Behind the Blog

Rachel and LaneIt’s been a while since I’ve written about my daily life.

When I started Small Notebook earlier this year, I thought it was going to be my personal blog. A few months later as it gained readership, I was glad to transition to reader-focused articles, and I wrote less about our happenings.

If people spend five minutes of their day reading an article here, then I want it to be something helpful or inspiring, instead of something about me.

Sometimes when I read blogs though, I wish I could know a little more about the person writing it. I want to be able to see who they are and a little about what their life is like.

So here’s my life right now.

Rachel and LaneI don’t have a lot of pictures of myself. I usually think the picture is better if I’m behind the camera instead of in front.

A few little things about me: I would rather stay up late than get up early. Almost all of my shirts are solid colors, and I choose which color to wear that day based on my mood. I make great iced coffee. I love m&m’s too much, so I never buy them.

DougDoug and I will be married for five years on Saturday.

We met during college, one summer when I worked at a summer camp in his home town. We didn’t start dating until several years later.

He is seven years older than me, so he graduated high school before I started seventh grade. He was Valedictorian and captain of the football team.  If I could have told my seventh-grade self about him, my junior high experience would have been a lot easier.

Brenda in the carI’ve been driving around for two months with a princess piñata in my car. The reason it got here in the first place is a story involving a bachelorette weekend, cowgirl hats, and Gruene Hall.

The reason the piñata stayed is because Lane adopted it as her car buddy. Her name is Brenda.

LaneLane is two, and she is happy almost all of the time. She wears band-aids every day because she likes them, and striped socks. She loves Curious George.

Lane has celiac, and for the last several weeks she has been extremely sick, but we’re thankful she’s feeling better now. She has to avoid foods with wheat or gluten, and she also can’t have dairy. (I have an article in the works with some great resources — true helps to me!) 

apartmentHere is our little homestead-apartment.

Last year I became interested in learning about sustainability, and so I have been using a clothesline, making soap, gardening, and composting in our apartment. One day if we have a house I might have some chickens. I would really like to learn about beekeeping too.

Before I stayed home with Lane, I worked doing project management and human resources. I don’t think I’ll go back to it, although I appreciated having those jobs at the time. My favorite hobby is reading about how to do and make things. Most of my blog writing is done at night while my family is sleeping.

Blogging took me completely by surprise this year. I’ve been learning about it as I go. I so much appreciate how you’ve supported me by reading, subscribing, commenting, and even telling friends! Thank you.

Did I leave something out? Feel free to ask any questions in the comments! –Rachel
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. How nice to read about you and your family. I will definitely be looking up your writing about wheat and gluten free eating as my acupuncturist recently suggested I try it to see if it would improve my medical situation. I also prefer to stay up late and mostly wear solid colored tops. Your daughter is beautiful and so cute that her buddy Brenda also wears a seat belt. Safety first!

    Mrs. Bubba’s last blog post..I’ve been insanely busy…

  2. Hey thanks for letting us in on your life… I love your blog and read it every time you post! I love your cute little apartment… and your family’s gorgeous… :)

    mikki roo’s last blog post..snow!

  3. I’ve loved your blog for a while and now I love it even more – I also have a 2 year old daughter with Celiac. She was only recently diagnosed, so I look forward to any resources you have to share! Keep up the great, inspiring work on your blog!

  4. Thanks for sharing this with us– I agree, there is much to wonder about mysterious bloggers and what their “real” lives are like! ;)

    I have been happy to read about how you make things work in a small apartment. I live in a small condo, and many bloggers’ lives seem a world apart from mine. Thank you for sharing how you make things work!

    liz’s last blog post..it worked!

  5. I often think about the daily lives of my favourite bloggers too. It’s nice to get to know a little more about the people who inspire you!
    The first photo is great, I love it so much! And Lane is adorable, I hope she feels 100% fine soon.

  6. smallnotebook says:

    Liz, you know how blogs tend to focus on the positive and you don’t always see the full picture? I think I’ll make sure to do a post with my household bloopers just so everyone knows that I don’t have it all together.

