Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cleanliness Next to Godliness

Just to get it out of the way, our house is still up for sale.  I am still cleaning like a mad woman and praying that it would sell so that we can get on with moving already!

Ok, rant over... I did mention cleaning and it has been on my mind a lot lately.  I have been considering the cleaners I use, and what kind of effect they are having on my family.  I do not have a family member that has severe allergies,or asthma, so I have never considered the cleaning products that I use in as far as the health consequences that might come with them.  
Vinegar is my cleaner of choice, just because of smell and cost.  I love the smell and it dissipates quickly, it is inexpensive and you can use it on floors, tile,  counters tubs and toilets.. however I am a Comet girl when it comes to cleaning the toilet.  I just like it, and yep I realize it is hard cleaner.

As far as a cleaning schedule goes, I have a very loose schedule that goes along with my kids chore list.  I have four kids that live at home and they all have chores that they do, and then I do a basic clean.
For example on Monday
 N) Feeds the dog
 A)Cleans bedroom and sweeps it
 M) Tidy basement and vacuum
JR) Bring in recycling boxes and laundry

Everyday they have something new to do. I find it helpful that everyone lends a hand, also it gives them responsibility in the home which they use for their own homes as they move out.

Let's talk about laundry for a minute, ten years ago I found laundry to be the bane of my existence!  I consistently had three or four loads a day, and I was never caught up... seriously never!!

Thankfully my husband is a born organized person, and when I was mature enough to say ' I need help!!'   He gave me some great simple advice, and I no longer have this problem.
Take a load of laundry to the washer, wash and dry, fold  and put away then get the next load.  Do not leave piles of clean laundry to take care of later, finish each load then proceed.  Seriously  great advice and so simple, wish I had let him help me sooner!!

Do you ever make your own laundry soap?  I used to make a huge bucket of soap that worked ok, but not great. Also I had to grate the soap, and cook it.  It seemed like a production, so after the second time I made it, I stopped.  I will say that it lasted a long time and it cleaned just fine.  But I really did dread making it.  I started searching Pinterest to see if there was anything else out there. There are tons of recipes!  Today I used a different recipe  found here  http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/no-grate-homemade-laundry-soap.html

I did change the recipe a bit as I used Ivory dish liquid instead of Dawn as I love the smell of Ivory!
Recipe was quick to make, very inexpensive and I have done two loads of laundry to completion and the soap works beautifully!  And my clothes do smell good... does that matter to everyone or is it just me?  Clean looking clothes are great, but I think clothes should also SMELL clean!

Friday I am going to show some blogging love to some of the great blogs I follow.

Soli deo Gloria

Friday, July 24, 2015

Life in Neutral

I have mentioned many times that we are going to be selling our home so that we can move to a place with more space and in the next five years we can build a home , and NOT have a mortgage !  This is our dream, a way to prep for retirement,to save money so one day we can retire.

We own our own business so we don't have a pension coming form an employer. Now that we are in our 40's , we are thinking more and more about what retirement will look like.

So our house is up for sale, it looks lovely!  Everything is fresh and new... now we need a buyer!  I feel like we are in neutral, just waiting for the next portion of our lives to start... kinda like when you are pregnant,  you find out and then you have 9 whole long months to wait before your little one arrives.  Thats what I feel like our family is waiting for!

Summer is here so I took my younger kids to a small zoo near our home.  I love that the zoo really cares for the animals and you can see the care they take in the size of the pens and the way the animals respond to the visitors and the staff.

My youngest kid loves peacocks and did a great job capturing this beautiful fellow.  The middle picture is  an animal that looks like a combo of a rabbit and a guinea pig, (forget the name), and a wee pot bellied pig loving the watermelon he is eating  Too cute!

This giraffe was staring at me to see if I had any banana or pellets for him... I felt so small next to him, I am only 5 feet tall and he was leaned in so close    Love giraffes, they are so amazing!

I am working on a new embroidery project and will share more on it as I get a bit further along, but for now I am going to go back to work on it! Have a wonderful weekend everyone :)

Soli Deo gloria

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June already?!

I absolutely cannot believe that half of the year is already gone!  Seems like it was too fast and I am excited and nervous about what lay ahead in this year.  We are selling our home, as soon as the renos are complete it goes up for sale, and hopefully it sells super fast.  We are moving an hour north so we can buy land and start a little homestead.  We are going to have to rent a home for a while because we would like to build without a mortgage.  
Anywat , here is some of our everyday stuff here in Ontario.
 This is our vegetable and herb gardens.  I have three types of lettuce, herbs, four types of tomatoes, a pumpkin plant, zucchini, cucs, peas and beans... and raspberries.

