Author: sincerelydorisjane

Blog

Social Distancing or Public Unity


No Comments

COVID 19. The 2020 buzzword. Its flooding the newsrooms. Our Facebook and Instagram pages. The grocery store checkout lines.

Within the chaos its also undoubtedly causing something else. Face to face conversation.

On March 15th, my birthday and the day that would come to be known as the day that all Ohio restaurants close – I sat at the bar with my fiancé and a peach bellini – somewhat oblivious to our vacated surroundings .

The TVs were dark. A woman sat down next to us, and then another. We were no longer having a drink together but with friends. Conversation lasted between us all for an hour before it came to an end.

Restaurants closed and we found ourselves at the dining room table surrounded by family. Looking down at a puzzle… something that rarely happens unless there is two feet of snow on the ground.

Family are calling. Neighbors are checking in on each other.

Events are being cancelled. The trip that you and your family longed for. Saved for. Is being cancelled.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5

Church services or events are decreasing in number or being canceled.

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them – Matthew 18:20

As the nostalgic soul that I am and in the words of Carrie Bradshaw ‘I couldn’t help but wonder’, could good come from this? Would this fear and chaos of disease inspire us to care for one another? Distance is not the same as isolation and God is ever-present. Im not sure if im the only one who still writes letters but grab a pen and …

“spur one another toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the day approaching.”- Hebrews 10:24-25

Blog

The Proposal.


1 Comment

Have you ever woken up with one of those uncanny feelings – That something is different, something is going to happen. Thats how I felt when I woke up on July 7,2019. I had the strangest feeling that Michael was going to propose. Now, we have been dating for 8 years – we had looked at rings , he had heard me gush about my dream wedding- I knew it was coming ‘sometime’.

Our morning didn’t stray from our normal Sundays – Church, coffee, & breakfast with poppy. We had plans to meet our friends at The Incline Public House that night. Three bites into my bacon and Michael is asking me what I was going to wear to dinner that night – suspicious but not completely unusual – I shrug it off and try to calm myself down. I reply, what are you going to wear to which he promptly states – green shorts and a white polo. I tried to halt the turning gears in my head and went back to my bacon.

Our dinner plans were scheduled for 4 o’clock. I got into the car and couldn’t wait to tell Michael that yet another one of our friends had gotten engaged – commence the complaining and interrogation – to which Michael cooly answered by telling me he didn’t know how or when he would be able to propose.

Never believing that that statement could have ever been a lie – I tell him of my suspicions of the day. He chuckles, shakes his head and we go on with our car ride.

4:00 we arrive at the Incline. I suggested we get a drink and wait for our friends at the tables – Michael suggests we sit at the park just adjacent to the restaurant- I decline- Michael persists- I start to shake. I finally give in to his requests and walk to the overlook. I sit on a bench, shaking, convinced I’m either completely crazy or need to eat. Meanwhile Michael paces. This goes on for about 4 minutes until Michael asks that I stand up to which I of course said…why. Now ladies if you have the suspicion that your guy is going to propose please don’t be as inquisitive as me and just let his plan come to fruition without any speed bumps.

He starts to reach into his pocket … theres one way to get me to stand. He kneels and I think I could have been standing on hot coals and I still wouldn’t have been able to move. Boy asks girl to marry him, girl says yes, girl forgets to even look at the ring. Once I finally returned from the clouds I saw the most beautiful diamond ring glistening on my left hand.

After 8 years he knows me all too well and when I turned around our families were pouring into the parking lot. After all my complaining, my anticipation of what my own proposal would be like – I couldn’t have dreamt of it being more perfect. I was seated on cloud 9 for dinner and there I will remain.

Home Decor, Interviews, Shop Small

The Pursuit of Happiness: Our Visit with Blume


No Comments

Confession, this was not our first time in Blume, a quaint and quirky little shop in Lebanon, OH and often our first stop when we’re in town. Hospitality comes naturally to owner Amanda Marsh and her employees — we talked, we laughed, James spit pretzels, a close friend and employee bounced Franklin and we felt right at home and found we had quite a bit in common with Amanda, which might just be what draws us to her store so often.

