Getting Back into the Rhythm After Vacation

Me Doing Laundry on my Vacation

We had a glorious time up in cool, crisp Canada last week. This week, we’re back in Texas where I’m most definitely not hanging beach towels on the line without streams of sweat pouring off my face.

Vacation recovery week is always interesting. I’m working to get back into the routines I need so badly to survive around here. I’ve run the dishwasher every day, done loads upon loads of laundry (adding sweatshirts and jeans back to my summer laundry takes much more time!), and trying to pick up.

Not that you’d think I’d done a single thing if you walked into my house right now.

But I know how much worse it could be.

Oh boy. Do I ever know.

Survive (the gloriously routine-free) Summer! Free Printable Checklist at


It’s SUMMER!!!

I love this fun and crazy and unscheduled time of year with my kids, but the lack of routine sends my house into chaos!

For the summer, I’m focusing on the four simple habits that will keep (or bring) any home out of Disaster Status.

Here’s how we did:

Do the dishes

Sweep the kitchen (Nope. Didn’t even think of this one til I read it here. On MY OWN list. That I created. Ugh.)

Check bathrooms for clutter

Do a five-minute pick-up


Our extra task for today:

I’m kind of combining three days into one here, but I’ve been doing laundry for all of those three days.

How did you do today?

Share your own success and failures in the comments!
Don’t forget that you can get your own copy of my Surviving Summer Checklist by subscribing to my email list. You can sign up for daily emails (only sent if I’ve posted something) or weekly summary emails. Plus, you won’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for free.

If you’re completely overwhelmed at even the thought of the four habits listed here, don’t worry! I totally understand! I recommend my e-book, 28 Days to Hope for Your Home, which is a step-by-step guide to getting your home out of Disaster Status.

If it’s your first time at, welcome! Right now, we’re totally focused on helping our homes survive the gloriously routine-free summer! Regular blogging will resume when school starts in August! Until then, find out what goes on around here the rest of the year by checking out my decluttering strategies (based on WAY too much personal experience) and my free printable checklists. See my advice on getting started.

And if you’re worried about whether you’ll fit in here, read this.


See all my e-books (including Drowning in Clutter? and Teaching Kids to Clean) here.



Vote for Your Favorite #TruCareForTroops Story

This is a sponsored post for an awesome cause!


I shared recently that TruGreen is donating up to $10,000 to Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. For each new like to the TruGreen Facebook page they’re donating one dollar, and for each uplifting story that was shared by the family member of an active duty or veteran member of the military they donated $100.

It’s now time to go vote on your favorite story. The entrants of the top five most voted on stories will receive gift card prizes!

If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love storytelling. Give me statistics and data and I’ll stare at you blankly.

But stories capture me and connect me to the heart of the people who make up the statistics.

It’s one thing to hear what the “troops” are dealing with, but it’s another to read the personal experiences of fathers and mothers who are parenting their kids, managing their homes, and loving one another while one parent is serving the country full time overseas.

I feel it’s my job to pass on the family stories to my own children that help them understand the realities of families whose loved ones fight for the country. I re-tell my own parents’ engagement tale. My mother and father married before their last year of college specifically so they’d have a year to be guaranteed to be together. The draft was in full force and men were being sent to Vietnam as soon as they graduated. That’s the reality of serving the country. Life paths shift and change.

I’m honored to be working with TruGreen to get these inspirational stories out for people to read.

Go to TruGreen’s Facebook page (remember that for each new like they’ll donate $1) and vote for the stories that make you understand the hearts of these heroes.

To participate in the TruGreen campaign for Children of Fallen Patriots, please go to:

Participants can engage on social media using the hashtag: #TRUCARE4TROOPS


About Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

Established in 2002, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is dedicated to providing college scholarships, supplemental grants and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. Since its inception, Fallen Patriots has extended over $6.5 million in grants that have been awarded to more than 400 children attending universities throughout the United States.


About TruGreen

Memphis, Tenn.-based TruGreen is the nation’s largest lawn care company, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers across the United States with lawn, tree and shrub care. Your lawn and landscape need ongoing attention to stay healthy. That’s why TruGreen provides science-based solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. When combined with proper mowing and watering techniques, these services can maximize your lawn’s potential. As the leader in the professional lawn care industry, TruGreen is committed to responsible lawn care, including offering and promoting the use of natural, organic services and sustainable practices. Today, there are approximately 250 TruGreen branches in the United States and Canada, including about 35 franchise locations. Go to or for more information about TruGreen.





Top Five “Liked” Posts

Top Five Liked Posts at

It’s like a sitcom clip show. You know the ones where the characters sit around telling stories and you see clips from past episodes. We all know they’re just trying to fill up an episode without having to write another script.

Anyway, this week I’m sharing the ten (or so) posts from the past that have the most FB likes directly on the post itself. It’s time for the top five.

This post was written quickly during a busy week when I needed to post SOMEthing. It’s a tip I’ve used for years since I’m always finding myself in this frustrating situation. Turned out, LOTS of people needed to know this tip!  It’s #5:

Forgotten Laundry (How To Remove Stink From The Clothes Left In The Washer)

You know I’m all about using my freezer to make life easier. This technique has made my life much easier, and it seems like a LOT of people agree. It’s #4:

How To Freeze Ground Beef

#3 (Go make it NOW!)

How To Make Cinnamon Toast (The Worlds BEST Cinnamon Toast Recipe)


(Not too surprising since this is a big struggle for so many!)

How To Declutter a Child’s Room

And the #1 post with the most FB likes?
(Evidently, it’s a hot topic.)

My Thoughts on Hiring Someone to Clean Your Home




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