Surrounded By Beauty ~ Emilie Barnes


For some inspiration today….

Emilie Barnes has always been an inspiration to me through the years. She has taught me that our environment, its “ambiance” is important for our own healthy outlook and also for those around us.

We show we care by making our homes comfortable, homey and lovely. It doesn’t take a lot of money…..and now with so many helps, like Pinterest, or the internet in general, we can figure out ways to make our environment special that is cost-effective! Our loved ones will appreciate it! And so will we!

It took us many years to get to where we are now. We lived in a little one-bedroom home with seven kids for 10 years on this property (adding a couple of bedrooms as big as boxes 🙂 )!! But it was always “home” and I did my best to add touches to that little “shack”. The kids were sad to leave it….

So don’t get discouraged. Do what you can where you are….bloom where you are planted!

In this article Mrs. Barnes talks about surrounding ourselves with the things that we love and making it part of our home’s decor. I guess you can tell what we love around here. Yours doesn’t have to look like a chapel…(like ours…haha), but definitely some Catholic touches are in order!  😀


This is where we pray the rosary in the cold months.

This where we pray during the temperate months.

Home Warming by Emilie Barnes

Beauty is as necessary to the spirit as food and clothing are to the body. Fortunately, beauty is easy to invite into any home, for beauty has many faces. Beauty can be found in a hand-colored photograph or a hand-stitched quilt, or in shelves lined with bright-hued jelly jars. A pot of graceful ivy can be beautiful and so can a sweet potato vine growing in a jar.

Even the arrangement of a home can be beautiful. When furniture and objects, whatever the cost of the style, are combined with care and attention, the result can be warmly beautiful, even if the individual pieces are less than lovely.

What is beautiful to you? What makes you smile or your spirit soar? That is the beauty that should surround you in your home, and it will be shared with all who come to visit.

Seek out beauty in whatever form it speaks to you. Surround yourself with beauty. In the process, you will be creating something truly beautiful as well: a lovely home graced with a happy, welcoming spirit.

Personal Touches

I feel immediately at home in houses where people have surrounded themselves with what they love. I like to walk into a house and immediately have a sense of what they read, what they collect, what they like to cook, how they like spend their time. (This gives me something to talk about as well.) I enjoy meeting well-behaved pets and seeing evidence that there are children in the home.

Our home overflows with objects that remind me of who I am and what I love. Clusters of family photos – on a wall of our great room, on a table in the bedroom, on my desk, and on the refrigerator – fill the spaces of our home with smiling, familiar faces.

Teacups from my long-time collection retell their stories to me each time I look at them. My mother’s secretary and my auntie’s crystal build a bridge for my memories. Books and signs and plaques collected on our trips fit together like pieces that make up the puzzle of our lives.

Somehow, it all manages to come together in a homey atmosphere that says, “This is who we are. This is what we love. Please have a seat and let us get to know you, too.”

Cleanliness Creates Hominess

Bob used to tease me that I would die with a broom in my hand. And it’s true that the first thing I usually want to do when I come home from a trip is grab a broom and sweep off the front step. I love that sense of getting my home in order. To me, it’s hard to feel comfortable and at home in a house that is dirty, cluttered, or disorganized.

Create a comfortable nest where people you love, including yourself, can work and play and relax and visit without worrying about whether they will step on a toy or be faced with a discouraging pile of undone chores.

It Takes a Lifetime

It takes a lifetime, this process of making yourself at home.

Homes grow and change just as people do. But these simple secrets of “at-homeness” hold steady through the ongoing homemaking process.

Make yourself comfortable – and create a comfortable environment for yourself and others.

Add the little touches that make a house feel like a home.

Surround yourself with beauty.

Surround yourself with you.

Create peace by ordering your environment.

Above all else, listen to your dreams of home. Allow them to guide you as you learn to make yourself and others happily at home.


“It will not then matter to us what our work is; the smallest action will be performed as carefully as the greatest, and our life will be beautiful in the sight of God. Yes; it is not always what appears to us to be grand actions that are grand in the sight of God.” -Mother Mary Potter, Our Lady’s Love of Domestic Life


Catholic mothers are looking for innovative ways to teach their children the basic truths of our Faith. There is so much out there to offer to those mothers on this journey…..so much in the way of the latest software, latest videos, etc.
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With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.


Necessary advice to Catholic parents building a Catholic home. Reliable advice that is almost completely lost today, from people who know how it’s done. How to make it. How to live it. How to keep it. This book covers every aspect of Catholicizing your home–from spiritual matters like prayer and catechism to nuts and bolts topics like Keeping the Family Budget, Games and Toys, Harmony between School and Home, Family Prayers, Good Reading in the Home, Necessity of Home Life and much more…

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