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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Capsule Wardrobe .... well, kind of.

I've spend some time reading about Minimalism and one of the many chats is about creating a capsule wardrobe.  A capsule wardrobe is minimal wardrobe composed of 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items that will meet your needs for a given time amount of time.  The challenge I tried to achieve was the 333 challenge.  You create a capsule wardrobe of 33 pieces and us only those items for 3 months.

Well, I love clothes!  But I'm not a mall junkie or online shopping junkie.  I am a thrift store junkie!  I love free or super cheap clothes.  It's like a rush for me to find great yard sale finds of nice clothes.  But, I live in a world where my closet is scary.  I have tons of stuff that I have only worn once or twice or are old and I don't want to get rid of.  Well, today is the day of a clean, organized and minimal closet!!

Here is the clean, empty closet I started with this morning.  I took everything out of it and piled it on my bed and floor.  Now I use my closet for storage as well so some things must go back in that are not clothes; I just purged clothes today.  (I should have taken a 'before' pic, but honestly, it wasn't pretty.)

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My bed was full of clothes!  I couldn't believe how much stuff I really had in there!

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I went through each piece on the bed and asked myself, "Have I worn this in the past 6 months or year?" or "Does this still fit?" and "Is there any rips or stains?"

For the stained things, I pitched.  The things I said NO to, I put in piles to give away.  I was a little overwhelmed at first I cannot lie.  But it really didn't take me that long.  I'd say about 3 hours to go through everything, pack in bags to give away, and rehang.  

Here are my piles of clothes to get rid of.

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Here is the finished product.  Now, there are 34 pieces hanging in there.  This doesn't count accessories (purses, shoes, scarves, etc.), a pair of scrubs, a bathrobe, my wedding dress and jeans.  Living on a farm, I need my jeans. Most minimalist count accessories as pieces, but I couldn't do that.....not yet.  Baby steps. Baby steps.  

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I still have some clothes in my dresser.  I did purge that as well.  I kept sweaters, PJ's, a few work-out clothes and of course undergarments.  I did not purge my boots. Again, farm......need boots.  

So everything is bagged up and waiting for a new home.  

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Now that I am finished with this project, I feel really good.  I know that I have just what I need.  Maybe a bit more, but I can downsize again this spring/summertime.  Baby steps.  ;) When I dig out my summer clothes from storage, I'll do the same process.  I always have more fall/winter clothes though, than summer clothes.  

Here are a few website that will help you if you decide to create a capsule wardrobe:

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe (and why it will change your life)

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe - 333 Project

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My wig collection and why I wear them

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & New Year!  We had family from MI in and had a great time.  

As most of you know, I decided months ago to start wearing wigs.  
Here are the reasons I decided to do so:

*  Help my hair grow out

*  Keep hair healthy / protect it from styling, dyes, sun, etc

*  Only wash it 2 times per week now which keeps oils in that the hair needs

*  I love to change my hair and this way I can have any hair style without cutting or dying it!

*  Hide my grey.....shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

*  Cheaper than the salon and no risk if you change your hairdo!

The wigs I buy have ranged in price from $9.99 up to $54.00 and honestly, the $9.99 one is just as nice as the $54 one.  It all depends on what you like.  The lace front wigs are so you can wear your hair back or no bangs and it still looks real.  The lace looks like real scalp.  The ones with no lace usually have bangs and if they don't (and you look close) you can tell they are wigs.  All my wigs are Synthetic.  You can purchase Human hair wigs, but they are typically more expensive.  (I personally don't want someone else's hair on my head, but that's just me, lol.)  

You'd be surprised on how easy it is to fool your friends and people who see you on a regular basis.  Especially if you stay within your own natural color. I have several wigs now and all are close to my natural color.  The only one that isn't is my blonde bob wig.  That was the most expensive too believe it or not.  The longest, curly, fullest one was only $25.  So here is my collection.  Underneath each pic I posted how much, where I purchased from and some info. about the wig itself.  

This is my latest one. 

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Vivica Fox brand wig, name is Brie V, color is FS4/27.  This is my favorite wig.  :)  It has NO lace and several layers.  Very realistic looking.  This wig is heat resistant, meaning I can curl, straighten or use a hot hair dryer to set the part or style up to 350 degrees (I believe that is the temp. It will say on the packaging). I can also wear the sides up in a clip.  I purchased on Amazon for $29.  It comes in several different colors.

