Saturday, August 31, 2019

Quite A Bit to Share With You Today

Our September picture on the calendar - oh to be a young Mama again!  And how about that house?  I can just envision the white muslin curtains, the braided rugs, the well-worn furniture, the white kitchen sink, a big family table...............

It's nice and cloudy and cool and cozy this morning.  We had a nice time with friends last night with a cool evening outdoors by the fire eating S'mores and stargazing.  While looking through the telescope our friend saw a shooting star!  Isn't amazing how God has created these wonderful things for our enjoyment?  : )  

Well, first on the list today is sharing the September To-Do's and Tea Party Theme.  September.  Really?  Yes.  : o


*continue to clean out gutters
*remove any dead limbs
*lubricate your doors and windows
*plant fall Mums
*plant shrubs and trees
*aerate grass
*if your mattress is flip-able, now is the time
*wash ALL bedding
*clean the windows
*continue to shop for Christmas

There.  That's all you have to do and for some of you some of these things may not apply!!!!  Remember to enjoy the process of the doing.  This is your home - love it, take care of it but enjoy it.  


If it's still nice outdoors, I'd recommend that you still hold your party outside, but of course if it's not a day to be outdoors:

*decorate with asters and mums and LOTS of old books 
*serve Madeleines, apple cake, and little tea cakes with different choices of tea
*play classical music in the background

Again, if any of you have tea parties, I would LOVE to hear how you decorated and what you served and how you think it went.  : )

I also have another ice cream recipe to share with you.  Oh my it's good.  : )


In a microwave-safe bowl, put 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 4 Tblsp. heavy cream into it and microwave it for about 45 seconds.  Whisk this until smooth and set aside.

In another bowl, stir together 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and set this aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, whip 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form but do not overbeat (you'll get butter - we don't want butter).  : )

Now, fold the peanut butter mixture into the whipped cream.  Pour half of this into a 2 quart freezer-safe container.  Spoon/drizzle half of your melted chocolate over the ice cream and swirl it around.  Pour the remaining cream over that and the remaining chocolate over that and swirl again.  Cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Before serving, I always bring it out of the freezer beforehand to let it soften a bit.  Serve and enjoy!!!!  This really is very good - I hope you can try it.  : )

This was before the freezer - again, SO good.  I'm loving these homemade ice cream ideas.

I was going to post about menu planning, but I think I'm going to save that for another day.  : )  Thank you SO much for dropping by for another visit - I appreciate it!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day in and around your home today.  Also, have a great Labor Day weekend!  For us in Minnesota, it means closing up cabins for the year and for the rest of us, it means we just do pretty much what we always do - LOL.  God bless.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Beautiful Sunday Afternoon

Gorgeous Summer sky.  : )

The weather is unbelievable - my kind of weather ('cause it's all about me you know haha!!!!).  Cool, a bit breezy - just a hint of what is to come.   

One of the changes in what I've been feeling lately (as posted yesterday) is to get more out of my comfort zone (and, yes, going to the State Fair was right in there!!!).  LOL  When I pray, one of my prayers is for boldness and courage to speak up and speak out about things that are going on in our society and how it goes against what God had intended, being more sociable in our neighborhood so people can see that I really do care about them, and talking about Jesus to anyone who wants to listen.  It's not easy though, is it?  There aren't very many people out there who want to be told what to do, how to act, and who to serve.  Either you're told to go jump in a lake (or worse), or that they'll think about it and they avoid you like the plague, or just maybe you get that one person who thanks you for sharing and is actually okay with what you said and wants to take steps to learn more.  The first two are hard to take - it's the third person that you feel joy about.  But we're supposed to care about the souls of people and how would it be if everyone stayed silent?  It's a wonderful thing to have an accountability person in your life asking you if you're doing okay but most people don't think of it that way.   We tend to want to stick with our own kind so to speak.  If we don't believe in Jesus, we'll hang out with fellow unbelievers.  If we're living a lifestyle that goes against what God wants for us, we'll hang out with others who are living the same lifestyle.  Anything to fit in.  So to go against that is not popular - it's called insensitive, it's called narrow-minded, it's called offensive.  But to NOT say something is unloving.

