Cleaning Chronicles

Resetting our Home for the Week.

Hello, my dear friends! A happy Sunday to you all. And what a cozy, productive Sunday it’s been. I usually try to get as much done on Sunday’s as I possibly can, but today I’m taking it a little bit slower, because I woke up feeling a bit ill. Bobby got sick right after the wedding, and as soon as he started getting around to feeling better, I began to feel sick.

That being said, we have been able to get things done. Such as grocery shopping! The older I get, the more and more I enjoy grocery shopping. My dear, sweet, HUSBAND (hehe!) does not enjoy grocery shopping as much as I do, but it must be done, all the same. Our poor fridge hadn’t been filled up in weeks. We didn’t go grocery shopping the week leading up to our wedding, and this week we just ate up our wedding leftovers, so it felt nice today to fill our fridge back up with goodies.

I made up a big batch of white chicken chili, one of Bobby’s favorites. I find that on a rainy day, when you’re feeling a bit sick, it hits the spot even more than usual! And whenever I make chili, there are always leftovers. I am of the opinion that leftovers are even more exciting than when you initially make a meal.

Even some tidying around the home got done! I cleaned out the fridge and organized it, and Bobby did some speed-cleaning. Speed cleaning is his speciality, and coincidentally it’s something I am absolutely horrendous at. I’ll start out cleaning the living room, get distracted, and end up in a different room, doing a completely different project. I fear my attention span isn’t the best. HOWEVER, I am a fantastic organizer. I would say that’s my strong suit when it comes to cleaning.

And to top it all off… watching Harry Potter 1 & 2! These two in particular are such cozy movies, perfect for autumn viewing. Rewatching them makes me giggle, because I remember watching them when I was younger and thinking that Ron, Harry, and Hermione were all so big, and now, they look like absolute babies!

I even got some reading done today. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten back into reading, and it makes me so sad that I went for years without reading for fun. I think I may make a blog post soon about what books I currently have on my bedside table. I always enjoy reading other people’s lists of books they plan on reading.

And then, to finish the day off… a tasty bowl of caramel praline ice cream. Today was such a happy little day. I’m loving married life, my friends. A blog post talking about the wedding coming shortly! I know that I don’t post on Sunday’s much anymore, but today I found myself missing writing something fierce. More about that in my next post!

I’m so happy to be back blogging, my dear friends. I missed it a whole lot.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Decorating

Decorating for Fall!

Hello, friends! I hope that your Monday is treating you well! I was quite productive today! I cleaned the kitchen, the fridge, and cleaned up my room! Not only all of that, but I was able to decorate for fall!

I haven’t done much around the house for fall, but I was able to really add some fall flair to my room! Decorating the home really makes one feel as though the space that they inhabit is THEIRS.

This is my first fall in my new apartment, and I am just so excited! I love the changing of seasons, because I’m able to reflect about where I was during the year prior.

This post isn’t very long, but I wanted to share my day with all of you. ❤ Gosh, do I love decorating! ❤

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Makeup Looks · Uncategorized

Minimizing my Makeup Collection.

Hello, my dear friends! I’m writing this post for you on another day that is just on the cusp of fall. And once again, it has me feeling very cozy and content.

I wanted to write a blog post today about minimizing my makeup collection. My makeup collection is decent sized, I would say. I think some people could view it as me having way too much stuff, and some people could see it and think it’s nothing! It’s just somewhere in-between, I think. I wanted to start another segment on my blog about my journey with not only condensing my makeup, but also what I plan on replacing the items with once they’re used up.

The categories I’m going to feature are:

  • Blush
  • Bronzer/Contouring Products
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow Singles / Eyeshadow Palettes
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Lipstick
  • Lipgloss
  • Eyebrow powder/pomade/pencils
  • Highlighter

Makeup is so fun to experiment with, and I don’t think that I’ll ever not love it, but, I want to be more mindful in my purchasing of makeup. I want to still have fun products that I can play with, but I don’t want to have makeup that I don’t like or don’t use. I want to find the best of the best for each category of makeup, and I thought I’d take all of y’all along for the journey!