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This is another Vivica Fox brand wig, name is Leni-V wig, color is P2216.  I purchased this on Amazon.  It was $54, the most expensive of my wigs. Heat resistant.  It is a NO lace and the cap on these Vivica Fox wigs are very lightweight and comfortable!

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This one above is from Freetress Equal, name is Bentley and color is OH2730613.  I purchased this one on Ebay for $25.  Heat resistant.   This one has a lace front.  I plucked a few hairs from the part to make it look more natural.  Gorgeous curls!

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This one above is a no name wig I found on ebay.  It cost $9.99.  It has no lace front and very lightweight.  Heat resistant.  There are tons of these wigs on ebay.  I would suggest if you buy a no name wig, that you look to see if the seller has high positive feedback and also check to see what kind of wig.  For example, if it says Cosplay, it usually means that the wig is like a Halloween wig.  But not always.  I bought my niece a Cosplay wig for Cmas and it is really cute.  

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This one above is another favorite.  Brand is Sensationnel and is called Irene.  Color is DXR4633.   I purchased from Glamourtress for $20.  It is a lace front.  Heat resistant.  

So all together I've spent $138 (plus shipping) on these 5 wigs.  So I have 5 different hair styles in less or equal to one salon visit for a cut, color and style.  I read on Facebook that one lady spends $150 each time she goes to the salon to get her blond highlights done, yikes!

Caring for wigs:
I periodically wash these wigs.  You want to make sure you brush them out first, no tangles.  Then, in my sink, I wash with warm water and shampoo.  I then rinse and use regular conditioner and soak them for about 5 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and squeeze the water out.  I then lay it on a dry towel and roll the towel up and get as much water out as I can.  Then I hang the wig (inside out) on a hanger in the shower until dry.  (Never comb them out wet.  It may damage the synthetic fibers.)

There are TONS of wig review videos on YouTube.  I highly suggest that you research any wig you choose to buy first!  Here are a few of my favorite Wig Review people on YouTube that I subscribe to:

Fauxhair Fabulous (my favorite)
Mom Changin
Trendy Kay

Hope this information helped you out if you are looking or thinking about trying a wig.  Why not?  What is holding you back?  Always wanted a short pixie but are scared to cut your hair?   Buy a pixie wig!  ;) Nothing to lose.  How much do you spend in the hair salon getting root touch ups, cuts, styles, coloring?  I bet it's more than a wig.  Since I started wearing wigs, I've converted 2 people into the wig world.  lol.  They are fun!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Are you beautiful?

Before I get real with you on physical beauty, I want to touch base on natural / inside beauty.  We all have heard the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that is very true.  I have met some people in my lifetime who on the outside, first impression, are ordinary.  You know, not supermodel material, not ugly, just ordinary.  I would consider myself ordinary people.  Nothing stands out as gorgeous, just.............ordinary.

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But as I got to know these 'ordinary' people I've come across, they are quite the opposite of ordinary, they are simple gorgeous!  Their attitudes, heart, kindness, and compassion makes them absolutely gorgeous.  You can meet America's top supermodel and think she is ugly because of her attitude.  (I'm not slamming America's top supermodel, I honestly don't even know who she is.  lol)  Beauty shines through your actions, your heart, your selflessness, and compassion for others.

Now I'm going to get real.  Vain.  Outside beauty.  Not what is in the inside, but the outside physical beauty.  

Everyone has that one thing (or a few things) about themselves that if they could change, they would.  Some change it, some hide it, some just deal with it and have low self esteem and never feel truly good about their appearance.  I have a few things I would change about myself.  First is my nose.  I don't like my nose.  I feel it's too big and I don't take good pictures because of it.  I also don't like the dark circles under my eyes.  (Those were inherited, I supposed my nose was too?) Now, I share this with you NOT to be lifted up by others or any other reason.  I have a point and I'll get to it soon.  ;)
The other thing, and the biggest thing, I am never happy with my hair for long period of time.  For those who know me, know this is right on and totally accurate.  I get a pixie, love it for a few months, then hate it.  I highlight it (myself), love it for a few months (sometimes only weeks), then dye it dark again. I've even had it bleached professionally before.  (Sorry the pic is really bad.)

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I loved it that way, but it really damaged my hair.
I get it cut again, then I grow it out, love it for a while, hate it and cut it again then complain that I shouldn't have cut my hair.  

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This is me.  This is how I've always been.  I've never happy with my hair.  Now, this is not a spiritual thing.  I am grateful for my hair.  Going through breast cancer last year, I am blessed not to have had to do chemo and lose my hair.  THANK YOU LORD!  I just feel better about myself when I have 'nice' hair.  

