk eventually.

I’m very excited about this office because it’s my own space that nobody else uses!

I no longer have to worry about my family noisily scrounging around in the kitchen cabinets or fridge for food in the background while I’m doing a webinar, or needing to do something on the main computer while I’m blogging, writing a speaking presentation, or doing other work.

The room also has 3 windows so there’s lots of light in the room.

My new office
My new office

Of course, I had to decorate it with Hello, Kitty decorations – a cute, ceramic piggy bank and Hello, Kitty stationery box set.

Hello, Kitty decorations for desk
Hello, Kitty decorations

I bought 2 new, inexpensive, black bookshelves for my favorite books, one with these decorations:

  • A ceramic blue and yellow star with the inscription, “Wish upon a star”;
  • A paperweight with the letter “B” for “Beth,” that our daughter Heather gave me as a special gift;
  • A Curious George stuffed animal that was a precious present from Florence Littaeur, when I attended Upper Class professional speaking training (she said always learn, always be a Curious George);
  • A Hello, Kitty photo holder that has pics of my 3 long-distance, best friends – Rochelle Valasek, Kimberly Ehlers, and Kimberly Weber.
Bookshelf with decorations
Bookshelf with decorations

Your business needs to include your core values, and one of my most important values is love for my family. I decorated the wall in back of me with family pics:

Familyh pics
Family pics

I have one “Heather” wall – pics of our daughter Heather when she was little, growing up, graduating from homeschool, and on her YWAM missions trip to South America.

Heather wall
Heather wall

The other wall is decorated as a “Leah wall” – pics of our daughter Leah when she was younger.

The wall includes a sample of her computer graphic art, one of my fave (a young girl looking out a window at night at the moon and a shooting star, with a flower on the windowsill).

Leah wall
Leah wall

On the wall to my left, I have a pic of God the Potter and the Clay (a beautiful, Asian woman being the pottery that is being shaped by God’s loving hands). Next to it is a small painting of the ocean and the beach, which Leah did for me (I love the ocean!).

The Potter and the Clay pic and Leah's ocean pic
The Potter and the Clay pic and Leah’s ocean pic

Ray bought me this cute pic because of my love for chocolate:

Chocolate pic
Chocolate pic

To the left of my desk on the wall, I hung this aqua-blue pic that I found at Kohl’s, which has the inscription: “Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” Are you doing that? 🙂

Life you've always imagined pic
Life you’ve always imagined pic

We have 2 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom. I use the half bath to put on my face in the morning. Of course, I decorated this in Hello, Kitty decos, too. 🙂

Hello, Kitty br
Hello, Kitty br

This Hello, Kitty deco makes me think of all my wonderful friends who God has blessed me with.

You know who you are and I love you so much! 

Hello, Kitty friends deco
Hello, Kitty friends deco

Soon I’d like to buy an area rug for the dining room and a couple of pretty pics for Ray’s and my bedroom and Leah’s bedroom. But it’s all coming together, slowly but surely.

Ray is enjoying his work bench downstairs in the unfinished half of the basement, where he’s been setting up his tools. Tools are to men what shoes are to women.

He’s been working on cleaning rust off of old guns. He also shines his boots here and does other work.

Ray's work bench with tools
Ray’s work bench with tools

Just as I claimed the front entry room, Ray has claimed this area of the house in the basement for himself.

Here he has:

  • his science fiction and medical books;
  • his boots; Ray was born and raised in south Louisiana and Texas and no respectable Texan would be without his boots;
  • his black Texan hat;
  • street art pictures from his (5) Haiti missions trips;
  • his grandfather’s old radio that he listens to country music on while he’s working;
  • his childhood marbles;
  • a few swords;
  • his Spyderco knife that I bought for his birthday last year;
  • a few telephone pole glass insulators;
  • miscellaneous other objects he treasures.
Ray's work room
Ray’s work room

He has a 4-drawer box filled to the brim with nuts, bolts, and other mysterious things that only God and men know what it’s for, as well as a toolbox with tools, which are men’s toys.

Ray has always worked in emergency fields, with over 25 years of experience and high adrenaline coursing through his veins: Marines corpsman, Navy combat medic, paramedic, policeman, police chief, fireman, firechief, SWAT team.

As a result, he has a collection of uniforms and equipment. He used this bookshelf in the basement work room to put this equipment on:

Shelf with work equipment
Shelf with work equipment

Ray’s “collections” of other things over the course of 20 years of marriage are the topic of many heated discussions (i.e., world war) between us. He is a hoarder (although not to the extreme of those on the t.v. show). This is something I’ve tried to change about him for 20 years, to no avail.

