Friday, October 11, 2019

My Morning Routine - 2019

Post and YouTube video by Rain San Martin

In this post and video I share my "basic" morning routine as of Fall 2019.  Other work and home straightening may occur throughout this ritual, yet these are the pillars of the day. This is to encourage you to design one for yourself! Experiment with your ideal ritual until your morning is customized to your taste. This is Lifestyle Design at it's core!

My Morning Routine - 2019

 5:00am Wake (most days of the week)
*Get ready for the day.
*Review calendar and key tasks.

6:00am Make coffee.
*Enjoy coffee while reading blogs (Mon / Wed / Fri) or physical publications (Tues / Thurs / Sat / Sun). -30 minutes.  I drink a bold blend of Peet's Coffee Sumatra (affiliate link which helps to support this site) , which I usually buy from our local grocery store Meijer.
*Clean one bathroom. We have two. This keeps them looking presentable.

7:30am Work on blog post for, YouTube channel outline or Hubpages article writing This is 1 hour spent of focused time for Creative Business Hour.

8:30am Cook breakfast, ready by 9:00am
*Clean kitchen.
*Misc. tasks.

10:30am Deep cleaning 1 hour, Homekeeping focus.
I have discovered that for me personally I need to devote more time to keeping the home, deep cleaning and decluttering than has generally been recommended in our modern era. Vintage housekeeping principles are something I am continually striving for.  Over time I have seen a great improvement in the homes cleanliness and aesthetic. Progress not perfection.

Here are a few tips that will help you with your morning routine:

-Set out your clothes the night before.
-Write a simple routine.
-Get to bed early.

My morning prioritizes two lifetime goals: 1 hour – deep cleaning: Keeper of the Home life purpose. 1 hour Blog Writing and YouTube planning: Creative Business Passion. I encourage you to incorporate your lifetime goals into your morning routine!

You can watch my morning routine video here.

Have a wondrous week!


Monday, September 30, 2019

Decorating for Fall & Halloween

Post, Photo's and Video by Rain San Martin

At the first of every September our family puts away the Spring-Summer Gothic decor.
Our year-round Gothic decorations will stay in use however. The annual fall theme is Rustic Gothic Halloween.  In 2018 our home (5th mention down) made a mini appearance on the blog using the same theme with slight variations. Select readers were given the opportunity to spotlight their homes decor which was so much fun!

The Mantel

The first thing I took out this year was the brass candelabra. A staple for Victorian Spooky ambience. Our pair of perched crow sculptures, and silk wine roses are from Michael's.  Rather than spreading out the falls themed decor I create vignettes. Few decorations are used as I enjoy a minimalist lifestyle.  I've selected two focal areas. For the mantel, fall foliage is an autumnal staple. Shades of orange, wine and marigold as well as black spread across the space.  My hand painted spooky house mason jar makes an appearance each year.  This DIY lantern glows with a votive candle. Which last far longer than tea lights!

Strung across the mantle is a fun Halloween sign which I created during a video tutorial. Here I cut out uniform (double backed) triangles on brown shipping paper. Next I pasted black card stock as a back drop, painted on letters, then placed each triangle over the twine.

The Porch 

The second area I spotlight is the front porch. I make sure to have sprayed clean the deck and overhanging near the end of the summer. This makes a clear slate for fall. On a wreath hanger I place a Fall Gatherings" sign with cute owls. This, along with my Fall Bucket List sign,  I bought from Bloom'n Things, located in Shipshewana, IN. Strung orange festive lights are draped along the perimeter of the door using nails as a guide. This orange glow greets me each evening I return from a power walk adventure.  My husband Sage made a set of bats and an owl using black card stock. These are placed on the glass door.

You can view my video via the following link:

Disclosure: Below are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and mention in my YouTube video.
If you purchase a recommended product I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bronze Candelabra 
For spooky Victorian elegance! 

Spooky, Spooky Little Bat  Finger Puppet Board book
The cutest book ever!

My husband Sage used this for the bats and owl on the front door. I also used this on the back of my Halloween sign banner.