  7. smallnotebook says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone! It was fun to get to share these photos with you.

  8. Lovely Rachel..I’m loving Brenda! :)

    Laura @ move to portugal’s last blog post..The great mortgage payoff

  9. your family is gorgeous, thanks for sharing! i love how you have your apartment set up. i applaud your “get up and go” – i’m still in the ideas stage and take a while to get to the action!

  10. what a lovely post. Thanks for sharing. I also am a coeliac (as spelt in Aus) and have been diagnosed for 5 years now. Please feel free to ask me anything you wish.

    nellbe’s last blog post..Intermission

  11. great post! thanks for telling us about yourself… i think you have a gift for writing, its a real joy to read your stuff! good onya for giving it a go:)

    angelvalerie’s last blog post..Wishlists and contentment

  12. something about your blog makes it one of my favorites…the clean, simple graphics, sweet photos, just the right balance of personal info (and a really cute daughter!) and useful information…when I first discovered blogs (not that long ago-I’m late to the action!) I went a little nuts and followed many, but over time whittled them back to a few…and yours is one of them. Keep up the great work!

  13. I recently came across your blog at the same time as Lifehacker and The Simple Dollar in relation to an article that kind of cross-referenced all of you. I’ve been enjoying your posts and ideas.

    I’m commenting to say I would like to hear more about the sustainability you’re getting into. I think it’s important that people learn how to take care of themselves without some of the “luxuries,” like certain store-bought items or particular appliances. Not only is it important to always learn things that keep you self-sufficient, but it’s very zen to get back in touch with the simple things that humans used to have to do before the world advanced so far so quickly.

    I look forward to reading!

  14. It’s great to get a glimpse into your life Rachel – thanks for sharing! I’m going to start with Lane – she is adorable, and so so happy – what a joy, I’m sure, in your life! Treasure all the moments you have with her… The pinata — that sounds like a story in and of itself… And you — you are a perfect fit for being on the front side of the lens! What a wonderful, beautiful family you’ve shared!!

  15. I love this, Rachel. Sometimes I find myself battling between writing about my life (I want my kids to look back and be able to read what I wrote and blogged about and know who I am) and writing informative stuff too. I think that even without this post, you have found a great balance here. That said, I loved learning more about you and your family. Thank you for sharing with us. On a side note, I met my hubby at summer camp! :)

  16. And happy anniversary this weekend! My little monkey clicked submit before I was ready :)

  17. So nice to hear a little more about you! I just wanted to say that your comment about wishing you had known about your husband in juniour high made me laugh. I married a man 5 years my senior, and yes, could have saved myself a lot of trouble throughout highschool had I realized he was at university waiting for me to show up! Isn’t that life? Hindsight is 20/20.
    Your daughter is beeeeautiful, hope she’s feeling 100% soon.

  18. love this post – especially your photos. I agree with Tracy – I have let a lot of blogs come and go – but yours is a keeper.

  19. Southern Gal says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading a few months and love your blog.

  20. Your wedding date/anniversary just happens to also be my birthday! Thanks for the peek inside your life. I love the blog and have learned a lot.

    Cindy

  21. I really enjoyed this and I agree – I love knowing more about the woman behind the blog. I love that picture of your apartment homestead. I always thought you could do nothing while renting, but we are gardening, have a clothesline and are working on ‘homesteading’ projects all of the time in our rented home. We are learning skills for our future homestead while saving for it instead of going into debt over it.

    Also, I am sorry to hear of Lane’s food intolerances. I have gone back and forth on whether or not I or my son have one, but have never been tested. If you are looking for a delicious non-gluten grain that doesn’t have the strong taste of quinoa, try millet. We have been loving this grain lately, so much so that I may even blog about it :).

    Always a pleasure to visit you,
    Shannon

    Shannon’s last blog post..Make your own: yogurt, butter & applesauce

  22. Great post! It is nice to “meet” you.
    My daughter (14 months) also has a milk allergy. We are hoping that she will grow out of it, since it doesn’t seem to be too severe. I’d love to hear some of your advice.

