“Perhaps you would like some tea, as soon as it can be got.” They both declared they should prefer it to anything. – Mrs. Price to Fanny and William in Mansfield Park,
This week on the urban homestead, it’s Jane Austen meets Laura Ingalls. Apparently, the word’s out: the urban homestead is the place for tea! Jordanne and I hosted another tea party, this time for Jordanne’s friend who’s getting married this month.
Hand me down, second hand, handmade and homegrown.
Once again, we used our grandma’s tea set and china (Jordanne’s motto is “what good are pretty things if they collect dust?”), got out the box of Mardis Gras beads (also from our grandma who lived in New Orleans), went through our fabric scraps that we’ve gotten second hand to add a bit of feminine charm to the arbor and picked flowers from around the yard.
With the majority of the food coming from the backyard and practically pennies spent on decorations (a pink streamer), we turned an ordinary backyard into a dreamy and slightly whimsical setting for less than it would cost for one person to go out to a local tea room for tea.
Living simply doesn’t mean you have to be austere; actually, you gain imagination, learn a new skill(s) and save money too! Too often these days, we let even party planning get into the hands of “experts” and there’s a concept in our society that we have to spend more to have more fun. Or that we have to “go out” to find excitement when you can bring all that home.
Tips From Our Tea Party
Thrifty: make do, use what you have or do without
Upcycle: give something a second life (check out how we wrapped a present in an old, second hand skirt!)
Garden: grow your groceries
Kitchen: cook, bake from scratch, take a step further and learn preserve the harvest
Crafty & Handy: re-skill, do things yourself
Home: bring the revolution home and have fun
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On the menu at this Tea Party was cucumber and tomato sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and our famous “fruit pizza” for dessert.
The Value of A Simple Life
Do you ever get the feeling that people around you see your back to basics lifestyle as a series of sacrifices?
If you are striving to live a frugal or simple life, you probably already know the motivation for ‘giving something up’ is what you stand to gain.
What have you gained from living simply, frugally or sustainably? What do you hope to gain? What have you traded in and have been the better for it?
How have you/your family focus on what you have and not what you don’t have.