Traditional Homemaking Skills - Page 17 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:49 AM
 
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I'm a huge fan of houseplants I bought the book _How to Grow Fresh Air_ a few years ago, and it is really fantastic. It helps you to pick the perfect plants based on what you want them to filter from the air and where you'll be placing them. Its wonderful.
New book on my to-read list, though maybe I shouldn't since I need to stop. spending. money.

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I'm planning on starting my garden seedlings indoors in the next few weeks. I live in the desert and we have to get our stuff in the ground earlier than most places.

We also have baby chicks that are about to hatch!
I'm so jealous. I already have the gardener's itch, but it's still months until planting time. And I live in the city in a rental where I can't have chickens...one day!

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:31 AM
 
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:35 AM
 
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aprons: two, but none really cute ones, though one of them is a hand-me-down from my nanny from when I was little, which makes it special to me
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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I must be the only person on earth who doesn't like tattoos
I'm with you on that one. Although there was a mama on here who had a beautiful sewing tattoo on her arm. It was gorgeous.

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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tattoos: none; I must be the only person on earth who doesn't like tattoos
i think it's a personal preference. i myself have 2 very small tattoos. one on my inner ankle and one that's concealed enough that you could only see if i had a bikini on or i was naked. both are very meaningful to me and i love them.

i don't personally like large "showy" tattoos. but to each their own!

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So do you ladies know that I've been leaving (REAL) butter out on the counter in an airtight container, so that it stays soft at room temperature for up to a week and it does NOT go bad at all. It's so yummy! : I can just rub it onto my freshly baked bread anytime I want it! Yay! Though I have a confession (sssshhhhhh....) I've been buying my bread from a local bakery from the day old section for uber cheap instead of baking. :

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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So do you ladies know that I've been leaving (REAL) butter out on the counter in an airtight container, so that it stays soft at room temperature for up to a week and it does NOT go bad at all. It's so yummy! : I can just rub it onto my freshly baked bread anytime I want it! Yay! Though I have a confession (sssshhhhhh....) I've been buying my bread from a local bakery from the day old section for uber cheap instead of baking. :
this is how we always keep our butter! it's wonderful that way.

oh, and i don't bake bread either.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well the thing is, I was baking our bread, and it was great; but I've kinda been slacking lately with the holidays and stuff. But then again I was slacking as far back as late summer too because it was so friggin hot here in the South. Now that I've found this bakery with the day old bread, I just buy a few loaves at a time, freeze a couple and we're good to go. It seems like so much work to bake when I could just buy some equally yummy bread, kwim? There is the satisfaction of doing it myself though but I've got so much other work to do though that I can get my satisfaction other ways per say (now the Rolling Stones "I can't get no satisfaction" is going thru my head")

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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I grew up with parents that left the butter out. I don't tend to do it though. I would never do it in the Hot mississippi summer. I could see doing it now though, in cool weather of course. Actually I have a couple times knowing that I would be baking the next day and need softened butter.

I slacked last month on bread making myself. So much other baking going on with the holidays I just gave myself permission to not have to make the bread too.

You don't have to like tattoos to be in on this thread, it was just something we talked about awhile back...how a lot of us are TH with a modern flair, tattoos not being the only thing that is more modern; just one example.

One thing I've been wondering lately is: Is it really possible to get it all done? I mean in this day and age. Is it really possible to do it traditionally and do everything else this day and age requires and particularly with the break down of familial, friend and neighborly help? One minute I feel like I can do it. Make everything from scratch, keep a clean, organized, efficient home, make a lot things via sewing and crafting, add in homeschooling for us, add in part time jobs in the evening or for some full time jobs..etc etc.

During Xmas with all the extra stuff that had to be done I sort of had a mini breakdown at one point where I concluded that it's just not possible. I'm over here trying to be super woman and to what cost? If I do a few things great, usually something else lacking. For example, the house is beautifully clean, the gifts are made, but I'm barking at the kids to get out of my way, while running around them, not paying any attention to them. Or the kids are getting all my attention, but the house is not getting cleaned. So I put it out to all you TH mamas. Is it still possible to do it all and do it really well? And do you personally strive to do it? To be that superMom like I do?