    Rachel’s last blog post..Craft Ideas Anyone?

  23. Please, talk more about yourself in the daily posts! I don’t recall what brought me to your blog, but it was reading back in the archive and enjoying your life that got me to subscribe. I much prefer the personal story blogs! I have a number of frugal and finance blogs I read, and after a while, there’s only so much you say that’s unique, unless you tell your own story. So tell your stories! :)

  24. What fun to get to know you a little bit better!

    I have two children with celiac (one diagnosed at 15 months and one not diagnosed until 16 years old!). It’s easier to adjust the diet when they’re young…they won’t really know what they’re missing. But an older child knows to stay away from those foods without you being around all of the time. I think it gets easier with time.

    Mexican foods work well on this diet! Corn tortillas, etc.

    ukrainiac’s last blog post..Responses

  25. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I’m glad that finding happiness the good old-fashioned way is not out of style. At times I have felt pressured by friends to have a larger home or newer car, but that’s just not me. I can relate to your view of having a broader appreciation for other things in life. I love your blog and your family is beautiful!

  26. I enjoy the more personal stories too – not that I don’t enjoy all your other good stuff though! We also lived in an apartment for the first 5 or so years of marriage and I found lots of ways to make it cute and homey. People thought I was crazy sometimes but it was a good way to help us stay content in an apartment as opposed to going into huge debt for a house. Now that we do have a house, I can appreciate it more.
    Thanks for the inspiring blogs!

  27. So great to get a glimpse into your world! You are an amazing blogger–very inspiring–and it is interesting to me that you are so “new” at this…

    I’m glad to hear that Lane is feeling better.

    random note re: your pinata reference: I love Gruene, Texas…it’s not too far away from me, and it is just a little piece of paradise!

    Have a wonderful anniversary weekend (we celebrated 5 years of marriage this year too!).

    Mama Koala’s last blog post..Budget Wedding Ideas Needed!

  28. Rachel, thank you for sharing yourself with me and all of your other readers. So nice of you to pull back the curtain and give us a little glimpse of the you we don’t see every day.

    I enjoy your blog immensely. You’ve always got such good ideas and I’m so glad you share them.

    Lane is an absolute doll. Love, love, love the princess pinata. Bet there’s some funny stories about it and that bachelorette party…

    Nancy’s last blog post..What You Should Have Seen Yesterday

  29. smallnotebook says:

    Happy Birthday Cindy!

    Rachel, for alternatives for milk we use almond milk and coconut milk. For butter we use olive oil or Earth Balance’s Soy Garden spread. We also give Lane soy yogurt. My husband has a dairy intolerance too, and probiotics have been a great help to him. There’s more info and ideas here.

    Shannon, we love quinoa, but I don’t know much about how to cook with millet, so that would be interesting to read.

  30. Thanks for sharing about you and your family!! While I enjoy reading blogs that are reader-focused, I much more enjoy reading blogs that are a combination of helpful articles AND the personal…I guess it helps me connect that much more with the writer and find some common ground. And Lane…what a doll!!! :)

  31. I love that picture of Lane in the car next to “Brenda” What a hoot! Does she know there is candy inside of Brenda? :D

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah’s last blog post..Product Review: a surprise gift

  32. smallnotebook says:

    Dana, she only loves premium chocolate. She’ll drag her chair over and climb up on the kitchen counter to get into my stash.

  33. Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy reading more about the women behind the blogs, too, so this post was a special treat. Of course, I consider your posts treats in general, anyway.

    meg’s last blog post..A Stack of Old Shirts + A Couple of Hours

  34. I loved how you said that if you could tell your seventh grade self about your husband, she would have it a lot easier. I feel the exact same way! Such a hard time of life.

    I enjoy your blog.

  35. Very nice to know.

    I love what you said about wishing you’d have been able to tell your junior high self what was to come.

    Have you seen those commercials where the older self visits the younger self and tells him everything will be okay? I love those.

    My dh is 8 years older than me–he was graduating high school when I was graduating elementary school. Lol. I tease him about it.

