Time Saving Tips & A Homemakers Evening

The baths have all been taken, a cup of milk all drank and now the children, all nestled in bed, listen to their mothers calming voice. A bedtime story calms them down and makes their eyes heavy and soon they begin to dream.

One young child fights off sleep and climbs into the storytellers lap. He wiggles and he squirms long after the story has ended. The young mother rocks the infant until the child’s eyes close and she lets out a sigh of relief, as if she felt he would never get settled to sleep.

She lays him in his bed and tucks him in tight and then leaves the room after turning out the night light.

The house is quiet now, almost an eerie feeling. As she walks through the hallway and steps into her kitchen, she sees the piles of dishes. Another sigh escapes her lips but she does not complain. She rolls up her sleeves to do her task all over again.

How mundane her life, she thinks. However, she knows her tasks do not go unnoticed by her heavenly Father. He sees and knows her heart. This makes her smile as she rinses the suds away.

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:27

She whispers this verse under her breath and knows she’s doing exactly right. No matter how ordinary her life may seem, she knows she’s been ordained by God, to be the keeper of this house, mother of her children, wife to her husband, and most of all a servant to the heavenly King.

How extraordinary the life of a homemaker is, if only one looks at it from the right point of view.

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The evenings are usually a time when all the days work either comes to an end or sometimes feel like it just begins.

Staying on top of your chores throughout the day really is a time saver at the end of the day.

If you overlooked all the “little things” throughout your morning and afternoon, then by evening time you will soon realize that all those “little things” grew into big things.

So here are a few tips to help you throughout your days, to keep your house under control and to make your evenings much more relaxed.

1. When cooking, clean as you go.

This is such a huge, yet simple, tip. If you are baking cookies and you have emptied the bowl of cookie dough, simply rinse it out and wipe it clean. Just think how much time that saved you. Compared to setting it in the sink until you “got around” to washing dishes, by that point the raw dough would be infused to the sides of the bowl, making it a much more tedious and time consuming task.

The same principle applies at meal time. Once your food is cooking, clean your dishes. This is so simple, yet so revolutionary!

2. Throw dirty clothing into the washing machine, not the hamper.

This works best for those of you who’s laundry room is centrally located. So for those who have the washer and dryer in the garage, this is probably not the best strategy.

But for those who have their washer close at hand, this is a great strategy. You’ve got to toss those soiled clothes somewhere so why not go ahead and put it in the washer. This saves time in the long run because you’re skipping the step of carrying the hamper to the machine and emptying its contents.

For those of you who like to seperate the lights from the darks, simply decide what you want to wash the next time you do laundry and throw one into the hamper and the other into the machine. Once it’s full, simply add the detergent and wash it. And that’s that.

3. Make a habit to wipe everything down after meal time.

It’s amazing and pretty gross how much greese, food particles and unknown substances build up on our tables, counters, ovens, kitchen walls and window sills. Think how much hard scrubbing you could avoid, just by simply wiping things down atleast once a day after supper.

4. Every morning after brushing your teeth, straighten up and wipe down the counter.

You can save yourself from an overhwleming, nasty mess on your bathroom counter if you make this tip your daily routine.

5. Since you’re already in the powder room, the commode could use a wipe down as well.

Cleaning the toilet should be atleast a once a week chore, but if you’re like most of us, that is the most neglected, uncleaned thing in your entire home. If you make a habit of wiping it clean once a week (pick a day, like Saturday) after brushing your teeth and straightening up the counter. Then you are set to have a clean powder room.

6. It’s ok to make life a little easier on you and use paper plates sometimes.

This isn’t so much a tip as it is a permission statement. Sometimes we think we have to be “so-so” and do everything so perfectly that we can overwhelm ourselves. We don’t have to use our good plates all the time. We don’t have to be fancy. We don’t have to use silverware or glasses all the time. Just enjoying a meal with your family is what is important.

