Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A cool and cozy home

I appreciated the comments about my house looking "warm and cozy". This past week I've been striving for COOL and cozy. When I talked to Stephanie yesterday, she said people in New England are having a difficult time with the 98 degree temperatures. While our part of the country doesn't usually get as hot as say... Texas... it can become hot and humid enough to be uncomfortable throughout the Summer. So I'm all about cooling off these days.

Last night I was sharing the sofa with Sasha and reading the last couple of chapters of Beautiful in God's Eyes; The Treasures of the Proverbs 31 Woman (by Elizabeth George). It has been on my current reading list on the side bar now for quite awhile. This is probably the third time I've read it and I tend to pick it up when I have a short amount of time to read. Her books are great for such times as each chapter can be read and pondered individually. Except for her original A Woman After God's Own Heart, this is my favorite E. George book. She talks a lot about the importance of making a home "cool and cozy" and Christ centered.

The only challenge I have with her books is her teaching that we need to be working all the time. As one who is genetically disposed to sit and ponder once in awhile, I do not fall into that Energizer Bunny category. She has got to be a first born girl with a "Type A" personality, hehehe. I just overlook that part of each book and take it for what it is worth to me, I understand what she is saying... don't be lazy!

As I read, I looked around my living room/dining room area. I once again realized how truly beautiful it is (at least to me). No other area in the whole world (except my vintage kitchen) more reflects my personality, nowhere else do I feel as secure. I am so thankful for Steph & J.'s generosity that allowed us not only to take the trip to Lancaster but to bring home a few small items which add to the beauty and memories.

I have one more "souvenir of the trip" coming to me at Christmas. Stephanie purchased a framed reproduction of a child's needlework for me at one of the last stores we visited. She said she knew I'd forget about it by Christmas so it would be a surprise. She knows me well, I already forgot what the words were. :)

I encourage you today to do one thing that will bring order and beauty to your home. I have a box of papers I need to go through, most of which can be thrown away. It still surprises me how much can be accomplished by just doing a little at a time. One good thing about decluttering, it doesn't cost us anything except time (and perhaps a couple trash bags!). When finished, it is always a good feeling to have a clean canvas which our treasures can show up better. I don't know about you but when my house gets messy, I don't notice the flowers on the table or the shine of silver and teacups.

I have the butter coming to room temperature and a few recipes to look over, deciding what to bake this morning for the freezer. I already know I'll be baking muffins for the guys to snack on but I'm not certain what will be baked for the freezer. Probably some cookies as I plan to serve a variety of them for the open house. I also need to get outside before it gets too hot to do a little lawn and garden work.

My reward this afternoon... I'm pulling out my files of Laine's Letters to read through and find some good frugal living ideas. I started receiving her letters many years ago, when she was still sending out two or three each week. I printed them out immediately and read them when I had a quiet moment.

They are full of frugal treasures and one gets to feel Laine lived next door. If you click on the picture, it will take you to her "In My Home This Week" archives. Just start with the first one and go through... they are full of frugal ideas. By clicking on the notepad, you will find yourself in her "Letters" archives. You can begin by reading the first letter and going on from there or by clicking on a subject you'd be interested in reading about. It would be well worth your time and printer ink to print out a few at a time, brewing a cup of tea (cold tea?), and reading these letters from a true Proverbs 31 woman. I love her honesty, the fact she also has to work "just a little at a time", and how she shares what she has learned as she was on the path to becoming more frugal.

I'll be posting some of my favorite money saving recipes on the recipe blog soon. In the meantime, click on the recipe box at Laine's Letters where she has lots of very yummy and low cost recipes.

Now, I had better get to work before it gets too hot in the kitchen!

Picture: Shady Patio;


Kim said...

I love to pull out my old file folder of Laine's Letters also...I always "find" something new! Blessings, Kim

BTW...still impatiently waiting for pantry pics as well as any other books recommendations!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Thank you for the link to Laine's Letters. I will definitely bookmark her and get back to reading those ideas.

You'd be so proud of me, Brenda! I cleaned out a closet and turned it into a spare pantry and have it filled with so many things. A friend brought me three bags of sugar...three! And all kinds of canned goods. Yippee!

Stay cool! It is terribly warm here in New England as your daughter says. It's the sudden switch that always gets us.

Manuela said...

It's been a long time since I've read Laine's Letters! Thanks for the reminder about them. You're so right that decluttering doesn't cost you a thing and has a big impact. I think I'll do my desk today. I have so many recipes to file away and receipts to put away and the budget needs adjusting.


Barbara said...

Isn't it amazing that such a small thing like going through a box of papers can make all the difference. I keep thinking I will deal with the stuff and not let the pile build up but that is wishful thinking.

cheri said...

Then I'm not the only one who printed out all of Laine's letters?

Inspirational stuff!

Thanks again, Brenda for the reminder.

Arden said...

We have gone through a massive decluttering. Through the whole house but mostly the bedrooms. My 4 and 6 yo's have a newly painted room and limited toys neatly placed in containers. I can't keep them out of there. Even children appreciate how inviting a clean, uncluttered space is.

Anonymous said...

I have a whole binder full of Laine's letters and articles. I think I may need a 2nd one. :)

I found Laine's Letters during a very difficult time in my life. She's a wonderful lady and I surely wish I could have found her a bit earlier in my life.