Monday, November 30, 2015

Stay At Home Friends

Every stay at home mom needs at least one.

A fellow stay at home mom friend.

A partner in crime.

A bosom companion.

A woman who will cheer her on while she's ambitiously vacuuming cobwebs.

A woman who will text her a challenge to stay off of Facebook for the week with her.

A woman who will encourage her to donate another 25 items to Goodwill.

A woman who extends grace when she's having a bad day.

A woman who understands her desperate need for a good chocolate or coffee NOW!

I have three such friends:  my sister, my mother, and my mentor.

I sincerely hope you can find at least one other lady who's either been there or is in the trenches of stay at home motherhood right now to be your confidant.

This also works for career moms, too.
, Find a peer, another career mom, and be each other's cheerleaders!

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Makeshift Advent

This year the kiddos didn't want the usual 99 cent cardboard Advent calendar with the gross chocolates inside.  Neither did I, so I had to come up with something with more variety since I have a non-chocolate eater, and inexpensive.

So, off to the Dollar Store I went and this is what I came home with, a felt and glitter tree and a variety of candy "ornaments."

There is one ornament for each day of Advent and the children take turns who gets to choose an ornament off the tree as their treat.

It isn't as religiously instructive as I'd like, though before they get to choose an ornament I ask them a question about the Christmas story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today I Am Thankful for My Basement

Sorry.  I don't have a pic of  my real basement, but it isn't pretty and finished.
I am thankful for it, however.  It holds a man cave, a play area, laundry, utilities, a pantry, and a corner where I can sew.
It helps make this little house all that much more usable for our larger than average family.
And for that I am thankful!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today I Am Thankful for My Dining Room

As small as this house is, I am forever thankful that it has a dining room.
It truly is the heart of our home.
It is used for everything from meals to homeschool to projects to parties.
The room is small, 9x15, and it also serves as our library, so it can get tight, but without it this house would absolutely not work for us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Today, I Am Thankful for My Little Stove

Living in a small house with a large family poses some challenges, and sometimes I get frustrated that we don't have more square footage.  But, there are aspects of this house that I do appreciate, even in their imperfect ways...or perhaps because of them.

Today, I am thankful for my little stove.  It came with the house and is an inexpensive basic apartment model electric range.  There are absolutely no bells or whistles so it has challenged my cooking skills.  As you can see there is no oven window.  I have learned to rely on my sense of smell and perhaps a bit of instinct to let me know when something is done.

There is no preheat setting, timer, clock, temperature gauge.

And it is small.

I chuckle to myself when I see small families who eat out most of the time drooling over big 6-burner ranges with double ovens.  I make most of our food from scratch and I can all on this little range.

It reminds me of the little cookers used in the 1930's-1970's in Britain.  The smallness gives off quite the vintage vibe.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

I Bought Myself Roses

A frivolous purchase for one on a very tight budget, but they were marked down to only $1.99 for the bunch at Aldi!  I couldn't pass them up for pocket change!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Learning To Crochet

It's is high time I learned!

I'm not doing so well right now.  Still working on tension  That little crochet ball is supposed to be a flat circle!  I'm not making anything yet.  Just working on stitches.  I think I need hands-on help.  The book is just a big, confusing pictorial stress-fest.

My mother was an avid crocheter in her 30's.  She could crochet at lightening speed and often made these adorable crochet Christmas trees for people.  I never got beyond learning how to make a chain.

My sister can crochet and has made stuffed animals and a retro cherry pot holder to decorate my kitchen.

I am probably going to have to call upon their assistance.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sewing Saturday Afternoon

I renewed an old friendship over the weekend.  My sewing machine and I got back together after a long separation.  Spring, summer, and harvest take away so much time.  It was nice to tackle a small pile of fleece and turn it into useful items.

First, I made 3 pairs of "Cozy Pants" as we call them.  I made this moose pair, a brown pair for my youngest, and my oldest boy got a pair in fisherman print.  (The picture won't upload for some reason).
We have long winters here and days at home where sometimes only Cozy Pants will do.

