Power Hour-Clean With Me-Living Room, Kitchen, Bathroom

1280 x 720 YouTube Thumbnail-Clean with me

*Post and YouTube Video by Rain San Martin

Come join me as I complete the following tasks:

*Straighten and sweep the living room.
*Tidy the kitchen.
*Sweep kitchen.
*Scrub bathroom.

Setting the timer is a motivating way of staying focused on a period of work. I have instilled the habit of dressing up at home in a way that is feminine, yet allows me to move freely as I use my cleaning tools. My personal style is Romantic Vintage Gothic / Antique Gothic (steampunk without the gears and googles).  I also make a point to wear makeup, no matter the occasion. If you haven’t tried getting completely ready for your work at home, try it for yourself and see how much more productive you can be! In this video you can see some of our Halloween décor as well.

*The Crosley CR31-WA Retro Radio in our kitchen is from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NO9lrA (affiliate link)

Classy Minimalist Halloween Decor

2018-10-02-Classy Minimalist Halloween Decor

Article and Video by Rain San Martin

Looking to furnish your home with simple classy Halloween displays? Minimalist layouts and tasteful decorations will be your guiding principle.  You can always rest easy when it comes to minimalist home decor. You automatically have given yourself permission to decorate with less. Though Halloween Hauls can be fun and inspirational, sometimes it may make you want to “compete with the Jones’. Here are a few advantages to sticking with a Minimalist Halloween or Fall Decor aesthetic.

Begin with a clean slate. Put away any residual summer themed decor. Clutter should be out of site. This is a paramount first step toward a “Classy or Elegant Halloween” theme. If you celebrate Halloween year-round however, most likely this would not be a concern of yours!

Minimize synthetic materials! Made-made Chemical Synthesis has been used to create artificial fibers.  Though the intent was to improve upon God’s perfect design, the results are generally perceived as less aesthetically appealing.  Though plastics were a marvel near the beginning of the 1900’s, time has proven otherwise. Not only will flimsy plastic material fail to last the test of time, it can appear low in quality.   Modern day man-made synthetic material may appear cheap. Opt for vintage style materials such as glass, brass, cloth, wood, burlap and iron.  Styrofoam, aluminum cans and disposable wares were not around in the 19th century.  If your having a Halloween party you may eventually want to transition to using all mason jars and glass plates.

For Classy Style stay clear from anything aesthetically grotesque. I’ll spare you the details of what this could entail. It is recommended to avoid decor inspired by modern gratuitous horror films.

Select a color palette. Basic Orange, black and brown is a go-to choice for those aiming for simplicity. You may wish to decorate in a style and color palette that easily transitions into Thanksgiving.  A rustic country theme in these traditional hues would be perfect. Simply omit the black and anything overtly Halloweenie. Purple and Black are also a very popular color palette. Bonus as you can also furnish your place in matching Disney’s Haunted Mansion inspired items such as the Grim Grinning Ghosts Jewelry Box or The Haunted Mansion Hourglass (affiliate links).

Choose focal points you would like to feature. For example: The mantel, front door, and the wall behind your bed.  It’s much more effective to group your decor, rather than scatter throughout the home. Visit Pinterest for inspiration.  I regularly use the site as a powerful tool, you can follow my Boards to see what I’m inspired about.

2018-09-08b Rain-Michaels Crafts

Consider year-round Gothic style décor. Such as a quality iron lantern or candelabra. This you may decide to leave up after Halloween. Decorate with classic ravens, bats and black lace spiderweb tablecloths. Recently my husband Sage and I took a trip to Michaels Crafts! I held on to my gift card just for this day! By the way this is a big tip for those who wish to furnish your homes with quality spooky home decor, ask for a gift card to your favorite Halloween retailer as a birthday or Christmas gift, then spend it in September! I picked out a couple of high design year-round Halloween decorations. Two sculptures of a raven on a branch and a couple of bouquets of wine and black roses. First however, we stopped at Barnes and Nobles for Maple Pecan and Pumpkin Spice Lattes to get us into the “Autumn Vibes.”