If we love people they way Jesus loves people, we need to speak.  Jesus was very outspoken.  He got to the heart of the sin issue (I know He does with me!!).  But,'s not easy.  I think for most of us, we want to be liked by everyone and that's just not possible. We are always going to find people that just won't like us no matter what.  I have been in various Christian groups where no matter how hard I tried, some of the women just wouldn't/couldn't like me (and you cannot force people to like you).   Yes, it bothered me because I was sincere, but I wasn't going to wither up and die.  And just because they didn't like me didn't make me anti-Christian because we're all guilty of not being as nice and loving as we should be.  There have been many opportunities for me to show love to someone that just went right over my head and after thinking about an opportunity lost it made me very sad. 

But we've got to keep looking and at least try.  It's like what if you had the secret to curing cancer and you kept it to yourself because there would be opposition?  There would be those who would call you crazy and you know that but would that stop you from revealing the secret?  Some will run with it and some will stay away from it.  It's the same with talking about salvation through Jesus.  Cancer is awful and it takes lives in awful ways and we can potentially die from it depending how far along it is, but unbelief is worse.  We will die.  All of us - at some point.  There are a lot of spiritually dead people right now who need to know that the cure-all for sin is Jesus before they leave this world permanently.  

I'm reading a good book right now that one of our pastors gave to us:

I'm sorry that the photo is so small.

I really like the subtitle - "People in need of change, helping people in need of change."  We need each other!!!  It's about sharing Christ together.  

The older I get, the desire for Christ grows and what God thinks of me is of utmost importance.  When I first read the verse in the Bible where Jesus said "I never knew you" it brought fear.  Good fear.  The "stuff" part of my life gets less desirable.  The desire in seeing people turn to Christ and being saved is really strong and I pray daily for that to happen because more than a good job, more than being popular, more than being the top of your class, more than being the best and having the best, and a whole lot more.....................we've got to get everyone thinking about eternity.   

The other side to this is that we have an enemy of the soul and he's going to put into our minds that we aren't good enough to take this on.  I have said from time to time that I'm not a Bible scholar.  I didn't go to Bible college and know all that there is to know about everything.  I'm a woman who led a sinful life and am living with the consequences of those sins, but Jesus brought me to Him and showed me my sinful ways which led me to repentance and salvation.  So........why wouldn't I want that for others?  And I hope you do as well.  We are all in this life together and we won't be perfect until we get to Heaven, but we can make the necessary changes to make life eternal in Heaven a blessed assurance.

Let this be the week we share our faith!   Then we watch the Holy Spirit do the watering of the planted seed and hopefully watch it grow.  : )

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday Morning

State Fair day on Thursday.

This was the first year in a long time that I actually wanted to go to the State Fair.  For a person who doesn't like crowds, it's kind of strange that I wanted to go, but go we did.  And, I have to admit, the moment we got there I was quickly reminded why I don't enjoy going.  

We only stayed a few hours and that was more than enough.  It didn't help that my hip, knee, and foot has been in pain since early July!  So walking around only added to the frustration.  We learned yesterday that they counted up the attendance for that day and it broke all records - isn't THAT fun!  LOL  It truly was a sea of people and you could hardly stand anywhere to look at anything, so we said "enough" and went home.  

When we got home I had such a headache that I went to bed early.  The next day I was thinking that part of the problem was that we live such quiet lives here at home that going to something as extreme as that it's just an overload of all the senses.  There is so much to LOOK at - there is so much noise to LISTEN to - there is so much to SEE - and so much to SMELL with all the different food booths.  That's the other thing, it seems like the fair is more about all the stuff to eat than anything else.

I was looking forward to seeing if I received any kind of ribbon for the project I entered, but we couldn't even find it so I won't know until I pick it up after the fair is over.  Our son and his wife are going today so they said they'll try to locate it and take a picture of it if they do.  : )

The weather was perfect though (maybe that's why everyone went).  Usually it's hot and humid but it was cool with nice breezes blowing through.  So, with all the grumbling, that was a positive.   : )

I had planned to take pictures all through the fairgrounds but I only got a couple:

We like the old-time stuff (there tends not to be as many people in this area).