So, here is my point, yes, finally getting to it.  If you don't like something about yourself change it!  If you don't like your eyebrows, pluck them.  If you don't like your weigh, try to lose it.  If you don't like your nails, paint them.  If you don't like your eyes, find make up tips to change them.  If you don't like your hair, change it.  There is nothing wrong with making changes to yourself to feel more confident as long as you are doing it for YOU, not someone else.  Now I can't have a nose job done so I will do what I can and change my hair.  I started wearing wigs.  Yes, wigs.  I've done some research and I can buy a nice wig less than I can go and get a haircut.  Yes.  It's true.  So at first I thought to myself 'what will people think?'.  I did get a few weird looks at church last Sunday morning, but you know what, people get their hair frosted, dyed, extensions put it, gray covered up, permed and straightened so why not just wear a wig?  You can change your hair style anytime you want or change up your color any time you want and you don't damage your natural hair in the mean time.  In the past I have bleached my hair, messed up my hair, fried my hair, you name hair has been through it.  It heals itself and gets healthy again, but lately my hair isn't as thick.  It doesn't feel the same.  I don't know if its the Tamoxifen (cancer medication) or if it's just my age, but it's just not the same.  I'm not happy with it so I decided to do something about it.  

So here it is.  The wig I have been wearing.  I matched my natural color (without the gray, lol).  (I do need to darken my eyebrows though.  My eyebrows are thin so I color them in, but I think they need to be a bit darker.)  

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I ordered another one from ebay and it should be here soon.  It's very long and curly.  I'll post a pic below when I get it.  

Like I mentioned above, it's cheaper than going to get your hair trimmed!  The average wash, cut (trim) & style is about $30 plus tip now and that is on the conservative side!  That doesn't include highlights, color, or extensions.  I just read a post on facebook and read that some women pay $150 to get their hair done.  If that is you, I'm not judging.  If it makes you feel better about yourself and you can afford it, go for it!  But I cannot afford that.  (Even if I could, I probably wouldn't.  I'm pretty cheap.)  

So if there is something you don't like about yourself, CHANGE IT.  You'll feel more confident and happy.  Pamper yourself.  And as far as the haters go (whether it be wig haters, make up haters, fake nail haters, etc)........who cares what they think?!  I only care about what my God thinks first and foremost and then my hubby.  That's it.  Feel better about yourself and go for it!

***UPDATE***  Here is my new hairdo!  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My daily Kefir Breakfast

A good friend of mine introduced me to Kefir.  For those who have never heard of Kefir (like me until a few weeks ago), Kefir is a tart drink that taste like yogurt.  It contains beneficial yeast as well as probiotics that your body needs, like those probiotics you buy in the store or find in yogurt.  Kefir contains natural bacteria and yeast.  It has great health benefits when consumed regularly.  It's loaded with valuable vitamins, minerals and easily digestible proteins.  

You can make Kefir in your own home by starting with Kefir grains.  You can get the grains from a friend and I've heard you can buy them online.  I would recommend that you get them locally, from a friend. 

Here is a great video on youtube that shows how to grow/make Kefir and the benefits.  This youtuber is very informative and says that it helped cure her from Crohn's disease.*

This is my daily kefir breakfast:

I use Phood, by Plant Fusion.  I buy this on Amazon for around $38. It comes in vanilla or chocolate caramel.  (I didn't like the caramel one, just thought I'd throw that in.)  It has several vitamins, high in protein and no soy, no animal products, no gluten and no dairy.  I also use raw, local honey.  I get this from a few bee keeper friends and it is wonderful and yummy!  Then, the Kefir.  I use about one cup of the refrigerated Kefir and add some ice to the blender as well.  Blend together and drink.  If I have bananas, I put one in there.  You can add any fruit that you'd like.  You can add flax seed or chia seeds too if you'd like.

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Here is the label on the Phood in case you are interested.

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I don't claim to be a health nut.  I eat my share of junk food.  My fault is candy!  I love candy!  But I try to limit myself and try to eat as healthy as I can.  

Since I started Kefir, I have felt like I had more energy and I don't have to take my daily stool softener anymore. I have to say that when I heard that the Kefir helps with digestion, I was sold and willing to try.  There are so many health issues that all stem back to your gut health.  I've only been drinking this for about a week and a half.  I plan to continue.  

So if you have health issues, you may want to check into this.  :)

* Disclaimer:  I do not claim this will cure Crohn's or any other disease.  I only blog from my experience and help spread the word on what health benefits others received from this product.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A 1200 lb. pet? Yikes!

I did it.  I'm a horse owner.  Well, we had Cinnamon, our mini horse.  (I knew I wanted a riding horse, so we got the mini a few months back.)  Anyway, I found a nice trail horse.  I have to say, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed for the perfect horse for me.  I wanted the 1200 lb. animal to be the right fit for me.  My order wasn't small either.  I wanted a good trail horse.  A mare with a huge amount of patience and well behaved.  I wanted no bad habits. One who was trained and gaited.  I wanted a horse that would bond with me and our personalities match.  Well, my prayers were answered!  

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She really only has one bad habit and that's is that she reaches over our fence to eat the grass in our yard.  The grass is literally greener on the other side of the fence.  Due to the low amount of rain, our grass isn't that great anymore.  I've been feeding her grain, minerals, salt and of course hay.  LOTS of hay. 

Took her trail riding several times and she is doing great!  She is gaited and she even knows how to beg.   Which I didn't know she was begging until our Farrier told me what she was doing.  Someone spent some time with her.  She's 12 years old and she is gentle and I love her already!  

Cinnamon gets along with her very well.  They had it out a few times in the beginning, but it's all good.

I am new to all this horse ownership stuff, but I do have a great mentor.  My friend Marilyn has helped me with choosing a horse, trail riding, safety tips, health tips, etc.  She is an angel.  :)   I would highly suggest that anyone wanting to buy a horse to first find a mentor.  There is a lot of responsibility that goes into this beautiful creature (and well worth it I may add), and it wouldn't be fair to the animal to get into horse ownership without being prepared. 

So, this bad habit she has (reaching over the fence for greener grass), any suggestions on how to correct it?  My husband is planning on putting electric fence on the top.  The fencing we have now is goat/sheep fence, which is very strong, good fencing. We have sheep and goats so we already had this type of fencing and knew it was strong.  Well,........not strong enough to hold a 1200 lb. horse from bending the top over.  lol.    Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What made me decide to homeschool?

I think some parents decide to homeschool because they are called to.  I personally was told by the Lord to homeschool my boys, so I did.  But at first I was scared, confused and uneducated about it.  I pushed the thought aside for a bit and went on with life.  Our oldest son just started third grade, our middle son just started the K4 program and my youngest was just a few months old.  We had just recently made the decision for me to be a stay at home mom full time.

One day while picking up my two older boys at the private Christian school they attended, the teacher (also principle and pastors wife) met me at the door.   She told me that she had an issue with my oldest son.  I was shocked because he was the quiet, calm, did as he was told, son.  (Not that the younger one was not, he was just more of the 'class clown'.)  She began to explain how he sat in her classroom all day and didn't do any of his work for that day.  On the way home I questioned my son about this issue.  Nothing was said to him until right before I got there.  At first I was irritated but I began to think 'I pay really good money for the boys to attend that school.  How is it that she was in the same room all day with him and didn't notice him not doing his work?'  (Especially when there was only about 20 children in that room.)  The more I pondered this, the more irritated I became.  The school uses aBeka curriculum.  I've seen the curriculum and thought to myself that I could teach this to my boys.  I could teach them the same material they were learning at this expensive private school.  (Which money wasn't the issue at this point.  Remember, I was called by the Lord to homeschool so I believe this was his way of opening my eyes.)  

I started to research homeschooling.  I was shocked to see that there were several homeschool groups right here in my county!  Really?  Where were they all?  lol.  I've never noticed.  I heard that the local homeschool group was holding a meeting about homeschooling, so I decided to go.  I was a fish out of water.  Do people really do this, educate their own children at home?  They get to spend all day, everyday with their children?  Where do I start?  I don't need a degree?  What would my husband think?  How in the world do they organize, give grades, chose curricula?  I had so many questions.  I tried to ask a few, but again, I was a fish out of water and felt so overwhelmed.

After the meeting I went home and told my husband all about what I found out.  I then looked up the Florida homeschooling laws, (we lived in FL at the time), discussed and went over it with my husband.  He was ok with me doing this, so I then joined HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), gave the private school and county Notice of Intent, and I found a mentor.  :)

So some are called to homeschool, some are just not happy with the public school statistics, and some want to be with their kids.  For whatever reason, it's good to know that we as parents have the right to decide what kind of education our children receive.  Because the government is funding our public schools, we as parents have less and less control and say on how they are run and what they are teaching the next generation.  I used to say that I am not anti-pubic school, but I feel my opinion shifting.  They are not getting better.  Our safety for our public school children is diminishing as well.  I have great concern for our public schools here in America.  Do I think homeschooling is for everyone?  No.  But if you aren't happy with the education your child is receiving, you can do something about it.  You do have choices.  YOU are responsible for your child's education, not the government.  YOU should decide what kind of education they should receive.  Pray about it.  Ask God to show you the answer and help you decide what educational path you should take for your family.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

BEFORE you start homeschooling, you should..............