Rustic Halloween Banner.  Banners have been the rage on Pinterest and Instagram for a few years now.  Though it may be technically a retro design. What’s not to love about festive elongated triangles of fabric or quality paper. I’ve also posted a video tutorial, DIY Vintage Fall, Thanksgiving or Halloween Banner,  where I share how I made one of our families favorite Halloween decorations.  Once you learn how to create a flag style banner you can repeat the same principles with other themes. A bedroom flag banner would look amazing as well! Visit JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores during September or October and you could pick up some spooky Victorian brocade, or cute patterns.

*Here is a festive vintage style Burlap Banner, which includes Bat Decal Wall Stickers! (-affiliate link)

2017-10-09 Halloween Mantle-cropped

Create a Rustic Fall Centerpiece made of branches. My video DIY-Fall Halloween Centerpiece shows how I create this using uniform cut branches from our backyard. Then we brushed on black paint. While still wet, sparkles were scattered on. This truly makes the piece look magical. Finally I wrapped the sticks in twine, placed in a mason jar and tied it with a bow. I believe this same look could be achieved on the front porch.

*Here is an affiliate link to a branch trimmer that you may find useful.

2018-09-08c Pumpkin Patch Flower

Plant an outdoor Autumnscape. I’m gradually working on improving my gardening skills. 2018 was the first year I was able to see the actual fruit of my work.  I was shopping at our local Meijers grocery store and saw a packet of Jack O Lantern pumpkin seeds.  Being inspired by a post from the extradinary, whimsical and inspirational Spooky Halloween Blog by Miranda, I decided to give it a go. I filmed a video planting a pumpkin patch with our son and created a wonderful memory while at it!  Though we had no pumpkins, it was a success as lovely orange blooms were clearly visible from our kitchenette window.

Display mysterious vintage style portraits. You can easily customize this to your own taste.  Buy an 8 x 10 print of Morticia Addams, Lily Munster or a historical figure from the late 1800’s. Next buy a vintage inspired frame. Another idea is to take a photo of yourself , your significant other, or adventurous friend and take a few dramatic photo’s in the cemetery. You can use a filter effect before ordering a print on a site like Shutterfly. Of course once you order this, you may wish to keep up your photo year round! This is where I got my frame: https://amzn.to/2C2lU1X  (affiliate link). Of course retailers will often have spooky portraits available, which come framed.

Additional benefits of decorating for Halloween with Minimalist discipline includes:

Saving money.  Rather than spending a few dollars here and there, accumulating a mass collection, your purchases may be more expensive yet higher in quality! In the long run you are actually spending far less than someone who regularly makes impulse buying decisions.

Saving time.  Set up and tear down will be far quicker. Many pieces could also transition over into November.

Needing less storage space.  This could be the year that you almost bought another orange storage bin. Yet because of minimalism, you may very well be creating room in your basement or storage area!

I have also created a YouTube video regarding this topic. I post weekly on the topic of Simple Vintage Homemaking:


Many of these decoration ideas you can leave up through November. Simply remove anything that is overtly Halloweenie. Fall signs, pumpkins and foliage can last through the fall.  Enjoy your Minimalist Halloween Decor journey! Welcome your new Autumn Lifestyle.

May you have a productive and whimsical week,


Unplug for One Week Challenge-Digital Detox

2018-09-21c Unplugged

Post and video by Rain San Martin

I unplugged for one week! The benefits of taking a break from music, media, video and the internet are tremendous. You will feel your mind heal, thinking more clearly as a result. You may be flooded with new ideas and see your world in a new way. It’s a wonderful way reconnect with your family. There will be more time for projects around the house. You may also connect again with nature. Now I welcome you to join in this digital detox challenge.

What to avoid when you unplug:
*Anything using electronics
*Social Media
*Turn off smart phone notifications and abstain from apps. Only use for emergency phone calls.

What to do when you unplug:
*Read physical books. Visit the library.
*Write in a physical journal. Here is a nice Vintage Style Moleskin Journal (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/2xvByyc
*Deep clean the house.
*Spend time with your family.
*Reinvent yourself!
*Think deeply.
*Explore your town or city.
*Make a recipe using a cookbook.
*Paint, sketch or sew.
*Create a DIY project. Without online tutorials.
*Create a weekly day to unplug. For me, it was Sundays. I’ve now increased it to Saturdays and Sundays!

