The Ten Minute Tidy

the-ten-minuteby Deborah Taylor-Hough

Housework and I haven’t always been friends. It was always a bit of a struggle over the past thirty+ years of married and family life to learn the habit of keeping a neat and orderly home. Some days I was more successful at it than others, but I’m still learning and growing in this area constantly.

I often found that reading assorted books by housework “experts” were more depressing than they were inspiring for people like me, those of us who are a bit domestically challenged. Yes, these experts know what they’re doing. But so often I didn’t feel like they had even a glimpse of how difficult basic housekeeping could be for someone who just doesn’t seem to have it in their genes to do it naturally. Continue reading

Seasons of Life

“If you’ve identified yourself as too busy, step off that jet-propelled treadmill. Take some time to catch your breath and confront the condition of your soul.” –Jean Fleming, Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World

 by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Many times we don’t experience the joys of life as fully as we can because we’re too wrapped up in the busy-ness and daily-ness of life. With so many conflicting complications tearing at the framework of our lives, is it any wonder we sometimes long to escape to a desert island and experience a little bit of that refreshing, slower-paced “island” time? 

Life throws so much at us, we often feel like we have no choice but to knuckle down under it all. I’ve frequently heard people say busy-ness is just a fact of modern life, and we’d just better learn to handle it, or discover how to thrive in the midst of chaos. Family responsibilities, careers, daycare, household chores, meal planning, bills, errands, health issues, car pools, school functions, sports, phone calls, traffic jams, community demands, church committees, political races, taxes, debt. These are just a few of the numerous — and often difficult — demands bombarding us daily.  Continue reading

10 Simple Steps to Conquer Problem Debt


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


IOU piggyIf you’ve identified a problem in the area of personal debt, you’ll need to set about remedying the situation. Here are easy steps to regaining financial control: 

1) Seek help. If you’re not sure how to proceed, or you’re feeling too overwhelmed to act for yourself, call a non-profit credit counseling program for advice and assistance in working with your creditors to set up a repayment plan. Consumer Credit Counseling Service has offices throughout the
US. Call 1-800-355-CCCS, for an office near you. You can also find information about debt problems from your local church, library or bank. Look for information on-line as well.
  Continue reading

Top Ten Tips to Build a Better Burger


by Deborah Taylor-Hough
Excerpted and adapted with permission from The Original Simple Mom’s Ideas Book (Simple Pleasures Press, 2015).


f5729759bb3611be0976db6ae68236f6Summer’s here and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already made that annual trip to the store to refill the propane tank on your backyard grill.

One thing I often hear from guests is that my barbequed burgers actually taste good rather than just being hard and dry as hockey pucks like so many of those traditional family reunion barbequed hamburgers we’ve all endured from time to time. Continue reading

12 Simple Ideas for Frugal Family Fun


by Deborah Taylor-Hough
Excerpted and adapted with permission from The Original Simple Mom’s Ideas Book (Simple Pleasures Press, 2015).


486ce01ccac1f555e5d4142c892a4d3bBeing frugal doesn’t mean you can’t ever have any fun with your family.  Sometimes it just takes a little creativity to find simple and inexpensive activities for all to enjoy.

  • Be patient and wait to see new movies on video. Some communities even offer free video rentals at local libraries and will order new movies if library patrons request a certain title.

Continue reading