Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mid Century Housewife Wrap Up!!!!!!!!

Here it is...

My Mid Century Housewife wrap up.

I've been thinking for a few days about what I want to say in this post. And as I write this I'm still thinking.

The 12 days of "Housewife-ing" was definitely a learning experience. So here is what I've come away with.

1. Being a Housewife is just as hard having a out of home job. Especially if you are a ballet teacher: Yes, my job is physically, and mentally (especially when having to deal with teen girls and their drama) demanding but I feel like I worked just as hard while being home, cooking and cleaning. Scrubbing floors and slaving over a hot stove in the dead of summer is DEFINITELY a job in it's own right. Not to mention laundry, windows, vaccuming...the list goes on and on. Its non stop all day!! I don't know how housewives back then kept to the schedule day in and day out. Although I'm sure most of them strayed from it every now and then. Its hard to keep a day on an exact schedule while also keeping it enjoyable...Which leads me to my next point.

2. I am sometimes too much of a "by the book" girl: Again, I don't know if it comes from my dance training or what, but if you give me a list or schedule of things to do I DO NOT stray from it!! And annoyingly so. I never noticed that about myself. Maybe it's the control freak in me or maybe like my mom used to always say about me, it's that when I commit to something I COMMIT to it. Whole heartedly, sometimes at the expense of other things. Which is both a blessing and a curse. Reliability is definitely a great quality to have but when commitment to something borders on obsession and bull headedness I think that's when I need to take a step back and...breathe. Everything is not always going to be perfect. There are times in life where you come upon things that don't fit in your schedule and you just have to deal. Turn lemons into lemonade. There are also times where I need to step back and take care of myself, even if it means Honey has to have a sandwich for dinner. Its ok... its not the end of the world. If I rest now, then tomorrow will be better than ever. I can make up for the sandwich by baking a fabulous cake the next day. And let's face it, who doesn't enjoy a nice cool sandwich with chips and soda every now and then. I can only take care of others if I take care of myself.

3. I LOVE making Mid Century food...but not so much eating it: Although I had a blast making all the vintage recipes, the flavors (at least for the dinners) tended to be quite boring. Maybe that's because I'm so used to my Martha Stewart and Food Network recipes. Even the tasty ones were boring. I did love the fact that there were so few ingredients. Especially the 1940s Tamale Pie recipe. That one was REALLY good and pure and simple. No cans, just simple ingredients. The 1950s one's seemed to have many more cans in one recipe than I'm used to using. I think this comes from the birth of "convenience foods", which most people use now a days way too often. But  even though more cans were used back then, I feel like the portions were smaller and more in moderation than they are today. I did notice that we didn't have NEARLY as many leftovers as we normally do. Mid Century servings were noticeably smaller. We never left the table hungry, but we were never completely stuffed either.  So I'm sure that even with the usage of cans, people weighed less and were probably healthier.

Now the desserts were another story. I loved all of the desserts I made and will be keeping all of them in my recipe box! The two best ones were the blueberry cobbler and the strawberry shortcake. YUM!!! I can't wait to try some vintage recipes for my holiday baking.

4. Cooking vintage recipes is much cheaper than modern recipes: I think that comes with having fewer ingredients. With my fancy recipes I can easily spend $50 on one meal, sometimes dessert included, sometimes without (baking can get expensive). While doing the experiment I got away with spending $50 on 3 meals, dessert included. So that helped the purse strings a little.

5.I am WAYYYYY to dependent on my gadgets, and social media: WOW! I mean, I knew it was bad...I just didn't know it was THAT bad! I was really on my phone much more than I should have been. Especially the first few days. After I got in a groove it was easier to check Facebook, Instagram blog and get the heck offline but geez. I totally felt like I was missing out on things! Even though nothing more than usual was happening. I'm really going to work on that. When I wasn't thinking about what was going on online, it was nice to just be with myself and my own thoughts. Music helped a lot too. Thank goodness for Spotify! It acted as my "radio" and I listened to all kinds of period appropriate music. I swept or mopped and sang along. It was fun! Yes...I know. I still had to use my computer...but we don't own a radio, so what was a girl to do?

6. As much as I enjoyed my time as a Mid Century Housewife I have to admit I'm glad I don't have to wear day dresses the ENTIRE day: Goodness that was by far the hardest thing for me. The first few days, it was fun. I woke up and prettied myself for the day. I was a peach to look at at 8:00 am. But after a while it got tedious. Especially as it got hotter. And cleaning...forget it!!! That was miserable! Usually it's fun to get dressed in all my vintage pretties but this actually became a chore. I think if my whole day didn't mostly involve water and brooms then maybe it would have been easier. I don't mind having pin curls and a dress on in the house when I'm not constantly brushing falling curls out of the way over a sink full of hot water. I'd much rather clean in crummy clothes and get pretty when my home is all nice and pretty.

