Friday, October 30, 2009

A Welcome Home Feeling

Creating a welcome-home feeling is every woman’s challenge. As the makers of our home we want the hearts of our loved ones to feel hugged as they walk in the front door. We want the sights to be warm and cozy, the sounds to be calming and joyful, and the smells to be yummy. We want to create a comforting environment that will help melt away the stresses of the day.

Source of quote:

I am taking some time to go over some of my favorite homemaking blogs, getting inspired in this area as I confess I have let my creativity and love of home slip a bit in the frenzy of my novel edits. But on a cozy cool afternoon it's fun to sit and dream of ways to make home feel more "homey." So I sat and sipped Zen tea, scheming and dreaming of ways I can create that welcome home feeling this fall. After perusing blogs and soaking in "homeyness," I have come up with some things I intend to do starting now:

  • I put George Winston's "Autumn" cd on hold at the library and expect it to come in some time this week. (As I type this, I am listening to my George Winston station on Pandora. So soothing.) I plan to play it in the afternoons while the children work on homework, have their snacks, and play. With the cooler temperatures and the darkness coming on earlier in the day, their outdoor playtime is limited. I would also like to have it on in the evenings. I have a picture in my head of all of us gathered around a candlelit table with soothing music playing in the background. (FYI: the pictures in my head never match my reality but it's ever so nice to dream)
  • I bought a big canister of hot chocolate, several different kinds of teas, and some apple cider to offer the children in the afternoons after school or in the evenings. They absolutely love hot drinks most anytime. Cold mornings are great too! Some styrofoam cups enable them to take their hot drinks to go!
  • I am including a big pot of soup in our menu for each week-- white chili, regular chili, chicken tortilla soup, vegetable soup, and baked potato soup are all favorites at our house. Served with some crusty bread or homemade yeast rolls and we have a filling meal.
  • I have all of our fall decorations out thanks to my mom stopping by one day in the midst of my edits and making me stop long enough to drag everything out. I was SO glad I did it once it was done. She was a huge help and made the work go fast. It makes our house look so homey and brings a smile to my face.
  • Light candles more often. I like the soft glow they bring to a room, plus the scented ones make the house smell great! My favorite this time of year is "Autumn Leaves" by Yankee Candle. Last week at an event I won a set of two candles-- one banana bread scent and one green apple scent. I have these sitting out now and am reminding myself to use them up and quit saving them for special occasions and company. I want my family to know they are special, too and worth going the extra mile for!
  • Make desserts. My family absolutely loves when I make something for dessert. The funny thing is, I remember being a kid and being SO excited if I knew my mom had made dessert. Even if it was just instant pudding served in special cups, it felt out of the ordinary-- something to be savored. This week I have plans to make homemade vanilla custard in the crockpot and a chocolate cherry dessert for our small group, which meets tonight!
  • Keep the house clean and not just tidy. My house is always tidy (I am a bit OCD about keeping things put away.) but not always clean. I bought a new duster that has refills you can use and have been dusting more ever since I bought it. Dusting is one of those chores I don't think about til company comes and I notice in horror that you could write your name on the table they are sitting beside! I find that investing in some convenience-type housekeeping products like the duster really does help make cleaning easier, which means I will actually do it.

How do you create that welcome home feeling? I would love to hear what you are doing... or want to do (that counts too)!

And, speaking of homekeeping, I did a little sprucing up on my home here on the web. Can you find what's new? Some of you already have-- thanks for noticing and for your nice notes and comments!

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Kathy said...

You have so many wonderful ideas of how to make your home a little piece of heaven for your family. I like to use my nice dishes for my family not just for specail meals. We also like to have soups and desserts on this chilly Iowa nights. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I noticed "The MailBox"!!! Is that you're new novel? Very exciting.

Currently, making my house a home is a huge focus right now. There are so many "final touches" that need to be done on our house. We need more pictures/etc on the wall. I need curtains in the kitchen and my sons room needs to be updated from toddler to big boy. I struggle with interior design and am admittedly envious of the women who can make their house feel and look like a real home.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Trench Mommy said...

I love the cover of your novel! Very catchy! I didn't know you had a "The Reason We Speak" book, too! I have wanted to read your other one about writing and never have gotten it yet. It's on the to-do list!

As for the homemaking, candles are my number one defense. And every Monday I clean the house. Completely. That always makes it homey and it stays pretty well till the end of the week. Keeping the main living area tidy is a big plus, too. I tell my kids that God allowed us t have a play room for a reason!

Mom Can I? said...

love the cover of the new book!!!!! I cannot wait to read it!!!!!!! so very proud of you!!!!

JottinMama said...

This post inspires me! It's just what I needed to get autumn going around here :)

I've been wanting to make some soups lately, too. You mentioning Chicken Tortilla makes me want to give that a whirl.

I'm gonna snoop around to see if I can find some homemaking blogs...thanks for the inspiration!

Have a great weekend,
Kate :)

shyman510 said...

Great book cover-can't wait to read it! Also, thanks for the George Winston 'Autumn' reminder! I have all of his cd's-he's absolutely amazing. I've seen him in concert and was completely in awe of his abilities-it sounds like at least 2 pianos are playing at once!

Molly said...

My fave candle is Cinnamon Pecan Swirl. It makes my home smell like I just baked the real thing. When the weather turns cooler, I look for ways to make home cozy. Candles and warm throws on the sofas & beds top the list.

Comfort foods like chicken pot pie, chicken noodle soup, meat loaf, and beef stew are more prevalent on our menu. With more hours of darkness we naturally spend more time inside our home with family and friends. Food seems to top the list of making my home an inviting place to be. However I love finding new ideas of inexpensive ways to visually make it inviting as well.

BTW, I can't wait to read your new book!


Teresa Slack said...

My mother always served dessert for dinner, sometimes it was only canned fruit. But we all looked forward to it. Thanks for your ideas and the gentle prodding that I need to do some brainstorming of my own.

Julie said...

Thanks for the wonderful ideas. I'm working on doing the same thing. I was doing well til last week when we got super busy and now I don't feel so good, so again its put on the backburner.

I love candles, too, but my absolute favorite is a nice fire in the fireplace.

I love chicken tortilla soup. Our grocery store sells french bread bowls, so that is how we usually serve it. Yumm!!

Julie =)

MaryBeth said...

Great Post and great ideas. I stopped by after you were linked to from The Nester. Your awesome name caught my eye. There aren't too many of us out there :)
MaryBeth Loewen

Mrs. U said...

OOH!! I LOVED this post! I felt warm and homey just reading this. Thank you!! I sooo enjoy reading anything homemaking. Is there anything better than making your house a place your family WANTS to be? :)

And thank you for mentioning George Winston. Would you believe I had no idea who he was? I pulled up Pandora and have him playing right now. Thank you!!

Mrs. U

ajourneyinmommying said...

I'm in the trenches of little boyhood at my house. :) My guys are 7,5,3,and 11 months. This VERY topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately....maybe it's something about the falling leaves and the coming holidays that makes me want home to be cozy? Coming off a string of chain sicknesses I am NOW inspired on this Saturday I look at a house that is about as far from cozy as it can get!!! My husband has a meeting later today and I want to surprise him now when he comes home. 11 month old is down for his maybe I'll be able to make some tracks!! Thanks for the post! It caught my eye as I was looking for a recipe that I saw on here the other day! :)