52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Week 47


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week 47 before

So this is how I left the attic last week. This week I once again got a podcast of 30 minutes or longer going and went straight to work.

week 47 doneI now achieved my goal of having a walk way down this entire wing of the attic. Once I manage this in all three wings my plan is to dig deeper into the bins themselves and find more stuff to donate to the thrift store.

I should also add that those two white trash bags you see are indeed filled with trash. I had one of the children haul them out to the back alley for me just after I snapped this picture.

donations week 47This was the donation pile for this week.


3 weeks of decluttering sessions equaled 1 entire SUV stuffed with donations for the local thrift store. That is a lot of stuff to no longer have to shuffle around and I feel pretty good that the proceeds from it help people in need locally.

What area of your home did you declutter this week?

Grab the plan and join along as we declutter our homes one inch at a time.

You can also join The Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where you will find  the support you need to keep decluttering one inch at time.




10 Things I Am Thankful For This Year: 2015


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Thanksgiving to me is when I start looking back at the year that is quickly coming to a close and give thanks to God for all that it  has contained.

Psalm 136:1 Give Thanks!

One thing I love to help me do just that is to write a list here on the blog of 10 things I am thankful for in a particular year. This list of thanks is in random order and is certainly not all inclusive.

10 Things I am Thankful For This Year

Friends are the siblings God never gave us

1. My Running Partner

I am very blessed to have some incredible friends, one of which is my redhead running partner. Those are her feet next to my big pink ones. Mile after morning mile this gal listens to my rabbit trail stories. She hears me rant my frustrations on whatever I am currently struggling with, and when I am done she isn’t afraid to tell me if I need to change my attitude.

She listens to blogging story after blogging story and even though she isn’t a blogger and thus doesn’t get all of what I said, she doesn’t complain or try to change the subject. She simply listens and then gives me her outsider’s point of view.

the two year olds

2. The Two Year Old Children I Care For Each Sunday

My husband and I are in charge of the two year old Sunday school hour each and every week. I look forward to that hour of cuddling two year olds all week long. Sure, they are not the best at sharing with their buddies. But they are really great at cuddling and I just can’t get enough cuddles.

me and the kids at Indy Art

3. My Children

I look at the picture above and marvel how these 3 were once so small they all fit within my womb. There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel blessed to have them.

This summer it really started to hit me just how short our days as a family of five all living under one roof are–and I don’t want to waste a minute of it.

date day how to have a great one

4.My Husband

I know it can seem cliche to say “I married my best friend”–but I did! I love hanging out with this man. This year we celebrated 20 years of marriage by finally taking a BIG trip somewhere just the two of us. We ended up spending the week in Jamaica in an all inclusive resort where we read, slept and ate our days away–and it was awesome.


5. My Health

I have been battling some small yet annoying health problems this year. But the keyword is “small.” These problems might make things uncomfortable some days, but for the most part I am still able to do all the things I love with those I love and for that I am blessed.

blogging space6. For This Blog & Its Readers

This year Snail Pace Transformations has really grown–and not just in readership. This year I feel like  the blog is growing in interaction and that means a lot to me. I love knowing who exactly is reading what I write. I don’t know all of you yet but I want to say thanks to all of you who follow me on your favorite social media platforms and take the time to comment on my social media updates.

Thanks also to those of you who comment right here on my posts. Each and everyone of you matter to me.

Thanks also to all of you who support this blog by sharing my posts. Without you my readership would be much smaller. me with my books from tyndale rewards

7. For Good Books

I want to say thank you for all of you who use my Tyndale Reward referral link to sign up to get your own free books. Your generosity has allowed me to build quite the little home library that I so enjoy going to whenever I finish one book and want to start another.

I have enjoyed it so much that I have taken steps to pass on the joy to other bookworms. I started leaving a book bag of books I have recently read in the back of my SUV.  Sometimes I pass the books out at my church, other times I give them to people who the book made me think of, and other times I simply drop them in sharing libraries at hotels.

It is so much fun to think of where my books are ending up–way much more fun than letting them gather dust on my shelf after I have read them. It blesses my heart to be able to share books this way. Thank you!


8. For Small Family Vacations

This year our family skipped a big family vacation and instead did several little trips. We explored Chicago during a long weekend. Went on several daycations (a word that is made up but really does represent what we do well), and enjoyed a week of camping.

I cherish this time spent together.  So many memories are made on these short trips.

Grade 8 and 10

9. For New Beginnings

This fall our eldest son started college online with the help of College Plus and our middle son and daughter started attending a small, reasonably priced Christian private school 2 days a week. I won’t lie–I cried the first day the two youngest ones were gone. It was an end of an era–I truly do enjoy every minute I spend with my children.

