Browsing Category

Homemaking

Forest Table Feast

At Thanksgiving I host my husbands side of the family and since I’ve never been able to afford to purchase all the beautiful settings all at once, I started simple and made it tradition to add one nice thing to the table scape each year.  I hold myself to it and allow myself some room for creativity to come up with the other odds and ends as I go…  This year I was able to add some gorgeous glasses to the setting.  I love a little lux and lavish for Thanksgiving, but I’m also typically very simple and drawn to natural elements so to keep things toned down I went on a nature outing with the kids and found some greenery to tie into the look.  Bringing the outdoors in is always my go to just because it pleases all the senses so well.  The sight, smell, and feel of the real deal is so priceless and invited on a budget any day!  Hope this gives you a fresh idea and some inspiration for your next feast!

live for the most, 

xx

That Homemade Touch… What Kind Of Artisan Are You?

Take a minute to close your eyes and walk through the best home you’ve ever had the pleasure of stepping foot in.  What did it smell like?  How did it make you feel?  Why did you love it?  

If you put any time into this at all congratulations!  You’ve given yourself the warm and fuzzies!  Most importantly though, you’ve realized that the place you love the most wasn’t an empty shell from a high end magazine article.  Rather, it was a place with lots of character, depth, and soul.  A place that had warmth because of it’s imperfections in all of it’s hand spun glory.  

The more I get into design and use my eye to look at what draws me in, the more I see original creations.  When I scour pinterest looking for style ideas, the images I adore are the ones that aren’t cookie cutter.  They are the ones with significance and some type of craftsmanship.  Whether it’s a custom tile shower, or an arched wooden entrance; a unique chandelier, or a hodge podge of artisan layered rugs.  I notice that homemade touch.  

The best places have a little something that makes things interesting.  That tells some kind of story about the history and background.  

As I’ve begun homeschooling my children I’ve been introduced to handcrafts.  Handcrafts are a skill you develop yourself at using your hands to create something useful or of value.  Handcrafts have many positive benefits outside of producing an end result, but the obvious is the art of making something and getting better at it as you practice.  Handcrafts date back to a time when people developed themselves at a trade and made their living from what their said skill was.  It is the art of artisanship.  

Once I made this connection with handcraft, I fell in love with it!  I use to think of crafting as busy and meaningless work, like knitting for example.  Something that bored me and seemed to simply pass time with no real grand product.  That was just my perspective though because I didn’t enjoy the craft of knitting and didn’t have much use for its end product.  What I’ve learned is you have to find your own handcraft.  You have to figure out what end product you appreciate!  It could be woodworking, jewelry making, sign painting… the list goes on forever!  What is enjoyeable specifically to you!  What would make you feel alive and happy making?  What could you be proud of and satisfied with?  What is your special trade?

It may take some time to play around with ideas and figure out, but start with something your unsatisfied with in your own home.  What is something you haven’t found the right fit for?  It doesn’t even have to be a household object?  Maybe it’s something you wear, or use?  What could you try to make to suit a need that isn’t being met?   

In our home, I started in the children’s rooms.  Since my hope is to introduce them to the idea behind handcraft and get them strewing about what they might like to create and develop artistically, I wanted to make something meaningful and noticeable to them, something they’d appreciate to get them thinking on the kind of things that they appreciate!  

Dakota’s room has been shifting from little girl to big girl, so we decided to take down her fancy princess canopy and make something unique to her that could hang above her bed.    Since she loves nature we found some driftwood on our creek bank and we tried our hand at creating a homemade mobile that adds a more natural character to her room.  

The boys were more focused on something they could use and keep in their room.  They decided they wanted to own pocket knives and learn how to be handy with them.  They have begun practicing the rules and care of knives along with some whittling basics.   

Hopefully, you will put some thought into what you might create by hand for your home.  Who knows, maybe you will even discover a gift or idea worth developing and selling!

What kind of artisan are you?

 xx kc

 

Life Skills Worth Learning… Will Our Kids Be Capable?

