My friend Michele recently reminded me to look for the simple things to give my home a cozy feel. I feel like I’ve lost this lately in all the busyness of life.
Tonight some coziness is brought to our table by a big pot of comfort food. It includes homemade pasta with chicken and garlic cream sauce. My kids affectionately call this meal “colorful noodles.” The pasta will be topped with grated, homemade cheese, the salad with homemade croutons from homemade bread, and homemade lime vinegar as a salad dressing.
Now, don’t let this post make you feel guilty for not making homemade croutons. If I could buy ones at the store that everyone in my family could eat, then I probably wouldn’t make them either. But, let this encourage to stop a moment and find the things that you already have lying around, the skills you know but haven’t used in a while, or the things you’ve made in the past but are now gathering dust by the wayside. The time to reflect will ground you in the present moment as you take stock of what you need, what your family needs, and what you have been blessed with, and as a result of that reflective moment, you will be able to meet those needs in some creative way. This will look differently for everyone, but everyone has something that that will make a meal or a room or a moment feel special.
Your thing may not be croutons. It may not even be bread. But that’s what I had laying around today. So stop a moment and take stock of what that thing is for you. What is it that you are really craving? What thing, or food, or skill, or time are you remembering and wishing you could get back to? Is there something you can do that will connect you to a past memory or person and make your home feel like it is more than just the place where you live? Ponder that, and as you do, find one little thing that will move you in the direction of feeling connected to your home.
Today that thing for me was putting this meal together and filling the bird feeders. I hadn’t touched the bird feeders in so long, but I had heard the red birds calling to me earlier in the day and I realized that I wanted to see them out my kitchen window again. Some things are worth taking a moment or two out of your day to do if it adds some connection to what would be an otherwise scattered day. Today the bird feeders did that for me. That one simple thing re-connected the thread of all the times I’ve watched the red birds out my kitchen window and took me all the way back to being a tiny five year old scattering bird seed out the sliding glass door of her grandmother’s house so that I could watch them land on her patio.
So what is worth your time and effort today? Putting out time and effort to make something is an investment. You may not have any time, or money, or even creative brain space to spare today. If so, that’s okay. Just let this discussion sit there. You’ll come back around to it when you are ready.
And if you are ready to try something, don’t mimic me. Everyone’s list of the things they long for is different and the practicality of implementing it depends on your budget, skills, personality, and what you enjoy. If making homemade bread feels like work, buy the bread. Your time and effort are worth something. Put it into something that you love and enjoy. It doesn’t even have to be food like my comfort meal tonight. It could be growing flowers so that you can have a bouquet on the dinner table even if dinner is takeout. It could be crochet or knitting or some other kind of needlework because you remember sitting with your grandmother on her wine and pink brocade sofa in a living room covered with green shag carpet while she teaches you to crochet a doll blanket for your baby. Find the little things that make the everyday just a little bit more special.
I hope you find a little cozy in your home this week. I’m going to try to.
For more Homemaking inspiration, follow my friend Michele who inspired this post at http://www.chocolateboxcottage.tv. She excels at combing cottage economy with modern conveniences.
And for further inspiration, the posts by @jesthepilgrim on IG are full of quaint, thrifty ideas that hearken back to the simple things. She makes her home feel beautiful and special for the people that live there.