You Need To Check This Blog Out

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Defining Your Priorities. Simplifying Your Life Series

Let me start by saying I am sorry that you have had a challenge posting a comment on the blog the past couple of days. I am really not sure what was wrong but I heard from enough of you via email to know there was a problem. Please try again today.Everyone that contacted me will be entered into the drawing.

A while back we had written our priorities down. If you did not do this or you are new to the blog you will want to take time to write them down now. After you have them written down I want to you put them in a visible place where you will see and read them every day. Having our priorities defined and in front of us will help us make some of the most difficult decisions with ease. We will work on numbering our priorities on Thursday but today we just want to work on getting them on paper. On Thursday I will share with you my own priorities, show you how I have numbered them and explain in detail how this is enabling me to make choices and decisions that I otherwise would have not made. It is SIMPLIFYING my life. It will yours too.

Post here and tell me that you have written your priorities down. If you would like to share your list as well..that is most welcome but not required. If you are unable to post please email me at to be put in the drawing for March 1st.

Two people that post will be chosen to receive one of their choice of the following books on March 1st and one person will receive a beautiful journal for a total of three giveaways.
1. Margin by Richard Swenson
2. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
3. Eliminate Chaos by Larua Leist
4. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
5. Body Clutter by Marla Cilley
6. Boundaries

Monday, February 23, 2009

BOUNDARIES Simplifying Your Life Part Three

Boundaries are such an important part of living a stress free life and so many of us have never really learned how to set them. Boundaries are like fences. They keep people and things out of your life that might cause stress, grief or hurt you. Many of us fear setting boundaries because we are afraid that others will not like or accept us if we do. We have a serious case of people pleasing often at the detriment of your family and yourself. If I could buy each of you a copy of the book boundaries I would do so but please know that I HIGHLY recommend it and will place it on the list of books that you have a choice of if you win the giveaway on March 1st.

Post and tell me an area where you KNOW you need to apply boundaries but have trouble doing so. Go into as little or as much detail as you wish. OR if you are doing well with boundaries in your life post and tell me how.

Two people that post will be chosen to receive one of their choice of the following books on March 1st and one person will receive a beautiful journal for a total of three giveaways.
1. Margin by Richard Swenson
2. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
3. Eliminate Chaos by Larua Leist
4. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
5. Body Clutter by Marla Cilley
6. Boundaries

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I will be gone and a prayer request

I will be gone from Friday the 20th through Sunday the 22nd. My daughter and I are hostessing a scrapbook rally with several friends. I will be back online on Monday.

I have a special prayer request. My daughter had a miscarriage on Wednesday evening and could really use your prayers.It breaks my heart in several ways. I am hurting and so hurting for her. I know many of you that read my blog also know her so please lift her up.

Keep cleaning out the clutter we are working on and remember to write down tonight what you wish to accomplish on Friday. I look forward to meeting you all back here on Monday.

Write it down! Simplifying our lives part 2

One thing that I have started doing that is making my life much less chaotic is writing down what I need to do the next day the night before. I make my list, then I prioritize it with numbers...At the end of the day, if I have anything left on my list..I put it at the top of the list for the next day. I have JUST started doing this but it is working wonders for me and it is keeping me on track.

You assignment today is to simply write down what you need to do on Friday or this weekend if you wish..Post here that you have done this and then be sure to follow up and tell me how this is working for you.

Did you work on your clutter today?

On March first three winners will be chosen to a journal or their choice of one of the recommended books in this series. All you need to do to be entered is to post your comment, thoughts or your way of simplifying your life here.

Recommended Reading :

1. Margin by Richard Swenson
2. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
3. Eliminate Chaos by Larua Leist
4. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
5. Body Clutter by Marla Cilley

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Simplifying our lives..Step One

In our quest to simplify our lives we looked at the clutter in our lives. We have made a list of the areas that we want to rid our lives of clutter and we know that doing this is one of the first steps to simplifying. We chose not to live chaotically. In my house, the biggest source of clutter and chaos for me is found in my office. So this is the area which I choose to tackle first. I will work on my office one half hour each day until it is finished. This is an amount of time I can honestly dedicate knowing that even with a full schedule I can accomplish this goal.After I am finished I will share my progress and move on to the next area on my list. What about you? Where are you going to start?

Let's also talk about what we are going to do with the items that we choose to get rid of.
I will be doing four things with mine. I will donate to a thrift store that gives all the money it brings in to missionaries, I will donate to our local homeless shelter, I will sell some of the items on ebay and I will be blessing many people with some of my items including many RAK's right here on the blog.

