Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have been slacking on my blog because I am assistant directing the school play and our performances are THIS WEEK.......hope to be back blogging soon!!! Happy Spring Everyone!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

My sweet, 11 year old son made this for dinner since I've been sick.......LOVE my "little" man!!


1.5-2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
chopped onion (1/2 to 1 whole onion, depending on what you prefer)
1/4 cup ketchup
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup oatmeal
1 can tomato soup
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Stif beef, eggs, oatmeal, ketchup, salt and pepper, 1/2 of soup, and 1 T Worcestershire sauce with hands (it really is easier that way). Mold and put into large loaf pan. Stir brown sugar, rest of Worcestershire sauce, and rest of soup and pour over top of loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

WOOHOO.....Spring is HERE!
My favorite thing about Spring (besides the sunshine) is SPRING CLEANING......I'm serious. First sunshiney weekend and I'm opening the garage and gutting all the winter crap and buildup....you know what I'm talking about huh???? I found this great checklist to get you going.....it's from Martha of course...Enjoy!

There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable --  and even enjoyable. This printable checklistoffers an overview of everything you need to know -- including information on cleansers, stain removal, fabric care, and storage -- to zip through the process and arrive at a happy end.
After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and yard. Create a realistic schedule, keeping in mind that a single weekend won't suffice, as you'll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, focus on one task at a time. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.
The information on this checklist was excerpted from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; 2006).

Monday- Mental DeClutter

Thanks Brit....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday- Spiritual Strengthening

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Crazy Clutter household has come down with a virus...it is slowly going through the family. Hope to be back blogging next week......

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday- Financial DeClutter

Suze's Predictions for 2012

Back in 2008, I wrote the following for my book, Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan:
"My sense is that we could be in for a long, slow period of recovery and it will be 2014 or 2015 before we feel more hopeful. Between now and then, we could see parts of our economy get better faster than others, and certainly some regions will start their housing rebound before others...But in terms of when we will see a lasting and consistent return to growth, well, I wouldn't be surprised if that takes a few years or more."

I stick by those words today. And I still think we won't see much improvement in 2012. In fact, I've said over and over and over that, in my opinion, 2012 will not be an easy financial year.

I think 2012 will be a tough year economically across much of the globe, but the U.S. economy, while perhaps not thriving, will look good compared to Europe, China and Japan. U.S. stocks, meanwhile, will perform better than the underlying economy would warrant. That doesn’t mean the market will go up necessarily, but I predict it will perform more strongly than the overall economy. Also, since the 10-year treasury is yielding less than the S&P 500, money will flow from bonds to stocks, further stabilizing the market.
But in the end, predictions are one thing and reality is another. If I'm wrong on these — and I just want to preface my predictions by saying that I hope I am — that will mean we've found footing, stability and growth. With that, I give you my predictions for 2012.

1. Gold goes to $2,000 in 2012
I think the euro will go down and people will start to pile into gold. It's where people obviously are feeling safe. I think it's good as long as it stays over $1,600. It's building a solid base.
2. The housing market stays depressed
The real estate market is all over the map. Obviously there are markets such as Florida, Arizona and Nevada that could continue down for a year two...or three. But some states that have large cities are starting a slow upward movement, such as New York. We still are looking at 2013 or 2014 at least till we stabilize everywhere, but that just means it has stopped going down in the most vulnerable states. Even if housing stabilized in the next couple of years, you're looking at 2023 before we even get back to viable real estate markets throughout the country.
3. Recession or stagflation
There's a 60 percent chance of 2012 recession. If no recessionstagflation will set in. It's either bad or worse when it comes to the economy in 2012, and most of that will be based on what happens in Europe.
4. The great 29-year bull market in bonds ends
It's as simple as this: When you have interest rates this low, eventually inflation starts to come back. And the way you tame inflation is by increasing interest rates. And when interest rates go up, bonds prices go down.
5. Inflation as measured by CPI tops 4.1 percent
For the reasons I just said, you're going to see CPI top 4.1 percent. If inflation should start to rear its head and even go up just a little bit, you should make sure you're protected — and this is where you should start buying TIPS, Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities.
6. The Good Stuff
As you may know, I think about the macro economic picture and I break it down to asset classes. For 2012, I like large value (dividends). Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities will be a homerun if debt gets out of control.

