Monthly Archives: December 2015

Drawing Pencils 2

Homemade…

Happiness is homemade! This quote is so true! One of my favorite hobbies is using my creativity to make homemade items. Whether to use myself or to give away as gifts to family and friends. I get so excited when I get a new pack of colorful pens, a new pad of scrapbook paper or a roll of burlap to make a new wreath! When I walk into Joanne’s or Michael’s, I am like a kid in a candy store! I could easily heap a cart full of new supplies!!:)

Drawing Pencils 1

My love for the artsy, creative side started early in life for me. As a child, I was forever drawing in my sketch pad, coloring in a coloring book, or cutting out construction paper snowflakes. It didn’t stop there, in high school I took graphic design classes and my college major was visual design so I definitely have creative juices flowing through my veins. I am a little rusty on the graphic design as I haven’t actively pursued that profession in the past 8 years however, I do plan on sharpening my skills back up in the near future!! Some outlets that I like to express my artistic side are painting, scrap-booking and crafting. Lately I have not dedicated very much time to these hobbies, however, this year I am making it a goal to spend time on a weekly basis using my artistic abilities. It is something that brings me true joy but has quickly taken the back burner to all of the other daily tasks that life throws at you.

Paints & Brushes

Homemade happiness doesn’t just have to come in the way of arts and crafts…it can be anything you make with your own two hands. It can be soaps, candles, and more! I absolutely love making homemade items as gifts! I feel like gifts are so much more meaningful when I have spent my own time and efforts to custom make an item for a family member or friend! Keep an eye out for a future post on how I make homemade peppermint tea bags for my mom! And homemade baking mixes for gift baskets!

DSC_1050

I look forward to sharing my creative & homemade projects on the blog!

Canning Salsa

Beginner Homesteading…

Since the day my husband and I got married, we have been working together to find ways to be self-sufficient and learn as many life skills as we can. We both grew up in families where gardening and canning were the norm. We started down this path very early in marriage, canning our first batch of homemade jelly our first summer of being married! We have come a long way since our first canning experience back in 2007…In the past 8 1/2 years of marriage we have learned and grown so much!

Summer 2015 Canning

Now that we have an entire acre of land, we have expanded our goals for ourselves. This past spring I started my new herb garden (which I will write about in a future post.) We have also already planted a few fruit trees (2 apple and 2 pear.) We will be making our first big garden at the new house in Spring 2016!! We plan to build a nice fence around it to keep our friendly neighborhood critters (deer, bunnies, groundhogs…) from mowing down our veggies! I am so excited about this because our space was very limited at our previous house so we were never able to plant as big of a garden as we would’ve liked!!

My Herb Garden

Some of our other “Homesteading” goals include getting our own chickens, planting additional fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and grapes, learning to compost, and maybe eventually bee-keeping! I get so excited thinking about all of the possibilities!

Working in my Herb Garden

Aside from all of our bigger goals, I feel that it is always a wise decision to learn as many skills as you can. My husband and I are always attempting to learn new life skills as knowledge is often the most powerful tool towards self-sufficiency. Some things that I would like to learn to do are: sewing, crocheting, quilting, making soap, candles, and other household items. I would also like to start making more recipes from scratch rather than buying mixes from the store. My husband is always learning new “handy-man” skills. From wiring and plumbing, to building and fixing items around the house…he is always researching how to do something new! I am blessed to have such a diligent and motivated husband!:)

Canning Salsa

What homesteading goals do you have for yourself?
I encourage you to expand your knowledge and try something new! When something makes you uncomfortable, it usually means that you are growing. So step outside of your comfort zone and try something new today!

Homemaking…

What does homemaking mean to you? It can mean different things to everyone. When I think of homemaking, the first thing that comes to my mind is making your house a home. As a wife, I feel like it is my responsibility to keep our home clean and organized-making it a haven of peace and rest, decorating it to be warm & welcoming, providing and preparing healthy, nourishing meals for my family, and over-all managing the affairs of the household so that everything runs smoothly.

Brocolli

My version of homemaking is always growing and changing as I seek to find creative solutions  to incorporate into my routines. I strive to always look for ways to make improvements and use my time wisely. Homemaking can encompass such a broad range of topics, but in general, it is simply taking care of things in and around the home.