May you have a magical fall season! 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Winchester Mystery House

Post and YouTube Video by Rain San Martin

The Winchester Mystery House located in San Jose, CA is a Queen Anne Style 1884 architectural wonder. Estate owner Sarah Winchester was the widow of firearm business entrepreneur, William Winchester. Following his death, Sarah was driven to continually design blueprints and employ builders to create around the clock. Seeking council from occult seance sessions she was guided to create stairways going to nowhere to escape from malevolent spirits, seeking revenge from her husbands Winchester guns. If you visit Disneyland or Walt Disneyworld's haunted mansion you can see how her mansion influenced the ride.

I had also seen the film Winchester. Helen Mirren did a fine job, yet I didn't feel the film captured the wonderment of the story behind the mysterious estates creation.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Visit a Historic Place for Vacation

Post, Photography and Audio Podcast by Rain San Martin

Do you find year after year you seem to repeat the same type of family vacation? The annual trip to the lake. A cross country flight to see family. Or a road trip to your favorite amusement park? This has become such a routine for you that it may never have crossed your mind to question this tradition. Maybe you skip vacation all together because it doesn't fit within your budget. Instead why not venture out for shorter getaways and visit a historic place. Often it's only the cost of lodging, food and an inexpensive ticket price.  Now these educational mini trips are a staple of our annual vacation.

See Locations Before They Disappear!

Lately I've immersed my self in civil war history. Learning about the Southern States that seceded in 1860 and 1861 because they wanted to remain slaveholders. Their plantation economy was built upon a shaky foundation that could not stand. I was then drawn to a book called Lost Plantations of the South (affiliate link), about Greek Revival and Neo-Classical estates that once housed aristocratic owners.  Their plantations and forced labor farmed goods such as rice, cotton and sugar. While slavery has rightfully been abolished, a few remnants of these ghostly 19th century antebellum structures stand. After having learned how most of these historic estates have been destroyed via fire, I was pressed with the urgency of seeing historic locations before they disappear. 

Get Inspired 

Not only will you benefit from learning about the history of a place, you may get ideas about how to furnish your home. From rustic log cabins all the way to the ornately decorated Queen Anne Victorian era home. You'll see few examples you can implement in your life. If you do visit a historic place and you love the Vintage Lifestyle, take note of the decorations. You may be inspired to incorporate some similar pieces in your home. Also note these trips serve to remind us that life could be just fine without computing or television. We can learn how to thrive as we limit our use of digital media.

Eat local signature food. This is one of the most powerful ways to learn about the region you are visiting. Fried Catfish is a traditional dish served in the Southern state of Kentucky so I made sure to order this on the trip.

Wishing you adventure in your travels,  


Friday, August 23, 2019

5 Things I No Longer Do as a Minimalist

Post and YouTube video by Rain San Martin

A minimalist lifestyle can be characterized as simple living, mindfulness, intentional living or essentialism.  We are removing possessions and activities from our lives to make room for the things we value most. Our contribution to the world is also more impacting when we streamline.

As a minimalist I no longer.... fill up my schedule.  Creating margin in life is one of the most powerful destressors. Arrive early to appointments. Leave ample room each day for the unexpected. It is highly recommended to set your top goals. A workable daily routine will help you to avoid getting sidetracked. A minimalist lifestyle will naturally solve most time management challenges!

As a minimalist I no longer... go to the grocery store more than twice per month. I buy wholesome food in bulk, taking advantage of the freezer. This means I purchase frozen fresh organic fruit and vegetables from Costco. Wholesome grains like Daves Famous Bread and Alpine Valley Organic Mulit-Grain Bread are also staples.

As a minimalist I no longer... paint my nails. Daily I file, push back the cuticles, and moisturize. It took about 6 months for my natural nails to completely regain their health. Now they are pleasantly natural and strong.

As a minimalist I no longer... color my hair. I'm growing out my chestnut brown hair with strands of magical gray.  In my point of view, Gods natural coloring of the human hair can never match man-made die. Once the suns rays are cast upon natural hair, a subtle multiplicity of colors shines.

As a minimalist I no longer....have attachment to possessions. If a family member or friend sees something of mine that they appear to value more than myself, I will gladly give it away. The slate is that much more clear after having parted with it.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6: 19-21)

Here is a recommended affiliate link, that helps to support this site:

Essential: Essays by The Minimalists
This is an excellent book which I own on Kindle:

*Photo by Sage San Martin, taken at the Ward Hall back yard garden, Georgetown, Kentucky.

My Morning Routine - 2019

Post and YouTube video by Rain San Martin In this post and video I share my "basic" morning routine as of Fall 2019.  ...