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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – My Struggle, My Story

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I have put off writing this post for a long, loonnng time. Not because I am afraid people will think I am a freak but because I want to portray this behavior accurately and maybe even help just one person who also struggles and can relate to what I speak of.

We all have a story – a part of us that we can choose to share or choose to protect and keep hidden. I finally feel as though I can share the raw, gritty details of my anxiety disorder even if it feels as though I am ripping off a Band-Aid to a wound that is always at the surface.

So now that I have finished procrastinating I am ready to finally share a chapter of my story. First let me give you some background…

I grew up in a loving home in a teeny tiny town with two working parents and an older brother. We always had what we needed but not a lot of the extra, fancy stuff. We had more than enough though. My Mom was a pretty decent housekeeper and like any parent who works full time there were the occasional times where things got messy and untidy. My parents were quite traditional in that Mom did the majority of the cooking and cleaning and dad did more of the yard and vehicle maintenance. As a small child I always liked things neat and tidy. We didn’t have a ton of stuff, definitely not many brand new things; even a large portion of my wardrobe were hand-me-downs from my cousins (I was the youngest). I didn’t mind though. I just liked my home and my belongings to be in order. I found myself always looking through catalogs and getting rid of the ones that expired, I put things neatly in piles, I was always looking to get rid of food that was past its prime and I enjoyed vacuuming, (I still do!) I liked things in straight lines and symmetry was my friend. Then there was my room. My parents NEVER had to tell me to clean or pick up my room. I wanted my closet to be organized and would only keep the clothes that fit and so I hung them according to type and even colour. Ok now this is the part where you might think I am insane; that’s ok. I would also space my hangers evenly because I thought that it looked neater. My dresser, bedside table and bookcase would always have a clean and uncluttered look. I would never, ever have clothing, garbage or items that were not put away. My posters were carefully placed on my walls symmetrically. I was constantly trying to make my room look nice. Only when I thought it looked perfect was when my mind could rest.

I loved reading and art. Ahhh, art was a passion of mine. I also played piano, loved my dance classes, and played the odd sport. I found school projects would take a long time for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t do them. I was quite eager to please, it was just very stressful and I was a perfectionist – and then some. My grades were usually average or above. Not because anything came easy to me but because I worked my ass off for every mark that I got. Like I said I loved art, I even took an advanced art class by correspondence. Any poster or project that I ever did took me hours upon hours to complete. I would draw and erase and draw and erase. I was meticulous with shading and tried to get everything looking as life-like as possible. Some might say that the process was pain-staking. I don’t think that anyone noticed how school work gnawed at me at times. I got my work done and I did fine so no one paid much attention.

It wasn’t just about order and neatness for me. A big part of my life has been worry over this and that. Sometimes things that one might consider worthy of worry and much that people wouldn’t think twice about. I would and still do agonize over many things – comments, things that have hurt me, even other people’s issues. I do not take lightly to anyone hurting those that I love – call me loyal or call me the grudge. But when I was hurt I felt it and still do for a long, long time. 

It is interesting now that I think about it. I always enjoyed going to my friend’s house SO much. I didn’t care what their home or rooms looked like. Their messiness didn’t bother me… unless it was extreme chaos. I felt like I could relax. I didn’t have to think about things being in order because it wasn’t my stuff. I have always offered to help clean up though, I still do. Sometimes I will just start doing dishes at my friends’ houses after a meal. I never want to be a burden. My hubby says that isn’t necessary but I look at it as helpful. The way I look at it, is if someone is kind enough to invite me to their home for a meal then the least I can do to show thanks is help clean up. That is partly my upbringing too.

As I grew up and got my own home and had children suddenly things got a little more complicated. I wanted my home to remain clean and tidy with everything put away in its place. We all know that is easier when you are alone but with the addition of more people under one roof things become more complicated. They don’t clean up the way you think they should or even at all. I was becoming agitated when my son was making ‘messes’ with his toys, or when my husband was not helping out with chores to my standards. I was literally picking up toys behind my little boy. All. Day. Long. My husband, bless his heart would get frustrated with me as he felt like I was just going to go behind him and re-do anything that he had tried to help with. I would sometimes point these things out. That was hurtful to him. I would refold the laundry. I would also re-clean in all the nooks and crannies that I felt he missed. I understand why this would be upsetting to him, yet I could not (sometimes I still can’t) leave it alone. We have even joked that I would be really good at being one of the basic training officers in the Military with a white glove, going around and inspecting the recruits’ rooms. Making sure that everything was ship-shape. The truth of the matter is there have been frustrations on both sides. I have been a puddle of tears many-a-day over things that I know should not be a worry – things that most ‘normal’ people don’t think twice about. I have had days where I want to call-in sick and stay under the covers and just not face the day and all of the constant harping thoughts in my head. It can be exhausting. Some days it can be a chore just to get out the door as I cannot leave until everything is done. 

