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Practical Homemaking | Cook and Clean with Me


Practical homemaking. What is it? Let’s explore that in today’s video


I’m doing some necessary cleaning today in the master bathroom and the bedroom. I’m also sharing my practical and easy lentils and rice recipe, and what my favorite thing to wear is around the house. Thank you to BLUELAND for sponsoring today's video.

⚜️ Featured in today's video
Jeans and tee shirt by Mott & Bow JLS10 for 10% off
Lilysilk scrunchie Daily12 for 12% off
Nail polish Londontown JenniferS for 25% off
Bend Soap Co. DC10 for 10% off
Laundry Detergent Hiketron (mambo man & paradise) JENY10 for 10%

We’re taking on some practical homemaking today. 

I looked up the definition of practical and here’s what the dictionary defines it as: 
 of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas. 

 I love this. Practical homemaking is actually just doing it. Just doing the thing. Not procrastinating, or wishing you were doing something else. Or half doing a job and then checking your phone… actually doing it rather than theory and ideas. I am in need of practical homemaking today. 

Earlier in the day I had to film an interview and the bathroom is an absolute mess from when I was getting ready. So let’s get this in order. There are a lot of ideas when it comes to homemaking and cleaning. Lots of theories and systems: 15-minute timer. Power hour. Mid-day tidy. After dinner scrub. Ok, maybe I’m making some of these up, but you get the idea. 

We feel we need to get things just right before we start cleaning. Sometimes I search for ten minutes for the perfect video to keep me company while I clean and then before I know it, the kids all need me for something at the other end of the house. I wasted those ten minutes searching for something to mitigate the unpleasantness of cleaning when I could have gotten it over with while I was searching for that perfect video. Sometimes you need to actually just do it. To put everything aside and just get it done. 

 We all have certain rooms where we procrastinate with practical homemaking… for me that’s definitely the bathroom. Probably my least favorite room in the house to clean. I’m not sure why. Well, first of all, who likes scrubbing toilets? I don’t think anyone does. And aside from the kitchen, the bathroom has the heaviest usage and always seems to have a need for a good scrub down. I also rather dislike cleaning bathtubs and grout. So I put practical homemaking off. But, as you see, with all enemies to homemaking, we need to acknowledge our resistance to our necessary chores. When we acknowledge them, and banish the resistance, and just do the thing. (Practical… remember?) We realize, it’s really not that bad to begin with. It doesn’t actually take that long to do. We didn’t need to dread it so very much. So on and so forth. 

I want to share my red lentil recipe with you. I start off by sautéing some onion and garlic in olive oil along with some organic no-salt seasoning. To the onions and garlic, I add my red lentils, which have been rinsed and drained. The ratio of water (or broth) to lentils is 3 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils. I cover this with chicken bone broth, but you can cover it with vegetable stock or water to keep it vegan. I like to add dried herbs as well. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes on medium low heat. You can add more liquid if needed. I serve this over rice with a pat of butter and it’s perfection. I also like to top my lentils with something crunchy like fresh celery. This is one of my favorite dishes. I hope you enjoy making it too. 

As the season moves on in February, and I will eventually transition my wardrobe from winter to spring, I have been pulling some of my spring items out from last year, like this budget dress I’m wearing from Target. I realized something about my style and comfort over the past few years. My favorite thing to wear at home is a midi dress. If it’s cold, I pair it with a cardigan. If I’m doing messy work, I’ll cover it with a full apron or a half apron. I save older dresses to do the gardening in on hot days. Now, this doesn’t mean that’s all I wear at home, I wear jeans too, as you saw in the first half of the video, but looking at my days, this is what I’m most comfortable in and I feel feminine and presentable. 

 I like to keep our master bedroom pretty clear of clutter. We always have some coffee cups, glasses of water, and usually a stack of books laying around the place, but it’s never too bad. It’s important that I keep this room pretty empty and serene. It’s the spot that I escape to sometimes when I need a break from everything. When I walk in here, I want it to feel like I’m in a cloud. 

 Because our room is usually the cleanest in the house, I sometimes avoid straightening it. I do this because so many of the other rooms require attention. But it’s important to look after this space too. To dust the end tables, the shutters, to fold the laundry and put it away. A quiet escape. A room of one’s Own. To close on my thoughts, practical homemaking is that straightforward everyday cleaning that has to be done and can’t be avoided. You can find ways to make it more enjoyable. But sometimes doing that is procrastination in itself. If you don’t find the perfect audio book to listen to, the right music, or get your friend to chat on the phone while you clean, you have to just do it. Just clean that room. It won’t take as long as you think it will. And when you finish, the result will be so satisfying. 


📍I have released a new line of beautiful and affordable digital art through Teespring. Check out these beautiful Parisian Cityscapes. A 3-pack of artwork is only $2.99. Print them and frame them for easy and elegant artwork in your own home. A Parisian Monuments 3-pack is also available. 

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📍Join us for The Chic Assignment for February

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I am a guest again on Homemaker Chic Podcast with Shaye from The Elliott Homestead and Angela from Parisienne Farmgirl. Check out our fun episode together as we discuss staying chic as a homemaker. 

Comment of the Week

Maren L. writes, "My best atomic habit over the past year was finding this channel. Through the content of this channel, so beautifully and thoughtfully presented I have turned my packed closet into a capsule wardrobe and I am helping my mom do the same thing, I have finally learned how to do minimal make up so that I can "look presentable always"(before I either had on full, time consuming make up, or nothing at all) I have de cluttered my entire house and for the first time ever, am on a cleaning schedule (I will never go back!) I also have begun intermittent fasting and can't believe how much I love it, I have listened to so much beautiful music, seen so much inspiring art, read so much thought provoking poetry, and had so many lovely books recommended to me. And through this channel, I have discovered other channels I adore. This has been a real life line for me. It's been a doorway into a kinder, more gentle, civilized world my heart always longs for. I have felt so alone and here I have found my people. Thank you."

Dear Maren, this is high praise, indeed! Thank you so much and I'm thrilled you have found The Daily Connoisseur community too.

I hope you enjoyed today's video and that it gave you practical homemaking inspiration.

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Lynn from SoCal said...

Hi Jennifer, your cleaning videos always make me want to clean. Thank you for the inspiration!

I have been struggling with knee pain and fatigue lately so the cleaning has been put on the back burner (luckily, I live alone so only I have to see the dirt).

Under normal circumstances when I struggle to get the motivation to clean, I put on some fast-paced music (or even Bach's Cello Suite No 1 in G Major - this always gets me going)and mix myself a cocktail. For some reason, a cocktail always makes cleaning more fun!

Colleen said...

Anyone have an opinion on the best way (prettiest way) to print out the Parisian Cityscapes/Monuments? As in: matte, glossy, etc.?

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Lynn, I hope your knee pain subsides soon! I agree with the music and the special treat! I have never cleaned with a cocktail, but it sounds fancy!

Colleen, hello! You can print in matte, glossy, or even canvas. I am in the process of selecting which one to choose and I'll share it soon. I can't decide between canvas or matte...

~ Jennifer

Colleen said...

Oh, canvas! That's a lovely idea! I purchased both cityscapes and monuments, so I will probably do something different with each set. Now, to decide . . . .!

simplyme said...

For housework, after years of trying various different ways, including the FlyLady, I have now found a routine works for me that is quick and easy.

Priority - As soon as I get up, I do three things, make the bed, tidy the kitchen - wash dishes and wipe over the surfaces , then put a load of laundry in. That keeps me on top of the important things. It works because I stick to it and do it every day.

Bathrooms I clean as I go. When I use the bathroom, I give the sink or loo a quick clean if it needs it, My husband, bless him, likes to clean the shower, so that's sorted :)

For the rest I let my home tell me what it needs. As a result, I find the carpets get hoovered a couple of times a week and once a week I need to dust.

Windows get cleaned and floors get mopped when they need it

I like a clean and tidy home. I used to do a 2 hour full clean every week but didn't like doing it this way. My home, whilst not spotless, is now always good enough and I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone turned up unexpectedly, as happened this week.

If I have the energy and inclination, for fun, I occassionally give my home the full hotel-like service. Almost like pretending my home is a holiday home and I'm getting it ready for the next guest. I buy fresh flowers, new candles, hand washes, change the bed, put out fresh towels, flannels, tea towels. Making sure I have enough basics in the kitchen, like tea and coffee, cooking oils, herbs and spices etc. It is so lovely when it is done and the effect lasts for weeks.