Book Review: How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

Wanted to share a proper book review of How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.

This one surprised me.  I really enjoyed it although I can’t say I enjoyed the entirely too true for me practical knowledge shared.

The proper title of the book reads as How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing With Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White.  Ms. White owns the blog, A Slob Comes Clean.

My Book Review:

Do the dishes.  Those 3 words pretty much summarize the book.  People like my  husband might wonder why anyone would need to read a book which summarizes such basic knowledge. He doesn’t need this book.  If you are one of those people who naturally can’t go to bed at night until the dishes are all done and the house is tidy, this book is not for you.

I’m the target audience, those of us who simply don’t understand why the house doesn’t stay clean.  I cleaned it this morning, why is it dirty again tonight? I simply need a better system for keeping it clean.  Turns out that no, we don’t need a new system.  We just need to do the dishes. AGAIN.

“House keeping doesn’t end. Ever”

The author presents this knowledge with a conversational tone and practical examples from her own house.  I especially related to her ideas of how thinking of her home as  a project added to her cleaning frustrations. It may take me forever but I love a good finished project. Turns out home management doesn’t work the same way. It’s an ongoing thing and not a single home management system in the world will work for us until we actually do the work.

I found it refreshing to read a home-management book from someone who doesn’t actually enjoy housework and admitted it. The book’s divided into four parts and flows nicely with the exception of the meal-planning chapter which felt a little out-of-place to me.  Maybe it’s just because that is the one area I have (somewhat) under control.

She also tackles the subject of decluttering in the book. Of course, it’s easier to clean when there is less clutter, the mantra of clean-loving organized people everywhere. However, I appreciate her different approach to this topic.  Her advice: Do the easy stuff first. Deal with the visible. Simply, throw away the trash. Her idea of thinking of our homes as one giant container also appealed to me. Let the space you have set your limits on the stuff you own.

Final Thoughts:

I found this book helpful and have been doing a better than usual (certainly not perfect) job of simply doing my dishes than my past attempts at “shining my sink.” The book is  for someone who simply needs to get a handle on an out of control messy house.

Another thing much appreciated by me in this book: the lack of references to other e-books and blog posts. Sometimes when I read books by blog authors, I feel as though I’m constantly  presented with a sales-pitch for their blog and/or products. None of that in this one, a friendly “this is what you have to do” conversation (that I could almost picture having in the author’s kitchen).

The end contains an appendix entitled: 28 Days to Hope For Your Home which I’m finding quite helpful as I work my way through it. It’s super simple and not at all overwhelming.


The Kindle Version of the book is currently on sale for $1.99 on Amazon Prime right now.

NOTE: I get no compensation from Amazon for any purchase you make through my blog (Go purchase it from another blog where the person does get something!) and also did not receive any compensation for this review. I purchased and read this book because I wanted to read it and thought you might like to hear what I thought.

Have you read this one?  What did you think?




Happy Homemaker Monday, A Cold January Morning

Bit of a late start this morning as it is a holiday.  J had a friend sleep-over and they’re both still snoozing which is good considering they were both going strong at 2a.m. YAWN!

It’s also a super chilly start to our week. I think it snowed a tiny bit more (just enough to cover footprints…still waiting for a decent snow where we can’t see the grass poking through) and the current temperature out there is 12 degrees with a predicted high of just 14. Wind chill advisories issued as well.

A good day to stay inside and plan the week ahead while drinking a few cups of coffee. Inspired as always by Sandra’s Happy Homemaker Monday post and link up. Don’t forget to check it out and visit the other bloggers. Maybe join in the fun if you haven’t already!

As I Look Outside My Window (Out The Backdoor Window)

The bright blue and sunny sky belies the bitter cold. Snow birds having a feast on the seed spilled over on to the deck from when I re-filled the bird feeder about a half-hour ago. My cold feet confirm the weather reports.

Right Now I Am

Drinking coffee, wondering what I’ll fix the boys for breakfast (maybe lunch?) , and trying to warm up a bit. Probably should have worn a coat and maybe boots instead of tennis shoes when I went outside to fill the bird feeder.

Thinking And Pondering

Embracing January is not easy but I’ve been trying. Definitely a month meant for blankets, coffee (and/or tea), and books!

I’m determined not to say how this year is already flying by on us. In trying to live my 2018 word, I’ve making an effort to savor bits of each day and week. Doesn’t always work but I’m trying. Also, limiting my time on Facebook. If I click on it and it seems filled with negativity, I’m clicking right back off of it (and usually right over to Pinterest because we have to waste time somehow).

