Tuesday, July 17, 2018


No house yet, but it will happen, and in preparation for our hoped-for move I've begun to go through each room very slowly, looking with fresh eyes at each item we own and evaluating whether we need it or even want it.

I've found as renters who regularly move we just tend to gather and pack what we have and move on, whether that be to the  next suburb, a new town or far across the country (and Australia's rather large).  Yes, there's habitually some culling of our excess and a thinning of books, clothes, coffee mugs and paper products, all which make their way to a number of local charity shops, but this time it will be so much more.

Because we're now preparing to buy a home of our own, a let's-put-roots-down home, a we-can-decorate-it-any-way-we-like home, it's time to gather only that which matters, has purpose, is beautiful or fulfills a need. 
This is why I shall be going along wall by wall, shelf by shelf, cupboard by cupboard, room by room here in our (hopefully) final rental house, and taking time to consider what's coming with us and what is not.

Yesterday I began with the cookbooks, of which I have many, two full bookcases in fact. 
Some came with me into our marriage almost 27 years ago and the remainder have come along since then. In fact, quite a few of the recipes I learned from the older books are still family favourites today and been passed along to my daughters.

But as I emptied the two bookcases I chose to consider each book on it's individual merits and after three hours of browsing pages and copying the odd recipe here and there, had reduced my collection of cookbooks to one small bookcase...

Sadly, a number of the rejected cookbooks I was packing into boxes for the charity shop had not been opened in many years so I did chide myself for what was obviously a series of impulse purchases.

But how exciting it was to place our little old bookcase (which dear Blossom had painted white ten years ago after we purchased it at a garage sale) in the corner of the dining room, full of cookbooks I was keen to keep and use! In fact, needing a rest after all that decision making and page turning, I brewed a cuppa and pulled this one off the shelf to browse as Mr E was sorely in need of a baked morning tea treat for his lunch box. 

Within the pages of Baking Day I found a wonderful collection of sweet recipes but when a bookmarked page fell open to Frangipane Jam Drops the decision about what to bake was clearly made for me...

Another thing I'm doing as we draw nearer to the lease expiring here and a home of our own looming closer is to use up the pantry supplies and the freezer items in order to begin fresh in a new kitchen when the time comes. 
Jars of jam, mayonnaise and pickles from the fridge are slowly being used up and as I had a quarter jar of apricot conserve on hand it made a delicious filling for the the jam drops.

With a pot of fresh chicken and corn soup simmering on the stove when hubby arrived home from work I thought the cookies could be a simple dessert later that night but he thought they'd make a nice pre-dinner snack as well. How can you disagree when your husband obviously loves your cooking?

Today I drove over to Blossom's and spent time with her and the babies. What a lot of laughter, deep conversation, twirling and sorting we did! 

Laughter at the two little girls and their funny antics, deep conversation about our shared interests in minimalism, organisation and house hunting, twirling like ballerinas for Cully May until I got so dizzy we decided to stop, and sorting through Blossom's bookcase for excess to donate because she, Ross and the children are moving next month and they've also decided just to take what they really love and need. 

My car boot loaded with boxes from yesterday's cookbook cull and now Blossom's donations as well, I waved goodbye to these three lovelies and headed to the Salvation Army store on the highway close to home to drop everything off.

Tomorrow I shall start on my office. 
And that will require much coffee, and surely a few cookies as well.

Have I ever told you how much I love a good seasonal de-clutter?
Well I do.
But this is better.

On the sewing front new patterns are being completed for August, including this Jane Austen quote which I love...

I have an idea to design a series of Jane Austen quotes.
This one will hang in my home soon, and perhaps many more to follow. 
Perhaps a wall of them? Mmm.

God bless you and keep you, 
May His love fill your heart, 
His Light shine through your darkness,
and His provision be generous in supplying all your needs.


New embroidery patterns are regularly added to my shop for instant download.
Shop HERE for Elefantz Designs.


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous photo of your three precious lovelys!

  2. Oh I love the pic of your girls - so beautiful!!! I too love a good clean-out, and now my hands are itching to get started!

  3. I love sorting and tidying, a good de-clutter session make me very happy. However, my home would be much more streamlined without my family as the are all hoarders and struggle to let anything go at all. I went through my cookery books recently and a few bags left the house, I do still have over 100 though. Baking is one of my passions, it makes me happy and I love cake too so the majority are baking books. x

  4. I love yourblog. Real life and at times wishing for a quieter less stressful life. My husband retires next year and we have decided to downsize to a 5th wheel RV. Life is too short to stand by. Blessings Sherrie

  5. Oh those girls are lovely, Jenny. We are having some renovations done soon for the first time in 40 years so I too will have to go through cupboards and sort things out. Living in the same house for 40 years means there is a lot of 'stuff'. Thankfully it is not a full house reno. That new house of yours must be just around the corner...figuratively speaking :-)

  6. What a beautiful picture of your girls. My life is full of girls too :-)

  7. believe it or not, I have started!!!!! culling the laundry cupboard which is to become my new linen closet and I've made a start in my office.....who would have thunk! Love that photo of our precious girls! xoxox

  8. As an employee of the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi - Vicksburg Mississippi USA Salvation Army Corps I thank you for your generous donation to your local Salvation Army.
    I too need to get on a De-clutter mission but it is going to have to wait until cooler weather. The temps have been in the high 90s and with the humidity the "Feels like" is around 107F. It just drains me of all my energy. I will keep praying you find your forever home soon.