I bought this rhubarb at the farmers market.  Wasnt sure what I was going to do with it then, found this DELISH recipe on http://www.jennifermurch.com/2008/10/jigging-for-cake.html   This coffee cake is moist and a perfect blend of cake and fruit... worth the time.  I did exchange one cup of rhubarb for blueberries  and it was lovely!  (  you should check out Jennifers' blog, she is down to earth and very witty!)

                      This is one of the irises in my garden... I simply love the copper colour :)

Lastly, I treated myself to the hoop pack from  dandelyne.com   I love to stitch and haven't in a long time as I had taught myself to crochet and had been focusing on that.  Well, I was inspired by some amazingly talented ladies on Instagram, and I am going make some Christmas gifts using these nifty little hoops :)

Hope you all have  wonderful week!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Homesteading Dreams?

When I was a kid my parents moved us from Toronto out to the boonies... I mean serious boonies.  We lived in a farmhouse on a road where all the families shared one phone line.  Do you remember those?  Our ring was two longs and a short.We shared the line for two years before we each got our own line! Anywho, I liked it until I was about 12.. then it seemed so boring and lonely especially in the summer as all my friends lived in a town.We didn't have animals, just a dog.  I swore I would never live rurally again!! Nope not going to happen... ok so 8 years ago my husband asked me if I would consider moving to a farm  nearby as the house we lived in was 1000 sq ft and there were 7 of us.  So I prayed about it and I felt that yep we were supposed to move. I was apprehensive but I believed I was doing what God wanted me to do , so I went.

The house was very large and we had about 100 acres... I totally loved the experience but the added expenses of living there made us give it up, and move back into a small town after 18 mns.
While at the farm, I discovered that I had always felt that I was book smart but couldn't really learn how to do outdoorsy things, and that this was a lie.  I was quick to learn how to raise chicks (66 meat and layers) and didn't lose one.  I ventured out into turkeys.. and raised beautiful big turkeys.  I did lots of things that I seriously never thought I would ever do, and all the while was so thankful to be there!!

Since then I have wanted my own little homestead.  I didnt know it was called a homestead, I just wanted a piece of land that was ours, that we could grow whatever animals we wanted to feed out family, and a garden and SPACE!! I want my kids to be able to have animals of their own, to sleep outside, and to learn as much as possible about nature.  They are growing older quite a bit now and they only have a little bit of time before they move on to their own lives.  This time is precious!

In February, I asked my husband why we were waiting to go and pursue our dream?  Biggest reason was money... we have all of our connections for our business here, so what are we going to do for work?  Sigh, this is a true statement... well  we decided that we are going for it!!
I have a homesteading binder that has different ideas I want to try, animals and fowl I want to look into.  I love my binder and learned out keeping one from a youtube sight   https://www.youtube.com/user/dirtpatcheaven.

Well thats why we are renovating like mad, and searching  for properties.  I am looking forward to all the hard work and satisfaction  that comes with it!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Long Weekend

I love a long weekend!!  The thought of having an extra day to play, or putter, or sleep in... who wouldn't love an extra day off?!
We have decided to go to a Blue Jays baseball game Monday, a family trip that we now do at least two or three times a year.  My husband and I will also go on dates down to a game once or twice as I enjoy watching the games live.

Spring seems to be a pretty busy time, so I have lots to catch up on.
 My son was invited by a friend to go to prom.  He is 17, and is such a handsome, funny, intelligent person.  I am thankful I was chosen to be his mother and am proud of the strong Christian man he is becoming.

This is my front garden, I have waited months for the snow to finally melt away and to see some green pop up.  I was heartened two weeks ago when I had grass on the lawn and a single brave daffodil braved the still cold temps and bloomed in full glorious yellow!  And now I have spring in my garden, tulips of different shades, hyacinths,violets,and my bleeding heart has returned.  I am especially proud of my flower garden as I have put a lot of effort into restoring what I feel was a lovely garden years ago, but was allowed to go to seed by previous owners.  My rose of Sharon bushes will start to fill out in June and will blossom late July. They are so beautiful that they helped sell the house to me when we first came here 7 yrs ago to look at the property.


Mothers Day was last weekend, and I has a lovely day with my family. My oldest daughter wasn't able to be home, but the rest of the kids, John and I  spent the day going to church in the town we plan on moving to in the summer. We lunched at a sweet little family restaurant with fresh local ingredients (great find), and then as a special treat, a movie in an older theatre.
It was a great day, I felt loved and got to spend it with my favourite people, it doesn't  get better than that!!
                                                                                          Little fountain in a park near the restaurant we went to for lunch.  Yes that is my daughter riding the canon in the background.

                                                   Movie theatre with two screens.

                                                         Flowers from my girls :)

Oh how I wish my phone could capture the colours of my afghan better.  I LOVE the colours I am using, they are a sea and sand kind of feel.  I am making this for our queen sized bed, and hope to have it finished for Christmas.  It is now getting to the awkward, heavy stage just in time for 90 degree weather. Not well planned out perhaps ... but when the creative juices start to flow sometimes I put practicality to the sidelines.

This lovely soft leather loveseat found a home here today.  I found it at a thrift store for, (are you sitting down?)   $35 !!!   I am so excited ,  The  colour  is perfect for me, and the seat is so comfortable!!  Yep, I am in love:)

This is homemade eczema cream for my husband.  I found this excellent recipe on The Elliot Homestead site   http://theelliotthomestead.com/2013/12/homemade-eczema-cream/  It smells really good, and feels cooling to use.  I will let you know how we fare with it.

I took this picture this week while at work.  A gloriously bright sunny day here in Ontario.

Soli Deo gloria

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Happy May

May is here and I can see spring all around me.  If you have never been to Canada in the spring, you should make an effort to visit during May or early June... everything is bursting with life and it smells AMAZING.

As you may have read that we are knee deep in renovation sat our house.  The idea is to renovate, sell, buy land , rent a house and build a home on the property.  So renovations are being done daily... we have 3/4 of the work complete.  We just completed refinishing the hardwood floors, my husband sanded for over 24 hrs, and then we hand stained the floor, then two coats of clear coat. Here is the before and after of our floors.

This one of the bedrooms floors stripped.

Look at this after picture. The colour is rich, and beautiful. So impressed by my husbands abilities!!

We are seriously looking at this property for our little homestead.  It is 9.52 acres, and is wooded, has a lovely little river that runs through it, and there is a large hill at the back of the property.  We are pretty much in love with everything that it offers, and we are apprehensive about the trees, and  bringing in a road... however no property is going to be perfect!

Happy Wednesday !!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Progression of Reno's

We are progressing with the renos in our home.  This week my husband and a friend worked hard on emptying three bedrooms, and painting the ceiling and walls.  Now mu husband is in the middle of sanding the floors, and then staining them.  This is a messy process and  have voted it the hardest job so far.

Since we have emptied the bedrooms we needed somewhere to sleep so these are the pics of our displaced bed in our dining room... and my kids are in the livingroom.  You can only see two beds in the pic but my son has his bed in there as well but he has made his own area behind a room divider.
needless to say, I had a bit of a stressful day Tuesday when we were figuring out where everything was going to go for storage while we worked on the bedrooms

This is a picture that I took while I was at work this week.  I loved the way the clouds looked and  I find that the beauty in nature I see makes me appreciate creator God more. It makes me think of 

Psalm 19

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.[a]
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.

Are you into handy work?  I knit and crochet, and this is my latest wip.  I am making this afghan for my queen size bed.  I still have 30 rows to put on it, but it is taking a long time because of the renos around here.  I love the colours and am looking forward to having it on my bed next winter.                                                                                                                                      
We are moving so we can buy land and build a house in a few years... in the meantime we are looking to rent in a rural location so we can have some animals and a garden.  I am so excited about the adventure that we are about to begin.                                                       
 Yesterday I received a farm and nursery catalogue in the mail, and spent two hours this afternoon searching through it.  I have wanted to have a small orchard, and this catalogue has cemented this for me.  The thought of going out my back door and being able to pick apples,plums, peaches, cherries, grapes, pears, elderberries and bake with them or give them to family and friends, can or preserve them makes me smile!                                     
Would love to hear any advice on starting a small orchard.  Do you have a certain fruit that worked well for you?  Anything you would stay away from?                                                   

Soli deo gloria!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I love this time of year, it feels like the whole of nature is waking up, warming up and embracing the warm weather. And I guess that is exactly what is happening...we are shaking off  winter !
This is a picture of my flowers that are beginning to come out now.  In other countries spring starts so much earlier than here, but in Ontario we are slower to warm up.

