Monday, February 20, 2017

Being indulgent with yourself...

Mostly we can't accurately know exactly what the week ahead will hold, but for sure there'll be a to-do list, a hope-to-do list, and perhaps even a 'wish-I-could-do-that' hope fluttering around in your heart.

My friend Rosie Heather made this beautiful hanging heart for me recently and I think it sums up what I'm thinking today about the week ahead, or perhaps even the year ahead.

Often the little things we do, or don't do, seem so simple and insignificant that we are surprised when they turn out to have consequence later on, and that can be either good or challenging.

The good - teaching your little girl to sew when you're only just learning yourself. 
Now she has a little girl of her own and is skilfully designing and sewing beautiful baby and toddlers clothing.

The challenging - cleaning the oven. Number one on my to-do list this Monday morning but a chore I've neglected for months, moved from Monday to Monday in my diary and found plausible reasons for doing so because next to mopping floors it's my least enjoyed domestic responsibility. 

In early January, as is my yearly ritual, I scrubbed and re-organised my kitchen from top to bottom...but I managed to overlook the oven, promising myself to do it the following week.  Here we are about six or seven weeks later and that oven is still ignored.

Last night I was winding down after another migraine and Mr E wasn't very hungry so we decided to heat up some leftovers from the freezer in the oven. I did notice on Friday when I was baking Rock Cakes that the oven was a little smoky, but last night it smoked out the house! 

This morning after Mr E left for work (the Jeep is back on the road and he's driving himself again) I sat down with an old favourite read for a bit of down to earth homemaker inspiration... through a few simple steps...

...and gathered my supplies for a workout.

While I'm writing this my oven is heating a large bowl of vinegar and water to boiling point, which will steam the inside walls and the glass, softening the grease buildup. Once done I'll leave it for about 60 minutes to cool down enough so I can begin scrubbing with bicarb and vinegar.

Now if I were a wise woman I'd do this every month and not every 6-9 months, which would save me a lot of elbow grease. It's in my diary now...hopefully lesson learned at last.

I like using natural products that can be put together at home as much as possible, but I'm not averse to taking the easy route as well for some things because I only have a limited number of hours each day. Picking and choosing carefully where to cut corners whilst still doing a good job is important to me, so last week I decided to try these wipes on our wooden drawers and you know, the drawers came up beautifully! 
After the oven scrubbing today I'll do the rest of our woodwork...

The washing is done and  hung on the line, bed is made, plants watered and the cat fed.
I still need to plan the week's menu and grocery list, and give the bathroom a quick once over, but all that should only take about 40 minutes (the oven could take an hour??).

I'm becoming a true believer in self rewards after mornings of physical household labour and what I like about it is how 50's house-wifey I feel - in fact, I was even tempted to go grab my pearls on Friday when I did this! 
I'll brew the kettle to make a pot of tea (or switch on the automatic cappuccino machine if I want coffee), get out the vintage cup, saucer and cake plate, grab a magazine or book, and sit 'proper' at the dining table to enjoy my treats. With a vase of colourful blooms beside me by the window I can relax for 20 minutes or so, a lady of leisure. 

It's not a long time, but I was quite surprised on Friday how refreshing a 20 minute indulgent break can be, and I call it indulgent because I'm choosing to give it to myself as a gift, and because it's a gift I'll plan to have my favourite tea on hand and also a pack of special biscuits (cookies) that I enjoy for days when I haven't baked.

I already purchased a very special Caroline Zoob coffee mug late last year which shall be used on my coffee days, but I intend shopping this week for a special tea cup, saucer and cake plate for the 'indulgent' tea days. Having special cups for that daily 20 minute indulgence break adds to the ceremony of it, I think...and I'm one who likes that sort of thing. 

What about you?

On the stitching front this week I am playing with the March block for "The Love of Home" BOM, another sweet reward...

I'll have this ready for you to download on March 1st. 

Well my lovelies, I've just heard the "ping" of my oven timer which means it should be cool enough for me to don my apron and go a-scrubbing...

have a wonderful week,


Julie said...

Your posts are always timely for me Jenny because I too, am re-reading Rhonda's book & choosing to make some of the homemade cleaners out of it. It always interests me for us women that work from home ... how often the perception is quite different to the actual reality. I have many (many) friends whom I am sure think I sit & sip tea or coffee like a lady pretty much all day long ... when in actual fact, my cuppas are usually quickly consumed at either the sewing machine or the computer doing paperwork. Like you I am trying to make it a bit of a "me time" & sit properly at the table & enjoy those few special minutes. My digestive system has been telling me its time to do this !!! Have a lovely week my friend x x x

Createology said...

How are you always able to inspire me with your heartfelt posts? Cleaning the oven is never my choice and usually I feign ignorance and my wonderful husband actually cleans it (finally when he gets disgusted with his food in it). Yesterday I actually scrubbed the inside of it...all by myself. Yes, Yes, Yes to the indulgent well deserved tea or coffee break. I am another fan of having very special cups, glasses, dishes for my foods and drinks. Love the new BOM. Thank you so much dear for shariing and keeping it free. Love You Miss Jenny! <3. XO

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Waiting for cooler days to clean the oven isn't really an option there is it? :)
I cut frozen pizza in half and baked it in the oven, directly on the rack. I'll never do that again! Melting pizza toppings dripping onto the hot bottom of the oven! Live and learn!
Enjoy your coffee /tea moments!

Take care,

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny! How I adore you and you always brighten my day! Cleaning the oven is also the one chore that I always avoid for as long as possible. It is just a job that is far to painful. My Husband discovered a home cleaning solution that we love and use all over the house. It uses Vinegar, baking soda and Dawn dish soap and it works spectacular on everything we have tried it on. Especially the oven. While I am doing daily chores, my special times for me are sewing. I hope that your oven cleaning goes quickly and effortlessly and leaves lots of time for you! Have a great day!

Annie said...

For a long time, I've rewarded (indulged is a better word!) myself when I've had to do something medical-related: yearly physical, mammogram, dentist. It's usually a treat from Starbucks for me! I don't know why I haven't thought to include household chores in my indulging strategy - what a good idea! (My least favorite chore is bathroom cleaning.) Thanks for the inspiration.

Joanne said...

Happy Birthday Jenny!

Enjoy the day! The year ahead!
it's still the 20th here but the 21st there!

Motherdragon's Musings said...

I like special cups as well. Gives me a feeling of specialness.

On the oven front, yes, mine is long over f ue as well, may get onto it tomorrow, on my day off! Thank you for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

We are in the same boat with the oven cleaning gene! Last time I did it, I must have made a mistake. It did come a little cleaner with the vinegar and baking soda, but it kept flaking baking soda for ages. LOL I may give up and just smear Oven Off all over it the next time, and then leave the house for days. LOL I'm glad to know one more thing we share. The March stitchery looks amazing already.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jenny, Thank you for your very encouraging posts. I have decided to take your 'find joy in the ordinary' on for myself this year. It ties in with 1 Thessalonians 5:18 'Give thanks in all circumstances'. We all have ordinary tasks to do each day and if we can do them with a joyful attitude, it does change our day.
Best wishes, Lyn

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Jenny for such a wonderful post ,great information xx