7 Quick Takes: Toddlers, Gardens, and Closets

— 1 — I think when people bemoan the “terrible twos,” they are really bemoaning the phase where you must teach a small one about obedience and self-denial, about not being the center of the universe. It just so happens that we do this at 11-18 months instead of at 2 years, so Geneva – 16 months old – is at the “terrible twos” period except without the ability to communicate. She’s often not too happy with life of late, … Read More

7 Quick Takes: First Edition – Simply Convivial

I’m going to try mixing things up a bit and seeing how it works. I want to try out doing 7 Quick Takes on Fridays here at Simply Convivial, and do Pretty Happy Funny Real over at Simple Pantry Cooking on Thursdays. — 1 — Knox turned four this week. As I mentioned in the book club post earlier this week, decorating for birthdays does not come naturally or easily for me. I realized the day before his birthday that … Read More

Summer Term Break Week – Simply Convivial

The Week in Brief Our first term is over and we took a break week, catching up on the housekeeping, putting all the piles back into their places, reshelving the books, and – not planned – having a nasty cold. Even with the cold, and even without the formal lessons, learning and growing still happened. The kids spent more time drawing, reading, riding bikes, and listening to audio books while resting. We went to the park with friends, the kids … Read More

Hidden Art of Homemaking: Clothes as Expression

At first I was a bit disappointed about the directions this chapter could have gone, but didn’t, but as I spent time pondering after putting the book down, I realized just how varied the application of her thoughts could be. Clothes are a personal expression. They are not a perilous moral burden, not a meaningless waste of effort, but an expression of personality and art. Just as Mrs. Schaeffer developed in her first chapters, art is not simply to express … Read More

Project Simplify: That Pesky Closet – Simply Convivial

So last week was Shelves, and I tackled a couple trouble spots. This week is “That Pesky Closet” and I’m glad it’s phrased in the singular. I have multiple pesky closets. In fact, every single bedroom closet in this house could really use an overhaul. But I only got to one: my daughter’s. Before & After: Ilse’s Closet I think this before & after pair needs a little more “before” context: And that was after I had my daughter pick … Read More

Project Simplify: Drawers & Shelves – Simply Convivial

This will be my third year of participating in SimpleMom.net’s Project Simplify. It always provides a little extra motivation to tackle places that have been nagging on me for awhile, and right now I feel like my house is almost entirely made up of places that nag me. The general spaces can get presentable, but all the cupboards and closets and hidden places need so much attention! So I knew I’d have to participate again when I saw Tsh’s announcement … Read More

Review: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – Simply Convivial

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin Publication date: 2012 Date read: January 2013 Source: Personal library My rating (out of 5): ★ ★ ★ I would recommend borrowing it or watching for a cheap second-hand copy (it’s still new, so that’s unlikely). Summary Gretchen Rubin tries her hand at a second Happiness Project, this time focusing on resolutions targeted at … Read More

Professional Amateurs

Over the years I’ve seen and read many perspectives on “professional motherhood.” For a time, considering myself a professional made a lot of sense and appealed to me. Sure, it has some connotation of coldness and calculation, but it also implied that this was my job, and sitting around in my pajamas wasn’t going to cut it. Professional also implies deliberate and intentional duty-fulfillment: a professional shows up even if he doesn’t feel like it. There are a lot of … Read More

Liebster Award: An Excuse for Personal Trivia – Simply Convivial

So, Brandy nominated me – among others – for a Liebster award, which appears to be a “tag, you’re it” award amongst small-time (fewer than 200 subscribers) bloggers who have nothing better to write about. I couldn’t resist. I don’t know why Brandy went with it, though, because she’s writing about why Americans like to own guns. I tell ya, you’re missing out if you don’t read Afterthoughts. Brandy is a total cheater, actually, because her little feedburner chiclet says … Read More

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Vacation! – Simply Convivial

We spent a week at the beach last week! It was lovely! The house we rented (with friends!) did have wifi, and I did check my email once or twice a day, but for the most part it was an internet & technology detox week. As soon as we all got onto the beach on the first day I arrived and I laughed hard at Knox’s reaction to this amazing thing called a beach (it was his first time and … Read More

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