Reading instead of Writing

Librarian

Right now, this is what my kitchen table looks like, completely covered in books. Fiction, mostly, with some poems and horses thrown in for good measure. You may notice many sequels, and a few new series’ starters…

Someone recently asked me what it’s like to have finished writing my book. The answer is that it’s a bit anti-climactic. I gathered all my energy and effort and focus pouring into a gigantic goal. And now it is done. So I’m taking a break from writing for a bit, both from books and blogging.

Instead, I’m pouring myself into curating a child’s reading experience.

LauriReading instead of Writing

3 Great Ways to Revitalize your Creative Zest

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Whether or not you’d call yourself a creative-type there is a frustration to feeling stuck in a rut. I’m always looking for inspiration to dig deeper into creative pursuits. But sometimes I just feel dry.

What do you do when you’re dry? Dry spiritually and creatively? It’s easier to escape into a new iPhone game than to engage in refreshing activities —or even genuine rest. Rest is a conversation for another day, but let’s talk about refreshing activities.

Lauri3 Great Ways to Revitalize your Creative Zest

5 Ways to Keep your Home Tidy with Kids dictated by Elise, age 6

Kid House

1. Distract the children with something tidy to do, like screen time, coloring or reading.

2. Have them help you clean whatever you are cleaning. Give them easy jobs at first, and then a bit harder and a bit harder until they can do grown-up jobs.

Lauri5 Ways to Keep your Home Tidy with Kids dictated by Elise, age 6

How I Wrote a Book with Small Children Underfoot

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Kitchen Rescue for the Not-So-Organized is here!

It was one of those projects that incubated for several years without me even realizing it was growing. But once I saw the need to actually write a book about my organizing process, I suddenly had laser focus.

It’s funny to say that I had laser focus, because that is almost never true of me. With three or more small children constantly underfoot, there is the unending stream of cares to tend.

Fortunately, we were on break from homeschooling when the inspiration hit, and the timing was perfect! No structure to maintain. No lessons to prepare. No assignments to oversee. So…

LauriHow I Wrote a Book with Small Children Underfoot

8 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Healthy and Strong

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The other night we had a young couple over for Breakfast 4 Dinner. When they learned that we have been happily married for sixteen years, they asked what makes a marriage work. So here are 8 real-life, practical ways that we keep our marriage healthy and strong.

Lauri8 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Healthy and Strong

HaPpY, hApPy BiRtHdAy, Simple Beautiful Life!

Yellow Daisies

It’s been 2 years already since Simple Beautiful Life was born. It’s been fun getting into the swing of writing with three children underfoot. (Perhaps a post on that soon!) I’m finding my voice and niche, and I’m super excited about what this next year may bring!

Here are the top posts from this past year…

LauriHaPpY, hApPy BiRtHdAy, Simple Beautiful Life!

How to Hand Wash a Wool or Cashmere Sweater

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Once I shrunk a favorite sweater in the washer, and I’ve been careful to hand wash sweaters ever since.

It takes less time than driving to the dry cleaners. Here’s how:

LauriHow to Hand Wash a Wool or Cashmere Sweater

Smile More Next Christmas!

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As I’ve been simplifying my home and possessions, some items remain difficult to purge: a weird metal symbol from my (deceased) dad’s fraternity. My daughter’s first sewing project. You know, things that are tough to part with! These items are sentimental, and take up little space. But I don’t want them to live forever in an old shoebox in the attic. Not long ago, I saw an idea on Pinterest transforming children’s favorite toys into Christmas ornaments. Brilliant! This was an excellent solution for my treasures too.  Now each year we’ll smile more as we decorate the tree. Left to right: 1. A mother doll a friend brought me from Guatemala. I love how it has a baby on the back AND carrying one too! 2. Stained glass cattle skull my aunt made me as a bolo tie long ago. 3. Quilter’s Guild name tag and tiny quilt. 4. My dad’s fraternity symbol (I think!) from approximately 1968. 5. My daughter’s first sewing project. 6. A carved camel from my husband’s college roommate. 7. Hand-written tree-round place cards from my sister’s wedding. There is one for each person in our family, and she made one for our unborn (at the time) baby too. Now each one is a wonderful ornament that means far more to us than a colored glass bulb. So before you tuck those boxes of Christmas decorations back into the attic, take a minute to attach a ribbon loop or a hook onto your sentimental items and slip …

LauriSmile More Next Christmas!

2 Steps to the Best Whipped Cream You’ve Ever Had

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I was that kid who wanted a tiny slice of pie under a mountain of whipped cream. Fluffy, white, gooey, sweet deliciousness. Back then, I wasn’t particular about the brand or the type: Reddi-whip, Cool Whip, whatever! Drown me in it.

Since then, I’ve become much more moderate. I’ve also discovered that real whipped cream makes the difference between good pie and amazing pie. And it’s so simple and quick to make!

Since then, I’ve become much more moderate. I’ve also discovered that real whipped cream makes the difference between good pie and amazing pie. And it’s so simple and quick to make!

Lauri2 Steps to the Best Whipped Cream You’ve Ever Had

4 Great Ways to Keep Christmas Simple

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How can we keep Christmas simple in the face of consumerism and peer pressure? How many Christmas lights are enough? How can we make the holidays festive without becoming burdensome?

Each family must answer these questions based on what works for you. Talk together about what is really important to you, and let the rest go.

Here are some principles that have helped to guide us….

Lauri4 Great Ways to Keep Christmas Simple