I admit I have some crazy habits. (This is the part of my story where you will think I am a freak.) Deep breath. Here I go… I like to run my hands over the counter tops and feel a smooth surface with no crumbs. If I feel like they are too dirty then everything gets moved off of them and I clean them from the back splash to the edge of the counters which often leads to wiping my cupboards. I sweep and vacuum regularly – sometimes daily. It honestly depends on the day and what is weighing on my mind at the time. Sometimes it is counters, sometimes it is a project, sometimes it is errands or items out of place. I try not to get too busy because the overwhelming feeling is almost unbearable. It suffocates me. I have wondered what it would be like to not have the obsessions and compulsions. I can’t imagine how freeing it would be.

So you probably guessed that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Here is the official definition as per anxietybc.com.

“Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that affects about 1-2% of the population. People with OCD experience both obsessions and compulsions.

  • Obsessions are unwanted and disturbing thoughts, images, or impulses that suddenly pop into the mind and cause a great deal of anxiety or distress.
  • Compulsions are deliberate behaviors (e.g. washing, checking, ordering) or mental acts (e.g. praying, counting, repeating phrases) that are carried out to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions.”

I was once informed by a Counselor that we all have some OCD tendencies. Many of us have habits or things that we like done in a certain way. You may have to load the dishwasher a certain way, put your groceries on the belt in the store a certain way or fold your laundry exactly the way you like it. When you have OCD it’s not a matter of having a few habits. It is also about the thoughts that play over and over in your mind until they are ‘dealt’ with. In other words if I see something that is out of place it might be on my mind over and over until I put it back where I think it should be. It doesn’t just go away on its own. It can be quite stressful for me especially if I am tired and don’t have the energy to get it done. But I do, no matter the time. <Cue frustration with my family who don’t see ‘the problem’.>

You may think then why do you let these things happen?  Well OCD can be a debilitating disorder. I put on a pretty good front and joke about it at times. Most of my friends laugh about it and say that I should go to their homes and clean. Often I take it in stride and it doesn’t bother me – there is the odd time that it does. I don’t think many people understand the ins and outs of it. Sometimes when we think of OCD we think of the person that washes their hands repetitively until they are raw. But there are so many forms of it. I should also add that I don’t always let it get the ‘best’ of me but sometimes I feel like I can’t control the beast. 

This is adapted from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health

Common Obsessions

When the fears reflected in the following obsessions are experienced, they usually result in immediate anxiety. Some of the more common obsessions are:

Contamination

  • fear of contamination by dirt, germs, or other diseases (for example, by shaking hands)
  • fear of own bodily fluids

Repeated Doubting

  • fear of not having done a specific act that could result in harm (for example, turning off the stove, hurting someone in a traffic accident or leaving a door unlocked)
  • making a mistake

Ordering

  • fear that things will not be “just right” and become distressed when things are shifted or touched
  • focus on exactness and order

Religious

  • fear of having blasphemous thoughts
  • preoccupation with religious images and thoughts

Aggressive

  • fear of harming oneself (for example, while eating with a knife or a fork, handling sharp objects or walking near glass windows)
  • fear of harming others (for example, poisoning people’s food, harming babies, pushing someone in front of a train or hurting someone’s feelings)
  • fear of blurting out obscenities in public

Sexual

  • forbidden or unwanted sexual thoughts, images or urges
  • fear of being homosexual

Compulsions

Most people who experience obsessions engage in extreme rituals, or compulsions. Acting out these compulsions does not give them pleasure, but it can help them feel less anxious or distressed. Compulsions can be very rigid and involve elaborate steps. They are either not realistically connected with what they are meant to stop or they are extreme beyond reason. Although by no means an exhaustive list, common compulsions include:

Cleaning/Washing

  • washing hands too often or in a ritualized way; showering; bathing; brushing teeth; grooming a lot or having detailed toilet routines; cleaning household items or other objects
  • avoiding objects and situations considered “contaminated”

