Monday, December 28, 2020

The "Art" of Home-Making Mondays ~ Inspiration #2

 


"Here is a good New Year's resolution for us all to make: To simplify our lives as much as possible, to overcome that feeling of haste by remembering that there are just as many hours in the day as ever, and that there is time enough for the things that matter if time is rightly used."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, On Wisdom & Virtues

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time…"
~ Ephesians 5:15-16


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The "Art" of Home-Making Mondays ~ Inspiration #1


"When you keep house, you use your head, your heart, and your hands together to create a home... Housekeeping is an art: it combines intuition and physical skill to create comfort, health, beauty, order, and safety. It is also a science, a body of knowledge that helps us seek those goals and values wisely, efficiently, humanely. Such knowledge is drawn from practical experience, family traditions, the natural and social sciences, and many other stores of understanding and information."

"Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates."
~ Proverbs 31:31

When I had returned from blogging, I decided not to host the link ups as they were a bit time consuming and I didn't want to burden our household with an additional responsibility for me to keep up.  Therefore, I had removed all the posts from the past as they had broken links.  However, it just wasn't sitting well with me to delete all the past artwork I found and all the favorite homemaking quotes I had collected. With that being said, I will repost them each Monday (as I remember) for some homemaking inspiration to start your week! I hope you will enjoy them all over again...




Monday, December 14, 2020

The Special Forces ( Have you enlisted?) ~ Snippets


There is a small band of women, silently building up the kingdom in their own humble homes. There is no worldly acknowledgement, glory or praise.  They are motivated by a higher duty. A higher calling.  Their leader is the King of Kings. And like the heavenly league of angels in heaven, they are silently serving with all their strength on earth.

They are a gentle band of soldiers.

"No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier."
~ 2 Timothy 2:4

🥀


(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it.. Since I have been out of town for the last month, I  hope you don’t mind these series of snippets all in a row.... I usually try to post a variety but it hasn’t been possible this month..)



Monday, December 7, 2020

Motherhood Means Choices ~ Snippets



Motherhood means choices... 


Shall I read this which will support the culture or this which will nourish their soul?


Shall we watch this which will compliment the culture or this which will teach them His ways?


Shall they wear that which is what “they” are wearing or dress them like the children they are?


And then there is music, friendship and a multitude of activities which separates them from home sweet home.


It’s choices ever day. Every hour of the day. Every minute of the day that makes you mother. 


It’s hard choices. Unpopular choices. Counter-culture choices that take prayer, discernment, wisdom and strength.


This is motherhood.


“...choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

~ Joshua 24:15


(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it...)



Monday, November 30, 2020

An Old Fashioned Hearted Homemaker ~ Snippets


A homemaker with an old fashioned heart walks through her day with tender smiles, warm feelings and a dainty step as she nourishes her family, accomplishes her tasks and beautifies her home. It is not a loud, jump-up-and-down-happy that she feels...

It is a gentle joy that sustains her.


"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
~ Psalm 16:11




(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it...)

Monday, November 23, 2020

Milk Glass, Thrift Shop Talk and the Great Depression Homemakers ~ Snippets



One item I like to collect when I find them within my price range (the dollar and under zone) is lovely and pearly white milk glass from the 1930's.

(Pictured are my latest finds.)


Not only is it beautiful and useful, it is also a remembrance of our depression-era ancestors who struggled and survived in the hardest of circumstances.


They are a lasting tribute to our great-grandmothers.


They are a glorious example of resourcefulness and strength. 


They are a beautiful reminder in these unprecedented times that when calamity strikes...

the home becomes its own industrious economy to survive and thrive.


We grow more, patch more, stretch more, reuse more, recycle more, reduce more, preserve more, conserve more, mend and make do more, and more importantly, we pray more...

We Homemakers make MORE of a difference. 


“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” 

~ Proverbs 31:10

🤍🤍🤍

Do you have anything you enjoy collecting that symbolizes something special?




(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it...)




Friday, November 20, 2020

Don't Waste One Drop - Make Mini Essential Oil Sprays


"Being frugal does not mean being cheap!
It means being economical and avoiding waste."
~ Catherine Pulsifer

Essential oils can be very expensive! And if you are like me, you want to squeeze out every last drop! With just one little accessory, you can prolong and enhance your essential oil experience. You can utilize those last few drops! Did you know they sell small sprayer tops (affiliate link) that fit your essential oil bottles? I recently found this myself and am loving the possibilities!