Fresh Homemade Pies

I really think that it encompasses all of the topics that are on my blog: cooking, cleaning, gardening, decorating, and the list goes on. And the fact that it covers such a wide variety of topics is one of the reasons that I chose it to be one of my topics on the blog-it gives me creative freedom! This will probably be the section of my blog where I sneak in all of the odds and ends: my crafting adventures, my attempts at decorating, learning new life skills (like flower arranging and crocheting?!?) and miscellaneous thoughts and reflections from my life!: ) So stick around and see what exciting projects I get into in my homemaking adventures!

Homemade Sugar Cookies

What does homemaking mean to you?

Sunflower 2

Frugal Living…

Back when my husband and I were first married, we made up our minds that we were going to pay off all of our debt so that we could buy the house of our dreams. Me, being the goal oriented person that I am, sat down with a notebook and calculator and started running the numbers. There were checklists made and spreadsheets drawn up showing how long it would take us to pay off each item. We came up with a 5 year plan, made a budget and stuck to it.  I set to work looking for ways to be more frugal with our money and save as much as we could. And the rest is history. Being in this frugal mindset has just stuck with me.

Coin Jug

I absolutely love looking for new ways to be frugal in my everyday life! I love scouring the newspaper ads looking for coupons for items we frequently use. I get super excited when I find good deals on second-hand items-like 24 pint mason jars for $3 at an antique shop!!!

Bargain Mason Jars

I rarely ever buy items full price-I shop the clearance rack, sale ads, and of course, Amazon! I also love seeking out frugal recipes, making homemade cleaning supplies, shopping at bulk food stores, and being creative to save money.

Sunflower 1

It all comes back to being a good steward of the many blessings God has given us. I believe that no matter what your financial situation, you should try to make wise decisions and use those resources you’ve been blessed with to the best of your ability. Being frugal can mean different things to different people and that’s ok! Just make the most of what you have! Be creative and look for new ways to use old things. Try and make due with what you already have on hand rather than running out to the store to buy something new.

Sunflower 2

In the “Frugal Living” section of my blog, I will be sharing the ins and outs of how our family lives frugally. I will be sharing how to make your own cleaners (for pennies!!), buying in bulk and how to store your bulk purchases, planting your own vegetable garden and canning the harvest and many other creative ways to save!! I look forward to sharing my tips and tricks and I hope that it can help you in your own journey to being more frugal!!

 

Tomatoes

Gardening….

From the time I was a little girl, I have loved being in the outdoors and getting my hands dirty. A love for plants and gardening just comes naturally in my family. My grandma and grandpa (who lived next door) owned a tree nursery and landscaping service, where my dad worked as a landscaper alongside my grandpa for many years. Two of my great uncles, who lived just a few miles down the road were also in the plant business-both owning greenhouses and one including a farm market. So I guess I come by it naturally.

Seeds

My dad, as I said before, was a landscaper, so there was never a shortage of gardens to work in around the house. There was always trees to be trimmed, weeds to be pulled and of course my favorite, flowers to be cut and brought inside. And with my grandparents living next door, I was always around the hustle and bustle of the nursery. I would like to say that I am an expert on trees and plants, however, I definitely didn’t absorb as much knowledge as I would’ve liked.

Broccolli & Beans

One of my favorite memories was when my parents “gave” me a corner garden to work on my own. I remember weeding it, preparing the soil, and then making a trip to my uncle’s greenhouse to pick out just the right flowers! I was very proud of myself and that was the beginning of my love for gardening! Of course, now I have expanded from petunias to include vegetable, herbs, and most recently, even some fruit trees!

Broccolli

I will be sharing all of my tips and tricks from garden planning to tracking yields, from composting to natural pest control. I will share our story of how we landscaped our new home on a budget and also I will share step-by-step while we are preparing our new, big garden for planting next spring. We will be prepping the soil, building a fence, and planting our first big vegetable garden at our new house! It’s only December 2nd and I am already itching for spring!! Something tells me it’s going to be along winter. That’s alright, we have plenty to keep us busy inside-Like garden planning and choosing just the right vegetable seeds to plant in the spring!! Thinking happy thoughts and looking forward to spring:-)