Once Ruth Graham was asked if she ever thought about divorcing her husband, world famous evangelist Billy Graham. ” ‘No, I’ve never thought of divorce in all these 35 years of marriage,’ she said, ‘but I did  think of murder a few times.” I understand the temptation!

Here’s just one small example of Ray’s papers stuffed in a bag. He has boxes and boxes of stuff in our two-garage and an entire shed full of stuff that he rented, because he refuses to part with it in this lifetime.

Ray's papers
Ray’s papers

He doesn’t throw anything away and I give away or throw away many things (or shred it) after not using it for awhile. Purging sets you free!

In fact, research shows that clutter causes you major stress, which can lead to serious health issues.

But he is happy that he has a work bench and a space where he can put his stuff.

He also has the recreation room downstairs in the finished part of the basement for his “man cave” – his desk and laptop, a bookshelf with his books and movies, and the walls to hang his many certificates and training certifications.

You can see part of a blow gun hanging up on the wall to the top right of the pic, I think a gift from a friend. I’m not sure where Ray might “need” this.

Ray's man cave
Ray’s man cave

He is glad to have his own big desk back and to have a place for his certificates, swords, and other favorite things for his desk:

Ray's desk and certificates
Ray’s desk and certificates

I even found a picture for him that says “Man Cave.”

Man cave picture
Man cave picture

So there you have it. A tour of the rest of our house. It’s been fun shopping for bargains for the decorations and furniture.

I love it here!

What do you think?

Where is your favorite place to shop for furniture, pictures, and home items?

Please leave your comments below.

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Do you have writer’s block or writer’s avoidance behavior?

Do you have writer’s block or writer’s avoidance behavior?
Woman in office
Woman in office

Today I finished organizing my new office. Leah helped me to assemble my second black bookshelf, and now all my books are put away. The closet in here is organized:

  • My notebooks, filled with notes from business training the last several years, are in plastic tubs;
  • My journals are in another plastic tub;
  • Important papers are filed in a small file box;
  • My books to sell at my next live event (July 11 @ 11 a.m. Central, details coming soon!) are boxed up, ready to go;
  • Tax returns and this year’s bank statements are together and are in storage boxes on the shelf;
  • Office supplies are organized and in a storage box.

The new office is now clean, neat, and completely organized. I’ve been unpacking and organizing our new house for a couple of weeks, taking off time from my business to get this done. It feels so good!

And as I finally sat down today at my desk to write, I realized now I have writer’s block! Or maybe it’s writer’s avoidance behavior.

Kathy Steffen writes about this in her post. Just click here.

I think my precious friend Rochelle, a.k.a. “Shelley” is doing this, too. For the last several weeks, she’s been “working on getting her office ready.”

Getting it ready has included shopping for a desk, a reading chair, a big screen t.v. (huh? Why does she need a t.v. in there if she’s working?), a cool futon…I think she may be just avoiding writing! 🙂

This is common among writers. They clean, organize, decorate, do anything to avoid writing – the very thing they love.

Why do they avoid it if they love it, though?

A lot of it is just plain fear. Fear of rejection from publishers (or fear of silence from your blog readers with NO comments!).

Fear it will be ridiculous, silly, or worse of all, BORING.

Fear that your writing isn’t good enough.

We writers all deal with this.

As Kathy Steffen says, “So what? Nobody else has to ever see it.  When you get right down to it, writing is simply putting pen to paper and writing words.  No one ever said what you write has to be interesting, good, or earth-shattering.  Just write.  No one has to see the first draft.”

She gives great tips for pushing past the fear and writer’s avoidance behavior (or legitimate blocks).

I loved her creative writing exercises, such as writing about a word like echo or about someone who is passive, a list of 20 things you’d like to do in the next year, or eavesdropping on a conversation, haha.

You can read her tips by clicking here.

In what ways do you find yourself doing writer’s avoidance behavior? Share in the comments below. (Yes, WRITE in the comments below!)

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5 Tips To Save Time in Your Work Day

5 Tips To Save Time in Your Work Day

time
time
Since we moved, I’ve discovered time-saving techniques to make the most productive use of my work day.

Here are 5 tips to help you save time and energy:

 

1. Paper plates. I can’t tell you what this simple, new tip has done for me and our family! Dirty dishes were a big problem every day in our home. How could 3 people dirty so many dishes (and so much laundry)?

When I was packing to move to our new home, I bought paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils since our plates were in boxes. Lo and behold, the counters and the sink stayed clear most of the time!

I now use paper plates most of the time other than supper when we make a determined effort to eat together as a family when Ray is off work. This has saved me hours of loading the dishwasher or washing dishes. I have more time now to devote to prayer, family and friends, and business.

waffle

Using paper plates and plastic utensils for snacks and most meals has greatly decreased stress for me (and my family wanting a clean fork or plate!). If you are green-conscious, you can use eco friendly, biodegradable, compostable plates.

 

2. Organize everything in your house. Our move kicked my administrative, organizational gift into high gear. Lately has been a major purging time, and it’s been wonderful!

I’ve gotten rid of so many things ~ taking 6 carloads of my stuff to a church in town who accepts donations, shredding papers, organizing homeschool records and putting over 1000 family pics in new photo albums, a goal I’ve had for literally years but never had time to do because I was homeschooling.

I still have to get a bookshelf (or bookshelves) for my office and go through a few boxes downstairs, but I’ve organized everything I own and it feels incredible. I can breathe a little now. I’ll have to discipline myself to stay on top of this.

You don’t have to wait to move to get organized. You can start now, today. Begin with a baby step, like Dave Ramsey’s financial Baby Step One. Choose one room, one closet, one drawer.

Relentlessly PURGE. Have no mercy on your stuff.  This is the key.

Create 3 piles:

a) Keep and organize;

b) Give away to Good Will or other donation place (or consign, sell on Ebay, Craigslist, or have a garage sale. I made $150 at the garage sale I had just before we moved here).

c) Throw away.

The give away and throw away piles should be the biggest. Getting rid of stuff will set you free! It is truly liberating and time-saving!clutter-woman surrounded with papers Clutter makes you feel stagnant and stuck. You’ll be unproductive because you are always looking for things or are feeling stressed out from the mess.

When you clean and organize your home, you’ll feel lighter, more energetic, and happier.

As I’ve shared with my husband Ray, an empty space doesn’t always need to be filled. You need wide, open spaces in your life to have breathing room.

It’s also said that when you get rid of things, it opens up your life to new and better things. I believe this!

Invest in plastic tubs, storage bins, folders, and other organizational items.

When you get rid of things and organize your home and work space, it will save you time looking for something (and save money, so you don’t go out and buy unnecessary, duplicate items and  you’ll be working making money, instead of shopping).

It will also save you stress trying to find whatever you need in a  hurry.

 

 3. Online banking/Financial Organization. When we moved into our new home, we had extra costs such as the deposit, the rent, the U-Haul rental, etc. I needed to know how much we had in the bank every day prior to our move.

“Be fully aware of the condition of your flock, and pay close attention to your herds.” ~ Proverbs 27: 23, God’s Word Translation

To stay on top of finances and to save time running to the bank to make a deposit or transferring funds from another account, check your bank balance online daily. Know how much you have in there at all times.

There are many online programs you can use to help you with finances and/or budgeting. One is YNAB.

I also use Tax Bot for tax time purposes.

My favorite finance guru is Dave Ramsey. He’s filled with God’s wisdom, practical, and very funny. (I just need to apply what he says! :O)

In my business, I use Paypal as a finance tool and receive an email notification every time I make a sale with my coaching services or a customer buys one of my books or info products. I also use Paypal for paying whoever I’ve hired to outsource work such as websiste tweaks or VA work.

To begin using Paypal in your business, just click on the graphic below. (This is an affiliate* link.)

PayPal Logo

4. Small, frequent meals. I’ve been dipping my little toe in the water with Take Shape For Life health program. I will let you know how it goes. One powerful tip I’ve learned from this program is eating, small frequent meals. As a busy entrepreneur, sometimes I’m working hard, long hours and I forget to eat! Then by the time I remember, I’m ravenous and eat too much! Which leads to weight gain – or not losing any. Eating small, frequent meals keeps blood sugar levels from plunging and speeds up your metabolism, which helps you to burn calories more efficiently and lose weight.

Small meals means less time cooking over a hot stove in the kitchen, which for me translates into doing more of what I love -spending time with God, family and friends and on my business.

5. Prayer. At our new home, we have a sunroom ~ something I’ve been praying for since I saw them in sunny Florida when I was a flight attendant.

Sunroom
Sunroom
I LOVE my sunroom! It is my coffee with God room/prayer sanctuary. I often go in there after I wake up to pray, watch the birds and 2 white rabbits which hop around the neighborhood, and journal.

This week I’ve been including a Proverbs a day in my quiet time. The Proverbs are filled with practical wisdom.

By praying and hearing God’s wisdom and direction for the day, you save time from wasted activities. Your steps are ordered. Your path is sure. Your purpose is being fulfilled.

These 5 tips are helping me in practical ways in my daily life to save time, money, energy, and stress, and I hope they are helpful to you. Which one can you implement today to make your life easier, happier and more intentional? Leave your comments below.

*This is an affiliate link. I only recommend products I’ve used or believe in.

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