Well, Howdy-do and Happy New Year to you! I don’t know about you but for me the holidays seemed to have whirled by so fast! And now, here we are, at the beginning of a whole new year and I LOVE it!! I absolutely get giddy about having a fresh new start! The things that didn’t go well last year, and the things I didn’t accomplish that I wanted to, I just tell myself “no worries!”. For today is a new day! It’s a new year! God’s mercies are new every morning and I’m so thankful I get to start anew! So sister, I’m energized and raring-to-go! 2016, let’s do this!!
So, the first thing I’m going to do this week is to make my list of very specific goals with completion dates and keep it out so I can review them daily (out of sight, out of mind! :D).
In general terms, I’d like to share with you some of the things I ‘ll be working on. With hands on my hips and my sturdy apron on this year I plan to:
- Simplify and get more organized (this seems to be on ongoing process! hee hee!:D)
- Incorporate more ways to add vintage goodness into my life
- Finish writing my ebook
- Get fit and healthy
- Think of ways to bless my family and others
- Grow closer to the Lord
- Spend more time with my grandbabies
- And to continue working toward encouraging you, my dear Sugar Pie, to keep the “Sweet” in Home, Sweet, Home… with lots of down-home goodness!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… ONE of the most important roles that our society and our world depends on us for is the role of Homemaker and mother! Our job is to be faithful in nurturing our home and family! Wholesomeness, goodness, love, care, guidance, nurturing and nourishment…are all words that describe what our families need to thrive!
I know that there are people out there who think taking care of your home and family isn’t a job. Nor do they think it’s important. But, Abraham Lincoln himself said, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”. He also said “All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel Mother”. Well, I’m not going to argue with good old Abe! A great nation does begin with a good and loving home. If you’re doing it right, it’s hard work. The future adults that we are raising are going to either be a benefit or detriment to society. That’s how important our job is. Mother Teresa said “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family!”. Amen Sistah!
So from me to you, dear Sugar Pie and homemaker, know that YOU are highly valuable and vitally needed! Keep up the good hard work! When you begin to grow weary remind yourself that the good seeds you are sowing will, in due season, become a bountiful harvest. And might I add, I’m not talking about being the “perfect” mother or keeping a “perfect” home. No way! I’m talking about doing what you can to the best of your ability to love and care for your family. That’s my message here at Sugar Pie Farmhouse! (As a side-note, I wholeheartedly believe the role of father and grandfather is equally as important but since I speak to primarily women on this blog, the homemaker is my focus. And when I say homemaker, I speak to every woman. Whether you work inside or outside of your home. If you live in a home, have a family and are taking good care of them you’re a homemaker.
Of course the most important truth comes from God’s Holy Bible. Titus 2:1-5 says “Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine… guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives.”. I love the part in that verse that admonishes us women to be “models of goodness”.
In fact, every year I pray about a word that will be my theme to focus on. This year the Lord impressed upon my heart the word is Goodness. As in, Old fashioned Goodness! The kind of goodness that we need more of in our culture and social media.
Here’s the thing… there’s a lot of turmoil, dishonor and darkness out there in this big old world. If you own a TV and flip through the channels, from the shows to the News, you will quickly see, by the language and content, that there’s been a huge decline of the good morals and values here in America and around the world. The same is true with those who use their bullying tactics on social media, displaying their lack of goodness…you know, those things that we teach our children at home which make a better society and nation.
- good will
- and just plain ol’ doing and saying the right thing to help and encourage each other.
I like to think of this kind of Old Fashioned Goodness as the “Mayberry” kind of Goodness. Good-heartedness that blesses others. We need to bring Mayberry back!
Someone once said “Our smile is the front porch of our heart”. Every day we have an opportunity to bring love, joy, comfort, peace, encouragement and kindness to our family, those we meet along life’s pathway and here on the Internet.
Someone else said, “Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what battles people are fighting.” Yes and amen! Good people bring out the good in people with words of goodness.
I feel like my blog is like the front porch to my home. And I love inviting you in to share tips, recipes, decorating ideas, thoughts about family life and even my faith. Y’all have been so kind and gracious with your uplifting comments through the years, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thanks for being my friendly Mayberry kind of neighbor! I could just hug you right now and offer you a slice of pie with a hot cup of something yummy!
Filling our lives and homes with Old Fashioned, Mayberry-Kind-of-Goodness is quite simple really and will enrich our lives with abundant joy! Living the Mayberry way will make a difference in our lives, our relationships and in our society.
Here are some ways to bring a little Mayberry back:
- Smile more! :D Scientists say that if you start smiling even when you don’t feel like it, it sends a message to your brain that says “I think I’m happy!” and you’ll start to feel happier.
- Intentionally think of ways you can bless your family and others. Everyone needs encouragement so why not leave notes of praise to hubby and the kids. Every now and then I’ll text an “I’m so proud of you” note to my family members and friends.
- Make home a delightful and cozy place for family and friends.
- Live The Golden Rule: “Do for others as you would have them do for you!” Matthew 7:42
- Look for ways to help those in need.
- Enjoy the simple pleasures of God’s blessings and goodness. Be thankful and say so!
- Keep a happy attitude! Do that by being thankful. Thankful people are happy people! “The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one.” ~unknown
- Be like the warm sunshine for others instead of a dark, damp cloud…Andy Griffith was good at that!
- Take good care of your home, it makes your family feel loved and cared for…like Aunt Bee did!
- Be neighborly and kind. Gracious and sweet…like Gomer on Mayberry RFD!
- Bake something yummy for someone who could use some cheering up…like Aunt Bee would do!
- Give your children the gift of happy memories…like Andy and Aunt Bee did for Opie!
Those are just a few ideas to get us started! Let’s be willing to do what we can to preserve wholesomeness and goodness in our homes and lives.
To start off this new year with a whole lot-a happy,
I am putting a box of Mayberry-inspired goodies
together for a GIVE-AWAY to one blessed gal!!
To enter this contest, I would love to hear your ideas on how to bring more of that
Old-Fashioned-Mayberry-Kind-of-Goodness into our lives! Please share!
(if you are reading this post in your email,
you need to come to Sugar Pie Farmhouse
website to enter your comment so you’ll have a chance to win!)
Well, If the Good Lord’s willin’
and the creek don’t rise
I’ll be back real soon!
God Bless your darlin’ heart!
Well, Merry Christmas to you my dear Sugar Pie! I’m so happy you stopped by for a little Christmas cheer! I hope that you feel encouraged and uplifted in your visit with me! This is such busy time of year and we need time to stop and smell the Christmas tree! As you read this post and take a peek at how I “decked the halls” of my home may you feel refreshed as we reflect on the reason for the season together. So go grab a hot cup of something yummy girlfriend, kick off your shoes and get comfy-cozy for this arm-chair tour of Sugar Pie Farmhouse.
As I was decorating my home for Christmas I kept thinking of the words Merry & Bright and Comfort & Joy. Those were the exact sentiments I wanted to fill my home with so my family and friends would feel the love behind the all of the lights, sparkles, and whimsey.
I love decorating with red and white for Christmas. Red has been my favorite color ever since I was a little girl. I think it stems back to when my Italian Grandpa would always have a roll of Cherry-red Lifesaver candies in his pocket and he would graciously and generously share them with my cousins and I. A sweet memory for sure! And for the color white…well, it’s just so fresh and clean and makes the perfect backdrop for whatever I’m decorating with. In fact if I could put up white-washed shiplap on all the walls of my home (like the Fixer Upper Show) that would be so fun! I can dream can’t I? Instead I try to add as much white, here and there, as I can. The snow-blanket is made from cotton quilt batting. So cheap too! I just cut it to the length of my mantle and added a curvy edge on one side. Easy Peasy! You can’t see in this photo but I painted glue to the snow-drips and sprinkled on clear glitter so it would glisten and sparkle a little.
If you’ve seen my other Christmas home tours you may recognize my cute little red farm trucks. They just make me happy…especially with a wee little Christmas tree in the back!
“Heap on more wood! The wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.”
~ Sir Walter Scott
Another little red truck.
This one was well loved by some sweet little child in years past.
My cow is from Michaels Craft Store. Moo-ry Christmas! :D
I love decorating with well loved, back-in-the-day kitchen goodies…vintage cookbooks, tin measuring cups, flour sifter from the 1950’s, and old fashioned egg beater and white enamel pans. If only they could talk, right? How awesome would that be?! I can only imagine the yummy pies, biscuits, cookies and cakes that were made by the sweet apron-wearin’ mamas who owned them before me. They make my kitchen feel cozy! And they inspire me to do a little baking myself!
“There’s no place like home.” ~Dorothy
This is a batch of My Aunt Gen’s Italian Date-Nut Bars that I make every Christmas! I was asked by Melissa K. Norris, from the Return to Simple Blog to share this very old family recipe on her Homemade Christmas Series (which is free!) . Melissa and I met on Instagram and Periscope. I’ve listened to her Podcast (which is my favorite) for over a year now and was thrilled and honored to connect with her.
I shared on her Homemade Christmas post about my memories of growing up in a big Italian family. Back in the day on Christmas Eve my family and I, along with my Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins, would all gather at either my Aunt Lucy & Uncle Joe’s home or my mom and dad’s. The faces I loved gleamed around the long lace-covered table, as we enjoyed homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs…or “meat-a-balls” like my Sicilian Grandma and Grandpa would say! There would be lots of loud conversation and laughter which would probably seem like happy chaos if someone were to peek into the window!
After tummies were filled, us kids ran off into another room to play “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button”, while my mom, my aunts and Grandma would tie their aprons on to clear the table, wash the dishes and turn the electric Coffee Percolator on. Once the kitchen was tidy and the coffee was fresh and hot, a huge tray of Italian cookies was carried to the table. Biscotti, Gemelli, Anisette, Pizzelles, Nut Meringues, just to name a few of the variety these delicious, Southern Italy confections.