So, give me a tranquil lake to sit by - that's more my style.  : )

The other thing that I've been going back and forth on the last couple of weeks is whether or not to continue this blog.  I'm really not sure that I have that much to share anymore other than a household tip now and then (which you probably have already heard of before) or a new recipe now and then (which you can pretty much get anywhere).  

I feel like I'm going through a season of change right now with lots of thinking things through.  There is a part of me that would like to begin a home business but that feeling has been with me for years and I STILL can't think of what that would look like.  I have a few ideas but carrying them through is the problem.  So I keep praying for guidance and more ideas!

My health is an issue now and then (now being my right leg and foot) so that gets to be a downer every once in a while for someone who wants to grow old well and strong.  So whatever business I would chose to do it would have to be something that is flexible enough for me to take a day or two of time off whenever these health issues flare up.

I'm not as excited about posting as I used to be, so maybe that's a sign of my just letting it go.  It's funny how even though I'm a "blogger", I read very few blogs myself.  I just don't seem to want to take the time - instead, I would rather be doing something.  My life is pretty simple - cooking, cleaning, gardening, crafting/sewing............I'm not sure anymore if anyone really wants to read about how I had a good domestic/homemaking week!  LOL

I will continue to pray about this.  I may just post occasionally instead of set days - writing things down as they come to me throughout the days/months and then do one major post every so often and see how that goes.  We'll see!  : )

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you have a good day in your home making it a place of love, safety, comfort, and beauty for yourself and your family and your friends.  : )  God bless.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday Morning

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely getting the pre-Autumn feelings.  I worked outside yesterday (pulling more weeds) and I could just feel it in the air.  Even though it was warm-ish and a bit humid (like summer is), the lighting is different now.  Everywhere I worked I was already planning on what to do with certain areas once Fall came (where to put pumpkins and Mums).   It's always so interesting that God has put within us a "knowing" of what to do when and how to prepare for the next thing.

Out of all the seasons, Fall is my very bestest : ) season.  I absolutely love everything about it - the leaves, the cool temperatures, the pulling out the sweaters, the fire nights, the everything pumpkin thing that goes on.  I only wish it lasted longer because we all know that it means winter is right around the corner.  But I do like all the different seasons and I am glad to experience them all in such great contrast.

It has been a good homemaking week.  I got my work done (and then some) and that is always a good feeling.  I was motivated to work in the kitchen for a few days - laying down some tile in bottom cupboards to make it look cleaner and then I painted inside a cupboard to freshen that up.  I've using things up in the fridge so that I can begin making even more products from scratch.  This week I tried a new French dressing recipe for our salads and we thought it was quite good, so I'll share the recipe with you as well.  My husband loves French dressing so I knew that I had to have this around.  While looking for a recipe, this particular one kept coming up from different people so I'm not sure to whom I should be giving the credit to!  But it was good and it's the creamy type of dressing which we enjoy.  Here is the recipe for you to try if you'd like:


1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 small yellow onion, chopped (at the time I made this, I only had white onions but I can see where the yellow WOULD be better because the white is quite strong)
1 tsp. paprika (I used a little less)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients into a blender and puree till smooth.  Store in the fridge and enjoy!!!!!!

The mornings have been a little humid but they have also been nice and cool so, of course, I want the windows open.  But with humidity, sometimes I've noticed that our house can get a bit stale, so the other day I did this:

I've done this before and like the results, so I thought it was time to do it again.  You just put baking soda in a bowl (I used a plastic bowl so that I could throw it away afterwards) and then add several drops of essential oil (I used lavender) and stir with a plastic spoon (so you can toss that too) until combined thoroughly.  Then just sprinkle this all over your carpet/area rug and let it sit for about 1/2 hour or longer if you want.  Vacuum it up and you have a fresher smelling carpet and the scent stays for several days.  Just a couple of thoughts:

