Friday, September 15, 2017

Autumn Revisited

As we are headed for October here in a couple weeks, I thought I would share a couple past favorite posts talking about all things fall, which is 100% my favorite season of the year.  Here are some of my past posts from my archives.

Here is a post where I share our favorite Autumn picture books.  

In this post I share some of my favorite books to read during the Autumn months.  

I should add Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier to this list.  Such a good fall read.

Look up some fun projects to work on this fall. 

 Especially loved the Junk Bow Wreath you can find here.  

Also, my most recent post on little ways to celebrate fall.  Find the post here.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Natural Bug Spray


Natural Bug Spray

If you want to make a quick and easy non toxic bug repellant spray use this easy recipe below.

4 ounce amber glass spray bottle
2 tsp lemon witch hazel
10 drops citronella essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil

Fill bottle 3/4 the way full of water, add two teaspoons witch hazel, add 10 drops each of the essential oils.  Shake and spray.  

Citronella is such a great outdoor oil.  To add in sprays or to diffuse to keep those pesky bugs away and when you use these awesome oils you don't get any of those toxins found in many bug sprays.  It costs $25.66 retail or $19.50 wholesale for a 15 ml bottle.  Let me know if your interested in ordering! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Simple Homemaking | | Homemaking During Transition

So we moved into our new home a year and a half ago.  Though all the boxes are unpacked and we have been here awhile, I feel like we are still in this transitional period, and we have been here for awhile.  We are getting so very close to starting the remodel on this home.  Our remodel plans are into the engineer and when we get those back, (we started the process of working up these plans in January) we will finally be ready to start.  So while I wait for this remodel to actually happen, I thought I would share what I have learned from all of this unstable transition.

It Is Always Worth It to Make any Living Situation a Home
It is always worth it to make a house a home.  I have lived in situations where I held off on really settling in because I knew it was temporary and I have regretted it.  Living out of boxes because you are moving in a couple months can make those couple months feel chaotic and out of sorts.  Even if you are living in a room in your parent's home it is worth it to unpack what you need.  We even did this on our summer travels.  When we arrived in our hotel or guest room with my husband and four kids, we found spots for luggage, toiletries, shoes, and all of our items.  It took a little time, but it kept things in check and made traveling so much easier.

Give All Your Items A Home
Give everything a place, set up little stations, and come up with daily routines.  I have seen people do this when they camp for the week.  They have a place for everything, their campground has little areas for the kitchen, dining, and lounging.  Their tent is set up neat and tidy.  It is fascinating to watch and really doesn't take much time.  Though we will be packing up our main floor for our remodel here soon, I'm all set up for what works now.  I'm planning a floor to ceiling pantry in our remodel (there is no pantry in our home now), so right now I have food placed in a variety of areas, including shelves in the garage and a small linen closet off the kitchen, but they have a set place and it is working.  It is much better then living out of boxes.

Take Time To Think Things Through
I don't know about you, but it takes me awhile to settle in.  When a home is temporary, sometimes you skip the step of thinking things through and just do what needs to be done.  The knives end up in a drawer that just doesn't work well for your cooking set up, and it bugs you, but what is the point in changin it because you will only be there a couple months.    Usually it only takes a few minutes to make those small changes that can make a huge difference to your day to day happenings, so take 2 to 5 minutes and move those knives.  Think if through and make it work.

See How Minimalistic You Can Live
Experiment with living with less.  What if you unpacked only what you need.  If you need something else, go and get that one thing out, and see if you can live with less for a few months.  The added bonus of this is that when you do unpack you may find quite a few items you no longer need.  Let go of those.  Less items equals less cleaning, clutter, and organizing.

Make It Work
My husband is a master of thinking outside the box.  He has taught me to throw all my ideas out there, even the crazy ones that I absolutely know we would never do.  It gets you to think outside the box and come up with some great solutions with this approach.  Can a linen closet be a food pantry?  Can you live with a 10 item wardrobe?  Would a baby's room work in your master closet?

Live Your Life
Invite guest into your home, decorate, do those projects you can do.  If you can't have people over, embrace the idea of going out with friends, or spending meaningful quiet days with just your family.  Feel inspired and do what you can in your living space.  Don't let the uncertainty of the future scare you from moving forward and getting things done.  Be smart, don't spend thousands of dollars fixing up a rental, but do what you can to make your space yours while you are there.