When I first took this picture I felt it was so sad, but in reality it tells of nature bursting forth and fulfilling the purpose God has for it.  Nature truly tells of Gods character, He has order and you can see it in the seasons, the sun rise and sun set, migration of birds... creator God is amazing!

This is how I plan my veg and herb garden of the year.  I have 28 different herbs and veg I am going to plant this year.  Everything from tomatoes to basil... I love planting the seeds  and watching the seedling erupt and unfurl.

Before and after of our garage door.  My husband picked the door, put it in, and connected the garage   door opener.  He did an amazing job, the lines are perfect with the widows in the front of the house and I was impressed with the new look of the garage.  Scored some major points with me:)

I am a bath person.  I love to soak at night before bed... I prefer bathing to a shower anyday of the week!  My birthday was last month and I am totally blessed to have a good friend that knows me well.  My friend is talented and has a small home business making soaps and bath products.  This is part of my birthday present, an amazing bath soak  called Forest Floor Soak that smells of the woodsy and is so soothing!!  And my favourite whipped soap is Absinthe, leaves my skin feeling moisturized and smelling faintly of licorice.

On my way grocery shopping then gardening this afternoon..

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trying Something New

After a very busy weekend, I am so glad to be able to sit for a moment and write .  I look forward to connecting with friends on line.   I find writing so relaxing...

So, I have been wanting to try to make my own granola for a long time, but I could never seem to get around to it. This week I finally got it together and I found a recipe on Pinterest that I thought looked promising.

Side note, do you love Pinterest?  I have found so many useful, smart intriguing ideas on Pinterest... I enjoy searching for ideas on there. I have actually found a couple of great  blogs, such as theelliotthomestead.com   This blog is an excellent source of  information, is full of humanity, laughter and is writen beautifully.   Ok, so two side notes:)

Back to granola..  here is the recipe I tried http://www.recipetineats.com/homemade-granola-muesli/
The recipe is easy and yummy... however I found the cooking temp a bit high as mine got brown quickly, so I turned my temp down to 275.   The cost was about $3.60  for two 1L mason jars. 

I love the granola I made and am glad I found the recipe... perhaps I should make a practice of trying out new recipes.  Trying new foods really isnt in my personality but I am trying to venture out.

This picture is what my garage looks like right now  My husband is refacing garage including a new door.  This is a facelift for the front of out house, bring the curb appeal up to scratch.  Hope it will be done this week.

For EAster I dyed these eggs using al natural ingredients from my fridge.  Beet juice, grape juice and vinegar was all I used.  They turned out pretty...

Lastly, we celebrated Easter, my oldest daughter came to visit and we had such a lovely time.  I love having the whole family together.

Happy  Tuesday!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Thursdays are for Reminiscing

I have a job that allows me to think.. a lot.  I spend hours  thinking, planning, wondering, 
praying, deciding, and then rethinking everything all over again because maybe I had missed something. Yep, I have a lot of time.  Thursday is a big day for me because the weekend is coming and with a large family there is always tons to do in on Saturday, as Sunday is a day of rest...

Except this weekend.  Easter weekend means that we have two extra days, more can be accomplished however, we are taking Friday morning and Sunday to reflect on the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Easter... what a total blessing for mankind!!  I feel so privileged to be chosen to know God intimately.

This is a picture taken from the back of our church property. I love that I live in country where is is lawful to go to church and be able to put up a structure during our high holiday to celebrate Christs death and resurrection.  

Easter is also a sign that spring is in the air.  So I picked up these beautiful tulips for our table. I love purple tulips, they are my favourite coloured tulip, and I am so glad you can purchase them as my tulips won't be up for at least another two weeks.

Lastly, I wanted to quickly tell you that I was invited to take part in a delightful French cafe at my daughters school.  My youngest is in an extended French program, and the learn foods, serving of food, food prep and shopping the kids prepared a French menu and invited parents in to the cafe to try out their handy work .  I had a ball, the food was lovely, I chose a fruit salad to start , followed by a small helping of poutine, I finished with tea and a cookie.  My daughter was my server, everything was conducted en francais, and I was  impressed by the entire event.  Have to say that my daughters teacher this year is amazing and I am thrilled that she is in his class.

Here is a picture of my daughters placemat made just for me:)

Have a lovely weekend!