Journey into Minimalism: 20 Minute Task List

I hate housework. I really do. And I’ve been terrible at it for 4 of our years together. But since some time last summer I have been putting a huge effort into changing this. Minimizing clutter and getting rid of unnecessary things have realy made a huge impact on how long it takes me to clean.

I grew up in a minimalist home. I feel like that turned me into a hoarder, especially these last few years. I have so much STUFF I don’t need to keep, but wanted it. I think, like with most things, there needs to be balance. Too far one way is no good and too far the other isn’t good either. The weeks I spent decluttering back in January really helped make daily tasks easier.

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How can you be minimalist when it comes to housework? Glad you asked! Make yourself a task list -a friend encouraged me to not use the word “chore” because that carries negative energy and makes me dread getting though my list. I just took a notebook paper and drew a line down the middle. Our middle divider is the boys naptime. Everything in the first side should be done before their nap. Everything on the second side should be done by bedtime.

Since putting this into practice a few weeks ago, my house has been cleaner than ever! Anyone that knows me in real life knows how huge this is!

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Now I’m sure you’re wondering how the 20 minute thing ties into this, well here it is: I set 20 minute timers on the kitchen stove and run through my task list. I can get almost everything on my morning list done in 20 minutes. Same for the evening list. The exception being dishes, and twice a day -most days- I set a 20 minute timer and just stand and wash up dishes. (That’s about how long it takes to fill up both the dish drainers since we don’t have a dishwasher).

You’ll notice I have basic things in the morning section, and more cleaning tasks in the evening. I don’t know if its just me or if this is true for many people, but when I tried to get cleaning done in the morning I was often repeating those same tasks in the evening too! Such a waste of time. And a huge frustration! Now that we keep clean up tasks in the evening, I can zip through the list and we wake up to a tidy house every morning. This helps our day start off on a positive note, life flows better when I’m not going through the mess leftover from the day before because I didn’t have time to repeat all the tasks before bedtime.

One final note: it takes time to get a balance that will work for you. The best thing you can do is just pick and start! Make your list, set your timer, and go. You may need a longer timeframe or a shorter timeframe, but it really will get easier the more you do it.

Journey into Minimalism: 20 Minute Task List

Understanding Homeopathy

For a few weeks now I have been really digging into understanding how homeopathic remedies work. This has been a fascinating thing to study, though very overwhelming when coming from using “regular” medicines such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen (these are not things we use anymore as I’ve worked hard to find natural alternatives to treat root cause of pain instead of putting a bandaid on it with pain relivers). There are so many remedies and so many funny names for them that it all kind of got jumbled up at first. It’s slowly starting to make sense for me though, and hopefully this will be a helpful read for you to understand it also.

Homeopathic remedies aren’t medicine. Instead, they work with your body and support your body & immune system through the illness you are experiencing. This was a strange concept to me at first, but the more I study this, the more it makes sense. Homeopathy uses the “like cures like” thought. This means the remedy will trigger an immune response to help the body heal. The remedies used may give a healthy person those same symptoms. You can read more about this from Mary Aspinwall, who is a Homeopath in Canada.

When taking a remedy, you will want to first make sure you find the correct one for the symptoms you are experiencing. If you take the wrong remedy, either nothing will happen or your symptoms will change. You may also experience “proving” which is when you have the side effects the remeedy was supposed to cure(1). At that point you would reevaluate and try a different remedy. Most who use homeopathy prefer single remedies to combinations, however, combinations are often easier to find at drug stores like Walgreen’s.

There are many common myths about homeopathy. One being that it isn’t scientific. Homeopathy is *made in a lab*. It is very scientific! Joette Calabrese, another Homeopath, shares several scientific resources, in a easy to reference format, on her blog.

The wonderful thing about homeopathy is that it is safe for infants, children, pets, adults, elderly. Literally anyone can use homeopathic remedies! 