I know it’s early, my kids are still quite young, but I believe it’s never too soon to start training them for how to thrive in life.  As adults we know life’s not a box of chocolates and there’s a lot of learning left to do.  Most of us feel the gaps we each face and try to overcome our learning curves as best we can.  We are all inept in one way or another…  I mean after all, life’s a journey right?  We have to figure it out as we go!

 Although I’m an advocate for this obvious aspect, I also feel its good to cover the basics well in effort to set our children up to build a strong foundation and momentum in life.  I hope to foster good habits that will get them through when the tough times come.  Because no doubt they’ll come.  

If my kids have practice in life skills and confidence in their capabilities then all the better!  I think I will be able to rest my head at night.  Essentially this is our ultimate goal as parents in order to raise capable and competent children who can and will succeed without us.  If I am able to do this, I will be happy.  

It simply takes some time and attention, which is what we’re so often lacking.  As I’ve started recognizing this as an area I needed to give more attention towards, I found some things that worked.  For us, homeschool has been a helpful tool in regards to giving more “time” to practicing life skills and positive daily disciplines.  However, all families can accomplish the goals they desire if they focus hard.  

Here are some ways to approach getting your family and children started with good habits and positive lifeskills…

  • Discuss with your spouse about things you are glad you know how to do and the things you wish you would have known better about.  Get on the same page with open eyes and ears to see where your work needs to happen.
  • Be real with how you model these concepts for your kids… I would say some things need mastered before teaching, but the truth is they don’t.  Your kids can learn an awful lot by watching you get better in a life skill goal of your own.  We have been working to be debt free for a while now and it’s funny to hear our kids talk about money now.  Kind of embarrassing actually!  Kids say the darnedest things!! 
  • Make it a priority to make time to work on a said skill with your children.  This shouldn’t be another to do list for you but more a mindset to take advantage of the small opportunities.  For example, I take my kids to work in the concession stand with me at our local ball park when we have duty so they get exposure to counting money and customer service.  Another thing I’ve begun to  encourage them in is making their own breakfast.  I want them to become comfortable and independent in the kitchen, as well as develop an appreciate for food preparation.  I partner with them a little as needed, but only to fill a gap that they are a new at.  This was an opportunity I saw fit with our new routine of homeschooling.  
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.  Focus on your own family culture.  This will take work and time, but it will be fruitful to the benefit of your unique life, children, and skills you hope to have success at.

Here’s to raising the next generation!

xx kc 

 

 

Bunks + Blue Part II … The Boys’ Room

The boys room has been such a challenge for me!  I can’t put my finger on why, but it just has been.  Not to mention every little detail that could wrong has.  Arghhh!  Haha.  It’s been a project that should have taken 1 month, but has somehow lasted 6!  There are still a few tweaks I will be working on fixing… However, I’m persevering and getting through it.  It’s finally coming together and it feels good.  When you stay diligent and keep yourself accountable on projects gosh it’s so worth it.  

The boys are enjoying being in this space more than ever and I feel that it’s just one step closer for me creatively as well.  It really epitomizes them and fosters their strengths and interests so I’m happy with this inspiring new atmosphere we all have.  I was also able to keep it very neutral in hopes that it will be versatile to adjustments as they grow! Yay.  

Here’s a look at the new update…  Hope this gets your creative juices flowing with some ideas you can adapt in your own space somehow! – xx, kc 

 

 

 

 

A Tip That Minds Mealtime

Our son has had a lot of health issues and sickness since he was young and we’ve battled back and forth with it being contributed to his diet.  Since nutrition and wellness is such an overwhelming topic to face we’ve tried to pace ourselves and cast a vision of better overall health and more mindfulness as we journey along.  We feel that the slow and healthy changes result in longer lasting lifestyle changes for our family as a whole.  We are also learning together as we go along.  

I wanted to share the one biggest and best thing I’ve done this year that has made an impact on how we look at the food we eat.  It’s something that I thought of doing actually in hopes of organizing my pantry better but it has had multiple benefits!  

I have organized our food in order of the food pyramid.  It’s a simple thing to think about honestly, but it helps clearly visualize what your eating (or not eating).  I just googled the pyramid one day to see the accurate serving amounts we should take in and I make it a goal to achieve those and let that guide our meals.  

I place the fats/oils/spices/condiments at the top of the fridge or cabinet, then the dairy and proteins, fruits, veggies, and grains on down in that order.  With everything in it’s place it’s very clear to see what I’m buying the most and the least of as well as what we are consuming.  It is a simple trick that has developed our habits for the better!  When at the store it helps me also to stay on the outer edge for most purchases because that is where the freshest food is located.  As you linger to the isles you start collecting things that you shouldn’t be 😉  

We also try to only drink water at home and not keep any other drinks on hand.  We get enough opportunity to buy drinks out and about so that helps us with our water intake.  We do buy milk for cereals and such as well as orange juice for breakfast.  

This has just been an easy way to keep us focused and assess our progress and/or failures in order to make improvements as needed.  

Hope it’s helpful to you as well!  

kc – xx

Citronella Summer… Keep The Bugs Away From Your Backyard


Summer is on us and the bugs are breaking out!  It’s all fun and games when you’re catching fireflies in your mason jar, but what about those pesky mosquitos that won’t let you enjoy your play?  Well I’ve learned to invest in insect repellent.  It makes those summer night’s in the backyard so much better!

This month I’ve been focusing on the backyard and making it more get together friendly.  My goal is to have twinkly lights and a fire pit area with picnic tables and a grill ready guy;)  Surely I can make most of those things happen right?  I want it to be super easy and low maintenance so I can focus more on the gathering than the preparation of it.

I’ve been trying to decide on easy perennials and a great spot for a vegetable and flower garden as well.  Gosh it’s so easy to dream about landscaping and yard ideas, but it’s much harder to follow through on those dreams.  It takes a lot of work to care for outdoor property.  So whether you have lots of land or a small little spot, keep it simple and remember what will make those outdoor moments matter.

I love these citronella candles and other pest free essentials from Terrain.  They get the job done while also looking nice and weathering the outdoors…

live for the most,

kc xx

 

 

5 Quotes That Keep You Caring

This weekend one of my sweet friends brought me over an aloe vera plant while I was away from home and when I returned there it was sitting on the back porch… nothing attached.  Just a plastic pot with gorgeous greenery growing from it.  You know what made it so special?  I had mentioned to her sometime in the past weeks how much I loved real aloe and how nice it’d be to have one of my own this summer.

It was love at first site.  I saw it sitting there as I pulled in and I’m sure my smile lit up the whole driveway.  The little things can sure matter and the ways we listen can open lots of doors.

It stopped me and made me slow down and ponder in a time I really needed it.  I had been getting distracted with lots of noise lately and it was a gentle reminder to me that sometimes all we need to do is listen.

This act of thoughtfulness made me reflect on much more than how thankful I was for the plant and the kindness, but it made me remember to stop and listen in my everyday interactions.  

When things get fuzzy with your self, or your kiddos, or you hubs, and in your home recognize that the moment deserves a listen.  Sometimes we get too busy talking out loud and we just need to calm down and listen.  We forget to let others talk too.  

It feels really nice to be heard, but try being the one lending the ear instead of the voice.  You’ll find many things work themselves out in those moments of stillness.

– here are 5 quotes that inspire caring –

Without a sense of caring there can be no sense of community.

– D’ Angelo

 

The capacity to care is what gives life it’s most deepest significance.

– Casals

 

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

– Covey

 

I like to listen, I have learned a great deal from listening carefully, most people never listen

– Hemingway

 

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.  Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

–  Churchill 

 

Live for the Most,

KC

How to own your day…3 things your work space needs to get with it!

My husband and I built our home a few years ago and we didn’t think about having our “own” spaces…  Neither of us necessarily work from home so it just didn’t cross our minds.  However, as we’ve learned through this season of our life…(wild ones running everywhere) it’s important to have a place of our own to collect your thoughts and realign our minds.  

