Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Time to "Autumn-ize" Your Home - Pretty & Practical Printable Fall Checklists

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
as I have seen in one autumnal face."
~ John Donne, The Autumnal 

It's time to "autumn-ize" your home... fall is full of so much potential fun! And I do admit to loving a good homemaking checklist! Our pioneering ancestors would spend their complete spring and summer to make sure their autumn and winter existences were provided for. We may not have to rely on everything we grow for survival, but it is prudent to make sure your family is stocked for the chillier seasons as we never know what the future brings. I would advise to especially take stock of the medicinal pantry this month (and always to be working on your food pantry) in order to be prepared like the Proverbs 31 woman. I  also encourage you to nurture your artistic side and enjoy the aromas and beauty the season offers to embellish your homes with projects that celebrate the five senses of fall. And now, without further adieu, here is our pretty and practical autumn checklist:

- Make autumn inspired room sprays and place throughout your home (here is our recipe).

- Assess your home apothecary/medicine cabinet (i.e. health supplements, salves, essential oils, tinctures, herbal honeys) and prepare or purchase what is lacking. Do inventory on medicinal herbs and restock what is necessary for the cold and flu season. (Our apothecary sticker labels can be found here.)

- Organize your culinary herbs and spices. Restock what is necessary.

- Take inventory of your spice mixes and prepare and/or restock what is necessary.

- Make your own pumpkin pie spice (here is a  recipe from The Pioneer Woman).

- Do a fall maintenance on your pantry. Go through all the contents, remove everything, put aside what is aged and add that to the "use up" quickly list, give away what you are no longer eating (I have some items that I bought that I really didn't take a liking to but I know others enjoy), throw away what is truly old (and not just expired as those dates are way too conservative), make a list of what you are low on, wipe down the shelves, restock your pantry, label what is necessary, place everything back in order.

- Prepare broths and stocks (freeze or pressure-can them).

- Prepare hearty health-giving soups such as the traditional homemade chicken soup (freeze or pressure-can them). These will be your emergency stash when the cold or flu hit or to deliver to someone who is ill.

- Make up meals featuring fall vegetables. Some ideas are butternut squash soup, pumpkin soup, roasted root vegetables, sweet potatoes fries, twice baked potatoes and seasonal soups and stews.

- Make an apple crazy cake.

- Bake apple and pumpkin treats.

- Harvest and preserve the remains of the summer garden.

- Prepare some homemade mixes to add to the pantry such as cornbread mix, oatmeal muffin mix, pie crust mix and jam bar mix.

- Make a big batch of granola. Prepare extra for autumn hostess gifts.

- Make mulling spice sugar scrub (for gifts and for home).

- Diffuse orange, cinnamon, and clove essential oils to clean the air and delight the senses.

- Do some frugal fall decorating by bringing out any earth-toned dishes, displaying seasonal fruits in autumn colored bowls or baskets and/or printing out our "Give Thanks" sign to style autumn inspired vignettes in your home.

- Dry flowers and leaves for frugal fall decorating.

- Make your own fall-inspired wreaths.

- Forage for pine cones, acorns, leaves and prepare autumn potpourri for display (switch out the dried citrus for dried apples to make it more autumn inspired).

- Burn autumn scented candles.

- Prepare simmering potpourri (add nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, apples slices/cores/peels, or citrus slices with water and simmer for a soothing fall scent).

- Change out linens. Replace lightweight bedding with heavier blankets (and in fall colors if available), change out shower curtains to reflect the fall season (if available) and use kitchen linens to reflect autumn colors (use earth-toned tablecloths and napkins if you have them).

- Pull out your fall clothing (sweaters, scarves, corduroy, etc.) and move to the front of the closet for easy access. Make sure you have a nice selection of warm underclothes such as tights and leggings and overclothes such as a heavy jacket and cardigans (shop the thrift stores if you are lacking -- I find so many warm and cozy clothes there!).