Stay Patient
Work hard, set goals, and keep your focus.  If it is a remodel, a job change, a tragedy or loss, or if your saving money to get out of debt or get an education that put you in a living situation that isn't ideal, know that you can move through this time with grace.  Not that I have always been graceful through these transitions, just ask my husband, but I have certainly had plenty of moments of taking some deep breaths and reminding myself of how very blessed we are in this crazy life we lead.  Goals will be met if we keep working towards them, the job will come, the time of loss will be traversed and hope will return.  Deep breaths and maybe a daily dose of chocolate and prayers.

Okay friends.  So wherever you find yourselves in this crazy homemaking journey, do your best to make your house a home.  It is always worth it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Back To School 2017


These kids started school this week.  We had our back to school dinner a day late, on Tuesday, the day school started.  Steve gave them all beautiful father's blessings to kick off the new school year.  I always love hearing Steve bless them with the things the Lord wants for them.  Hearing his words and feeling the love and vision that our Heavenly Father has for my little ones is a lovely experience.
Now you can insert all the cliche things here, I'm feeling them all.  Yes, they are getting so big.  Yes, I'm so proud of them and excited for what is in store for them this year. Yes, I wonder how I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, one that only has a couple more years of elementary school, and my baby boy is turning 5 in a couple weeks.  My years of raising babies is coming to an end, they are now all big, and quite honestly I'm quite unprepared for this.  While my heart is quietly breaking as I navigate all these changes in this motherhood journey, I'm choosing to look forward with excitement and gratitude.  Excitement for the amazing human beings they are becoming and gratitude for being blessed to be a part of it.  Love being their mama. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Little Ways To Celebrate Fall

Thinking of little ways to celebrate Fall, my absolute favorite season of the year.  It is still so warm outside and like many of you I'm busy with back to school activities and to dos, so finding little ways to celebrate the season has made me so happy.  I'm holding off on decorating for Fall until the 15th, and I can't wait to get items out to celebrate this time of year, but for now I'm finding little ways to celebrate the season.

Diffusing Fall Scents -  Loving the combination of clovenutmegchristmas spirit, and orange essential oils.  I've also just ordered cinnamon essential oils, one I thought I already had, and I cannot wait to add that to this mix in my diffuser.  It smells like fall and you have all the benefits of the oils.  

Watch a Holiday Movie - Nothing says cozy fall, holiday season like a holiday movie.  One of my favorites that isn't Christmas is Dan in Real Life. It always gives me that cozy, fall, family, happy feeling. I also can't wait for This Is Us to come back on.  All the feelings, all of them.  Just the clips they are posting to promote season two get me all misty and teary eyed.

Bake Something Yummy - Apple Pie, Homemade Bread, Pumpkin cookies.  These all make great afterschool snacks so you can be the awesome mom while your filling your home and heart with the scents of fall.  Sadly my oven doesn't work.  We just won't talk about that, but all that to say that this kitchen remodel needs to happen soon.  I love Alicia blog for great recipes.

Outdoor Evening Fire - If you have an outdoor space with a firepit, gather around it on a cool evening.  We haven't had any of those this first week of September, but they are coming and we will be prepared to chill outside.

Plan Out Your Fall Activities - Grab your planner and start planning.  What is it you love to do in the fall?  Bonfires? Apple picking?  Pumpkin patch visiting?  A fall party or potluck with friends? Plan it out and make it happen.  You could even make a fall bucket list.

Read - Read something fallish.  Here are a few I have recommended in past years.  Right now I'm reading a few. (I always have a few books going.)  I'm reading Pioneer Girl and The Mapping of Love and Death, and hoping to start Anne of Green Gables here soon with my girl.  These are all great fall reads.

Make Something - If you are a crafter, hunker down and start a project.  Fall is a great time to work on something crafty.  Start a cross stitch, a quilt, or a painting or make a fall garland or wreath.  Finish it in time to add to your fall decor is just an added bonus. Margie runs Sparks the Event and has great ideas for all things crafty and does online classes.