  36. It was fun to read a little more about you! And Lane is just beautiful. I absolutely love your blog. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into writing it. I always feel so inspired by you.

    Claire W’s last blog post..Odds & Ends: Photos

  37. That was so fun! Your daughter is precious! Blessings today!

    Shilo’s last blog post..It’s All Comin’ Back to Me Now…

  38. I absolutely love the personal post! Lane is such a beautiful little girl!
    Thank you so much for all that you do and all that you share with us.

    Anita’s last blog post..Go Vote!

  39. It’s funny that you blog more for your readers’ “education”- I love to read the blogs that I follow around mostly because of the personal stuff in them, and secondly when there’s something about how to do something- you know, good ideas!
    I work in construction management & am surrounded by guys at work & at home. All of my girl friends live several states away & have little ones now, so I don’t get much girl-input. Which I suppose is where the blogs fit in.
    Your “personal post” was awesome! Thank you for sharing more about yourself & your family. It’s nice to meet you. :)

    Shauna H’s last blog post..PROMISED

  40. Your blog is great. Please keep it up and thank you.

  41. Thanks for sharing Rachel. The thing I like about blogs is that you get to know people a little bit. You can’t help but let a little bit of your personality show when you write, and if people subscribe it’s because they like the personality that’s writing :) I have a 2-1/2-year-old daughter with a baby doll buckled into my backseat right now, isn’t it great?

    Nicki S’s last blog post..Mommy Bag Makeover

  42. Thanks so much…your daughter is beautiful and your blog is great. I am addicted and love the great info.. keep it up – you were born to blog…

  43. So sweet…thanks for sharing! And I agree, if we could all tell our seventh grade selves how great it generally all turns out, high school would have been a breeze!

    Courtney’s last blog post..How to nap, waste time, and get nothing done

  44. Lately my husband has been having wheat allergy or Celiac type symptoms so I’m looking forward to your info on that!!

    Great little post too. It is nice to hear a little more about folks. Looks like you have a happy life!

    Beth H’s last blog post..Have a SUPER Halloween

  45. I love your blog, and I am so glad to know a little bit about you! (Love the car buddy! How cute!) I bookmarked the soap-making post, hopefully I’ll give it a try one of these days.

  46. Happy anniversary!

    I like the simple design of your blog and blogs like Alarming News. Thank you for the personal information update. I learn so much from reading blogs. I had no idea about not using shampoo, for instance.

    Are you doing a Bible study now? If so, which one?

  47. Well you do such an awesome job!! I only wish my blog had taken off like yours. But then, I guess I’d have to try harder ;)

    Your daughter is just gorgeous.

    and I’ve been working on all the green things you mentioned this year too! (although no chickens in my yard, even though I do have a home)

    CC’s last blog post..Therapy Thursday: Ode to the IEP

  48. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    Juice’s last blog post..Cupcake Sabotage!

  49. smallnotebook says:

    KS, I attend a weekly Bible study at my church, and the lady who leads the women’s ministry writes the study herself. I’m also reading through the Bible and taking notes on what the Bible says to me as a mom. I’ve only read through 2nd Chronicles so far, but taking notes as I read has really helped.

  50. I’m a newish reader and happy to know more about you and your family. I really like the format of your blog and think you should keep doing what you do. Thanks for the peep into your lives (now close the curtains!).

  51. Lovely :-))

  52. I’ve been reading for a couple weeks now and am loving your blog. I’d love to hear more about your soap making. How difficult is that to take on?

  53. smallnotebook says:

    Marissa, making a batch of soap takes about an hour start-to-finish. I use tools from my kitchen, such as a stainless steel pot and stick blender. I order a couple of ingredients online (such as lye and fragrances), and then the rest I buy locally (olive oil and coconut oil). The cost is much lower than buying high-quality soaps. I did a lot of reading beforehand, but I was surprised by how easy it really is.

  54. Yay for this! I can never see too many Lane pictures. LOVE Brenda! And this, “If I could have told my seventh-grade self about him, my junior high experience would have been a lot easier.” PERFECT! Best insight of the day. ;) And I TOTALLY want to have chickens and beehives someday, too!

