My Week As A 1950's Housewife - Tuesday

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

And here we are, on to the second day of the week! As I write this (Tuesday evening) Greta is trying her hardest to worm her way into my lap and sit where the laptop is. I am also happy to say that my heels are still on! I made it through the whole day with them - except for a short break that you will soon see. Tuesday went better than Monday, and I am now confident in my cleaning and cooking abilities for the rest of the week (even if some of the recipes scare me a bit...). Let's press on!
Tuesday I decided to wear a true vintage dress with a lovely white and red pattern. I've had this dress for quite a while, though for some reason it's never been my favorite (which I think after today that has totally changed!). Perhaps it was the fuller skirts of my other 50's dresses that put them higher on my list, but this dress has so much charm I think I'll be wearing it a lot more often!
It had just started snowing as we went outside this morning to take these photos! Dry snow though it may have been, it was still snow! Quinn has been anxious to ski and hasn't gotten a single chance to yet this Winter. 

But moving on! I paired the dress with a red sweater since it was rather cold today, along with some very tall heels and a red ribbon in my hair just for fun (I thought the high ponytail called for it!). 
I had tried to do some victory rolls this morning at the front, but I had washed my hair last night and there was no way that was going to happen. Oh well, I'm still very happy with how this hair style turned out. I felt like I needed to go to a sock hop or something! It seemed very 'Bye Bye Birdie' to me, haha!

Oh yes, I think I would fit right in to the 'Bye Bye Birdie' cast 
(and yes, that was one of my favorite movies growing up!). 

Okay! Time to go back inside because it's cold out here! Brrrr!

I had a lot to do in the way of cleaning. Monday I hadn't finished cleaning the walls and doors, so I started there. Greta of course was interested for a while but when she found out I was cleaning her muddy mess she left. The walls and doors took me the better part of an hour but it was so worth it! They look so clean, and I don't cringe at the sight of them now that it's getting lighter outside (and revealing all the mud and grime! Eak!). Next was on to a personal foe of mine: the pot rack above the stove.
"Oh yes! I just absolutely love cleaning my super dusty & grimy pot rack!"
- Said no one ever.

I don't want to completely gross you out, so I'll be merciful and only show you the after picture. But let me tell you, it was bad. So bad that as soon as I started cleaning it Quinn ran up the stairs and didn't even come check on me as I groaned about the dusty griminess! I made it through though, and I am so proud of the results!
Hurray! A nice, shiny pot rack!

After the pot rack was something a little less disgusting, my kitchen shelves. We have no cabinets to keep food or kitchen things in, so I often clean these to keep them looking nice. The large shopping trip we did Monday left the shelves overflowing and in desperate need of some attention and some organizing. Thankfully, 'Organizing' is my middle name (Nope, sorry. It's Joyce, after my grandma, which is more special anyway.). 

My goodness, that loaf of bread looks as if its ready to fall! And that cereal looks like it could spill on the floor at any moment! Yep, time for a change! I really love changing up my shelves with the season and the holidays. If you read my Christmas post you saw several of my shelves that I had Christmasified for the season. I haven't really done anything special with them since, but I plan to decorate them a bit for Valentine's Day!
Oh, now doesn't that look so much better? 
It makes me happy just looking at it! 

Please understand that it is not easy for me to show the Internet my messy shelves, but I hope that maybe it will inspire you Dear Reader to maybe tidy up a bit too. I know I often need encouragement to tidy up on those days I feel I could lay on the couch for hours! But now on to under the sink, probably the place in our house that gets messy the quickest (due to a husband that doesn't put things where they need to go and rather throws them behind the curtain...I love you honey!). 
Oh dear, a total jumble of things - and this is only one shelf! Eak! But fear not, Emily is on the case!
It really didn't take too long, I promise. Underneath the sink is another place I have to clean very often and I have it down to a science! Before long it was looking nice and organized as well!

It was already past noon but I had one more shelf to clean before I would let myself eat lunch. This is our cooking/baking shelf. It usually isn't anywhere near this messy but I hadn't cleaned it for a little bit, oops! I love those big mason jars that I have my flour, sugar, brown sugar, and chocolate chips in! They look so classy, wouldn't you agree? My mother-in-law Melissa keeps all her kitchen ingredients in jars, and someday I hope to do that too! I just think it's so old fashioned, and its prettier by far as well (especially when you have open shelves in your kitchen like I do)!
I refilled all my mason jars and then cleaned off the shelves and reorganized all the little jars of spices and baking things. Greta slept at the base of the stairs behind me, utterly oblivious to the cleaning being done.

This shelf is right next to our heater (that seems to create dust!) so it was very dusty and grimy, very similar to the pot rack hanging right next to it. I clean this more often though so it wasn't quite as bad.
Nice and tidy! Just the way I like it! I think that when my kitchen is clean it makes it more enjoyable to cook - unless of course I just cleaned the kitchen...then I feel like I never want to cook again! Ha! Have you ever felt like that?

Now that the house was clean and tidy it was time to get some other things done! Monday there was hardly any time for anything besides cleaning because of the shopping trip, but Tuesday I had quite a lot of free time (though I'm sure a true 50's housewife would have been caring for young children).
I had several letters to write, so I spent a nice quiet time on the couch with some pretty stationery and a corgi curled up at my feet.

