After a spending spree at JoAnne’s last week, I’ve settled back into a more frugal lifestyle…sort of.
It’s my birthday month, that is one way I’m justifying the spending. I want my home just as cozy and pleasing as ever since we really, really live here. That is my other way of justifying things.
It is true, most homes in America, and I’m sure globally, are empty most of the week as many people are out working hard. Joette, the boys and I are home all day when we aren’t at the library, the grocery store, or running errands. We live here with a full and robust way of life. We are often in the kitchen rolling out tortillas or kneading dough or out in the backyard with the chickens and in the gardens weeding and planting. The boys are either building forts, riding bikes outside, putting together puzzles, or in their little pool or sandbox.
Since we spend so much time at home and in the back yard, I have made this house as cozy and comfortable for everyone that I can. I love a sweet little cottage and lately, I have spent some money on items such as our holiday and seasonal flags that I hang outside on our front porch. I have wanted one of those for so long and I write about them in my books. I find nothing more charming than a porch with chimes, plants and flowers, and a welcome flag that is changed to ring in the seasons and holidays. So far I have my Autumn flag, a Christmas flag, and an American flag. My Autumn flag is waving joyfully now.
I love the Lakeside Catalog. It arrives quarterly and I so enjoy thumbing through it and dreaming of all the items I would love for this house. I recently purchased some flameless candles for the kitchen and bathroom for at night since Joette and Bali seem to be up at night foraging for food in the frig or endless trips to the bathroom.
These are very warm and I can smell winter when I see them glowing in the dark.
I have been loving the Taste of Home recipes and ordered an annual book. I would rather not have a magazine coming monthly as they just wind up in a pile making clutter and then recycled. I do love the recipes in their magazines because they are down home, simple, and delicious. I found that I could just get a year worth of the magazine recipes collected in one book and if I purchased this book from a couple years back I save $14 with the cost being only $10 instead of $24.
The other little hobby I’ve had lately is building my personal library back up. We have moved so often that over the years, even before I married, I have given away boxes and crates of good books. I love books and I find a house with a small library to be very inviting. Last year I had been doing a lot of decluttering and more books went away. However, these were books that had been given to me and held not interest. They were truly boring clutter.
I found that the library here has a book sale the first Saturday of each month and sells books for .25 cents! I found all sorts of great books, some I had lost and given away and missed terribly. My aunt then brought me a box of books during her visit and now I have shelves loaded with some great reads.
My next mission is making more kitchen towels. We don’t use paper towels or napkins and therefore we go through towels like crazy. Bali’s work has a laundry service for their cleaning towels but sometimes they just get rid of bags of perfectly good towels. I had him bring a stack home and with some dyes Arjan chose we will dye them bright colors for our bright kitchen. I have 20 new towels now for a couple dollars worth of dye.
Another thing that makes a home yummy is the smells. The really inexpensive way is to put cloves and cinnamon sticks in a little pot to simmer on the stove. It fills the whole house with a wonderful and holiday smell. If you have a little money you can buy scented wax pots and the scented wax is so cheap.
I had to get a chicken one of course. I used to use plug ins but I found the smell to be too strong and chemical. The artificial scents aren’t really that good for anyone to breathe. The wax is easy on the nose and gives off an even scent.
A stocked pantry is another cozy home to do. We have been working on having a well-stocked kitchen since we do so much cooking and fall is in the air. I am not much for going out in the winter storms with little ones and an elderly. It’s a good idea that we have pantries loaded so we can cook from supplies. One day I hope to do my own canning from my gardens.