More to consider

Hey Everyone!

I have been considering ways to cut expenses, and what I can live without. I have also been greatly contemplating ways to work on saving money, and whether what I am spending money on will help me get to my end game, or hold me back a bit from it.

The life I am working toward and feel called to live is more one of simplicity, away from the city life, where I can raise a family of my own, as well as do more to live off the land, and be much less reliant on having to go to town and to the grocery store for food. I am also interested in cottage businesses, and being able to be sustainable from where I live, and that is more unconventional to how I was raised.

I realize that there are those who thrive in the city, and for whom the city is home, and can’t imagine having to grow and raise their own food. That’s fine, and I am not here to shame anyone for how they live their lives. I have just been disillusioned by living in the city and being dependent on grocery stores, when I can taste the difference between home grown / fresh from a local farm and home canned versus store bought. I also love doing it myself. I get a satisfaction at the end of a day from making homemade jam, or the end of a long day canning, or made a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients.

Now that I have far fewer hours at work, and also haven’t felt well for a while, I want to get to a place of better health, and working hard for the life that I know is right for me. I would much rather go to bed tired at the end of a long day knowing that the hard work I put in that day had a greater good than just earning a little money.

As far as cottage businesses go, the things that have been on my mind have been to sell some of the socks I make (that I don’t keep for myself), as well as handmade soap and candles. I definitely want to learn how to make handmade soap and handmade candles.

I also want to purchase American made when possible (like lodge cast iron skillets), when I need to purchase items.

I can live without having Smith Teamaker tea on a regular basis when Stash tea is plenty good enough, and a fraction of the price. I also don’t need to be shopping at work. I have spent more than enough money at work over the roughly 20 months I have been with the company.

Since the season ended, I am back off coffee. I have also made the decision to not drink alcohol any longer, as well as staying away from soda.

Giving up alcohol is not based on any moral sway, it is based on the fact of cost, and the fact that I am not really a fan of the flavor.

Country at Heart, Living in the City

Hey Everyone!

This past week, we had more snow that had stuck, so my mom had taken a snow day. Between the two of us, I mixed up banana bread and she had made chocolate chip cookies.

Yesterday, after work, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up what I needed to make some more egg white scramble. I picked up pork sausage, egg whites and tomatoes.

Today, after work, I ran errands. This included stopping at IKEA, and looked around a bit, it makes me want my own place again, so bad.

I love how they are able to create a functional small space, that is also homey.

These are just a couple of the set ups that I saw that I really liked. While I would have chosen a grey sofa instead of the floral, and had grey walls in the living room, I like the set up and openness of it. The bedroom looked more rustic, like it could be a cabin in the woods.

Afterward, I continued on and went across to NW Portland, where I went to my favorite tea shop, where I had picked up even more tea. I had ordered a fair amount a couple days ago, and it was delivered today. It is totally worth going over to NW Portland to get my favorite tea. I definitely stocked up, and will have tea to enjoy for a while.

They packaged the box up very nicely.

As crazy as it may sound, if I had a job that I could support myself on, I may get reconsider living in the city, or a city anyway. That is crazy, for anyone who knows me.

Country at Heart, Living in the City

Hey Everyone!

This past week, we had more snow that had stuck, so my mom had taken a snow day. Between the two of us, I mixed up banana bread and she had made chocolate chip cookies.

Yesterday, after work, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up what I needed to make some more egg white scramble. I picked up pork sausage, egg whites and tomatoes.

Today, after work, I ran errands. This included stopping at IKEA, and looked around a bit, it makes me want my own place again, so bad.

I love how they are able to create a functional small space, that is also homey.

These are just a couple of the set ups that I saw that I really liked. While I would have chosen a grey sofa instead of the floral, and had grey walls in the living room, I like the set up and openness of it. The bedroom looked more rustic, like it could be a cabin in the woods.

Afterward, I continued on and went across to NW Portland, where I went to my favorite tea shop, where I had picked up even more tea. I had ordered a fair amount a couple days ago, and it was delivered today. It is totally worth going over to NW Portland to get my favorite tea. I definitely stocked up, and will have tea to enjoy for a while.

They packaged the box up very nicely.

As crazy as it may sound, if I had a job that I could support myself on, I may get reconsider living in the city, or a city anyway. That is crazy, for anyone who knows me.

Preparing For the Ladies Retreat

Hey Everyone!

