Honest Simplicity

my winding road to a simpler life

Summer Fairy Dwellings

This summer, I’ve made time for creating more fairy dwellings.  My kids made their own collections of fairy homes as well.  It is amazing how 10 hours can disappear as I glue bits of moss, cut and measure twigs, and sort through my bark collection for just the right piece.  I make a glorious mess.  My apron becomes speckled with stems, moss-covered blobs of glue, wire clippings, and perhaps even fairy dust.  I stay up late creating and can’t wait to wake up early and begin working again.  Here are photos of what keeps bringing me joy no matter how old I get.

Simple Sweet Mornings

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Starting my Sunday morning by rereading “A Day in the Life of a Minimalist” on my Kindle and enjoying coffee from my favorite “Replenish” mug

I love the mornings and I always have.  I am often the first to wake in my house.  Some days, I throw on a jacket and go for a quiet stroll.  Other days, I rise early, slip into the kitchen to make coffee, and settle down to read.  I embrace the solitude I’ve carved out for myself.  I enjoy knowing most of the neighborhood is still sound asleep as I cradle my warm coffee mug.   Each day, I look forward to spending time with my own thoughts and a good book.  I wake with a purpose.  Peace begins my day.  Soon, my son awakes, finds me, and gives me my morning hugs.  I smile and tell him, “we are the early birds”.  He smiles back, knowing this time is special.  My mornings are simple but quite dear to me.

Slow Your Fashion

1st grade photo of me wearing a dress my mother made

1st grade photo of me wearing a dress my mother made

My life is, admittedly, detached from the effort it takes to make the clothing I wear.  I wonder about it, but not as often as I could.  Who made this skirt?  How much did that person get paid?  Probably not enough  What happened to the fabric scraps?  How long did it take to create my favorite jacket or that well-loved shirt?  What should these items have cost me?

When I was a girl, I remember my mother sewing outfits for me.  At that age, I didn’t fully appreciate the time and talent she put into those clothes.  They weren’t fancy, but neither was I.  The clothes she sewed for my sister and me were simple, well-constructed, and made by loving hands.  When sewing, she would call me to pause my playtime and have the items fitted.  It was a familiar part of the process.  I remember delicately sliding on the half-sewn garments to avoid sticking myself with the many pins holding the seams together.  Then, after my mom inspected her handiwork, I’d hand the garment over to her and bounce away to finish whatever activity I was in the middle of.  After a good span of time, I had cute new clothes to wear and I felt so proud that my mom had made them.  I even remember her making matching headbands one time, which I thought was pretty special.

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One In One Out

One in One Out

One in one out: it is a simple guideline which helps me avoid acquiring more stuff than I need or even want.  I’m not a perfect stickler for this rule, but I try to follow it often because I like the results it brings.  Besides keeping my belongings in check, it guards me from being a sucker for sale signs and trends.  It encourages contentment.  When I shop, I ask myself whether or not I’d be willing to replace something I already own with this new item.  The answer to that question determines whether or not it is truly worth the purchase.  Of course, down the road, I might change my mind about something I bought.  My tastes and needs change and when that happens, I don’t sweat it.  I no longer feel like I need to hold onto something just because I paid good money for it once.  That is a guilt-induced clutter trap and you should stay away from that kind of thinking.  Since adopting the habit of one in one out, I have regretted far fewer purchases.  This week, I bought a new pair of flip flops, but not on impulse.  I had a pair of flips already, but they are leather and I wanted a pair that could get wet when I water the garden, take my kids to the swimming pool, and for a upcoming trip to the beach.  Since I had a pair of shoes in mind which I could let go of, I bought the new pair, guilt free.  One new pair of shoes came into the house and another pair is ready to donate.  Easy peasy!

Slowing Down Each Day

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This afternoon, while my son took a nap and my daughter read quietly in her room, I pulled out my needle felting supplies.  By the way, we’ve kept nap time a routine since my daughter was a baby.  She’s nine years old now.  I love our afternoon quiet time and hope to never outgrow it.  I find it necessary to make time for relaxing.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I nap, and sometimes I create.  Today, I chose to needle felt, which is an activity I find very soothing to the soul.  You can’t rush forming the wool one needle poke at a time.  Needle felting is a slow, but intuitive, gentle process.  It is an activity which requires me to calm my body and quiet my mind…to be present, yet playful.  One item I finished was a wee little creation made from a broken walnut shell, Read the rest of this entry »

Home as a Sanctuary

(repost from last year)

I’ve been clearing away clutter and simplifying over the years, but still have plenty of work to do in that department. It has been a slow, but purposeful process.  Is your home a sanctuary or a stressor?   So often, we vacation to escape our busy complicated lives only to return back to the chaos.  When did vacationing become a need rather than a want?   Simplifying my life helps me to create spaces of comfort and peace within my own home.  I look forward to the day when returning home from vacation means returning to a place of rest and relaxation instead of returning home to a long list of to-dos and visual clutter demanding my attention.  It pleases me that I am on that path.  What could you do today to make your home a sanctuary?  What distractions could you part with to make room for peace?  Courtney Carver, who I find to be a wonderful inspiration, speaks on this topic in her blog Be More With Less.

Here are a couple of spots in my home which bring me peace of mind:

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I love a clutter-free countertop

I love a clutter-free countertop

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Interview with 7 News Denver

 

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I was privileged to participate in a segment on 7 News Denver about the benefits of simplifying one’s wardrobe.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-women-look-to-de-clutter-closets-with-capsule-wardrobes05272015

 

Under The Sink

Today’s Cleaning Task #1: clean and line the cabinet under the kitchen sink.

1st: I emptied everything out of the cabinet, discarded unnecessary items, and scrubbed it clean.

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2nd: I measured and cut non-adhesive shelf liner to size (Duck brand if you are curious) using my rotary cutter and cutting mat.

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Spring Cleaning Bug

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The spring cleaning bug bit me this week and took hold.  I’ve vacuumed up dust bunnies and the insides of drawers, removed tiny toys hiding out under the living room furniture, tossed books and clothes unapologetically into my donation pile, and recycled other odds and ends.  It all feels very gratifying.  Admiring one tidy shelf is quite satisfying.  Emptying out an entire drawer is even better.  Just because I have (share) 6 dresser drawers doesn’t mean I must fill them all.  Don’t you love walking into a room that is free of clutter?  It is soothing to the soul.

How about you?  Have you started your spring cleaning yet?  Do you know where to start?  Identify which area of your house Read the rest of this entry »

Green Energy Boost

Citrus Green Smoothie

Citrus Green Smoothie

When you crave a late-day energy boost, what do you reach for?  Sugar?  Caffeine?  If so, you are not alone.  I’ve been there, done that!  Unfortunately, those quick pick-me-ups don’t replenish our bodies, but instead leave us feeling even more depleted.  It is a nasty cycle to find yourself in, so get out while you can.  (I’m not against a morning cup of joe or occasional sweet treat, by the way) How do you get a healthy uplifting boost?  Don’t underestimate the power of veggies….you know, those leafy dark Read the rest of this entry »

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