Economic Predictions 2012 - A CNBC Special Report

My sleeper asset class is small growth — the last three market rallies we had this year were all led by small growth. That said, nothing will be certain in 2012, so unless you’re prepared to stomach wild market swings, it might be best to stay in cash. I have always said it is better to do nothing than something you do not understand, and the truth is I’m not sure anyone understands this economy or this market. Still, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your money. You can start by staying in touch with what is actually happening in the economy and with your money than what has been predicted will happen.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

Well, it's official. I registered for my first 5K...www.thedirtydash.com. I am definitely not a runner. Never have been, don't think I ever will be. One time I ran to the car to race my kids and all their mouths dropped because they had never seen me run before. Sad huh? Most of my sisters and bros-in-law are runners. They are always asking/encouraging me to do a 5K or anything to get off my butt. So, I decided, if I'm gonna run a 5K...it needs to be a FUN one. Of course, I chose the Dirty Dash where you get to run in MUD. My hubby and 2 oldest kids are going to do it with me too. I'm VERY excited but VERY nervous. Now, I need to get off my butt and get training. I'm doing a 30 day EXERCISE challenge in March to get started. I'm on day 8 and already feel better.  Here are some great tips for preparing for your first 5K........

One Step at a Time

Start from where you are, rather than where you want to be. Avoid crying, like I did, by starting from your current fitness level. Running too much too soon is the number one reason most newbie runners quit.
If you are new to running, begin with sprinkling in running with mostly walking. This allows your body, mind and spirit time to adapt to the demands of running and it makes for a very enjoyable running experience. It will also allow you to run a bit farther.
Always begin with a walking warm-up of five minutes to prepare your body for the run ahead. Finish with a walking cool down to bring your body back to reality.
For the running workout, start with 30 seconds to one minute of running and follow with at least double the time power-walking -- 1-3 minutes, or until you catch your breath. Progress little by little, adding more running to the mix and less walking.
Focus on going farther, not harder. Include no more than three runs per week and alternate run days with rest or cross-training activities (cycling, swimming, yoga, etc.) to allow your body to adapt and recover run to run. Before you know it, you will be running 30 minutes at a time with a smile on your face!
Food is Fuel
You are what you eat. Your workouts are fueled by the food you eat every day. Keep a log of what you consume daily and it will give you a better perspective of what goes into your system.
If you are having trouble dropping the weight you wanted or just not feeling strong while running, it could have something to do with how you fuel your body day to day. Eat smaller, more frequent meals well balanced with fruits, veggies, lean protein and even fats too. Skipping meals is the quickest way to gain weight and decrease the performance of your next workout.
Think of your car and how it runs. If you run out of fuel, the car simply doesn't move. If you put dirty fuel into the tank or no fuel at all, the car won't run efficiently. Food is fuel and the ticket to your next strong running workout and recovery.

Here is an easy beginner 8 week schedule to train for your 5K. Adjust it to fit your own schedule!

Wednesday- What's Cooking?

My kids LOVE spaghetti....but get easily bored with the same old, same old spaghetti with meat/marinara sauce. Thought I would mix things up a bit. Hope they like it. Thanks again to http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/ for another great recipe. 

Easy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 lb package uncooked spaghetti noodles
2 cans 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken (or Cream of Mushroom) soup (I actually use about 1 1/2 cans)
3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided (you can use mild, medium, or sharp)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (you can also use fresh!)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 t seasoned salt
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional- use if you like a little bit of heat!)
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth

*Other ingredients that I love to add: zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, pimentos, green chilis (basically anything goes!)

Break noodles into 2-3" pieces and cook according to package directions. Place cooked noodles into a large bowl. Add chicken and toss together. Add cream of chicken soup, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, 2 cups of cheese, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix all together. Now slowly add about 1 cup of the chicken broth. Stir it in and add a little bit more. You want to be able to stir it, but you don't want it to be too soupy.
Dump your spaghetti mix into a 9x13" glass pan lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese (and sometimes I like to throw some bread crumbs on top for added flavor).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (or until hot and bubbly).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday- Temporal DeClutter

Almost 3 years ago we downsized. It has been the best decision we have ever made. I found this article on http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com. I feel like she took the words right out of my mouth. 

