How Finding Time For Chores Will Free Your Time For More

Chores.  We flinch at the word.  They’re boring, hard, and time consuming.  They’re not fun.  Unfortunately they’re not going anywhere.  They are part of our lives.  In order to live comfortably we have to take care of business.  In order to be good homemakers we have to be good at taking care of our homes.  When our work is done we have room for other opportunities.  The old quote work hard to have fun is a classic saying for a reason.  We have to find time for chores so we can free our time for more!

As a wife and mother I used to dread chores.  I felt like it was an endless task list of mundane things that I could never get caught up on.  It was the same darn routine over and over with no end in sight.  I felt like I was spending my whole day doing these small little tasks and when I’d look back I couldn’t tell what I’d even done?   It was a cycle and I was the hamster doing circles on the wheel.  Even worse I never had time for other projects, or deeper things around the house.  I was reacting to basic chores, when I should have been proactive.  I knew there had to be a more efficient and productive way to keep things in order.  I wanted my time back to do things that gave me energy rather than drained my energy.

That’s when I discovered a daily rhythm.  A daily rhythm is how I started finding time for chores and freeing time for more!  A daily rhythm is similar to a routine, but not like a strict schedule.  It offers flexibility, but keeps you aligned on the tasks you need to do.

All you do is break your day up into time frames and put together the pieces as your day flows.

When thinking about where to include chores in my daily rhythm I began thinking of how our day typically flowed…

1. what things were required for our basic needs to be met?

2. what things would have to be done in order for us to be caught up each day?

3. what areas was I lacking or always behind in?

For me, it was chores like cooking, dishes, and laundry, etc…   These were things I tried to squeeze in everyday as I went along, but never made actual time for.  When you sit down and list these out they take a certain amount of time to accomplish.  Hence the reason doing them sporadically all day was really taking a big chunk of my time and keeping me sidetracked from other productive things.  I discovered I wasn’t giving myself a chance to get these basics done because they didn’t have a true time frame within my day!

I noticed the most critical chore had to do with meal time so since I would be setting time aside in my rhythm for that, I simply added some extra time in that frame to do a few other chores.  I decided to revolve my chore rhythm around meals.  I divided them into two parts, breakfast and supper.  I had to feed my family so since that was already a requirement I gave myself 30 more minutes after meals to tackle required chores.  I was sneaky here, I made the chore rhythm a time when my family was around to help;)  So after meals we race to get the required chores done that way we can do the things we think are fun!

If you’re looking to start finding time for chores and freeing time for fun follow these few steps:

  1.  Decide on a time frame in your daily rhythm to insert some basic everyday chores. ( I do some chore time twice a day, once in the a.m. and once in the p.m. )
  2. Decide on a few specific areas you plan to focus on during this time.  ( I keep it narrowed down to 3 -5 chores that are required for my families basic needs to be met) … examples: a.m. – dishes, laundry, pets, and plants p.m. – dishes, laundry, sweep, and trash
  3. Decide to see it through each day.  (Once you’ve planned this designated time to do these few critical things every day you will keep on track and build your momentum for getting things accomplished)

In closing I hope this exercise has givin you inspiration about the importance of chores in our daily lives as well as a good strategy to get you accomplishing what’s important in your home life.

live for the most,

kc

Perspective

What is it about perspective that helps us see more clearly?  At each new level of life we gain perspective and we wish we could have understood it long before…  As I approach the new year looking back on what’s been done, and looking forward at what’s to come, I can’t help but have a new perspective… one that’s a little different.  One that remains the same.

Each one of us are unique and will go through a variety of circumstances to help teach us things as we go.  Rather than thinking of perspective as always changing with each new experience however, I’m realizing I wish to have a perspective that stays the same… to think that regardless of what happens good or bad, I stay true.  Not in a bad, non growth type of way, but in the way that I keep my integrity.  I try to do good whatever comes my way.  I stay constant.  In fights with my husband, or bad days with my kids, I choose to lift my thoughts to higher ground.  I’m learning to be stronger and that I can change a lot by my perspective and response.

Yes, there will always be mistakes and lessons learned, but I’m committing this year to keep my perspective on a higher level than just each high and low.  Rather to focus on a heavenly perspective and ask myself in each new season, place, disagreement, achievement…. what is the bigger picture?  how can this honor god?  what is god teaching through this?  I’ve started noticing this more in my life and it truly helps me take the focus off of me and have a much clearer perspective and idea for what I should be doing with my life.  It helps in those little and big moments of life and it’s part of my new year’s resolution.  My word this year is C O N S I S T A N C Y.  So here’s to a consistant perspective!

A Christmas Bunnyhouse

Hi, this is Dakota.  I’m doing a takeover on the blog for my mom KC today.  I’ll be showing you the details of my bunnyhouse that I  decorated for Christmas.  I thought the little critters would like a festive home for the holidays too!  I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Best Ever Sugar Cookies!