Tell me what area of your life is the first area you will concentrate on decluttering.
Tell me what you will do with the items you decide to get rid of. Everyone that post will be put in a drawing for a book of your choice from the recommended list (see below)and a beautiful journal.

Recommended Reading :

1. Margin by Richard Swenson
2. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
3. Eliminate Chaos by Larua Leist
4. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
5. Body Clutter by Marla Cilley

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When is enough STUFF really enough?

I think that one of my biggest goals this year is to declutter my home, my office, my space and my mind. Many of us have tried to fill the hole inside that ONLY GOD can fill by collecting and buying stuff to fill us or complete us. If we are honest..none of it satisfies..If it did,we would not long for more STUFF the next day, week, month or year. My focus on stuff changes from time to time. At one time I collected rhinestone brooches. They are beautiful and I must admit my display of them is stunning. But..there are brooches on my display that have never been on my body, I have so many cookbooks that I can not even tell you the number off the top of my head and many of them I have not cooked one recipe out of, I have about 15 Nativity's but have not had them all out at Christmas now in many years, since I once owned a Christian bookstore I own more books than I have homes for . I have not one but four Coach purses and that does not include the two I no longer wanted and gave to my daughters, I have an entire part of my desk devoted to beautiful stationary but have no time to write letters...Ugh! I am just beginning. I could go on and on and on. Now for the one thing I do NOT WANT TO WRITE DOWN because it means I need to really look at it...that is my scrapbook items.. I always want the newest products that are out and can not wait until a new line is released..but I have an entire cabinet full of scrapbooking items and that is AFTER I have donated a great deal of it for scrapbooks for children with cancer.. Do I really NEED more? NO...If it truly satisfied would I need the next new thing..NO! All of the above things have created chaos and clutter in my life. One more thing to add to the disorganization and disorder...which by the way are NOT of GOD. His word tells us that He is Not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order 1 Corinthians 14:33.

Your Assignment Today is to prayerfully list (post here) every area of your life that you feel that you need to clear out clutter. After you have made this list, consider what you might do with this clutter after you have done this. You could make money to pay down debt by selling it on ebay or having a garage sale, you could donate it for a tax write off or just because. Or you could give it to someone that you might bless with it. I am going to do this assignment with you and will list on Tuesday.
Then in the next few days we will execute our plan to declutter our life step by step.

The blog giveaways on March 1st will go to three of you. I will be recommending books for you to read on each subject we go over in this series. Two winners will be able to pick the book of your choice and it will be delivered directly to you. One winner will recieve a beautiful journal as I am a believer in journaling your thoughts and prayers.

I highly recommend that you pray for God's leading before choosing which areas that HE would have you clear out. I really did not want to look at my scrapbooking and art items because somewhere inside me I think I MUST have them..SO you guessed it..that is the area He convicted me of first! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this and seeing your list.

Love and Peace.....Susan

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Never Too Late To Begin Again

I shared with you that we are be starting a series on simplifying our lives. This is an excellent one for me to work on with you while sharing daily. I have heard hopelessness from so many of you and I want you to know that none of you need to carry that burden any longer. God's mercy is new every morning. He is the God of new beginnings. He is ready to help you simplify your life. The secrets are held in His word. Last year I struggled with over commitment and many other distractions and strongholds that drained me and took me away from my true priorities in my life. As I have sought God's will in dealing with these areas He has shown me many ways that I can simplify my life with His help and I am excited to share them with you while continuing to work on then in my own life.

Everyone that participates in this series by posing or contacting me privately(starting today) will be eligible for the giveaways at the end of the series on March 1st. I will reveal the giveaways on Tuesday.

My question for you today is How do you know that you need to simplify your life? Answering this question will help you to reveal some of the areas that are challenges for you. We will be answering hard questions during this series. But I know we will all come out on the other end of it feeling much better and having margin in our lives. What a blessing that will be.

So...How do you know that you need to simplify your life?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Since I only had two people post yesterday, you both win the create pin. They will be in the mail Monday.

Check in Monday when we start our new series focusing on simplifying our lives.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I have a very special surprise giveaway JUST FOR TODAY in celebration of Valentine Day.

All you need to do to be eligible is to finish this sentence.

LOVE is _________________.

Post your answer here and one random winner will receive a surprise giveaway on Sunday. I will post the picture of your gift then.