I used to think that was our bedroom, but the bedroom for us, has become more of a relaxing space to unwind.  We decided we both thrive when we have a space of our own that winds us up.  That get’s us going.  That stirs our heart.  For us it’s about having a place to keep us focused on our purpose, our goals, and our perspective.  A place to inspire our days and build our motivation and momentum.

I’ve been working this month on curating our spaces to fit our needs and fill us up.  I’m sure we will continually make adjustments but we both agree that having these three things in front of us everyday remind us of why we do what we do and they keep us moving forward with focus.

  • a word, mission, and goals board

we choose a word for the year as a center and guide, a mission for our life (our why, how, and what), and goals for personal, family and others in our life. We post these where we can see them daily. 

  • a daily rhythm/schedule, calendar, or planner board

I like to have some type of outline in front of me at all times of what the plan looks like.  I geek out on this stuff and go overboard, Jared makes fun of me!  You can have all three of these or even just one, but remember… “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

  • inspiration board… books, quotes, photos, hobbies, & interests.

This is really any type of inspiration in the room to use or decorate with.  For me it’s my bible and scripture, great quotes, pics of family, my camera, and any educational, self help, or travel/style resources

For Jared it’s more like his bible, favorite books about finances, history, and geography.  His hunting and fishing gear.  Photos of his loved ones and famous quotes that intrigue and inspire him.  

With these things visible and available to you each day, it’s hard to not find motivation and a reason to push forward toward your dreams and calling.  Start taking ownership of your day by first taking ownership of your thoughts and surroundings.  Put together a creative space where you can draw near to what matters.  

live for the most, 

kc

Gifts..

For the last year Jared and I have been focusing a lot on our finances and stewarding our money better.  It’s been on our hearts to be good managers of our money and not have any debt.  That being said I have had to learn to budget.  It’s been a long process and I’m still not great at it, but I’ve definitely come a long way from where I began.

One thing that I’ve learned through this process of managing our finances and household purchases it that it’s insane the amount of gifts we have to purchase!  It surprises me each month to sit down and look at how many gifts need purchased for various people and events.  

Please don’t read me wrong, I love to give gifts, I’m just making the point that there is a lot of gift giving for one to consider when managing a household’s responsibities.  With that comes a lot of decision making and I am a busy mom with tons of decisions to make daily so shopping around for various gifts and/or just the right gift within our budget was just something that kept wearing me out and leaving me frustrated.  

I recognized that it wasn’t a good use of my time and decided to eliminate the stress of gifting from my life during this busy season and just give cash.  It was extremely difficult for me to let go of wanting to be thoughtful and search for that perfect thing for someone because we all want to be caring and show someone we love them with a token of our affection.  Since doing this however, I’ve relieved added worry that was uneeded and no one has complained.  People, even kids love to receive cash!  I mean come on, who doesn’t have a wish list of things they want but need money for.  

This way I am still prioritizing gifts, giving people something valuable, and making it easy and useful for everyone involved.  

Another tip is to buy some blank cards in bulk so you can always have them handy to slip the money in and be ready to go!  It’s a much cheaper way to go too!  I tend to like it better even because it allows me to personalize each person’s occasion with a special message.

Who would have thought something this simple was worthy of a post?  Hope this idea was helpful in your homemaking journey!

PS… I don’t use this strategy with immediate family like my hubs and kiddos, we still do personalized gifts for one’s under our roof;)

Gathering Life + Love

Why do we anticipate special occasions so much?  Is it the part of planning all the pretty details, or tasting the delicious dishes, or the hand me down traditions.  I don’t think so.  Although that stuff is fun to look forward to,  I believe what makes occasions special is that we’re joining together life and love.  

People gathering face to face to spend quality time engaged with one another creates life and love.  When holidays approach we get reminded of all the memories past and we usually have that warm and fuzzy feeling.  It’s because that’s the magic of fellowship.

 What memories will be created this season of celebration when you gather?  Is there something special you can bring to the table?  Will you gather to love and celebrate life?

Live for the Most, 

Kc