Once your bottle of oil is near its end, there is always a few stubborn drops that remain (that are very difficult to remove!). Simply add about a teaspoon of witch-hazel* to your practically empty bottle (this acts as a preservative and helps disperse the oils). Fill the remaining of the bottle with water.

* you can also use vinegar, vodka or alcohol depending on your needs...


Screw on the mini spray top (this is an affiliate link) and give your bottle a nice shake (just snip to size the bottom of the sprayer to make the tube the right size for your bottle). Now you have a sweet little spray that can be used for so many things depending on the medicinal properties of the essential oil bottle you used!


These can be a:

  • Travel perfume
  • Room spray
  • Linen spray
  • Boo-boo spray
  • Body Spray
  • Hand Sanitizer for Purse
  • Bathroom deodorizing spray (place a small bowl of these out in different aromas for fun)



To give some ideas for the more commonly used oils --

  • Thieves/On Guard Blend -- air purifier room spray, sanitizing spray for knobs and handles (to make it stronger use alcohol instead of witch hazel in the spray blend).
  • Lavender -- pillow spray, body spray, perfume spray, calming room spray, linen spray.
  • Lemon -- deodorizing room spray, kitchen countertop spray, mild hand sanitizer (to make it stronger use alcohol instead of witch hazel in the spray blend).
  • Tea Tree/Melaleuca -- first aid (boo-boo) spray for bug bites, sunburn, athletes foot, fungus, minor cuts and scrapes. Could be used as a mild hand sanitizer and countertop cleaning spray.
  • Peppermint -- refreshing room spray, cleansing spray for cold/flu season (to make it stronger use alcohol instead of witch hazel in the spray blend).

Can you think of other ideas for useful sprays?

Happy homemaking! 🤎


Monday, November 16, 2020

Baking Peanut Butter Chocolate S'more Cookies ~ Happy Homemaking Scenes


"As you go forth into the world to begin the prodigious work of life, it is my greatest wish that you find success and happiness in creating your own home.
 

I have no doubt in your ability to accomplish this. For in all of you, I find that the great lesson I have striven to impart to you, is well learned -- 


the most exquisite pleasure in life, is giving pleasure to others. As the good Lord taught us, the finest quality of greatness is service."

Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice by Miriam Lukken (affiliate link)


rolling...


melting...


creating...


serving.


There is so much going on in the world that can distract us from our home. And when we are distracted from our duties, we are (sadly) helping to contribute to the problems that cause us grief in the first place. For it is my belief that if there were more true homes, there would be less sorrow in the world. It all begins in the home... or lack of a home. But I digress...


Baking is one such way to serve in a simple sense which brings comfort to the home. It feels safe when something good comes from the oven. Home feels cozy and secure when something smells amazing. Our homes are mini-bakeries and who doesn't love to walk into one!

These "Peanut Butter Chocolate S'more" cookies look nothing like Sally's but they are still beautiful to our household. When something isn't perfect, I call them rustic and suddenly they are perfect! 


It is also enjoyable to put your own creative spin on recipes. My special versions included using graham cracker crumbs as sprinkles and using white chocolate for half of my cookies. What would you do with yours?

(This very fun recipe can be found here.)


Homemakers are artists. Homemakers are comfort-givers. Homemakers are servers. Homemakers are ultimately... love.


"Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."
~ 1 John 4:7




Monday, November 9, 2020

October 2020 Newsletter


“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


And here we are, in the middle of autumn... and with another monthly newsletter in which we chat about books read, things watched, homemaking projects and any other ponderings which really don't fit into its own post! It's pretty much some old-fashioned, womanly chit-chat.  And I am happy to report that I took better notes this time! It's been quite a month hasn't it? 


Would you believe that our southerly climate is still giving us small amounts of veggies in October while other states are getting snow?!  It truly is an amazing earth!


We also had these sun-dried chilies on the vine that finally got some attention! I didn't even realize my husband planted them as they were situated in a little slot inside the curtains of juniper. He is a crafty little gardener who always hunts for nooks and crannies to put some seeds.  You never know what will take! By the time I spotted them they were already dehydrating themselves -- poor things! 😉


But that was to my advantage... Some were placed into extra-virgin olive oil to make a chili infused oil. This will be drizzled over pizzas, pastas, as salad dressing, marinade and for embellishing the flavor of everything else!


