The Best Part of This Blog

Photo by jules:stonesoup

I have to tell you something. I am so grateful to each of you who stop by here to visit or who subscribe and read in your email or via RSS. But there’s something you should know.

The best stuff is in the comments at the end of each article.

If you’re only reading the post without clicking to see the comments, then you’re missing out.

I have such a good time getting to know you and hearing the funny, touching, inspiring, practical, helpful comments you share.

There is so much to relate to…

Melody and Kim shared about kids helping out with the cleaning.

Jenni shared the recipe for her family’s favorite comfort food.

Jessicah has talked about going back to work and trying to balance everything.

And lately I’ve been cracking up because Kait shared how her grandmother used to spray Windex in the air to make it smell like she had cleaned! (It fooled her Grandpa every time.)

And that’s just the beginning.

If you’ve never visited the Comments section, I’d like to invite you to come over and see it. Just click the link at the bottom of this post.

It’s really easy to share a comment if you would like to. (The discussion will stay open for two months after a post is published.)

Do you notice how when I leave a comment it has my picture next to it? You can do that too. To have a photo, all you need to do is get a gravatar and then come back here and try it.

Come by and say hi. See you in the Comments!

About Rachel

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


  1. Thanks for my comment the other day! It meant a lot for you to take the time to read my No Spend Month post and leave a comment.

    Stephanie´s last post…Graham Cracker Goodness

  2. That windex story just made me smile for the first time today.

    You do have the best commenters and I always know where to come when I need an answer. You’ve created such a great community here, Rachel.

    I appreciate your comment yesterday.


    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Link Love

  3. Jackie@Lilolu says:

    I agree, comments can bring a post to a whole to new level. They make the world not feel so big. I still can stop smiling about Kait’s Windex story…so funny! :)

  4. I completely agree with you. The best part of blogging is reading the comments. For the most part, readers are so supportive – love their input.

    Unplanned Cooking´s last post…Our house plans come back- and it’s a…

  5. Welcome to the comments! It’s so fun to hear from you. If you haven’t commented before, introduce yourself.

    • Rachel, I stumbled on this website while looking for a recipe for homemade Chocolate syrup. (Yours is amazing!) Let me just say, that was my lucky day! I love all the articles and ideas on how to simplify. This has been my goal for a awhile now, and this site is really helping me to stay on track. I appreciate your commonsense, doable approach. Thank you!


    • I have been reading your blog for over two years now and have learned so much. Eleven months ago I went from being an elementary teacher to a stay-at-home mom. I love my new role. I love trying to live simply and enjoying my little family.

      Stephanie´s last post…Graham Cracker Goodness

  6. LOVE that windex story! I happen to use the costco wipes to do a quick wipe down (no scrubbing and half the time don’t even reach the corners of the surface) just so it smells like i’ve cleaned!! Love it.

    I agree with you on the comment threads … first step — getting people to LEAVE comments instead of simply reading and clicking away (I’m so guilty of this … and trying to get better) …

    second step — engaging a great conversation IN those comments.

    (not only that, but you can also find some REAL gems of blogs of other commenters/readers!

    Thanks for pointing that out!

    naomi´s last post…MONSOON RAINS

    • Like yours Naomi! The photos of your expat life in India are fascinating, and I love your Fading Ladies shirts!

      I totally understand when people don’t comment though. Sometimes I just want to read quietly and quickly, and sometimes I’m carrying the baby. But I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on the comment community because they didn’t know about it.

  7. Doug's Mom says:

    I tuned in to see the world’s most perfect grandchildren but soon became hooked on the blog and the people who comment (I read every one.) I have come to know and admire this daughter-in-law of mine and to understand my son’s great love of her perhaps better here than on any weekend visit.
    I am proud of you, Rachel.


  8. Kathryn Fenner says:

    Pine Sol in the bathroom sink (or if you don’t mind actually cleaning something, swish it around the toilet bowl). Heloise always says if you get the bathroom sparkling, folks won’t notice the rest (obvi you need to pick up the big chunks (shoes, toys, dog toys), too.

    My favorite part of this blog is the mantra that you don’t need to buy more storage containers to get organized! True dat.

  9. Jessicah says:

    Ooh, I feel super cool now! Thanks! :)
    I love this blog a lot though, and it’s one of the very, very few where I actually read the comments, because I agree that there’s great stuff going on here.

  10. Oh my the comment from Doug’s Mom just made me cry. You are so blessed, Rachel!

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Link Love

  11. hmbalison says:

    I read this site via Google Reader, and you can’t see the comments, so I’ve been missing out. Thanks for suggesting I don’t miss the comments.

