Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SIMPLE {and unfancy}

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which
anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens,
but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly,
like pearls slipping off a string.
L. M. Montgomery

We have pretty simple tastes in our home. We enjoy our share of quiet days and basic routine. And although I know it is pretty unfancy of me-- the honest truth is that I really love paper plates.

I love them so much that I usually stock them right in my kitchen cabinet so we can use them all the time. Oh, we enjoy our fancy dinners too in which we go all out, but for the most part we like things that keep life simple-- and unfancy.

By the way, I really loved The Sacred Sandwich's version of Keep Calm and Carry On and simply printed it on photo paper to enjoy in my kitchen. Isn't that a fun use of color?

Another unfancy thing I do is have my children work. We don't have house cleaners or gardeners or anything like that.

And I don't like to do everything myself- I am a firm believer in family working together and then resting together. Mom doesn't do anyone any favors by doing everything.

So especially when I feel overwhelmed in an area I simply ask the kids to give me a hand. I figure that helping with the cooking and cleaning is the best way to have children appreciate what is cooked and cleaned. And I think work prepares them for the future. Simple-- unfancy.


I believe in marketing to children. I suppose I should say-- I believe in marketing to my own children.

Whether it's pulling together a book basket with the books I'd like them to notice this week or putting an activity I'd like them to do in plain sight, I try to find a way to put good things within their reach.

Don't you just love the vintage look of candy canisters filled with brightly colored treats? Me too, but since I really didn't want to promote candy each day I filled ours with markers and crafty things and made copies of some coloring pages I thought would encourage their hearts in the Lord. They get used a lot. Simple-- and unfancy.

Have any simple and unfancy marketing tricks you like to use at home?

The days get so warm that we seem to stay inside until the sun starts to go down. This is when we go out to play with the dogs, water the garden and jump on the trampoline.

I make sure to remind the older girls how important it was to them when big kids would spend time focusing on them and I have them play on the trampoline with the littler ones for a set time each evening. The little girls really look forward to their play dates. Simple-- unfancy.

Our garden is very unfancy this time of year and not the least bit impressive. In fact, each day it seems to grow a little more wild. I could handle a few planter boxes with pathways between, but

this year we kept the garden really simple- even choosing to grow fewer varieties of things.

We primarily have strawberries and tomatoes. A few squash, peas and a couple of rows of popcorn. Simple-- and very unfancy.

Wishing you a very simple and unfancy day!



P.S. Remember my friend, Gabe? Well, she had her baby! We are so excited and thankful for the healthy arrival of this new little blessing. Feel free to pop over and enjoy the cuteness. : )


  1. First I have to say WOW! Your back yard is looking great! You guys have really put some work into it!

    I love simple and unfancy too! That is the way everything seems to be around here these days. Simple meals that the kids can help with, simple activities for the kids (water and some plastic dishes can really keep a toddler/preschooler busy for a long time!), just simply enjoying what God has going on in our lives and not trying to do anything more than that!

  2. Rebecca I have been following your blog for some time but have only commented once before. I just love your blog - we share the same love of family and home. This was a wonderful post and I am very inspired by how you used those lovely canisters for craft items. It was a table that you painted white with legs similar to the one I had hiding in a shed that I commented on before. Well I finally hauled it out of the shed and painted the legs white but the top was too oil stained but a lace cloth disguised it - simple, not fancy but maybe a little bit fancy because I used it for a vintage style tea party recently for my daughter's birthday.
    I think I told you that I also have a Michaela and she is the dessert chef in our home. I rarely get to make desserts these days! I used to feel a little guilty for allowing her so much time in the kitchen but she became so accomplished that she recently launched her own dessert business at the markets.
    I too have simple but not fancy gardens. I dreamed of a fancy potager but we had to enclose our vegetable garden with netting to keep out the wildlife. I so wanted pretty but had to settle for practical in order to actually grow food!
    Oh and I also spotted my bird bath in your post! - I have one almost identical with the same little bird.
    As you can tell by this rather long comment (sorry!) I loved this post - thank you for inspiring me.

  3. Thanks my friend- I am glad to hear you are embracing the simple and enjoying that new blessing of yours. You are so rich!