Checking

  • checking that you don’t harm others or yourself; checking that nothing terrible happens; checking that you don’t make mistakes

Ordering/Arranging

  • making sure things are just right, or are consistent with a specific rule, such as bed sheets or notes on the desk

Hoarding

  • collecting seemingly useless items, such as paper, magazines, towels, bottles or pieces of garbage
  • unable to throw these same things away

OCD

It is unknown as to what causes OCD. Some think that it may be genetic (which I am unsure of as I am adopted). Recently research has identified that people with OCD have low serotonin levels. It is one of the brain’s chemical messengers that transmit signals between brain cells. Serotonin plays a role in the regulation of mood, aggression, impulse control, sleep, appetite, body temperature and pain. All of the medicines used to treat OCD raise the levels of serotonin available to transmit messages. Some other studies say that the brain activity is different in people with this disorder. All I know is there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.

So what can we do? It wasn’t that long ago when doctors thought that this disorder was untreatable. Cognitive and behavioural therapy and medication (anti-depressants) are a couple of ways that people seek help. I cannot speak for either though I am learning about them with research. Many people with OCD benefit from supportive counselling in addition to treatments aimed at reducing the symptoms of OCD. Individuals may see a therapist one-on-one, or they may involve the partner, spouse or family in counselling. Group therapy (with people who have similar concerns) can also help. There are options which is encouraging.

I just want people to know that they are not alone. Though it can feel like it at times; like you are a prisoner of your own thoughts. It is not hopeless. You should not feel ashamed. You are worthy. Seek help with a specialist that understands anxiety disorders. Find a support group and surround yourself with people who accept you know matter what.

happiness

For me the pain isn’t gone nor is the sadness, the tightness in the chest, the palpitations when something is weighing on me. Yes my loved ones have been victim to the wrath of getting in my way to get things done. Yes I have yelled, screamed, cried and freaked out. There is no cure but each day is a new day with new possibilities and I know that those closest to me love me anyways. I will continue to try every single day to keep the upset to a minimum. I know I have come a long way and still have a ways to go. I know that I can take this curse and turn it into a gift as I have with helping others strive to get out of their chaos and get more organized. I can take each day as it comes and look forward to the possibilities instead of dreading the worst. I. Am. Me. And I too am deserving of a life that is valuable.

If anyone out there reading this, thanks for stopping by to ‘hear’ my story. If you have anything to share I would love to listen.

Hugs and happiness,

Krystal

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Facebook ‘Friend’ or Phony?

In this day and age, social media is predominant in our lives. I can’t speak for all social platforms but I do know that Facebook is the number one form of social media with about 900,000,000 people using it around the world! Facebook can be a wondrous place for keeping in touch with friends and family EVERYWHERE. We can share pictures, post updates, share news and information, ask for help, reconnect, find recipes, etc. etc. It can be very addicting. What on earth did we do before Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest?!

With anything of this capacity there can also be drawbacks. I have witnessed many a’ catty arguments, rude comments, and some pretty intense rants. The most innocent culprit I would say though would be our own judgement of ourselves and each other. The ‘good’ ole comparison game.

For example, your friend goes on another exotic vacation sans children. <You wondered how long it would take her to post about her ‘super-fun’ time.> She is laying on a beach with her man beside her, <naturally it is minus one thousand degrees here…> The water looks crystal clear and the sky has never looked so blue. <She is obviously having the BEST time ever.> She is relaxing with not a care in the world. Her picture looks like a post card. You know the one where you can see their bronzed legs and feet, the sand and a strategically placed slush drink with an umbrella. Oh and of course the book casually laying on their lap. It is difficult not to be jealous when yet again, you are strapped for cash. <How do they do it all the time?> <Who watches their kids?>

We have all felt Facebook inspired pangs of jealousy from time to time. These envious feelings have to do with the comparison between ourselves and our ‘friends’ or dare I say our distant online acquaintances in many instances? We get jealous of their better job, their perfect home, the awards, promotions etc. etc. We can even beginning judging each other’s business pages.

I just have to say that most people when they post on Facebook are putting their best foot forward. They are rarely writing a status that talks of their latest dinner time struggle getting the kiddos to eat. You won’t often hear about an argument between a husband and wife splashed all over the page, and are you going to admit that really embarrassing thing that you did today? Not likely. You are more likely to post the amazing recipe that you or your hunny made, the romantic thing that your significant other did, pictures of a well put together family.

