Homemade Living Take 4: Live.

So, this is the final four to wrap up my Homemade Living introduction.  (Don't worry, I will still have plenty to chat about with you on Wednesdays during my Homemade Living stay, this isn't an end, it's a beginning).

For the 3rd post, "Eat", click here.
For the 2nd post, "Grow", click here.
For the 1st post, "Stitch", click here.

By now, you know more about me and what I love.  Handmade, homegrown, DIY. 

And now for the last installment: "Live."  I thought I'd talk a little about how I try to live out the homemade lifestyle I love.

I have to say, I get asked again and again "How do you do it all?"  Short answer.  I don't.  I know to some, I seem put together. But I'm not all the time.  I tend to show you my celebrations because that's what I have this blog for.  But balancing it all-the lifestyle I want to live, husband/young kids, and professional life can be challenging.  But it's what I want to do.  And therefore, I find ways to make my ideas come to fruition.
Do you have things you'd like to do?  Learn a craft?  Grow something?  Make something a little more healthy?  I bet you do.  I bet there's something that you'd like to do or learn. 
Here are my tips in getting going.

1) Feeling settled.
I admit it.  I am living my dream.  I am living in not just any farm house, but the farmhouse I fell in love with 7 years ago.  I have a great husband and two great kids.  I have the life.  I feel so blessed.

But, before I had this house, I had an great home in the Maine woods.  Nothing wrong with it, we loved it and thought we'd retire there.  Before that? Apartments. 

I mentioned in other posts that I started this homesteading journey before we were homeowners.  In kitchens that were not my own, I baked.  Portable sewing machines went anywhere.  Small plants were grown in windowsills.   Small beginnings were happening.

Point is, no matter where you are, you can start.  It's easy to say "When I xyz, I will be able to xyz."  If we're always wishing away our tomorrows, it's hard to be settled in our todays. True, you might not be set up for cattle, but you might be set up to do something on a smaller scale in your kitchen.  Or you may be able to learn about something that you are not able to do yet. Feel settled where you are and know you can start to reach your dreams today.
2) Simplify.
Simplify means something different to everyone.

-For us, it meant omitting TV, cell phones and other similar forms of entertainment.
-Fewer trips to the grocery store (we go every 3ish weeks-first week and a half fresh, 2nd frozen frequently) in favor of more time at home (just think of the hours we've gained weekly doing errands less often).
-Toiletry runs are no more than monthly, we try to stretch to every other month.
-We plan to be home.  Our outings are peaceful in nature whenever possible.  
-Although I do frequently post on my thrifted finds, I do believe in less is more.  We don't have toys with batteries, hardly any out of plastic and we stick to the basics.  We do have stuff, but I am careful about what type of stuff we have.

-Saying "No thank you" is okay. Many things we 'think' we have to do aren't really 'have to's' at at all. Although I do over-schedule myself at work, my kids are not over-scheduled.  We try to balance days at home with days that we are out and about.

Now, do I expect you to do all of this?  No.  This is what we do that helps us have time at home paired with clear minds that are available to take on new challenges.   Simplifying might mean something different to you than it does here, but try to make your life more simple so you feel less distracted and have more energy for the things you want to do.

3) Routine.
So many of us thrive on routine, we are no exceptions.  Morning chores, breakfasts together, preparing meals together, evening routines.  Exercise and faith are big routines for us as well.

The predictability helps us know what's to come.  We fall in rhythm, in sync with one another.  When my kids are feeling connected to me, they are very willing, interested and excited to branch out to do something different.  Everything I do is a willing new adventure to them, that they are equally as enthusiastic about, provided they feel balanced.

See if setting up a more rhythmic pace to your time together helps you focus your intentions to where you'd like them to be.
4) Perspective.
Sometimes I get caught up in the "But I really was hoping to do XYZ" or "I can't believe I had the opportunity and I missed it." I have to remind myself that everything I do is a learning opportunity, a brief pause or a step in the right direction.  No matter what I do, it's something that happens along the process of doing what I'm hoping to do.  It's not all or nothing, big or small.  It's the best I can do, which is good enough, no matter how tiny the success is. 

Don't expect yourself to move mountains overnight.  Be realistic and manageable with your ideas.  That way you'll keep doing what you are hoping to do for yourself and your family.

5) Vision.
I have a list.  An extensive list that keeps playing in my brain.  I have an idea of where I'd want to be next year, five years and ten years from now in my journey.   I believe that as long as I keep plugging away, each celebration is me conquering my to do list.

Brainstorm your own set of goals.  And believe you can do it.  I know you can.

Now your turn.  Do you have things you're working on to have yourself a more homemade life?  Or are you interested in getting started, one small step at a time, in having a more homemade life? 

Looking for some more inspiration?  These ladies have it.  Each one of them is trying to better their homemade lifestyle.  Inspiring.  Do check them out.  Although I'll be a regular blogger in between, I'll be joining the Homemade Living Series again in 2 weeks time.  This time, sharing something homemade.

Today is: 


  1. You have make beautiful photos of the children!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  2. Fabulous post! We are kindred spirits, for sure. We are making the best of life in suburbia, and I've even managed to find a volunteer farm job! It's all about setting your intentions and then following through, no matter where you're starting. I'm so happy for you that you got your dream farmhouse! Cheers!

  3. Oh I love this post you my dear are a wise woman to figure this out so young, you are doing an incredible job. You and your family are happy healthy and settled your kids are going to benefit from this kind of wisdom. Hug B

  4. Buttons is right. You are wise beyond your years and have the important stuff figured out already. The last photo in today's post is particularly beautiful. xoxo

  5. Wonderful post and, of course, I adore the photos. We have similar stories. You are so right about doing what you can where you are and with what you have. Good for you and your family!! So happy for you. :)

  6. A beautiful well thought out post, pictures that added bonus. I too live your "Live" and feel so blessed to have it. Last night I was telling a 30 yr old man the things I have to do before calling it quits outside for the upcoming fall. He must have felt I was pressured to get it done and asked why don't I move to the city? My reply was " I am blessed with work". Enjoy every moment as your children are still small. The world creeps into your household once they get older and you will no longer feel the quietness you do now. ( words of wisdom here!)

  7. A great post and beautiful photos! Your kids sure are lucky to have such a lovely childhood!

  8. Great post Jackie!! I wrote something similiar today! Hahaha, great minds! Your children are adorable!!

  9. These are great tips! I especially agree with the one about starting where you are. You can begin your journey to self-sufficiency anywhere, even on a small lot in the city like we started with. And I totally agree about vision and making plans for the future. You have to dream! :)



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