7QT: Beginner Thrifting Tips

Coat from Goodwill

Months ago I was charmed to read Jen’s early forays into the world of thrifting. It was fun to see someone’s first foray into secondhand shopping, because I grew up that way. Glamorous as it sounds, taking people’s old used stuff home with me is in my blood. It’s a way to save money, sure, but also a way to help the planet and to avoid supporting unethical business practices. And don’t get me started on the thrill of the hunt!Read More »

Frugal Accomplishments for the First Couple Weeks of October

Recently I’ve been reading and enjoying the Prudent Homemaker’s recurring series, “Frugal Accomplishments,” in which she tracks her budget-saving measures over the course of each week. (I think I first discovered her through the also excellent blog, The Big White Farmhouse.)  I come from a frugal family so many of these steps come naturally, but J and I also are careless budgeters, so we still have a lot to learn. Here are some of our recent highlights, though, since I’ve enjoyed reading others’:Read More »

Enlisting Young Talent

Because of our family’s lengthy stint in grad school, it was a very, very long time before J and I got grown-up jobs. (Arguably, I never really did, at least not breadwinner-level career stuff.) So for years, I was grateful for the kindness shown to me when friends and connections would hire me for all kinds of little gigs: from pet- and housesitting as a teenager to formatting a textbook manuscript as a newlywed and scanning an ex-pat alum’s personal documents in graduate school. Cobbling these little income channels together helped in concrete ways, and helped to pass the time during periods when I was scrambling for “real” employment. So it’s been a pleasure now that we are settled to be able to hire young people to help with our lives while we help them.Read More »

Making Friends with John Henry Newman

Maybe, like me and J, you took awhile to find your home in the Catholic church. After a not particularly well-catechized childhood in the Catholic church, I spent four years as a newlywed pilgrim in the Anglican denomination before finding my way back to Rome. Later on, my husband read and debated himself into Catholicism after stints in the Evangelical and Anglican churches. Maybe that’s why, after years of debate and vacillation, when my husband finally crossed the Tiber, he took Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman as his patron saint. Read More »

Of Soils and Souls

When I was a kid, my dad had this book rattling around in his powder blue Honda Civic hatchback. It was a book of soil samples meant, I think to help him identify the varieties of soil he encountered in the rural Florida panhandle in the course of his work. All I knew was the beauty of the different varieties: yellowish sand, rich brown, iron-tinged red clay.

Fast forward to my own garden. Read More »

7 Ways Anne of Green Gables Prepared Me for Homeschooling

(I’m joining in this week with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 (not so) Quick Takes. You can visit the other posts in this link-up here!)

When it comes to figuring out this life of mine, particularly the homeschooling aspect, sometimes I feel like I’m navigating without a roadmap — and if you know me, you know I’m absolutely dependent on GPS for my continued survival. I enjoyed a fairly conventional suburban childhood and attended public school straight through. Lucky for me I had Anne of Green Gables to prepare me for home educating my kids.Read More »

Some Thoughts on Introverted Mom by Jamie Martin

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Today I’m looking at Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy by Jamie Martin.

It’s an important topic, both for me and many of the women I’ve met in this season of life. After all, as Martin says, “When our quiet nature collides with our often loud role, frustration and guilt result.” And believe me, I’ve definitely experienced both. Some days, it can be hard to recognize my tendency toward being overwhelmed as anything other than an indicator that I’m not cut out for this gig. Read More »