- Read fall inspired books and watch fall inspired movies (some of my favorites are shared in the links below). Although the pictured book isn't autumn inspired, it certainly has a beautiful autumn cover so this counts! 🤎 (A caveat... I pictured the book above because of its lovely fall colors, but I have not read it yet as it is my latest thrift store acquisition so I am not necessarily recommending it yet...)

And finally, here are some autumn inspired gift tags to print for any of these fall inspired projects (pictured below)!

With this in mind, how can you ever be bored at home? There is so much to do when you are a season loving homemaker!

Here is a link to our PRINTABLE FALL HOMEMAKING CHECKLIST for those of you who love lists! 

You can also find the PRINTABLE Martha Stewart Fall Home Maintenance Checklist HERE which shares a very practical side of the autumn chore list! 

Happy homemaking! 🤎

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall $ale ~ 25% off ALL Canister Label Stickers

"It's the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!"
~ Winnie the Pooh, Pooh's Grand Adventure

First Week of Autumn Sale...

Visit our Etsy Store -- 

-- for the complete collection of our canister label stickers!

Sale ends Monday...

While supplies last...

Happy homemaking,


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

August 2020 Newsletter

"But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rest in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it."
~ Gladys Taber

Greetings gentle reader! Here we are with another monthly newsletter in which I talk about books I have read, things I have watched, projects I have been working on and any other ponderings which really don't fit into its own post! It's pretty much some old-fashioned, homemaking chit-chat. The problem with making a monthly newsletter is that sometimes life is a blur and you can't remember all the details. That is the case with last month so you will have to forgive this vague attempt at reporting! I almost skipped this month but since I do have some pictures... perhaps they will tell the story. 

I can safely say my month was full of family dinners with family prayers, made with homegrown foods and other daily blessings of a simple life. It is hard to get used to the fact that our garden space is limited right now and there hasn't been an abundance to preserve. But we are enjoying everything we are growing and I suppose that is a blessing in itself.

I made at least three - 13x9 inch - casserole dishes of eggplant parmigiana featuring our humble harvest. That is one of my husband's favorite dishes so he was happy!

We continued  to enjoy the last of the tomatoes in these fresh, tasty and healthy caprese salads.

I also shared my favorite tuna salad recipe on Instagram but I will put it here as well (for those of you who are not on it). It is called "Mediterranean Tuna". You simply dice up some red bell peppers (ours are from the garden), snip in some green onions or chives (ours are from the herb garden) and add in a handful of sliced olives.

Mix in mayonnaise and seasoned salt with some freshly ground pepper and you have a tasty tuna salad. Serve with whole grain bread for sandwiches, dip with your favorite chips and crackers or lay atop a pile of fresh greens! Do you have a favorite tuna recipe?

I also have been preparing batches of spice mixes for our pantry by the pint. We go through the ranch and Italian dressings like water! What I love about these mixes is that they are healthier and don't contain all the extra additives and are very inexpensive to make. For the Italian dressing recipe, I substituted the sugar for Monkfruit sweetener and that works out well. I also use the Italian dressing mix as an herbal sprinkle on top of my salads if I use plain vinegar and oil (I put a small amount in a shaker). It would be tasty on top of pizza too!

For the ranch dip mix, I actually revised the recipe that I shared many years ago. I like this mixture better and have shared the updated version! It is now our favorite and it doesn't contain the evil MSG! Plus it is pennies to make when compared to purchasing the Hidden Valley mix!

Note: When preparing your own spice mixes, I find buying the parsley, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper in bulk to be very beneficial (I purchase ours at Costco).

I also continue to build up my pantry (these labels can be found here). Unfortunately, we are living in uncertain times and we see that sometimes (contrary to popular belief), the stores can not keep up with the demand during a crisis. I feel that as the keeper of my home, it is my duty to make sure we have the proper inventory of household supplies to get us through at least a six-month period. Just like a business needs to keep a certain amount of inventory to make it run efficiently, so must we in our home if we want things to run smoothly. I have been doing this for years but now I have seen the first-hand blessing of it! (See our preparedness series here and our pantry series here.)