On My Bedside Table

The usual, a mess! Clothes I need to put away, books, my phone, usually a little gray cat staring out the window, and lately, a large bottle of cocoa butter lotion.

On My TV Tonight

No idea. Maybe season 2 of Humans on Amazon. I know the winter season premier of The Flash is on tomorrow night so that’ll be on Tuesday.

Listening To

My husband is watching Silverado back here so it’s providing my background noise. Can also occasionally the snowbirds chirping outside.

On The Menu This Week

No idea! Certainly don’t want to go grocery shopping in sub-zero wind chills. Hmm, looks like other than spaghetti we didn’t follow the plan at all last week. Lots of repeats for this menu.

MONDAY: Maybe French Toast (from freezer) and sausage

TUESDAY: Tacos, chicken enchiladas for G and myself

WEDNESDAY: So, I still haven’t made the pork chops in the crock pot…

THURSDAY: Kielbasa or turkey sausages, cabbage steaks

FRIDAY: *I work 8:30-5:30* Probably pizza in some form

On My To-Do List

  1. Get another bag ready for the charity truck (They delayed last Friday’s pick up a week)
  2. Go to grocery store (when it warms up later this week)
  3. Work so far just on Friday this week
  4. Mail some packages
  5. Clean off dresser and bedside table (Wonder where I got that idea?)
  6. Clean out one desk drawer (the top needs it as well)
  7. Find a calendar for back here
  8. Write a few blog posts
  9. Clean out fridge
  10. Still need to organize pantry

What I Am Sewing,Crocheting, Knitting, or Creating

Something yellow!

My Simple Pleasure

Finding a new science fiction TV series to watch (and watching old ones as well). Stumbled on this gem on Amazon Prime: Humans.  Ready to start season 2!  Bonus: My husband liked it and watched it with me.  Do have to admit though I watched it right after finishing season 10 of Doctor Who (another great one!) and spent some time thinking The Doctor would show up and declare it alien technology and fix everything for everyone.

Lesson Learned The Past Week

Things have a way of working themselves out if I simply take a step back. Hard one for a former/reformed control freak.

And a bonus repeat lesson: It’s okay to say no to someone’s plans if they don’t work for me. No explanation necessary.

From The Camera

Everyone should have a laundry folding cat!

(Don’t get too jealous, she’s folding laundry to make up for puking in my black pumps. Yuck-o!)

Prayer List

A couple of old friends, anyone who has to be out in this frigid weather, family

Quote For The Week

Has to be a Martin Luther King, Jr one for today, of course:

Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.


And now that lunchtime’s arrived, I suppose I should finish this post and actually go change out of my pajamas and fix something.  What’s on your agenda for today?


Birds Spotted On My Nature Walk

On our warmer than average Tuesday, I went on a short nature walk to see the snowmen.  Of course, I also watched the birds.

At the nature center entrance, I immediately spotted this busy bird. Didn’t see too many other birds on the trail near the snowman other than perhaps a Flicker, too far away to properly photograph or identify.  I continued on the trail past the end of the snowmen to its proper end at a fishing lake.

A lonely Great Blue Heron Surveying The Icy Lake:

Hopefully, I identified him properly! He didn’t stay on the ice for long before flying away to perhaps a better fishing hole.

Next, I enjoyed watching these Canada Geese venture on the ice.

The Geese Capades!

The Great Blue Heron returned to try his luck at another bank and watch the geese with me. Unimpressed, he flew away again.

Another audience watched me and the geese from afar.

Birds of a Feather

A closer inspection of the tree revealed it to be full of Robins enjoying the spring-like break in our weather. Even spring-like warmer days feel a bit chilly when the wind blows.  Even more so when the camera battery announces its exhaustion. After watching the geese a few more minutes, I began my slow climb back to the parking lot.

Why Are Exits Always Uphill?

Other birds spotted by the lake and near the nature center but not photographed: snowbirds, cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, and several more downy woodpeckers.

Back At Home

Not a bird but a rabbit! Is it Spring yet?  Not yet, little bunny.  Hopefully, he’s found somewhere warm to hunker down on this 15 degree Saturday.  A few other non-bird types hanging out in the backyard this week as well: Bringer of Bird-feeder bedlam! And the neighbor’s cat… He actually had his eye on the Easter bunny but things didn’t go farther than a good stare between them.

