Thursday, June 6, 2013

♥ Sunporch Chat ♥ with Kelsey of A Sweet .n. Simple Life ♥

Good morning friends and welcome to my sunporch!  I'm so glad you stopped by to join Kelsey (of A Sweet .n. Simple Life) and me.  Kelsey is the sweetest young lady with a heart for the simple things in life involving her family and home.  The name of her blog fits her perfectly!  I know you will enjoy visiting with her today!

I'm serving homemade biscuits (which I have to admit I don't make that often) with fresh strawberries and chocolate milk.  I love that....chocolate milk!  We always have that around here!  :)  Kelsey truly IS a country girl!  So grab yourself a biscuit and strawberries and a cold glass of chocolate milk and enjoy your visit!  :)

Meet Kelsey.....


1) How long have you been blogging and what/who gave you the desire to blog?

I started blogging in 2009 after a friend introduced me to this wonderful world of  inspiration. I loved the idea of sharing my everyday life with those who have similar interests and I hoped to be a blessing to someone else in the process. I still struggle to find time to blog on a regular basis, but I enjoy it when I am able.


2) How did you choose the name of your blog and why?

I believe in simplicity, it's my motto. My blog name was inspired by my love of the simple and a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder ~

3) What variety of topics do you post on your blog (examples - home decorating, family, gardening, recipes, adoption, homeschooling, crafting, etc....)

Some of my favorite blog topics include: my children, country living, canning and food preservation, and homemade and handmade goodness. I made a resolution never to post without a photo - a photo that I have taken - that is a challenge!


4) Tell us a little about yourself and your family. 

I am married to a hard-working, wonderful man and we have five children ages 16 down to 8 months. I love homemaking and all things that pertain to it. My days are filled with laundry, cleaning, making healthy meals for my family, baking tasty treats, homeschooling, and rocking the baby ♥ We live in the country and love to do things as a family, the work and the play! 

5) How would you describe your decorating style?

My home is simply decorated in rustic, primitive, and country things. You will find barn stars, roosters, baskets, crocks and containers (distressed of course), handmade quilts, and rustic wood signs throughout my home. There are lots of reds, blues, and  earth tones, I love the warm, homey feel of those colors!



 6) What's your favorite color and why?

My favorite color is red, a very perfect shade of primitive barn red ♥ I don't really know why. I just know "red makes me happy". I guess that's reason enough!

7) Tell us a few of your favorite things (collections, things that make you happy, etc.).

I am not a collector, but I would have to admit I do love containers! Whether it's a basket, a distressed wood box, a mason jar, or a metal bucket ~  I LOVE containers. The possibilities are endless...

8) What do you like to do in your spare time (hobbies, crafts, etc..)?

Spare time is rare in this season of my life, but if I am blessed with some time for myself I usually post on my blog, take a walk, or create something homemade.

9) What does your dream house look like? (Describe and/or include photo) 

My dream home would definitely be a bit bigger, have a school room, a play room, and a huge pantry:) Other than that I wouldn't change much ♥   

10) If you could visit anywhere, anytime, where would it be and why?

Ireland. The green, rocky hills, the castles, the music - someday, I would love to visit Ireland!


11) Would you share with us a favorite homemaking/organizing tip or recipe, etc..?

Simplify. I am all about keeping home neat, simple, and happy. I have found that the best way to do that is to simplify! I love a clean home and the only way to have that, in this little place, is to minimize stuff! In the process I have found happiness in the sweet, simple things and less of them:)

12) Tell us something about yourself that we might not already know from reading your blog. (something unusual, etc..)

My first three babies were born at home. I don't think I have ever talked about home birth on my blog, but it was an absolutely WONDERFUL experience. I really had a hard time going to the hospital with the last two babies, but, due to a uterine prolapse with baby #3, I am extremely susceptible to hemorrhaging and it was much safer to be in the hospital.

13) Kelsey, you live in the country in an off-grid cabin that ya’ll built.  Please tell us about that!  (and I’d really love to see some pics)!

We live in a "little" house (1,000 sq. ft.) we built about 6 years ago on a couple of acres of wilderness wonder. It is nestled between a tall mountain and a year round creek and there is a river across the road. We were a family of five then and built it small, according to our minimal needs and budget. Since then we have added two more little boys to our family and it gets quite cozy at times, but we make it work. We have put in a small orchard of fruit trees and our raspberry patch provides us with wonderful berries each year. I am not an avid gardener, but we do plant some summer veggies for fresh eating. Our home is "off grid" meaning "no power lines". We use a generator and a battery system with an inverter. The generator charges the batteries and the inverter brings the power safely through the wiring in our house. It takes a little more planning for laundry, vacuuming, and such, but you get used to it. Our appliances are propane and our home is heated by a woodstove. Someday we hope to afford solar panels or hydro power from the creek. Then we could be totally "green" and saving a lot of money, but the initial investment is huge! It is a good life and, although it's not always easy or convenient, I feel very blessed.






14)  I know your family is a homeschooling family.  Could you share with us a little about that?  (How long you’ve homeschooled, how you came to homeschooling, your curriculum, a little about your day, your favorite part, etc…..anything you want to share here on this subject). 

My sweet mama homeschooled me and I am so thankful. I always wanted to homeschool my own children and have for the most part. They did attend our local church school for a few years, but we are back at it! I enjoy the teaching - although it has been quite a challenge this year with the new baby and the older boys entering high school. All things considered we have succeeded! We do a 4 day school week - Tuesday thru Friday. The older boys have jobs and work on Monday and this gives me a day to do things I need to do; run errands, prepare agendas, and have things in order so the school week can flow smoothly. The dining room table is the center of our home and our classroom. After breakfast we have a "home blessing hour" in which we spend an hour tidying up, getting the laundry going, and doing chores. I am a bit of a clean freak and can't focus when things aren't tidy, so this works for all of us. We begin the book work part of school about 9:00am and are usually done by 1:00pm. Sometimes the big boys need an extra hour or two for studying in the afternoon, but this they do independently. Our afternoons are filled with work or play outdoors. Homeschool is a challenge. Some days are harder than others, some days there are tears - mine and theirs - but I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to teach my children. I love that they are here beside me, sharing in the "real" things in life, and learning to be useful.

15)  You told me you love routine and organization.  Share some of your favorite cleaning/routine/organizational tips with us!

I do! I love routine and organization. Here's just a few tips I use and have found essential to keeping home simple, happy, and organized.
  • Wash the dishes after every meal! No letting them pile up and become intimidating. I love a sparkly kitchen.
  • Simplify everything: your kitchen cupboards, your dresser, your meals, the toys, etc.. 
  • Make a menu and follow it (Menu planning is a wonderful way to make mealtime flow smoothly, delegate tasks, and be frugal.
  • Have set bedtimes, mealtimes, and school times (everything runs smoother with this in place)
16) Tell us a way God has blessed you and/or your family.

To raise our family in the country, surrounded by all this beauty, is truly a blessing from God! I love that they can experience living in the real, learning to labor, and realizing the fruits of it.

17) Share any words of wisdom and/or a favorite quote you'd like to leave with us.

"Our happiness comes not from what is around us, but from what is within us; not from what we have, but from what we are."

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Words from Tammy:  It is so obvious to me that Kelsey has a mother's heart and a love of home.  And I love how the simple moments shine in her home life with her family.  She is a ray of sunshine to me!  Thank you so much, Kelsey, for being my guest!  You have a beautiful family and home!  I want to live by a creek!  :)
And thank YOU for joining us today on the sunporch!  It's always fun!  I appreciate you stopping by!  I always enjoy your visits and treasure your comments here and I know that Kelsey would love for you to drop by A Sweet .n. Simple Life and visit her too!  :)  Thanks so much!
Blessings to you all!
♥ Tammy ♥


Jill said...

Thank you for bringing us this lovely Sunporch Chat today, Tammy. Kelsey is an amazing woman and has a wonderful home and family!

Karen said...

What a beautiful and inspiring Sunporch Chat...Kelsey has a heart that soars!!!
Loved this chat.

Raymond Homestead said...

Thanks for sharing!

Theresa said...

Love her blog. And 1000 sq ft house for 7 people....WOW....she proves no one "needs" a mcmansion. Love it!

Joy ~ Doodlebug ~ said...


I enjoyed this! :) They look like they're a close family...and their youngest baby is so cute. :)

Love you! 8! Thank you for keeping up Pinned It, Made It! Mondays! :)

Joy :)

Anonymous said...

You are so sweet ♥ Thanks so much for having me. I enjoyed getting to know you better.

renee said...

I enjoyed this post very much! I became a follower of her blog! Thanks for the chats! I don't get to comment as much, but I enjoy reading when I can!
God bless.

Angela said...

Thanks for a wonderful visit on the sunporch today Tsmmy. I so enjoyed meeting Kelsey, an amazing young woman. Have a great day.

Wendi said...

Thank you for sharing Kelsey! I plan to stop by for a visit this evening. Sounds like you live an intresting life!

Tasha said...

What a great porch chat! I have been following sweet Kelsey blog for a few years now. She is a gem. And one I always looked to in order to live a more simple life. It was fun reading and learning more about you Kelsey.

Primitive Stars said...

What a wonderful lady, how fun that was chatting on the porch once again......Thanks Tammy.....Blessings Francine.

Terri said...

Thank you for the chat with Kelsey today...Have a great weekend Tammy.

Holly said...

What a neat post. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

How interesting and charming Kelsey is. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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