Exciting New Announcement!

I have news to share with you – exciting, long-awaited, emotional, unforgettable, life-changing, irreplaceable, abundantly blessed news to share with you!  In fact, you probably can’t tell (haha) but I’m bubbling over in joyful excitement.

We’ve been chosen to adopt a precious baby GIRL this coming November!

Our family is growing and my tears of gratitude multiply with each mention of this gift in our lives.

Most of you have followed my story, some have even touched my heart with kind comments and endearing encouragement.  While news of a baby addition isn’t exactly the definition of a “Useful Beautiful Home” (according to William Morris’ quote and how this lil ol’  blog got it’s name), it’s what matters most inside OUR home and I wanted to share with those of you who follow along!

I could go on and on about our unfolding story but I won’t.  I can’t.  I deeply respect the birthmother we’ve become friends with and I wouldn’t dare compromise her privacy.   So, this is likely the last you will hear me mention a baby until after our home is graced with ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes this November.

The graphic below eloquently sums up my thoughts these days. If you feel a tug on your own heart, you can always pray for our journey and/or support our efforts (more on that found HERE).  Above all, may our story be glorifying to God and may you see the blessing of this gift in our lives!

source: abracadabrababy

source: abracadabrababy


UBH Featured in Print (twice)!

I’ve found myself highlighted in two magazines recently.  I failed to mention it to you because….  umm, I don’t know why.  It’s a wonderful honor and awesome opportunity, but I didn’t mention it on the blog for some reason (although, I did tell you on Instagram, if you follow me).

Perhaps it’s because I have a pet peeve against braggadocios people.  Oh, yes, I used the word, braggadocios.  If you, your spouse, or your child brag their hearts out around me, chances are I quit listening somewhere in the first ten seconds.  That said, we all have our pet peeves and maybe yours is reading about a blogger who shares that she can’t stand braggarts.  In other words, I’m the first to admit I have many faults, oh yes I do! :)

Anyways, I digress talking about pet peeves and lack of humility.  The point, I’d rather ere on the side of humble quietness than join the ranks of boastful proclamation.  One of my friends recently encouraged me that sharing about a magazine feature isn’t prideful if done correctly.  So, I share with a genuine heart for those of you interested and the rest of you can tune out, like I do when listening to boastfulness. :)

My whole article about Organizing Painful Memorabilia was published in the winter edition a few months ago in Getting Organized Magazine.  They offer copies of previous issues online for a small charge if you’re looking for a specific topic, just use the search box in the upper right corner.  Or, just go browse her website, it’s full of helpful info on organizing!

That was exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Getting Organized Magazine publisher, Stacey!  If you haven’t already, you should consider subscribing to her quarterly magazine HERE.

Shortly after that was published, the Lifestyle Director of Parents Magazine contacted me and asked if I would share picture rights for their July 2015 issue.  Naturally I said yes, who wouldn’t?  Maryn was also a pleasure to work with while corresponding.  She included a thoughtful note and a copy of the issue in which my parking garage is published BUT you can read the whole thing HERE online via OrgJunkie.com.  Unfortunately, they didn’t include my blog name anywhere alongside the picture.  I was a little disappointed since that was agreed upon initially.  So, unless you read this blog, you wouldn’t know who’s the camera gal behind that picture of a kiddie parking garage.  I mean, it’s my brilliant idea after all…. oh wait, there I go braggin’ my heart out! 😉

But really, I must offer gratitude again to my beautiful friend, Laura, from I’m an Organizing Junkie.  You guys know I sing her praises occasionally, but neither of these two great magazines would have found me if not for being featured on Laura’s blog.  She has a new(ish) team of fantastic contributors and I’m humbled she still keeps me listed there too.  So many thanks once again to Laura publicly for taking a chance on hiring me long ago.  I love every minute and am genuinely grateful!

P.S. If this doesn’t inspire you to go check out Getting Organized Magazine or Parents Magazine, then for peet’s sake, at least go check out I’m an Organizing Junkie! :)

Looking to move anytime soon?  I’ve been writing an organizing series on moving for OrgJunkie.  You can follow the links to my recent contributions below…

DIY Moving Tips: Color-Coded Boxes

DIY Moving Tips: Pillows & Linens

DIY Moving Tips: Glass Plates

DIY Moving Tips: Make a Packing Station

DIY Moving Tips: Time Budgeting (6 to 8 weeks out)

Entire Collection of Moving Tips on OrgJunkie



I love Norwex!

You know by now I’m fundraising for our adoption by selling Norwex products, right?  Well, I’ve truly fallen in love with these cleaning cloths.  Actually, it was love at first… clean.  BUT, now I’m genuinely, head-over-heels in love.  Please, watch this short little clip below that the company recently released.  It does a much better job capturing the beauty of these products in a short video compared to my ramblings…

If you want to know more, just message me on Facebook HERE or check out my website where you can order directly!

Happy cleaning this weekend! :)


Memorial Day Gratitude

Both of my Grandfathers served in World War II.  American pride runs deep in my blood.  I’m blessed by their presence in my life and thankful for their testimonies.

Land of the free because of the brave

Neither of these dear men are alive today, yet many others have taken their place in battlefields everywhere.  Although this small tribute of mine is late (we were on vacation last week and away from my computer over Memorial Day), I would be remiss not to extend my own version of thankfulness to the men and women who served our country.