In good times, basic flour, oatmeal, beans and rice are very affordable and those are the items I gravitate towards because of our budget. I am not putting us back financially to prepare (you can add one item for $5 a week which will get you suprisingly far!) and these particular food items last longer so there is no harm in storing them long term. During the "heat of the moment" a few months back, I wasn't running around looking for flour or other food items, we already had a solid supply of food. 

To give a small example of following these little homemaking instincts... during our last year of homeschooling, we read Hiroshima together. After finishing the book, I felt a great need to stock up on our first aid supplies (as that was the sought after element during that tragic time). I went to Walmart and purchased many bottles of alcohol, bandaids, peroxide, you name it! This was done during a time of plenty so I don't consider that hoarding but preparing. Well, as soon as the crisis hit us at the beginning of the year, my husband came home saying an elderly man he knew was panicking as he needed alcohol to clean some of his medical supplies and couldn't find any. It felt so good to be able to hand my husband a bottle knowing we had plenty to share and plenty for home use. These are the things I am thinking of as I continue to build my medicinal pantry, my first aid pantry, my toiletry pantry and my food storage. That investment into my first aid kit only set me back $20 as alcohol was cheap at that time ($1 per bottle) and little did I know what a sought-after item it would turn out to be a few months later!

On a lighter note, last month I enjoyed reading Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping - Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice by Miriam Lukken. It is an older book and I don't think it is in publication anymore but I thoroughly enjoyed its old-fashioned wisdom and charm. I will share a quote that I appreciated from the book and will sprinkle more in future posts as there are quite a few gems in there!

"She often wrote and spoke of finding the sacred in the everyday. In one of her many letters to her daughters, she noted, "One has to be in the same place every day, watch the sun rise from the same house, hear the same birds awaken each morning, to realize how inexhaustibly rich and different is sameness." And later, "even the common articles made for daily use become endowed with beauty when they are loved. We must strive to see the goodness or usefulness in all things, taking nothing for granted. And we must approach every task as a blessing to be received, never as a chore." Those who knew her best describe a woman of elegance and effortless charm who dearly cherished her faith and was always attentive to the lives around her."
by Miriam Lukken

Also, I know many of you are planning for the new homeschool year! How I miss that and wanted to take a moment to share a link to our Charlotte Mason seriesFree Unit Studies and our index of general homeschooling posts in case you need some ideas! There are so many fun things you can do and learn with your children this year! How I have been reflecting back on all our memories and cherishing every single one. It does eventually end one day and you will be surprised at how much you end up missing it! 

As a reminder, our "In Love with Lavender" giveaway ends soon (within 24 hours) in case you haven't yet entered! It is a set of herbal goodness that I find useful and lovely in homemaking. I have to mention again that my favorite part about the giveaways is reading all the comments! It is so much fun to hear from you all!

And finally, 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 inspires me! (As for myself, here are a few thrifted jars I have collected to add to my goal of creating an "old world" style pantry. It is another nerdy homemaking hobby of mine!) Until next time...

Verse of the Month:

"Prove all things;
hold fast that which is good.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

In Love with Lavender Giveaway! ~ Ode to Herbal Homemaking


“It always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress, with a lavender bonnet and a white kerchief. She’s one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.”
~ Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)

Greetings to you all! Today we are sharing the fifth of seven little giveaways I had promised for this little blog! I call it the "In Love with Lavender Giveaway" because it is true, I am in love with lavender! I find the color to be so peaceful, cleansing and soothing just like its herbal properties! I love to include lavender in my home and prepare many herbal homemaking projects with it. I love the nostalgic feeling it evokes. There is so much that this flower provides -- beauty, comfort, relaxation, soothing aroma and quietude. 

For fun, I have included some lavender herbal products as well as some items that are simply a lovely shade of lavender. I hope you enjoy this little assortment that is meant to bring pleasure and creativity to your homemaking day!

Without further adieu, here is what is included in this giveaway: 

doTERRA lavender essential oil (15 oz.) 💜

2 oz. of dried French lavender buds 💜 for fun herbal homemaking

(For our list and recipes of what to do with lavender, please visit here)

Savon de Marseille Lavande Soap (handmade lavender vegetable soap)

with matching vintage tin 💜

(Made in France)

lavender colored lip balm 💜 because I love lip balm

lavender hand cream by Crabtree & Evelyn (ultra-moisturizing hand therapy) 💜

and finally,

a set/25 all-purpose lavender sticker labels

from Mistress of the House (my Etsy Shop!) 💜

(you can decorate all your lovely lavender projects with these).