Candles - Lighting a fall candle is magical.  It literally brings fall into our home, even if it is still summer weather outside.  My favorite place to buy candles right now is from Homegoods.  Great deal on Yankee candles.  My favorite Yankee candle is this yummy seasonal one.  

Okay, here are just a few ideas to get you into the fall season.  What are you doing to feel all the fall things?  

Summer 2017 Adventures | Boston

Boston was such a lovely way to start out on our summer adventure.  We flew out to Boston two days before school was out because tickets were less expensive and it was a nonstop flight, and when you are buying tickets for 6 people, that makes quite a difference.  We landed early evening, grabbed a shuttle to our hotel, left our bags in our room, and headed out to have some dinner.  I had my first lobster roll, so delicious.  Out hotel was amazing, perfectly located, with an awesome view of the Boston Harbor.  

The next day we headed out to conquer the Freedom Trail. It was so much fun, the kids did great exploring the city.  These eastern cities have so much history around every corner.  The buildings, parks, and architecture are beautiful and such an adventure to explore.  We only made it about 2/3 of the way through the Freedom Trail, we were about as far as Paul Revere's home when we were rained out.  As we were running in the pouring rain to catch the subway back to our hotel we found the yummiest bakery.  We grabbed dinner and individually chosen baked treats for each of us and dashed to the subway.  

Our subway stop let us out less then a block from our hotel.  Perfect.  It just shows you that sometimes things don't work out as planned but can lead to new adventures. The next day Steve ran (like literally went on a run across Boston) to the rental place to grab our rental van.  He found a great deal by renting a utility van.  It didn't have all the bells and whistles of a regular van, but it was clean and roomy and saved us a bunch of money.  Car rentals were definitely the most expensive part of our trip, so saving money with rentals was a big deal. We drove over to Harvard University and stopped  for pizza before we headed up to New Hampshire.  Such a great first couple days to start off our summer adventure.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monthly Book Reports March - May 2017

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Loved It

What's It About ||  The story of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the show Fixer Upper.  Such a delighful read!  There story of marriage, business, faith, endurance, and humor.

How Did You Read It || Hardbound Book (Gift from my sister.)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me || Loved It

What's It About ||  The story of Francie growing up in Brooklyn in the turn of the century.  This story was beautifully written, dealing with some difficult subjects in an uplifting way.  Such heartfelt, beautiful moments sprinkled throughout this novel.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook on CD

The One-In-A-Million Bo by Monica Wood
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Loved It

What's It About ||  Just read it, so good.  The story of an 11 year old boy's friendship with an 104 woman. You fall in love with all the characters as they struggle and cope with the demands and misfortunes of life.  A story of friendship, family, love, and forgiveness.  It does contain some language.

How Did You Read It ||  Audiobook Overdrive App

The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me || Liked It

What's It About ||  This was the story of Father Brown, written by G.K. Chesterton.  Each chapter is a different mystery and Father Brown is the one to solve the case by seeing the small details and piecing it all together.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook Librovox App

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Liked It

What's It About ||  This was the sequel to the Kitchen House that I read earlier this year.  Grissom tells a compelling story of tragedy and redemption.  The story of Jamie a runaway slave living as a wealthy white man in Philadelphia finds his world threatened when secrets from his past begin to unravel. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the Kitchen House but it was still a good read.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook Overdrive App

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me || So, So

What's It About ||  A food memoir about Luisa Weiss, a woman living her life in Berlin and New York City and finding her way through confusion to contentment.  Filled with recipes and stories from Luisa's life.

How Did You Read It || Hardbound from Library

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Liked It

What's It About ||  The second in this Louise Penny series.  Well written and fun to read about these characters as they navigate the adventures and conflicts of another murder mystery in their small Canadian town.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook Overdrive App

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Loved It

What's It About ||  L'Engle speaks on creativity and christianty and how they connect.  Have so enjoyed her nonfiction and her insights on the world we live in.

How Did You Read It || Paperback Own It

Oh Pioneer by Willa Cather
Loved It, Liked It, So So, Not For Me ||  Liked It

What's It About ||  O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country of Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century.

How Did You Read It || Audiobook Librovox App