Because of the Brave

Thank you honorable men and women who actively serve and those who have died for our freedom.  You (and your families) are prayed for and appreciated by many!

May our hearts be grateful to those who have sacrificed their lives in service for our country and grateful to God for blessing America.  May our response drive us deeper in devotion to our land and ultimately to God!

Thank you brave men and women



Why Norwex is Best for Cleaning

I am so excited to share more about Norwex for the home.  Why?  Because I hate cleaning.  Yep, it’s true!  I love a clean house but not so much the actual cleaning.  Well, at least not until I discovered Norwex.  Now I’m a cleaning machine and I don’t hate it anymore… but admittedly I’m still in the honeymoon phase. :)

Seriously though, I’ve been looking around my house for things that need to be cleaned and then I tackle the chore with this silly little smile and my camera in tow for proof.  Oh yes, embarrassing pictures of my household filth are coming soon.  Aren’t you slightly intrigued about what makes yours truly passionate about the act of cleaning?  I mean really, what could possibly be so enjoyable about cleaning products?!!  What on earth would make me grab my pots and pans and start scouring off the caked-on grimy stains just to see if this really works???

So, let’s get down to business because I know you’re ever-so-slightly curious about my newfound love for cleaning and more importantly, why Norwex is superior to all else.

1.  Safe for the Environment.

The company’s motto says it all, “Improve quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning.”  This sheds light on the driving force that propels Norwex into excellence, improving life and radically reducing chemicals.  By each of us making individual changes in our homes, we’re joining a collaborative effort to reduce toxic pollution on a grand scale!

2.  Guards Your Health.

Just water and a cloth can clean the majority of your home, honest!  My 6-year-old loves to clean alongside me and I let her because I’m not worried about exposure to toxic chemicals.  In fact, NO chemicals are needed because the microfiber does all the work.

How’s that, you ask?  This is where the true beauty of Norwex shines.  Their microfiber products are far superior to what you can purchase elsewhere.  Normal microfiber strands are the diameter of one strand of human hair split into 6 equal parts, otherwise said to be 1/6th of a human hair.  Norwex microfiber takes that same analogy of one strand of hair but split it into 200 equal parts, or 1/200th of a human hair is the diameter of each Norwex microfiber strand.  That means the fibers are so fine that they have a unique ability to grab and lift away the smallest particles from household surfaces.  The water doesn’t do the cleaning; the incredibly fine fibers lift, grab, and remove the germs down to the tiniest of particles unseen by the human eye (talking about you, bacteria & mold spores!).


If that isn’t enough, Nowex’s microfiber has another special characteristic, it’s BacLock™ patented technology.  Silver is embedded deep into the cloth fibers, which suffocates and kills things like bacteria causing odors, mold, and mildew.  That means, you can do less laundry (wahoo!) because there’s no need to wash between every single usage – as long as the cloths are carefully rinsed with water and dried thoroughly.  As the cloth dries, the silver goes to work suffocating the germs.  Norwex cloths can be used all week long for all kinds of household chores and never start to stink or sour.  That is EXACTLY why many Moms prefer a Norwex cloth for wiping little hands and faces after meals.  The cloths can be rinsed and re-used all week long!

3.  Saves You Money.

We all have to clean, right?  At some point you have to clear the cobwebs and mop the floors.  You’re paying for all those cleaning products that push the dirt around and smear the germs.  Did you read that right?  I said push the dirt around and smear the germs.  Not sure about this?  Then check out THIS video and be sure to watch the blacklight demonstration towards the end.

If the upfront Norwex cost surprises you, it may help to look at the bigger picture of how spending little by little on cleaning products adds up to big waste in comparison to a single Norwex cloth.  The average household spends $450.00 – $600.00 a year on chemicals, sponges, and paper towels. That allowance can buy you a LOT of EnviroCloths and more!  Plus, Norwex products carry a 2-year warranty.  Store brand cloths don’t come with a warranty.

4.  Saves You Time.

The Norwex cleaning system has been proven to reduce cleaning time by 75% or more!  Nuff said, am I right?!! You saw my simple crayon clean-up (HERE) from last week, right? That’s just the tiniest of examples. The powerful grabbing effect of the microfiber strands makes cleaning or dusting a much more time efficient method. I don’t know about you, but I try to save time anywhere I can, especially when it comes to chores. If I can spend less time cleaning and more time playing with my family and hanging out with friends, then I’m all ears! If you feel the same, then you’ll definitely want to be in the loop, so stay tuned!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.  I have more in the works and some really fun things to show you in the near future.  But for now, Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  I’ll give you one guess as to what’s on my wish list this Mother’s Day. 😉

P.S.  I’m thoroughly convinced to ditch the chemicals and clean with Norwex, that’s why I signed up to be a consultant.  If you click my links, it will take you to my affiliate page.  While I’m passionate about saving all of us time and money, as well as saving the environment, I want you to be aware of my personal goals.  In fact, I’m excited to take on this new adventure for the purpose of contributing to my family’s adoption fund.  Income generated by my Norwex sales is going to our future child’s adoption.  Just thought you’d like to know that any purchase made is going towards one less orphaned child.  If you’d like to work with me and throw a party for a chance to earn lots of free product, then please email me at usefulandbeautifulhome@gmail(dot)com – I can personally work with you no matter how far apart we live!  Hugs and many thanks from my grateful heart for your support!  xoxo