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One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler

Can we be as organized as Tsh?

There are lots of great things about Tsh Oxenreider’s new book One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler, but the best is that it makes you look at your own life under a microscope. There is no way you can read about Oxenreider’s 52 projects for bringing organization and simplicity to your life, without reconsidering the processes (or lack thereof) that you already have in place.

You might already be familiar with Oxenreider as the creator of Simple Mom. She is very upfront that roughly half of the content of One Bite at a Time can be found on her blog already, if you really hunt down some old posts. But who has time to do that? It was much easier to have all of those ideas organized on my Kindle. Brilliant!

Create a Family Mission Statement

I don’t consider myself a master of organization, but it was gratifying to recognize that some of Oxenreider’s suggestions I had already put into place. Check out the Bardsley Family Rules we had made this summer from Petunia Fitzgerald Creations on Etsy. That was our version of creating a family mission statement.

What are your Most Important Tasks?

I also already have a plan for keeping my house clean.  Here’s what is supposed to be happening:

  • Monday: Change sheets, water plants, vacuum upstairs
  • Tuesday: Clean bathrooms, clean out refrigerator
  • Wednesday: Dust, cleans desk and other “vertical filing surfaces”, clean kitchen chairs and cabinets
  • Thursday: Vacuum downstairs, mop kitchen floor
  • Friday: Laundry
  • Saturday: Ironing, bleach out washer (we have a front loader).

The problem of course is, ahem… I slack off! Things got really bad when the kids were home from school this summer. But the very first idea in Oxenreider’s book is already helping to make a difference. She suggests picking the task that you most dislike, and getting it done almost first thing in the morning. So if it was Tuesday, I should be cleaning the bathrooms right off the bat.  She also suggests designating three Most Important Tasks for every day.

Eat Real Food and Try Growing a Garden

One Bite at a Time also has a ton of ideas for meal planning, healthy eating, and whole foods living. When I got to the part about making homemade yogurt, I had to laugh. My husband was obsessed with making homemade yogurt for a while there. It really is pretty easy to make. I of course, am already on the “preserve food when it’s cheapest“, meal planning, and gardening bandwagon.

Go Off the Poo?

Now for the ick part. When Oxenreider suggests going shampoo free, or cleaning your face with EVOO, I had to really fight to be open minded. 🙂 On the one hand, I would much rather use baking soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair than a product loaded with phthalates and sulfates. On the other, I’ve spend about ten gazillion hours on the Environmental Working Group’s website Skin Deep, and am pretty confident in the personal detergent products we already use. I’m sorry Tsh, but you’ll have to pry my Aubrey Organics Sensitive Skin bottles out of my grasp with a crow bar.

More Books by Pacific Northwest Writers

Finally, I wanted to kick off my 2012 Salute to Pacific Northwest Writers with One Bite at a Time, because I am super impressed by Tsh Oxenreider and all she has accomplished. Also, because (full disclaimer) I owe her a debt of gratitude. Last May Tsh surprised me by giving Teaching My Baby to Read a really nice shout-out on Simple Mom. That was a darn cool thing to do.

This is me saying “Thank you”.

(This post is from my 2012 Salute to Pacific Northwest Writers.)


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