Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is my purpose?

I can't believe it's just a few weeks until a new year begins, but I am happy about it. There is something about December that makes me introspective and anxious. I guess because I spend time evaluating the past year as I come up with things I want to work on in the new year. My biggest struggle right now is dealing with a feeling of not knowing my place in the world ... still ... after 27 years ... I have not found my purpose and I don't feel like I ever will. I don't have a career because I became a SAHM once children were born. The jobs I have held the past 10+ years didn't hold anything long-term for me. While I could go back to school and obtain a Masters in something, I just don't feel that it would be worth my time and money plus I honestly don't know what kind of job I would want to have until retirement.

It is stressful for me on a daily basis to think about this. While I have enjoyed being home the past year, I feel like I should be contributing financially towards our retirement. We have no idea what the future holds for us in 20 years, but I highly doubt that Social Security/Medicare will be around. Even if it is, it is not enough to live off of. My husband loves me being home and taking care of the house. It does make things a lot easier for him because he works long hours and I am happy to contribute in that way. The kids will be gone and on their own in about 18 months (hopefully!) and our finances will actually improve once there are 3 less people in this house, so that is a good thing! I plan to spend some time in the next year researching my options. Maybe I will finally figure out what I am meant to do with my life. Until then, I will keep doing what I am doing - taking care of my family, enjoying time spent with my crafts and reading and spending time with my four dogs. Sometimes, the simple things in life are the best!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's feeling like winter

I'm still working daily to focus on the feeling of hygge in my life. To that end, I have set up this little display in the family room to remind me to slow down and enjoy the moments of the day.

I don't decorate much for Christmas, but I just have to share this sweet family of tomten that I found and arranged on the buffet. I so enjoy them and they go so well with my winter-ish painting! Tomten/Nisse/Gnomes are really "in" this year and I am hoping to make some of my own in 2018 to add to my collection next winter.

We had our first snowfall of the season this past weekend just like a lot of people around the world this week! We only received a light dusting at our home, but it was a little heavier as we traveled an hour north to visit with family. I so enjoyed the view on our drive!

I've been adding the finishing touches to cozy up my home for winter. I've been wanting to purchase some salt lamps because of the benefits of having them around the house. I've really enjoyed their warm glow and nightlight effect after dark. All of mine came with dimmer switches so I can adjust their brightness as needed. I've added them to every room and they make me feel happy & cozy inside when it is cold outside!

I've always wanted some large coffee mugs that look like pottery and I found them during an online flash sale at Pier 1 last week! They are large enough to hold soup or ice cream as well as warm beverages and were only $3.50 each ... what a bargain! There's just something about using beautiful things that adds to the daily routine.

I spent Sunday afternoon reading through a charming eBook that I got on Amazon. It is called The Winter House and it is a simple & quick read with lots of ideas to inspire one to enjoy the season. I have a large collection of essential oils and I want to use them more often. She had a recipe for one using orange, bergamot, lemon and sandalwood oils and it has made my home smell delicious for the afternoon!

The author has also written similar eBooks for the other three seasons of the year - Spring, Summer and Autumn. I am looking forward to using the ideas in these sweet books throughout next year.

Another thing I am enjoying now that the weather is colder is wearing my Solmate socks. I have had most of mine for many years so that only two or three of the patterns I own still exist on the website. I perused the new patterns and believe I have found a few new colorways that I would like to add to my collection ... I will let the family know so that they some gift ideas for me next year! It makes me smile to look down and see the mis-matched socks.

I am currently reading a biographical book about Laura Ingalls Wilder called Prairie Fires. It is a very good book!

It is over 500 pages long and full of historical information about the time period that Laura grew up in. I am really enjoying reading about this part of American history as it pertains to her life. I usually snuggle into bed about 9-9:30pm and read until 10:30pm. Doing this gives my husband some quiet time where he can watch his TV shows and enjoy some down time before heading off to bed himself. If you are a fan of The Little House on the Prairie series, the I do believe you would enjoy this book!

Christmas is fast approaching and I must get a move on to finish a blanket for my dad. So, my plan this week is to hunker down, watch The Crown & other series on Netflix and work as much as I can on it. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through so I have a lot to get done in 2 weeks! I hope that you have a good week and are doing what you can to enjoy the holiday season without too much stress!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Review: The Year of Cozy & accompanying coloring cookbook

One of my goals for next year is to make better use of my time now that I am home full-time. I can easily let a day get away from me just watching TV and browsing the Internet. I no longer want to waste time like that. I need to make a huge list of things I would like to learn, books I'd like to read or recipes I would like to try. To help me along, I stumbled upon a book called The Year of Cozy and, wow, is it a great resource for getting me moving in the right direction. It contains 125 recipes, crafts and other "homemade adventures." She also has written an accompanying book called A  Cozy Coloring Cookbook; adult coloring books are all the rage right now and this one includes 40 simple recipes to add to your collection.

The book is divided into the four seasons and then broken down further into months. For each month, the author includes the following sections: Live (ideas for expanding your life), Make (recipes), and Do (crafts) - she includes several ideas for each section. Below are some examples from the book. 

I felt that most of the activities didn't require ingredients or supplies out of the ordinary and each step is clearly written out with pictures to help guide you. I'm really looking forward to trying the cinnamon roll recipe - that is something I've always wanted to learn how to make! I've also wanted to learn how to make a good biscuit and that recipe is included here as well. Many of the crafts would make quick & easy gifts for family and friends and could also be used during a family activity night.

The coloring cookbook is adorable! I have a collection of adult coloring books in my home and this one is a great addition. As the creator of The Cozy Kitchen blog, Ms. Adarme's focus is on creating beautiful homemade "back in time" recipes for you and your family. She obviously pours a lot of time and love into creating these recipes and I'm sure the recipient of any homemade food you make will feel the love that you put into your recipes! Here are a few samples from her A  Cozy Coloring Cookbook. 

If you'd like to check out her blog a bit more, she just posted a list of 15 Cozy Things to Make this December. Check it out! I would highly recommend The Year of Cozy if you are looking for a book to help you slow down and enjoy the seasons in 2018!