*test a small area of your carpet first so that you know it won't harm it in any way
*try a little essential oil at first - I have a problem with thinking that more is better so I can overdo it sometimes
*keep your pets and children off the rug until you're finished - this is safe but since it does have essential oil in it, it will get on paws (the pets, that is) and they will try to lick it off and that is not safe and you don't want the kids to track this all over the place

Well, I think that is about it - nothing too exciting.  : )  Now on to a brand new day with brand new possibilities.   A morning walk perhaps?  Another new recipe to try?  More weeds to pull?  Yes, always!  Sewing?  Crafting?  I hope you can enjoy this new day.  Thank you for your visit because I really do appreciate it when you do.  God bless.   : )

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Good Sunday Afternoon

The Badlands of South Dakota - one of our favorite vacation destinations.  : )

A good Sabbath to all of you.  I didn't post last Sunday because our church had their yearly BBQ and lake baptisms.  What a special time together that is.  Young and old (and everything in between!).  : )

This Sunday we left church with enthusiasm and motivation in our hearts.  Such a good sermon on how God cares what we do and what we pursue and what we spend our time on.  He put the love for beauty into us and He loves it when we create things of beauty - in song, in crafting, in sewing, in reading, in gardening, in cooking/baking, in what we go out to see (like the Badlands above).  And we cannot do any of this if we are constantly sitting in front of the television, or our computers (I'm getting off as soon as I'm done with this! LOL), or in front of our goofy phones!  The time wasted in our lives is unbelievable.

While pastor was talking I thought a lot about homeschooling and how we did everything he was talking about - reading GOOD literature, discerning about what movies came into our home, went on lots of field trips, studied things that were of interest to us (birds, photography, art, astronomy, etc.).  We sketched and drew a lot.  We kept journals.  We watched the changes of the seasons.  And to this day, our son is still interested in all of that (and fortunately his wife is too because she, too, was homeschooled).  If you don't know by now, I'm definitely a proponent of homeschooling!!!!!  : )

But, even after that, my husband and I (being empty-nesters now) have to carry that on ourselves.  God truly wants us to get as much out of this life as we can and every day that passes by without some kind of creativity, some kind of filling our minds with what is good and moral and right, some kind of carrying out of using the gifts and talents our Lord has given, some kind of learning new things that just might be what we needed and without at least trying we would have never known, is a life being wasted.

I know that for some of us, there are definite physical limitations, but there is ALWAYS something we can do.  I know I've posted about this kind of thing over and over again, but it's SO important for a life well lived.  A few of us were standing around talking after service and we were saying that we have to tell pastor that his sermon definitely was motivating us because we were talking about quite a few ideas.  I believe it's that kind of enthusiasm, when prompted, is from God.  I really don't think He wants us to sit around all day playing "poor me" (and believe me, I have done this from time to time!) - He wants us to get up and get going!  If being joyful is what you aim for, there is nothing like getting up and out of yourself.  

I'm going to let you in on a little secret...............yesterday my husband and I went to the State Fair grounds and entered one of my penny rugs into the State Fair creative arts exhibits!!!  This is a first for me and I have to tell you that I'm a little excited about it.  : )   Growing up I used to be in 4-H and exhibited different things (I really can't even remember what they were but it was so fun!).  I was even talking to an elderly lady at church asking her if she had any creative activities/hobbies that she liked to do and she, too, was going to enter something at the State Fair!  I have to admit that standing in line yesterday with all these ladies who were holding on to the things they were going to enter was so much fun.  It felt so small-town.  You could tell they were all so proud of what they created and worked so hard on to prepare for this fair.

I think things like this keep us young and mobile and sharp.  I have a friend where we talk about this kind of thing once in a while.  She and I both go through times of where we'll be working on something and then something gets into our minds (I think it's the devil) and tells us that we're just wasting our time and it's of no use to anyone so why do it.  And I have to encourage you to not give into that lie!!!!!!  I have another friend that God gave the talent of painting and she does it beautifully and I have never heard her once say that she doesn't know why she's doing it.  She says time and time again that it's a gift of talent to her from God and that's where the joy of it all lies.  

