Category Archives: family

life in 1,000 sq ft

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A year ago this week we moved from our fixer to our new home in the city. It was a bittersweet  journey that brought both relief and sadness. While this place hasn’t been quite the fixer-upper our last one was, it has taught us the freedom of living with less. With 1,000 sq ft of room, we had to downsize from our previous 1,300 sq ft with a garage. It has been a very liberating, albeit at times frustrating, process. In the end, I love this amount of space and we have realized we could reduce it further. They key to living in less is evaluating what you really need and enjoying people and moments rather than accumulating things. I wouldn’t want more square footage if it were offered to me!

I thought it would be a fun idea to give a tour of our home, just to show what we have done with our space and some of the things that have worked for us!

the living room

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Here is where we spend a lot of our time together. We currently maintain a small and sparse amount of furniture (we are waiting to update our chair and couch until the kids are a little older). We really don’t have many things collecting here, (childproofing may have some influence on that). We don’t own a television, but our computer is set up in this area for times when we do want to watch something, as well as for home-based work. I salvaged our desk from someones trash heap and we repainted it and bought new handles. My husband made our bench in college and you can see examples of an important component to living with less space – storage!

the kitchen

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This is the space that we would change if we decide to remodel at all. It is sufficient, but lacking in counter space, something that is important to me. Here, the crucial thing again is storage! Additional cabinets could be added, although what is here is plenty for me right now.

Our last kitchen remodel went fairly well, and inexpensively, so if we decided to we could do something similar here: update the flooring, replace and add counter space from the sink area extending to the stove, and replace and add cabinetry.

the dining space

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On the other side of the kitchen area is the eating nook. It is a modest space, but sufficient even for our family of four. We have the two chairs here, and during mealtimes with the whole family we transfer our desk chair in the living room to the table for our oldest. Once the youngest has outgrown the highchair we will put our bench here for both of them to sit at.

the bathrooms

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The restrooms are more than sufficient for our family. Before we moved we had only one bathroom, and it was downstairs while the bedrooms were upstairs, so this is a huge upgrade to us!

the guest room

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This room doesn’t get used all that much. We could survive without it just fine. Here is where we put our book collection (which we are working to reduce), some storage in the closet, and the guest bed and nightstand (which was my bedroom set growing up). If we continue to live here the girls would likely transition to this room.

the kid’s room

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This space is directly across from our bedroom and provides a great space for the girl’s things. I love having them nearby and one of my favorite things about small homes is that they force families to actually spend time together, rather than everyone being off in their own little corners of the house! The girls enjoy their space and the oldest currently sleeps here with room for the youngest to join shortly! The closet, changing chest, under-the-bed vintage storage suitcases, and small toy box provide ample storage areas.

the master room

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This is a spacious, comfortable room. The youngest’s crib is still here, although it will soon be moved into the girl’s room. Not tons of storage here, but a closet and dresser provides enough.

That concludes the tour! We keep learning new ways to use our square footage efficiently. Most any space can adapt to various needs with a little imagination!

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the simple things

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We are keeping it simple this year. Seeds and potatoes tucked into the landscaping. A few planters and pots. Two small garden beds. While I would like to dig up the whole yard and make it a garden paradise, because of time constraints and not knowing how long we will stay at our current property, it just isn’t practical. Still, I can’t live somewhere and not grow something. So I am working on keeping it small, focusing on our favorites. All the while dreaming big for the future. I really don’t know what I am doing… I just love it though.

I enjoy seeing how much my girls notice and pick up. They must know that this is an important piece of life. I often see them with their shovel, moving earth. Planting imaginary seeds. The play of true education. They beam with happiness as they show me their progress and ask if they can use the watering can. Both of them have grown up with this activity…whether on a friend’s property, or outside our door. Even these small, simple things. They know this is an important work.

If you would like to take a peek at our modest growing efforts this year, you can check out my post on what is going on in the backyard, or stop by soon for a tour of what is replacing some of our grass out front!

sifted

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I periodically share some of my favorite internet discoveries in my sifted series. My February collection is listed below. Enjoy!

: : The girls and I have been appreciating more reading time together indoors during this colder, rainy weather (with the addition of our rare few snow days). Some of my/our favorite books to read together include G is for Goat and Mommies Say Shh! I love the illustrations by Patricia Polacco.

: : Though I am not a cauliflower fan, I tried this vegan Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo recipe and loved it! The sauce is creamy and delicious. I used my vegetable broth seasoning recipe for the 3 cups of vegetable broth in the ingredients.

: : Our interest in homesteading and sustainable living has us excited about the 2014 Sustainable Preparedness Expo in Portland May 18th. I hope to attend and learn from all the workshops and training sessions available!

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. I only recommend products I use myself. Thank you for helping support this blog and our goals for a self-sufficient homestead!

number three

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She is three now. I am amazed at how the time has vanished and at how she has grown. My little firstborn – so independent, stubborn, sweet and adventuresome. She spent her special day collecting, cracking, and eating her favorite food at her great-great grandparent’s farm. Life is beautiful and unpredictable.

We traveled 10+ hours south to visit family for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful/difficult trip with lots of stops and sightseeing along the way. The next few weeks will be spent catching up at home, visiting with relatives, and attempting to keep warm and enjoy these moments together. I hope the rest of this year will be full of all the best things for you! Thank you so much for reading my ramblings! Until next year…

life uncomplicated

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I tend to overcomplicate things; life, parenting, faith. It is a reoccurring problem that I have to keep in check. Life is better simplified. Walking by faith and God’s Word alone – aka ditching many/most of those “spiritual” books out there. (Note: because something is labeled Christian does not mean it really is.) That goes for parenting books too. Not that there aren’t a few out there that might be beneficial, but when you have to sort through all the others, it isn’t usually worth it.

All this mass of ideas and theorizing often distracts from what is right in front of us. The best thing – knowing your child; knowing God through His Word. Focusing on life. Once these things are progressing, well, things start to get clearer. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t the time to sort. I need the real stuff. The stuff to live on, survive, and thrive. I don’t want to be distracted or deceived. I don’t desire to waste my time discerning someone else’s “wisdom.” Humanity’s posturing doesn’t really lure me anymore. I am learning to keep it simple so that I can have more time for what is important.

p.s. There is one author who has written on spiritual and parenting topics that I do recommend. But that is for another post.

Next week —> life after a fixer