The Carolina Wren popped out of hiding (I was sure he’d flown somewhere warmer!) to serenade us on Tuesday as well. Excuse the blurry photo, please. Still a camera-shy little bird and I probably rushed worried he’d leave again soon.  Certainly, hope he’s found somewhere warm today as well!

Birds spotted around our home this week: a group of crows flying over head, the resident cardinals, snowbirds, sparrows, and a nuthatch.

What birds did you notice this week?

Linking up with The Bird D’Pot over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’ and since I have a few non-feathered critters in this post, I’m also going to link this one up over at Viewing Nature With Eileen. 

Don’t forget to check out both links for some amazing photos of birds and other animals!



Five On Friday: Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

On Tuesday, our weather was warmer than normal.  The kind of day requiring time spent outside since (see above) it can change within a day.  I opted to go on a short hike at one of the local nature centers.

I remembered reading about a wooden snowman display and wanted to see it before the end date especially since I’d missed some of the new Christmas lights activities in town (always next year, right?). The snowmen were purchased and then designed by groups and individuals as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.

The sweetest little preschool aged girl was behind me with her family. Her enthusiasm about the snowmen was certainly contagious although it put a slight damper on my second mission of spotting birds (I did see some though so a Saturday bird-watching post is coming).

Thought I’d share a few of my favorites for today’s Five on Friday post.

One: The Butterfly  Snowman Trail

The paved trail still proved to be a bit muddy in places.

Two: Do Bluejays like Carrot Noses?

Have you seen the end of my nose, little bluejay? Why do ask?

THREE: Let’s Go Royals!

Note: you have to mentally clap and chant as you read that.  I spotted two Kansas City Royals themed snowmen on different parts of the trail.  (The Kansas City Chiefs snowmen were apparently in hiding as I didn’t see any of those). 

Four: Tropical Snowman

I have a feeling this fellow might be a bit cold today as it’s no longer warmer than normal out there and we’re sitting at 15 degrees with light snow. 

Five: Magic!

Harry Potter! And look, a snowy owl! Actually, some real snowy owls have been seen in northern parts of the state (Sadly, this happens when the food sources in their natural habitat become scarce. I’d still be thrilled to see one.).


I’m really glad I got out on Tuesday (I worked yesterday afternoon but it was okay since I was outside for a better part of the afternoon) since Thursday we ended up with a snow day and the temperature plummeted to 15 degrees by the end of the day.

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs linked up for Five on Friday over at the F.A.S.T. blog.

2018: Eighteen Things I’d Like To Do This Year

Happy 2018!  I’m not really  making resolutions with this post so much as simply making a list of things I’d like to do in the new year. We can still call it the new year if we’re only ten days into it, right?

When I wrote my post on the 18 books I’d like to read in 2018, I referenced this podcast post (and I even listened to it!) over on Gretchen Rubin’s site.  Today, I’ve decided to share my 18 with  you.

My 18 Items For 2018:

  1. Read (at least) 18 books
  2. Lose 18 pounds
  3. Get a new kitchen table
  4. Guard my heart from negativity and drama (sorry, I know it’s vague)
  5. Clean out the basement
  6. Clean out the inside of the computer desk
  7. Add another garden area to the front yard
  8. Buy fresh flowers for the table once a month
  9. Post a Happy Homemaker Monday post every week
  10. Do one thing each month to get ready for next Christmas
  11. Complete a sugar-free challenge
  12. Join in the monthly weekly Facebook group photography challenges at Live, Love, Snap
  13. Go on a fun summer vacation, maybe a return to Colorado or South Dakota
  14. Make our house feel like a home again (vague again, I know…)
  15. Walk in another 5K
  16. Clean my email inbox out monthly (prefer weekly but I’m being realistic)
  17. Get rid of 18 things we don’t love/use each month (4-5 things a week)
  18. Go on at least 2 nature walks/outdoor bird-watching adventures a month

As you can tell, some of my items are super concrete and others are a bit vague and more ideals than actual things to check off on a list. Do I think I’ll actually do all the things on this list? Probably not but hopefully, I’ll do more of them than if I hadn’t bothered to make a list at all.

I may blog here and there about the items listed as the year continues. And it may take me more than one try (ahem, my first sugar-free challenge of the year may have ended in a blazing chocolate coated defeat) to complete some of these items.

What do you think of the idea of making a list of 18 things for 2018? Would you or have you made one? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

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