Writing letters to friends or family far away will never go out of style, just like the timeless fashion from the 50's. If you take anything away from my 50's challenge, I would hope that it would be this. Letters can bring such delight to someone's day, and it only takes a stamp and a few minutes to do! If you have any free time today I challenge you to grab a card and jot a little note to someone special. If you need to text them for their address that's okay! Think about how special they'll feel when they get your card in the mail - I dare say it will make their whole week! Make sure to let me know in the comments if you do! I would love to hear about it. 
The stationery I used was made by Quinn and I, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! I love delft pottery, and I have several of the little houses pictured on the bottom of the paper. My sister Bethany gave me the stamp for Christmas this year, and I simply adore it! It reads 'Blueberry Barn' with our address printed neatly underneath (blurred here for privacy sake). The letters I wrote will find themselves in the post box tomorrow morning!

There was still some daylight outside when I had finished writing my letters, so Quinn and I decided to go on a walk with Greta and Lupin. My! How cold it was! We thought about turning back part way, but Greta and Lupin seemed so excited to be out of their homes that we pressed forward.
Because of the lack of snow, my mind jumps to thoughts of Spring - even though Juneau still has at least four months until then (*sigh* That's life in Alaska for you!). The tidal flats below the Barn look lovely in winter time though, with their lovely muted tones of navy, green, brown and white.

Because of that walk I changed out of my bright red heels and instead wore a pair of brown leather boots. I must say, my feet were happy for the change! And my ears and hands were happy for the earmuffs and mittens I wore (did I mention it was rather cold?). The cold was worth it all however, for the view was breathtaking.
The amazing view made it harder to leave, but it was getting dark and the cold was really starting to bite. Greta and Lupin were even willing to come back - I think they were getting a bit chilled as well!
"Mom! Put me down! You're embarrassing me!" Greta sure does have a terrible life, ha!

After the walk in the cold winter air I think everyone was getting hungry - time to start cooking! On the menu for Tuesday evening was Chili Con Carne (another recipe from the same 50's cookbook as Monday's recipe - you can find it here) along with some old fashioned honey cornbread. The chili needed to simmer for an hour, so I started that first.
After browning the meat, green pepper and onion (cut into rather large pieces since Quinn isn't fond of onions), I poured everything into a big pot to simmer along with spices, tomatoes and some tomato soup concentrate. It was already smelling amazing!
 Now what do you do when your chili has to simmer for an hour? 
Why you set the table and dance to music from the 50's of course! 

Even Greta managed to be in the photo, though she doesn't like it when we dance - she thinks we're trying to play with her and gets very disappointed!

Soon it was nearing the end of the hour and it was time to start the cornbread. I became an expert at making cornbread at my job at the Youth Shelter (you might even say I was known for my cornbread!), so I was pretty confident. Well, though it tasted amazing, the tops didn't rise to make that lovely muffin shape. I don't think we minded too much though, it tasted so good!

And now for the lovely dinner table!

My, the chili turned out wonderfully, and even though the muffins didn't poof up as much as I wanted they still tasted amazing. I pulled down a set of dishes we found at a local second-hand store (for $10!) to make the meal more special - and so it was! And I must quote the blog where I got the recipe for the chili: "REMEMBER: Serve food responsibly...use vintage dishes!" I do think I have a new favorite saying (and I think I need to buy some more vintage dishes!). 

We listened to another 50's radio show, enjoying the warm chili with the memory of the cold walk still in our minds. I say this day in my 1950's challenge was a complete success! I am so happy with all that I accomplished, the Barn is feeling more and more lovely with each thing cleaned and organized. And tomorrow is a new day, with more opportunities to live like a housewife from the 50's! 

Thank you for joining me once again Dear Reader!

If you'd like to skip to Wednesday's post, click here!


  1. Emily, I'm loving this project of yours! That dress is remarkably "modern" and beautiful! HOW do you do those heels?? I'm a sneakers girl! :) Your chili came out looking ten times more appealing than the version in the "ad" with the recipe! Great job. I'm surprised to see such little snow there in Alaska, is that normal in your area in January? Greetings from very snowy Vermont~

    1. I love heels! I could wear them all the time (though I do love my rain boots just as much, ha!). Thank you for your comment on the chili, I also thought mine looked a bit more appetizing, haha! Yes, unfortunately we have had hardly any snow this winter. Normally we would be buried and Quinn would be up skiing everyday he could, but its been frosty cold and clear so far this year. I don't mind though, it's nice to see the sun, however we can get it! :)

  2. This is so much fun. You look as lovely as ever. It amazes me that you have been able to do so much and still look picture perfect. I need to go through my house bit by bit and clean, but the cleaning bug hasn't bit yet this year. Maybe if I posted it online, I would have an incentive to get it done! Dinner looks delicious served on your charming dishes. You certainly do things with style, Emily. :)

    1. I hope after you see all MY cleaning you'll be inspired to clean your own home, haha!This week has been rather exhausting, but I am so glad this is making me do things I normally wouldn't!


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