Just a little bit

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Recently I was inspired by an article a friend posted on Facebook about a mother who limits screen time by essentially giving her kids unlimited screen time. It’s all accomplished with a list and once that list is completed they are free to stare at a screen all day long if they like.

The list is comprised of 4 or 5 “must dos” each day such as reading, keeping a tidy room, making one’s bed, homework and to engage in something creative for at least 45 minutes. Her children also have to complete one chore each day. The idea was that through these daily expectations, her kids might get wrapped up in some of the items on the list and that screen time may not even happen at all some days.

I decided to create our own modified version of this approach (with the help of my girls) and for the most part it is working for us. To be honest we don’t spend a ton of time on screens but I thought it might be a good way to encourage team work around the house and to instill a sense of routine and accomplishment each day. I love a good list and my girls seem to as well.

Not long after creating their list I began to ask myself why should this apply to just my girls?

Although I tend to not be the most consistent person in the world, I do appreciate some routine in my life. I have created some daily rituals that I truly appreciate and thought a few more were in order.

And so my own list was created. It’s a short and simple list, just the way I like things. My only rule was to choose things that brought me complete joy.

I have titled my list Just a Little Bit because I have found that if I don’t put any expectations on the items on my list other than to “just do a little bit of…..” , I tend to enjoy them more and find that sometimes I will spend a bit more time doing them than if I had a specific time limit or goal. Even if I only spend just 10 minutes in the garden or knitting just a few rows, it all adds up in the end. A little bit of something can lead to a lot. And with all of the other things that need to fit into a day, doing just a little bit of something feels more achievable and less overwhelming.

Today I set out with the intention of doing just a little bit of weeding. Before I knew it an hour had flown by and I had the entire front garden weed free!

I have been keeping to my list almost every day and even though we went away this past weekend I was able to keep to all but one item since most of them are portable.

I like how all of the items on my list are both enjoyable and lead to an accomplishment of some sort. Although I guess you can argue that all things enjoyable lead to joy and happiness which is a fine sort of accomplishment in my book.

My list is as follows.

Every day try to do just a little bit of…..

Knitting
Reading (a book)
Writing
Playing music (piano and/or ukelele)
Gardening

What are you doing just a little bit of each day?

Side note: My garden is happier than ever this summer!

The holiday weekend

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We had a lovely holiday weekend at home full of festivities, food, fireworks and an outdoor cinema all right in our own backyard.

Not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate our community, our town, our neighborhood and the wonderful traditions we have created around them.

If I won the lottery I wouldn’t change a thing.

I would stay put right where we have so luckily landed.

Life is good.

Weekend fun

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Our weekend has been full of family, friends, food and fun.

On Friday night we hosted our annual Media Five Miler Party. We had loads of fun as usual, so much I didn’t take the time to snap a single photo!

Last night we hosted family to celebrate Father’s day and my Nana’s 91st birthday. The evening ended outdoors with card games on the patio and then down to the ball field to release sky lanterns!

As you can see Chris has been busy building us a new back porch. It is not quite finished so stay tuned for an entire post on that project. We are excited to share with you the many details involved.

In the mean time check out the beautiful Kentucky Coffee Tree table he made for our patio, perfect for card games and a cold G&T! He’s thinking of burning a chess board into it!

Lighting

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I tend to take most of the photos inside my home during the day soaking in the sun light that filters in but last night I looked up to see Hannah drawing lamp-side and had to grab my camera.

After I took the photo I walked around the house to click a few more photos, appreciating the soft light of each room.

Lighting is so very important to me. It sets the mood and tone of a room. I admit that from time to time in the evening I like to cross the street and look into my cozy glowing home.

There are only a few rooms in my house that have overhead lighting, the kitchen, the bathroom and the dining room and all of which are set with dimmers. These rooms also have lamps for the many times I do not want the overhead lights on.

Dimmers are my best friend. Whether I am taking a bath or cooking dinner I can decide how bright or how dim I want the mood to be. There are some in this household who like things a bit brighter than I do which results in the battle of the dimmer. I chuckle sometimes thinking at what the person walking by at night may think as they see the light show inside.

