Intro to Homemaking for Real People: Homemaking Series, Part 1

Do you ever look at images on Pinterest or Instagram and ask yourself, “Does she ever do anything besides clean or cook and take pictures of the results?” Or maybe you are more tempted to ask, “Why can’t my house ever look that picture-perfect?” Either way, going down that rabbit hole of comparison is a dangerous path to take, isn’t it? We have to remember that those little pictures are not the whole package. We can only see a small piece of someone else’s life, and what we see may or may not reflect real life.

Why write about homemaking for real people?

The fact is, we are real people with real life situations and real busy schedules. As a result, sometimes our houses are going to be a REAL mess! And that’s okay. We can, however, aim to take control of the mess and find some order and beauty in the ordinary. Over the last 14 years of marriage, and even more so the last 7 years of motherhood, I have been finding ways to make homemaking a priority without sacrificing relationships. After years of swinging from perfectionism to sloth, I am finally able to keep our house in a tolerable state of cleanliness, to have a manageable schedule in most seasons, and to keep healthful food on the table and in the pantry. Thus, the inspiration for this blog series!

What is homemaking for real people?

Homemaking for real people is all about having grace while also getting things done. It is about doing what you can, when you can, to keep a balanced household without killing yourself. This series is for anyone who has a home, whether you are married, single, have kids in the home or not. I will talk a lot about routines and systems we have in place currently, which means they include my husband and our kids. These are things I wish I would have learned how to do a lot earlier on in life so that good habits had been in place before I became a mom. I will also weave in little bits of wisdom regarding our attitudes toward homemaking and having grace with ourselves and those who share our homes.

Topics I will cover in this series are as follows:

Every Monday for the next month, I will be sharing a new post from the list. I would love to hear from you as we go through this series. If you struggle with a specific area of homemaking I didn’t mention above, we could tackle that topic, too. Just leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page. If you have an extra tip to add, please share that with us, too! We can all learn from each other. Join me back here next Monday, and let’s embrace this concept of homemaking for real people together, one real day at a time.

Rhythms and Routines #fiveminutefriday

rhythms and routines

I could go in so many different directions with this week’s “routine” prompt! (Which means I should probably think about doing some posts on related topics!) But I think I’ll stick with why I love rhythms and routines as a non-type A personality and as a mom of young children.

I used to try to create a schedule with times to do specific things during my days. This never, ever, ever, ever worked for me! I could not stick to a schedule for more than one day, if I could even get through that first day at all! So I thought I was just not a person who could organize my days. But then if I just went through days without any direction at all, I felt very disorganized and lost.

Enter: Rhythms and Routines!

For me a routine is more like a rhythm that helps provide a general structure to my days without being rigid or scheduled. I know that I need to do some things during certain parts of my day, but not at specific set times. A routine gives me grace to switch things up if I need to in order to accommodate our ever-changing schedule. But it still gives some direction as to the general outline of each day and keeps things somewhat predictable, both for me and my kids.

And that’s another thing about having a routine… My kids know generally what to expect of each day. They aren’t left guessing about everything because that would leave them feeling uneasy, too.

Rhythms and routines keep us sane and stable while giving us room to be flexible. So if you don’t work well with a schedule, but you know you need structure, give a routine a try. I think you’ll be glad you did!

This post is part of the Five Minute Fridays link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the FMF community and get your free-write on! Find my other Five Minute Fridays posts here

Bathroom Dream Board

Today I was supposed to be able to come here and announce that we had closed on our house in Illinois and also closed that chapter of our lives. In a strange and sudden turn of events, however, that sale completely fell through in less than 24 before we were supposed to close. This means that we also have lost the contract on the house here in Tennessee that we were going to buy. It also means that we have to put the old house back on the market AGAIN and wait for someone who can actually follow through and buy it! To say we are disappointed and confused would be an understatement. It has been a rough day, let me tell ya!

But we are trusting God to take care of us in spite of some financial complications due to this development. And we believe that He has a purpose even in the hard things. So, we will move on and see what He does! Last week I shared some of my inspiration as I was planning the updates on the kitchen and dining area in the would-have-been new house. I had planned to tell you all about the bathroom re-do today. When we got the bad news, I thought at first I would just delete this whole post. But then I decided to go ahead and share my inspiration photos anyway. After all, we won’t be in a rental forever, and I am sure we will have to do some updates whenever and wherever we do buy! I still love these looks, and I still think it is fun to make plans and dream, even if you don’t have a definite end goal in sight. So…without further ado…

Here are a few photos of the looks I like for the bathrooms. Some of these are inspirations for color scheme, others for elements like storage and decor. If you want to see more of my inspiration and the other boards I have for other rooms in our “someday” house, check out my Pinterest boards!

Blesser House Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Makeover
Best Paint Colors for Small Space Decorating
Small Master Bathroom Decor on a Budget
A Builder Grade Bathroom Transformation
Master Bathroom After from 320 Sycamore
Bower Power Blog Office Bathroom Reveal

Kitchen and Dining Dreams and Inspiration

Last week we signed a contract on a house here in Middle Tennessee. We had been looking and researching for a little while, but we weren’t really quite planning to buy so soon. However, the right house in the right location came up, and the price was right, too! So we jumped at the opportunity, and now we are waiting on all the inspections and such, hoping to close sometime before the end of March!

The house is structurally in great condition, but the paint colors and carpet are sorely in need of an update. So my husband and I have been thinking and planning what we want to do to make the house really feel like home. Of course, Pinterest has been a big source of inspiration. And it has helped me organize my ideas room by room. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite looks here on the blog, and maybe I’ll be able to do a before/after post or two when we actually get in the house, too!

The biggest challenge we are going to have is the kitchen and dining area. The walls are currently a bright orange color, and the cabinets are in need of a paint job, as well. We decided that we are going to paint the cabinets white. The appliances are black, and the existing countertops are a nice dark color. We are planning to go with a light gray on the walls, and I think it’s going to look really great.

My kitchen inspiration:


Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover

<a href="https://www.housebyhoff.com/2016/07/my-finished-kitchen/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"></a>

House by Hoff Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Nest for Less Cabinet Makeover Reveal

Nest for Less Cabinet Makeover Reveal

The dining area is open to the kitchen (and the living room), so it will have the same color scheme. The big challenge we have had there is deciding what style of table and chairs we want to get. For the whole 13 years of our marriage, my husband and I have been using free dining table and chairs, mismatched and outdated as they are. It’s been a blessing to have these things, but they are literally on their last legs now and need to be replaced. I think we have settled on a somewhat farmhouse style table and chair set with a wood top and white or whitewashed legs. There is not room in the dining area for any other furniture because it’s a small high traffic area. But I do hope to get a nice big statement piece or create a gallery wall on the large wall opposite the kitchen. There is a lot of light in the dining room because it opens onto the patio via double doors, so I may put some sun-loving houseplants in the corner, too.

My dining area inspiration:


Photo by @bloomingdiyer on Instagram

Photo by @bloomingdiyer on Instagram

Photo by @shegaveitago on Instagram

Photo by @shegaveitago on Instagram

Photo by @bluebarnandcottage on Instagram

Photo by @bluebarnandcottage on Instagram

20 Rustic Home Designs from Good News Architecture

20 Rustic Home Designs from Good News Architecture

So there you have it…some of my favorite photos of kitchen and dining areas that are inspiring me right now! If you enjoyed these, feel free to follow me over on Pinterest where I have more pins and boards dedicated to rooms in our new house.

Grain Free Dutch Baby Pancake (with dairy-free option)

Last fall our breakfasts were getting into a rut. It was a rotation of eggs or oatmeal nearly every day. Everything else sounded like too much time or work when we were all starving and in a hurry to eat. But I was bored. The kids were bored. My husband was probably bored, too, but he is pretty easy-going when it comes to food. Then I heard of the Dutch Baby or German Pancake, and it was just the shot in the arm our breakfast routine needed! At first I was making them using regular gluten-free flour, which was ok. But then we went grain-free for a while, and we all missed our puffy pancake goodness. Finally, I found a variation using coconut flour, and I was hooked. I have since tweaked it enough to make it my own, including making it dairy free so it can be completely paleo! This puffed oven pancake can be enjoyed on its own, but we think the topping options are what really make this breakfast shine! I am including a few of our favorite suggestions at the end of the recipe, but feel free to come up with your own creative ideas!

(Disclaimer: I am NOT a food blogger, nor do I plan on this becoming a foodie blog! I take pretty lousy pictures of food, and I usually don’t make up my own recipes. When I do, I almost always fail to write them down. This is just such a staple breakfast around here that I had to share because we love it so much, bad food photography and all!)

Grain-Free Dutch Baby Puffed Pancake

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. Coconut flour
  • 6 Tbl. Arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 c. Almond milk or other non-dairy milk (cow’s milk will work fine, too, if you can have it!)
  • 8 eggs (farm-fresh pastured preferable, but we use whatever we have)
  • 1-2 tsp. Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbl. Coconut oil, ghee or butter

Directions:

  1. In medium large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Place oil, butter or ghee in 9×13 pan or glass baking dish, and put in oven while preheating to 375 degrees Fahr.
  3. Stir in milk until mixture is smooth, then add in eggs and vanilla, whisking until eggs are fully incorporated and mixture resembles runny pancake batter.
  4. Remove pan with melted butter from oven, and pour batter into hot pan, returning it to the oven.
  5. Bake pancake for 20-25 minutes, until edges rise and are golden brown and center is firm.
  6. Serve warm with favorite fruit or spreadable toppings. Enjoy!


Toppings we love:
Fresh summer berries (with a little powdered sugar if you aren’t avoiding sweets!)
Fried apples (finely chopped apples, sprinkled with cinnamon and sautéed in coconut oil or butter until soft)
Nut butter or sunflower seed butter and jam

Now go bake one for yourself and your family and let me know what you think! Enjoy!