Let me tell you that it is a-ok. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. You don’t know what struggles people have. That well put together person may be falling apart behind that screen. She may have major feelings of inadequacy. Remember we generally only see each other’s highlights. The good stuff. Not the bad and the ugly! The real skinny is everyone has their own shit, their own struggles, and their own pile of stuff to sift through. It is called a normal life!

comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy

I just read a post by Jon Acuff that said, “Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible.” He went on to say that, “Inspiration drives you forwards. Comparison pulls you backward. Inspiration tells you there’s still time to accomplish something amazing while comparison tells you it’s too late.” Full post here http://acuff.me/2015/01/inspiration-vs-comparison/

So how do we get out of this trap? It’s really quite simple and might take some practice. But here’s what you do…ready for it? You celebrate others. Let me repeat. You plain and simply celebrate others. You try and be happy for them. 

Start to want the best for others and hey maybe they will also want the best for you. What a lovely little thought! So next time your buddy posts a success, gets that major opportunity, or goes on the trip of a lifetime. Dig deep and celebrate with them. Xxxxx

comparing

Wishing you the BEST Xxxx,

Krystal

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Decluttering? Ask Yourself these Important Questions!

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We all struggle from time to time when it comes to pairing down our belongings. People keep and accumulate things for different reasons whether it be sentimental reasons, fear of being without, ‘needing’ the thing one day, or there’s simply a great sale deal that might not come around again. The truth of the matter is that everyone needs to declutter sometimes. Making those decisions when getting organized can be really difficult. What can you do?

 

 

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As you evaluate the things in your home ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I love this item? It is more than ok to keep things that you love. If you love it then it will make you happy to look at it, use it, and own it.
  2. Do you use it regularly? A lot of times we purchase things because we think that they will be useful. It is important to consider how many times you may actually use the item. It may not even be worth your time and money to own it. Also if you haven’t touched it in the last 6 months (unless it’s a seasonal item) ask yourself if you really need to keep it.
  3. Am I saving this just in case? Perhaps you are keeping multiple items ‘in case’ one breaks. It is a legit fear that people have – to get rid of something that they may end up needing one day. Ask yourself if having a clutter free space is worth more than the what- ifs. I am guessing it will be.
  4. Is this item worth the time that I spend cleaning it? I have come to realize that there is a price that comes with owning collections and knick-knacks. That precious commodity is my time. My time is worth so much more than the time it takes to move, clean, and store these things. (Unless I really love it! Another thing is to evaluate how much time you have spent going through a storage room time and time again just to remember what is in there? Why do you store these things? Are all of the items necessary for your life?
  5. What could I use this space for? Shawna and I always tell people to think of their space as prime real estate…because that is exactly what it is! Every item that goes into your home is taking up room and we all know that square footage is not cheap. Let’s say you have a small 10×10 room that you use for storage at $175/sq ft. that room suddenly becomes a $17,500 storage unit. Yikes!! So if you weren’t holding on to this clutter what could you do with this space?
  6. Am I going to fix it one day? We all have good intentions but do we have the time, the patience and the know how to actually make it functional again? Be realistic and set a time limit – if it is not fixed within two weeks then recycle it or give it to someone that will repair it.
  7. Do I have multiples? Do you have more than one of the same thing? How many plastic food tubs, shopping totes, purses, and kitchen utensils do I have to have? Keep in mind that if the multiple items are making you more efficient on a regular basis then by all means keep it.
  8. Am I keeping this because I feel that I have to? Yuck – keeping things out of obligation never feels good. Ever. We have all received something at some point from someone that we really don’t need or like. Do we have to keep it? The answer is no. The thought was lovely but it wasn’t something that you asked for and it is your home – you are in charge of what stays and what goes. Again if you don’t love it or use it then why hang on to it?
  9. Are you hanging on to it because you don’t want to be wasteful? We have bought things at one point or another that we really thought we would love, brought it home and not touched it. It sucks but it happens. Sometimes we get caught up in the hype of the latest trends and the popularity of things that we don’t stop and think if it is right for us individually. It’s fine though – return it, sell it or give it to someone that will appreciate it and move on. We all make mistakes.
  10. Do you have things that have multiple uses? Some of our specialty tools especially in the kitchen may not be needed as another basic tool will suffice. The same can go for hair products, accessories and even furniture.

