Life at the Not the Jet Set House

If you were wondering, life at the NtJS house has been busy but good lately. We have decided to move the blog down on our priority list and we are glad we made that decision. It has been amazing how many projects we have been able to get done while spending more time with our kids then we did before. Yes, we are sticking to our 2010 goals!

Here is how we are doing on our goals for 2010.

Goal 1: Spend more time as a family. Check! We have really been enjoying our time with the girls. We have made Saturday night, game night at our house. We have a lot of fun playing games (or play dough) from dinner time til bedtime. Over the past week we have been enjoying staying up later with our oldest daughter to watch the Olympics with her. Our youngest daughter is potty training right now so I've been spending tons of "quality" time with her in the bathroom.

Goal 2:
Eat healthy, organic, and local. Check! We have been mostly living off our freezers and canning shelves full of preserved local foods. Over Valentines day weekend we took a cheesemaking class. It was a lot of fun learning how to make cheese at home. I have a feeling we will be making more of our own cheeses in the future from our local milk. I have also been looking into more local sources for other foods that we don't grow ourselves.

Goal 3:
Save for a car. Check! Just this month we started saving money for a new car.

Goal 4:
Have some fun money. No Check. We are hoping to add this to the budget after the Mr.'s annual review, if they decide to stop the pay freeze. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

So that's our update. How are things going for you? Are you sticking to your 2010 goals? Is life a little crazy at your house or are things smooth sailing?

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Hot off the Presses! The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

I love being one of the first people to read a book. It makes you feel so "in the know". It's even better when it's a great book like the one I just received from Joy and Rebecca over at the Green Baby Guide. Their new book called "The Eco-nomical Baby Guide" is being released at the beginning of March. I was one of the lucky ones who received an advanced copy to review.

The book was packed with great information that was very practical. I love how they demonstrate that being green does not mean buying all new stuff. In fact, buying second hand is better! They walk you through what you need and don't need. They also talk about every aspect of raising a baby. They cover topics like baby gear, breastfeeding, baby food, diapers and more.

Want to know what makes it even better? There is even a quote from me, yes, me! Okay, it really doesn't make it that much better and even without it I still like the book. Joy and Rebecca did a great job.

Way to go ladies!

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Bringing Peace to Your Home

I'm sure I'm not the only person who finds that a cluttered home creates stress. There is no peace for me or the Mister if our house is trashed. Even the kids get stressed. It's not easy to keep a house spotless all the time, but the less you have, the less there is to be left out, on the floor, to be stepped on.

It's not easy to keep from adding to your home in our culture. We are taught from a young age to be consumers. Stopping this behavior can be hard. Here are some helpful tips to help you keep stuff from coming into your house to begin with.

  • Set your priority's with your budget and stick to the budget. If you don't budget for clothes you don't need, then you don't have the funds to buy the unnecessary impulse clothes.

  • Ask yourself three questions before bringing home an item. Do I need this item? Does it add true beauty and inspiration to my home? Do I have a place to store, hang, or otherwise keep this item?

  • If an item makes it into your home find an item that can be purged right away, added to the garage sale pile or send to a charity.

  • Politely let your family and friends know that you don't need stuff.

  • Just say "No". If someone offers you something for free you don't need, just say no thanks.

Here are some inspirational quotes to motivate one to live a simply life.

"Live simply so that overs might simply live." -Ghandi

"Less is More" - (lots of people take credit for this one, not sure who was the first one)

"...everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions can not be my disciple." -Luke 14:33

"...excessive availability of every kind of material goods for the benefit of certain social groups, easily makes people slaves of "possessions" and of immediate gratification with no other horizon than the multiplication of continual replacement of the things already owned with others still better." -Pope John Paul II, encyclical, On Social Concern (excellent read)

"The simplest things are often times the truest." -Richard Bach

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." -Henry David Thoreau

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

Pick your favorite quote and place it in a spot in your house that will help you to stay on track with creating a simple and peaceful home.

What are your strategies for keeping the "stuff" from even getting through the door at your house?

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Trash to Treasure

It seems like the moment the kids walk in the door their coats are flung to the floor as they run off to play. If I ask them to put them away correctly they just set them on a chair! As frustrating as it is for me, as a mom I can understand why. Our coat closet is on the other side of the house and they are both to short to reach the hangers anyways. My solution was to get hooks to put on the wall by the door. However, I'm not going to spend the money right now on a want. What do to do? Start thinking outside the box, or in this case, inside the closet!

When we moved into our house we removed the rods that were in all the bedroom closets and put nice metal closet organizer systems in them instead. For almost three years these wood sections with hooks have been laying around in the "stock pile" in the basement workshop area. While looking for paint supplies I found them. I just added one hook off of one of the other pieces of wood and painted it black.

Now we have a great looking coat rack that cost me nothing. The girls love it because their coats are toasty warm in the morning because I hung it low (close to the heater) for them to be able to reach.

What re-purposed solutions have you come up with lately?

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Doers of the Word- Book Review

As Lent begins I'm always trying to come up with ways to help deepen my Faith journey. One of my favorite ways to do this is by reading. A great book for that this Lenten season is "Doers of the Word- Putting your faith into practice" by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. This book is a nice collection of the Archbishop's writings. The short reflections remind me of short homilies.

The book is broken up into chapters to easily find the topics you would like to reflect on. The reflections our easy to read and reflect on. I would recommend doing one a day allowing 20 minutes to read and reflect on the reading of the day.

This book sells for under $10 and is great investment in your spiritual health this Lenten season.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Doers of the Word: Putting Your Faith Into Practice.

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