So, although using paper plates are a little pricey, it can save you so much time cleaning dishes and give you more time enjoying your family. ❤

I so hope you enjoyed todays encouragement and tips. If you have some tips of your own, please comment down below, I would LOVE to read them. Make sure to subscribe by providing your email (I never spam) and follow me on facebook and instagram!

Envelope Style Pillow Covers -A Simple Sewing DIY-

My poor couch pillows have been in desperate need of some repair. I was very tempted to throw them away but I didn’t want to pay the price of new ones. It amazes me just how expensive pillows can be. So, I decided to sew a simple case. Something that could be easily removed and washed.

I have repaired this pillow once before but I guess my sewing needs to be perfected. The seem popped open a few months later.

After much debate on how to design the case, I finally got this inspiration after throwing some ideas back and forth with my Mom. I hope this inspires you if you are looking to sew a simple pillow case as well.

This design is definitely great for beginners and is very quick, especially if you have a sewing machine. Mine is currently in need of repair, so I had to resort to the good old fashioned way, by hand.

I found this great material, which is actually a window curtain, from a local thrift store at a great price. Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to shop. You can find all kinds of treasures at great prices!

So let’s get on with the sewing!

Being Positive When It’s Not a Positive Kind of Day… (Monday)

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. Hellen Keller    

After the weekly day of rest many homemakers have trouble getting back into their daily routine. Monday’s can be a little tough on everyone. But I have a little secret… positivity goes a long way.

Getting into a positive mindset when you’re feeling tired and maybe overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, isn’t always easy. So I have made a few suggestions for all of you ladies.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – LM Montgomery

1. Quote Scripture

Just by quoting an uplifting scripture outloud throughout your morning and even your whole day can really help you have a positive attitude. This homemaker has tried this on many occassions and it can actually be difficult to be moody when your heart is contemplating God’s word.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Proverbs 18:21

2. Read Positive Things

Reading the Bible is definitely a wonderful read to get your thoughts established on Monday. Along with reading uplifting quotes you have found online and in books.

A great suggestion would be to have a chalk board or dry erase board in your home that you could write a new quote or scripture on every week or so. Place it somewhere where you could easily see it everyday.

Or you could keep a small piece of paper tucked inside your purse or wallet with your favorite quotes, sayings &/or scriptures on it to read any time you need a good word.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Turn on Uplifting Music

Inspiring music can certainly be a huge part of getting your thoughts in their rightful place.

“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” – Ronald Reagan

4. Stay healthy

Keeping a healthy positive mindset really connects with our physical well-being also. Feeling well helps in having a positive mindset and having a positive mindset can help in having a healthier body. So make sure to start your day off right with a healthy breakfast and healthy snacks throughout your day, take vitamins daily and get plenty of rest. (note for the mom of littles below)

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” ― Benjamin Franklin

5. Pray Throughout the Day

Have you ever had something you needed to talk to someone so strongly about? And it was burning on your heart so heavily that when you were finally able to talk about it, all the anxiety just went away?

Prayer is a lot like that… Actually, it’s exactly like that. Taking your cares, anxieties and frustrations to God is what He desires. And it can make you feel so wonderful and carefree afterward.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.”
1 Peter 5:7

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Monday’s don’t have to be such a negative day. It can be one of the best days of the week if you choose for it to be. If you’re like most of us and struggle with negativity (especially on Mondays) I hope you try out some of my suggestions and see how they work out for you.

I send my best wishes to all of you who need a little positivity in your life and I would love it if you would comment below or contact me and let me know if you need prayer. I will put your name on my prayer list and pray for you daily.

To all of you moms of little ones, especially newborns, I know just how difficult being positive can be. It’s a mentally draining, although highly rewarding job, that requires a lot from you. I hope these suggestions help you, even just a little bit, to help get you through these days.

Remember to count your blessings and have an AMAZINGLY POSITIVE MONDAY!

For updates of future posts please subscribe below!

Much Love,

Hollie Yang

A Homemakers Morning

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” – Psalms 143:8

A fire crackles in the stove as she wakes to a dimly lit room. Her children still nestled in their beds. She thanks the good Lord for another day of health and life. She places her bare feet upon the cool wooden floor.