12 ways a small house has improved my life

  1. Family bonds: We brush our teeth together, eat together, watch movies together, and even bump into each other ;), which sometimes turns into a wrestle (my fave).
  2. Housekeeping efficiency: Five minutes to pick up, two hours to deep clean. Cleaning used to take all day, now it takes a morning.
  3. Home maintenance cost: Although everything gets used more, there is less in quantity to break, and therefore less to repair. We can also easily stay on top of repairs.
  4. Community exchange: We reach out to friends or community for seldomly used items. Today I sent out an email for a pair of hiking boots size 6, by the end of the day, I had located two pairs.
  5. Utilities cost: A smaller house is evidently cheaper to heat and light, but also cheaper to retrofit (e.g., insulation, windows, and solar).
  6. Space optimization: We use all the available space. I used to have a guest bedroom in my previous home. It required year round cleaning and heating, for only a couple of uses per year. Today, we simply offer the kids' bedroom to guests, and the kids get excited about camping in their playroom!
  7. Home security: I definitely feel safer in a small home. I know every nook and cranny of the house. A monster cannot hide in the closet:)
  8. Ecological impact: It makes Zero Waste manageable. "Less space, less stuff, less waste", Leo once said.
  9. Residency options: For us, downsizing has afforded a spot within walking distance of great schools and an active downtown - after we were told that there was no availability in our price range.
  10. Parental awareness: We used intercoms (baby monitors) in the old house. Now we can hear each other sneeze across the house. 
  11. Health: For two reasons...1) A smaller space is easier to clean, which means that dust does not linger in hard to reach places; and, 2) A small house encourages outdoor activity - in the summer, my deck becomes my office.
  12. Stuff management: Stuff has been easier to manage in a small home for 3 reasons
  • Consumption: Small spaces control the amount of stuff coming into the house. In my old house, I bought furniture just to fill large rooms. Now, we focus on double duty and functional items.
  • Organization (once you have decluttered): It's easy to put things away, easy to find things.
  • Access: It's even easy to get to things (closer distances).

Thank you.........http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com

DAY 6- Our Amazing weather from yesterday turned to Snow today so I did Just Dance with the kids for 30 minutes. Fun Workout!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday- Mental DeClutter



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday-Spiritual Strengthening

Our bishop shared his testimony today about Tyler Haws and his dedication to serve the Lord. It was a great reminder of how we need to stay dedicated to working hard on our relationship with Our Savior. We are all a Work In Progess!! Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday- Financial DeClutter

Repair Kit for Damaged Credit

Your credit score is an incredibly important part of your financial life. All your creditors will look at your score to determine whether you're eligible for credit and, if so, at what interest rate. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rates you pay on credit cards, car loans and mortgages. Even landlords, cell phone companies and some employers look at your credit score, because if you can't be good with money, you might not be a good tenant or employee. So you want to do everything you can to make sure your score is as high as possible. Some tips:

Pay on Time.
Your track record paying all your bills, not just your credit card, is the single biggest factor in your credit score. It accounts for 35 percent of your score. So don't be late. If you only send in the minimum amount due on your credit card bill, send it in on time, even if that means you have to pay to overnight it.

Keep Your Balance Low.
The amount you owe on your credit cards as a percentage of your outstanding credit limit—known as your debt to credit limit ratio—accounts for 30 percent of your score. The best way to keep this percentage low is to make sure you don't run up a big balance. Another option is to call your card company and ask for your credit limit to be raised. For example, if you have a $5,000 balance and a $10,000 limit, you are at the 50 percent level. But if your credit limit is boosted to $15,000, your ratio is reduced to 33 percent. Be very careful here, my friends, and don't ever use that extra credit.

Build a Strong History.
How long you have had an account determines 15 percent of your score. The longer the history, the more confident a lender can be about your financial behavior. For this reason, don't cancel any unused cards, because their history will be wiped from your record. So, let's say you no longer use a card you took out 10 years ago, because you got a better deal elsewhere. That's fine; just stick the card somewhere safe and sound, but don't cancel it outright. Even though you aren't using the card, you still want to use the history.

Don't Be a Credit–holic.
Potential lenders hate to see you applying for a lot of credit; it makes them think you're going to get in way over your head with debt. Your pattern of opening new accounts, or applying for new accounts, determines 10 percent of your grade. One important caveat: If you confine your mortgage shopping to a two-week period, all those applications (and lender requests for your credit score) will be bundled together and count as only one request on your record.

Watch Your Mix.
You don't want to have a ton of open credit lines or loans. Your mix of credit cards, retail cards and installment loans accounts for the final 10 percent of your score.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/money/

Did Zumba and a little P90X with hubby last night (Day 1)
Heading now to do Zumba again tonight with hubby...date night (Day 2)
How are you guys doing on the challenge? Please share!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday- Physical DeClutter

Starting a WORKOUT EVERY DAY (except Sunday) CHALLENGE IN MARCH today!! Who wants to join me? I need all the help/encouragement I can get. I only have 90 days till the Dirty Dash. If I don't get working now....I never will! Plus, only 75 days till my beach trip to the Dominican....I need to look GOOD!! Join me won't ya!!

Please post if you want to join me...we can share workout ideas, recipes, ANY TIPS at all for a healthier me.....I'm so bad at this!