Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hitting my Stride as a Housewife

Last month, I wrote a post about how I was home all day but couldn't seem to get anything done.  But this week, I feel like I've finally hit my stride as a housewife.  I'm getting housework done, trying new things, and filling extra time with edifying activities.

A couple things have helped me to be more productive. I'm making sure to get out of the house at least once a day to run errands or for social interaction.  I make a to-do list every night for the next day (I really like this printable daily page).  I printed out daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning checklists (courtesy of Martha Stewart), put them in page protectors in a binder, and made a point to check off a few chores every day.

But let's be honest, the key to my new found housewife success (well, success is probably too strong of a word, maybe competency is a little more like it) has been Pinterest.  I've been on Pinterest for quite a while now and had a really hard time getting into it.  At first, it just seemed like a place to save pretty pictures, take note of the clothing I would never be able to afford, and admire the crafts I would never be able to execute.  And really, it can still be those things, but I've found that Pinterest is what you make of it, and I've found a way to make it work for me.  I've mostly used it to pin and find recipes, and found it particularly helpful to make two separate boards for recipes - one for new recipes I've found and another to move recipes to once I've tried and enjoyed them.

I've also really liked pinning potential gifts so I have a bank of ideas to draw from when gift-giving occasions arise.  And I've pinned some craft ideas, although I've made sure only pin the ones that are feasible related to my crafting ability (nearly nonexistent) and financial resources (actually nonexistent).

The true magic in Pinterest is that it's forced me to be adventurous and try new things, which has been a huge motivation in getting things done.  Here's a little sampling of some of my new experiments around the house:

End of Summer Harvest Slow Cooker Recipe

I made this for last night's dinner with vegetables I got at the farmer's market last weekend.  I had to go all over the city to find the dried white Cannellini beans (finally found them at Whole Foods), but it was definitely worth it.  It was the first time I'd used our crock pot since receiving it as a wedding gift over a year ago, but I am definitely hooked on slow cooking - I spent a half hour chopping vegetables and putting everything in the crock pot in the morning and didn't have to worry about cooking for the rest of the day.  And I loved how it made the whole apartment smell.  Mmmm...

Roasted Fall Vegetables

                                                                           Source: via Mandi on Pinterest

I made these roasted fall vegetables with fish for dinner Sunday night.  I'd never made roasted vegetables before, although I had some recently at a friend's barbecue and had been wanting to try it.  When I came across this recipe, I was inspired.  Although the weather is still a little too warm for all this fall-themed food, these recipes looked just too good to resist!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

                                                                         Source: via Mandi on Pinterest

I made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent yesterday.  I haven't had a chance to use it yet, so I'm not sure how well it will work, but if it does, it definitely will save us quite a bit on laundry detergent in the future.  Plus, it was kind of fun to make.  I felt like a chemist mixing ingredients (yes, I know that was a really dorky analogy, but why does my husband get to have all the fun working in a lab?).  

If you've enjoyed reading about my new housewife adventures this week, 
you can check out more adventurous bloggers at Alicia's Homemaking.  


  1. Yay for roasted veggies! How did they turn out?

  2. With the laundry detergent, I've heard of folks putting essential oils in the rinse cycle (I believe) to add scent too! Have you tried making your own multi-purpose cleaner before?

    I'm trying a variant of that crock pot recipe right now, using what we had in the fridge. I hope it turns out tasty! I've never even heard of Cannellini beans, are they good?

  3. Such fun! I hope you enjoy all this housewifery until the baby comes...because then you are in for a real treat! how to get it all done PLUS manage a baby ;-)

    Letters from Momma

  4. Wow, look at you go! I love Pinterest for the very same reason...I have already tried at least 3 new recipes from there and a couple of crafts (and I'm also with you on nearly nonexistant crafting skills!).
    Let us know how the laundry detergent turns out (i.e. does it actually work)!

  5. Ah, Cynthia, I got the roasted veggie recipe from you (and the Martha Stewart checklists)! The recipe came out great - my husband liked it so no complaints! I couldn't remember whose blog I saw them on when I was writing this post, otherwise I would have made this a "How to be a better housewife courtesy of Cynthia" post!

    Whitney, I haven't tried a multi-purpose cleaner before - do you have a good recipe? And Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans, if you like kidney beans, you'd probably like them. My husband commented that they are very "hearty" beans.

    Kaylene, I though about it as I was writing - I'm just getting this down and it's all going to turn upside down in a few months!!!

    Alicia, I've only tried one craft so far, but I'm building up the nerve to try more! I am really anxious to share how the laundry detergent goes.

  6. I started a "household management" binder over the summer where I keep our emergency info, meal plans, and shopping lists. I found to do lists everyday to be a bit overwhelming however, I like the Martha Stewart cleaning lists. I'll have to print them out for us. The hubby and I aren't real good and doing things everyday or even every week but, I am determined to get better and keeping the house clean while it's just the two of us. has some great resources!

  7. I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. I spend WAY too much time on it. And, like you, it is the first place I go to when I'm thinking of dinner or the grocery list.

    And in your response to my pictures- thanks for the nice compliment! I however do not have a nice camera. It's just a basic digital camera. But I do have a MacBook, and just using the basic iphoto edits, I can make my pictures look okay...

    You've got me thinking that maybe I should try making my own laundry detergent...


    Shannon @

  8. Yay! You made the deteregent! I hope you love it. Also, I looked at the recipe and it's pretty similar to the one that I used and I don't have to use a whole cup per load. My calls for 1/4 cup for front loading and 5/8 for top loading. You may want to try both ways but you could definitely stretch that homemade detergent a lot further! :)

  9. What a great idea to use Pinterest like that! I keep meaning to start on it but have worried it would just be a time-waster - I didn't realize it could be a time-saver!

    And I also really enjoyed my time as a housewife while I was pregnant. Like you, I tried to figure out how to manage my home well and get several new recipes under my belt so I'd have a better handle on it once baby came! Keep up the good work!

  10. Pinterest is something I am afraid to try because I need to spend less time on the computer, not more. But I'm glad to hear it is a force for good in your life!


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