 

One of my mama’s friends shared the very best sugar cookie recipe with us long ago and we use it every Christmas!  I wanted to share it with you since Santa’s comin to town;)  He never leaves a crumb behind!  Make a double batch because you’ll want to take them to all your holiday gatherings too- our friends and family look forward to them each year…

The Best Sugar Cookies:

31/4 c. flour

1/2 c. butter or marg.

1 c. sugar

11/2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 c. sour cream

-preheat to 350

sift flour, salt, and soda together.  in another bowl cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  add sour cream.  then add flour mixture.  roll out dough on floured counter.  cut out 1/4 to 1/2 in. thick.  if dough is too sticky sprinkle with a bit more flour and work in.  bake for 10 min.  do not overcook!  they don’t get really brown… 😉  another key is to use homemade buttercream frosting.  most cookbooks have a recipe for this in them or google works great too!  oh by golly these will make you jolly!  have fun.

A Wrapping Party

the annual Christmas wrapping party… it’s the best kind of holiday party to attend in my opinion because it’s a chance to get all that wrapping done!!  i host a small gathering each December for my close family where we can share a special Christmas dinner together and wrap some presents to have under the tree!  we play festive music and try to get as much done as possible… this year i tried to get all crafty and make the gifts look pretty for under the tree rather than my normal quick wrap job the night before Christmas.  it’s fun to have time to designate to this wrapping work and enjoy it a little;) stay cozy friends and get those gifts wrapped! Xx

ps. this was the wrap style i was inspired by this year from alpine baby co. whom i adore🙌🏼

natural with some greenery accents… and pops of color of course:)

Cozy Sweater Nights + A Bedtime Rhythm

Ahhh.  Winter.  Your almost here.  I know it’s strange but I love wintertime.  Snuggly nights at home cuddled up with hot cocoa and fuzzy blankets.  It just makes my heart sing.  I love the slower pace of the cold season.  Maybe it’s that the early nightfall brings us indoors sooner, but I feel like we have more time together during winter.

 

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For quite some time now I have truly struggled with a nightly routine for our family.  It’s never been our strong suit.  Likely because my husband and I are both night people by nature so we come alive in the evening.  I’m always busy around the house with supper and chores and he’s usually getting rowdy with the kiddos.  It’s been a discipline for us to learn the importance of a nightly routine and how to train our mind and bodies to wind down.  I feel that even though we aren’t masters at this endeavor, it can still be valuable to share what we’ve learned and what’s been working for us in hope that you may glean something from it.

 

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A little list of what brings warmth and calm to our nightly routine… (note: we are not a super structured family so this is just the basic outline I use to help us stay on track… we don’t hit our times perfectly 😉

With Family

5:00  listening to music while fixing supper (helpers welcomed)

6:00  eating together

6:30  cleaning up together (night time chores)

  1. dishes
  2. sweep
  3. laundry
  4. trash
  5. tidy up (things strung out from the day)

7:00  ready for bed (bath time)

8:00  song & story with Jared

(he plays the dulcimer while we sing folksongs and hymns then I read a chapter book while they snuggle and listen… just call us the next Branson best! ;P (you have to be from the ozarks to laugh at that joke)

8:30  prayers and tuck in time

With Husband and Self

9:00  tea & time together

(ideas: talking, a show, reading, exercising, stretching, cuddling, anything to wind down and just B E  together… this is really hard for us, not because we don’t want to just relax together but because by the time we get alone time were either really tired or have things to get done, or sometimes we just want to do our own thing.  it’s still a work in progress for us, but we’re getting closer.  the nights we accomplish this time together feels so good!)

10:00  lights out.

 

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Hopefully this was insightful for you and gave you some takeaway for your own nightly rhythm.   I’ve found when planning this out it’s best to think of it as a rhythm not a schedule or routine.  It helps to think how your night naturally flows best.  It’s much easier to tweak and dismiss rigidity in your expectations this way.

What is an idea you might try to use or what might you include that I didn’t?  I’d love to read your input so leave a comment!

Live for the most & stay warm friends!

kc

p.s. linked a few warm and cozy things for you below…

Christmas Family Traditions

Our annual tree hunt at the Ozark Valley Tree Farm… 

As a little girl my family made a big deal out of the perfect christmas tree.  My dad would load us all up in the truck and we would head out for that perfect one..  Remember that scene in “Christmas Vacation” where they hike out in the wilderness to search for the perfect tree and when they see it all the light shines down and the angels sing, yet the family stands all frozen to death and miserable… that’s pretty much what I remember ;P  No really though, my best memories are the family traditions that we’ve shared and carried on through the years.