I’m one of those people that can’t seem to get rid of makeup no matter how old it is, or how unflattering it is on me. I hate getting rid of makeup when it can still be used! So, my goal for this is to use up all of the makeup products I do not care for, and replace them with items that are better for me, and better for the Earth!

I’m thinking as I do each makeup type, I’ll link them so that you can go read all of them through this blog post!

I’m really excited for this process, and I’ve been doing some research on different products and companies, and I’m so excited to share everything I’ve learned with all of you! This post is kind of the equivalent to a movie trailer, I suppose. A little teaser! I’m hoping to start our first segment of it on Friday, so look out for that!

Thank you so much for reading, my friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Makeup Looks · My Favorite Recipes

My No-Nonsense Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I can’t believe that every day is bringing us closer and closer to September! How the heck did summertime pass so quickly? Personally, fall is my favorite season, so I’m getting really excited. I can’t wait to start decorating for fall.

Today’s blog post is all about my mashed potato recipe. I’m sure it’s nothing new or too unique, but Bobby and I really enjoyed it when I made it the other day.

Ingredients Needed.

  • Four medium red potatoes. (You can, of course, use whatever type of potatoes you prefer, but red potatoes are my absolute favorite. And of course you can use more or less potatoes, depending on how much you want. This ended up making six servings!)
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter. (You don’t need to use vegan butter, but Bobby and I love how the Earth Balance tastes.)
  • Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. (AGAIN, you don’t have to use almond milk, but it’s just what we end up buying instead of other types of milk.)
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Kernel Seasoning’s Garlic Parmesan Popcorn Seasoning.

Okay, friends! Here we go. When I cook, I tend to freestyle it. I taste it and then decide if it needs more of this or more of that. SO, this “recipe” isn’t going to be very exact.

Steps.

  1. Wash your potatoes!
  2. Cut up your potatoes into evenly sliced pieces. I cut mine up pretty fine because I like my mashed potatoes to be very smooth, but if you like your mashed potatoes a little chunkier, I would cut them into slightly bigger pieces.
  3. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  4. After the water has begun to boil, you can plop your potatoes into the water. I cooked them for about twenty minutes, which made them VERY tender.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, I put them into my mixer.
  6. At this point, I began to put in some almond milk. I poured some in, turned on the mixer, and repeated until it was the consistency I wanted. I would say it ended up being around half a cup.
  7. After the almond milk, I put in about two tablespoons of vegan butter.
  8. I mixed it all together so it was nice and creamy.
  9. My last step for all of this was to put in some of the garlic powder and then the garlic parmesan seasoning. I alternated between the two until I got it tasting juuust right!

I served it with a protein and a vegetable and it made for the perfect meal! It’s nothing revolutionary, but I thought I would share it with all of you, my dear internet friends!

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Cleaning Chronicles

An Updated Closet Clean out.

Hello, my dear friends! I hope that your week is off to a great start! I’ve been spending it trying to tidy up our closet, as it has gotten pretty messy. I’ve been working on cleaning it for about a week now. Slow and steady, my friends. Slow and steady.

I’ve actually written a blog post about cleaning one’s closet before, last December, but, I have a whole different apartment now! I thought an update would be nice. Especially since I’ve been working on it all week.

My closet now is a whole new shape than it was in my old apartment, so I had to come up with a brand new way of organizing it. And for those who don’t know me super well, I can be a tad particular about organization… so it can end up being quite a process for me.

One of the first steps to cleaning out your closet is to remove anything that doesn’t belong. I had plenty of things that had found themselves in the closet that didn’t belong there. Generally just Bobby and me shoving things in there when we had guests… but remove anything that doesn’t belong in the closet. Maybe it’s dirty clothes that need to be washed, or perhaps some crafting supplies, or even clothes that you don’t want anymore.