As soon as my cousins and I realized the cookies had been set out we rushed to the table to grab a handful. I would search through the mountain of sweet treats to find my favorite…Aunt Gen’s Italian Date~Nut Bars. Sweet, moist and chewy. One bite and I was in Christmas heaven!
If you would like to have this recipe head on over to Melissa’s free Homemade Christmas Series CLICK HERE! Visit Melissa’s blog HERE to learn how she grows her own food, preserves it and lives a self-sufficient pioneering life on her homestead! She’s just adorable! You will love her as I do! Melissa also has a podcast that I absolutely love! It’s called Pioneering Today: Inspiring Your Faith and Pioneer Roots, you can listen, CLICK HERE. She is coming out with a brand new book soon titled A Made From Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home. I’ve already pre-ordered mine! You can get it HERE! (affiliate)
“O let there be joy
In the old home tonight,
A tree in the window
with soft candle light!”
Here’s a super simple centerpiece: using a large white platter, fill with evergreens, then layer on Christmas ornaments! I topped mine with this station wagon with a tree on top that I got from Michaels. The jars are filled with salt and glitter to look like sparkling snow. Then I just placed a votive candle inside.
“And let there be music
Some glad smiles and mirth
For those who still gather
Around the old hearth.
O let there be garlands
And firelight’s glow
The warmth of affection
When bitter winds blow.”
The message on my chalkboard reveals my heart as a homemaker. Comfort & Joy! That is what I want my family to feel and all who enter my home. Cozy, homey, thankful and loving. That is what I strive for when I’m cleaning, cooking and decorating. To make my loved ones feel loved and cared for physically and emotionally. As the the title of Bob Goff’s awesome book states, LOVE DOES. (affiliate) Love is in the DOING.
It’s more than just making our homes pretty. It’s creating an atmosphere that is an emotionally safe place. Peaceful, joyful, forgiving, thoughtful. Basically, it’s living the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Matthew 7:12
It’s a scary world out there, let’s do what we can to make our home sweet, safe, clean, cozy, comfy & joyful so our family will feel blessed and loved.
I bundled up Ol Bessie in my buffalo plaid scarf and added a jingle bell to make her even more jolly! That cute Heifer…she’s my favorite. :D
I snatched my extra large Ball Jars from my pantry, tied my RED and WHITE BAKERS TWINE around the rim and placed a battery operated candle inside. I love the way this candle flickers and the true color of the “flame”! They look so real! It has a remote control so I don’t have to climb up and down to turn them on or off. You can find these candles HERE. And the remote, sold separately HERE. (affiliates)
“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars
and open a jar of it every month.”
~ Harlan Miller
Someone said “The kitchen is the heart of the home”…I agree! Especially at Christmastime! It’s the place where all the warm aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, apple pie, spicy clove and orange pomanders, sugar cookies and supper cookin’ swirl throughout the house making each heart swoon and eyes sparkle. It smells like love. The kitchen seems to be the happiest and brightest room in the house.
Decorating our home for Christmas can be elaborate with lots of sparkles and bows or as simple as a bouquet of candy canes blooming from grandma’s old mixing bowl. Simple and sweet. My trick for getting my candy canes to stand up tall is to put them in a jelly jar first, then put the jar in the bowl. How easy is that!! The little wreath is hung on the back wall with these temporary Clear Command Hooks.
I wish you a Merry Sugar Pie Christmas!
This Jolly snowman is the official door greeter…He’s been busy putting up Pom Pom garland…hee hee! His hat and rosy cheeks are the cutest! I got him at Target, and the white tree is from Walmart. I made my snowballs a few years ago. You just take styrofoam balls, paint glue on them and roll in glitter. That’s it!
Sing a song of snowflakes flying in the air,
sing a song of sleighbells tinkling everywhere
Earth in dazzling white, sparkling in the light.
Well loved and well worn vintage toys from yesteryear make my heart happy!
‘I bring you the most joyful news ever announced,
and it is for everyone!
The Savior – yes the Messiah,
the Lord has been born tonight in Bethlehem!’
Luke 2:10 -11 TLB
The starry heavens sparkled brightly
as God sent us the greatest Christmas gift ever!
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,”
which translated means,
“God with us.” Matthew 1:23
“A little child…a shining star…a stable rude…the door ajar.
Yet in that place, so crude, forlorn,
The hope of all the world was born.”
“The Light that shines from the humble manger
is strong enough to lighten our way to the end of our days.”
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
Well darlin’, lastly I’d like to leave you with this thought…
the best thing to decorate your home with is love!
With love as your centerpiece, your home will sparkle with joy!
Thank you sweetie so much for stopping by!
I loved sharing my heart for the home with you!
I so appreciate your comments,
they are the fuel that keeps me going!!
So, pretty please with a cherry on top, do say howdy!
And let me know where you call home,
it’s always fun for me to see which town, state or country you live in.
If you are reading this in your email and you want to comment,
please come over to this blog-post and do so or I won’t see it!
Be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK,
AND TWITTER (sugarpiefarm)!
and now PERISCOPE!
GOD BLESS YOUR DARLIN’ HEART!
I WISH YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I love you more than you know!