Living a simple life in a cottage by the sea.

Feb 24, 2013

Yes, I'm Dreaming of Spring

You love the roses... so do I. I wish the sky would rain down roses, as they rain from off the shaken bush. Why will it not? Then all the valley would be pink and white and soft to tread on. They would fall as light as feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be like sleeping and like waking, all at once!
    ~ George Eliot

Well, we've had a pretty rainy weekend here.  It's great for the garden, but it tries my nerves, I can only take a day or two of gloomy weather.  The Azaelas are starting to bloom ~ I know Spring can't be far behind.

You never know what you may find at the thrift store. I came across this Christian Dior pale pink slip for $1.29. Soooo pretty, but it's too big, so I'm trying to decide if I should cut off the lace to use for something else or try to resize the slip to fit. I just hate the thought of cutting up something so "designer." I'm really not into labels (but I will admit some of the better made items I've thrifted are from Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne and Banana Rebuplic). But wow a Dior? I don't think I'll come across another one again.

I also found this nice little linen skirt (you know I'm a sucker for white skirts) and I remade the jacket from another thrifted top that I dyed pink and cut off part of the bottom and added the ruffles. My take on Magnolia Pearl. HaHa.

Feb 21, 2013

For Mom

Seven years ago I lost my Mom to kidney disease.  Six months earlier we had our home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  That was by far the most devastating time of my life.   We have since rebuilt our home and lives (it takes a long time to recover from a hurricane), but of course things are never quite the same after you lose a parent.
My Mom loved pink roses
If Roses Grow in Heaven*
If roses grow in heaven
 Lord please pick a bunch for me
Place them in my Mother's arms
And tell her they're from me
Tell her I love and miss her
And when she turns to smile
Place a kiss upon her cheek
And hold her for awhile
Because remembering her is easy
I do it every day
But there's an ache within my heart
That will never go away.
I love you Mom and miss you so much,
*Poem found on the internet


Feb 20, 2013

"Pretty" Frugal

My husband is one of the many unlucky ones affected by the govermnet furloughs to begin as early March.  Needless to say we are really cracking down on how we spend our money.
Other ways we are trying to save :
canceled Netflix and most probably cable (this one is really tough on the hubby as he likes his weekend tv shows)
I let my Victoria and Mary Jane's Farm Magazine subscribtions run out
We expanded our garden and will be planting green beans, tomatoes, squash, and cantalope this Summer. Husband is hoping to harvest enough to can.
I plan to make another big batch of laundry detergent this weekend to last us several months
I've started a menu planner folder where I also keep coupons ~ I have to admit coupons drive me crazy. Especially the ones where I have to buy 2 of something. We are going to get our pantry as full as possible, so maybe that won't be a bad thing. Oh yeah, and diapers are crazy expensive!!
Now, just because we have to tighten our belts, doesn't mean I'll be cutting down on making life pretty at our cottage.  There are lots of way to make life beautiful without costing a lot.
For intsance ~
I'm also planting a flower garden (using the seeds I harvested from last year's garden) so I'll have simple bouquets

I'll be using this pretty graphic for a label to wrap my soap (lovely looking soap  makes me feel like I'm using something luxurious even if it's just the pink Dove!)
.Making time for tea in the afternoon ~  just tea and cinnammon toast can be enough ~ and of course using a pretty cup!
Finishing up some (forgotten) sewing and cross~stitch projects to add beauty to everyday useful items
I'm planting a window box full of herbs ~ lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint and sage.  Hopefully I'll have some to dry for sachets and tea

Feb 1, 2013

A February (frugal) Post

February's shy little violet symbolizes modesty, innocence as well as continued affection for one who has died.

"Keep your faith in beautiful things;
  in the sun when it is hidden,
  in the Spring when it is gone."
  ~ Roy R. Gibson

February is my least favorite month. It brings around anniversaries of the saddest kind. So, I've been trying to focus on other things, like happy memories that bring me joy.

Anyway, this month we (as a family) are striving to begin to live more frugally. We have some credit debt we would like to pay off as well as some medical bills. I've gathered the bills together and we will begin the "debt snowball plan." I've been reading some books by Dave Ramsey (from the library) and it has really turned my thinking around in regards to money, debt and most of all saving.

I'm actually excited about starting this journey towards being debt free. That's not to say it won't be hard, because I can tell you this family likes "stuff." But something's gotta give and we if don't start saving and buckle down I can see trouble in the future. Once upon a time we had a nice little bit of savings, but along came a hurricane and there we were with the task of starting over and rebuilding our home. Credit is something that is pretty easy to get and very hard to get out of.

I'm looking for ways to cut back as much as we can, hopefully without too many complaints. A few things we will be doing...

cooking and baking from scratch ~ I do this anyway, but I do still buy a few shortcuts I could do without.

my daughter and I are going to be doing our own hair  ~ can you tell? My  daughter dyed my hair last week.

In May, our cell phone contract will be up ~ so I'm getting rid of that and honestly I hardly ever use it since I'm home most of the time. My husband will get a pay as you go phone.

I've already started our Spring garden, planted onions, spinach and lettuce.  I hope our garden will do better than last year!

Use just our fireplace to heat the house. So far we haven't turned on the heat!

Most important ~ only buy using cash ~ no more credit cards!!

I know there is plenty more things to implement which I will share here and there...

                                           Have a wonderful weekend!