#1  Know your state laws!

This seems a little scary.....the word 'law', yikes! There are laws with homeschooling?  Yes.  Each state has their own homeschooling laws and requirements.  You can go to (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) and click on your state to see what your state laws are.  There are only 5 states that have high regulation, some with low to moderate regulation and there are also a few that have no notice requirement at all!  The few that have no notice requirements (meaning, you do not have to notify them at all that you are homeschooling) are MI, IN, IL, IA, MO, OK, TX, AK, NJ, ID and CT. (Guam & Puerto Rico are in this group as well.)  Some of these may require a certain number of days or hours to be schooled, or different compulsory age requirements, some want log books and portfolio's to be kept, but there is no notice to be filed and I don't believe any assessments are required to be turned in.  So please check your state before you start to homeschool to make sure you are compliant with the laws!  Our veteran homeschoolers fought to preserve these rights for us so we don't want to infringe on them.

#2   Plug into your local homeschool groups!

If you don't think your community has a homeschool group, think again.  We are out there!  (We are everywhere!  hahaha)  Homeschooling is growing at a ridiculous rate this past decade.  There are over 2 million homeschooled children in the US alone!
Just Google 'homeschool groups' or find your state under-
HSLDA also has groups listed.  However, keep in mind that these groups will need to register with these websites.  So if you cannot find a group using these websites, that doesn't mean they don't exist.  Our local homeschool group has over 120 families in a rural area of northwest WV and we aren't on these sites.  (Not sure why now that I'm thinking about this.  Hmmmm.)  Your public library is another great place to ask about homeschooling groups.  Most homeschooling parents utilize the library.  Also, there are several homeschooling groups on Facebook now.  So they are out there, you just need to look.  :)

#3   Ask for help!

Don't be afraid to ask for help!  Don't be afraid to ask what you might think is a silly question.  But do NOT ask your local pubic school questions!  They do NOT know the homeschool laws and may give you wrong info.  Also, they are more than likely losing money on those being homeschooled so their goal is to get your child(ren) back into the public school system.  You see the picture.  (By the way, don't feel bad about the local schools losing money on your child(ren), they still receive some money for them and you still pay school taxes even though your child isn't attending.)  Anyway, please ask someone who knows the laws.  A homeschool coordinator, a veteran homeschool mom or dad, HSLDA, etc.  These are the people you want to ask because they are knowledgeable about homeschooling all the way around.

Before I end this blog post, I want to take a minute to explain HSDLA.  

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HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Assoc.) is a group of Christian attorneys who fight and help preserve our homeschooling rights.  Not just here in the US, but all over the world.  They are wonderful.  There is a membership fee of $120 per year.  This fee includes any questions you may have, advice, shopping perks, etc.  You will get a teacher ID card with membership so you can use it at certain stores for discounts just like the public school teachers do.  (After all, you will be an educator.)  The best part of this membership is peace of mind.  If the school board contacts and asks for something that isn't required by law, you call HSLDA and ask for advice.  Our local school board started calling parents a few years back asking for information (why we are homeschooling?  what can they do to get our kids back in to the public school system?).  A few of us called HSDLA.  They wrote a letter to the board explaining that they are not to contact us for things that are not required by law.  The phone calls stopped.  But it goes beyond that.  I've read articles on homeschool parents getting charged with Truancy.  (Maybe their paperwork got lost or they were still on the public school roster.)  HSLDA will go to court for you and defend your homeschooling rights.  No fees are paid to them except your membership fee.  I've been to court before and lawyers are not cheap!  HSLDA has been my peace of mind for many years.  They have monthly plans (of $10) or you can buy 5 years for $500 or even a LIFETIME membership for $1000.  I wish I would have purchased the lifetime membership.  I am going on my 13'th year of homeschooling and I've paid by year.  hahaha.  But it is worth every penny!  To view the membership options or to join, click HERE.

Thank you for reading my blog!  I hope this information has helped those who are currently homeschooling and are new to it. 

 God Bless & Happy Homeschooling!