I have quite a collection of lamps in all shapes and sizes, mostly thrifted, some new and even hand made. Chris (the one who prefers bright overhead lighting) sometimes curses me each night as he turns off each lamp before retiring for the evening.

I think I may do a post soon dedicated to all of the lamps in my home. They each have their own story and perform individual roles in my home.

Would you like to see this sort of post?

As summer creeps in

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Life has been busy as the school year comes to a close. Year end recitals, performances, sports games and classes are wrapping up and we are all looking forward to a slower pace as summer creeps closer.

I haven’t picked up my camera much these days but I did snap these four photos a few weeks ago.
I plan to get back to daily photography and more posting here in this space.

P.S. Don’t forget to visit me over at Tend and here too!

A few thrifted treasures

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Because I strive to live by the questions “Do I truly love this? Will it bring me joy?” when out shopping I tend to not buy a whole lot of stuff.

As of late there hasn’t been much that has caught my eye and I have walked out of several thrift stores in the last couple months empty handed, that is, until yesterday.

As far as I’m concerned I hit the jack pot because what I brought home, I absolutely love. Did I need any of it? No. Where any of these things on my “List”? No. But I do adore my new treasures and I did stick a few things in my Goodwill bag to cancel out what I brought in.

There is no guilt in my book if something I bring into my home brings me joy.

:: I actually squealed a little when I spotted a set of those vintage antler candle stick holders. We have quite a collection of antlers in all shapes and sizes around our house all of which were found in the woods by Chris and the girls. These will happily be added to the collection. I just may gift one to my sister for Christmas this year. Shhhhhh!

:: I fell in love with that green glass carafe with the brown leather strapping and stopper. It will look great on the bar with my beginning collection of antique wine bottle coasters.

:: That sweet little studio pottery vase spoke to me. It said “bring me home!” I love it’s shape, pattern and blue hues. It’s new home for now is the mantle.

:: About a year ago I found a shorter version of that same set of hooks where it hangs in the baking area of my kitchen. I love the rustic look of the wood and metal hardware and the hooks swing! This longer one now lives in my bathroom above the tub, perfect for washcloths.

A new storage space

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I love the challenge of living in a small house. Rather than wishing we had more closets and storage we get creative and work at finding ways to utilize our space making life feel a little more efficient incorporating both the practical and beautiful.

Our most recent light bulb moment was the top of our basement steps.

My Pop and Chris had installed bead board in this area when we first moved in but it never got painted and quite honestly was left forgotten as the basement door hid this neglected space.
A few years ago (when our girls were safe from tumbling down the stairs) we removed the door to open things up which actually made the kitchen feel a bit bigger.

The door was left off but the space remained unpainted and under-utilized until recently when I became frustrated with my ever growing cast iron pan collection. We have accumulated an array of second hand pans in all shapes and sizes. They are the workhorses of our kitchen and are used daily. I love the versatility of cast iron, able to go from stove-top to oven. Our favorite pan is the extra large one used for big batches of granola and roasted vegetables. Chris found that pan for only 25 cents at a yard sale! Wishing that I had a space to hang my pans rather than stack them I realized that I did have a place!

Yes, the top of our basement steps would make the perfect pantry for pans but how about a place for hanging tools such as dust pans, brushes and a brooms. And while we are at it, let’s hang a few hooks for extra coats when we host company since our house came without a coat closet. Killing two or even three birds with one stone is how I like to roll in our home.

Once we envisioned our new space we got to work and started with painting the bead board and walls a crisp white. Chris hand forged hooks (made with recycled iron from an old hay rake) that would be sturdy enough to hold the heavy pans.
He also made a light fixture from Kentucky Coffee Tree wood and a ball jar.

I hung a wooden accordion hook on one side for dust pans, brushes and brooms and installed a few hooks on the other side for aprons, coats, spare cutting boards, etc.

A while back my mom had gifted me an antique drawing of a woman selling at market. I could never find quite the right place for her until now.

I love this new space displaying our tools that are both practical and beautiful.

I find that domestic work becomes a bit more enjoyable when your tools are pretty enough to display.

Rather than let them sit until the end of the day, I now eagerly wash up our pans after each use to hang them back on their hand forged hooks in their very own pantry.