I do think that I'm going to try to make myself more presentable when Honey comes home from work. I mean, I don't have to be a fashion plate, but maybe changing into a dress for dinner every now and then might be a good thing. At least during days that I'm off from teaching. I think sometimes I can take the fact that she loves me for granted.  You get used to your spouse/partner and forget that a little dolling up can go a long way when they come home from work, exhausted from a long day. And I'm sure Honey wouldn't mind at all!!!!

So that's it. A short and sweet summary of my 12 days. Like I said in the previous post, this will now be a monthly thing so I'm sure I'll have more a- ha moments as the year wears on. With all of the life changes that will be going on this year, it will be fun to see my domestic side blossom!!!

Maybe I'll host a mid century party in the fall and cook up some yummy (and some not so yummy) vintage dishes for my friends! What better way to show off what I've been learning! Hmmm...wheels spinning!!!

Hope you all have a great day! And while you're online, if you haven't done so already, go to Jessica's blog at Chronically Vintage or her Facebook page and wish her a Happy Birthday!!! She's a peach and deserves a great day!!!


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  1. YEA!!! You made it through! LOL Congratulations, loved every minute of these posts!

    You are so right in the fact that the world takes stay at home moms and housewives (real ones anyway) for granted because they do have a lot of work that may not be done in an office per say but none the less is not for the faint of heart!

    Great wrap up, can't wait to see what's coming next!

  2. I have a hard enough time keeping myself/apartment put together when I live alone. I can't imagine trying with twice the mess. But, being a housewife has always had a certain appeal to me. Especially, because I get really overwhelmed when my place gets dirty. I applaud you for sticking to it. It couldn't have been easy, especially with the faster paced lifestyle we are used to now. I look forward to seeing what things you take with you as you go back to your "regular" life. I'm sure inspired many. I know you have inspired me to stick more to a schedule.

  3. Girl, you hit the nail on the head with all of it! I've been a housewife for 4 years and I love it. I did work outside the home for about 6 months starting last fall and I hated leaving my home and kids but man, being a housewife is hard work! I do everything on a schedule as you mentioned. It's the ONLY way to get stuff done and find time to blog, play with my kids and have down time. It took a very long time to develop a schedule that worked for me and let me do everything I want to do but I finally have one that works and it's the best!! I do get myself dressed most days although I don't wear makeup when I'm home cleaning, I don't do pretty hair- usually just a scarf or snood and I wear my not so nice cotton dresses- some vintage, some not. I have a massive collection of aprons that I wear every day, which helps keep me from being soaked after doing dishes and I have a habit of wiping my dirty hands on my lap. I come from a very long line of housewives and they all had their tricks to make work and dinner easier. One of my great grandmas keeps cookie dough, cakes, pies, pre-made meat loaf and casseroles in the freezer so when she has a crazy day, she pops the whole meal plus desert out of the freezer and she's good to go! I've started using the freezer method to avoid going out on my tired days and it really works, as long as I remember to cook a few meals ahead of time :) I loved your Housewife project- very well done!!! x

  4. I have so enjoyed reading about your mid-century housewife experiment. Bravo for sticking with it! Your comment on not liking to have to wear the day dresses all the time made me think of my mother who was a teenager in the 50s and she is always asking me why in the world I would want to wear vintage. She says she had to wear that stuff back then, why would you want to wear it now. I guess it is totally different in having to wear it and work around the house in it, versus wear it out for a few hours to meet my friends for lunch. lol

  5. I have loved this series of posts. I have done the housewife stay at home mum thing in the past for a few years - it gets hard to wear a smile each day, let alone a dress! and sometimes the cocktail was for me before my partner came home.

    Also, I nominated you for a blog award, just see my blog for details.

    Deb xx

  6. I am just so proud of you! I am so glad you walked away from it personally learning so much. It will really help with the kiddies some into the picture. I learned those lessons after kiddies-I used to be a stickler for getting everything done and stressing over everything. But now although I still do my lists and am the to get things going in my family, I now know not everything has to be done today and that it will be okay if it not. Big lesson learned. I am so glad you did this. Now you know what part of my day is like LOL Ugh I need a maid LOL

  7. It was so fun to watch this adventure. Of course I was wearing my sweats and eating take out Mexican food. Don't think I'll be doing the 50's housewife thing EVER! You deserve a big award.

  8. Loved reading about your retro experiment - well done for getting through it! I agree with your thoughts on ditching the sweats and making a bit of an effort - I somehow get more done when I'm 'dressed up'. But I couldn't spend a whole day cleaning, and unlike previous generations, I'd expect my husband to take on some of the chores!

  9. This has been such a great series of posts and such a learning experience too! I can't imagine what it must be like having to clean all day every day! Argh! I can imagine that you will be staying away from canned foods for a while! :P

  10. Thank you so much for taking us on this exciting, informative, experiment filled project with you, honey. I have loved each post and the candid honesty in which you documented the good, the not so good (as in recipes that weren't big hits), and your feelings about what this kind of life and schedule demanded of you. I have no doubt that you will inspire others to try their own stints as full-time vintage housewives because of your experience this summer as one.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you so, so, so much for the awesomely thoughtful birthday wishes and mention here - it brought tears to my eyes.


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