    It has been a joy to discover and get to know you. Many wishes for continued success, mama.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..Grateful for Truth

  55. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life! You have such a lovely family!

    Kacie’s last blog post..Saving money with price adjustments

  56. Ditto ditto ditto…

    @ Marissa, it was actually Rachel’s post about soapmaking (and the pictures!!) that finally got me to try it after about 10 years of saying “yeah, I want to try that” and reading the books and all. So don’t hesitate; invite a friend over to mix ingredients with you and go to town!

    And Rachel/all you food allergy folks, if you haven’t come across the blog Aprovechar, you might want to check out her blog. It’s beautifully written and deals, in part, with handling food allergies. You can find it here: http://aprovechar.danandsally.com/

  57. smallnotebook says:

    I love Sally’s blog Aprovechar! That’s one I have planned to recommend.

    The blogosphere is such a small world.

  58. Loved this! Happy anniversary!

    Andrea’s last blog post..My three year old reads!

  59. Just stumbled onto your blog – love it! And I noticed you mentioned Gruene Hall – if you live near there, there is a company in Cedar Park called McGovern Organics you should look into for your little Lane’s celiac issues. Great stuff. and somewhat in your area…Take care.
    Amy

  60. Thanks for the personal post. I agree that it is fun to know who is behind the blog.
    Thanks!

  61. Thanks for the sneak peek inside! I really enjoy what you write. Happy Anniversary!

    Kendra’s last blog post..Something we haven’t seen since last March

  62. first of all, the name of your blog was an instant attraction due to the obscene number of notebooks i carry around :)…

    AND i must say that i really appreciate your humble perspective on life…sustainability…and raising a family on the resources that you’ve been given…

    i’m looking forward to many more lessons from this blog…so keep the good stuff coming!

    jpritchard’s last blog post..waiting.

  63. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for the peek into your life. I so admire the fact that you guys live in an apartment; I love small spaces and our house is fairly small, but still a lot to keep up with.

    I wanted to recommend a resource for cooking gluten-free; you may know about it already; there’s a blog and a book. If you have time, find and read the post about how Shauna and her husband met and fell in love – it’s so wonderful!

    Gluten Free Girl

    Vintage Mommy’s last blog post..What is Open Adoption?

  64. I look forward to what you post about gluten free and dairy free diets. I have allergies to both. It’s always nice to see what others suggest and know. You can never know too much about food allergies.

    Midwest Chick’s last blog post..I Voted . . .

  65. Hello, I really enjoy your blog and the peek into your life. Loved the pinata and how it came about to live in your car. What a great mom to let Brenda share the back seat with Lane. Now I just have to know, where (~ town ~) do you live? I live only about 20 miles from Gruene. Close to Bergheim, Texas. Gruene is a great little community and surrounding area.

    Lynn

  66. What a fantastic frog umbrella! Your apartment looks lovely, so inviting! I love your articles, but this was a fun peek into your life.

  67. So nice to get to know you. I enjoyed this post, thanks!

    Alos, thanks for the link to the soap post. I am a new reader of your blog and love it. I’ve been wanting to make soap for a long time but I was intimidated by the info I found. Your instructions look do-able.

  68. What a great post! I’m so impressed that you’ve only been blogging for less than a year–way to go!

  69. I have been reading your blog for months now and really enjoy it. Thanks so much for sharing the details of your life with us.

    One Frugal Girl’s last blog post..A Quiet Night

  70. I was so happy to read your personal entry today. I love knowing these sorts of details about those who are writing. I don’t know why. This was definitely a breath of fresh air.

    Chickens. I would love to live on a farm. Bees? Don’t know if I am brave enough for bees. Chickens I can handle.

    Monica’s last blog post..Making a Decision

  71. Ooops. Happy Anniversary. Do you have anything planned?

    Lane is so cute and full of life.

    Monica’s last blog post..Making a Decision

  72. MidwestChick, and others

    Celiac and milk intolerance are related in some ways. I have found that trying to dig deep into what’s happening in your digestive system can make some sense out of it. Believe me after the milk problems (they were serious) and now taking on gluten, I know it can feel like you are defeated. I was sick for years…no joke, like two solid years….with a serious climax of sickness to finally show me I had to make permanent serious changes.

    I feel like my body is now back in balance and the “accidental” exposures don’t affect me anymore, but I’ll never look at foods the same way. While you are trying to get there, get some Probiotics ( I recommend a half dose of Pana-C 315 each day), and drink a small amout of Kombucha Tea every day.

    I do love Small Notebook. Rachel (my wife) has done a great job. If I could find a time machine I would go back and visit her to tell her “I’m waiting for you” and “I need you” and “There is nobody out here like you….have fun but hurry.”

  73. I just wanted to share a great website I found while looking for a recipe: glutenfreemommy.com/
    I use the recipe for Broccoli chicken casserole every week! It is wonderful whether you use wheat flour or not, so maybe there are some other good resources to check out there.

    Your daughter is especially cute :)

  74. Hi Rachel ~ I’ve been lurking for some time; really enjoy the blog. I live in Austin with two boys: Nye just turned 5 and Callahan turned 3 today. Nye was diagnosed with Celiac on his 2nd bithday. It’s been a long road, but I’ve learned quite a few tricks and have found some great resources. We’re finally at a place that feels “normal.” My point in writing is that I’ve created a list of kid-friendly gluten free food/products/resources. Somehow I’ve become an “expert” on the subject and friends refer friends to me and so on, so I keep a word document of tips and products that I add to when I find something we like. I’m happy to e-mail the list to you off-line. The first year and one-half were tough and I cried every time I went to the grocery store. I hate for other moms to go through that, so that’s why I’m happy to share the list. Good luck! ~ Erin

    erin’s last blog post..On the night stand …

  75. Just wanted you to know that you made my day. Holy smokes! you went to my blog and left a comment. NO ONE other than my sister-in-law has read my blog so I almost fell off my chair!
    And I am still jealous, but in a good way,…:)

  76. I am fairly new to your blog and must tell you how lovely it is to have you be so nice and open with your readers. Thanks.

  77. Thanks for sharing! You’re right, it is nice to read about who is behind the blog. Your daughter is adorable. Those eyes! My daughter was highly allergic to dairy also as a child. Trader Joes was a lifesaver to me. Tofutti ice cream sandwhiches made life bearable!
    I laughed when I read your description of yourself, it sounded just like me.
    Kudos to you for living a more sustainable life. It is not always easy these days. Thanks again!

  78. You should check out these two ladies blogs. They are both gluten free due to their celiac diagnosis and post gluten free recipes on a regular basis.

    http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/

    http://www.tastyandglutenfree.blogspot.com/

    Katie’s last blog post..To soy or not to soy…

  79. This was great to read. I even smiled about your 7th grade self & your husband, and about Lane’s car buddy!

  80. How fun, thanks for sharing!

    Gidget’s last blog post..It’s the Absolute Ultimate!! #12~ My Binders= My Lifeline

  81. After reading your blog, I realize that you are me 30 years ago. Now I’m retired and my children are grown and my husband and I are living in small town on 2 acres in Texas. I finally have that wonderful garden. My husband is building me a chicken house and chicken run so I will finally have the little hobby farmette I dreamed of all my life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and life with us. I have found you to be fun to read and resourceful.

  82. Thanks for sharing a little bit about your life! I really love your blog and enjoy reading it, even if I am a few days behind sometimes. :)

    Tsoniki Crazy Bull’s last blog post..It’s A New Day

  83. smallnotebook says:

    Thanks for these gluten-free recommendations!

    We had a great anniversary weekend, and I got to eat at my favorite restaurant (Little Katana in Uptown for sushi and a hot rice bowl).

  84. Um…..I wanted to let you know in advance that I will absolutely, positively be copying you & writing an About Me on my blog that is NOT the About Me that is on my blog. If that makes sense.

    Of course, I’ll give the credit to you. Thanks for continuing to be so goshdarn smart & inspiring!

