I'm really inspired by the things my mother writes about on her website.
I'm really inspired by the way my mom lives her life. There are certain things that I could never do, like homeschooling children if I had any, or live in the country full time, or depend on a wood burning stove for all of my heat in the winter. But then there are other things she does that are so simple and easy to do with a little motivation and creativity. She makes her own laundry soap and dries her clothes out on the line. She uses food containers for storage, and a coffee can for her knitting, rather than buying some fancy container at the store. She has a very productive garden, which lowers her dependence on the grocery store produce department considerably. She's not afraid to make big purchases when they are necessary, such as a new washing machine or food processor, but necessary is the key element in her spending. She's constantly trying to find new ways to be "green" - something I thought I had down pretty well as a Seattle-ite, but I'm constantly learning new things from her and those who contribute comments on her website.
I've started taking on new projects, which are inspired by her ideas, but not necessarily based on them. This year was my first attempt at a garden. I have to keep it pretty small, since I only have my apartment deck to store everything on, but I have a variety of plants going. I've definitely learned a few things this year, and hope that next year will be even more fruitful.
I've also taken up canning. I had some girlfriends over on Labor Day for a canning party where we made apple butter! I'm hoping to expand my pantry of home-canned goods in the next couple of months. Not only will this enable Nick and I to enjoy seasonal produce all year, but it will certainly make for inexpensive Christmas gifts!
My newest and biggest project is quilting. I'm making a baby quilt for a friend and it's turned into quite the adventure! I don't have a sewing machine, and though I could certainly fit one into my budget, I think I'm pretty good with a needle and thread. I have really short legs, so I get plenty of practice hemming most of my slacks. So, I'm hand-stitching the entire thing. That's right. I'm hand quilting the layers together, only after I've hand stitching each piece of fabric together. It's going to take me FOREVER to complete. I was hoping to have it done by the time the baby is born in November, but I suspect this may turn into a Christmas present when all is said and done....
I've even expanded my cooking to simpler things! Rather than spending tons of money every day to make fancy dinners, I'm spending more time studying what I already have in the kitchen, cooking from my cupboards. When I want to try something new, I usually find my recipes online, where I can review other peoples' reviews to determine if something is worth the time and cost to make. I'm also working really hard to not eat out as often - something that has not been easy with the social girls I work with!
Okay...I'm officially rambling. I guess I just want to brag about the positive changes that I've been making, and brag about what a great influence my mom has been!
CAKETASTROPHE!! (By Special Request) - I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day *(where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!)* when I came across a rather unusual req...