Woman quits job to embrace 1950s lifestyle

Stressed out by her job in a busy payroll department, when a happily married woman turned her back on the rat race, she also turned back time - deciding to live like a 1950s housewife.

Transforming her suburban home in Hillsborough, Oregon, USA, into a working shrine to the era, Katrina Holte, 30, now loves keeping house for her engineering manager husband, Lars, 28, cleaning, cooking and making dresses using 1950s patterns.

She told The Mirror: "I feel like I'm living how I always wanted to. It's my dream life and my husband shares my vision.

"It is a lot of work. I do tons of dishes, laundry and ironing, but I love it and it's helping to take care of my husband and that makes me really happy.

"My husband is very appreciative of what I do.

"He grew up in a house where he helped his mum with the cooking and the cleaning, so he is not domineering in any way.

"If I did, heaven forbid, have dinner late, he would not make a fuss, but I can tell it means a lot to him that it's normally on time.

"He looks tired when he comes in from work, so when the table is set and decorated and the candles are lit he relaxes. He's happy for the evening.

"I think a man needs his wife to make him feel spoilt every once in a while."

She added: "I can feel like I was born in the wrong decade, especially when I look at everything that is happening in the world now. I feel like I belong in a nicer, more old-fashioned time.

"I agree with old-fashioned values, like being a housewife, taking care of your family, nurturing the people in it and keeping your house in excellent condition, so everyone feels relaxed."

A part-time seamstress for 10 years, Katrina, who sends her clothing pieces to customers around the world, continued: "My new life started in September 2018, after I left my job, which was starting to wear me down."

Her day starts at 6.30am when she sets out her husband's clothes, before prepping breakfast and a packed lunch for Lars. Following her own breakfast she does 15 minutes of vintage exercises.

"Exercise in the 1930s to 1950s was a lot gentler. There was a lot of stretching, warming up or 'limbering up,' as they would say back then," Katrina explained.

"I have a vintage slant board, which is a small wooden ramp, to do core exercises like sit ups. I do them for about 10 to 15 minutes a day and they keep me in shape to fit into my 1950s dresses.

"We have the idea today that we have to push our bodies to the limit, but in the 1950s the attitude was simply that you had to take care of it.

"After my exercises I will go upstairs to take my shower and put on a full face of vintage make up. I use vintage products like Pond's cold cream and Revlon red lipstick and have well-drawn eyebrows, as well as using traditional hot rollers to curl my hair.

"I feel most like myself when I'm wearing a vintage-style dress. They are so flattering and I love the colours and fabrics. I just feel happy when I put them on.

After cleaning and tidying throughout the morning Katrina starts cooking the dinner at around 4pm.

"After dinner we play board games like Scrabble, or watch our vintage shows like I Love Lucy or The Donna Reed Show. Sometimes we read. I like reading 1950s cookbooks and vintage beauty and sewing magazines."

Katrina listens to musicians including Frank Sinatra and Doris Day on her vintage record player. But she isn't completely unrealistic about her thoughts in her favourite time period. "No decade is perfect, definitely we had big social problems in the 50s, but the people I talk to who lived through the era say it was a time when you could leave your door unlocked and you didn't need to worry about people breaking in.

"People today have forgotten how to talk to people they don't agree with and they have lost all their manners. They are always in a rush, they don't remember to say please and thank you. Nowadays people are looking out for themselves and not thinking about the people around them.

"All the stories I've read are about women borrowing dishes or butter from each other, and the neighbourhood kids all playing together. You find now neighbours will go from the car to the garage to the house and won't speak to each other."

Visit Katrina's blog here www.edelweisspatterns.com

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