    Best,
    Michelle

  85. smallnotebook says:

    Michelle, I’m hoping other people will do this too, so I’ll get to read more about them!

  86. I recently learned that my daughter can’t have dairy either. I’m looking forward to your article about food limitations!

    CharityGrace’s last blog post..Stunningly Accurate

  87. Thanks for sharing. I am new to your blog but I am enjoying it! My son also has some food allergies, so its always nice to connect to other moms going through the same thing. She looks remarkably healthy!

    debra’s last blog post..Fruit Fun for Kids

  88. Thanks for sharing some things about you! I’ve noticed through blogging and blog-reading that it’s amazing to see how people from far away have such distinct similarities and differences. (You and I are even alike in some ways…my hubby is also 7 years older, my favorite hobby is reading about things I could make or do, etc…. I do not, however, have a pinata in my backseat. A wagon-load of children’s books and a few random stuffed animals, yes. Pinata, no.)

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Oh, and I think I’ll try that Pop-up scene sometime as a project for my kids! And I’m also working on some things to make my holiday more handmade this year. It’s such a fun and creative challenge!

    Thanks again, for your great articles and insights.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Thankful.

  89. Fun reading about you!

    Jessica’s last blog post..Bread Machine Focaccia (or Everything Bread)

  90. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much for this small view into your family life.
    I too have a thing for m&ms… I’ve just found somewhere close to us that imports peanut butter m&ms – luckily only in the snack size packets!!!!

    Meegan @ Harveys at Home’s last blog post..Monday’s socks

  91. Hi Rachel, I love your blog! Thanks for writing it. My question is how do you find contentment? I am newly married, and my husband and I are just starting out (we’re barely 23) and we don’t have much, or much money to get more stuff. I find myself always feeling glum because my older siblings (both in their 30s) have the nice house, the nice car, the nice furniture that I can’t have. I hope someday to own a comfortable-but-small home that people feel welcome and happy in, but I know I won’t even be happy with that unless I learn to be happy with what we have NOW, however little that may be. Do you have any tips for us?
    Ps. we are both Christians also :)

  92. smallnotebook says:

    Anna, that’s a topic that I really care about it, so I think there will be a post coming soon about that.

  93. Sorry Lane’s been sick! I got glutened (or dairy-ed, etc.) on a trip recently, and dealing with it was no fun. It’s frustrating when I’m trying to be careful and still get sick.

    On a happier note, I still think Lane is one of the cutest children EVER.

    Sally Parrott Ashbrook’s last blog post..Tidbits & Questions for You

  94. Hello, there! I’ve only recently discovered you and have to confess that I’m such a fan that those days when I’m behind on my vast amount of blog-reading, yours is one I do not just hit “delete.” (I do that, shamefully, because I am a blog reading fanatic.) I very much appreciate this post of all I’ve read so far. You are such a true inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing yourself.

  95. Rachel – I just found your sweet blog and am cheering you on as you discover the simple life. It’s a daily learning process, and one that I’ve only appreciated as I’ve gotten older. Your Lane is a doll-baby – SO CUTE!

    I love your outdoor clothesline! We use a wooden drying rack in the house for laundry items that just absolutely don’t require ironing – and that helps put a little more moisture in the air during the winter months in addition to our large humidifier, which means we can keep the heat turned down another degree or two. We position the rack over an air duct that blows warm air through the rack of laundry.

    I’ll be keeping up with you & your blog!

    Shanna ~ Rom. 8:28

  96. I came across your blog through Money Saving Mom and I absolute adore it! Your posts and links are terrific – it’s the one thing that I make time to read at least every other day, depending on what’s happening in my house. Not matter what’s going on, I leave your blog feeling calm, yet determined to make things better. Thank you!

  97. I am so glad I found your blog. About a year and a half ago I discovered Etsy, immediately opened a shop and let me creativity go crazy. It was fun and rewarding but very time consuming. This year I’d like to focus more of my time creating for my family. I can tell by the posts I’ve read so far that following your blog will bring me rich inspiration. Thank you.