In my last closet clean out, I know that I talk about the various ways that we can rid ourselves of clothes we no longer desire, but for this round, I chose to do two things.

I sold a lot of clothes to Plato’s closet. I didn’t have one in Mount Pleasant, so I really enjoyed the ease of being able to bring clothes in and then immediately be done with it. That being said, Plato’s closet is VERY selective with the clothing they take, so keep that in mind. You may need to find other ways to take care of those clothes.

The other thing that I’ve been doing is upcycling old clothing.I recently bought a sewing machine (!!!) and I have been having such a wonderful time with it. This may not be for everyone, but I think it’s a super fun way to make use of items we already have.

Once you banish all the items you don’t want in your closet, it’s time for my favorite part… ORGANIZATION!!!

I like to organize my hanging clothes by type AND by color. I have a section for my skirts, dresses, long sleeved shirts, and then short sleeved shirts. And then within those categories I organize by color. I also make sure that all the clothes are facing the same direction AND the same color. (I believe I mentioned being VERY particular about such things…)
For Bobby’s side, I hang up his belts, his short sleeved shirts, his long sleeved shirts, and then his suit jackets. And then also by color.
Our closet also has this wonderful shelving unit built in that I use as well. I have baskets that contain my folded t-shirts, undergarments, and then winter hats. ( A little random of an assortment, I know!)
I use the shelving units themselves for my sweaters, my sun hats, and Bobby’s hats as well.

The containers all from either Target, Walmart, or TJ Maxx, from when I moved into my first apartment. If I were to replace these pieces, I would probably start at the thrift store. I have quite a few other furniture pieces from Goodwill and I find that they are not only cheaper than something you’d find at a store like Target, but they tend to be better quality as well.

I also utilize hangers to hang up scarves and belts. I know that there are fancier and cuter ways to do it, but using hangers works just fine for me! Even if I do wish it looked just a little bit cuter…

Another item that is extremely helpful is an over-the-door hook. These can be as basic or as fancy as you choose. The one that I use in my closet has eight hooks. I use them to hang up purses and bags. I don’t have very many of either, so the four hooks work perfectly! Over-the-door hooks are useful for every room, though. I have one in the bathroom for my towel as well.

There is much more to my closet, but I don’t want to bore my lovely readers with the details of every nook and cranny. So, on that note, I bid you all goodnight! (Yet another late night blog post!)

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

A Clean Home is a Happy Home.

Hello, my dear friends! A happy Friday to you all. Perhaps this is a bit of wishful thinking, but it did feel like there was a slight autumn chill to the air today…Which has me thinking about how I’ve almost been writing on this blog for a whole year. That is so amazing! Perhaps I’ll do a post about what I’ve learned in my first year of blogging. I’ve enjoyed this yearlong adventure, and I can’t wait to continue on this journey!

Today’s blog I wanted to talk about the notion that a clean home is a happy home. I’ve written in previous blog posts that our homes needn’t be impeccable to be cozy and homey, and I still stand behind that. HOWEVER, I will say that a clean home makes for a happy home.

I write this blog post from my room that is a bit more messy than I’d care to say. And it’s making for a hectic mind. Too much stuff laying around has a way of making our minds reflect the state of our surroundings. I’ve always struggled a bit with being a messy person. It takes a very conscious effort for me to put things away instead of leaving them where I set them down. And the older I get, the harder I try to be a tidier person. And I will say that I have gotten quite a bit better at it, but there is certainly always room for improvement.

I’ve seen a sentiment floating around the internet that I absolutely adore. The idea that we need to begin thinking of cleaning in a brand new way. Instead of thinking of it as a chore and something we do NOT want to do, we think of it as an act of self care. The idea that we DESERVE to have a home that is clean. It seems like such a simple change, but it really has had quite a profound impact on the way that I view cleaning. And it’s really changed me, because as I write this, I’m compiling a list of all the things I’m excited to do around the house tomorrow.