The remaining chili peppers were tied unto a string and made into a garland to continue to dry. These will be plucked off one-by-one during the winter and added to soups and sauces to spice things up and keep us feeling warm and toasty! 


And if you remember the guava tree we found on our property? Yes, once again, some are getting snow while we are getting tropical fruits in the autumn! I made them into some lovely jam which tastes like an exotic pear jam (for those of you who never tasted guava). 


I'm not sure which is more fun... preparing the jam for the pantry or labeling them nice and pretty? 


I was also excited to find some dried rose hips on our garden roses. Though they weren't of the wild variety, they are still rich in vitamin C for syrup making! The yield wasn't much (just a small bottle and mini-sized jar full) but any extra supplement of natural C is excellent to have for cold and flu season! You can find information on foraging for rose hips and making them into a shelf stable syrup here. You will find the rose hips ready between September and November. However, the best time to harvest is after the first frost (or late autumn if you don't get frost), when they are the sweetest. These fruits are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available!


I've also been doing some fall home maintenance and organizing around the house as time permits. I have been able to build up our home apothecary while cleaning out our tea drawer! I noticed we had quite a few "sleepy-time" loose tea blends which contained lavender that remain untouched. While we love lavender in all areas of the home, the culinary use just doesn't seem to work for us. The flavor is too cologne-y I think. So I gathered all the loose teas of that nature and placed them in a jar (I labeled them relax herbs). I will prepare a sleepy time tincture (just substitute the calming herbs you have with the ones I share in my recipe to make it.. you can also empty out chamomile tea bags and any other sleepy-time herb combinations that have been sitting around and prepare a tincture with them) so nothing gets wasted! And in the end, you will have a nice, usable sleepy-time tonic! My variety contains dried chamomile, rose petals, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm, and spearmint (to name a few).


I've also re-organized the utensil drawer which I call "taming the wild beast". I've been on a basket hunt at thrift stores and found these lined ones which are perfect for the purpose! The smaller utensils were placed in the larger basket, the measuring cups and funnels where placed in the smaller basket while the awkward, large utensils claimed the remaining space. So far, so good! It feels wonderful getting these little projects done and definitely puts a spring in my step!


As far as books and movies go, I really didn't get a chance to finish reading anything last month. I have many books in beautiful stacks laying around the house. I read snippets here and there when the mood strikes but nothing is complete yet. Movies have been a disappointment once again. I just can't seem to find anything "new" to watch that has the "old" fashioned values that I crave... But I do have a few on my wishlist that may be lovely once the price goes down. 


In other news, the giveaway from our Etsy Shop ended but I am having a hard time connecting with the winner. I sent out an email a few times to the first winner and waited with no response. So, I have generated a second winner from the Rafflecopter service and once again, I still haven't a response. I may be going into the Spam box. So... if your name is Sarah (for privacy sake I won't include the last name), please check your email! You may be the winner! 


What about you dear reader? What wholesome and lovely things have you been reading, watching and/or working on? As always, recommendations are much appreciated and hearing about your homemaking projects always inspire me! (As for myself, I've been burning candles like crazy... the cozy feeling is therapy right now... I've also been embellishing my laundry area but I will share that in a separate post.) Until next time...


Verse of the Month:

"Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil.
Cling to what is good."
~ Romans 12:9


Thursday, November 5, 2020

DIY Homemade Ranch Dip Mix ~ Printable Recipe with Jar Label

I think that the ranch dip mix is a quintessential part of the American diet! It seems it makes any meal delicious if you have the ability to "dip" it! In our household that means pizza, breaded chicken, breaded zucchini, veggie sticks and patties of all sorts. A simple food, plus a simple dip, with a nice salad and you have yourself a decent meal. The upsetting part is that the ranch dip mixes in the store bought packets are anything but decent...


Only 3 ingredients are recognizable foods (and the main three ingredients are maltodextrin, salt and MSG)! Gulp! Gulp! Gulp!

Hidden Vally Original Dip Mix: "Maltodextrin, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion*, Spices, Garlic*, Modified Food Starch, Less Than 2% Of: Calcium Stearate, Natural Flavor."

However, with 5 very basic pantry ingredients, you can have yourself a tasty ranch dip mix option that is very inexpensive to make! It is also healthy as it is created with nutritious and powerful herbs and spices.

(While I did share a ranch mix many years ago, I now prefer this updated recipe. Maybe you will too...)