    Yes, we put in a bit of sweat equity since you were last here. Please trust me when I say that photo is at a very favorable angle and the property still needs a lot of work. But we content ourselves with little advances gained together. : )

    We received a lot of the plants from my step father who reproduced them from his own garden. Wasn't that kind?

  4. Hello Ann, Of course I remember you! How wonderful that the Lord allowed you to hone in on Michaela's giftings and that she has been able to become a young entreprenuer! That is fantastic. I am really impressed. If you have a link that shows her work I'd love to see it and show it to our girls.

    How wonderful to have such similar experiences to inspire one another! Thank you for your sweet comment.

    Blessings to you!

  5. Rebecca - I wrote a post about my daughter's love of baking last year. It is called 'A Daughter's Dream'. Here is the link www.eightacresofeden.com/2010/04/daughters-dream.html
    I plan on doing a post about her little business in the near future. She has to use our church kitchen for baking because you need to have council approval in order to have a market stall that sells food. Most home kitchens would not meet the requirements - we have pets for example! She sells her excess desserts after church the next day and all profits go to an orphanage in Thailand that our church supports. Her latest cake creation is featured in my most recent post about her sister's vintage tea party - as is the table I mentioned in my previous comment.

  6. Oh, you just rock! :) Thanks for this sweet post. I think that lately I've been having a tendency to do too much FOR the children instead of expecting them to pitch in to help. (I throw some "biggest martyr sighs" in there for my own benefit...ha!) I love the idea that we ALL work, and we ALL rest! YES! Yesterday afternoon we ALL worked together, and my husband arrived home to a happy wife, reasonably clean home, and dinner...rewarmed leftovers...unfancy, of course! It was a peaceful, pleasant evening. Thanks for reminding me of the simple-and-good things. I'd lost my vision in the new-homeschool-year craziness.


  7. Hi Rebecca!

    I've also been a reader of your blog for several years but I don't comment very often (maybe once?). Just wanted to say I love your blog and I'm going to link to it on mine. :)

    I also love your idea for putting art supplies in the candy canisters. I always see those and wonder what I might do with them!

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

  8. Awww- Thank you ladies. You made my evening. : )

  9. Loved this post! Simple is the best and you always have such great ideas...the hardscape looks fantastic, can't wait to see it in person!

    I love what you called 'marketing to your own children' because I am a *big* practicer of this concept! Birthday and Christmas gifts center on items I want them to invest their time with for the future, and I also *feature* certain items, books, activities, music and movies out in the open where they'll be seen and used the most. Fruits and veggies are often displayed openly in appealing bowls so they will be desired most and eaten regularly. :o) I even like rotating certain toys and making available and easily accesible those that help focus on an area I want to work on improving with the littles ones (for Anna's sake as we teach her to play things that don't come naturally). I'd never thought of it in those terms, but now I have a *name* to go with my approach. :o)

    See you soon, Lord willing!

  10. Your blog is one of the few that I regularly frequent. Thank you so much for sharing here.

    I would like to know where you found the Rise and Shine picture and if there are more to be had wherever that is!

    (We've added a paper plate and accessories shelf in the cabinet since seeing this post. Thanks for the great idea!)


  11. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you! And hooray for paper plates-- I say we embrace them! : )

    The Rise and Shine sign is from Cost Plus. I think it was $12.99. Just got it, so they should be around. Enjoy!

    Blessings to you!

  12. Lisa-

    Your deliberate parenting is always such an inspiration to me. Those are fantastic ideas for marketing to kids.

    So glad you are here for a visit! What would I do without your sweet friendship? : )

  13. Hi Rebecca!
    I kept meaning to comment on this post, and now finally am! Keeping things simple is so great isn't it? Love the candy containers used for supplies. So much so that I made a special trip to tarjay to get a couple more! I already use them in my laundry room for detergent. :). As we shift from the simplicity that summer brings to our fall schedule (which can get a little crazy!) I pray that we can keep the simple around! ( as I have shared before, I don't homeschool, so the fall brings the chaos of the new school year. Exciting, but a bit crazy!)
    I do believe this is now quite long enough :). Blessings to you!

  14. Thanks Shane! I am enjoying that the tomatoes are finally turning red! What a treat.

    Hi Gabi! How fun! You always have such cute taste. It's a compliment that I would inspire you. Love the laundry detergent idea. Didn't the summer just zip by? Yes-- let's try to keep the lazy porch swing mentality as we move inside.