Homeopathy carries no risk of “overdosing”. Dosing is easy too: you would take one pellet for one dose. Taking multiple pellets of the same remedy will not increase it’s effectiveness because it is still one dose. It’s completely different from what we are used to with mainstream things like Tylenol or Ibuprofen where the strength of the medicine is increased by taking multiple pills together. This being said, some do take several pellets (2-5), but is generally not needed if you don’t touch the pellets (the oils from your hand can coat the pellet, making it take longer for your body to asorb). The ones in the Boiron drop bottles -see picture below- are made so you can twist the cap and let a single pellet roll into your mouth where it should dissolve under the tongue. It is recommended to not eat or drink anything except water for 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after taking a remedy. For kids, at least 5 minutes before and after, though it’s most effective if you can do the longer time (2).

When I’ve needed a remedy for acute issues, we take one pellet every 15 minutes for the first hour (total of 4 doses), then take another every few hours as needed or change remedy if symptoms change. (This is what we do and has worked well for us, not meant to give medical advice.)

I also want to touch on the different dilutions you will see on the remedies. You’ll see in the photo below that one remedy is 30x and the other is 6c. This number tells us the dilution and the letter tells us the process that was used to make the remedy. C, X, K, CX, and 200CK, are different processes used to make homeopathic remedies. Borion has a helpful article outlining the different processes. Dilutions are the numbers on the remedy. The lower dilutions (ex. 6c or 6x) being best for symptoms that are clear to pinpoint, medium dilutions (ex. 12x, 9c, 12c) will relieve general symptoms, as in more than one symptom, in more than one location. Higher dilutions  (ex 30c or 30x) can be used for more than one symptom or location. This FAQ, also from Boiron, has a helpful dilution chart and explains this further. It will make more sense if you read the first link in this section before reading the FAQ.

Many heath food stores now carry remedies. This is great for quick needs, but if you plan to use homeopathy frequently it would be more cost effective to get a kit. I have the Hyland’s Kids Kit which I bought several years ago and am only just now getting close to replacing one of the remedies. I also have several individual remedies from Borion. These are the two companies I have used remedies from. A friend recommend ABC Homeopathy to me, I have not yet checked into or purchased anything from them. Both of the Homeopath’s I reference above also have kits available on their websites, and there are many kits available on Amazon as well. What kit you get will depend on what your individual family needs are. Having more remedies available will allow you to pinpoint the remedy that will be most helpful for the symptoms you are experiencing.

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I thought I would give a few examples of how we use homeopathy. 1) I frequently use Arnicare Pain Relief Gel any time the boys (or myself!) bump their arm, or leg, or head. Arnica is helpful for brusising and pain (arnica should never be applied to an open wound). I have also found it helpful for the sensitive burn scar on my foot, I apply to the area if I start experiencing pain -usually caused by standing too long. 2) Chammomila is one of our favorite go-to’s for teething relief. I have used this one for both of the boys for several years now and found it extremely effective. 3) Most recently we used Nux Vomica to help combat nausea and car sickness for myself and Bear. I was very impressed with the results, especially since the roads we travelled were quite curvy and would have typically made him sick and me nauseated.

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I would encourage you to learn more about this amazing healing resource! It has so many uses and applications I couldn’t possibly get into it all. Most recently, I got Miranda Castro’s book “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook”. I have only just begun reading it and have referenced it several times now. It’s definetly proving to be a useful book to have on hand! This Quick Start Guide from Joette Calabrese is also an excellent resource. Her blog is easy to look up information on. I have read her articles for coughs and fevers. I also came across information about fibromyalgia and look forward to studying this a bit more and trying the suggestions for my own health issues.

Book Reference.

  1. Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 17.
  2. Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 25.

Thank you to my knowledgeable friends, L, C, & A who helped me make sure this was well put together and easy to understand. ♡

Understanding Homeopathy

Quick Meatloaf (Paleo/Whole 30)

I am terrible about not measuring spices when I cook! When people ask for my recipes I don’t know how to tell them what I used! This recipe is one example. I finally took time to measure the spices so I could blog the recipe to share!

