Friday, September 19, 2014

"The Way You Keep Your House" ~ Housecleaning Inspiration


“The way you keep your house, 


the way you organize your time,


 the care you take in your personal appearance, 


the things you spend your money on,


all speak loudly about what you believe.


The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life.


A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”

~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman


"Let all things be done decently and in order."
~ 1 Corinthians 14:40


Housecleaning Inspiration:


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sHomestead Barn HopAmaze Me MondayMonday's MusingsMarriage MondayTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersMake Bake CreateWise Woman Link UpWow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayThe ScoopCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysGrowing in Grace ThursdaysHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopSimple Meals FridayFoodie FridaysCultivate NourishingSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.  All the beautiful paintings are by Walter Gay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lavender Lotion Bars DIY ~ Easy to Make {Just Three Steps}


The light filtered in through the glass-paned windows. The morning sun was calling the mother and daughter duo into the kitchen to play...

This easy-to-make lotion bar recipe only requires three steps; measure, melt and pour! We used our homemade lavender infused medicinal oil to prepare it but you could also use your favorite body oil and simply add in some lavender essential oil if you like.


"{Lavender} Being an inhabitant almost in every garden,
it is so well known, that it needs no description."
~ Nicholas Culpeper, The Complete Herbal, 1652


Simple Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup of shredded beeswax or beadlets (which are easier to work with)

Homemaking Hint:

The packed beeswax comes out of the measuring cup easier if you grease or oil the cup first.


1. Melt together beeswax and your oil of choice on low heat (stir until blended and wax is dissolved).

2. If you want to add additional fragrance or medicinal properties, stir in some essential oils (but do so after letting the mixture cool off a few minutes so that the oils don't evaporate under all that heat).

3. Pour mixture into your molds (but let the mixture cool off for a few minutes or it may melt your mold if using a flimsy plastic one like I did). I now recommend using the silicone molds (you will find out why further down this post) or you could also use cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, tins, ramekins and/or ice cube trays. You could also pour some of this mixture into chap-stick containers for an instant lavender lip balm.

4. Once cool and the bar has set, remove from molds (you could also freeze it to expedite the process).


We interrupt this segment for some "blog bloopers":

#1 ~ I knocked the lavender flowers all over the floor when my skirt caught on the white runner during the "photo shoot". So much for the serene setting.

#2 ~ We poured the hot mixture too quickly (I didn't let it cool enough) into the plastic molds and melted a few of them (hence the un-perfect looking bar). This caused a "lava" trail of hot wax to stream along my kitchen countertop. One of those options shared above would have been a better choice for the mold! The poor plastic one shown in the photo above is no longer with us (R.I.P.).

You could imagine the laughter going on in the kitchen as I was attempting to make some presentable and "dignified pictures" all the while mayhem was actually taking place... I am grateful that more than lotion bars were made this day, memories were created also. {Happy kitchen-crafting, ladies!}


To use your lavender lotion bars, simply rub over your skin as needed. These are nice to have for the dry autumn and winter months ahead. I keep my little bar in a pretty dish on my nightstand to moisturize before bedtime. These would also make nice gifts. You can place a bar in a antique saucer or dainty plate (inexpensively found at second-hand stores or yard sales) and tie down with twine or...

"two yards of narrow lavender ribbon..."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sHomestead Barn HopAmaze Me MondayMonday's MusingsMarriage MondayTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRaising HomemakersMake Bake CreateWise Woman Link UpWow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayThe ScoopCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysGrowing in Grace ThursdaysHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopSimple Meals FridayCultivate NourishingSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #18


“Be joyful today with a good dose of pretty flowers.” 
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemaking, homeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Features From Last Week's Link Up *


This week I would like to highlight some encouragement for biblical womanhood which inspired me:

A Gracious Wife by Yes They Are All Ours

Gentleness by Finding Joy in the Everyday

and Beauty by Roses of Worth

The #1 viewed post was "Why We Live Off-Grid in a Tiny House" by Live Ready Now.


Now for this week ~ For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Friday, September 12, 2014

Teaching Your Children Good Habits ~ Charlotte Mason Series


"The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days…"

The thought of home education can be daunting to many mothers. Perhaps they are imagining children hanging from the ceiling fans, running circles around the learning center and living a sloppy, tangled, disorderly life. The truth can be anything but that when mother puts the actual training of her children at the center of home education. These important lessons on character building to instill good/godly habits will bless all other areas of the parent's and child's life. Because you have created an orderly environment (and our magnificent God is a God of order), your home is now a fertile ground for education! You will be able to successfully teach and your children will successfully learn.


"The habits of the child produce the character of the man, because certain mental habitudes once set up, their nature is to go on forever unless they should be displaced by other habits. Here is an end to the easy philosophy of, 'It doesn't matter,' 'Oh, he'll grow out of it,' "He'll know better by and by,' 'He's so young, what can we expect?' and so on. Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend."