Have a blessed Valentines Day. I hope you are surrounded by those you love today. If you are alone today remember that Jesus loves you..and so do I. If you wish to email me about anything at all..even feeling alone today my email address is

Friday, February 13, 2009

And The Winners Are

Danielle wins Out of Bounds (scrapbooking without boundaries) and La Tea Dah wins the journal. Please email me at with your mailing addresses and they will be on the way to you on Monday.

I just returned home last night very late after being away for 10 days on business (and some pleasure). I have my 3 year old grandson for a week starting today. I am preparing an arts and crafts project for us to do for Valentines Day. It has been a long time since I had a little one at home to make valentines cards with. Valentines Day to me is about LOVING not only my darling husband but my mom, my children, my grandbabies and my friends. I do not feel very prepared this year as I have no cards sent out and I am not sure what I am doing for our meals on Saturday much to do..With being away for so long before Valentines Day I should have prepared prior to leaving on the trip...but I did not.

Tell me what you have planned for Valentines Day this year. How do you celebrate it with your husband, boyfriend, children or family?

Monday we will have a new giveaway that I know you will all be excited about. I actually very excited just to share it with you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What motivates you?

The last question in this series is What Motivates You? On Friday we will take a long look at what we have learned about ourselves over the past 10 days. We will also prepare for the new series that we will start on Monday.

This is your last day to post your answer and be entered into the drawing for OUT OF BOUNDS (scrapbooking without boundaries) and a beautiful journal to record your thoughts. I will announce the winners on Friday. There is still time to go to back post and answer other questions to have your name entered more than once.

As always I will play along and answer yesterdays question..What would an observer of your life say matters the most to you? An observer would say that my relationship with Jesus, my husband , my children, my grandchildren, my mother and my work with children with cancer matter the most to me. Other things that matter most to me that a casual observer may not see is my quest for creativity. To use my gifts for God. I am starting to submit articles to magazines..this is also very important to me this year.My friends..I pray for my friends and treasure them. Because of my other responsibilities I am not ale to spend as much time with them as I would like to..but I love them very much.

The NEWS here is that I am working on designing a legacy scrapbook. Camp C.H.O.P.S. is in June of this year (camp for children with cancer) and I am starting to work on the arts and crafts for camp as well. Last year my daughter Sarah designed camp journal tags and we (along with other family members) helped the children make about me pages that we framed and sent home with them. This was everyones favorite craft. Parents cried when they read the journaling and the children loved doing this. I know we will be doing some variation of this again this year.

We are getting ready for the Ohio Tally Rally. Sarah and I are co hostessing this scrapbook reunion of friends. Our friend Pam is coming in all the way from Texas..the rest of us are Ohio girls and we are so excited to share each others company for the weekend.

I am so looking froward to announcing the winners on Friday...
So...What motivates you??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

After reading yesterday's comments I have to say that I could not have written what sustains me better than Danielle ..

Danielle said...
This for me is not a what, but a who. There is only one person who could ever possibly completely sustain me. God. Knowing that I am a child of the All-Mighty, Holy, Sovereign, Perfect, and Loving Father, is all that I need to sustain me

Thank you Danielle..this is my answer as well. I can do ALL things through Him and Nothing without him.

Our question today may be a difficult one but a very important one in the steps we are taking.

What would an observer of your life say matters to you most?

I have about a 6 hour drive to our next place of business and I must pack and and get ready to go..but before I leave you today I just have to announce our exciting news. My daughter Sarah called me on my birthday to tell me that just that day she took a in home pregnancy test and is pregnant. She will go to the doctor on Wednesday so I will have more news on Thursday.

Remember that every post will be entered into the drawing on Friday and that if you have miss questions over the past 10 days you can go back and answer them.

So...What would an observer of your life say matters to you most?

Monday, February 9, 2009

What sustains you?

As promised her is the finished sentence from yesterday.

I love Jesus,Skip, my children, my grandchildren, my Mother, Tallyscrappers, my circle of friends, tearooms, Starbucks french roast coffee,creating, scrapbooking with my daughter Sarah, going thrifting with Mom, watching Gilmore Girls with my daughter Hannah, taking pictures with my son Ede, watching my son Matthew with his son Wyatt, watching my son Aaron with his son Tyler, rocking Wyatt to sleep, bedtime stories and songs with Tyler, myself, the smell of fresh cut grass, the smell of lilacs, the smell of babies, photography, writing, art journaling, theatre, Broadway musicals, going to the movies, pajama days, gifts created by hand, no bake cookies, pasta, ice cream, eggnog, coke zero, the look of new fallen snow, colorful leaves in the Fall, crisp Autumn days, babies, Christmas, the ocean, Disney, old rhinestone brooches, vintage clothing, Victorian anything, learning, NYC, Scottsdale AZ, cooking, baking, the laughter of children, the rebirth of Springtime, REAL people, honesty, blogging, art museums, spending time with friends and blog friends.

and with all that being said I cut my list short.