Also here is a neat little list (oh how I love lists!) before you buy something consider obtaining the item in one of these ways. Only if you really need it or love it tho. 😉

The anti shopping list

 

Don’t forget to reward yourself with a little self care after you have spent some time decluttering. You are important. You are worth it! May you create a beautiful space to just BE.

Hugs,

Krystal

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3 Tips for Keeping your Bedroom Organized

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The bedroom is a space that can VERY easily get messy. It is also an area that is often the last to get organized.
Any of this sound familiar?…
Do you have clean and dirty clothes laying around?… Piles of laundry that haven’t quite made it to their drawers. How about those Christmas presents that you don’t want the kiddos to see or the stuff you shoved in your room because company is coming? Then there are those dresser tops that are a catch all for clutter. Oh dear, there is always something isn’t there?

It happens to all of us! What we want is a lovely, quiet, calming place to lay our head at the end of the day not a space where we quickly clear off the bed to make room to sleep and close our eyes before the mess gets to us.

Here are three quick tips for clutter control:

1) Laundry! This one is a biggie. Put dirty clothes in your clothes hamper as soon as you take them off. Anything that you want to wear again before washing hang up and place on a hook behind your door or have a pretty basket in your room to fold it neatly until you wear it again.
Personally I have this issue with putting away clean laundry. I am not sure why as the task is almost done. Try and put away laundry after you fold it. This also prevents others from asking where their clothes are!
1 Load a Day. To try and keep the mountain-o-laundry from catching up with you. Throw in one load a day. There is always something that can be put in the machine to be cleaned.
2) Storage. If you have a tiny room, a small closet or just not a lot of storage in your home then this can cause clutter because everything does not have it’s place. The first thought I have is not to buy a bigger house but to purge. Take an inventory of what you need and don’t need. Donate clothes or anything that no longer serves a purpose with you.
Also remove anything that does not belong in your bedroom. Designate a certain spot in your home for storage items.
Rotate your seasonal clothing. Use clear bins and label winter clothing/summer clothing and pack up what you won’t be using for that particular season. This will free up some room in your closet/dresser.
3) Dresser and night stand tops. These easily become a catch-all. Take two minutes before bed to clear these off. Keep a small basket where you can put these things and when it is full empty it by putting things back in their spot.
A good Feng Shui bedroom is a calm and peaceful room that invites you in. It promotes a flow of nourishing and sensual flow. Sounds good to me! We all deserve to have a beautiful, comfortable space at the end of the day to retreat to.

I wish you sweet dreams, a restful sleep and whatever else may arise from your beautiful space. Xxxx

Pretty Dresser

“Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what’s done is done. Embrace your dream, through the night, Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.”

~Unkown

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One Day, One Step, One Moment at a Time

It has been a bit of a whirl wind of a week. In fact since school has been back in things have gotten a bit crazier. Do you feel it too?

We all know that getting back into a routine can be difficult. Just remember that it can be tough on us as well as the kiddos. By day 3 of school last week Facebook seemed to be a buzz with parents discussing how tired their children were; we felt that here as well. It seems one minute we are basking in the sunshine of summer, kids are playing outside, and meals are whatever, whenever. The next moment kids and us are having to get up early and we are back to work/routines as per regular hours. Add to that a bombardment of school papers coming home, fundraisers (already!), volunteer work, as well as extracurricular activities (for us and the children) starting up.

I used to get very overwhelmed by it all. Yes I do enjoy a bit of structure but boy how I miss my bare feet on the grass. I enjoy being able to jump in the car with the kids to go exploring, sleeping in that little bit longer – well you get the point. But alas seasons change, times change, schedules change and we are back at it.

change

I just want to let you know dear souls that you do not have to do it all. Do only what speaks to your heart. I know, I know easier said than done. Simplifying our lives means that we need to take a step back and re-evaluate. I encourage each of you to think about what brings you joy and fulfills what you need at this time. For me it is to feel connected and nourish those relationships close to me. If you are involved with several committees and having trouble having any energy left to bring back to your home (the place that should be the most comfortable, stable, loving place) then step away from the ones that you can no longer give your time to. If you are running out the door every evening, all evening and every person is out of sorts despite your best efforts of taxiing them there and funding their activity then realize that maybe someone or some activity needs to give.

small step

It is perfectly fine to not do it all. You do not have to feel guilty (I know – easier said than done). But really you don’t. Unless an activity brings you happiness; why are you doing it? I recently read this (Adapted from Michael Hyatt – Intrinsic Motivation). “Author and researcher Marcus Buckingham was surprised with research he did at Gallup that showed that women’s happiness had plummeted over the last forty years—the exact opposite of men” (See Find Your Strongest Life).He devoted himself to figuring out what made the happiest women happy. He found that the happiest women tended to focus on the few areas where they excelled. If a woman loved marathons, she didn’t waste her time on home decorating. If she enjoyed studying rocket-science, she didn’t focus on entertaining friends. You get the idea.”

