Sunday, 27 February 2011

My Hope Chest.

I have only recently started my hope chest and it isn't a traditional hope chest. It is more a collection of items that inspire me or teach me about being more Godly, more feminine and also learning all sorts of home making skills. 

The photograph below shows my hope chest. It is a large storage box and lives in the corner of my bedroom. 

On one side on the box is a collection of crafting books on sewing and quilting. On the other side are two Gooseberry Patch books that I adore and some old copies of Keepers At Home magazine and Making It Home magazine which I find fascinating and so useful. Unfortunately, I only have a couple of each magazine but I read them frequently. 

My hope chest looked a little plain so it now has a very sweet teddy bear and my sewing box on top. I think it looks quite cute nestled in the corner of my room.

The next photograph is of the inside of my hope chest. Quite a bit of empty space in there! I am trying really hard not to put other random things in there and to keep it special. 

I have so many things in my hope chest that I have found useful and inspiring. I have (another) Gooseberry Patch book about celebrating the seasons, issues of The King's Blooming Rose magazine which is adorable and such a good read, two of the keepsake albums of The Girlhood Home Companion and a set of the Godly Woman's Adornment books covering Joy, Contentment, Purity and Trust. I haven't read these yet but I am really looking forward to starting them. 

I have quite a few DVDs in my hope chest too. Many of them I have ordered from America as they just don't seem to be available over here. I have Tea with Michelle Duggar which is really interesting, a couple of DVDs on the Amish and their way of life and the Homestead Blessings DVDs. I can't adequately explain how wonderful I think the Homestead Blessings DVDs are! There are so many skills that I want to learn and I was worrying as I don't really have anyone to teach me and then stumbled upon the West ladies and was so thrilled. I have watched the DVDs on sewing, quilting and gardening so far and they are so informative and easy to follow. I also find them strangely relaxing! 

I know that traditionally the hope chest would have been used to hold family heirlooms and things that a girl had made for her future family but, at the moment, keeping it as a sort of reference library works for me. I love traditions and how people fit them into their lives. I don't think that hope chests are well known over here although I have been told that in the 1950's and earlier girls would have a bottom drawer where they would keep things for their future homes. It is such a quaint custom! 



Monday, 7 February 2011

New Shoes.

Found the prettiest shoes today! I have been looking for some flat shoes that I could wear with skirts or dresses in the warmer weather. I wanted them to be really feminine!

Love them! Plus they were half price in the sale. There was only one pair left and they were my size. They are the sort of shoes I want to skip in. I just need the nice weather so I can wear them now!



Sunday, 6 February 2011

Attempting To Bake.

I am learning to bake! Yesterday I made a cake. Technically I cheated as it was a packet mix but I need all the practice I can get!

Loved the idea of strawberry cake! Plus the cake mix was all weighed out which made it much easier for a novice like me. I set the oven and put on a pretty apron and got to work!

The mixture turned a lovely pink colour when the water, oil and eggs were added. Lots and lots of mixing later all the lumps were gone! I wanted to do it properly so I used a wooden spoon rather than an electric mixer. Wow! My arms ached! 

Next I poured the mixture into two greased cake tins - very carefully so not to spill any of the mixture. They weren't exactly equal but it was pretty close. 

As I was doing the baking I got to lick the bowl! It made me feel so young! 

The shelves in the oven were a little too close together and I didn't realise how much the cakes would rise so one got a little ...... damaged! 

I spread the frosting on the cake and had my second issue! As I was spreading it on the damaged cake bits of the cake stuck to the frosting so it got a bit messy as I kept trying to stick the cake back down. Fortunately the top of the cake went far better!

The finished cake complete with pink sprinkles! It was a lovely bright pink colour inside and was so light and fluffy! I really enjoy baking and I think I will love it more and more the better at it I get. 



Wednesday, 2 February 2011


I love to be organised and to have proper plans in place to follow. At work I am super organised and that means that I get more done. I am going to apply similar organisational skills to my home life and self development.  I confess that I am a bit of a list maker! I love writing lists, especially to do lists, and I love that feeling of satisfaction when an item can be crossed off. I want my organisation tools to be practical but pretty too. I want to feel happy looking at them which will make it much more likely that I will use them. 

The Planning Tools. 

I have one binder and 3 notebooks of varying sizes. All are pink with white polka dots and each will have a separate purpose. 

The ring binder is going to be where I keep things like my Bible studies. I am following the study of the book of James with Good Morning Girls ( and am learning the SOAP method. I love this method of reading and studying the Bible!

SOAP stands for

S - Scripture - write out the verses by hand. 

O - Observations - write down what God is saying in the verse.

A - Application - how the verse applies to your life.

P - Prayer - pray over what God has shown you through the verses. 

The A4 notebook is going to be about my self development. I have some books about developing my character and strengthening my faith and I think it is a good idea to write down the passages that stand out as important and my thoughts and reactions to them. That way I can analyse what I am thinking and learning and it will make sure that it really sticks in my mind and becomes a heart change.

The A5 note book will be my recipe book. If I try a recipe and love the results it will go in this book! I will also add in any amendments I make to the recipe plus any tips or things to note about the recipe. 

The tiny notebook is going to live in my handbag. I am going to write my favourite Bible verses and inspirational quotes in it so that I always have a good influence with me. Also, if I feel that I need cheering up or that I need to think about my actions I can refer to the book. The aim is that it will have the Bible verses in it that really speak to me and influence me in a positive way. 

I want the binder and notebooks to be really feminine! I love embellishing things and making them personal and pretty. 

Here are some prints that I bought from a local craft shop. Technically they are for card making but they are so cute and retro that I am going to use them on my planning tools!

There is a delightful page with a lady holding a cook book and that will be used to decorate my recipe book. They look like 1950's advertisements and I am super excited to use them! 

Behind the printed pages is a Disney Princess paper pack. This has pages of background paper such as cream with little pink hearts and green with glittery stars which will make pretty dividers for my binder. There is also a page of stickers - I love stickers! The photograph of these is shown below. They have the sweetest phrases on them such as "I'm going to be me when I grow up", "happily ever after", "there's a princess in every girl" and "if the shoe fits" - so cute! 

I am so excited to get started! I just love the idea of having everything organised so that whatever I am looking for it is right there at my finger tips. As I am also working on a hope chest I think these planning tools will fit in so well. My hope chest is going to be more of an information collection for reference and I already have a few bits and bobs for it. I just love the hope chest idea even if I am starting mine really really late!