7QT - Messes Minimalism Macrame

14 October 2016

Happy Friday!

I'm four days into a Whole 30 and...it's fine. Pretty boring really. I've been making our regular food but substituting out the best parts.

Last night we ate spaghetti squash carbonara and Jacob liked it as much as the regular one which boasts both ricotta and parmesan.  The night before that we ate gumbo.

We eat gumbo every week in the okra season. Every year I forget just how long the okra season is, and sometime in August after a couple months of gumbo I start saying: "This might be our last gumbo of the season!" And then I say that every week or so until... well at least until October!


I've been knitting again. I started up again in August even though it was still super humid and hot and was until last week. For whatever reason this time the bug has taken less of a "scarf" tone and has got me ducking into Hobby Lobby to buy double pointed needles and cable stitch holders. And I'm probably doomed for failure or at least VERY SLOW progress, but whaddya do when you got the itch?

I do love having a relatively contained craft project that I can pick up for a few minutes here and there when the kids are playing well together.

I just finished some fingerless gloves that took a very long time to complete and ended up...kinda bulky. Or maybe they just felt bulky for Houston in October where we've barely graduated out of swimsuits? Maybe I'll send them to Christy at Fountains of Snow.

I also just finished a hat for a friend. Turns out it fits Roman. So...baby steps!


I've also been dabbling in macrame. A friend asked if I could make her a wall hanging and my inner bohemian just lit right up. Unlike knitting, making wall hangings with ropes doesn't really lend itself to grabby baby hands, so I'm not sure how sustainable it is as a mom craft.


I've been trying to teach Jake some knots. His self-taught knots are killing me especially when they involve tying to untangle the cords he's used to tie all of our stools and chairs together in a big clump in the middle of the dining room.

So slip knot! slip knot!


Are you cleaner or is your spouse/roommate?

Jacob has always been the orderly one in the relationship, and it's been an uphill climb for me over seven years of marriage to learn to stop throwing dirty clothes on the floor. We'd been married a year or so when I realized the messes in our house were *always* mine. I maybe would have noticed sooner if he'd ever complained about my messes, but he didn't. To my credit, if someone cleans the bathroom it's me. Jacob almost never cleans, and he hates picking up other people's messes, but otherwise he's super nice about his neatfreakishness.

The other day as Jacob washed dinner dishes and I did the final sweep after the kids had gone to bed, I mused about how we do a much better job keeping our house looking alright than we used to - even before we had kids. It's mostly the need to tame the madness of three kids + avoid Houston roaches.

I was feeling pretty darn good about it actually, so I asked Jacob how clean he would say our house was. He said: "Rarely clean and nominally orderly." Then I gave him crap because what the heck is "nominally orderly" - so he amended it to "Rarely clean and rarely orderly."

I just started laughing. I would describe our house - the same house - as "tolerably clean and generally orderly." I wasn't even offended. I'm still not offended. I am mostly just relieved that my standards are as low as they are.


I've been reading (...listening to, because knitting) Kim John Payne's Simplicity Parenting recently and it's inspired me to get rid of more toys.

We've run a pretty tight ship from the beginning when it comes to toys around here - mostly thanks to my mother and her willingness to adopt all the plastic, noisy, electronic or otherwise offensive toys that come our way - so I'm pretty much the choir when it comes to Payne's preaching. But every time I do a round of toy culling, the effect is 100% positive.

We're down to Legos, Duplos, matchbox cars, a few baby toys, dress up clothes, a toy kitchen with toy cooking utensils, and a basket of scarves with string and clothespins. Playdough is tucked away in a closet as are a few puzzles and toys with too many pieces for unsupervised play.

Now that I list that all out it's actually sounding a little overstimulating, so I might have to go purge.


The biggest byproduct of toy minimalism is that when within five minutes of finishing breakfast all of our stools, cushions, blankets, and wooden spoons have been pressed into the service of the Resistance and its noble effort against the First Order, there aren't as many toys on the floor as there used to be.

Happy Weekend! And go see Kelly and the other quick takers!


  1. I read Simplicity Parenting before Wyatt and just picked it up again because there is a group in town meeting soon to discuss. It would be fun if you were in town for that!

    Also, thumbs up on the wall hanging!

    1. Thanks, Lara! I liked Simplicity Parenting, but I don't think I need much encouragement in the "fewer toys, fewer activities" arena, I'm such a stingey recluse as is...

  2. People must define the word "orderly" differently. If I can find something in 5 minutes or less, I'm feeling pretty good.

  3. The toy struggle is real. We are so overloaded right now. You might have inspired a purge this weekend!

  4. The toy struggle is real. We are so overloaded right now. You might have inspired a purge this weekend!

  5. Your macrame is so pretty!! I've resisted the macrame bug for a long time but I can hear it calling. Maybe I'll try it out just in time for Christmas gifting. And YES to knitting (or crocheting) it's the one portable creative outlet I have which takes no prep or cleanup, and boy does it help relieve anxiety for me.

  6. English paper piecing might be a good bet for quickie/portable mom crafts, if there is anyone out there who enjoys stitching. You'd need to do the cutting when the kids aren't around, but other than that it is definitely something you can do a few minutes at a time. (And you don't need fancy tools - you can basically do it by cutting up old postcards and clothes. Recycling ftw.)

  7. i laughed out loud at the orderly/nominally orderly discussion. :) Jason and I share a pretty similar dynamic!
    And I am with you in that I don't get offended, I'm too happy that my house doesn't bug me. If it bugged me I'm not convinced anything would be any cleaner, I think I would just be unhappier. I think my laid-backness just allows me to enjoy these early and messy years of mama hood. ;)

  8. Sweet macrame skills! :)

    I just checked out Simplicity Parenting from the library. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  10. Oh you better send them to me, because I may need them everyday till May with the weather going at this rate! And I want to say, that your macrame is bitchin. Do people say bitchin anymore??


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