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!

preserving cherries : : raspberry-cherry freezer jam

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I have been anticipating a sweet harvest after discovering a cherry tree in the backyard. We picked our first fruits in early June and I began figuring out how I was going to preserve the remaining cherries that we didn’t eat fresh. Our neighbors had more raspberries than they could eat, so we decided we could help them out. With all the red deliciousness sitting around my kitchen, I decided to dive in! I started out making some raspberry-cherry freezer jam, which turned out to be my absolute favorite jam recipe thus far! I used this recipe as a starting point, but modified it a bit:

raspberry-cherry freezer jam

  • 3 cups cherries (pitted)
  • 3 cups raspberries
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 package Pomona’s Pectin*
  • 4 cups of cane sugar

Combine cherries and raspberries in a large pot and crush the fruit with with a potato masher while heating. Add the lemon juice and pectin. Stir until dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and add all of the sugar. Boil hard while stirring for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into your containers to freeze. This recipe makes about 7 eight-ounce jars. If you want to try canning traditionally, I’m sure you could use the instructions at the recipe link above.

I dehydrated the remaining cherries, figuring it would be a tasty ingredient to add to a granola recipe.

What are your favorite ways to use up and preserve cherries?

*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!

dryingcherries

in the garden : : june

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Things have been growing. After being away for two weeks I came home to find a garden I didn’t recognize. Seriously. There were even vegetables growing that I never planted (must have been not-quite-composted seeds in the compost?). The next morning I got to excitedly taste a small harvest of strawberries, cherries, salad greens, early potatoes, and peas. Since then we have also enjoyed onions, raspberries and kale.

This is one of my favorite parts of gardening…enjoying the results of all that work! Tonight I am planning to make and freeze some raspberry-cherry jam (thanks to the addition of raspberries from our neighbors).

I’ve been catching up and working on projects, so I am relying on Instagram for much of my garden photos lately. You can follow me @krystlereeves for more!

Have any of you been as excited as I am about eating things you’ve grown at home? Please share – I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

 

in the garden : : may

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I shared a post of some of the plants we have growing in the backyard for harvest a few weeks ago, so now it is time to move on to the front! We are starting small this year, so we won’t be relying on these efforts for our only produce for now. We are still keeping our eyes set on a country home, and hopefully one day I will be able to dream up many more garden plans.

I may have tried to squish too much into our two small starter garden beds, and I still have so many tomato starts (I was a bit ambitious at seed-starting back in March). Thanks to some energetic helpers rearranging my labels, I have no idea as to some of the varieties that actually got planted… It will be a bit of a surprise!

So far… the peas, strawberries, and potatoes have progressed the most. They love the weather here. I finally got some of our lettuce and kale seeds to sprout. We continue to add a bit here and there, so hopefully we will have a chance to enjoy some home-grown food this year!

Check out past garden posts here!

3 ingredient cashew sour cream

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I love simple recipes. I love simplifying as much as possible, really. It makes this busy season of life a bit easier and stress-free. Thus, I have a collection going of easy-to-throw-together recipes and meal ideas. This cashew sour cream recipe makes the list. With only 3 ingredients (4 if you include the water) it is something I can easily blend up and serve with enchiladas or chili.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or a minimum of 2 hours)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

Drain and rinse cashews, then add to blender with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

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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!