For example, I’m excited to do my laundry tomorrow, because how wonderful is it that I have a washer and dryer to clean my clothes with? And how wonderful is it to have clean clothes?

As always, it’s the little things in life…

And on that note, my dear friends… I will sign off and wish you all sweet dreams, as this is another late night post.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Eco-friendly

I Made the Switch to Reusable K-Cups!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful, caffeinated Wednesday! Or if you are less  caffeine addicted than I am, I hope that you are having a wonderful Wednesday all the same!

I drink coffee every single day, one or two cups per day. Last summer I was able to ween myself off of drinking coffee, but here we are… there are certainly worse vices…

A vice related to my coffee drinking, but not a result of the actual act of coffee drinking… was using k-cups that WEREN’T REUSABLE. I had even tried to use a reusable k-cup! I bought one and everything, but it did not work! For whatever reason, it wasn’t compatible with my Keurig. And as guilty as I feel saying this… I just didn’t try to make it work or even buy a new one… until now.

Today is day one of using my reusable k-cup and I am NOT going back. I will say that it is a little bit more labor intensive, as you have to clean it out, but that’s really not a problem for me.

On the Midwest Mattie blog we are all about saving money AND saving the Earth. Making coffee at home is already better for your pocketbook and for the Earth, but if you are using a Keurig, I couldn’t recommend purchasing a reusable K-cup enough.

I’m trying to make changes in my lifestyle that are doable, and sustainable. It doesn’t do much good for us if we try to make too big of a change at once, and then ultimately give up because it was too much, too fast. And I understand the allure of going big or going home, but I think that going at a pace that works for us and will continue to work for us is the best way to go about change. And being HONEST with ourselves. Only we can know 100% if we are doing our best to be sustainable. People have different factors in their lives that may change their ability to make an assorted amount of change in their own lives.

Thinking about things that we do EVERY SINGLE DAY that we can change is important. Despite my best efforts, there are days when I get a coffee from a coffee shop and it’s in a plastic cup. And I always feel guilty when I do that, but it is not an every day thing. We will all make mistakes. We cannot be in complete control of our lives and our surroundings 100% of the time. We just can’t.  We have to do our honest best.

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

My July Favorites.

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all! Can you believe it’s August already? My wedding is in two months! What!!! I’m so excited!!!

I thought that I would do a July favorites for this month, as it has been quite some time since I’ve done one! Here we go!

  1. Eyeliner! I’ve gone through many a phase with eyeliner. Middle school I was very addicted to black pencil eyeliner, messily applied to the top lid and bottom waterline. Then I moved onto black liquid liner in high school, and I went a little crazy with the winged liner there. And then, at the beginning of college, I did a little bit of brown pencil liner. And after that, I didn’t really do much with eyeliner. But for the past week or two, I’ve been getting back into liquid liner. I’ve had an Elf liquid liner in a navy blue shade for longer than I’d care to admit… but I’ve been putting a thin little line of it on my lash line. I thought it would look a little strange with my black mascara, but it really doesn’t!
  2. My kitchen table! I ordered this table a couple months back, but we finally had it delivered! I love this table so much, and I think it’s a very classic piece that we will have for many, many years. It seats six and has an insert that makes it quite a bit longer. We keep the insert in it at all times, so we don’t have to worry about storing it somewhere. (Ha!) I love how neutral it is, and that it will match whatever decor our hearts desire.IMG_3567.JPG
  3. L.L Bean Dress. This dress!!! I am so in love. It is so cozy, and even though I bought it only a little bit ago, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a favorite for a very long time. Which is what I consider before making a purchase! And blue is one of my favorite colors, and one of the colors I think flatters me the most.IMG_3772
  4. Journaling. Although journaling is nothing new for me, I’ve been making an extra effort to make time to journal EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s such a wonderful way to work through problems you may have, or even to document the small joys in life. As much as we’d like to hope we’d remember all these wonderful memories, we can’t possibly remember every single day of our lives. And that’s where journaling comes in!
  5. Bar soap. I remember being a kid, HATING using bar soap. To be fair, the ones that foam and bubble are far more whimsical, but not as good for the environment, as I’ve learned. Bar soap requires little to no packaging, and can last you for such a long time! I love it!IMG_3767
  6. Brown Boots. I’m a fan of all things fall, and these boots just scream fall to me. And what’s even better is that they were less than ten dollars! Just like the dress I’ve listed, I foresee these being a favorite for many a year.IMG_3742
  7. Trip to Frankfort . This was such a wonderful day! I had such a lovely time going to Frankfort with Bobby’s family for the fourth. It’s such a cute little town, and being on the beach all day… pure bliss. I can’t wait to take another trip to the beach.IMG_3411
  8. Wedding bands. I was SO happy to find our wedding bands. And they are so beautiful, and so us. The fact that after the wedding, we’ll be able to wear them for the whole rest of our lives is so amazing! How blessed are we???IMG_3325
  9. Banana bread. Perhaps banana bread will be my claim to fame… although I cannot take credit for the recipe. Bobby LOVES when I make this, and I even made some for his boss the other week! And the smell of banana bread… is there a banana bread perfume? If so, I desperately need it.
  10. Anne of Green Gables! This book has been a favorite of mine since childhood, and I reread it for the first time in such a long time, this month. And no surprise here, I loved it just as much, if not more. A classic book that I think everyone should read. It’s such a lovely book to read when you want to fall back deeply in love with life.IMG_3604

Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

My Favorite Recipes

Bake with Me: Banana Bread

Hello, friends! A happy little Monday to you all! Although as I write this, it’s closer to Tuesday than Monday. Sometimes the day can get away from us, my friends… And as a result, this blog is going to be a bit of a short one.

I posted a link to a video I made a little while ago onto my Facebook page, but I never made it a blog post of its own. This isn’t a recipe of my own creation, so I will link the recipe right here!

I make this recipe ALL the time and get nothing but compliments when I do. I think that cooking and baking is such a wonderful way to express our loves for others, and what could be better than receiving a sweet treat from a loved one?

I don’t post very much onto my Youtube channel, but I think it’s a fun way to supplement some blog posts, or to capture memories. I’m certainly more of a writer than a cinematographer, but I enjoy it as a creative outlet all the same! I like to think of them as home movies! Home movies that you can watch from wherever you are! So yes, this is a bit of a self-promo. 😉

And so, I present to you, my friends, my SECOND Youtube video.

Thank you for reading/watching!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

 

 

Photography

My Momma’s Garden.

Hello, friends! A happy Wednesday to you! I’m currently in Mount Pleasant, visiting my family! And today is my little brother’s eighteenth birthday, so I did not want to miss that! It’s certainly a hot little day, mostly spent in front of the fan, but I did wander outside to admire my mom’s garden.

I don’t know if I could possibly be any more thankful that I live in a world where flowers exist. If I had to choose my top three, it’d probably be daisies, daffodils, and lilacs, but I’ve never seen a flower that I didn’t like.

I eagerly await the day where I can have a garden all my own. I would love to have a mix of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Just imagine: you’re cooking dinner and you realize you don’t have enough cilantro for the salsa you’re making, and you go outside to pick some from your very own garden! I can’t think of anything better. For now, I’ll content myself with my windowsill strawberry plant and its adorable little sprouts.

I’ve mentioned my mom’s garden before, but as I come home from Traverse City for the first time, I’ve become more and more nostalgic about things. My mom’s garden being one of them.  How lovely is to be able to come home. 

This garden is the result of hours AND hours of hard work that my mom has done. It gets more and more beautiful every single time I saw it. I thought that I would share some photos that I’ve taken of this beautiful garden.

I hope you enjoy, my friends!

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Thank you so much for reading, friends! Have a great day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae