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TEN WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME
1. Buy all your furniture at Ikea, and make sure it matches completely.
2. Trust catalog photos over your own interior design instinct.
3. Never turn on your stove, oven or blender.
4. Paint all your walls white. Flat white.
5. Leave the store display photos in your frames.
6. Two words: vinyl blinds.
7. Don’t let your partner hang his framed poster of “Dogs Playing Poker”.
8. Buy a sofa that your dog can’t nap on.
9. Buy a sofa that your kids can’t nap on.
10. Make dusting your home more important than enjoying your home.
Why yes, yes it is April 1st. :)
Don’t forget to take my survey if you haven’t, and leave a comment at the end of the post to enter the giveaway drawing!
The first time I chose paint for a room was in my early 20′s. I shared a 3-bedroom apartment in Queens with two other actors and a costume designer, and spending $25 on a gallon of paint was quite an investment for this then-starving artist; coming up with another twenty-five bucks if I hated the color would have meant a good week or so on cornflakes, so you’d think I would have chosen conservatively. Ha! Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry to be a day late with my post – jetlag has been more ferocious than expected! I thought it would be nice to ease back into the Nest with a little photo essay of my favorite corners of home. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s a big day! No, I’m not coming home just yet (although tomorrow my remaining days in Korea will drop into the single digits), but some exciting things are happening within my cyber community, and I want to give a shout out!
I check out a couple dozen blogs on a daily or near-daily basis, and Nourishing Days has become a favorite stop. The other day I read an interview on that site with Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen, about the benefits of fermentation and why fermented foods are such an important part of the diet. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I wrote about wanting to dig into the vegetable garden beds behind our garage as soon as I get home. I love those beds; I love dreaming about what will go in them once spring springs; I love sinking my hands into the dirt and hauling bags of manure over them to rejuvenate the soil; I love the promise they hold. Yesterday was no different. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks from today I will be home! Oh friends, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Awaiting me at home is a fiancé to hold tight, a wedding to plan, a house to remodel, a dog to walk, a kitchen to put to constant use, a whole boatload of people to hug and kiss and catch up with over coffee…and a blog to kick into high gear. So much of what I want to write about is theoretical in this moment, Read the rest of this entry »
If you read my recent post about going shampoo-less, you know that I’m learning how to wean my body off of the totally unnecessary body-care products that we are taught to believe we need – and which, by their very use, perpetuate their “necessity”. Tsh Oxenreider’s article explains this vicious cycle even better, and shows that going ‘poo-less isn’t just a hippie fad. It’s a way to reclaim and honor our body’s innate wisdom.
So in that same spirit, the best time to stop using shampoo and all that unnecessary stuff is…um, birth. Read the rest of this entry »
Instead of my usual Friday “Joy Pockets” series, I decided to share a bit more about my week. Those of you who read regularly know that I had a bit of a tough week, and I want to thank you for reaching out and providing your own brand of comfort for me. I could feel the love, people! Read the rest of this entry »
Mrs. Beeton wrote 24 monthly installments in her husband’s publication, The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, between 1859-1861, detailing the upkeep of a household in Victorian England. In 1861 the 24 volumes were published together as a 1,112-page, 900-recipe volume with the full title The Book of Household Management Comprising Information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-Maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and Under House-Maids, Lady’s-Maid, Maid of all Work, Laundry-Maid, Nurse and Nurse-Maid, Monthly Wet and Sick Nurses, etc., etc. — also Sanitary, Medical and Legal Memoranda: with a History of the Origin, Properties, and Uses of all Things Connected with Home Life and Comfort. Read the rest of this entry »
This post has been edited to include two additional laundry recipes!
All right y’all, let’s do laundry. First things first: laundry soap. This one’s as easy as clicking over to SouleMama’s recipe, which is pretty much perfect. Why re-invent the wheel? While you’re over there, take off your coat and stay a while. Amanda Blake Soule is one of the best voices out there for simplicity, creativity, and integrity in family life.
Kid-friendly project: Make stain remover with leftover soap bits. Collect ‘em in a jar until it’s halfway full, then add boiling water and stir or shake until the soap has melted. When it cools it’ll turn into a soapish-jelly sort of awesomeness. Dip in your fingertips, and put a glob on your stain. Let it sit if you can. How cool is that?
Finally, I’m trying to get out of the habit of using dryer sheets because I just don’t like their one-use quality; plus, I read that they have a coating on them that melts in the dryer and coats your clothes, which is what helps with static cling. Hm.
So I looked around, and found out a few things. One: fabric softener helps with static cling. Two: vinegar + baking soda is your homemade fabric softener. Three: flannel cloth rags make great reusable dryer sheets. Put it all together?
HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER + DRYER SHEETS
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup water
a few drops of your favorite essential oil – optional
Mix all ingredients until baking soda is dissolved. Solution can be used in the rinse cycle of your wash as a fabric softener (1/4 cup).
To make dryer sheets: place fabric softener in a wide, shallow dish or plastic bin. Cut up some used-up flannel into squares, and soak in fabric softener. Wring out excess, and let pieces dry completely before first use. Then simply place a flannel piece in the dryer with your load of clothes. Re-use until it doesn’t work anymore – you should be able to get a couple dozen loads from one cloth! When it’s done, just soak it again.
Next week I’ll post three recipes for frugal and natural bathroom cleaning. Does that say “party” to you, or what?
(Bonus click for sewing Nesters! After finishing off our kitchen week, I found this crafty tutorial for making your own re-usable “paper” towels. Seriously clever! You know this will be the first thing off my sewing machine when I get home…exactly five weeks from today. Not that anyone’s counting.)