Friday, March 24, 2023

Variety - The Spice of Life


Our ever-funny cat - Boba.  : )

Hello keepers of the home!  Happy Friday.  We are ALWAYS surprised how quickly Fridays come along - the weeks just fly by.  Only one week left in March and it sounds like (around here anyway) it will go out like a lamb.  Thank goodness.   : ) 

I hope this is finding you doing well and that you have had good days since I last posted.  Mine was kind of up and down and everything in between but I know we all experience those times so I won't go into details.  

The title of my post (variety) is what I feel like homemaking is all about and it's the reason I love homemaking.  I truly jump from one thing to another and each "thing" is different.  In the 30-something years I've been a homemaker, I've NEVER been bored.  There are SOME things that I need motivation for because they aren't my favorite things to do, but I just tell myself that they need to be done and I'm the one to do them. : )  Around here mostly I'm just in the maintaining mode - doing the daily and weekly chores - waiting for the time to begin the spring cleaning (especially windows!).  I usually wait until later in April to do that so that it's warm enough outside to keep windows open for longer periods of time.

My routine has changed a bit in that, now, I begin my days in the kitchen.  After I get ready for the day I get into the kitchen and see what needs to be done.  I've said before that our window faces the east so the beautiful sun shines in.  But I first check my fridge and my menus for that day.  If there are leftovers, that will be our lunch (we don't eat breakfast).  If we don't have leftovers I need to think of what we will have - a lot of times it's breakfast for lunch!  Whatever it is, I will do what needs to be done for that meal and then I check to see what I'm going to have for supper.  Does anything need to be thawed?  Is there any prep work I can do now so that I don't have to do it later?  That includes cutting things up, marinating, measuring out any ingredients into separate bowls that I can cover?  Any salad to make ahead of time?  Is it a crockpot meal? Whatever that meal needs, I do it right away in the morning.  I have found that this gives me peace of mind throughout the day and gives me motivation when that meal actually has to come together.  After I do this, I then clean up the dishes and the kitchen and it's ready for the day!

One thing that I'm trying to do even if the weather is still a bit chilly is that I bundle up and go and sit in the sun with a cup of tea.  Every afternoon (if the sun cooperates).  Feels so good and we need that Vitamin D right now!

Well.......let's jump into what I have for you today.  I hope it will be of some help to you.


As you know, it's important to me to have a book in my hand at certain times of the day (my times are usually after lunch and then I love to read in bed).  So here is what I finished:

The first in the "Miss Read" series.

Now, I've never heard of the "Miss Read" books until lately.  I found it to be a book that one would want to read as a comfort book.  It's not a page-turner so when I put it down after reading a chapter, there wasn't that feeling of sadness that I had to put it down and therefore had to wait until I could pick it up again.  This is the first book in the series so I don't know if there will be more substance to the other books.  But that's okay for me.  I was thinking about slowly collecting all the books, but now I'm not sure.  But I don't want to give up on them either.  It takes place in England (which I always like) and it introduces us to the teachers of the "Village School" and it introduces us to the children that attend and sometimes the homes they come from.  Some children are from very difficult homes and some children are from well-to-do homes and how the children work together no matter their differences (imagine that).  It also talks about their outings, the day-to-day school days, and then you throw in a couple of characters that are spunky or outspoken or helpful. I said, it's a comfort book if you like, or need, that kind of book.

The tea that I'm drinking here is Earl Grey - I thought that would be appropriate for an English read and the teacup is a thrift-store find.  It doesn't have the saucer but I thought it was pretty.  And the snack is a "Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donut" and I'll put the recipe below.  : )


I think you know how much I love the baked donut recipes and this one is no exception.  They come out so moist and flavorful.  What I do is to make the mix ahead of time and store it in the pantry so that when I want to bake, that part is done and then all I need to do is add the wet ingredients to it.  Such a time saver and if someone is coming over you can serve something right away - a donut warm from the oven?  Yes!  : )  Here's what you do:

In a zip-lock bag, add:
*3/4 cup flour
*2 Tbsp. cornstarch
*1/3 cup sugar
*1 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Attach a label saying "Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts" on it and put it in your pantry.

