Monday, August 31, 2015

Am I JUST a Housewife?

I've come to the conclusion that I'll probably never work outside the home again. Between my daughter needing me accessible 24/7 (people don't want to hire someone with an unreliable schedule) and my inability to drive 15-20 days out of the month, not to mention no marketable skills (other than writing, of course) or formal education, getting a job doesn't seem like it's in the cards. But is it such a bad thing to be a housewife? Someone asked the question here, but no one really had an answer.

On a good day, I fancy myself Donna Reed or Doris Day. I do my hair and makeup, don a dress and apron, and flutter around my house making it beautiful.
It makes me happy. A clean and organized house makes me happy. My family drooling over what I made for dinner makes me happy. But being happy and making my family happy doesn't exactly pay the bills.
Since the day I stopped working outside the home (daycares don't allow teenagers, regardless of their disabilities) I've felt somewhat guilty that I don't contribute financially to our family. Sure, I sell books and even sometimes make more than a few dollars on my royalty checks, but that doesn't exactly keep a house afloat. But is the guilt rational? Is this something I've been ingrained with because of societal demands? What happened to having respect for those men or women who stayed home and ran the household? Why is it when I tell someone I'm a housewife, I immediately follow it up with "but I'm an author, too", as if being a housewife isn't a good enough "job"?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday's Vintage Videos

For Saturday's post, I decided instead of vintage commercials, why not a couple tutorials? Here are two of my fave YouTubers! ENJOY!

Joan Hollway makeup tutorial (More 60s than usual)

Lisa Freemont Street has some of the greatest vintage hair tutorials on YouTube!

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Virtual Vintage Dream Board

Since I have no desire to rush out and buy poster board, nor sit around cutting pics out of a magazine, what do you say we build a dream board. I guess I'm strange because there won't be some exotic foreign locations or brand new sports cars on my board.

Oh, how I love these dresses, skirts, and shirts! I can't be the only one who instantly feels confidant, sexy, and strong the second I slip this stuff on! Nothing else feels as natural to me as the vintage look!

 I might just have to do some DIY crafts over the winter! How cute are these glasses??!
 So kitschy, but I've always adored the midcentury poodle statues!
 I NEED a kidney shaped coffee table to go with my adorable vintage couch, chair, side tables, and lamp!
These would be so freaking cute hanging over my reading chair in the living room!

This was so fun! I think I might just do this more often! Definitely has my creative juices going! Just imagine how much of this I could make myself!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Adding to my wardrobe, thrift shopping, and zucchini bread

I registered my kids in high school today. My daughter is a sophomore and my youngest son is a...*gasp*...senior. And to answer your question, yes, I totally got emotional! My babies are growing up way too fast! Where in the world did the time go? What happened to filling cartoon character and superhero backpacks full of all those cutesy school supplies? *sigh*

After registering the monkeys and getting the boy's hair cut, we shot over to Wal-Mart. I've been slowly adding to my wardrobe, but frankly, buying true vintage can get quite expensive. Soooo, I've been making my own. (someday I'll post Outfit Of The Day). Here's the pattern I bought today:
I don't really have any circle skirts (although I have a couple dresses with the fuller skirts), so I decided to remedy that! I haven't bought the fabric yet, but I promise to post as soon as I find what I want. I'll probably make a few at one time so I have a good variety.

Now, I should totally be fabric hunting, but instead, I'm utilizing the last of my zucchinis for the summer. (I got sick for over a week and my squash and zucchini plants died since no one was taking care of them!) I currently have loaves 3 and 4 in the oven.

Yep, four loaves of zucchini bread from one zucchini! Once those are cooled I'll make some more and pop them in the freezer. How awesome will it be on cool autumn days or days when the kids and I are snowed in to run out and grab some comfort food straight from our freezer? Of course, I made these loaves wearing one of my sweet aprons. (Man, I really need to start taking some more pics!)

On another note, my mom and I took the kids thrift store shopping for some school clothes (hate buying a whole new wardrobe because it's hot for the first couple months, and my daughter is growing way too fast to buy anything too far in advance!) Check out this sweet dress I got for about $10!

I know the shoes are hideous, but they're all I have other than black flats, black heels, black knee high boots, and tennis shoes! I REALLY need some flats in different colors and some kitten heels!