Jared and I were so excited when our community established a tree farm a few years back.  Ozark Valley adds the most amazing touches to an already fun family day.  Our local farm has a cocoa and cookies shop, an ornament craft for kiddos, a hayride to the tree farm and the kindest service ever!  The kids adore it and the atmosphere for us parents is not so bad either.  It’s set back in the hills with the prettiest views of the Ozarks.  It’s also the perfect place to take a photo for Christmas Cards.  I think they even offer a photographer on site if you choose that route.  Here are a few details I captured from our day.

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Tis the Season!

KC

Gifting Made Easy… The Best 3 Steps!

Gifting use to stress me out but a couple years ago I decided to start simplifying things a little so as not to get overwhelmed.  I started also being more selective with the quality of things my children received rather than the quantity.

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Here are 3 ways to make it easy + some links to my favorite gift ideas for the season…

  1. Set A Standard- for me it’s the ole reliable… something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they read.  This little christmas law has helped me tons to stay focused on what I’m buying and I’ve noticed that my children are very happy with what they recieve.  Keep it simple for yourself;)  We do celebrate the holiday with Santa so he usually brings each child a toy and he has always brought us a family game too;)  As for stockings, they usually have our favorite candy’s and maybe a small couple items…:D
  2. Shop Your Favorites- I use to want to look in every window and scavage all the holiday magazines but that just wastes too much time.  My time is much more valuable than maybe getting 20% extra off that certain toy… I keep myself grounded and on track by shopping at a few select stores for my main purchases.  This is handy for me because I’m someone who knows what I like.  I have a certain style and I don’t feel the need to have to shop around everywhere under the sun.   Speaking of having a certain style… when it comes to choosing toys and games for my kids I have come to realized something I learned in my early childhood education classes is sooooo true.  classic wooden toys and old fashioned games are worth every penny.  My children play ten times more with quality toys over plastic, noisy toys.  In college I read that children need to play with things that absorb their energy not reflect it and after teaching kindergarten and having my own children I know this is so very true.  I love to shop for toys at nordstrom, pbkids, anthropologie, and target because they offer more of the selection I know is right for children.  You can also find great stuff at your local toy stores and on amazon.
  3. Pay attention to what your kids like- sometimes parents can get too caught up in what they like or want to get their kiddos instead of recognizing and listening to what their children enjoy!  Think about what your child always plays with already, what they buy with their allowance, what they read or watch on tv or youtube, and of course what they are actually asking for;)

You will surely win at gifting this year and I promise you will have such better direction and intention if you stick to these tips.  Keep it simple ladies and enjoy the gift of giving!!!

Here are a few pieces we’ve either purchased or would enjoy having.  Note the places purchased because there are lots more goodies if you click through to the store sites.  The widget I used to add these images and links didn’t offer all my favorites so be sure to go to the sites I left listed below the images!  You will find the details from all our photos there;)

merry merry,

kc

Set to Serve (3 Ways To Become A Better Hostess)

When I think of the most memorable events, holiday parties, or simple family gatherings I think of the way they made me feel.  What made them so special to me?… Being cared for.  Someone was behind the scenes caring for me and planning for these most cherished moments to take place.

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 These are people who seek to serve others and create an atmosphere where nice things can happen.  I’m inspired by servant people, by brilliant hosts.  If there’s one thing that’s become evident to me on my journey to become a better host it’s this…  “If you want to host better, then all you need to do is serve better.”  Serving is more than doing an act for someone, it’s how you care for them and make them feel.

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The truest way to become a better hostess is not to have the prettiest tablescape or the best food… although those both help!  It’s to make people feel loved and welcome, to treat them and serve them.  So how can we serve others as a hostess?   Here are a few ideas that will help you get there…

  1. Prepare  –  Ever heard the quote “fail to plan, plan to fail”  I think we’ve all learned that the hard way at some point.  Preparation is key.   
    • Start by getting inspired.  Look for ideas and think about what your guests enjoy.  Make a list or pinboard of ideas that you want to use.
    • Next, set your budget so you stay focused on what’s doable and stay on track when purchasing items.
    • Last, shop for or collect needed supplies and materials for decor, food, and activities.
  2. Create  –  Get everything situated ahead of time to make the environment pleasurable.  
    • Clean or hire cleaning before hand.
    • Make as many food and drink items early  (ask for help on food from those attending or hire catering).
    • Pay attention to details that might stand out like soft music in the background, candles for ambiance,  a special activity, or set out some games.
  3. Attend  –  This is the most important part!!!  
    • Be present.  Engage with your guests.
    • This is the point of doing all the prepping and creating so that you can serve in the moment.  Giving your attention is the most valuable part of being a good hostess and having the ability to genuinely serve others.  It’s what it’s all about!
    • Do the work to plan and create so you can actually attend.

Whether your hosting a dinner this holiday season or not,  maybe there is a way you can help serve?  Also, please share any thought or ideas you have in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving!

xx, kc

holiday outfit details and ideas :::