When ready to bake:
*Put the mix into a bowl and whisk it till combined.
*In a small bowl, whisk together:
    *1/3 cup buttermilk
    *1 egg
    *1 Tbsp. melted butter
    *1 tsp. vanilla
*Add this to the dry ingredients and stir till just combined.
*Divide this batter evenly into 6 donut wells in the donut pan and bake at 375 degrees for 11-12 minutes (don't overbake).  Let cool for a couple of minutes and remove to cooling rack.
*While still warm, brush 3 Tbsp. melted butter (in all) over tops, bottoms, and sides of donuts and then dip into 1/2 cup sugar that has been mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon until well coated.  
*Serve and enjoy!!!!!  So good.  : )

I have been really trying to keep up with good nutrition and healthy foods and learning about Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies in our bodies and filling in those gaps with good foods, but I also know that I don't want to stop baking.  I love providing baked goods.  We just make sure that we don't go overboard.  To me, there is nothing wrong in having a cookie or two as a dessert after a meal or having a donut as an afternoon snack.  I'm not going to stop baking birthday cakes..........

I know that sugar is really a problem nowadays.  I believe we eat far too much sugar but it's also hard to do without and I don't trust sugar substitutes so I'll just get the best ingredients I can find and make sure that we don't go overboard.

The next two recipes aren't food related.  One is for homemade deodorant and the other is for homemade dish soap.  In the past, whenever I've tried homemade deodorant, I broke out so I stopped.  But I thought I'd give it a try again and this recipe is great and there is a secret to it.  Here's the recipe:


In a container with a lid, combine:
*1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
*1/4 cup baking soda (this is what makes most people break out, but stay with me)
*10-15 drops of essential oil (I did 1/2 tea tree oil and 1/2 lavender)

Here's the secret.  Before applying this under your arm, rub coconut on your armpit.  Two reasons - first, it acts as a barrier and second, it helps the mixture to adhere without leaving a white residue on your clothes.  I apply the dry mixture with a large makeup brush and, seriously, it works (for me anyway).  I hope you can give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

I'm glad this works.  Because I'm concerned about the not-good-for-us ingredients, the deodorant I was buying at the store was $9.00 a stick and it wasn't even working.  So, I'm very thankful that I came across this.


*1 cup Sal Suds (I buy mine at our Co-op, but you can get it on-line too)
*1 cup distilled water (boil first and cool)
*1 tsp. baking soda
*20 drops of lemon essential oil

Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well combined and then pour into an old dish soap container.  It's that easy and it's very good.

Sal Suds is a bit expensive but you don't need to use much of the dish soap in order to get some serious suds going on.  I just did a quick squirt and that was enough for a sink of dishes.  It smells good and it feels good on the hands.  Again, I'm using ingredients that don't have a bunch of weird stuff in them and this rinses very well and the dishes actually shine!  I love it.  Hope you can try it!  : )


Well.......I'm so disappointed in myself.  Last time I showed you the progress I was making on my cross stitch piece.  In looking at it closer (and once I tell you, you'll be able to see for yourself), I totally goofed up the word "Summer".  I tried to pick it out in order to start over and I didn't like the way the fabric looked afterwards so that is going to be put on hold until I'm over being upset with it!  LOL  All that time and then I had to do that.  Ugh.   But I did begin another one (just not far enough along to show you any progress yet).  

So, I decided to finish my trio of wool applique projects:

Small, medium, and large.  They were fun to do, but I'm glad they're done so I can think of another wool applique!

Between cross stitch and wool applique the past couple of weeks, that's about all I've been working on.  Are you doing anything crafty lately?


I think this is the most important part of my posts and I'm very glad to share the Bible verses that I write down and give me comfort and help.  Instead of giving you another "Fear" verse, I've decided to give you a "Love" verse.  You may not consider it to be a verse about love, but I think it is.  It's a favorite of mine:

*Micah 6:8 - "And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".

To act justly is to do what is right.
To love mercy is to have pity, compassion, kindness, and goodwill towards others.  
To walk humbly is be brought low.  Not thinking too highly of ourselves.  Where God is exalted, not us.

I pray that we will desire to exhibit these requirements in our daily lives.  To live them out and be good examples to those around us.

That is it for today.  Again, I hope it has been helpful to you.  I certainly appreciate you and I'm very thankful that you stopped by.  Until next time, God bless you and your homemaking efforts.