That's it for today! I LOVE seeing what you've been adding to your wardrobes! Feel free to share you blogs with me so I can go stalk your pages!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Housekeepers Guide To Saving Money On Cleaning Products....

I have never been apologetic about being a "stereotypical" housewife. No, I don't flutter around the house in my dress and heels, but I do make sure my house is as clean as possible for my family. Lately, though, I've been knocked onto the sidelines by an illness that just does not want to go away. Therefore, I've had some time to do some thinking and researching. Wanna know what I've learned so far?

Here goes:

We'll start with things such as cleaning supplies. Do you know the best place to purchase premade cleaning supplies? The Dollar Store! Yeah, any dollar store, Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Store, whatever is near you. Believe it or not, the price of a cleaning agent will not affect the effectiveness of the product! Trust me on that! The dollar stores are also the best place to save money on things such as personal hygiene items, greeting cards, gift bags and gift wrap. I would skip things like vitamins, though. You want to make sure you get the right balance, otherwise, your body will just dispel what it doesn't need and you're right back to wasting money.

Want another way to save on cleaning products? Make your own! Yep, that simple. I prefer to use things such as vinegar, tea tree oil, or even just plain old Dawn or washing soda to clean with. Baking soda is much better for your surfaces than, say, Comet.

Here's a list of my fave homemade cleaning products:

Liquid Laundry Detergent
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha (Zote or Ivory works well, too. Just nothing with moisturizers in it.)
1/2 C Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax

Grate soap and put in a pan. Add 6 C of water and heat until soap melts. Add washing soda and Borax until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 4 C of water and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 C of water and stir. (16 C = 1 gallon). Let sit for 24 hours. Now, the directions say to use 1/2 C per load, but I tend to use more for my kids clothes. Maybe just a full C. I also use baking soda or vinegar for stinky clothes or sheet. BUT NOT BOTH! lol

Dry Laundry Soap
I don't tend to use dry soap because I can NOT get all the crystals to dissolve. But:

8 C Borax
8 C Washing Soda
2 bars grated Fels Naptha
1 C Pyrex Crystals
Several Drops of essential oil. (the smell doesn't stay after the clothes are washed. If you want the clothes to be fragranced with essential oil, but a few drops on a dry cloth and throw it in the dryer with the clothes)

2 Tbsp per load

Add vinegar to towels or soiled sheets

If you line dry your clothes (saves SOOO much money on electricity) use vinegar in the rinse cycle to keep the clothes from getting stiff and crunchy while drying. The smell of the vinegar fades as the clothes dry.

3-1 Household Cleaner
(All purpose, Window/mirror, Air freshener)

1 C White vinegar
2 C water
1 Tbsp dish soap
30 drops of essential oil

I just funnel these ingredients into whatever empty spray bottle I have. I've been using a 409 bottle for years, but you can go purchase a new spray bottle if you'd like and just write or print out a label of what's in the bottle.

I tend to use lavender, orange, or lemon in my cleaning products. But recently I started adding peppermint. Over at Housewife How-To's she said peppermint helps to deter mice, ants, and even roaches. I live in the country and I can tell you the peppermint has definitely helped with the ants! Haven't seen one in months!

Household Disinfecting Wipes (reusable)
Mason jar or some sealable glass jar (wide mouthed)
2 C water (distilled preferably)
1 C white vinegar
Your choice of essential oils. My fave is:
15 drops lavender
5 drops lemon
5 drops Tea Tree oil
cut up squares of fabric of your choice. I cut up an old flannel nightgown, but you can use t-shirts, washcloths, etc.

Just put the squares of fabric in the jar, Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour the cleaner over the cloths. You can just throw the cloth in the wash after each use. No more land fill waste, no more wasted money.

Window Cleaner:
If you're worried about using soap or essential oils on your glass or mirrors just use vinegar and water with a microfiber cloth.

Here are some sites with natural and homemade cleaning products that I love:
Houselogic - This site has a comparison of different laundry detergents and how they worked for her.
Housewife How-To's - She has great money saving tips, cleaning tips (love her book on the 30 days to a clean house), and how to build a schedule among other things!
Keeper of the Home - has a ton of homemade cleaning products, as well as tips on housekeeping, children, cooking, etc.

Do you have a favorite cleaning recipe? I'd love to hear it! Just share it in the comments!