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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TAKEBIRTHBACK - Don't you think that's the advantage we have though over old times...we CAN slack just a little on one thing...whether it's buying bread over the holidays instead of baking it, breaking down and buying windex once in while, or using the riding lawn mower?

I think that you should do what you are good at, try to slowly improve your weaknesses, but put your kiddos on the top of the priority list...and make them help you with chores

I admire all of you on here! I strive to be a good homemaker, and am successful in most areas, but it is hard...especially when you have to work out of the home all day...it's worth it to me though...my homemaking is my passion...it's just the job pays the bills for us


Keep the great info coming...and I have to put my 2 cents in...aprons ROCK!
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Takebirthback~yeah I hear you on the Supermom thing, I too had a bit of a breakdown recently too. I have been having a lot migraines lately too and I think it has to do with stress. I DON'T think it's possible to do it ALL. I can't do it all. I don't even try to do it all. I know it's not possible. And I think we should stop trying. That sounds funny. What I mean is, perfection is not the end all, be all. There no such thing as perfection.

I know that in order to keep some sort of sanity around here there are going to be some concessions. For instance, bread baking. I'm not baking my own bread anymore. I'm buying it. It takes too much time. Instead, I'm using that time for more cleaning. Like I would clean the bathrooms only when they would be really nasty. But that took too much work and I resented it. Now I'm cleaning them more often and it's not a big deal. I'm just getting more organized in my housecleaning.

I've discovered that my house being not that clean was bothering me on an unconscious level so I've had to move things around in my schedule so that I could make more time to clean and not resent cleaning. That's been a big struggle for me.

I don't know of any mom who does it ALL and does it all really well. In college, I studied Women's studies, and I once did a paper on the Mommy Myth about how it's a myth out there that women can do it all, be the perfect mommy and worker and housekeeper and wife and citizen and volunteer and etc. Nobody can. Not even Mother Theresa. We just have to accept what we can do and be happy where we are with what we have in the present. No matter your faith, this moment will never be back again so we have to soak it up. I think that our children can be great teachers in this matter.

At least that's how I try to look at it

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Old 01-06-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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TAKEBIRTHBACK - Don't you think that's the advantage we have though over old times...we CAN slack just a little on one thing...whether it's buying bread over the holidays instead of baking it, breaking down and buying windex once in while, or using the riding lawn mower?
i completely agree with this. we are so so fortunate in this day and age that we don't HAVE to do it all just to survive. and i personally don't strive to do it all. how exhausting! i just do the best i can. i make my husband and my children my top priority.....over my business and over the cleanliness of my house. don't get my wrong, i keep a super clean and beautiful home, and i run my business well, but nothing takes priority over my family.

and as for a lot of the traditional homemaking skills......the baking bread and sewing clothes, that's what makes me in awe of those of you that do those things. i don't have the skills, nor the drive for that stuff.

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Old 01-06-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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i really enjoy all aspects of homemaking, and am in awe of those of you that really have those "traditional" homemaking skills. i for one, do not. but there's no place i'd rather be than making a comfortable and beautiful home for my husband and kids.
I've decided that what makes me enjoy this thread and feel like a member of the "tribe" is that I want those skills. I think they're worth working to acquire. I WILL learn to can, and root cellar, and sew! I WILL knit more and bake more in order to really surround my family with my loving touch! I WANT my home to be invariably neat, tidy, fresh-smelling, healthful, and welcoming...eventually. Baby steps! I also think it's OK that I don't really have a drive to iron more, or scrapbook, or do activities with my kids. We create homey homes in our own ways.

I have two aprons but I so seldom pull them out because they are big, bulky, heavy canvas deals. I need a good half-apron for stashing rags and things while I clean, I think.

Anyone have tips for having housecats and houseplants co-exist? I haven't had a significant number of plants in years, the pothos and dracaena (and seasonal poinsettia) I do have are ratty with teeth-marks!

Here's the "farmhouse style" (imported and added in the remodel) sink of the house we're hoping to buy! Can anyone figure out what that storage nook to the left is meant to be?

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z...8156580_07.jpg
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Here's the "farmhouse style" (imported and added in the remodel) sink of the house we're hoping to buy! Can anyone figure out what that storage nook to the left is meant to be?

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z...8156580_07.jpg
if there are silver "bars" that slide out then it's the place to hang your dish rag or towels to dry.....we have these under our kitchen sink in our 1935 cape cod. if not, then i have no idea! lol!

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Old 01-06-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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I had a teeny nook like that in my old apartment; I kept my baking sheets there.

Do I think we can really do it all? It depends on your definition of "all". I'm confident that I can do MY version of "all".

For me, it looks like this:

My house is clean and presentable, although probably still messy with kids' toys. That's okay; I have kids.

My family and I eat a good, mostly whole foods, diet. This includes me making our bread, yogurt, growing kombucha (which I'm in the process of doing for the first time ) and cooking from scratch whenever I'm able. It also includes shopping at smaller local stores, as opposed to grocery giants, whenever I can. (I have a great butcher. )

I make useful things for my family. I just finished (in the middle of winter : ) DD1 and DD2's "winter sets" of hats, mittens and scarves. I let DD1 pick out her own yarn and she really enjoyed watching me make her things out of it. Next year, DD2 will be old enough to pick her own yarn as well. I'll be sewing a dress for DD1 for her birthday; she picked out the fabric for it. I think the greatest thing about being able to make some of their clothes is letting them pick out fabrics and yarns and things. The colors they put together kill me sometimes, but DD1's stuff generally ends up suiting her just wonderfully. I'd love to be able to make MORE of my kids' clothes, but that's not in my definition of "all". I know it's outside the realm of my possibility; for now, anyway.

Here's something that's important to my picture of homemaking, that I don't think we've talked about here. Anticipating my family's needs. For example, seeing that DH has two pairs of socks that are starting to wear thin, and either replacing them or darning them, before he needs to ask me to do it. Or, seeing that DD1's room is getting a bit out of hand and picking her toys up for her, before that happens and she gets overwhelmed. Knowing that DDs are going to want to play in the yard all summer long, but that our yard lacks shade...so, ordering a gigantic number of sunflower seeds to make a forest for them Things like that, that we kind of do under the radar, that no one might notice at first, or for a while. But, you know, they'd notice if these thigns DIDN'T get done. If DH had a ton of holey socks, or if the girls were sunburnt from playing out of the shade, or if there was no bread to make a sandwich with on a Sunday afternoon...

I think those are the types of things that are most important to me, and to my vision of doing it "all".

Add to my vision my full time job, owning and operating the business DH and I started together 8 years ago.... Yeah, it's a full plate. : I love every dish on it, though

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Old 01-06-2009, 01:19 PM
 
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Back in the olden days, traditional housework included many things. Of course, they did these things without modern conveniences (like washing machines!). Growing food and preserving it was a way of life and a major portion of your daily work. Quilting was done because people needed blankets to keep warm and as an heirloom. Nowadays, we just go to Target and pick up one! It was also done in a communal setting sometimes (like quilting bees). I read recently about women in a small community would all get together on wash day and wash clothing and linens together. They did this to share the work but to also have social interaction.

I can see how so many modern housewives or SAHMs are feeling isolated and I think it is in part a result of us our modern life. We don't participate in quilting bees or wash days with our neighbors and community. Instead we purchase blankets and linens at stores and go home alone. We take our kids to playdates instead of letting them run free in the yard while we wash, or hang clothes on the line. Or help pick the veggies. Ok, this was a long tangent I just went out on......
i am not kidding when i say, this is a huge reason i haven't been able to shake ppd for 5 years & 3 kids ago. the walls close in and you need to get out/socialize and it becomes a viscious/non-productive cycle.

heavy sigh...............................
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I had a teeny nook like that in my old apartment; I kept my baking sheets there.
That's what I was going to suggest.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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i am not kidding when i say, this is a huge reason i haven't been able to shake ppd for 5 years & 3 kids ago. the walls close in and you need to get out/socialize and it becomes a viscious/non-productive cycle.

heavy sigh...............................
I hear you on this mama! I hate that we as women don't rely on one another like we used to. I feel so lonely half of the time, but it seems like nobody else out there is feeling that way, even though I'm sure more the I know are. Too bad we can't all just be honest and support one another more.

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I hear you on this mama! I hate that we as women don't rely on one another like we used to. I feel so lonely half of the time, but it seems like nobody else out there is feeling that way, even though I'm sure more the I know are. Too bad we can't all just be honest and support one another more.
Honestly, I'm lonely too. Not a mama yet, but I dont' see it getting much better having kids.

I'm also 24, fairly freshly out of college, and it's hard as all the friendships I cultivated over the years wither away as everyone moves away to their new life. I don't anticipate that getting better as it seems very rare these days for people to stay in one area for an extended period of time. Everyone moves, all the time, though we won't.

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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So do you ladies know that I've been leaving (REAL) butter out on the counter in an airtight container, so that it stays soft at room temperature for up to a week and it does NOT go bad at all. It's so yummy! : I can just rub it onto my freshly baked bread anytime I want it! Yay! Though I have a confession (sssshhhhhh....) I've been buying my bread from a local bakery from the day old section for uber cheap instead of baking. :
We always leave our butter out! My parents and grandparents left theirs out, too.

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Anyone have tips for having housecats and houseplants co-exist? I haven't had a significant number of plants in years, the pothos and dracaena (and seasonal poinsettia) I do have are ratty with teeth-marks!
Bitter apple or tabasco sauce will keep the kitties out of plants! I would try to keep the dracaena away from the cat(s) though, they're on the warning list and could possibly harm your kitty.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am not kidding when i say, this is a huge reason i haven't been able to shake ppd for 5 years & 3 kids ago. the walls close in and you need to get out/socialize and it becomes a viscious/non-productive cycle.

heavy sigh...............................
s
I know, it's so hard. I had such a hard time too, when my baby was a newborn. Even now, I have to 'schedule' time with my NEXTDOOR neighbor, who has a girl the exact same age as my girl, to play, because she's NEVER home. I see her MORE when we are out at a class or something, than in the actual neighborhood. So sad
I just wish we could kick back and drink some tea and watch the flowers and our babies grow together

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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Bitter apple or tabasco sauce will keep the kitties out of plants! I would try to keep the dracaena away from the cat(s) though, they're on the warning list and could possibly harm your kitty.
It's on a high shelf (the master bedroom and bath are separated by a wall with a ~2 ft gap at the top, and I keep my plants and knick-nacks on top of that wall); it's about a 4 foot vertical leap from the bathroom counter and there's barely any landing room around it. I haven't seen them up there recently but there always seem to be new toothmarks.

They've never been fazed by bitter apple but maybe I'll try a tabasco concoction.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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So do you ladies know that I've been leaving (REAL) butter out on the counter in an airtight container, so that it stays soft at room temperature for up to a week and it does NOT go bad at all. It's so yummy! : I can just rub it onto my freshly baked bread anytime I want it! Yay! Though I have a confession (sssshhhhhh....) I've been buying my bread from a local bakery from the day old section for uber cheap instead of baking. :
I've always left butter out and I live in the blistering hot desert (115+ summers )and leave it out in summer too. Although I enjoy cold butter on certain things.

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I grew up with parents that left the butter out. I don't tend to do it though. I would never do it in the Hot mississippi summer. I could see doing it now though, in cool weather of course. Actually I have a couple times knowing that I would be baking the next day and need softened butter.


One thing I've been wondering lately is: Is it really possible to get it all done? I mean in this day and age. Is it really possible to do it traditionally and do everything else this day and age requires and particularly with the break down of familial, friend and neighborly help? One minute I feel like I can do it. Make everything from scratch, keep a clean, organized, efficient home, make a lot things via sewing and crafting, add in homeschooling for us, add in part time jobs in the evening or for some full time jobs..etc etc.

Is it still possible to do it all and do it really well? And do you personally strive to do it? To be that superMom like I do?
Possible? probably, but unlikely for those of us that grew up in a regular modern family. I see it more as rotating skills, I tend to concentrate on one area at a time and let the others fall by the wayside for awhile. I can't imagine trying to do it all at the same time.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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So do you ladies know that I've been leaving (REAL) butter out on the counter in an airtight container, so that it stays soft at room temperature for up to a week and it does NOT go bad at all. It's so yummy! : I can just rub it onto my freshly baked bread anytime I want it!
I do this, but without the airtight container. I keep it in the wrapper in a small bowl and fold the paper over the top of the stick of butter between uses. My butter doesn't usually last a week, even though I hide it in the plate cupboard (upper cupboard), because (run on sentence?) Sophia is addicted to butter in it's raw form. So, currently, we have no butter. I can't count the number of times I walk back into the room only to find her sitting on the floor with a stick of butter in her hand, chomping away like it's a chunk of bread or something.

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Arduinna I'm in the desert, too, and never have a problem leaving my butter out!
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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mmm... butter...

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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Speaking of, has anyone made their own butter? Not that it's cost efficient, but we sometimes like to make our own by vigorously shaking heavy cream in a jar for several minutes. It is SO GOOD!
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Holidaymama-I think you are right, that there is a bonus to living in this time that things are ready made and easier in that regard. I had not really thought about it like that before, so I appreciate your thoughtfullness. I am still pondering it.

Arduinna-I'm not worried about butter going bad by leaving it out, just more like turning to mush in the hot Southern summers. Is it not just a pool of butter in your heat? Of course we have air conditioning, but things seem to just get yucky here if I leave them out, b/c of the humidity.


As far as doing it all goes, no one else is pressuring me. It's purely my own want. I'm not even totally sure where it comes from. I'm not trying to do things perfect by any means. I am NOT a perfectionist, but I do want to do it all. For example, I have a desire to stamp and make my own cards. I want to because I enjoy these kinds of hobbies and to me handmade is just such a nice touch. Well with the holidays and business I did not make my friend a card in time to have it sent to her across the country and I sit here feeling guilty that she didn't even get a card from me. And I had to realize that if I can't do it in time, if it's not going to happen,then I need to just give in and buy cards. But I want to make them. I really do. This is just one example of how I want to do it all. I want to because it makes me feel good. And usually I'm pretty good at doing all the things I want to and I'm organized enough that it doesn't usually stress me out. But then there are times that I realize it's all too much and there just isn't enough time in the day and I'm going to have to give some things up b/c I just can't do it all no matter how much I want to. This year is about prioritizing my priorities

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an ebb and flow where I want to do and make more myself. Some months/weeks it's less. Sometimes I'm more crafty; sometimes I'm more baking/cooking mama. Maybe we could list our 2009 projects here so we could give each other ideas!

Upcoming 2009 Projects (that are already planned):

This April, for my birthday, I plan on getting a nice printer, and making my own greeting cards, using my art prints as the print. Thinking about the Epson Stylus all in one.

I want to make a table runner for the dining room and some pretty cloth napkins to match. Want something tropical/earthy.

Learn how to make a mean, yummy, easy, healthy, fast, stir fry. Chicken or shrimp.

Well that's all I have time for now, dd is having a meltdown....

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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I just had to come post about my new apron! It just got here today and I loooove it. i ordered it on ebay from this seller:
http://stores.ebay.com/HanneToday
It came 2 days after I ordered it!

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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