At the end of this week we will take time to look back over the past few weeks to see what we have discovered about ourselves before moving on to the next step. If you have missed questions in past post now would be a good time to go back and answer them by posting here ,on paper for yourself or by emailing me at

Today we will look at this question...


Answer this question by posting here and I will share my answer with you on Tuesday. Everyone that answers this questions will be entered into the drawing for Out Of Bounds (scrapbboking without boundaries) and a beautiful journal for you to record your thoughts in.
Drawing will be held this Friday.

So...What sustains you?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What do you love...

Today we will finish this sentence..I love____________. If you are like me your list will go on and on . Go for it. List as many things as you can think of that you love. I think my list had about 40 things in it. I will post mine at the beginning of Monday's post. On Monday we will also look back over the past two weeks and see what we have discovered about ourselves.

Finish this sentence and be entered onto a drawing for OUT OF BOUNDS (scrapbooking without boundaries) and a beautiful journal for you to write your thoughts, prayers or follow along with the assignments. Your name will be entered each time that you post. The drawings for both will be held on the 13th of this month.

I love _______________

This is a picture of what my my newest grandbaby looks like now!

If you could change just one thing about yourself

Hello Friends,

I am sorry I was not on yesterday. It was my birthday and my husband stole me away for the day. It was true bliss and wonderful to spend an entire romantic day away with him.

Before we finish out sentence for today I just want to tell you how moved I am by what you have written and shared so far. You inspire me and motivate me in ways you will never know.

Today let's finish the sentence If I could change just one thing about myself it would be.....

If you need help thinking of what that (one thing) might be try looking at your What Masters Me list from several days ago might help you fill in the blanks.

As always I will share my own answers with you so you are not the only one sharing . If I could change just one thing about myself it would be that I procrastinate.

The wonderful news is that nothing need master us. We CAN change most things about ourselves that we are not happy with. We will be talking more about this at the end of this month.

Finish the sentence and be entered in to the drawing for Out of Bounds (scrapbooking without boundaries) and a beautiful journal. Two winners to be announced on the 13th of this month.

So..If you could change just one thing about yourself what would it be??

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What do you feel led or called to?

Today we will finish the sentence ..I feel led or called to_______________.
It could be anything..being a good mother, feeding the homeless, finishing your education, taking care of yourself, sharing your hope, creating art, growing a garden, becoming a teacher....Whatever it is it is YOUR calling, YOUR vision.

Here is my take on this assignment. I feel led and called to work with children with cancer which is why I will continue to be so involved, to mentor and work with women that have been physically or emotionally abused and with teens that are pregnant or that already are teenage mothers, to be the best wife, mother,daughter , friend and Nana that I can be each day. To share Christ love and Hope with everyone I encounter through words and/or actions.

Your turn...Finish this question and be put in the drawing for Out of Bounds
and a stunning journal both to be held on February 13th.

I feel led or called to_____________.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Your Safe Place

I am sorry I am so late posting today. We arrived in Arizona very late last night and have been working all day..

Here is the finish the sentence for the day. I feel safe when I ______________.
I recently challenged a group of scrap artist to create a page that reflected their own safe place. I challenge you to finish the sentence. As always, I am doing the assignment with you and this is what I came up with. The first thing that came to my mind was (am lying in my husbands arms). Indeed I do feel loved and often time safe..But the REAL answer to this question for me is ..
I feel safe when I am able to fully release my worries in prayer, fully accept God's will, fully obey Him,and fully rely on Him to fill every empty place inside of me.

Your turn..Finish this question and be entered into a drawing for Out of Bounds (scrapbboking without boundaries) and a beautiful journal. Both to be given away on Friday 2/13.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finish this setence.

The rest of this week we will be finishing sentences that will help us rediscover the passions that we have in life. For example, our question today is When I was a child I wanted to be _________ when I grew up. Many of us grew up to thrive in the occupation we had chosen so this will not be a revelation to you. There are those, like myself, that did not and just by going back and remembering what I was once passionate about has reignited the passion I once felt.

When I was a child I wanted to be a photo journalist when I grew up. So I am reclaiming that dream and am submitting articles to magazines this year. I adore photography and have been living that dream for a while now but am ready to learn more to take me to the next level there as well.

What did you want to be when you grew up? How do you feel about that today?

All that answer will be entered into the drawing for Out of Bounds..scrapbooking without boundaries (pictured in a previous post).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Post #2 for today..Just forgot to mention...

That Life One Layout At A Time is having a blog giveaway..A Cricket..all of you that love paper crafting do not want to miss this. In addition to the giveaway I think you will find the blog delightful. I have added this blog to the ones I follow at the right hand of the page and you can access it from there.

My husband is taking me away for my birthday on Tuesday.I have been looking forward to this and our time alone as a couple for months. Last night we had our family birthday party for my son and myself. Among the gifts I received was the beautiful Nana tea cup shown at the right hand of the page from my son and daughter in law, my three year old grandson saying the prayer before dinner and my husband and mother cooking all day for us all of our favorites. I felt VERY LOVED!My husband gave me a beautiful leather scrap album that I will share with you at another time. It is stunning and a complete surprise. I did n0t expect anything last night from him as we always celebrate my birthday on the actual date of my birthday when we are away.I am watching Mamma Mia (the gift from Hannah and Pat)with my daughter today..I can't wait as I am a big Abba fan and need some time with my Hannah. I am taking my new book(gift from Ede) by author Anne Lamott with me on vacation. This is a book and author that my son Ede introduced me to a year ago. We both LOVE the way she writes..and today I going to Archievers and pick out albums (gift from my Mama) and when I return home I can make the trip to JoAnne Fabrics and pick out the new paper punch and paints I have been wanting (gift from my other son and daughter in law).

None of this had anything to do with what we are working on this week. I just had a grateful heart and an overwhelming desire to share all of this with you. Thanks for checking in.

Don't forget to read the post that is the real post today.

It's all about priorities!

Today we will look at the list of priorities that we made yesterday (If you did not make them worries..just do so today). Now we will work on listing them in order..For example God, family, friends, could be as simple as that or it could take on a much more detailed look. It up to you. This is YOUR list and no one elses.

I will do mine after I pray for guidance. This list will help me through out this year make decisions that are important in my life as well as the life of my family so I know prayer is needed before I start. For example...If I am asked to sit on a Board of Directors (no matter how inviting or flattering) this year and it is not on my list of priorities or it will clearly take me away form what I have (with God's help) chosen as my priorities , this list will then help me to clearly see this is not a good choice at this time and empower me to say no.

I shared with you before one of my biggest challenges has been over commitment.
I have depleted myself in the past and still not met the obligations and not spent the quality time I WANTED to with my true priorities (and yes..that even includes time for myself).

Your assignment today is to make your priority list and then to list them in order. This is a very private matter. I just ask that you write them down for yourself and then post here that you have done this and any thoughts or insights that you have had from this assignment or the past weeks assignments. When you have done this you will be put in the drawing on 2/13 for Out of Bounds (scrapbooking without boundaries) and a Beautiful Journal. There will be two separate winners. Each day you post you name is entered.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Winners and Announcing the New Blog Giveaway!

Thank you all for your post and comments over the past 10 days. The Winner of LAYERS is Adrienne and the winner of the Journal is BethB. Congratulations ladies.
Please email me at with your mailing address and they will be in the mail to you on Monday.

I will be out of town from February 3rd through the 12th. I still plan to be active on the blog at that time and have a special give away for all that are actively leaving comments and participating from the 1st through the 13th. The winner will receive Out of Bounds by Jodi Amidei and Torrey Scott. A FANTASTIC book for all that are interested in getting started in scrapbooking as well as the experienced scrapbooker.
I also have another beautiful journal that I will be giving away.

We have worked hard this week. I am so proud of you for taking a look within..Shall we continue?! I have an assignment for you. Today I want you to list your priorities ..all of them and not in order just randomly. We will be working with this list throughout next week. so let's get started.

Here is what I came up with. My priorities are:My relationship with God, My relationship with my husband, My relationship with my mother, My relationship with my children, My relationship with my grandchildren, My relationship with my friends, Project Ed Bear (a nonprofit for children with cancer), Taking care of my home, husband, fanily and NEW FOR ME myself, creative time for myself to create and grow as a person, to mentor and teach.

I may need to add more IF and As they are revealed to me..but for now this is my list of priorities..

What are your priorities?