Tired of the stress of city life and motivated by a desire to be more self-sufficient, Jenny and her husband decided to trade life in the busy suburbs for life on a quiet country homestead. In the fall of 2012, they moved to an acreage in rural Northeastern Oklahoma where they are learning to live off the land. On her blog Black Fox Homestead, Jenny writes about their transition from city to country life, offers tips on natural gardening, chickens, recipes from her kitchen, and ideas for frugal, simple living.
The summer season hits and the first thing that comes to mind is “summer vacation”. However, for my husband and I, vacations can be complicated. We live on an acreage just south of a small rural Oklahoma farm town where we keep a large garden as well as a small flock of chickens and four dogs. Finding someone to mind our tiny homestead for a week or two is not always an easy task. Rather than plan for vacations abroad, we prefer to focus on a “staycation”.
Here are some things that we have done to make our home a comfortable, inviting getaway :
- Give Every Room a Cozy Corner
I define a cozy corner as a tucked away area within a room where one can sit and enjoy the quiet. Every cozy corner needs a soft chair with a pillow or two, and perhaps a throw or a homemade quilt. If there is space, a table (even a small one) for holding a cup of tea and a candle is nice. Baskets within a close proximity for books and magazines are also ideal. I love to have my cozy corners situated near a window.
- Keep it tidy
Summer is a busy time. With all of the gardening, summer holiday preparations, and family company, we don’t always have hours to devote to heavy cleaning. Clutter can be stressful, however; and who wants to sit and relax in a room with breakfast dishes in the sink and unsorted mail on the counter? You may not have hours to devote to scrubbing floors but what do you have time for? Set the timer for 15,20, 30 min and do a fast walk through once a day even if it is to just declutter.
- Cook in
Instead of eating out, invest that money in some wonderful ingredients. Turn a trip to the local farmer’s market into a date or fun family outing to shop. Then, turn off your phones, turn on some music, pour a glass of something nice, and work together to create a great and memorable meal.
For in-between meals provide a snack shelf on the fridge. Create cheese tray or antipasto platter. Have sparkling water chilling in the refrigerator door. To give your home the atmosphere of a bed and breakfast, serve afternoon cookies on a sideboard and keep a bowl of seasonal fruit available.
4. Set the tone with music
Sunday brunch is a familiar routine in our home and we enjoy Vivaldi playing very softly in the background.
Jazz is a great way to kick off an in home date night cooking in just as described above.
For quiet girlie time I like to listen to Rachel Portman. The soundtracks from Emma and Miss Potter are very relaxing.
5. Bring the outdoors in
Fresh cut flowers in a mason jar are perfect for this time of year. If gardening isn’t your thing, try the local farmer’s market, or purchase some inexpensively at the grocery store.
Don’t just stop at the standard kitchen table centerpiece though. Set flowers on the bedroom dresser, on the nightstand, place some in the bathroom, and don’t forget any cozy corners you have throughout the house!
Do you enjoy a summer staycation? What are some of your suggestions for making your home a fun “getaway”?