The bed now made, she steps into the parlor and picks up her Bible. She reads a few passages as she gently glides back and forth in her rocking chair. A soft creek of the chair and the crackling of the fire make a tune.

She whispers prayers of praise and thanksgiving, with hopes of a good productive day. And then, her morning work begins.

Tidying the parlor, wiping the table and cleaning a few dishes left over night. An aroma of butter fills the air as she begins to cook breakfast. Eggs and sausage popping in the cast iron skillet makes the home feel alive.

A pitter patter of little feet come running down the hall. Grins and “good mornings” are exchanged along with a hug or two.

The table is set and Mother says grace before the children begin to enjoy their delicious breakfast. Some barely nibble while others can’t get enough.

With the home now awake, the day seems bright and positive. The homemaker knows that the morning is the most important time because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mornings are a very important start to our day. If the morning doesn’t go well, it’s usually a foretelling of how the rest of your day will go. This is not always the case of course but much of the time it is.

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket

* Mornings are the perfect time to fix your bed and get your bedroom in order before leaving it for most of the day. It’s always a wonderful feeling to come back to your bedroom after a long, possibly stressful day and see that everything is tidy and waiting for you to sink into the sheets and rest.

“The morning was full of sunlight and hope.” – Kate Chopin

* Mornings are a great time to Study God’s word and spend a few moments in prayer. There is no better way to get your thoughts in their rightful places than by taking them to the Lord.

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” – Charles Spurgeon

* Mornings are also a good time for straightening up the parlor and kitchen. You may have tidied things up the night before but it doesn’t hurt to take another look and see if there’s anything that needs to be put away, cleaned or wiped down. You never know when company will come a callin’ and it never hurts to be prepared with a tidy home.

If your home has little ones, it can be especially difficult to keep things in their rightful places. This time of little helpers rearranging your belongings with toys scattered about will one day pass (all too quickly).

“I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” – Charles Dickens

So, give yourself, and your children, grace if your home isn’t as clean and spotless as you would like. And try not to be discouraged when you put something away for what feels like the hundredth time that day. You will miss these days more than you know.

(I write this as a reminder for myself as well as for you, dear reader)

This homemaker hopes you were encouraged with todays read. May your home be warm and cozy during these winter months and never forget to give yourself grace.

Much love,

Hollie Yang

About the Author

This blog was created for you, all my like-minded homemakers. And I would love to get to know as many of you, who follow Home Sweet Cottage, as I can. So, let me be the first to introduce myself.

Hi! I’m Hollie Yang… I could go into long drawn out paragraphs about myself and bore you to bits. So, I will just give you 10 random facts about myself instead, to help you feel like you know me a bit more. Along with some of my favorite quotes and scriptures.

1. I am very old-fashioned.

I am in my late 20s, although I still feel like I’m in my teenage years. I’ve always been very old-fashioned in how I see the world and what I believe.

I have made the comment jokingly many times that I was born in the wrong century.

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder

2. I’m a little obsessed with vintage things.

From old dishes and silverware to clothing, if it looks like something from Little House on the Prairie or Anne of Green Gables, I will love it and most definitely buy it. If the price is right that is.

“I love history… everything is inspired by history, so that’s why I love vintage and antiques.” – Kelly Wearstler

3. My husband and I built and are still building our country cottage home.

We have never built a house before in our lives. My husband is not a professional carpenter and I am not a scholar of interior design… We’ve just researched a little and asked my parents many questions (they built their home 28 or so years ago).

So, please don’t imagine our home as some intricately designed and well planned piece of architecture. We made many mistakes.

Our home is nothing fancy… simply put it is quaint. And was built with a strict… extremely strict budget (we are not wealthy people).

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:” -Proverbs 24:3

“Quaint is a small wooden cottage, filled with snuggly nooks, a tablecloth your Grandma sewed, Dusty, well loved books.”

4. I LOVE to write and have published two childrens books.

My first published book was ‘Teacher Trouble’ which I would love to redo one day and make into a chapter book.