  12. I am not sure if I ever commented here before I not, so I stopped by to say hi. I religously read your blog in my Reader and occassionally click over to read the comments. Sounds like I am missing out so I will be sure to read the comments more often!

    Dani´s last post…A Tribute to the One I Love Who Riddled Me With Anxiety and Almost Gave Me an Ulcer a-k-a Please Dont Do That Again

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but it’s definitely one of my all-time favorite blogs to read! I am always inspired by your writing, but I rarely click to read the comments. I’ve been missing out!

  14. That is so funny, I used to do that same thing w/ Windex or whatever cleaning product smelled the best! I would do it about 30 min before he got home. But then we got a dog and I have to clean for real. A lot.

  15. ha-great tip about the windex! i used to use endust on the table next to where hubby sat…another one: just fry some chopped onion-smells like you’ve been cooking all day!
    good to know about the comments, i didnt think anyone really read them other than me!

  16. Love your blog! Thanks for the reminder about the comments section. Before baby#3 came along 16months ago, I used to be a person who commented on blogs, too. I love reading the stories and hearing the tips and sharing tips with people too.

    So, here’s a tip for making homemade mint tea. If you have mint growing in your garden, then take 5 sprigs of it. Bring into the house and clean it good. Take a cup of water and put the mint sprigs into it (stems and all). Smash it with a wooden spoon to release oils. Boil for 5 minutes or until the leaves start turning brown. Strain into a pitcher and add 3/4 cup sugar (or to taste). Stir to dissolve. Add water. Drink. I’ve found that this gives me a lot more energy to deal with me 3 kids (6, 4 and 16 months).

    Thanks for the great blog:D


    • Thanks Lisa. I drink mint water all day long. I add a few sprigs of mint into my jug of cold water and stir in a teaspoon of sugar. So good! It really helps me drink a lot more water too.

    • Thank you for that- I have tons of mint but haven’t taken the time to search for a hot mint tea recipe because I thought I would have to dry the leaves but glad I don’t now :)

  17. i love reading comments, though with a newborn sometimes i am reading and don’t have the free hands to leave a comment. but i agree, that as a blogger, comments are always the best!

    Charis´s last post…a quiver full

  18. I do love my comments on my blog… I’ll have to remember to check them out here more often. :-)

  19. I don’t comment much; but, I sure do read comments a lot. You’d be amazed at the tidbits of information, knowledge, and humor being “spoken”. Some blogs have HUGE readerships and I just don’t have time to read through thousands of comments on one post. But, I do read a few before moving on. :-)

    By the way, I think I found you through Ree’s (Pioneer Woman) blog? I do know I found you some time ago via a comment and have you in Google Reader. :-)

    Lee Ann L.´s last post…No Spending Month Begins

  20. Thanks for reminding me about the comments section. I found small notebook when I searched for a recipe for iced coffee and read the comments under the recipe; so helpful. I love your simple ideas that make our life easier. My simple idea: keep a cotton rag on a nail on the inside of the cabinet door under your bathroom sink and teach your family to wipe off the counter after using the sink. The bathroom stays clean-looking longer.

  21. So. . . this is me trying out the Gravatar thing. Let’s see if it works!

    And I’m totally going to spray Windex in the air. Genius!

  22. Just to say hi – don’t think I’ve commented before, but am a huge fan!

    I love coming here to your blog and feeling a wave of calm and general ‘yes I can be in control too’ sensation rush over me :-). I also enjoy reading the comments too – you have some great readers here with lots of advice to share.

    So thank you for your blog. Really you have no idea the good things visiting here has bought into my rather whirlwind world! (3 kids, one with special needs, full time job, tight budget!)

    Anna´s last post…3 Beautiful Things

  23. Hey pretty lady! I completely concur that the commenters here are INCREDIBLE. Especially those that have been hanging around since the Way-Back Days. ;)

    Seriously, though. Who needs a subscription to Real Simple? I have all the practical, cost-effective, real life tips I need right here at Small Notebook.

    I have found my commenters often say things WAY WAY WAY more profound than I do. Love community for that.

    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s last post…and so it goes

  24. I, too, love reading comments! So much wisdom mixed with a splash of quirky make it an added bonus within your postings Ü
    I think I just found the secret to my our house always smelled so “clean” growing up…….I’m going to ask my Mom if she dabbed a bit of ammonia behind each ear before the school bus dropped us off each day *Ü* Our house was spotless, so she probably scrubbed her fingers to the bone each and every day, knowing her. Oh, and I’m trying out the new gravatar suggestion, too! Just got a new computer so no favorite personal pics yet. Just my favorite London building number picture.