"Consider how laborious life would be were its wheels not greased by habits of cleanliness, neatness, order courtesy; had we to make the effort of decision about every detail of dressing and eating, coming and going, life would not be worth living. Every cottage mother knows that she must train her child in habits of decency, and a whole code of habit causes a shock to others which few children have courage to face. Physical fitness, morals and manners, are very largely the outcome of habit; and not only so, but the habits of the religious life also become fixed and delightful and give us dues support in the effort to live a godly, righteous and sober life."

"But all the minor moralities of life may be made habitual to him. He has been brought up to be courteous, prompt, punctual, neat, considerate; and he practises these virtues without conscious effort. It is much easier to behave in the way he is used to, than to originate a new line of conduct."


"In conclusion, let me say that the education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not teasing them with perpetual commands and directions--a running fire of Do and Don't; but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way, and grow to fruitful purpose. The gardener, it is true, 'digs about and dungs,' prunes and trains, his peach tree; but that occupies a small fraction of the tree's life: all the rest of the time the sweet airs and sunshine, the rains and dews, play about it and breathe upon it, get into its substance, and the result is --peaches. But let the gardener neglect his part, and the peaches will be no better than sloes." 


Perhaps we can glean from the well known verse (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased), "Seek the kingdom first and the rest will follow." In the world of home education, we can also adopt this similar thought, "Seek to train in good/godly habits first, and the rest {academics, etc.} will follow!"

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
~ Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Examining the Store-Closet, Cellar & Such ~ Odds and Ends Series


"Second. Examine the store-closet,
and see if there is a proper supply of all articles needed there."
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873

Welcome to the fourth installment of our monthly home maintenance series where we attempt to follow some old fashioned Victorian Era advice. This step involved checking our pantry supply of inventory and preparing a monthly grocery list based on our findings. You can print our "Essential List for a Stocked Pantry" here if you are interested. Once this was completed, we moved on to the following instructions.


"Third. Go to the cellar {or pantry}, and see if the salted provision, vegetables, pickles, vinegar, and all other articles stored in the cellar are in proper order, and examine all the preserves and jellies."

  • We checked our supply of canned goods to make sure all the lids were still properly sealed. We inspected our ferments to make sure that none were ready to be consumed or refrigerated. We  went through our brewing extracts and infusing tinctures to see if any were ready to be strained and bottled (we also gave them a nice shake to help with the macerating process). You may also need to restock your cleaning closet which was shared in our last post.
  • This is a great time to organize and straighten up your pantry (here is a complete set of pantry labels should you like to make a project out of it)! You will want to make sure all your goods are straightened nicely in rows with the contents legible for convenience. Remove any items that are expired, etc. 
  • This is also your opportunity to do some fall food preservation preparations which you will find here: Canning Day Checklist ~ Six Ways to Plan and Prepare.


"Fifth. See if there is a supply of dish-towels, dish-cloths, bags, holders, floor-cloths, dust-cloths, wrapping-paper, twine, lamp-wicks, and all other articles needed in kitchen work."

  • We went over our supply of dish-towels and retired the spent ones into our rag bin. Other household supplies were written on our monthly list to be purchased (such as additional dish-cloths).
  • We also went through our aluminum foil, parchment paper, plastic wraps and plastic bag section to make sure we had adequate inventory of those disposal items (we don't purchase paper towels or napkins as we use cloth but that would be included in this area if you do).


"Sixth. Count over the spoons, knives, and forks, and examine all the various household utensils, to see what needs replacing and what should be repaired."
~ Catharine Beecher & Harriet Stowe, The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873

  • In this last step, we chose to organize our utensils, silverware and such. Instructions for how we straighten up these items is found in detail here.

Although some of these measures don't have the same meaning to us as it did in the 1800's, I went through the motions just the same to be in touch with my Victorian Era self (although forgive me for not counting the spoons as Ms. Beecher had recommended!). The simple weird reason for following her advice as close as possible is that homemaking is a hobby of mine and I enjoy it!

Here is what we have left and what we have accomplished thus far on our "Odds and Ends" Monthly Home Maintenance Series (note that some steps were placed together and altered to make for modern day needs):

Step #1 ~ What Needs to Be Done in Your Home?
Step #2 ~ Restocking the Cleaning Closet
Step #2, 3, 5, 6 ~ Examine the Store-Closet {Pantry}, Cellar and Such (This post was it!)
Step #4 Examine the Linen Closet
Step #7 Toolbox for the Homemaker

Are you ready to begin your monthly home maintenance?


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sHomestead Barn HopAmaze Me MondayMonday's MusingsMarriage MondayTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersMake Bake CreateWise Woman Link UpWow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayThe ScoopCoffee and Conversation, Whatever You Wish WednesdaysSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysGrowing in Grace ThursdaysHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopSimple Meals FridayCultivate NourishingSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Jars pictured at the top of the post are these: 5 liter Fido jars.

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