We are cleaning out closets and offering emotional support to help you toss out!

Good morning! Today on Simplifying and Planning 101 (Facebook) we start purging our closets! The KonMari method begins with closets. I am going to pick on Monica in the group because she’s a friend and she posted her closet!

When I quit working outside of the home, I had to make some hard line decisions about all of the clothes I owned. I’m embarrassed to tell you how much clothing I owned! But I will. It may help someone reading this to make some decisions. If you owned stock in LLBean, Lands’ End, or J.Crew, I was personally responsible for the rise in stock prices! I helped make you rich!  Some of the pairing down came before I quit work, the next step was after.

I loved skirts and owned three types of skirts in about six colors – short trouser style skirts, longer trouser style skirts, and a pleated style. I had shoes to match all of them – flats, low heel, and high heel respectively. Remember belt strips? I had matching belts and coordinating belts, etc along with a variety of buckles. Those belt strips were so fun to wear! I had boots – notice the ‘s’? I had jackets to match. I had jewelry. I had outer coats. I had vests. I had sleeveless, short sleeve, and long sleeve blouses and that was only the work clothes!

I was a MEGGA clothes horse. I loved getting dressed in the morning and laying out my outfit. I could literally go forever without wearing the same exact outfit; until one day I stood back and had a firecracker moment and realized that I didn’t need all of the clothes. I was still working at the time, but had gone through some life changes and was working at a different job and all of a sudden it just seemed ridiculous, which it was! When I realized this, it was easy to begin pairing down and I did. I chose the skirt style which fit my lifestyle, and sadly and sometimes tearfully put the others aside. It’s been years and I still miss some of the skirts! lol The more I paired things down to my REAL favorites, the better I felt about myself. I’m not kidding when I say it took several months. It was a hard process at the time. We become consumed with our love of clothes and it is a harsh process. Now I can walk into my closet and grab a couple of things with no problem and bless someone else with them. Just recently I parted with a very loved red parka but how many do you actually need? I still have two (another red and a blue.) I am sharing my story because I am hoping it helps someone. Hey Monica! lol

The more I paired things down to my REAL favorites and pieces that fit my lifestyle, the better I felt about myself. I’m not kidding when I say it took several months. It was a hard process at the time. We become consumed with our love of clothes and it is a harsh process. Now I can walk into my closet and grab a couple of things with no problem and bless someone else with them. Just recently I parted with a very loved red parka but how many do you actually need? I still have two (another red and a blue.) I am sharing my story because I am hoping it helps someone else make these sometimes difficult choices.

KonMari is done by taking ALL of your clothes out of your closet and from all around the house. You’ll make a mess and if this works for you, go for it. My personality doesn’t like chaos or a mess and I had paired down my clothes to the extent I could take a section at a time. I am an extremely organized person and with my system, could make one section at a time work. When I completed the closet, I was able to stand back and know if there was more I should purge. Not everyone can do this. I’ll explain the KonMari way first and then my adaptation of the method.

The authentic KonMari way is to take everything out of your closet. Gather all of your clothes from around the house – the sofa, the laundry, etc. You might want to put on some soothing music if you are a clothes horse! Sit down and take a deep breath, then begin. Take each piece of clothing and if you feel joy when you pick it up, then keep it. If you do not feel joy or it weighs you down, put it aside to give away. Believe it or not, this works. I love wearing white shirts and jeans. It’s my go-to outfit and I have loads of white shirts to prove it. I decided I’d try color. Big mistake for me. So, when I picked up one colored shirt after another and even though they were new, I felt no joy, I set them aside. As you go through the process it really gets easier and actually fun. Once you have completed this task, we’ll move on to the putting away stage. Marie has a way of folding and putting away that helps you see what you have. I’m a huge fan.

If, on the other hand, you are like me, take a section at a time and pull it out – maybe begin with sleeveless shirts. Once you’ve completed them, set them aside and pull out short-sleeve and so on working your way through each section of your closet. When you have completed the process, we’ll move on to the putting back stage.

I can’t wait to hear from those who are cleaning closets this week. Work on your closet first. We’ll work on kids and husbands later. If you have any questions, please comment.

If you would like to join up for emotional support or just to have fun, please join up on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/SimplifyandPlan/  We’ll be working our way around the house and also doing some Planner planning on the side.

Pondering what makes a good meal…

    I’ve had my dander up the last couple of posts about the oil spill. The garden is starting to “come in” as they say and I thought it might be a nice diversion to write about food; especially since supper last night was some of that same garden’s produce.

     Fresh field peas from the garden, just shucked and sweet yellow cornbread; oh what memories those two conjure up. The normal conversation in my house as we sit down with our respective bowls of scrumptious garden produce goes a little something like this: me to hubby – “You sure know how to ruin a plate of field peas” (he serves them up with rice.) And, he to me – “You sure know how to ruin a plate of field peas” (I serve them up the correct way – on top of a huge, gargantuan, colossal, massive piece of sweet yellow cornbread (you can never say that enough – sweet yellow cornbread!) I remember my grandmother serving up field peas on cornbread along with her Southern sweet tea each time I visited. That amazing lady would sit back and gaze in wonder at the amount of those luscious morsels that I could fit in to my belly. As a child, I used to wander the back roads of Mississippi with her in search of the man with the pea shelling machine.