  25. Oh I just love the comments on your posts – I have learnt so many nifty little tricks right here. And as for your hubs’ mom comment – awesome!!! I just love it!!! I couldn’t pay my mom-in-law to visit our blog – it’s a shame she’s missing out on meeting a great bunch of kids!

    se7en´s last post…Saturday Spot- Imhoff Farm Village…

  26. I really enjoy seeing your notebook when I open up my e-mails. They are funny, entertaining and just plain fun. The articles and the answers to them are ….enlightening to say the least. I actually was looking for corn syrup free chocolate syrup and eith likeingand trying the recipe signed up for the news. I am impressed with the adventure or each article and the news in each one. Thank you for this site, I for one enjoy the h$$$ out of it.

  27. I have learned so much by reading your blog and comments from women who know. Thanks, Rachel, for hosting an online community. Wouldn’t people of days past be amazed at what we can do?

  28. This is my first visit to your blog. I landed here via a link at eye-dyllic. I haven’t yet taken time to look around, but I had to comment about Kait’s comment of her grandmother spraying Windes to make it smell like she cleaned house. I used to do that exact same thing, only I splashed Pine-sol in the sinks and toilets! ;-)

    Renna´s last post…When Left To My Own Devices

  29. Hello Rachel and all the other commenters. My name is Rochelle and I stumbled onto this amazing blog by chance. Just merely trying to search for something I found Passionate Homemaker, and fell in love with her story and was inspired. After reading through her blog I was led to Kat’s blog Inspired to Action, and once again was inspired and then found Small Notebook. Just by reading these 3 blogs and through the subscriptions I have made so many changes these past couple of months, it truly is life changing. Thank you so much. I will be sure to continue to read on through the comments from now on. It’s refreshing to see so many women wanting to help each other. I am just learning how to blog myself. Thanks again <3

    Rochelle´s last post…Getting use to blogging

  30. hello there!
    i think i also found this blog looking for homemade chocolate syrup…but i love it :)
    never commented before (i read in google reader) but i’m trying to get better about jumping in time to time.

  31. Hi Rachel,
    I love the site and the comments (read all of them!). I learn a lot from both and it helps me to simplify and understand that what I may be experiencing or feeling is normal!
    Thank you and fellow commenters for making life saner and happier.

    Prerna´s last post…The Simplest Way to a Clean Home

  32. I try to read comments, but on a popular blog like yours….

    Jena (Organizing Mommy)´s last post…Rebound!!

  33. Wondering if my gravatar will show up

    Jena (Organizing Mommy)´s last post…Rebound!!

  34. OMG I loved the part about spraying Windex in the air so it would smell like your grandma has been cleaning all day. My trick is Pine Sol in the bathroom sink and toilet. I’ve had so many people say how clean it smells in here

  35. Since you insist, I shall de-lurk for a change. :)
    Preeti’s ( No Spend Month posts brought me here and I have been going through your archives digging out all posts on organising and money management in general.
    Every time I read a tip on cleaning or homekeeping here, I wonder if it should even qualify as a tip ‘cos things like recycling, reusing, making each penny count usually come naturally. But then looking at your comments section, it is evident that many people do not realise how they could utilise their money and time at the best. And you are really helping them sort things out in their life. Nice work.


    ~G´s last post…What does a poor poor girl

  36. I comment on so many blogs. It is a fun part of blogging for me. Thanks for honoring the commentors.


    Glenda Childers´s last post… A PERFECT DAY

  37. I actually do read most of the comments here, largely because it’s tapping into a like-minded community of readers. I agree with a previous poster, though – you really do create an atmosphere of invitation and discussion, so often it’s hard not to comment! :)

    Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…Surprise- surprise!

  38. I’m visiting the comment section! Hey!

    pam´s last post…Old Mission Peninsula and Sailboating

  39. Awwww…Thanks Rachel for mentioning my comment on your blog…I feel famous :) I really enjoy reading your blog and admit to checking once a day for new posts…As a busy mom, I don’t have as much time to read books the way I used to and reading blogs satisfies my desire to do so and I learn alot of useful tips in the process…so thanks again and keep up the great job!

  40. Okay… Introduction time I guess (since i’ve been following your blog for months upon months and I don’t think I’ve commented before)…


    I’m 24, no kiddos, unmarried (dating long distance), and in So-Cal. I bought a condo last year and i’m on a search for balance between saving, paying my mortgage, trying not to work till I die, and learning to live simply so I can simply live.

    (Man that sounds corny when I read it back)

  41. I love commenting on Smallnotebook :). I’m 20 and not at all in your season of life, but still find your ideas and stories very encouraging.

    Christine´s last post…Chocolate- Always

  42. Thanks for prompting me to scroll down! I love your blog and your supportive approach – you always seem like a really great friend! Thanks for creating such a nice community.