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs**
  • 1 tesaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tesaspoon garlic porder*
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder*
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a large bowl, mash together all the ingredients. I usually use my hands to make sure all the meat is well mashed and the spices are blended in, and for the black pepper I just sprinkle it over the top of everything before mixing.
  3. Press evenly into a 9×13 pan. -This will make for a thin meatloaf, but will give at least 8 portion sizes once cooked.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes. You’ll want to cut down the middle to make sure it is completely cooked. I usually start with 30 and go from there, adding 10 minutes if needed. Because it is thin, it cooks quickly.
  5. Serve warm. You can top with some tomato sauce, homemade ketchup, or eat like it is! Leftovers are also really good mixed with hashbrowns & kale and stir-fried!

Notes

  • **We use duck eggs, but chicken will work as well.
  • *I have used fresh crushed garlic and chopped onion in place of powdered. It works well both ways.
Quick Meatloaf (Paleo/Whole 30)

♡ March ♡

This has been such a wild month, full of emotional highs and lows. And a lot of personal stuff I wont be sharing here.

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Half Lord of the Fishes.

I did a fun Yoga challenge this month. Only a few poses I hadn’t really practiced much before (Half Moon, was one. I don’t remember the other.) I have really enjoyed it, even though I didn’t practice every day, I would catch up a few days at a time.

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With warmer weather -when it decided to be warm!- we have been enjoying almost daily evening walks. It has been lovely to see the sunset change each time. I’ve been taking lots of photos of the beautiful sunsets we have here.

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I encouraged the ladies in my tribe to share something from their home that made them happy. This was mine. My little ferments (I finally published the directions for making sauerkraut) and aloe plant and my diffuser going. I probably had lavender and grapefruit in that day for calming anxiety.

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Fox has exploded with his interest in writing and learning numbers. This sample was him writing a shopping list out while I was working on our grocery list and menus. He said items for each word he wrote, and then carefully writing inside these lines. He is only three years old! This is called “emergent writing”.

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I finally placed an order with Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve wanted to do this for years, and finally just did it. I am loving what I got.

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I also placed my first ever Plant Therapy essential oil order. I am absolutely in love with their lavender and frankincense. Vetiver is quickly growing on me as well, a little sure does go a long way with that one!

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And one last product share. I got a new order in from one of my favorite herbal shops, Simple & Natural. Her magnesium oil is wonderful! Her lip balms are the smoothest ones I’ve come across from natural shops. This migraine roller blend is my absolute favorite, I highly recommend it! And I had to try something new so I picked out this Daily Herbal Tea. Haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure it is amazing like the rest of her products.

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I discovered an interesting quiz through a friend. I took it not sure what to expect the results to be, but this describes me very well. I was quite surprised this was the word chosen for the answers I gave since “warrior” has been a special word to me for a long time now. Read more here.

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I did spend some time working on my blackberries. Cleaned out dead ones and wrapped the good ones into the fence here. I’m hopeful for another good crop this year. I usually get at least a gallon. Almost all of it goes into blackberry jam or I use it to make blackberry flavored kombucha.

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The boys are getting bigger and starting to have more and more moments where they play together well and get along. Their close age gap has been difficult for awhile, but I feel like they will grow closer as they get older.

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We got eggs from our favorite farm. Fox went with me and got to pet the goats and see chickens and ducks. He loves animals.

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Bear got his very first haircut at 17 months old. No more baby curls. This made me sad. He looks so much older now.

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My friend who is closer than a sister to me moved back to Hungary. It will be several years before we are see eachother again. We both have locks and traded one to have something from each other through this long separation. I am excited for her journey and glad they are going back home, but I will miss her so much.

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This has been highlights from March. I hope enjoyed these little tidbits from our life. ♡

♡ March ♡

Stovetop Chicken Bone Broth

Bone broth is very easy to make, even though it can be a little time consuming if done on the stove. I go between stovetop and crockpot frequently. The method I use depends on the time I have available to keep an eye on it when it’s time to make the broth.

Bone broth is good for our bodies in many ways. Some use it for Gut Health, others in restoring minerals for their teeth. Anytime there is illness in our home I make it a priority to cook fresh bone broth to help everyone get nutrition they need while not feeling well. It also makes a wonderful base for many soups, adding a rich flavor so it never goes to waste.

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Stovetop Chicken Bone Broth