Yesterday I had this great plan to work my day, go to book club, have the kiddos try out a class with a friend, work out put kiddos to bed. There was also the school BBQ and Meet the Teacher Night which I had already decided would not work for us (not a big deal) as I have already met the teacher as my other two kids also had her for a teacher and I am more than familiar with the school. Fairly standard day right? Yeah…so work went late, which meant I missed book club, a buddy stopped over which meant  we missed workout. Kids to bed on time? Well…not quite. But I didn’t stress about it because by taking each moment and realizing that I can only do what I can do I was able to roll with it and do the things that I could do to the best of my abilities.

Quite simply even if you were 100% organized, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you. Just roll with it sistah! Do the best that you can. With the time that you have. Every day.

I just wanted to send you a virtual hug; or if you aren’t so much a hugger let’s pound it. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now with decisions, papers, work, classes, tired kids, you are not alone. Hang in there. Words of advice from the SLC Gals Simplify Life’s Celebrations, Celebrate the Simple Life. In other words don’t make your life so complicated that you cannot enjoy life’s every day pleasures – the simple things. 🙂

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Enjoy your day and all of the simple things that go with it!

k

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Save Time – Be Prepared for Meals!

There are a few things to do before you begin to meal plan. You have to be prepared. Now that is bad ass!!

Take a few moments before your busy week to take inventory of what you have in your freezer and fridge. This is also a good time to give the fridge a quick clean. 😉

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Other things to take into consideration when meal planning:

  • what needs used up? Are there items in your fridge that will soon perish? How can you incorporate those into your plan?
  • everyone is over inundated with grocery store flyers. Take your favorite shopping place(s) weekly flyer and go get some deals! Why pay extra if you don’t have to?! Plan your meal around that sale item. Don’t forget about shopping on special savings days like 10% Tuesday. Also try to shop locally and experience our farmers markets to get the freshest and tastiest foods.
  • look ahead at your week. Chances are you have some nights that are busier than others. For those busy days incorporate recipes that don’t require much cook time. Ie. Slow cooker, freezer meals or foods that you can prep. easily the night before.
  • consider a big cook with a friend(s). Once a month I get together to make freezer meals. There are usually four of us that take turns hosting. We make about 8 meals in 3 hours! It’s a fun way to prep. meals for the upcoming month. (That’s 2 meals available per week if you need them.) It saves from the last minute panic on a busy evening and keeps us away from fast food!
  • nutrition. Making a well rounded, nutritious meal  plan with a variety of foods throughout the week keeps meal time interesting .
  • leave space. Leave a day or two open for leftovers or nights that you have other plans or just want to be spontaneous. Over planning can set you up to waste food.
  • take into account what produce is in season and catch some sweet deals

Baby steps my friend. We want you to be successful and know you can do it with a little know how and determination.

Good-luck!

Krystal

Bad Ass Collage

 

Want to join in on the Meal Planning Fun? Check it out here: Bad Ass Meal Planning.

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Do You Want to Be a Bad Ass Meal Planner?

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Our goal at Simple Life Celebrations is to do exactly that – help you simplify your life so that you have time to celebrate the important things!

We have been working really hard to get you an efficient meal plan because we understand what it can be like trying to juggle jobs, kids, committee work and also try and eat a balanced meal without running to the store every single day! Next week we will be bringing you a meal plan to get you through a months worth of meals. This not only includes the meal list but it also will include your grocery list (print it and go!), your recipes (in a cute and simple printable format), PLUS a pantry staples printable so you can keep track of what you have in your pantry! Sound good? That is not even everything! We also have the recipes (that we have tested and made many a time) rated from Simple to Simpler, to Simplest. There will be ingredients that you can find easily at the grocery store and nothing too tedious to make. And there is always the option of switching meal days to suit your needs!

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Why do we meal plan?

First of all it is a huge time saver! Saweet right?