<Blume is toddler approved … but not toddler proof. Thank goodness for stroller restraints!

Amanda was working as an accountant when her passion for nature, home decor and music pulled her out of her cubicle and led her straight to Lebanon’s Broadway. She was serendipitously presented with the opportunity to rent her dream storefront and with the support of her husband, friends, and family she went for it. After six months of renovations, what was once Reid Pharmacy was up and running under its new identity: Blume Home.

<Don't you just want to live here? We'd like to move in.

Walking through the eclectic collection in her store you are bound to find inspiration for your own home. Every space, every piece seems to serve a purpose — from the tea towels to a small butterfly dish, to handmade quotes and lyrics hand picked by Amanda, every item just seems to fit together, despite how unique they may be.

Handmade signs and canvases are hung throughout her store, most of them from the songs and artists who inspire her. Her musical tastes? A little bit of folk and a little bit of jazz, a little Frank Sinatra with a glass of wine when she wants to page through a favorite cook book (a woman after our own heart.) or her “pre-Pinterest” book of inspiration – a binder full of magazine clippings and photos.

And her advice to all you aspiring store owners and dream chasesrs? “Do it for the right reason. If you’re making plans to open your own business and you’re still getting excited, keep going.”

Of course we highly recommend stopping into the store, but you can also catch Amanda and her team for the third year in a row at this years Charm at the Farm:

June 21, 2019 4:00 pm – June 23, 2019 3:00 pm 4953 Bunnell Hill Rd. | Lebanon, OH 45036

Blog

In Honor of International Women’s Day: An Introduction


3 Comments

Today’s International Women’s Day! So first and foremost, here’s to all our female readers and lady friends. Who can argue with an excuse to celebrate gals all over the globe? We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two of our favorite women. The matriarchs of our family. Two women who were the definition of strength, faith and beauty and of course….our namesake!

Grandma Doris at her 90th Birthday Party

If there’s one thing we know we inherited from Grandma Doris … it’s her sweet tooth. Grandma Doris was a mother of thirteen (yep. you read that right.) and knew her way around the kitchen. She could deliver a bellyache alongside a belly laugh with a batch of her homemade “Aunt Philly cookies” (which remains a family secret to this day) and her quick-witted personality was as vivid as her wavy red (and later, snowy white) hair. Our recipes page hosts several recipes we found while paging through Grandma Doris’ cookbook and including some new recipes we’ve found along the way.

Grandpa “Louie” and our Grandma Doris Honeymooning at Clifty Falls

She valued her faith and her family and taught her grandchildren to appreciate the little things life has to offer. She loved to be outside, soaking in all the goodness that comes from spending a few hours in the sunshine or in the shade of an old tree watching the birds…Cardinals being her favorite. She took great pride in the climbing Clematis and “Hen and Chick” that adorned her front porch and had an enviable green thumb.

“Poppy” and Grandma Jane with our Uncle Tony

Grandma Jane was a woman of style and pep. She had a fierce love of fashion and her family. As an independent seamstress and designer, a one of a kind dress was not hard to come by, especially when it came time for the weddings of her two daughters. She led by example in faith and femininity, always teaching her family that You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile … and the right pair of shoes, of course.

With her legacy in mind, we’ll explore some of the long lost fashion trends and etiquette from Grandma Jane’s generation. Her confidence and fun-loving personality was something to be admired. From belting out every line of “Sentimental Journey,” with her cousin Ruthie every time they got together; singing at the top of their voice until they’d collapse into a giggling heap to dancing with us to “New York, New York” in her living room, where there was music, there was Grandma Jane.

While we miss them dearly, we hope to keep their legacies alive by carrying on their hobbies, interests and passions by making them our own, and then sharing them with you. Happy International Women’s Day!

Blog

Valentines Day: Be a Lover


1 Comment


Its Valentines Day, the mush in the air is almost palpable. There’s a line out the door at every florist in town and even White Castle is taking reservations. Some of you likely roll your eyes and go on with your day and others are so head over heels it makes everyone a little nauseated no matter which side you’re on. But this year, we’re encouraging you to approach Valentine’s Day with a fresh perspective and with a goal to love others and love yourself.

Love others.

“And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14

We’ve both experienced single and partnered, happy and sad Valentine’s Days, and I’m here to tell you that whether or not you have someone tossing pebbles at your window or showing up on your doorstep with roses does not have to be the gauge for a happy Valentine’s Day.  Chances are there’s someone you love somewhere. Someone who has done something nice for you lately or was a loyal friend when you needed one. Why not skip the forced romanticism and make this Valentine’s Day about them? Use today as a chance to be grateful for the people you love and the people who love you.  

I LOVE sending and receiving cards, so naturally a day where it is encouraged to send love notes is a day that tickles me pink. Whether it be your Grandparents, sister, best friend, or significant other … who doesn’t love being told how much they mean to you? There’s something about getting an unexpected note of admiration and gratitude that can brighten even the darkest corners of a soul.

Love yourself.

“For God is within her. She will not fall.”

Psalm 46:5

While we’re talking admiration and gratitude, when was the last time you made yourself feel special? Maybe this Valentine’s Day, choose to be your own secret admirer. I’m guessing you made a New Year’s resolution last month, right? Are you any closer to achieving it? Dedicate your Valentine’s day to taking the next step, or leap, or running start if that’s what you need to get started. Let this bravery and progress boost your confidence and take on the rest of the year with your head held high. Reflect on your personal goals and pour yourself into making them happen. Want to start a blog? a business? a new habit? Today’s the day. Sure, you’ll encounter some naysayers, but they’ll likely come around. And if they don’t, you’ll still be happier knowing you gave it a go.

If you’ve already accomplished your 2019 goal, ask yourself how you can help someone else. Make your Valentine’s Day wish to leave your little corner of the world a little better than you found it. Be kind and humble. Be helpful and generous.

Love God. Love others. Love yourself.

And, to all our family, friends, followers … we love you. Happy Valentines Day!

Recipes

Grandma Hutchinson’s Polish Pierogies


No Comments

We have a guest today! Emily Fagan of thiswifestyle.com was kind enough to share her Grandma Hutchinson’s Polish Pierogie recipe with us – We can’t wait to try it! Check out the recipe, as well as a little information about Emily, her blog and her Grandma below!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hello! My name is Emily Fagan and I am the writer of the blog This Wifestyle. I am so honored to be sharing a recipe today from my Grandma Hutchinson’s food splattered recipe book. Something I love about this blog is that stories and principles from our grandparents’ time are cherished and shared with the world! Today I am going to let you in on part of my family, and share one of my grandma’s recipes.

img_8996

Heritage is a part of every family. Where do we come from? What is our story? I remember being around 7 years old when my Grandma Hutchinson started sharing her heritage. She proudly told me that she was 100% Polish and that her family came to the United States in the early 1900s. Both her parents could speak Polish and it was a HUGE deal (and disappointment to my great grandparents) that she married a man who was NOT Polish. Nevertheless, she has made sure to pass down some parts of her heritage to my mother, and to me.

Pierogies has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whenever we would visit my grandparents for a holiday, pierogies were always at the dining table. Over the years, I have been able to help my Grandma Hutchinson make pierogies and she would always talk about how this dish was a part of her upbringing as well. Her mother would also make pierogies on holidays to share with the family (pierogies are very labor intensive, so they are not the easiest dish to serve every night with dinner).

img_9005

According to the Culinary Arts Institute’s Adventures in Cooking series, Polish food is liked because it is hospitable. And although it has traces of German and Russian characteristics, it is something entirely of it’s own due to this hospitality.[1] The Polish people make a big deal of Christmas Eve and serve a huge feast on this day. It is customary that a seat is left empty at the table for any guests that may choose to arrive (even if none are expected). [2] Finally, Polish food is heavily influenced by natural resources in Poland. Smoked sausage is common due to the abundance of juniper wood, sour cream is a staple because of the successful dairy industry, and cabbage frequents the dinner table due to plentiful crops.[3]Growing up, I was not aware of all of this. I DID know that my Grandma Hutchinson loved making pierogies because of her Polish heritage and as a result, I developed a connection with pierogies and plan on sharing this part of my heritage with my own children one day. I believe we are entering into a time when families are losing sight of where they came from. I cling to my heritage because I think it’s important to know where I come from. I hope you enjoy my grandma’s recipe!

img_8999

Grandma Hutchinson’s Pierogi Recipe

Ingredients for Pierogi Dough

6oz of Cream Cheese

4 Cups of Flour

1 Cup of Water

Ingredients for Sweet Cheese Filling

1.5 Cups of Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons Sugar

¼ Cup Raisins

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions

  • The first task you’re going to do is pour 4 cups of flour into a bowl (Kitchen Aid mixing bowl or regular bowl that you can use a hand mixer with).

img_8998

Slowly mix in the cream cheese and the egg. Mix together until the ingredients resemble a doughy consistency. Set aside.

img_9001

  • Next, add 3 cups of water to a cooking pot. Add in ¼ cups of raisins and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • While waiting for the raisins to boil, add all of the other ingredients needed for the pierogi filling to a bowl and mix together. Once the raisins are done boiling, drain the water and add the raisins to the cheese mixture.

Set this mixture in the freezer for about ten minutes while you complete the next task.

img_8997

  • Take your pierogi dough and separate it into four sections. With each section, you are going to follow the steps below until you are out of dough.
  • Spread flour out onto the countertop and then add one section of dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a very thin layer ( like sugar cookie dough).
  • Using the top of the bowl, cut medium sized circles out of the dough. After your dough is cut into circles, pick up the excess dough and place it with your other piles.
  • Fill a large cooking pot up with water and add a little olive oil and salt. Set the burner to high and wait for a boil.
  • Take your pierogi filling out of the freezer and use a tablespoon to scoop some out and place in the middle of each dough circle.
  • Using some tap water, wet a brush or your fingers and coat the outside of the pierogi circles with a thin layer of water. This will create an adhesive to close up your pierogi. Fold one side over to the other and press down on the sides.
  • Once your first batch is done, add your pierogies to the boiling water. Let your pierogies boil for 10 minutes. Remove one at a time and set on a plate to dry. Repeat these steps until all of your pierogies are cooked.
  • After your pierogies have been boiled, you’re going to need to cook them on a skillet. Add butter and place your burner to medium heat.

img_9004

Add a few pierogies and flip them back and forth on the burner until they start to brown. Finally, use a sprinkle of sugar on top of your pierogi before you eat! I hope you enjoyed this family recipe! Check out my blog for more recipes, DIYs, and random millennial thoughts!

-Emily Fagan

thiswifestyle.com

[1] Culinary Arts Institute Adventures in Cooking series, 7

[2] Adventures in Cooking, 8

[3] Adventures in Cooking, 9

About

Get to Know Us!


1 Comment

img_8518
Jessica

I am a Pediatric Nurse with a passion for bringing this crazy world back down to Earth with hand me downs, hiking, and comic relief. I was blessed with an arranged best-friendship via my sister, Emmy, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world … or an antique Victrola. I believe that everything happens for a reason, family comes first and chocolate goes in everything. Most of what you see on social media comes from me, being the younger, more privy-to-what’s-trendy of the two – but neither of us are very tech savvy.