So, I am going to be attending a ladies retreat this weekend, and I have been slowly preparing for it over the past couple of weeks.

last week I had picked up what I am going to be giving as gifts.

Today I ran errands to pick up the dry goods for what I will be using in part for meals for myself and the food intolerance friendly breakfast I am making for Saturday morning. I am also going to bake up a batch of gluten free vegan muffins Friday morning before I leave, to take with me.

While I did a test run of the gluten free and dairy free egg casserole I am planning on making, I also spent the time to do up the tea and sugar free sweetener bags I am giving as gifts.

I love doing all this crafty Homemaking stuff. I enjoy doing things for others and using all the creative ideas I get to bless others.

Beings that I have food intolerances myself, I can understand and relate to others who also have food intolerances. Being able to cook for myself and others who have food intolerances is a passion of mine, besides loving to cook in general.

Working to make my place a Home

Hey Everyone!

Today I went shopping at the store I work at, to purchase the rest of the Christmas ornaments I have been eyeing for the past week and a half, since we got them in stock.

I started buying the ones I like last week and picked up the last few I liked today. I might as well pick up the cute ones while they are in stock, before the mad rush for Christmas everything happens, and all the ones I like sale out.

Beings that my store is in the same complex as a mall that has a yankee candle store I decided to walk down to the Yankee Candle and at least smell the candles. I found one scent I actually like, which is the apple pumpkin. They were having a sale, the small jars were buy one get one free so I got two of the apple pumpkin candles.

On my way home I had stopped at new seasons and picked up a couple boxes of my favorite Steven Smith tea maker tea – no. 47 Bungalow.

While I am working to live a more minimalistic life, having a few things to make my future house a home. Besides just the fact that I enjoy Homemaking, hospitality has also been on my heart. Whether it is extending friendship and an open door to young women in college who are away from home and need that support system, a listening ear of someone who has already gone through it, and a home cooked meal every so often. Being that someone who helps them make their new home feel like home because they will be there nine months out of the year for at least four years. As well as young women who are through school and starting out on their own, and maybe moved someplace new for work and trying to figure out the whole adult with a job thing. Starting college and new jobs are always hard, and it is even harder when you move someplace new to do that, and pursue your dreams. I have been there, I have been through it. Being able to be there for other young women who are going through similar situations I have been through and be able to open my home to them to help ease the transition is something that is on my heart.

It’s time for Pumpkin

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday after I got home from work I felt like baking. Beings that I didn’t have to work today, I had the time to bake.

Now that autumn is finally here, as well as the fact that I love pumpkin food, and the weather is cool enough to actually warrant baking, I am back in my element. I love cooking and baking.

A couple weekends ago I made split pea soup, and this past weekend I made Chili.

Fall is definitely my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pumpkin scents, pumpkin food, hot tea, the changing colors of leaves, I love the fall colors anyway.

I am actually excited that summer is over, and on to cooler weather.

Stash Tea Haul

Hey Everyone!

This past weekend I had gone out to the stash tea store in Tigard.

Beings that Fall arrived quickly and working a new job where I work at night, having a variety of tea, but caffeinated and decaffeinated / uncaffeinated was critical. I picked up two more boxes of English Breakfast Tea as well as a variety of other teas, including Acai Berry herbal tea, cranberry pomegranate herbal tea, raspberry and white decaf tea, Christmas Eve herbal tea and Christmas Morning black and green tea blend.

Besides the fact that the Stash English Breakfast Tea is my favorite English Breakfast Tea, Stash is also a local company. It is based in Tigard, Oregon which is one of the suburbs of Portland.

I am all for supporting local companies. I like keeping my money in where I live. By buying local I am supporting my community and those who live and work here.

While at the Stash store, I also purchased a hydro flask travel mug, for my tea. While I have several travel mugs, none of them are really insulated. So they would burn my hand while allowing my tea to cool off really fast. I have found in the few days I have had my hydro flask, that I can make myself tea at 10:45 at night (before I go to work) and it is still hot at 6:00 am the next morning. I like having hot tea throughout my shift.

The Art of Homemaking is being Lost

Hey Everyone! 

Where do I begin on this? I am going to just dive in, and hope it makes sense. 

While we, as a society and culture have come a long way in gender equality, there is still a ways to go in closing the pay gap and all that goes along with equal opportunities for women. I am not against equal opportunities for women where we can hold our own with men. 

That being said, the Art of Homemaking has been lost in the process. Growing up, even on the subconscious level, I was taught I could do anything I wanted to, except be a homemaker, that I needed a career and making something of myself besides ever being a stay at home wife and mother, even if that it what I wanted to do. While I want to be able to have my own source of income, and contribute financially or take care of myself financially. 

I grew up learning how to cook from scratch, doing some canning, and preserving of food, as well as knitting from the time I was 10. As a teen, I found it odd that my friends and cohort were off playing video games or other things when I was learning how to cook, because I wanted to. Not all that long ago (2 or 3 generations before me), grew up learning how to cook, keep house and so much more. 

My main point, that I am trying to make is while not all women are supposed to be stay at home wives, mothers or be able to cook a traditional Sunday meal or holiday dinner from scratch on their own (we all aren’t Donna Reed, Julia Child, or Paula Dean), or be the stay at home types, that’s okay. But don’t demonize it for those women who want that kind of lifestyle, and telling young women and girls that they can do anything they want except being a stay at home wife and mother, or really learning any kind of domestic arts is doing them just as much a disservice as telling them they can’t do anything else they set their mind to. 

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize the disinterest I have in being a part of the rat race that is Corporate America. Yes I currently have a job, and I spend 40 hours a week doing work for a large corporation, because I need an income in order to pay the bills I have. 

What have I learned in the almost 11 years that I have been out of high school? I have learned that I love history, especially women’s history and history of the American West. Put the two of them together (especially they way of life women had on the frontier, and living off the land) back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While I know a lot has changed and improved since then (like having indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet), but some things haven’t, like the need for food, heat, and shelter haven’t. 

I am the kind of girl who prefer making things with my own hands, being outdoors and going on adventures. I also enjoys cooking from scratch and having a home of my own to make homey and welcoming. 

Off Grid living and Homesteading have begun to make a resurgence. While I am not one who wants to go the whole 9 yards, I am one who wants to find a balance between living 100% on grid, buying all my food from the mainstream big box grocery store, and not thinking about where my food comes from and what all the processed food is doing to my body. 

Having spent most of my life living in the Pacific Northwest these issues have been around my whole life. Now that I am an adult and have food intolerances and sensitivities, and really just want to know where my food comes from and how it was raised, as well as wanting to use more renewable resources, living a semi off grid life with enough land to grow a garden. I also want to continue being close enough to be able to purchase locally what I can’t grow or it wouldn’t be feasible or cost effective to grow myself, in order to make jams and can others for later. 

Trying to figure out how to turn my passion for homemaking and living a more natural life, while still earning an income to support myself is what I am still trying to figure out. 

Neighborhoods with a Small Town Vibe

Hey Everyone! 

When I started this blog, it was solely dedicated to living Dairy Free and generally Gluten Free, and over time has evolved to include Home, which is everything from homemaking, canning, hopefully one day gardening, home decorating, as well as food as it all ties together and is something that is on my heart. One day I want to be able to have a home of my own, and make it an inviting space for myself, and my friends and family to hang out in. Hospitality has been something that has been on my heart for years. 

Since I have had to go dairy free and avoid gluten for the most part, i have been thankful to live in Portland, where I have multiple New Seasons, Trader Joes, Whole Foods as well as Bob’s Red Mill nearby. We even have a Gluten Free / Vegan bakery here which I found out about at my previous job. Having food intolerances as an adult am has made me want to eat healthier and be healthier. While I have no intention of becoming a part of one of Portland’s natural all the way minorities and joining that entire subculture, in many ways I am glad it is here. It makes my life in terms of finding food I can eat so much easier, and it is easier to find products that have fewer harsh chemicals that are bad for you and such. So they haven’t completely converted me (I still eat meat, know the uses and power of bleach and Lysol, and by my clothes from mainstream stores) I am just more aware and conscious of what I put into my body and on my body. 

Speaking of Portland, yes the big city is still overwhelming at times, and there are definitely times being in the city drives me crazy and makes me long for the small town life I had in College. Thanks to the Urban Growth Boundary, the Metro area hasn’t seen the Urban Sprawl that other large cities have seen. It is easy enough to get out of the city. In the past couple of years my best friend and I have been working on exploring more of the city through new places to hike, places to get tea and hang out. A little over two months ago, my best friend and I had gone for a hike for her birthday then went and found the Smith Tea Tasting Room in NW Portland. That was te first time I had really driven in the heart of the industrialy area of NW Portland to go somewhere. 

There are neighborhoods and communities within the city that remind me of being in a small town, and they make me forget for a time that I am still in the city.