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Book Review & Giveaway: The House That Cleans Itself

By January 15, 2018 How To, inspiration, Uncategorized, Wins

Book Review: The House That Cleans Itself
Mindy Starns Clark
Harvest House Publishers, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0736918800

It is no secret that I am not the best housekeeper. I love organizing and condensing household items, but I HATE CLEANING! One of my biggest anxiety triggers is cleaning. True story. Whenever I start to clean my house I get overwhelmed by the fact that cleaning just doesn’t come naturally to me, and I beat myself up over how my efforts never seem good enough. If someone is watching me clean- forget about it! I shut down and I become paralyzed by this anxiety.

For years I have been trying to overcome this hurdle in my life. From trying different cleaning schedules, hacks, and habits, to hiring housekeepers to come once a month to help out when I was working. I’ve gotten better at cleaning over the years, but I finally found an absolute game changer in the book, The House That Cleans Itself.

Finally I have found someone who gets me! In the first chapter the author admits that cleaning is a talent that not everyone possesses. Throughout the book she offers relatable stories from her own journey from messy to tidy, as well as sprinkling in “My most embarrassing messy house stories” from others. One thing that hooked me was the promise on the cover to show me, “how to keep your house twice as clean in half the time.” Digging in deeper (page 11), she spoke directly to my soul when she said her system will “take a person who feels like a failure in caring for his or her home and change that person into someone who is unburdened, unashamed, and successful in caring for their home.”



Awe struck at these sentiments, I couldn’t wait to turn the pages and reveal the secrets of the universe, and I was not disappointed! Her creative approach takes you through a step by step process that focuses on changing your environment instead of focusing on changing your habits. This was mind blowing to me! Her reasoning rings true though, if you could change your habits you would have done it already. What a game changer!

Skimming the table of contents, there are 2 parts to this book. The first part is her step by step process to start the journey to a tidier home, the planning and implementation, including two chapters on inviting God to your cleaning party. Trust me (or ask my husband), when it comes to keeping the house tidy, I definitely need God (laughing but serious). Its actually very refreshing that this is included in the book. Part 2 is about the CONVERT system that makes the cleaning process more manageable and includes tips on maintaining your new clean home.

Overall I loved this book! As a mother of a young child, there’s a constant struggle to keep an organized home. Toys can quickly add up, schedules can become overwhelming, and this book offers great solutions for those problems and so much more! The author’s tone is so relatable and down to Earth- there’s no judgement and it’s an easy read. I rate this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5.


Purchase The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine**


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2017 Recap & Top 3 Posts

By January 4, 2018 inspiration, Uncategorized, Wins

What a crazy year 2017 was! I started off the year working part time as a poker dealer at the casino for 6 months. I loved working there, but I was always stressing out about working weekends and finding babysitters around my husband’s shift work schedule. I kept trying to make shift switches with others and drove myself crazy trying to make it work while not forfeiting my entire paycheck to childcare costs.

The breaking point was when my husband and I decided we wanted to go on a 3 week Road Trip in September.  I rationalized that I wouldn’t possibly get the time off without losing my job, so I would put in my two weeks notice beforehand. We started planning this in May, and in June I decided to make June 29th my last day so I could enjoy being off for 4th of July.

Transitioning to being a stay at home mom terrified me completely! Growing up, I never considered being a stay at home mom. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and enjoyed the benefits of being financially independent. Working gave me a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the household that I could clearly define. Not having a job and depending completely on my husband was a completely foreign concept to me.

So there I was, trying to figure out what a stay at home mother does, trying to fill my calendar with playdates to fend off boredom, and trying to keep the house together when I felt like everything was falling apart. Luckily I had a great support system in my husband and parents and in-laws… until my parents and my in-laws both decided to move to Arizona. Eeep! There were several times I considered going back to work, but I couldn’t go back to the casino because of the hours, and starting over doesn’t really afford anyone the opportunity to start at the top and make their own rules like I wanted to.

Within 4 months of being at home with my son, I decided to look into Work At Home Mom jobs. My son was 18 months old at this point, and starting to be a busybody. With all that toddler energy and mayhem, WAHM jobs were not gonna happen.  At about this time, Facebook changed its algorithm and I kept seeing the same posts from the same people (my favorite pages) over and over again.  That’s when I decided, “I can do that!” When I was much younger I wanted to be a writer. That was 20 years ago, I was 12, and the internet was not what it is today.

Fast forward to today, and I am so excited to have my own website, a super supportive Facebook following, and over a dozen articles- which all came together in the last 6 to 8 weeks! I am so grateful to have this opportunity to write and connect with all of you!

In case you missed any of it, here are my top 3 articles of 2017:

5 Easy Tips to Smash the Hell Out of Your New Year’s Resolution!

The Best Gratitude Tip on The Internet

4 Creative Ways To Have The Ultimate Staycation

I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for all of us! Thanks for tuning in!


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5 Easy Tips to Smash the Hell Out of Your New Year’s Resolution!

By December 26, 2017 How To, inspiration, Wins

Now that Christmas is over and 2017 is coming to a close, it’s time to start looking to the future. Newsflash: “next year” is less than one week away. That fact can be terrifying for some people, and empowering for others, especially those who make New Year’s Resolutions. Statistically, about 41% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions. Interestingly, 72.6% maintain their resolution for the first week. At two weeks the success rate drops to 68.4%, and at one month it dips to 58.4%. After six months 44.8% of people keep their resolutions, but alas, typically only 8% can keep their resolution for the entire year. I don’t mean to dishearten you with these stats. In fact, I want you to be part of the 8% success rate. So how do we make that happen?

First of all, let’s be a little more positive. Did you know that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10x more likely to succeed at their goals than people who don’t? Let’s talk about goals. You’ve probably heard that they should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Sure that’s a great acronym for a poster, but in real life often it’s not that black and white. Let’s look at history:

2017’s Top New Year’s Resolutions:

11. Find a better job
10. Find the love of my life
9. Do more good deeds for others
8. Learn something new
7. Work out more
6. Spend more time with friends and family
5. Do more exciting things
4. quit smoking
3. Better financial decisions
2. Life / Self Improvements
1. Lose weight / eat healthier

About half of those things can’t be quantified. Seriously, how do you measure progress on finding a better job? I guess you could graph how many applications you send out, and how many interviews you schedule, but that’s kind of depressing. In a perfect world the stats would be 1:1 with a perfect job becoming available to you at the perfect time, and you submit the perfect application and resume and ace the interview and take the better job with better pay and better opportunities… yeah, it sounds like a dream to me too.

So, here are my top 5, realistic tips for smashing the hell out of your New Year’s Resolution, no matter what it is. These 5 tips are a great action plan that is easy to understand and follow. Seriously, I don’t know why no one has laid it out like this before! Keep reading, I’m actually going to give you 4 of the 5 tips now, and if you like what I’m saying I will email you my #1 tip.

Here we go:

5. Plan your resolution like you are planning to run a marathon. Don’t just give yourself a black and white objective. You can’t be a couch potato one day who has never trained for a marathon, and the next day plan to run it perfectly, finish in a good time, and not throw up. It takes planning, hard work and persistence to be able to do something that big and succeed. Plan out your resolution the same way. Think of steps you need to be successful and plan them out intentionally.

4. Speaking of planning, schedule your resolution- use your favorite calendar, not a fake one you’re not used to looking at (been there!). If that’s an app, an organizer, or your iphone calendar, set appointments with yourself and put reminders in as much as you can. Want to read more? Schedule a weekly trip to the library. Actually schedule it, don’t just make a mental note. Heading to the gym more? Schedule that too. Eating healthier? Schedule a meal prep day at the beginning of each week and maybe a healthy themed day of the week like “Soup & Salad Saturday,” or “Fish Friday.” Make your schedule for at least 3 months, 6 if you can. It takes 6 months of doing a habit for it to become part of your personality.

3. The actual point of a New Year’s Resolution is not to do a habit for a year and revert back to your former self. It is to do a habit enough for a year to hopefully become part of your identity and personality. For this to happen, you should start the early stages (and late stages) talking about your resolution, to anyone who will listen. By talking about your New Year’s Resolution, you make yourself accountable. (No one wants to talk about goals and admit they gave up on them.) Additionally, when you talk about your goals, you invite other people to become your accountability partners. Sometimes you really do need to talk to someone else about your goals in order to keep motivation up. Whether it’s a cheerleader, a partner in crime, or a kick in the ass, it’s nice to have someone checking in on your goals and keeping you accountable.

2. Invest in yourself and your resolution. By spending money on your resolution you are more likely to keep it. Learning a new language? Buy a book or an online course and commit to using it. Feel like working out more? Buy a gym membership or clothes to wear to the gym. One catch though- make sure the stakes are high enough for you to care about them. $10 a month for a gym membership might be easy to disregard and blow off. Make sure the investment is a noticeable squeeze on your wallet; something painful to part with that guilts you into following through. For example: there are a few websites that place bets on your weight loss. If that seems too weird for you, try rewarding yourself by putting a dollar in a jar every time you go to the gym. When you reach $30 for 30 days, buy yourself a new gym outfit or treat yourself to a mani pedi, or save it and try to make $300 during the year. If you are trying to save money, pay yourself for good deeds. When you make your own lunch instead of grabbing fast food, put $3-$5 in a jar, and when you succeed 10x, you’ll have $30-$50 more in your pocket that wouldn’t have been there.

For my  #1 tip that will help you succeed at your New Year’s Resolution, sign up for my free emails, below. I promise it is an easy step that will help you be part of the 8% successful. I also promise not to spam you, and keep contact to once or twice a month. I can’t wait to share this tip with you! See you on the other side!

Click here to receive emails from me, including my #1 tip on how to succeed at your New Year’s Resolution!

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Wisdom for the Young

By October 15, 2017 inspiration

Reflections on a Road Trip, Part 1

Journal Entry, August 2018- Confessions of a 32 Year Old SAHM

I’m getting really excited about this road trip coming up. Maybe it’s the planning, maybe it’s the taking charge, maybe it’s being adventurous and going into the unknown. What I realized today is what I’m probably most excited about is the fact that everyone is telling me NO and being naysayers and doubters and I can’t wait to shove it in their faces… Just like when I was younger, when I had big ideas and my heart was full of adventure. I wanted to do fantastic things and people kept saying, “No, you can’t do that you’re a girl… No, you can’t do that you’re too young… No, you can’t do that; you shouldn’t do that.” All that is coming back to me, and that’s what I feel good about. That’s what makes this adventure feel so right- that everybody is telling me no, and my heart is saying yes. Yes I can do this. Yes it will work out. Yes it’s going to happen! Adventure awaits and I can’t wait! Its now that I realize the need to keep that spirit alive.

There will never be a more appropriate time to be adventurous than when you are young, and curious, and able

My advice to young people: As you age your “wisdom” and “maturity” tend to kill that fire inside and you rationalize that you have become more “sensible.” You hear the naysayers so much that you start to believe them… Don’t!  Believe in yourself and listen to your heart and your sense of adventure- don’t listen to fear. These people are looking out for you and they are sabotaging you. They are projecting their fears and doubts upon you and their concerns have little to do with you. You are fearless and the more you listen to them the less adventurous you will be. And if you listen to them, one day you will look in the mirror and not recognize yourself, because you used to be daring and now you are as fearful as they are. And you won’t know what has happened. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -Thoreau

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