Not one to waste a scrap of fabric, I whipped together a pattern, pulled out an old cloth diaper from the box of them I saved for just this purpose, and made myself 3 rudimentary cloth pads.

Here are two of them.  Nothing as fancy finished as the ones sold online, but they'll do.  I just bought snaps to sew onto the wings and they'll be ready for next  month's visit.

The last bit of the moose fabric was turned into "Skating Booties" utilizing a simple pucker-toed moccasin method.

I also made a pillow case out of the brown fleece since my 2nd little Mr. has two pillows on his bed, but one set of bedding only has 1 pillow case.

This evening, I cut out the shirt to go with my oldest's cozy pants.

Friday, November 13, 2015

One of My Favorite Authors in One of My Favorite Catalogs

I apologize for the blurry photo as my better camera is on my phone which is currently being used by my potty training toddler to keep him securely on the potty and not running around in the bottom buff.

Never mind that, though.  Look at this!  I found True Ladies and Proper Gentlemen Edited by Sarah Chrisman in Victorian Trading Company!!

I have read Victorian Secrets by Sarah Chrisman and really enjoyed it.  I love her way of writing, her intelligence, her experiences, and how her book challenged me to think outside the box.

I look forward to reading her newest book:

While I am not a Victoriaphile (is that a term?), I do enjoy history and understanding the past, regardless of the era.  One thought that really struck me in Victorian Secrets is that the Victorians weren't necessarily strict prudes so much as they valued their privacy.  Not everyone lived in sprawling  mansions, and even those who did often had servants attending them, so true privacy was technically rare.  I could understand this because I live in such a small house with 5 other people.  Privacy is a luxury we cannot afford, therefore it becomes a gift granted to us by the other occupants.  I noticed that even when I have to take my boys in with me to the public restroom, they turn themselves to the wall to grant me privacy.  My children know that when mom and dad are shut up in their bedroom we are not to be disturbed and the olders know that it is ok to put in a kid's DVD or PBS Kids and watch it quietly with the youngers until we emerge.

It really is fascinating to think of it so practically rather than illogically legalistically.  So much of life really does begin more practically.  Only after does is transpose into something of rules, laws, legalism, etc to force others to comply.

But, I for yourself and come to your own conclusions and enjoyments! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mellow Greetings, Yookie Dookie

Yesterday evening was a quiet time in my chair watching The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer while mending my snow pants and my youngest's winter coat.  Nylon fabric and chicken fencing don't go well together.  Nothing a little embroidery floss can't fix.

I love that movie.  I love Cary Grant's comedy.  I love Myrna Loy.  (One of my chickens is named Myrna Loy!) I love the scenery, the vintage rose-colored-glasses perfection, and I love the glamour shot of Shirley Temple when she wakes up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I'm back, Cats and Kittens!

Let's start anew, shall we?

First, let me explain why I stopped blogging.  I partly ran out of time.  And I mostly ran out of ideas and inspiration.  (cue violins)  My precious family went through a time of serious trials over the last 6 years.  We endured the Mister's career training away from home, and the subsequent serious illness with multiple hospitalizations it caused.  We also had 2 more children (which I blogged about on here as the youngest is now 3.5) and I suffered a serious case of post partum depression.  Mister decided to return to his previous career to save his health, but it meant a pay cut on top of the all the debt accrued from such a long term illness.  As such, our poor little cottage on the hill deteriorated.  On top of that, with hopes of moving, I kept many things and our house became quite cluttered.

For the past year, I've been slowly working on decluttering and making plans.  No longer having babies in the house meant changes that'll be a bit more permanent.  Mister's health has stabilized and he is able to work regularly again.  I have started some at-home business (USBORNE BOOKS!  BAREFUT ESSENTIAL OILS!).

Therefore, I decided to restart this blog and blog about putting our little cottage back together inside and out and how a family of 6 lives in such a little space.  There will be plenty of vintage musings and amusements as well.

So, please tune in and join me on my little adventure in my little cottage.

Also, please consider allowing me to be your Usborne consultant and your Essential Oils sales consultant.  Purchases through the links shared and on the side of the blog help pay down our medical and loss of income debt.  I really appreciate it!

God Bless!