What to do once you’ve completed the challenge:
*Please post that you participated in the challenge in the comments!
*Once you return to media, consider reducing the amount you use on a daily basis. Track and limit consumption.

Be sure to view my video: Unplug for One Week Challenge-Digital Detox.

Have a productive, creative and fun week!


Halloween Haul 2018-Gothic Vintage Style

2018-09-15 Halloween Haul

Join me for this fun Halloween Haul on YouTube. I held on to my Michaels gift card to pick out a couple of classy year-round Gothic Halloween decorations. A sculpture of a raven on a branch, and a couple of bouquets of wine and black roses. Before shopping husband Sage and I first stopped at Barnes and Nobles for Maple Pecan and Pumpkin Spice Lattes to get us into the “Autumn Vibes.”

Here’s is the complete list from this years Halloween Haul:

*Vintage Style Halloween Apron – from Etsy
*Wine and pumpkin colored pillows – (JCPenney)
*Raven sculpture and silk wine and black roses. (Michaels)
*Spooky vintage Victorian frames. (Amazon) Here’s an affiliate link to a nearly identical item by the same manufacturer. https://amzn.to/2xdmi8P
*Vintage Style Pumpkin bag clips. (Target)

Here are a few photo’s from the trip to Michaels:

2018-09-08 Sage likes-Michaels 2

2018-09-08 Michaels Rain 3

2018-09-08 Sage likes-Michaels b

Have a whimsical week!


What is a Homemaker?

2018-09-07 Homemaker

Post, photo and video-audio podcast by Rain San Martin

A homemaker is a productive “Keeper of the Home”. She creates a more beautiful life for the family. Handling the domestic tasks such as paperwork, meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, decluttering, house management, lawn care, home décor, possibly child care and so much more. This frees the husband to fully relax when he is done with his work for the day, it also enables him to be a more effective provider. It is “unpaid” work, yet makes for a peaceful household for all, as long as the woman is self motivated, frugal, wise, and works hard.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Titus 2, 3-5- New American Standard Bible)

You may read my full article “What is a Homemaker?” here: https://hubpages.com/family/What-Does…

This is an affiliate link to the tea cup used in my YouTube photo thumb nail. They are a beautiful vintage style porcelain tea set.

Have a productive, creative and fun week!


My Evening Routine 2018

2018-08-30b Evening Routine

Post, image and video by Rain San Martin

*Homemaking hour: 15 min. each of decluttering, deep cleaning and paper work. Of course a tremendous more homemaking work is done each week. This is simply a detailed focus. (Note: Currently I do this just before the evening routine, in the late afternoon).
*Final straightening of house.
*Review calendar and key tasks for next day.
Here’s the heart warming calendar I use each year:
John Sloane’s Country Seasons
https://amzn.to/2PVWGVZ (affiliate link)
*Set out clothes for next day.
*Sponge bath. Wash face and brush teeth.
*Work out with weights while watching Downton Abbey.
If you enjoy Downtown Abbey, you will adore this beautiful book:
Downton Abbey – A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Seasons
https://amzn.to/2wxqWhF (affiliate link)
*Lights out 8:45am. (Most nights of the week.)

How to Give Halloween Cards On Any Occasion

2018-08-28 Halloween Cards Any Time

*Post and video by Rain San Martin

To me there is no time like Halloween to pick up the most fun, elegant, mysterious or cute card designs. Sparkles, spooky houses, owls and pumpkins in my favorite autumnal color pallet, make me smile. Once the stores are stocked with whimsical Halloween cards, I’ve begun my tradition of picking up a few to use for other occasions.

How do I do this? The key is to pick out a card with a cover that is not too “Halloweenie”. I simply buy Halloween stickers and matching construction paper to cover up the word “Halloween” (if written on the inside) which I replace with the occasion of choice, such as a birthday. I also have the benefit of looking forward to the time when I can give this wonderful card to it’s recipient. Of course I have to know in advance that the person would be happy with such a card.

The cards shown in my video are made by American Greetings. Here are a couple of affiliate link ideas to get you started:

Spooky Owl Card


Cute Bat Stickers