Emily Bio Pic
Emily

I am a marketing gal turned stay-at-home-mama to one little boy (with another boy on the way. Pray for me!) I love to get dressed up, but prefer jeans, a tshirt and my trusty “Chucks.” I’m a creative writing junkie and a firm believer that prayer, red wine and the right music can solve anything life throws at you. I love all things organization, antiques and keeping life simple. I’m also a novice gardener and not so novice taste-tester of Jessica’s baking trials.

 

Cleaning

Clean Week: Stuff That Stinks


No Comments
We’ve found ourselves here all too often. We wake up in the morning and shuffle bleary eyed out to the kitchen toward the coffee maker and then it hits us. The dreaded, “what is that?!” A quick lap around the kitchen … trash is taken out, musty washrags are tossed in the washer, but still we wander around searching for the stink. Sometimes it’s been the dishwasher. Sometimes the trash can. Other times it’s harder to pinpoint.

In fact, a few weeks ago Em could not figure out what the musty, mildew smell was coming from her master bathroom. She scrubbed, she cleaned, she steamed the shower walls even, but the stench remained. Finally she found it. The bath towels. And so we took to the internet for the best remedies to things that just flat out get stinky. The answer was almost always … white vinegar.

Stinky Towels – Run your towels on hot with one cup of white vinegar. Towels will come out fresh, fluffy and stink-free. Bonus – this will also “destink” your washer at the same time. We were a bit worried the mildewy smell would be replaced by that tangy smell of vinegar, but that wasn’t the case! They came out smelling and feeling brand new.

Stinky Dishwasher – Before running an empty dishwasher on heavy duty setting, remove, clean and rinse the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher. Replace filter, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher then set it and forget it.  Voila! No more sour dishwasher.

Disposal Drain – vinegar and baking soda will fizz the funk right out of your sink. Grab an old toothbrush to scrub around the edges and finish with a couple citrus peels to freshen it up a bit.

Coffee Maker – dip filter insert in vinegar and rinse thoroughly. Replace, then run a whole pot, equal parts white vinegar and water through coffee maker. Run again with only water. Repeat with only water until vinegar smell is gone. **If you own a Keurig – please consult your owners manual for the best way to clean your machine.

Dog Bed – We both have yellow labs. 75+ pounds of love and fun and stray hairs … but that also means they put off a 75+ pound stink, their bed, specifically. First off – wash that smelly mutt. Secondly, wash the bed or the zip off cover if possible. Then sprinkle with baking soda. Let the baking soda sit while you take your pup for a long walk and vacuum the bed when you get home. No more stink! (until your next trip to the dog park of course.)

Cleaning, Shop Our Favorite Products

Clean Week: Our Favorite Products


No Comments

We’re not necessarily “neat freaks.” Things get out of place, things get messy and things get pushed to “tomorrow.” However, we do consider ourselves “clean freaks.” When we clean our houses we like everything to look clean, feel clean, and most importantly smell clean. We’re a pediatric nurse and a stay-at-home-mom of one messy little boy (with another messy little boy on the way) so our love of disinfecting products runs pretty deep.

In fact, we’ve tried just about every cleaning product on the market searching for the perfect way to clean every inch of our house without spending an entire day with a scrub brush in our hands. The products below have not only saved us time, but they’ve stopped us just short of bleaching our entire house:

DIY Faves

  • Baking Soda – fresh scent and gently abrasive, this little box packs a serious cleaning punch
  • Vinegar – included in every DIY cleaning recipe you’ll find online, and for good reason
  • Lemon Juice – will take the stink our of just about anything
  • Lavender Essential Oils – because who doesn’t love how lavender smells?

Top 5 Store Bought Time Savers

  • Pledge Multi-Surface – This one little can saves so much space and time. It’ll clean and dust anything from glass to wood. No more switching bottles 4 times for each room.
  • Pledge Squirt & Mop – Cleans and shines quickly between deep clean mop sessions. Perfect for trailing after a muddy dog or sticky toddler.
  • Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser – Leave your whole kitchen nice and shiny and finally get those stainless steel appliances fingerprint free
  • Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant – Em searched high and low for a granite-safe disinfectant for her kitchen and bathroom countertops. Behold … prayers have been answered.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers – The answer to any mess your children, pets and husband can make.