Mary  : )



  1. Hi Mary~ Beautiful post! This morning, the wind is blowing from the north, it's snowing and it's very cold. March is definitely going out like a lion. What a blessing to have an east facing kitchen, all that beautiful sunshine! I love your donut recipe, it sounds like it would make nice donuts. I'm going to give it a try. Sugar really irritates my stomach, so it will have to be a little bite for me. Your applique is beautiful! I've always wanted to learn how to do it, maybe one day. Keep us posted on the deodorant. I've used it in the past, but had the same results as you with rashes. I also love Sal-Suds! A gallon will last me a very long time. The scripture was perfect! I'm teaching a class on Sunday and hope it's alright if I use this part of your post, it's perfect for what I am teaching. Almost every time I am looking for a little inspiration, one of the people I blog with always bless me with their wisdom! Thank you for yours. Hugs, Barb

    1. Hi Barb! So nice to hear from you. : ) This is certainly a winter for the books - sorry that you're getting blasted again. I'm so glad you liked the post. It's so fun sharing and, I agree, that we get inspiration from each other!! Hope your class on Sunday goes well. God bless your weekend ahead! A hug to you too, Mary

  2. Hello! So happy to see you here today! I also enjoy baking and am so happy to hear you say that you enjoy a cookie or two or a donut for an afternoon snack. I feel the same! And I also feel the same about sugar substitutes. I believe in moderation in all things. Thank you for the recipe too! I always enjoy visiting with you here. Have a cozy weekend!

    1. Hi Billie Jo! Yes.....everything in moderation! : ) I wouldn't be able to give up my sweet treats! Thank you for visiting my post today - I do appreciate your comments. Have a cozy weekend as well. : )

  3. I just can't understand women who say they are "bored" at home. I can't fit in everything I want to do at home! Have you always skipped breakfast? Or have you started intermittent fasting? We've been fighting smthg off and it's been raining a few days every week so we haven't been going for regular walks, so this am I sat in the sun and let my hair dry while I read GLH. It is such a great idea to get all the meal prep done first thing. I used to do that, but now I do it while my son reads to me during school. I'm going to miss that in the near future as he graduates in 2024.

    I love the Miss Read books! I bought one for my mom 30 yrs ago but she didn't like it, so I took it back. It's called Christmas Tales. Been so long since I read it I don't even remember what it was about. Some of the books are kinda boring, but others I really enjoyed. I have 7 that I've grabbed from library sales. I don't think I have the Village School one!

    The donut recipe looks wonderful! I'm going to print out all 3 recipes...but I probably won't get around to trying them for 2 years :) You are right - that is a great verse. So good to "read your thoughts!"

    1. Hi Janine! Nice to hear from you. : ) I'm with you.....I, too, can't fit everything in during the days of homemaking. We used to eat breakfast but in the last couple of years decided on the 16:8 plan (16 hours with no eating, eating twice in the 8-hour window). We like it. Now we need to get into a regular exercise plan. We're not very motivated in that area but know that we need to be!!! How sweet that your son reads to you while preparing meals. Wow! Your son is graduating next year?

      I have a friend, who after reading the 1st Miss Read book, that thought it was boring as well. I'll stick with it though and see. I bought "The Storm in the Village" so hopefully that one will have a bit more to it. : )

      Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!!!! God bless you and your family - hoping you dry out soon! : )

  4. Hello Mary,
    I love hearing about how my fellow home-makers feel about their homes, routines, and doing things that bring contentment. Great photo of kitty btw. ☺️
    When I first saw the Miss Read book, I thought, “Oh, I need to give that a read,” since I’m always looking for a good book series, but I’m not sure this one is for me.
    The donut looks amazing! Thank you for sharing the recipe too. Like you, we are trying to stay away from sugar substitutes. Recently, I’ve given up diet soda, but won’t be switching to regular. Instead, I’m slicing up oranges or other fruit and adding to plain water, and have given up sugar in my coffee and tea.
    I wish I could say I’m feeling craft, but alas I’ve been too occupied clearing and cleaning for the move.
    I absolutely love that verse Mary. It does indeed mean love to me too.m
    Have a wonderful week,
    God bless,

    1. Hi Christine! It's been so interesting hearing about other people's thoughts about the Miss Read books - so far (not just in blogland) everyone has said that they are boring or it's not for them. I do have a feeling that that's how I'm going to feel as well.

      It's so hard for us to give up sugar. We're lessening the amount but can't totally give it up. I love to bake and we adore ice cream on Sundays, so............. : )

      If I was as busy as you, I wouldn't be crafting either!!! First things first!!!! : )

      Thank you for commenting, Christine. Hope all is still going well with your move.
      Blessings to you,