    Appetite for Conversation´s last post…Meatless Mondays- Eating Out

  43. Thanks for the shout out Rachel! I usually come back to your posts twice – once to read the article and once to read the comments!

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Guard Dog

  44. Love the comments here on Small Notebook – I come back and read twice too. Thanks for the meaningful and helpful posts -the way you engage your readers is really special.

    Becky – Clean Mama´s last post…DONE! Watermelon Pickles

  45. Hello!
    I have to confess that I´ve been following your blog for a long time and it´s the first time I leave a comment :-)

    I´m an uruguayan mom (sorry about my english), I have one kid and I have to tell you that your blog is so inspiring… I love it! I have learned a lot by reading your posts and comments.

    One of my favorites posts is “Never clean a sippy cup again”… great!

    Ama de Casa y Mamá´s last post…Torta de manzanas fácil

  46. I’ve been reading this blog for about 2 years – to be honest, I can’t even remember how I ended up here! But, I’ve stayed. I’ve never commented before but love the comment section – it’s like a fun luncheon with new & interesting people.

  47. I love this Blog. I read every word plus comments.

    Liz –

  48. I found your blog through a “recommended reading list” from another blog and tuned in occasionally. Then one day, there was a picture from your college apartment with people staring back at me that I KNEW. We must have been at the same college at the same time! Talk about small world! So the connection I felt when I read your blog became more so – cause you’re NORMAL, (like me) and just trying to have fun with your family while doing the best you can to make their life meaningful. Thanks for keeping it real!

  49. Rachel,

    I love reading the post and most of the comments always. It is great to know some other readers/blogger that way! You simply have amazing readers here. :-)

    Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last post…101 changes- Change 6 – Read a book Benefits of reading

  50. Hi Rachel and all of Rachel’s wonderful readers. I’ve posted on here before. Just thought I would say hello. Rachel, I just wanted you to know how inspiring you are. A year ago I got online because I realized that having less stuff made me happier and I wanted to see if anyone else had come to the same conclusion. Then I found your blog and you had already perfected the art of simple living! Thank you for all your insights. You actually inspired me to start my own blog about living simply. Hopefully, I’ll get some readers and the first thing I’ll do is send them here!

  51. I didn’t know you cared.
    I have just subscribed and I’ll post a comment now and then.


    Xedty´s last post…Library and the Milkshake

  52. Actually, one of the things I like best are the comments. My husband, who goes on different man-sites, as I like to call them, loves reading the comments too. It’s so nice to read such kind, supportive words, even if they’re not aimed at me. My husband said this is like a big group hug compared to his sites. I think he feels better about our simple life/ struggle to be financially savvy after reading the comments here.

  53. suunflowerss says:

    too cool

  54. The comments are so much fun to read here- I’ve learned so much! It is great to be able to read an informative post and then get so many more useful, insightful comments that are just as educational as the original post.

  55. Hello! I’m here, and I agree that the best part of many blogs can be found in the community created within the comments. I blather like a goof in my own comment section.

    I’m here because The Nester sent me. She said I would like it here. She was right.

  56. Hi Rachel :)

    I read this post of yours about comments in my Google reader, and I can honestly say that although I’ve cut down significantly on blog reading and cut back on the number of blogs I follow, I have also stopped commenting. So the reader has been good and not so good for me.

    Often I will read a great post, have something I would like to add, but don’t follow through because I’m using the reader instead of visiting a blog “in person”.

    There’s something to be said about visiting a person’s blog ‘home’ and stopping in to say hello and let them know you’ve appreciated the time the author has put in to writing the post.


  57. I tried gravatar and wanted to see how it works. Thanks for the link!

    Kelly Cook´s last post…Looking for New Property

  58. Rachel,
    I do love how you have built a community of readers here! It is awesome! My first blog I was able to get commenters finally, but now I have launched a new blog, just on Nov 8th, and I have lots of visitors (or at least google analytics says I do!) but not many commentors yet! I am sure it will just take some time!
    I love your blog, it is easy to see why you have the readership that you do!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…My Story Part 1-My quest for a balanced life

  59. I like the way you speak to your peeps who leave comments. I myself have found to have opened up to you because of your kindness and generosity in spirit.
    Thank you.
    A happy little kiwi reader

  60. We are all on that endless search for peace, harmony, balance, happiness and more. Thank You for your words of wisdom Rachel. Its exactly what I needed to read today x
    I look forward to reading and learning and getting more clarity about life from you.
    Anica x

  61. lol that jewel about Kati’s grandmother spraying the Windex was great! I laughed a good long time about that.. I honestly wonder if my grandmother didn’t do the same thing. It always smelled clean lol!

    Amanda Bee’s latest blog post…Free Baby samples by Mail