Makes approx. 1 pint jar

  • 1/2 c. dried parsley 
  • 1/4 c. garlic powder 
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder 
  • 1/4 c. salt (we use the Himalayan pink salt) 
  • 2 tbsp. ground black pepper 


Mix together all the ingredients and pour into a pint sized jar.

I have provided a label to paste to the jar to make refills convenient. I noticed that half the battle to making the mixes is finding the recipes in the heat of the moment. When they are on the jars, it takes literally minutes to make! 


To prepare the ranch dip:

Mix together 1 cup of sour cream with 2 1/2 tsp. of the dip mix. For best results, let it chill in the refrigerator a few hours before serving to allow flavors to “marry”.




Variations:

- Substitute 1/4 c. of plain kefir for part of the sour cream to create a tasty probiotic blend.

 - Squeeze some lemon juice into your prepared ranch mixture for a more tart flavor.



 I think these make useful little gifts! Make a few extra pints for hostesses!

Free printable recipe with convenient label is found HERE.

Happy Homemaking!


Recipe was adapted from Live Simply Blog.



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

My Only Chance ~ Snippets

 


My Only Chance...


I remember embracing her, kissing her, dressing her up and always rocking her.


I remember bathing her every night and reading and saying prayers with her every evening.


I remember playing games with her and helping her make all kinds of kitchen messes. I drank so much tea and ate many homemade pastries around the table with her. And then I began to home educate her.


I remember one day when she was 7 she said, “mom, you kiss me too much... you hug me too much... you squeeze me too much, you love me too much”.


But I only smiled and squeezed her again because that second one never came. That moment of anticipation never arrived. That next baby was not to be and only He knows why.


My only consolation in all of this was...


I took every chance. 


I didn’t hold back one ounce of love or give away my time to other “important“ pursuits. I was her mother and I took every. single. chance. to be one.


Dear young mothers, don’t rush through these crazy and turbulent childhood years... don’t assume another is coming to fill those empty arms. Just be there and love them as if they are your last.


Take every chance.




(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it...)



Monday, November 2, 2020

DIY Sweet Lavender Botanical Perfume ~ All Natural Essential Oil Blend


"And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound
to lurk admist the labours of her loom,
and crown her kerchiefs witl mickle rare perfume."
~ William Shenstone (1742)

These "Sweet Lavender" botanical perfumes provide an all-natural scent while integrating a sense of relaxation via aromatherapy. They are very simple to make and don't have any of the toxins found in traditional perfumes. They are also convenient to carry around and make lovely gifts! 


In order to prepare this project, you will need the following* (some of which are affiliate links to the products I used):
  • dried lavender flowers (optional but pretty), 1/8-1/4 tsp. of lavender buds per bottle
  • 10 ml roll top bottle (you can also recycle essential oil bottles)
  • small essential oil funnel
  • sweet almond oil (or fractionated coconut oil, sunflower oil, or mild carrier oil of your choice)
  • roman chamomile essential oil, 1 drop per bottle
  • lavender essential oil, 2 drops per bottle
  • peppermint essential oil, 1 drop per bottle
  • juniper essential oil, 1 drop per bottle
  • vanilla oleoresin essential oil, 2 drops per bottle (you can also use 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract if you need to be resourceful but it will cloud the look of your blend. If you do use it, I would omit the lavender flowers and add the extract in the first step.)

* If you haven't yet built up a collection of essential oils, then this can be expensive to prepare. With that in mind, you can try for a more frugal version by experimenting with a simple mixture of lavender and vanilla essential oil to get a nice basic blend.

1. Begin by filling each bottle with 1/8-1/4 tsp. of lavender buds if you are using them.

2. Using a small funnel, carefully fill each bottle with your carrier oil (almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, sunflower oil) making sure to leave 1/4 inch headspace. As you can see, this can get messy!

3. Next, add the essential oils (amounts are shared above).

4. Fill up the remaining of the bottle with carrier oil (up to the neckline) if necessary.

5. Press roller ball lid onto each bottle and shake each bottle to blend your perfume.  


And you are finished! I like to let the blend "marry" for 24 hours and then test the aroma. You can label them if you choose or keep them in their "au natural" setting. I think they smell divine but feel free to add or subtract the ingredients to make it pleasing to your senses. 

Use this as you would perfume (though keep in mind that since it is natural, you may have to do a few applications during the day to keep up the scent). To get the aromatherapy benefits, make sure to inhale the fragrance nice and deeply each time you apply it for relaxing results! 




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