If we didn’t plan then we would be running to the grocery store daily and frantically trying to figure out what we are going to have to eat (sometimes just knowing what to have is half the battle!) Not only that but then we would not be sale shopping; which I love to do! Who doesn’t like saving some of their hard earned money?!

So what other benefits does meal planning have?

What are the benefits of meal planning?

  • you will eat out less
  • with a plan you will eat less pre-packaged meals
  • you will always have the groceries that you need
  • less food waste because every food on your list will have a purpose
  • you will save money
  • you will eat a good variety of meals
  • you will be eating healthier
  • your family can participate in the meal plan
  • you won’t have the stress of trying to figure out what’s for dinner
  • less time wasted figuring out what to eat and grocery shopping
  • less trips to the store means less impulse shopping and temptations
  • you will have less impulse purchases

Once you get the hang of meal planning and make it habit to set aside time once a week/month to plan your meals then you will be well on your way to a happier, healthier mealtime. 

In just 3 short days we will be providing you with the ideas and taking the stress out of meal time. We really want to help people eat good meals and save some money at the same time!  To us it is much more important spending more time with those that we love than running to the grocery store, spending excessive money and stressing about what to have for supper!

This is where you can find our Bad Ass Meal Plan!

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Enjoy the process, savor the food and live life to the absolute fullest.

Krystal

 

 

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SLC’s Top 5 Tips for Things to NOT do when Decluttering

We have given boatloads of tips on what to do when decluttering but we have not given you tips on what you should NOT do when decluttering.

None of the following will be earth shattering news. It all makes sense but when we are up to our eyeballs in clutter it is easy to get caught up in the piles of stuff! Shawna and I have been decluttering for ourselves and for other people for a few years now and both agree that it is an ongoing process. What makes us different from other organizers is that we don’t just try and ‘hide’ your clutter to make it organized. We also encourage people to part with their belongings that no longer serve a purpose, or as The Minimalists would say “no longer add value to your life”. We know that things do not make people happy in the long run. Buying stuff is only a band aid that fills you up temporarily and covers up what is really important.

Here are Simple Life Celebrations top 5 things to NOT do when decluttering.

 

  1. Purge and Then Containerize.

Please, please, please do not think that the first step to becoming organized is to head to your closest box store and purchase a stack of bins with the snap top lids. Although those colorful storage devices may look appealing, do not waste your money. (Even I have been known to have a thang for that eye candy!) Once you begin to go through your belongings you should find that there are items that you no longer want. As mentioned above these are things that do not add value to your life. You may even find that you have empty boxes and bins when you have gone through your space – BONUS!

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  1. Decide and Then Donate.

Once you have made the decision to get rid of something, decide where it is going. Are you donating it? Giving it to a friend? Recycling it? Getting it Fixed? Selling it? Whatever your decision get it outta there right away because clutter is still clutter if it is hanging around in your home.

 

  1. Do Not Bite off More Than You Can Chew.

One day is not under any circumstance enough time to declutter your entire home. (Unless you are an extreme minimalist or live in one of those adorable tiny cabins… OR if you are lucky enough to be on one of those TV shows where an entire crew comes in and over hauls your home). All mentioned are unlikely though so please take my advice and do one room, one area, one closet, one cupboard or even one drawer at a time. It is difficult physical and mental work to declutter, organize and haul things around for several hours at a time. Also spending a couple of hours will prevent burnout and you will feel more rested and encouraged to keep going.

 

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  1. Perfection Does Not Exist.

Very few of us have homes that look like those in a magazine. Why? Because we actually LIVE. We eat, play, sleep, work and come and go from our homes. Please do not expect perfection because you will more than likely end up disappointed. You need to enjoy the things that remain – those are the items that you have chosen to love, use and (here’s that word again) VALUE.

 

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  1. This is not the End.

Like anything else in our lives decluttering and organizing are ongoing processes that take upkeep and maintenance. It is not a one-time deal so don’t feel like a failure if in a few weeks things are a bit out of control. It will be a-okay. Remember that you have a new more efficient space but you will still need to continue to tweak, clean and make it even better. No problem!

 

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Oh and before I forget one of the most important Simple Life Rules for Decluttering  is to reward your gorgeous self for a job well done. So boil up the kettle for a soothing cuppa, run a hot bath with bubbles, go for a nice walk or do whatever your peaceful thing is.

Cheers and goodluck,

Krystal

 

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