  9. 'It is one thing to admit that possessions don’t equal happiness… it is something else to recognize how they keep us from it.' a quote from Becoming Minimalist blog that I follow. I read it this morning & thought this is so very true! It's easy for me to stop buying more things but so hard for me to get rid of things. I think this quote will help me.

    I do hope you find your home soon.

    Jane Austen! I have a whole collection of her quotes. I collect quotes & so enjoy just reading through them occasionally. I love this one! I've read all of her books, some many times & never noticed this one before. It's going into my collection.

  10. Goodness, it’s been a long time since I’ve commented! I cannot wait to see how God answers all the prayers for your new home. My prayer is that He will reveal it to you soon. I know it will be the perfect place for you and Mr E! Now, I’m off to look up Jane Austen quotes!

  11. Love the girls picture. It is a beautiful picture of them. They do favor there mom. I wish I could just give away and get rid of this clutter. But it seems like I am way to attached to stuff. I am working on it though. Little by little I am cleaning out things. Praying your new home finds you very very soon. Hug and love .

  12. Beautiful photos - especially of the three girls. Adorable.

  13. Hi there, I'm very interested in the "planner" that you recently mentioned, been looking for something that suits me & I think that might just be the one. Where can it be purchased....a long while ago "Happy Planner" was mentioned ? Been enjoying your blog these last few years. Thankyou.

    1. It's an American product so I had to purchase mine through an Australian supplier on Etsy. Yes, it's called the Happy Planner and the company is 'Me and My Big Ideas'. Google it and you'll find the business site. :-)

  14. I hope you continue sharing your decluttering posts. I need the inspiration to motivate me into doing the same.

    Prayers for your house hunting.

  15. Three hours sorting through cookbooks sounds very relaxing to me. I don't have a large collection of cookbooks, but I do have quite a few books, and they could use a culling. I may have to do that in August when I'm finished with school. This post sounded like a lazy little stream meandering from place to place. It sounds more peaceful. The cookies are enough to send me to the kitchen for a snack - sadly not of good cookies!

  16. Oh, Jenny, you have inspired me to declutter. I would love to thin out my book collection of all kinds to have a neat bookcase like yours. The apricot cookies look delicious. Trying to stay off too much sugar and fat without a lot of success. I love baking for family visiting, but then find I eat the leftovers. Your embroideries as usual are beautiful. Thank you for sharing so generously. I have used a number of your free patterns over the years, and bought one or two from your shop. Blossom is looking so happy with her little daughters. God Bless, and best wishes in the house search.xx

  17. I love the pics you take of your precious girls. They make me smile. I admire your determination to toss out things. It is a never ending cycle for me lol. My youngest daughter's rental is up for sale and they are packing things away for inspections. No fun. Glad you are feeling so positive and well enough to do all the necessary things.

  18. Hubby and I have moved many times, twice in the last 5 years (this last one over 1800 miles). Like you, I take very seriously the purging process. It is so disheartening (to me, anyway) to move and then realize I should have disposed of all that extra stuff that I really don't need any more.

    I look forward to seeing how your story unfolds.

  19. Jenny Dear you are very wise to sort and purge things before you move. I thought I had done a good job of it all...however I have waaaay toooo much stuff for our much smalller forever home. So the charity shops here in our new state will be the recipients of my treasures. Your cookies look delightful. Yes, I did consume lots of pantry and cold foods before moving. Love your new Jane Austen stitchery. <3

  20. I'm following your house hunting / declutter with great interest. My husband is a Minister of Religion and we've always had a large house provided for us. He retires soon and we are also looking for our first/last house. I can't say I totally enjoy the process but it certainly is interesting! and, like you, we are trusting God to 'find' us the right one. Because we've moved often, I regularly cull ..BUT... we've always had such big houses it's been too easy to keep more than I need....dealing with that issue is a work in progress. God bless in your hunting/declutter.

  21. I’ve missed you lately so as I lay in bed at 5 in the morning unable to sleep because of a chest infection, I decided to catch up on your blog. So glad I did, Jen you are an inspiration, time to look at a life of declutter and mess and get back to basics. I haven’t cooked anything decent for my family of men for a while so time for that too. Lots of love x


It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...