We aren't robots.  We were created with minds that need/should be used every day, all day.  Yes, of course, rest when needed, but think and do!!!!!  Pray about it - ask God for Him to reveal to you what it is.  None of us are naturals at everything, but if you want to learn to paint, try it.  Go to classes to learn the basics.  Same with drawing.  Same with learning to play an instrument.  But go for it!!!!  Let today (or tomorrow depending where in the world you are reading this from) be the day.  Turn off the technology and do something.  Let's motivate and encourage each other in this.  God bless!!  : )

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday Morning

I love that out of all the green, there is one flower.  : )

I guess there is really nothing too outstanding to post about this morning.  It's been a pretty average week.  It's cloudy right now with a chance of showers off and on (which, again, we need).  This time of year in the outdoors, it's pretty much just maintenance.  We're enjoying all the flowers in bloom.  I continue to write in my garden journal about what worked and what didn't and what to do in the Spring (Lord willing).  Things such as digging out some plants and putting them somewhere else because they are just too close to other plants.  There are some flowers that I'm really disappointed in.  When we bought them they were very showy, but now no blooms whatsoever and quite spindly. 

I've been baking a little - we especially had a couple of cool mornings where the windows could be wide open and that's when I like to take advantage of baking time.  The birthday cake earlier in the week, a loaf of bread mid-week, and cookies yesterday.  Hope you can take the time today to bake something for family or friends today!  

I continue to crochet "quilt" squares for the "quilt to give".  I heard about this idea on "Sewing with Nancy" where she used to have women on at the end of her sewing show telling everyone about any charitable giving ideas and this was one of them.  Of course she meant a "real" quilt made out of fabric, but I came up with the idea of crocheting (because I'm not a very good knitter) quilt squares in different colors and then put them together to look like a quilt.  Then, when finished, you give the quilt away to someone in need (women's shelter, nursing home, children's hospital, etc.).  

I bought fabric on-line for the very first time and it came early in the week.  I bought broadcloth for a blouse, medium-weight jersey for a dress, and lightweight denim for a skirt.  It's all laundered and pressed, the table is set up for cutting out the pieces and now I just have to get to it!  I have to admit that I am not a very good seamstress, but I SO want to be.  And I know that in order to be better I have to actually do it.  So I'm going to give it my best try.  I am going to take my time in this - measure twice, cut once.  Baste everything together first, then try it on.  Tweak it, baste it again, try it on again.  Until I get it right.

The reason I bought on-line was that it gives the definition of each fabric and what it is used for and because I don't know a lot about the different fabrics (and fabrics have changed over the years) I need that information.  When I walk into a fabric store I always get so overwhelmed by all the selections and I know that in the past I have bought fabric simply because I liked it but it was definitely wrong for the pattern selection and then just tossed the whole thing aside in frustration and used the fabric for other projects instead.  So.............hopefully, this time, I will get it right!!!

That's about it outside of the normal cooking and cleaning part of homemaking.  But they are just the extra curricular things that a homemaker can add to her day to bring some balance.  There has to be other things in our lives to enjoy and have fun with.  I hope you can find those things in your day as well.  Is there something that you used to enjoy doing?  Maybe you can try it again.  Or, is there something that you always wanted to try?  Maybe today can be the day.  It's what makes life interesting - you never know until you try.  : )

Thank you for dropping by.   God bless.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Hello and a New Recipe

The chalkboard in our "dining" space.  : )

Last Saturday morning and into the early afternoon, I had fun sitting in front of the computer and looking up all kinds of recipes.  I'm in that mode of wanting to cook even more things from scratch (but taste really good too!).  So, I took my list that I had made out a couple of years ago about what things NOT to buy, but make instead.  Here's the list:

*salad dressings - a lot of people already do this, but I'm determined - no more bottled dressing (except one for the pantry)
*ketchup - another thing that I used to do, but fell off - again, one bottled one for the pantry
*whipped cream - I never buy the fake stuff - whipping cream is only $1.29 for a pint and I get a lot of mileage out of that one pint - the cream has a pretty good shelf life
*cake flour - it's SO easy to buy this, but much more frugal to make - I mean to buy cake flour when most of my cake recipes just call for regular flour anyway doesn't make sense
*pancake syrup - we don't like real maple syrup anyway so making this is not only easy, it's fun and with great results!
*gravy mixes - putting together your own packets of flour seasoned with the right kinds of spices - easy!  
*coffee creamers - I really don't use creamers except for special times like holidays, but again they are very easy and tasty and no extra weird stuff
*dill dip seasoning - make your own seasoning packets!
*"cream-of" soup mixes - make a basic mix and then add the goodies later - I have only tried the mushroom soup and it has a really good flavor - I do, however, buy a few cans for the pantry

********A note about the pantry - I think it is wise to have certain go-to foods on our shelves (canned goods) for those moments when you need something quickly or you have to go without buying food for a while.  Remember how women used to "put food up" so they could eat from it for quite a while.  When I say that I make my own "from scratch" food, I'm saying that I have to make sure that I have the ingredients around to carry it out (which tends to be less expensive than actually buying the food item).  : )  I make sure that I have canned fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, and tomato products along with certain soups and broths.

*bread dough/pizza dough - so fun to make in the bread machine and freeze it - always good homemade bread and crusts at a moments notice!
*salsa - this tastes so much fresher but again I keep a store-bought jar on the pantry shelf
*ice cream - I'm really having fun making the no-churn ice creams right now (which is the new recipe that I have for you)
*frosting - this is kind of a no-brainer- SO easy to make and SO much better tasting!!!
*any bakery items - cakes, cookies, pies, brownies - make them in your kitchen - smell up the house!!!
*pizza/taco seasoning mixes 
*applesauce - I keep a jar or two in the pantry but mostly I just buy the apples and make it - really smells good while cooking  : )
*flour tortillas - again, these taste amazing
*soups/broth - easy peasy and great for the freezer

...........and I know there are many more things that we can all make from scratch rather than buy.  In this time of rising grocery prices, it's important to do this.  This is one area where we have a little bit of control yet if we take the time to sit down, think things through, and make a plan.

On Monday, we had a wonderful time celebrating our daughter-in-law's birthday.  Our get-togethers usually consist of eating/talking, playing a game (SO glad she's a game player!), open gifts, then eat dessert.  I baked a cake for her and then I knew she liked coffee ice cream so I made:


2 cups heavy cream
1, 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
5 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 2 1/2 tsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.  Add dissolved coffee and condensed milk and vanilla extract to cream and mix well until all combined.  Pour this mixture into an airtight, freezer-proof container and freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight.

*Make sure you take this out of the freezer a little bit before serving so it softens slightly.

I told everyone that after I made this I took a spoon to taste it and I could have easily eaten it all right then and there - it was THAT good!!!!!!!!!!!  We all enjoyed it so much.  Hope you can give it a try!

That is it for today.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can begin to get into the kitchen and making your own mixes and products that you would normally have to buy.  I think you will get great satisfaction from it.  God bless!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

First Saturday In August

The August picture on our calendar.  Again, I just want to jump into the picture - talk to the man in the little buggy, walk down that dirt road, visit the homemaker in the farmhouse..........  : )

It has been a good week.  Almost every day was busy with things that I've wanted to do, have been putting off, and just needed to get done.  There WAS one day that seemed where I was just spinning my wheels and really nothing got done at all but it was one day so all was not lost.  : )  I always try to give God the glory for my days because I DO pray about these things - strength, energy, and motivation - and He does provide.  When I don't feel those things I think it's either because my lazy self kicks in and tend not to do anything, or sometimes I just need a little time to not do anything in order to feel better.  So I am thankful no matter what.  : )

I'm getting back to organization lately and realize the importance of organization in the home.  Here is a book that I've had for years and it's what really got me started on the road to improving in this area:

I haven't looked on-line to see if this in print anymore, but my mother-in-law bought this for me back in 1991 and I take it off the shelf quite often for some motivation and inspiration.  This book is what got me started to organize my kitchen.  Ever since I've organized the kitchen, it hasn't changed since because it works.  Things such as:

*designating a baking station - I can get in and out of the kitchen in about an hour (depending upon what I'm baking) because of being organized.  All my ingredients, bowls, measuring cups/spoons, mixer.........are all in one spot and within reach and in no time I can bake something and clean up in no time at all!
*designating a food prep area - cutting board, knives, bowls - all next to the sink for ease of cleaning fruits/vegetables, chopping........
*designating a cooking area next to the stove - all the spices, spoons for stirring, pans..........

You get the point.  It is one of the things that has made me love my kitchen.  Before I did this I was fighting it all the time.  Never remembering where anything was, nothing made sense so I made more steps for myself than necessary.

Another idea from this book that I did right away was storing under things in the bathroom!  Don't have a separate underwear drawer in your bedroom - keep them in the bathroom.  Doesn't that make sense?  I mean, we get out of the shower/bath so the undies are right there to put on!  : )

And, another idea that I use all the time..........don't have a linen closet.  Put the linens in the rooms that you will need them.  Every bedroom should have the sheets and pillowcases in that room - not off in a hallway somewhere in the house.  All the towels/washcloths should be in the bathroom(s) not somewhere else in the house.  All the kitchen linens should be in the kitchen.  Again, you understand what I'm saying.  SO much more efficient.  No time spent looking in a separate closet going through stuff to try and find the right thing for the right room.

It has been amazing that just these little things (and so much more!) have made such a difference in our home.

My next project is to organize my desk space better.  Right now, I haul out all the things that I need for bill-paying to the dining room table instead of using the "desk" I have - so, once again, I have pulled this book out and am going to try some of the ideas and see what I can come up with to make it work.  I love this kind of work - it makes me happy.  : )

A couple of days ago I rearranged our living/dining space once again.  I've done this before and we did like it so I'm not sure why I just didn't keep it this way, but my motivation for change this time was that this Fall we are going to have groups over and I need space to put them.  In the "old" way, our living room was separated from the dining room with a table and chair.  The new way uses both rooms as living space with the dining room table in the center of both.  Maybe you can see:

The dining table is now in the center of both rooms instead of having a separate dining room.

The old dining space is now a space for people to sit in.

This way we can utilize both rooms yet still be able to see and hear each other and because of this we could possibly have up to 14 people in these two rooms without feeling too crowded!  : )  I love thinking about things like this and trying to carry the plans out - I especially like it when it actually works out!!!  My husband doesn't mind because I do all the work myself so he just sits back and watches to see if it works or not (because if it doesn't work, I'm the one who has to put it all back to the way it was!).  Whew!  : o

Lastly, while I was moving things around, I was thinking about other people's homes and how I love to see how their homes tell us what they do, what they read, what things they have around them are important to them.  I encourage you to do this as well.  Keep things out that you're working on.  Keep books out that you're reading.  Make it YOUR home first, and then others will feel comfortable too.  I, personally, like to be organized and somewhat clean, but I also like it to be comfortable.  I've mentioned this in past posts, but there is no better compliment than to have someone curl up on my couch and take the blanket that I have to cover up with.  Or pick up a book or magazine and start looking through it, or going into the kitchen by themselves to get a another cup of coffee.  Actions like those mean that the person visiting is totally comfortable and relaxed and that is the best feeling for me. 

So I encourage you to keep your home clean and organized, but comfortable and inviting as well.  Scuffed up floors are good (as a matter of fact, I wouldn't have new floors if you paid me - LOL), well-worn furniture is great (it's more comfortable that way).  Keep what you're working on out in the open for you!  It's okay if someone drops by and you're embroidery or knitting or whatever is out - it's your home and you should be working on something enjoyable!  : )  Keep the books you're reading out so that you can sit down at any given time and pick up where you left off.  If someone drops in it's okay if your book is on the chair!  It can be moved.  Your home is your home and it shouldn't look like a stuffy showroom where everything is perfect.

I hope you have fun in your home today - even if it's just for you - give it your personality and others will be comfortable in it too.  Whatever this day holds - cleaning, organizing, baking, crafting, sewing, gardening.........give it your special touch.  Enjoy the process.  Don't hurry through it.  It will show.  : )

Thank you for dropping by!!!!  I appreciate all of you.  God bless.