The second book was ‘Land of Pixie Dust’. It’s still available for sale on Amazon.

“I want to do something splendid… something heroic or wonderful that wont be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.” – Louisa May Alcott

5. I enjoy animals and live on a little hobby farm.

We are currently raising rabbits, chickens, pigeons, a cat and one little dog named Button, who is currently tending to a small litter of pups in my kitchen. 

We hope to slowly grow our farm by adding some milking goats. Oh how I would enjoy some fresh milk to bake fresh breads, churn butter and have something to dip homemade cookies in. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast:…” Proverbs 12:10

“The power of finding beauty in the most humblest things, makes home happy and life lovely.” – Louisa May Alcott

6. I’m a country girl and outside is where I love to be.

I was not built for the winter. I much prefer the warmer months when I can go play outside with my children. Going swimming, taking a walk through the woods and gardening are just a few of the things I enjoy doing.

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” -Ben Franklin

7. I enjoy teaching my children at home.

I enjoyed being homeschooled so much and hope my children enjoy it just as well as I did. Although they are still very young and are not doing much school work yet, we still learn about what is most important of all, Jesus. We also learn about how to take care of ourselves and how to treat others. Teaching my children is one of my favorite responsibilities as a mother… and also one of the more overwhelming ones.

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” -Lady Bird Johnson

8. I love to go hunting and fishing with my husband.

Deer and squirrel hunting and fishing were what we did a lot on our “dates” before getting married. That was fun times that I look back on with fond memories.

However, these days, with little ones, I don’t get to go with him any more, but that’s ok. This season of little ones will end all too quickly. I will cherish these moments as long as I can.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

9. I love to read.

One day I hope to have a large collection of books in a nook somewhere in my home just like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I went to see her house when I was a teenager and fell in love with her nook of books and knew that one day I wanted to have a home library like that too.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Hemingway

10. I love being the keeper of our home, mother of our children and wife to my husband.

To be at home is where I KNOW I am meant to be. Where I am the most useful to my husband, my children and to God, my heavenly Father.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

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A Few Helpful Tips for Homemakers by My Mother

homemaker

n. One who manages a household, especially as one’s main daily activity.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only… to support the ultimate career.” C.S. Lewis

Today I reached out to my Mom for some homemaking advice. It was a wonderful conversation and gave me great ideas for keeping my home as well.

1. Make your bed Every. Single. Morning.

“If your day gets stressful, you can go sit or lay on your bed and know that at least you have accomplished one thing that day.” -Anne (my mom)

“The first thing I do in the morning is make my bed and while I am making up my bed, I am also making up my mind as to what kind of day I am going to have.” -David Frost

2. Organization saves time and aggravation.

Example: My Dad for the longest time never had a designated spot for his car keys and every single morning he struggled to find them. His entire morning would be turned into a frustrating, aggravating situation of rushing around, hunting desperately for keys that he used every day.

That is until one day, my mom hung hooks by the door and placed his set of car keys there. Now, his mornings run much smoother and he has a much more pleasant start to his day, all thanks to organization… and my mother, of course.

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” -Bejamin Franklin

3. Set timers to accomplish a task as quickly as you can.

Set a timer for 10-15 minutes to work on cleaning your kitchen or straightening up the parlor or organizing your childrens toys. It’s a great way to keep you focused and not get so overwhelmed by all the other tasks you need to accomplish.

Once the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing and see how much you have accomplished in such a short amount of time.

Using this technique can really keep you from going from one task to another so frivolously.

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task but it is my cheif duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

4. Get a bill organizer

Bill organizers can save you stress and money. It’s a place where all bills are stored and plans of when to pay them are written out. Which leaves you without a worry of forgetting something and paying a late fee.

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” – Benjamin Franklin

Dear readers, I fail on a regular basis at keeping up with my household duties. But, no one person can keep on top of all of their chores at all times. Life happens, no matter how well organized and disciplined you may be. So, with that in mind, don’t be so hard on yourself when you, a hard working homemaker, falls behind on your daily tasks. Give yourself a little grace and carry on as best you can.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Colossians 3:23 & 24

A Simple Cottage Style Kitchen Tour

Ingore those unsightly floors. One day we plan to put down some flooring.

