As I mentioned in my last post I have a special project for you this week, one which you might like to make for yourself (or someone else) if the idea of keeping a household binder appeals.
Now that I've moved away from social media, the blog is where all things Elefantz can be found (along with my Pinterest page if you're after ideas), so I'm going to have more time to focus on nourishing our homemaker hearts and sharing various ways to build up those wonderful places we each call our home, sweet home.
Over the weekend I had the idea to re-create something I did a number of years ago - a household binder. This is where I used to keep my menu plans, grocery lists, recipes to try and recipes which were repeated often, cleaning tips, miracle spray and other cleaning product recipes, birthday list, gift planner, patterns to make, emergency contact list, essential services details...and much more.
So this sweet little stitchery which I'm giving you today can be your task for the next week.
Once I'd completed it, I added a red spotty border along the top and finished it as a pocket which was later sewn onto a simple lined cover for a new arch lever folder.
I chose the same happy colours which now decorate my blog...it just seemed right.
The pocket will hold pens and small notes or reminders that can be easily accessed each day.
Inside, it's obvious who's binder this is.
In fact, I'm sharing that same print out with you, having left a space where you can write your own name.
I am working on some pretty pages for your binder that I'll share in coming weeks, little by little as time allows...things like recipe pages, cleaning tips, menu planner pages, 'new' walk-the-room sheets (these have been popular in the past but if you don't know what they are I'll tell you all about them next time), seasonal cleaning lists and other useful ideas to keep us on track in our homemaker responsibilities.
Use the links below to download the free gifts for this project.
Of course you may have other ideas for this stitchery and not want a household binder at all!
And that's jolly fine with me.
However you use it, may it bless you.
Our precious little Rafaella Lucy turned two last week and what a wonderful day it was. She's such a bright and cheery spark, so very inquisitive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Fearless indeed, she keeps Blossom and Ross on their toes all their waking hours.
She's also a child who can make you laugh and laugh, even when she's trying very hard to ignore you and go her own way. That impish little grin and those twinkling eyes tug at every heartstring.
She absolutely loves two things - dolls and books.
When Blossom, Cully May and Rafaella were here yesterday this was quite apparent. Dolly must have a pillow and blanket, but Rafaella must also sleep with dolly and it's not so easy to share a fat quarter blanket between the two of them.
(hint to Nana "make some play blankets that are bigger")...
I have a shelf in my bookcase which houses a whole lot of wonderful books for me to read to the girls, but they also 'read' to themselves as they know the stories so well.
Rafaella gathered a big pile on the couch while Cully played with her beading and made us giggle as she 'read' Peter Rabbit to herself...
Peter is such a funny rabbit!
We all had cups of tea, apple and raspberry cake, and some of Poppy's rock cakes too.
It's such fun to have them visit, their smiles linger in each room even after they've gone home.
Last week our task was to clean out the pantry and I showed you mine after it was all freshly scrubbed and re-organised. One of the reasons I gave it a thorough going over was to plan what I'd need to switch the plastic storage containers to glass.
You can see my plastic-heavy pantry from last week here.
This week I can show you a big change! It's not all complete yet but it's well on the way.
I was able to buy large glass jars with screw top lids at Kmart for $2 each, and sets of eight small glass jars to store spices for $6. I also made use of some extra large jars which had been packed away in Mr E's shed since we moved here and even more were scrubbed this morning for the next stage of this makeover...
I got the idea to label the jars with a paint pen from Downshiftology's Youtube video of her own pantry organisation. Now, my family and friends will tell you I am NOT a Youtube watcher but I stumbled across Lisa's channel when I was looking for some vegan recipes. She's not vegan but she makes a lot of great vegan meals, however what really got my attention was how well organised she is with storage and meal preparation so I have watched many of her videos now and it's really inspired me to spend Sunday afternoons in the kitchen preparing for the week ahead.
I found this paint pen at Officeworks and it's fabulous, very easy to write with and I do love having my jars easily labelled.
At the moment I have the last of those glass jars from up in the shed drying in the kitchen after a good scrub. Blossom took a few home yesterday because she's also switching to as much glass as possible.
Not sure what kind of washing powder or liquid you use, but I thought I'd show you what Blossom and I use.
We buy the Aware brand which is quite economical and environmentally friendly, and add two tablespoons of pure eucalyptus oil to each box of washing powder (which is emptied and stored in a tin)...
Just a good shake once the powder and the eucalyptus oil are in the tin and it won't just clean your clothes but it will help keep your washing machine hoses clean too.
And it smells amazing.
I have heard in the past that Eucalyptus oil is very expensive in the USA, which is sad because it's readily available here in our supermarkets quite reasonably and lasts for ages. I also like to use it in our oil burner, especially during the hot wet season when the house is closed up.
Another little tip is how I use Colour Catchers.
As there's only my husband and I at home now we don't have a lot of washing so I save water and power by doing one small load each day, and the sheets and towels on Friday. This means our daily load is a mix of colours so colour catcher sheets are wonderful thrown into the machine and I've never had colours run or blend since I began using them about six years ago.
BUT, the pack tells you to use one whole sheet in your wash.
No....not at all.
You can divide one Color Catcher sheet into ten pieces and that small tear off square works exactly the same as one whole sheet.
I've never had a problem and saved a ton of money doing it this way.
There are 15 sheets in a box, and instead of getting just 15 washes from that box I now get 150.
Righto, I must away now because I have almonds soaking for the next batch of almond milk, potato rosti to make, a peach crumble to bake for desserts over the next few nights, and a coleslaw to prepare.
There's also those remaining jars to label and fill...and I can hear my husband's car pulling in to the driveway so the kettle needs to go on for a cuppa too.
What have you been doing around your home lately?
May the Lord of heaven and earth abundantly cheer your thoughts this week and bring laughter, hope and happiness to your home.
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