    Lia´s last blog post..Tutus, tiaras and tea

  98. I found your blog via a link on simplemom blog. Just wanted to say that I love Gruene Hall and my husband and I recently stayed at the Gruene Mansion Inn. I look forward to stopping by from time to time and reading what you have to say.

    Nicole´s last blog post..Doc #5

  99. Kristie says:

    I love that you put this extra effort in the to “About” section, I too enjoy knowing more about an author when reading their blog. I look forward to visiting daily. I already told a friend about your site because her maiden name is Lane and I think that is such a sweet name for a little girl.

  100. Hi, I just found your blog and read couple of posts and I really like it! then I read about you and your life…. you have such a beautiful smile as well as your daughter!
    thanks for sharing great tips for simpler life. I truly believe that simple life makes us happier! :)

    coco´s last post…Bad food blogger & Skin Type Solution review

  101. stephanie says:

    Hey, I absolutely love love your blog and have subscribed to it…I also have a blog on dogs and my dog family….I’d like to know how you got your blog out there???? I want people to read my blog but don’t know how to promote it…would love your advice!
    I will keep reading….love your iced tea idea….will do it…

  102. I just discovered your blog and I feel like I just stumbled upon the most inspiring site I have read in a long time!
    Without sounding too much like a stalker, I am now going to try to catch up!

  103. Olive oil is pretty much mono unsaturated fat, not poly unsaturated. That is the reason why it’s being forced by modern dietetics, along with the eating habits they love so much, the Mediterranean diet. There’s been enough analysis to demonstrate omega-6 poly unsaturated fats from the majority vegetable oils to not be so good for you, and trans fats are now detrimental for you, and they are still making an attempt to slag saturated fats. That only leaves mono unsaturated fats like Olive oil and Canola oil. Learn the truth about coconut oil at well-informed-sources dot com

  104. Elizabeth says:

    I just discovered your blog. It looks like something I will be reading quite often. :) I quit my job almost 3 yrs ago to stay at home with my 2 precious children and love the new interests that have come from my adventures at home. My new found interests include soap making, gardening, and whole foods…these things I would never have thought to appeal to me until I became responsible for my family. I look forward to reading more from you!

  105. Hello! I found your blog as I was searching for apartment decorating ideas. I’ll be a sophomore in college this fall, and I’m always looking for inexpensive, cozy, homey ideas for my living spaces!

    It’s funny…..it seems we are very similar. Reading your bio, I could identify with so many things – the m&ms, solid color shirts, do-it-yourself projects, the desire for simplicity and enriching your family life and relationships. Oh, and the tendency toward night owl-ishness :)

    Thanks for taking the time to contribute positive ideas to our world – and the web.

    Take care,

    Maria
    Maria´s last post…On a Photoshop Whim

  106. Oh my goodness, I LOVE your blog. You would think I would say that all the time because I run a blog network and I read blogs constantly. I don’t know how I never found yours before this week.

    I was searching for a recipe for homemade chocolate sauce — that’s how I found you. And I was on my iPhone (in bed one morning when everyone was still sleeping). And you had that nifty mobile app that made your blog so easy to peruse.

    I have to tell you, your writing style is so engaging, and your photos are fantastic. I really loved the series about taking your family to Italy. My husband and I just took 2 weeks in Amsterdam and it was awesome. You’ve inspired me to take our daughter on our next trip. Actually, I’m now thinking maybe we should take 2-3 months and go to South America.

    I am looking forward to reading ALL the archives as soon as I get some time. And honestly, I rarely find a blog where I just can’t wait to read the archives.

    Thanks so much for writing your blog. It is a gem!

    And PS: I’m from Texas! Grew up in San Antonio and Dallas and went to UT Austin.
    Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE´s last post…Beautiful Princesses Take Their Cod Liver Oil

  107. Hi! Im new to your blog, and I loved reading this! Partially because I just moved to Texas, and am in LOVE with Gruene. But I have yet to visit the Gruene Hall! I live in Bulverde, so any chance I have to visit this cute little town, I do.

    Just wanted to say hello :)