I don’t know why this is so out of my comfort zone to share what my husband and I have done to our home. Maybe it’s because it’s not perfect… or normal… lol Let me rephrase that… Our home is very unique and NOT a “cookie cutter” home. So, with that being said, I would love to share my kitchen with you.

Bear in mind, we are not professionals, not even close, but we wanted to do everything ourselves. We wanted the satisfaction of having a few extra bucks left in our pockets. Realistically it was more like thousands of dollars left in our pockets. Our counters are from lumber my Dad had cut forever ago, the lower cabinets were made with scrap wood and pallets and yes we still have more cabinet doors to put up, so try not to judge too harshly.

For the lighting above the sink I actually chose outdoor lighting. We have a sheet metal ceiling, so I felt like the galvanized farm house look of this fixture matched perfectly!

The curtains I bought from Amazon just the other day! I felt like it would be something you would find in a cottage window, so I immediately bought it, no hesitation.

As you may have noticed I have clean dishes stacked beside the sink, drying. Do most people do that or do yall dry as soon as you get done washing them? I didn’t bother moving them for this photo because this is real life lol

The shelves were what I had been invisioning ever since we started building our house. Pinterest definitely won me over on kitchen shelves instead of cabinets. Which I am loving so far, especially since I am trying to become a minimalist. The shelves force me to keep things tidy and minimal. The rest of the house really could use some work in the minimal area though… ugh…

The faucet I just purchased from Amazon as well. I love it so far, however, I feel like I need to paint my drawer handles and cabinet door pulls to match it. Give me your thoughts in the comments below please.

The island is definitely my favorite addition to my little kitchen! It’s so simple to make and I was able to do it 95% myself. And if I can do it, you most definitely can too! All the lumber (aside from the legs) we bought from lowes, along with the stain for the top. The door handles I picked up at Hobby Lobby (my absolute fave store!) I still need to add another plank to the top to create a wider over-hang and put some bar stools underneath! (That will be in another post, another day).

I truely hope you enjoyed the little tour of my sweet cottage/farmhouse kitchen. If you were looking for ideas in your own kitchen, then I sure hope you were inspired. If you loved what you saw or have more ideas for me to try please let me know in the comments below.

If you didn’t like what you saw, well…. I’m sorry. PLEASE don’t be mean in the comments because I’m pretty sensitive lol

Make sure to subscribe to the blog so you can find your way back!

Come back and visit any time!

MUCH LOVE,

Hollie Yang

The Beginning of My Home Sweet Cottage

I’m Hollie Yang! Published childrens author and illustrator, Mom of two young children, lover of all things cottagey… is that even a word?

I am a house wife/ stay at home mother.  And spend my days raising my children, cooking three meals a day, cleaning, organizing, painting, decorating and just overall continueing to make our home sweet cottage better.

For those who know me from Youtube (the Yang Homestead) you know that my husband and I built our own home from the ground up. I would say its mostly done but there are so many cosmetic things that are still left unfinished.

Why start a blog?

Home Sweet Cottage was inspired by old fashioned homemakers of the past, and God’s expectations for women written in the Bible.

In our society today, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed and much confused about our rolls as wives and mothers.

Society has things all mixed up and the expectations are so high for women that one can hardly meet them.

However, when you read about God’s plans for women, you realize how practical and realistic HIS ways for us are.

Home Sweet Cottage was made to inspire ladies in the profession of homemaking and to encourage and uplift women of all walks to seek out God’s plan for their lives.

At my blog you will find

cozy, peaceful sentiments…

Simple diys and inspirations…

tips for the home…

and coming soon, free printables.

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.” – C.S. Lewis

Let’s Connect!

I would love to use this blog to connect with anyone interested in what I have to share, especially other like-minded homemakers.

Please make sure you subscribe to my blog and follow me on all my social platforms as well! Looking forward to meeting you all!

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