Category Archives: Home Making

A Homemaker’s role is ever changing.

Dahlia Burst by Holli Margell

“I get antsy when I consume more than I create.”  – Tom Music.

Tom was my husband’s inspiring friend. His words resonate with me, even now that he is gone and I never really got to know him. I find these words fit perfectly with the way we chose to live – cooking and baking from scratch and not from boxes or cans. As an artist, I appreciate the words even more.

When I chose to become a Homemaker, it coincided with becoming a mother. One of the first things I gave up in the scurry-hurry of new parenthood was painting. Then, crafting, drawing and photography started to get little more than a daydreaming sigh from time to time. I was complaining about two years into parenthood about the restlessness I felt to my cousin, another young Mom. She asked me specifically what I really wanted to do. I wanted to paint, to create something. So, she suggested that I set up a spot where I could do just that for however long possible (5 min, 2 hours, whatever) and then leave it. It sounded so obvious, but I needed her to say it.

As I have found little bits of time to do certain creative projects, I get more inspiration for others. Once I figure out how to do one thing, the constraints of my time has made me even more creative. And, to my surprise, as I’ve embraced the Homemaker role, I have found even more creative outlets, like with cooking and baking. It has opened a whole new world of opportunities. Now that I’m about 5 1/2 years into my Homemaking career, I’m finally finding my stride. It’s really the longest “job” I’ve ever had. And, just when I start to think I’ve got it down, something changes, and I have that feeling like being on a roller-coaster just as it is about to get to the top before a deep drop.

This is our first full-time school year, with our son in Kindergarten. After the last 2 1/2 weeks, we have still not found our new rhythm yet. I know we will find it. But, for now, it’s kinda like having growing pains. While I look forward to another week of experience, I am really looking for that groove. The one where we all aren’t exhausted, and can actually get up in the morning without being in such a frantic hurry.

Despite the changes, we’re having fun and trying to celebrate all that this new phase of life offers. And, I look forward to more time for writing! I’ll be over at Scratchtreehouse.com more often than there. So, come on over and take a look!

Introducing Scratch Treehouse

Okay kids, here it is, the day I’m launching ScratchTreehouse.com – check it out. I’m finally embracing the fact that I love food, making things from scratch and photography.

Confession: I started holliwithani.com as a way to pursue my passion for photography. But, I didn’t have any photos to share beyond the ones I was taking of food. So, I started sharing recipes, what life was teaching me and basically finding my voice, a clearer picture of my passions. Now, I can say that I honestly love sharing recipes, reviews and most anything Home Making related. But, I’m also reviving my Photography passion.  Since figuring this out, I’ve decided to launch Scratchtreehouse.com as the venue for Home Making goodness. I can hardly wait to share new recipes there!

This blog will focus more on photography. It needs a little revamping, and it will look a little different. So, if you want more of what you’ve seen around here beside pretty pictures, please head over to Scratch Treehouse.

Thanks for reading along!

Seven Things You Should Never Say to a Home Maker

Home Making isn't just blowing bubbles with kids and playing dress up at home.

I might be preaching to the choir as many of you, dear readers, are Home Makers. But hopefully, Google will direct the uninformed here when they type, “How to talk to a Home Maker” in the search field.

Here is a simple list for those of you who can’t imagine staying at home. I don’t care if your brother is a Stay At Home Dad, or if your best friend, a former Lawyer, has decided to take a break from her prestigious position to be a Home Maker. Please, refrain from ever saying the following:

1) Wow, your outfit makes you look like real a Mom.

2) So, when do you think you’ll go back to work?

3) It sure is dusty around here.

4) When was the last time you mopped the floor?

5) Calling about an hour before you’re supposed to arrive for dinner at the Home Maker’s House saying, “I’m really sorry, I just need some me time, can I take a rain check?” Likely, the Home Maker spent the whole day getting ready for you.

6) So, what do you do all day?

7) It must be fun to sit around the house and play all day.

What are some things a Home Maker would like to hear?

I can’t speak for all of us, but from my experience, it’d be nice to hear more of this:

– “I love how you’ve decorated the living room. It feels so ___(compliment).”

– “How’s your day going?” Key here is to really listen to the answer and not try to one-up any topic.

– Notice anything new around the house or yard, and pay an applicable compliment like, “Looks like you and the kids have been having fun in the yard.” Or, “Wow, your garden is growing beautifully.”

The point is that you need to think of the Home Makers in your lives like you would any other colleague or expert you’d meet at a networking event. Find some common ground for conversation and  really listen.

I’ve only experienced a few of the above comments, and have pretty awesome friends and family. But, talking to others at the Playground, people are still a little clueless sometimes.