Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Domestic Diva Tuesday

Laine's Letters

Dear Sisters,
As I work around my house I think of you often and things that I would like to share with you. Things that I have learned to make my homemaking a bit more simpler. So while I am working today, I am finally going to write some of those things down. Here are 25 of them:

1) When you are putting away your dishes, open every drawer and cupboard until the job is done. So much easier than opening and shutting and opening and shutting a drawer or a cupboard.

2) Tape your favorite recipes to the inside of your cupboards. I have my favorite baking recipes inside the cupboard next to where I bake and my favorite stovetop recipes inside that cupboard for easy access.

3) If you need cake flour for a recipe, take out two tablespoons of flour per cup and replace it with two tablespoons of corn starch.

3) Set your table early in the day, if possible. It will just motivate you to cook! And it looks so welcoming to your husband when he comes home. Your children will look on in anticipation as well.

4) Plant lavender by your clothes line. The smell is heavenly as you brush against it hanging out your clothes.

5) Buy some cinnamon carpet powder. I have some sprinkled all over my bedroom carpet awaiting my vacuuming. I don't even mind vacuuming knowing that I can smell that wonderful scent in my bedroom all day. A small pleasure for 99 cents at my local five and dime store.

6) Think hospitality. The LORD might bring someone to your home today. Have one room clean and ready. (Sort of the "parlor idea" so popular way back.) Also the bathroom clean. Those are the two rooms you would probably have to use if you should have a surprise guest. This happened to me recently. The rest of my house was not ready, but I had my living room ready which I led them to and served them in. I was able to focus on my guests and enjoy their company, rather than worrying about my home. Even an outside spot can be ready! Remember Abraham serving the LORD and the angels under a great tree when they unexpectedly arrived one afternoon.

7) Think Christmas all year. My mom just brought over some items she was getting rid of. I didn't need them, but they were perfect for Christmas presents. My budget is very tight, so I shop a little here and there. I put them with the many gifts I have already acquired. It is always my goal to be done Christmas shopping by December and to just enjoy being with my family.

8) Set up a baking center. It is so nice when all your baking items are gathered together in one spot for easy baking. I like to put my ingredients in old fashioned jars which makes cooking even that more delightful. My flour is in old candy jars, the baking powder and baking soda are in old blue mason jars, and my brown sugar is in an apothecary jar with a heavy glass lid. I pick them up here and there at thrift shops or garage sales. I can leave everything out and they go with my decor!

9) Break up the cleaning of your refrigerator by assigning each child a shelf or a section of the door. I get my refrigerator clean pretty fast this way and keep up on it as well.

10) Have beautiful praise music going while you work. Oh, how that helps you to keep your mind on the LORD even while others around you are quite grumpy. Can you tell what I am dealing with right now? Smile.

11) Have a little blackboard put up near your sink. Every time you run out of something, put it on this blackboard. With only a glance I can see what I need when I make out my shopping list.

12) Keep a small notebook near your computer to write down pertinent information. I have a small one that is just for herbal information which I learn as I go. Another is for a prayer list.

13) Keep verses you'd like to memorize on or near your computer. I have in front of me right now: "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the LORD. You know that your work in the LORD is never wasted." 1 Corinthians 15:58b

14) Never leave a room empty handed. Carry something out that shouldn't be there while you are passing through. I get a lot of stretching in this way as I bend down quite a bit. Smile.

15) Keep a little notebook in your kitchen to record those things that you need to do but keep forgetting. This helps my mind be at peace so much. I glance at this notebook several times a day to remind me what needs to be done. I feel peace the moment I write something down knowing now that I will not forget it.

16) Keep a bottle of windex and some paper towels under the sink in your bathroom. Takes only a moment to spray everything down quickly and then wipe it all up. While I have the bottle in my hand I go around spraying every mirror or glass item in the house that needs it.

17) Keep a bottle of windex, some paper towels, a small bag for trash, and a wisk broom in your vehicle. When you are waiting somewhere you can clean your vehicle out in no time. I've done this while waiting at piano lessons.

18) Keep two sponges by your kitchen sink. It is much faster to use both hands while wiping and cleaning than just one hand and one sponge.

19) Wash your cake pans as soon as you remove the cake. So much easier to clean than when dry and crusty.

20) Try a few new recipes every week. This keeps your cooking interesting and gives you something to look forward to try. This week I tried making english muffins, soft pretzels, and an orange bread for the first time. Not all turned out like I had hoped, but the ones that did gave me anticipation and enjoyment.

21) Keep a couple of cookbooks, finance books, and anything else you might want to learn from in your bathroom in a pretty basket. Snatch read when you have the chance. You know you'll be in that room for sure in a day!

22) Cut your coupons and put them right away in your purse. Put the food items together in one bunch and the non-food items together in another bunch for easy access once you are in the market.

23) When you get your tithe ready, put it right away in your Bible. That way you won't forget it and will have it ready when you leave for church.

24) Put all your cleaning supplies in a pretty basket to carry around with you from room to room as you work. Mine are in a pretty rose basket. Even my husband loved this idea. It was my seven year old daughter who thought of it and put it together for me!

25) Invest in some burner covers. My old stove looks clean and bright with these in place.

Have a wonderful day now!


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