However, after much prayer we felt this was the direction we were suppose to take with the younger two. The combination of being homeschooled 3 days and private schooled 2 days is working very well.

I loved you dad

10. For healing

I have been on a rough journey these last few years losing loved one after loved one. This last year I didn’t even realize what a fog my father’s death in 2014 had put me in until one day it lifted and suddenly I could see a few  things I have been struggling with as what they truly were–an outward expression of my inner grieving.

Our father-daughter relationship was a hard one and it made grieving messy and unlike any other grief I had experienced before.

I think that is why I didn’t see my struggles as grief right away–it is easy to allow yourself to grieve a relationship that brought you joy, but one that brought you a mixed bag of emotions on almost a daily basis–that is a confusing relationship in life and death.

Now that over a year has passed I can see more clearly that I grieved in an unhealthy manner and I am thankful that hardest part is over and healing has begun again.

Now it is your turn. What are you thankful for this year? Share it with me in the comment section.

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If You Want To Save Money–Think Outside The Box


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My 13 year old daughter is obsessed with sewing lately. She has been begging me for quite some time to go to the craft store and buy enough stuffing to stuff enough handmade alphabet pillows to spell her name in pillows.

If you want to save some serious money you need to become a creative thinker and start thinking outside the box. Learn how .

We had an inexpensive solution for the fabric–I pick it up at yard sales when I see it as I know either she or I will use it up in one of our crafting projects.

She also needed  craft stuffing and that is when the project was beginning to look like it might get expensive. Craft stuffing isn’t horribly expensive, but it isn’t dirt cheap either and she needed enough to fill 8 pillows, one for each letter of her name.

I was racking my brain for the best way to save money on  craft stuffing–oddly enough I found it in the grocery store.

Saving money with out of the box thinking example use spider webbing for pillow stuffing

What you are looking at is 23 bags of Halloween spider webbing–I paid just $0.12 cents a bag. Meaning that entire pile cost me $2.76, which is less than what one bag costs full price before Halloween when they had it for $3.99 a bag and certainly way less than it would cost to purchase craft stuffing.

I should let you know at this point that I first bought just 2 bags of it for her to use in another pillow project she tried when it was marked down to $0.25 cents a bag a week earlier and we found it worked just as well as regular craft stuffing.

I seriously doubt my daughter will be using all of these bags for her 8 letter pillows, but considering she is on a sewing kick right now and I love to support her creative endeavors, I figured I would pick up all they had  and let her go to town. She is already planning out what she is going to make after she finishes her letter project.

How To Use This Story To Save Money

This isn’t the only instance where my out of the box thinking has saved my family some money. In fact, when my out of the box thinking is combined with my husband’s we have saved CRAZY amounts of money–like paying $10,000 for a 2000 square feet home and renovating every room back to like-new conditions for way less than most people would think possible.

Even if you don’t have a daughter who loves to sew and needs inexpensive supplies to keep her habit going and renovating doesn’t interest you–this article can still save you money.

Here is how to apply this money saving principle to your own life.

Whenever you have something to buy don’t just go out and buy it. Take a while to brainstorm other materials that would work just as well but cost less.

3 Ways To Spark Out Of The Box Thinking

1. Search Pinterest For Ideas

If you are stumped, try visiting my favorite place for creative inspiration: Pinterest. Enter your problem into the search engine and see what pops up. If at first nothing comes up, change the wording of your search to be a little less specific but still particular enough to apply to your problem.

2. Wander The Aisles

Another way my husband and I have saved a tonne of money is by taking a few extra minutes to walk the entire aisle of the hardware store when we need to fix a problem in our home instead of just going straight to the item we know will fix it. By doing this we have found alternative fixes that have saved us a significant amount of money.

My kitchen countertops are the perfect example of this. I really wanted granite countertops, but they were way out of my price range. As my husband and I were wandering the aisles for a cheaper hard surface alternative we found granite tile in the exact color I wanted my countertops in and they were 50% off. I love how the project turned out and it was a fraction of the cost of a slab granite countertop.

3. Engage In Disengaging Activities

Sometimes my best out of the box thinking comes when I am able to disengage my brain and just let it wander. For me this happens most often when I am out walking or running but for others it might be while you wash the dishes or while you are taking a shower.

To take full advantage of my disengaging brainstorm activities I will often write my, “Oh my, that is brilliant!” thoughts down in the notes section of my iPhone and then take a picture of it (because somehow my brilliant self often deletes notes by accident s0 my photos have proved to be a great back-up filling system).

How has out of the box thinking saved you money? I would love to hear about it in the comments below. 

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Saving Money Tips on Pinterest.

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