I am in the process of collecting information for my little housewife project and I’m having so much fun. Probably too much!! I’ve been online all day looking up any and all information I can. I’m doing this while I should be marinating steak for dinner and bathing my dog but oh well… Don’t worry, the irony of the fact that I’m looking up things about domestic work all the while stuffing my face with pita chips and hummus on my sofa is not at all lost on me… In fact I thinks its hilarious!!
Anyway, I thought I’d share some cute things that I have found on the subject.
First things, first… I bought a vintage cookbook off of eBay. I know, as much as I cook you would think I already had a collection, right? Wrong. But I think this may be the beginning of something new to hoard, er, I mean collect.
I’m super excited for it to come in. It took me two days to decide on what I wanted to be my very first cookbook but I finally decided on a 1st edition, 2nd printing of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, first published in 1953.
I haven’t received it yet but I can’t wait! I think next I’ll get the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook. I’m holding out for a 1st Edition, 1st Printing but I heard they can get expensive so we’ll see how that pans out. As soon as the one I bought comes in I’ll give you all a sneaky peek!!
I have been browsing the internet tirelessly trying to find a book or books about what a housewife TRULY did in the mid 20th century. We all know they cooked, cleaned and took care of the children but HOW did they do it. I don’t want the idealized version (well, maybe I do but I know not every housewife if any were like Donna Reed. I would love to knock this project out of the park with my inner Donna but I picture my housewife twin to be more Lucy than Donna). I would really like some insight into the goings on of a typical 50s household before children came into play. Was it really that much different than today? Especially sans kids. Probably, but I can’t really find much info on the subject.
I did find a book on Amazon called The Good Housekeeping Guide to Marriage. It was first published in 1938 and republished in 1949 (I ended up ordering it on my kindle because it was free if I read it on my device). It’s not really a book on housekeeping but it gives some “advice” on marriage…before you wed and while you are married. It’s obviously quite dated advice but it’s a good read. It gives insight on peoples thoughts about love and family life at the time. It also has a section on sex in the marriage. Which should be fun (funny) to read when I get to it.
I also found this super cute book and blog. The book is called “Scrumptious Treats for Vintage Housekeepers”. It’s written by Alison May. Alison also has a the cutest little blog ever called Brocante Home. Her book and blog are all about enjoying your life and making everything around you as beautiful as possible. Even housework. And she does it all with vintage flair. I’ve only just started the book but it’s adorable so far. I find her book and blog very empowering, not just for housewives but all women who love to take care of their partner/spouse and children (if they have any). Sometimes I feel a bit strange that I would rather stay home and bake than go teach. Even though I absolutely love what I do for a living I would love to be a stay at home wife/mom. I love taking care of others. I get a sense of pride when Honey comes home to find a spotless apartment with dinner, dessert and wine waiting. I guess that’s the vintage girl in me.
Anywho… I guess that’s why I’m doing the experiment. I already love the idea of domestic work (most of the time) so why not do it the vintage-y way. Of course it won’t be fully authentic. Especially with cell phones, internet and our HD television but I’ll make it as 50s-ish as possible. I will TRY to limit my internet to only things that pertain to my blog. Ok, and maybe Facebook but I’ll limit it to only a few minutes a day. I have friends and family who don’t always read the blog but love to know what I’m up to. I have to use my cell phone because we don’t have a landline but I’ll try not to text. No appliances that weren’t around in the 50s…meaning no microwave UGH!!! Even banking will only be done at a teller. I need to set a household budget based only on what Honey brings in. I also need to make a schedule of daily household things that I have to get done every day. All this for 2 weeks…if I last that long (which I probably won’t)!!!
All this is set to start a week from Tuesday. Don’t worry. My posts those weeks won’t only be about the experiment.I’ll try to get some outings in there if possible.
OHHH!! I just thought of something…Does that mean no TCM for me?!?!?! Hmmm…I think I’m allowed a classic movie or show…plus a drink…
(Quick update on the vintage store position I was supposed to be starting. Well, not sure if that’s going to happen after all…Once again my dancing wins. My studio is going to be needing me starting mid July so an extra job will be quite difficult…so we’ll see)