Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

Day 31: Home

I could not think of a better way to end this journey of making a home than this:

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do.
~ Mother Teresa

Go and make your homes, my friends!

Here are all the posts from this month:

Day 1: What is a Home?
Day 2: Make a Plan
Day 3: The smell of home
Day 4: Tackle the monster
Day 5: The Homemade Touch
Day 6: Worth fighting for
Day 7: Live in your home
Day 8: Taz the House
Day 9: Less is more
Day 10: A little William Morris
Day 11: One small thing
Day 12: A very personal touch
Day 13: A safe place
Day 14, 15 & 16: A welcome & the present
Day 17: Safe to be
Day 18: It doesn’t have to be perfect
Day 19: Find inspiration
Day 20: Ignore others
Day 21 & 22: The heart of your home
Day 23: Tackle the master
Day 24: To tomes, with love
Day 25,26 & 27: A message in it’s season
Day 28: A homemaking binder
Day 29: A homemaking binder, pt. II
Day 30: A homemaking binder, pt.III

Day 25, 26 & 27: A message in your season

Sorry I have been absent friends, I have been somewhere without Internet! But I am excited to finish this month & share some of my thoughts with you.

A few days ago I recieved something in the mail I have been eagerly awaiting.

Isn’t it wonderful? This is a message that speaks to me where I am. In my season. I am a stay-at-home mom who can often get caught up in comparision. I have spoken before this topic, and it is still a temptation I must avoid.(Of course, saying goodbye to the Internet is a very helpful step in this process). But even still, I need something reminding me that where I am is where I am meant to be. And I need a challenge to see my now as a place I can cultivate life and beauty.

The grass is greener where you water it.
Beautiful truth.

Just to let you peek into my world, here is the exact state of my kitchen when I took a minute to hang this picture. Why yes, that is the leftovers from making lunch. And yes, it’s almost 3 p.m. as I write this. Why do you ask? 🙂

What about you? Is there a message that speaks to you in this season? It could be a quote, or a verse. You could paint it & frame it. Or write it on your mirror. Or in your journal. But whatever you do, get it in front of yourself often.

Until tomorrow,
~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts

Day 23: Tackle the master

Yesterday I wrote about the heart of your home, and I make the case that it is the master bedroom, rather than the oft-quoted kitchen. Allie left this comment, “oh my gosh… our bedroom is ALWAYS a total mess of clothes and stuff. We often put things in our bedroom that we are not sure where else to put them. Any organization tips or advice on making the master room a place to cherish instead of a place to throw stuff? The furniture, decorations, bed/sheets/pillows are SO inviting, but we just cant seem to keep the whole room to stay inviting”

I thought that this was an excellent question as I will admit to my master bedroom having the same tendency. Especially with little kids – it’s a room I can stick something in and close the door knowing they won’t get into it. All of that being said, however, I do think there are some practical ways you can fight for that space.

1. Realize you are in a war, not a battle
This room is something that, both literally and figuratively, you are going to have to fight for. Spiritually and emotionally it represents your marriage – the oneness, unity, friendship and covenant that are the bedrock for your home. Practically, it’s the space you want to keep beautiful and clean. But both of those things are wars, my friend, not battles. You are in it for the long haul. You can’t expect to do it once & then *tada*, it will remain that way for the rest of your life. (Not gonna lie though, I wish this daily with laundry – why does it always get dirty again??) You know how you have to wash dishes every day or the kitchen will be filthy? Your master bedroom is the same. Take the time to taz it daily – to make the bed and clear the clutter.

2. Start off right
If you have never truly tackled your master bedroom, then the advice I gave above to taz it will seem completely overwhelming. You have to start with an organized room to easily pick it up. So you may need to dedicate yourself to one really good, deep clean to get that room right. Take the afternoon or evening to shut the door and start to wade through all of the clutter you keep in there. Make piles (give away, throw away, put away) so that you don’t leave the room until it’s done.

3. It’s okay to procrastinate
When you are cleaning your room, beware of rabbit trails! So often when I clean a room I get sidetracked by another task. I am putting away the clothes on the dresser when I see an old T-shirt and think “I really need to go through my clothes and get rid of some stuff.” The next thing I know I am knee-deep in stockings and pants – not the original goal. If it helps, bring a notepad in with you so you can jot down ideas of things you want to do in your bedroom in the future.

4. Appearance is everything
Sometimes it can be easy to distract yourself from some of the purposes of your master bedroom as you plan and dream for it. It’s important to be practical so that you can keep this room clutter free. If you usually get ready in here & you try to move all your stuff into a drawer – well, it might just end up right where it started…cluttering your dresser top. So be practical – get a few baskets you can easily dump things in that really help to hide your clutter. Because sometime appearance can be everything. So do you need a new clothes hamper that makes your room look nicer? Or maybe a curtain over your open closet so that you don’t see all the clothes? Take a look at your room to see what might help your room be both useful and beautiful.