This little giveaway will be open for the next 7 days and is open WORLDWIDE. You have the option to enter it in 7 different ways (pick and choose as many options that work for you!) in order to have 7 different chances to win! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below!

Note: Where it says "leave a blog post comment" on the giveaway, please click it as there is a special question for you to answer in the comments :) Happy herbal-homemaking ladies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Betty Crocker's Homemakers Creed, Vintage Baking Fun & Hope Chest Talk ~ Plus Free Printable

In the Betty Crocker Cookbooks of old, you may be fortunate enough to find a hidden "creed" slipped inside. It is beautiful words written from a fictitious Betty Crocker (though keep in mind that a real-life virtuous woman did write it!) in the 1920's. It was meant to inspire homemakers from long ago to join the "Home Legion" and declare "Good Homemaking for a Better World". Oh how the times have changed (insert sorrowful sigh)... but doesn't that sound lovely and how useful would that be right now?

I stumbled upon this a few years ago but recently was reacquainted with it and wanted to share the encouraging words with you... I am also sharing a link to a printable version should you like a hard copy for your home (I do believe the copyright has expired). It would be darling to frame as a decoration in a vintage-style kitchen or it can be placed inside a homemaker's notebook!

Homemakers Creed of the Home Legion

I Believe homemaking is a noble and challenging career.

I Believe homemaking is an art requiring many different skills.

I Believe homemaking requires the best of my efforts, my abilities, and my thinking.

I Believe home reflects the spirit of the homemaker.

I Believe home should be a place of peace, joy and contentment.

I Believe no task is too humble that contributes to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household.

I Believe a homemaker must be true to the highest ideals of love, loyalty, service and religion.

I Believe home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country.

This is to certify that (member’s name) is a member of the Home Legion dedicated to Good Homemaking for a Better World.

~ Betty Crocker

I definitely find myself being an honorary member, what about you?  Isn't it delightful?!!

My mother-in-law gave me my first Betty Crocker Cookbook when I was first married and it has been my go-to for many years with its common, basic recipes. Sadly, I had to leave it behind when we moved and I noticed the newer edition I picked up at Goodwill does not have many of the same "from scratch recipes". The chocolate cream pie which was my favorite has been replaced with some quick version that isn't as appealing to me. It seems that "tempering eggs" is too much work for the modern homemaker?!? I feel like they are dumbing down the cookbooks... With that being said, I began searching for the older editions for myself and one for my daughter. I want to put a nice copy in her hope chest of the old fashioned recipes that are becoming extinct in today's "from the box" society.

My daughter also loves vintage (see her guest post on Remembering Aunt Bee written when she was a young teenager) so when I found this set/3 pristine, Fire-King mixing bowls at the Salvation Army Store, I knew I would add these to her hope chest collection as well. The vintage linens I pictured were something that she brought home for me from an estate sale. I had to photograph them together before I packed them away for her since they match perfectly! When she becomes engaged I will probably wrap them together for her as a sweet gift -- the cookbook, the bowls and (probably the) linens in a gift basket of sorts with some small utensils.

I hope that I have instilled the values of the "Homemakers Creed" in her life and that she will enjoy these homemaking treasures from long ago in her future home one day! I am including the prices and information on these mixing bowls ($5 for set/3), kitchen linens ($1) and vintage cookbook ($1)* to inspire you that you don't need mounds of money to feather your nest or to prepare for your daughters' future one! Second hand stores are a blessing!

* Though I share a picture of the used Betty Crocker cookbook I found for myself, I came across a brand new copy, in shrink wrap, of the reprinted "Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook" at a thrift shop for $1. I put this edition away for my daughter. The style matches those of the bowls perfectly! 

Happy homemaking, the old fashioned, from-scratch way! 🌹