     It’s that time of the year again when the garden begins producing its bountiful harvest of wonderful succulent tender – ok, a little overboard here because I do not eat many veggies – vegetables. I can assure you, however, that there is nothing like the taste of a fresh potato fried up in oil. Yes, that would be the French fry! People have become so dependent upon fast food that I have actually met some who have never tasted the real thing (still shaking my head. Digging potatoes is fascinating in itself. My husband churns the rows with the tractor and they just) tumble out like boiled eggs on Easter morning. An Easter egg hunt was never quite this fun.

     The green beans would be another of the few vegetables that I have been known to devour; although only after I’ve completely eviscerated them of any nutrition that they might have once laid claim to. And onions; ever since I first learned to caramelize an onion, I think every dish I cook has begun this way. I can taste those beans now. First, caramelize an onion – actually lots, because this is a good thing as Martha Stewart would say. Then, add a chunk finely cut salt meat. Fry those two together a little longer and then add the fresh green beans. Now, you just sit back and wait. (You will need to stir and add water every now and then.) Once the beans have obtained the color of caramelized onion and are sticking to the bottom of that old cast iron pot that used to be your grandmothers, you will have reached the pinnacle of perfection. The best green beans you will ever eat and who cares about nutrition; it’s highly overrated in my opinion.

     Fresh from the gulf fried shrimp, soft-shell crab, and flounder. What else can I say? I’d post a picture but all that’s left are crumbs. Now……that’s what makes a good meal.

First published June 13, 2010

BookGrabbr – Discover new books, marketing tool

BookGrabbr: A
 great way for readers to discover new books and an innovative marketing tool for authors. 


For Readers:

BookGrabbr is a social media-marketing tool that allows authors to share both full books and previews of their books with readers. Readers, you can have access to these books by signing in through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and using their ability to share as a form of currency. The “Share” is the payment! Share the book, and it will allow you to read it. Just click the “Grabb this book” button next to the book and our system will prompt you to share in exchange for reading!

BookGrabbr contains books of many genres, so visit today, “grabb” a book that catches your eye and start reading!
For Authors and Publishers:

Through their unique marketing tool and platform, BookGrabbr helps authors connect to readers that they wouldn’t generally be able to connect to through their friends and their friend’s friends. The noise in the marketplace is deafening, and at times can be a bit overwhelming for authors trying to promote their books.

BookGrabbr created a way to generate some more buzz by harnessing the power of each individual author’s social media platform.  Once you create your profile on BookGrabbr it allows potential readers to read a preview of your book or the full copy and then directs them to your site of choice to purchase your book in the format that you desire. And since BookGrabbr doesn’t make any money on book sales, you can send them to a retailer, or to your own personal page or wherever you choose! BookGrabbr’s purpose is to help you sell more books, gain momentum and generate exposure.


See how it works:



How does iRead Book Tours help?

For Readers: We help you discover new authors that have put their profile and books on BookGrabbr through our BookGrabbr Promotion Service.

For Authors and Publishers:

Don’t have time to dedicate to yet another marketing campaign? Let us take care of it for you. Through the BookGrabbr Promotion Service we create your profile, help you share your books on your social media and ours too, of course. In addition, we provide you with ideas and the support on how to best use your BookGrabbr profile. This is a cost-effective, efficient way to publicize your books! Contact us to see how we can help you spread the word about your book through BookGrabbr.

Like the idea? Enter the giveaway below to win a BookGrabbr Promotion Service worth $75 and $100 in cash!

Not an author? You can still win the $100 in cash.

Giveaway starts March 14 and ends April 15, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books for Christmas Giveaways! Authors MK McClintock, Catherine Bybee, Genevieve Graham

to the final week of our Books for Christmas giveaway event! Featured
this week are authors Catherine Bybee, Genevieve Graham, and MK McClintock.
Week Five Giveaway is 12.27.15 – 12.31.15. 
Winners will be announced on 1.1.16

Don’t forget to scroll all the way through to view and enter each giveaway!

giveaways are limited shipping, and others are open internationally (US and worldwide).
Those of you who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, you can still enter.
Each Rafflecopter has a ‘Leave a Comment‘ option. We don’t want to leave
anyone out!  Please also note
that if you leave one comment, you can “mark” that off for all the
entries. You do not have to leave a comment for each giveaway.

 Connect with Catherine!




 Connect with Genevieve!





Connect with MK!





Thank you for joining us at 
Books for Christmas 2015.


Giveaway Disclaimer
ends December 26, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to anyone who can legally enter.
Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.  Winners will be selected by
Rafflecopter and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before
a new winner is selected. Please note that Books & Benches and MK
McClintock are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their
prizes.  I have represented each author with the expectation they will
fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the author regarding
your prize(s). The authors, in all cases, are shipping/sending their items to
you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your
prize.  The books offered for each giveaway are free of charge, no
purchase necessary.  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way
associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this
form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not
share or sell information and will use any information only for the
purpose of contacting the winner.

An additional giveaway of an Amazon gift card!

Rafflecopter to enter –
a Rafflecopter giveaway