I hope this gives you some ideas about how to practically tackle your master bedroom where clutter is concerned. Of course, making your master room beautiful is such a personal thing, but a clutter-free room is important for everyone. Thanks, Allie, for the question. I am actually tazing my own master bedroom today & planning for this room to be my big project for November. Go & make your home today!

~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts

October 21 & 22: The heart of your home

“The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home” – this is a well-known and often-said quote. But I am here to make a case against it. While the kitchen can often be the center of activity in the home, and a wonderful place to gather and find joy, I believe that this is truly the heart of a home:

While this isn’t our master bedroom (what I would do for a view like that!), I do truly believe that this room is the heart of your home. So often we focus our attention and our energy in making the public spaces of our home worthy of others. I know that I myself am guilty of this. But it is our marriages, and our marriage bed, that is truly the place we should be fighting for. Both literally (in the care we take to decorate and care for this room), and figuratively (in the way we make time to talk, dream, laugh and indeed create love). 

So I urge you today to go take a good look at your master bedroom. Is it a peaceful place? Have you invested into your mattress, your sheets? Do you find rest here? Is it beautiful & reflective of the love you are cherishing? If you can, remove anything in it that speaks to work. And please, take the TV out. This room should be made for conversations, laughter and love.

Protect the heart of your home.

~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts

Day 20: Ignore others

Yesterday I talked about finding inspiration. Today, I want to talk about ignoring it.

While the Internet & others can be wonderful sources of ideas and creativity, sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for your home is to ignore others. We can get paralyzed by others opinions, what is the latest fad, and how much we don’t have (or have access to). So sometimes? You need to ignore what the latest trend is, and just do your thing.

My sister, for instance, paints each room in her little house a different shade of bright. And it suits her. She could care less who says what about what colors are “in” – bright makes her happy. Bright rocks her world.

So I say find inspiration but be more than willing to let it go. Or ignore it. Because sometimes, what makes you happy and what suits your home isn’t in the rule books.

~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts

Day 19: Find Inspiration

Good morning internet friends,

As I am on the journey of discovering what I want my home to be, it’s important to me to find inspiration. I am not an artist, so I don’t usually have creative home-beautifying ideas just pouring out of my head. However, especially with the Internet, there are some amazing resources & places to find inspiration.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Pinterest
This is a gorgeous (and addicting) site of pictures that have inspired others. The best thing about it is that it is searchable, so if you are looking for specific ideas you can find them. Beware of comparison though…most of those pictures are homes perfectly staged.

2. Blogs
There are 1 million blogs out there about home decorating, improving and designing. There are blogs that focus on the practical & blogs that focus on the heart of the matter. Here are two of my personal favorites:
The Nester
Ashley Ann (not just homemaking, but lots of good stuff)
Like Mother, Like Daughter (this one focuses more on the heart)
Life in Grace (she has a wonderful 31 Days of Hospitality going on)

3. Real Life
It’s okay to copy your friend’s and relation’s homes 🙂 If you see something you like in the real world, don’t be afraid to try it in your home. Even ask them to help you if they were creative enough to do it on their own. I am about to put this into practice myself. I have a good friend who draped her ceiling with cloth several years ago. I LOVED the look & am about to replicate it in my master bedroom. 🙂 I would have probably never thought of it on my own, but thanks to her creativity, my room is about to become more beautiful.

Go out & be inspired!
~ Melissa

P.S. Tomorrow I will be talking about why you should ignore my advice from today 🙂

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts

Day 17: Safe to be

When I think of what I want my home to be, I think of a place of safety. A few days ago I asked the question, what is your home safe from? What is it safe FOR? 

I want my home to be a place where others find freedom to be who they are. I can clearly remember several years ago when I was trying to tell someone about a poem I had written. This person told me, “Melissa, you are just too deep!”  I was so hurt by that statement. As I think about my own home, I want it to be a safe place – a place where you can never be too much. If you are a deep philosopher – you are safe here. If you are a funny entertainer – you are safe here. Tears are safe here. Laughter is safe here. Silliness is safe here. Silence is safe here. In my home, I want you to have the freedom to be

As I fight for my home to be a safe place in this way, I have to be practical as I think about how. How do I create that place? I LOVE the idea of a sign like this one:

In this home we do…

My husband & I are still working on our “we do’s”, but I love the idea of actually having a way to communicate to everyone (visitors included) what our home stands for & how we keep it safe.

What about you? Is there a way you communicate your home values to others? What are some of the things you “do” in your home?

~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts