Okay! So last night I worked on a schedule for myself.  I'm the type of person that needs a sort of checklist to go by daily so things get done.  I'll admit that for a while after becoming a homemaker I searched and hoped I would find some sort of guide to what to do during the day... something I could follow that would include spending quality learning time with my son, household responsibilities that would keep my husband and I proud to walk into our home, and a little bit of me time as well.  Well with the help from FlyLady and The Time Warp Wife's Housekeeping Schedule, I came up with what seems to really work for me.  Of course the times and content of this schedule varies since we cannot predict day to day happenings in our lives but for a typical day in my household this is what it looks like.  Hopefully this helps some of you who are new to homemaking or motherhood and are finding it difficult to figure out what to do with your days!  Keep in mind it's a work in progress and it'll probably be continually changing as I figure out what works best for me... and you can do the same!  Switch things around, add things, or take things away to make it fit you!
A lot has been weighing on my mind lately... There are many things we as a family are dealing with like many families are during these times.  I have been looking forward to the future a lot... thinking about when we will have more money, when we will move into our next rental home, when we will be able to buy our land, etc.  Let me caution you... while daydreaming is okay now and then...spending a lot of time wishing you had things that you don't can be dangerous.  I have found myself down in the dumps lately and I have discovered this is the reason why.  I need to wake up and realize that I have so many beautiful things right in front of me right now.  Sure times are hard but things could always be worse... and the one thing that we all have to remember is... There is someone out there right now wishing they had the life you did.  There is someone out there who would give anything to be in my place, even with all the "troubles" I may have.  This definitely puts things in perspective doesn't it?

Another bad habit I've gotten into is "waiting".  When we moved here we knew we would be in our current rental home for only a year because we had to choose it over the internet and weren't able to check the area out before moving here.  Luckily the area has been great and we are very happy here but we still have to move at the end of our lease because we are doing everything we can to save money and we need to find a place where rent is a bit less expensive.  So in knowing that we will not be here for long I chose to only unpack the essentials... I have no pictures hanging, and nothing is really decorated.  Well we have seven months left here in this place before we move and I think I'm going to start hanging some pictures.  I realized last night that I'm wasting the opportunity to create memories just because I don't want to do a little extra work at the end of our lease patching up holes in the walls.  I realized how silly this is and half of why I've been feeling gloomy lately is probably due to the fact that I am making my family WAIT to feel as though they are HOME.  I'm choosing not to wait anymore... because especially on a day like today, where too many people know all to well... that if you wait for tomorrow... it may never come.
So here's to wanting what you have and making holes in walls.  Here's to changing the way I say... "We only have SEVEN months left." to "We ONLY have seven months left?!"... Did you catch the tone change?  And here's to a little elbow grease at the end of it all to get this rental ready for the next family who will call it HOME.

~ Be Magickal!
And here's to my husband's battle buddies that he lost in Iraq...

In Memory Of
SSG Brooks
SGT Hernandez
SPC Gudino
PFC Christensen
SPC Yahudah
SPC Carrillo
SSG Booker
SGT Garcia
SGT Morris
CPL Brown
SSG Hubbell
SPC Pena

My magick garden apron! I decided that I would start with an apron instead of napkins because I had the idea and design in my head for this particular apron.  I wanted one with a pouch to put clippings from the garden in.  I absolutely LOVE the result!  I'm sure I did every wrong in sewing terms and rules but the result to me is perfect. 

I'm so excited to learn more about sewing and use it to help in our homesteading goals.  I felt such pride when I completed this apron... I can't wait to sew more for my family!

Oh yes... I cannot take all the credit... I had help from a certain magickal cat!
Other Magickal Happenings
Our Kitchen Garden
~ Be Magickal!
My husband... a combat war veteran who served two tours in Iraq, shared something with me tonight about the time in which he served.  It was not easy for him to say the words but he obviously needed to express his feelings.  He didn't really show much emotion... he kept it very casual and conversational, treading lightly gauging my reaction.  It wasn't regarding what you might initially assume and although I know there are specific memories that burrow in his heart and mind, we have sort of an unspoken agreement that I will never ask, but if and when he's ready I will listen.

I cannot touch on what he shared with me because I want this blog to remain unbiased for all who visit and I believe each individual has a right to their own beliefs and opinions... all are welcome here.  But my heart ached for him during this conversation.  I wanted to take all of it away and toss it into a black hole.  I wanted to channel the pain from his heart to mine so he could be without it forever or be able to feel the wholesome innocence of child if only for a moment.  I secretly fought tears away knowing I could do none of those things.  

My husband lost many friends during his two tours.  This Memorial weekend I will keep those soldiers in my heart and prayers and although I never knew them I will remember them... for my soldier remembers... every day of his life.

~ Be Magickal!

Along with learning to homestead we are also learning more about being "Prepared" for emergency type situations that could leave us without the use of electricity, communication, etc.  Food, water, First Aid and clothing are normally the main checklist items, but there a tons of other ways to be prepared.  I've been wanting to participate in the Homestead Revival's Preparedness Challenge and since something happened to me yesterday that made me think of another way to be prepared, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to jump in.

Yesterday I discovered that I had accidentally thrown something away of great importance to my mother.  It was in a bag that I mistook for garbage in our garage.  My mother has a way of putting things in certain types of bags because it's easier for her and it works for her.  My mother is a very successful and smart woman and raised four children all on her own... so I have never and will never question her methods.  I simply feel as though I don't have any right to.  But the fact that this happened has made me think long and hard about how unorganized I am and how it's very possible the same thing could've happened to me.  I further thought, what if we were hit with a natural disaster?  Sure we'd have food, water, first aid etc... but If I had to go through a damaged home like they are having to do in Joplin, MO... I would have no idea what was where and what I lost because I am no where near as organized as I should be.  I have absolutely no excuse either... I have a filing cabinet for documents, I have containers, label makers, etc... the means to be 100% organized.  So today I begin.

I do not expect to be done by this weekend but I am very motivated to make it happen.  Little by little I will get rid of piles of paperwork that aren't necessary to keep and file what is important away and I will have a place for everything.  Something else I'm going to do that I saw on the news last night is make a video of your home documenting your belongings.  I thought this was a great idea!  They went as far as telling us to document the types of floors you had and any upgrades you made to your home inside and out... even something like a concrete driveway.  They advised that taking any type of video... even if it was on your smartphone is good enough and to make sure and store it somewhere online or at another location preferably out of town so it can always be accessible.

So I think after I am able to check "Being Organized" off my list, I will feel a lot more "Prepared".  Think about some of your important documents or valued belongings... do you know where they are?  If you needed anything like that tomorrow could you go straight to where it's at and grab it?  Or would you spend hours or even days looking for it.  You don't have to do it all in one day... just take those first things that pop into your head, create a place for them and keep them there.  Don't forget... taking a video documentary of your home is a great idea for anyone!
~ Be Magickal!
I'm so excited... I was perusing through the Mountain Rose Herbs website and found a list of Herbal Education resources some of which offer online courses!  It looks like there is a wide range of options from paying $10 per course which you can hand pick to paying $400 for an entire 12 course lesson plan. 

I like the idea of taking things slow and being able to pick specific topics I want to learn about.  My main goal would be to be able to make salves for all the cuts and scrapes I'm sure my little man will get in his toddler years and tinctures we can all take when we're feeling under the weather.  I'll be looking into all the courses available online to see what best fits my needs and maybe start taking a $10 class here and there!  There's also something just so enchanting about going out into your yard and picking a few sprigs of herbs to make teas and herbal remedies for your family... I can't wait!

Other Magickal Happenings To Check Out!
Front Porch Dreams
Magick From the Farm
Made From Scratch

Excitement, fun and a little bit scary pretty much sums up our weekend... We experienced our first tornado siren and had to wake up our boy and go down to the basement.  It was only for a brief time and we definitely missed the brunt of the storm.  It's definitely something we have to get used to, having moved from the southwest where practically no natural disasters happen to the Midwest where tornadoes are common.  All our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who had to go through tornado devastation this past weekend. 

This morning was where the fun and excitement came in... we were so blessed to be able to go to our CSA's farm this morning where they held a brunch for all their members.  The food was delicious and we were able to show our son where his food comes from!  His favorite part of course were the chickens!  It just warmed our hearts and made us look forward even more to the time where will have our own little farm. 
We spent most of the morning there and when we got home our boy took a nice long nap after running around and having a blast at the farm... My husband and I spent some quality time together and had a nice peaceful lunch.  When the little one woke up we decided to run to the store for a few essentials...while there my husband asked "aren't we out of dish soap?"  We were... but I told him that weren't going to buy any because I should be able to make some homemade dish soap... and so I did!  Here's what you need...
1 cup liquid Castile soap, 1/4 cup warm water, 1 tsp vinegar, and about 10 drops of essential oil (I chose Tea Tree Oil)... And here's what you get!
It works great, smells great, and we saved money!  And speaking of homemade cleaning supplies... the laundry detergent that we made a few weekends ago is working great as well but it still needs some tweaking so as soon as I've perfected that one I'll post the recipe as well!
As I've mentioned more than once before... money is very tight for us at the moment.  This is due to several reasons... mostly medical.  Our goal right now is to save a certain amount for emergencies so we won't be left to reach for credit cards in case something happens.  If you've heard of Dave Ramsey then this probably sounds familiar to you.  It's his first step to becoming debt free... saving up an emergency fund.  This fund is not building as quickly as my husband and I would like so today we decided we need to take action and just make it happen... We will do what we must. 

Our community is holding a neighborhood garage sale soon and we both thought it would be the perfect opportunity.  We will be trying to sell things we no longer want... and things we no longer need.  We are very motivated to make this happen... We will be sad to see a few things go but we know that in the long run we will look back and know we made the right decision.

So this weekend we'll be doing sort of a late spring cleaning... setting aside everything we might be able to sell.  Hey at least it'll make our move at the end of the year a bit lighter!

~ Be Magickal!
I found these great... well I'm not sure what they are... they could be sheets... but they are perfect and exactly what I was looking for!  They are soft enough and pretty enough for some summer napkins and I think I may have enough material left over for an apron!  We'll see how I do. 

I wasn't sure what to expect... I went in looking for extra large clothing in prints that I could work with but nothing was really jumping out at me... There was one skirt I thought I might be able to work with but it just wasn't satisfying me as much as I thought.  Right as I was about to leave empty handed I looked up and saw a shelf of children's books which caught my interest... as I scanned the room for other interesting children's items I noticed an entire section that I missed with nothing but linens!

I'm definitely a fan of thrift stores now and I will be frequenting them often! 

I stopped by Jo-Anns prior to the thrift store and got a great deal on these two fabrics which I'm hoping to make a garden apron out of.  

There's a lot I have to learn so I think I'll save these two cute pieces of fabric till I get the hang of things but until then... my "fabric" will be coming from thrifts stores everywhere.

Other Magical Happenings
- I've posted a new Made From Scratch Recipe!
- Another Front Porch Dream added to the list!

~ Be Magical!

Sewing is one of the items on my homesteading checklist that I'd like to get started on.  The great thing about my checklist is so many things can be done simultaneously... For example I made another loaf of bread today still searching for the perfect recipe and our garden is something we tend to and learn about each and every day. 

Sewing is something I tried to get into many years ago... which means I have all the basic equipment, but what I am missing is the most essential ingredient... FABRIC!  Yes this is quite easy to find but keep in mind, the entire reason why our quest towards homesteading even began was to save money.  So I'm trying to find fabric on the cheap and spend as little as possible... I'm talking counting coins here.  So my son and I are gonna hit the clearance rack at the fabric store... just to see what they have but I'm hoping to find some real steals at the thrift store nearby.  

My first project is inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Homestead Revival (click on her button in my sidebar), who recently posted about making dinner napkins.  I thought this would be a great place to begin!  Yes it will probably be quite simple but the point is that I will be making something my family can use!  And it will lessen the amount of paper towels we use as well!  I can't wait to get started... and I told my husband not to be surprised if while I'm sewing I begin singing... "I Feel Pretty" (From the movie West Side Story).