Tradition and Simplicity

posted in: homemaker | 4

There were five of us- three wide-eyed girls and two moms- sisters-in-law bound by heart – waiting with bated breath. We were crowded together in the kitchen while the men- my dad, uncle, and older cousin, caught up over apple cider, crackers, and cheese in the living room. My fully Italian Aunt, her shiny black curls pulled back neatly, her apron tied and smoothed primly, was about to unmold the layered Thanksgiving jello. I don’t remember the first year. No, … Read More

Troubleshoot Your Goals: Motives and Habits

posted in: homemaker, productivity | 8

We’re coming up on December, and it will seem inevitable: We must examine how the year went, how we’ve done, how far we’ve come. Most of us will be disappointed. I know I will be. I will see my list of goals, of things I had wanted to do in 2019, and they will not all be crossed off. Some (like weight loss, cough) will have seen no progress. I did not make these goals and then forget them, hoping … Read More

How to Plan with Vocation in Mind

posted in: homemaker | 0

You said yes and now you regret it. If only there were a way to be able to filter requests for your time so that you didn’t feel guilty for saying no or feel overwhelmed because you said yes. Instead, we often teeter-totter our approach. A bout of overcommitment leads us to cut way back – perhaps cutting too much, not investing our time and energy but rather hoarding it. We don’t want to be spread too thin, but we … Read More

Hey, slob. You might be a perfectionist.

posted in: homemaker | 2

It’s paralyzing. Perfectionism. I used to think I was not a perfectionist, because nothing I did was perfect. I was a slob, so how could I be a perfectionist? Then one time I was visiting with my mom, who mentioned that my youngest sister was a perfectionist – like I was. I was bewildered by this casual accusation. Me? A perfectionist? Isn’t that reserved for people who can draw true circles and sew in straight lines and insist on doing … Read More

Start Monday Strong by Taking Sunday Off

posted in: homemaker | 1

Oh, Monday morning woe! Dishes piled in the sink, counters overloaded with random bits, laundry mounting high out of the hampers. Extra gunk on the floor, toys left out, books strewn everywhere. Everywhere I looked, I saw evidence that I was starting the week behind. Everywhere I looked, I saw that I did not spent the weekend as I ought. I clearly did something wrong. I used to think that I had to earn Sunday rest. After all, I couldn’t … Read More

Adding Margin to your Days

posted in: homemaker | 5

What does it mean to add margin to your days? Ah, margin. The two red lines gently guiding you to give more breathing room to your paper. I can see those lines so clearly when it comes to paper and pen- but when it comes to my time, it’s just so easy to fill my page to overflowing. In fact, I rarely consider margin at all when I am planning my week- let alone my meals. Rather, I am usually … Read More

The Pros & Cons of Schedules, Routines, and Winging It

posted in: homemaker, productivity | 0

We’re all starting back to regular routines right about now, and trying to gear ourselves up to stick with the plan as best we can. We’ve probably all tried all three of the options before – schedules, routines, and winging it – and found none of them satisfactory. What should we try next? So often, those first days back, when our good intentions are so strong, something happens: kids get sick, someone breaks an arm, the baby gives up on … Read More

The Magic of Morning & Evening Routines

posted in: homemaker, productivity | 4

My bedroom was a wreck. Again. I might make my bed consistently, but I just can’t keep my room clean. Maybe I should not sigh so much at the children’s bedrooms. Usually, when faced with this situation, I set aside a morning or an afternoon and dig in. I take care of everything and get the room back in order. Then, inevitably, begins the slide all over again. But this time was different. I did not finish the “clean the … Read More

What hospitality taught me about homemaking

Pull out the glasses, set the table, time to get ready for company. Ever noticed that funny feeling where you turn on a different persona, a different ability to handle life, at least momentarily, when you open the door or answer the phone? It shows us our actual ability to exhibit self-control. Too often, our tone and tactics with our kids do not. When we jump on them, pester and harp, then switch it off immediately if someone walks in … Read More

Cook dinner by formula, not recipe

posted in: homemaker | 3

by Tracy Grossmann I think we tend to view people who develop recipes as sitting in a lab, using beakers and grain-measuring tools, precisely doling out the exact amount needed for perfection. If the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon and we fudge it up to 1/2, well, the whole thing might just collapse. In reality, most of our recipes come from a time when people dumped, poured, and stirred in the same ingredients to hone their favorite dishes, learning over … Read More

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