Archive for the ‘Simple Pleasures’ Category

Old Fashioned Living in a Modern Day World

October 16th, 2021

After reading Forgotten Household Crafts, A Portrait of the Way We Once Lived, by John Seymour, I was inspired me to compile a list of my 10 favorite ways to incorporate old fashioned techniques and equipment in my own modern day life and I decided to share them as well as a few other fun links I found.

Old Fashioned Tips for a Modern Day World

  1. Explore local antique shops, online, or on eBay, and buy an antique coffee mill. There are many different varieties including some that can be hung on the kitchen wall. Not only will the hand crank version save space, it will conserve energy, and quickly become part of a morning ritual that is reminder of simpler times.
  2. Start a garden and grow your own food or buy it from local farms and markets when it is in season. Canning and preserving a bumper crop drastically reduces your carbon footprints, taking into consideration that glass canning jars can be recycled year after year. This will drastically reduce the amount of packaging that comes into your home.
  3. Grow your own herbs and use them to make homemade environmentally friendly household cleaners, teas, tinctures, vinegars for homemade dressings,  soaps, and scented candles.
  4. Plant more flowers around your home. Not only will the flowers smell decadent and add beauty to your life, they will help sustain the rapidly decreasing population of bees.
  5. Learn how to make wine, cheese, or brew your own beer. The initial investment is a bit costly, but making your own is far more cost effective then buying it from the store. Homemade wine and beer make wonderful gifts and can also be bartered for other items.
  6. Use a vintage hand mixer when making muffins, cupcakes, and fresh whipped cream.
  7. Use scrap fabric to make a yo yo blanket or quilt. This is a charming way to recycle salvageable  bits of those well loved garments, that are ready to be discarded.
  8. Hang your clothes out on the line to air dry in the breeze. Put the whites out when the sun is the brightest, as the sunshine will naturally bleach fabrics avoiding the need for harsh chemicals.
  9. Raise chickens for fresh eggs.  What you do not eat, you can always share, sell, or barter within your community.
  10. Ride your bike to the market. There is something deeply satisfying about riding home with a bicycle basket filled to the brim, with your next meal. Need a new bike? Visit sites like and find the perfect one.

More Ways to Live an Old Fashioned Life in a Modern Day World

Homespun Living is one of my new favorite blogs! I can not wait until summer so I can try the technique for Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil or Summer Fruit Muffins using fresh strawberries.

Old Fashioned Living is great a website and community owned and hosted by a busy mother of three who still finds time to share Old Fashioned Tips in her blog. If you have unanswered questions concerning old fashioned life this is the place to go.

Lehmans’ is an Amish store that sells a wide variety of products for simple and self sufficient living including books, coffee mills,  canning, gardening, candle, and soap making supplies.

Chickens in the Road Love Chicken in the Road Frugal is the New Black

Soap Making Blogs

Microholding – Making Soap & Living Well

Future Primative

Birch Bark Handmade Soap

Oats and Honey has a tutorial for making a replica of Lush’s, Buffy Body Butter which is my all time favorite soap! The instructions seem fairly simple and I can not wait to try making my own.

Natural Beauty Work Shop has an amazing selection of homemade skin care product recipes that can easily be made in your own kitchen. I am particularly intrigued by the Chocolate Milk Mud MaskGoddess Salt Scrub, and Gingerwood Massage Oil recipes.

Gardening Blogs

You Grow Girl

Garden Fresh Living

Simple Pleasures, Uncategorized

Chocolate and Cherries under a Chandelier of Stars

May 29th, 2007

Chocolate and Cherries under a Chandelier of Stars

If you have been reading my blog then you may have already noticed a trend, that I am a huge fan of quick and easy techniques that make “Living the Good Life,” simple and easily attainable. There are many reasons for this, but for the most part it is merely a reflection of how I live. Life is busy, it gets hectic, sometimes chaotic, and like the average person, the list of what I would like to do and what I will actually will get around to doing might as well exist in two entirely different lifetimes. Still, I don’t like the idea of life passing me by without being fully immersed in its beauty, depth, and complicity either…

For that reason, I am adding a new category to Ceres’ Secrets called “Simple Pleasures.” If you only have a moment and are searching for a way to indulge in something decadent with the most minimal amount of complication, stress, and active involvement time, then this is the place to look. The posts that reside here will offer effortless solutions for making those never ending “Every Days” seem a bit more special. It is my greatest wish that you will find something manageable among them that will help you savor the quiet unhurried moments in life that often slip by unannounced while awaiting the grand ones.

With that thought in mind, it only seems fitting that I should share one of our favorite simple pleasures first, Read more…

Simple Pleasures ,

Homemade Lemonade and Wild Violet Ice Cubes

May 13th, 2007

Homemade Lemonade with Violet Ice Cubes

Now that it is Spring, I find that I just can not seem to get enough time outside. My first cup of coffee is sipped in the garden before the morning dew has even had the time to evaporate. Lazy afternoons are spent under a tall shady tree with an ice cold glass of homemade lemonade. If I am lucky, my evenings are spent unwinding on the patio with a glass of wine, my journal, and a book or two as my toes wiggle their way into the cool green grass. My winter’s hibernation, of long naps, heavy reading, endless internet surfing, late nights watching foreign films, occasional crafting, and attempts to master new culinary techniques have, by this time, long been forgotten…

It is during this long awaited season that I find myself gravitating towards Read more…

Ceres' Recipe Box, Simple Pleasures ,

Mint-Juleped Fruit Salad

May 6th, 2007

Mint-Juleped Fruit Salad

Yesterday, during The Kentucky Derby, we sipped on Mint Juleps and cheered for our horses. Today we woke up to left over Mint Julep Syrup, a few handfuls of fresh mint, a tiny bit of bourbon, and a bowl full of perfectly ripened fruit. Together they made the very best “Day After The Derby Breakfast.

The recipe is simple…
Fresh sliced fruit, a drizzle of Mint Julep Syrup, and a splash of bourbon tossed gently in a bowl.
Plate and serve with fresh mint leaves.

Of course, you may always chase this down with another Mint Julep…

Ceres' Recipe Box, Simple Pleasures ,