We try not to obsess over a cleaning schedule because we tried it and it started to make us crazy. Falling behind or skipping a task had us feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the opposite of what we were going for. We’ve learned we are better about keeping a house clean if we do a little bit at a time, while doing things like blinds, baseboards, dusting etc when we see that it needs to be done. We’re also no stranger to the frantic “friends are coming over” cleaning spree. Who would’ve guessed you could get so much done in such a short amount of time? However, if you want an idea of what our idea of a manageable schedule looks like, you can find a printable below.

You Can Do It Cleaning Schedule

Tomorrow we tackle the stuff that stinks in your house. Exciting, right? So tell us, what’s the one thing in your house you just cant keep from getting smelly? We’ll try to help out!

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane

Cleaning

Clean Week: Get Organized


No Comments

We’re staunch believers that step 1 of making your home feel and look clean is to first organize and simplify. Before we get down to the scrubbing, mopping and sweeping, we like to begin with clear surfaces and orderly supplies. Pick up and put away anything cluttering the countertops, get rid of lingering junk mail, straighten cabinets and closets, and tackle areas that seem to be a catch-all. We’re looking at you, “the drawer.” We know you all know exactly what which drawer we’re referring to. We’re guessing it’s some kind of oddly shaped drawer in your kitchen, too small for utensils and too shallow to hold anything of actual value. Let us make one more assumption, you struggle to open it every time you think something you’re missing is in there because the drawer itself gets caught on a rogue pair of scissors, an empty tape roll or a stack of expired coupon catalogs. Nailed it, didn’t we? 

We teamed up with Jan and Amy from Dwell Happy, a professional organizing service in Pennsylvania, who were kind enough to provide some really great guidance on how to get started and why it’s so important to simplify your living spaces:

1. Spend time working on your vision before you get started. This isn’t just a vision for your home, it’s more of a vision for your life. What makes you happy? Start a Pinterest board of inspirational quotes, things you enjoy doing (or would like to enjoy doing if you had the time), and spaces that appeal to you. This will keep you motivated as you start making important decisions about what items bring you joy and which items will only get in the way of making your vision a reality.
img_8381
2. Working on one category at a time instead of organizing by room is much less overwhelming and much more efficient. It will put an end to the constant shuffling of your things (just moving things around in a room so it looks more organized) and help you to eliminate the clutter and only keep the things you love and need. Starting in your wardrobe yields a very gratifying win right off the bat. Having a wardrobe full of only the clothes that you love and wear makes getting dressed each day feel so good that you will want that feeling everywhere. It’s addictive.
3. Some people may feel lost when it comes to the best way to store things but it’s actually pretty simple. Store like things together and when possible, store vertically instead of stacking. Storing vertically, like books on a bookshelf, makes items much easier to access and put away.

img_7448

 

4. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter you will be able to decorate with sentimental items that might have been hidden away, but that bring you joy. Clear the way for the good stuff – It’s what makes a home unique and beautiful. It tells YOUR story instead of looking like a West Elm catalog. (This is our favorite piece of advice. Family pieces > Pottery Barn)

img_8377
We cleared out Em’s buffet table a stack of antique doilies tucked away with our Great-great aunt’s china. We used one under this houseplant to protect our Great-Grandparent’s 1930 Majestic Radio. 

 5. A home should be lived in and get messy, but if everything has a place, those messes are a breeze to clean up.

For more great ideas and advice to get you motivated to organize and simplify your home, visit their website, dwellhappy.co, and be sure to follow them on Instagram. Their photos alone will have you ready to take on your pantry and linen closets!

Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a whole post on our favorite DIY and store bought cleaning products.

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane