Finding my simple living to simply live

7 years ago I was so interested in living a simple/minimalism life that we moved out of our traditional sized home and renovated a 1,600 square foot home.  Several garage sales and donation pick ups later, we moved into our tiny home where everything we owned was either useful or beautiful.  That was my intention. It was lovely.  Then baby #3 came and we got the itch to renovate another home, and another and with it our 4th baby.  Our current home is a perfect home for making roots and someday having 4 teenagers that will want their own space.  We still talk about our "tiny home" as our favorite.  We had very few places to put stuff, therefore less stuff.  It forced us to live with our minimum needs.  This gave us more time and space to make room for the people and life experiences that were important to us. 

The subject of minimalism is, of course, quite subjective.  I think of minimalism as less is more. But it's also a mindset.  For instance, if we are talking about clutter in the home...  I can live with the rooms on our second floor cluttered, but my mind will feel cluttered if my kitchen counters and master bedroom is cluttered.  I have found this as my personal balance.  The spectrum of minimalism is extremely wide.  Like everything, we each need to do what is best for ourselves.  

Isn't life all about balance.  I balance my consumption of chocolate with my consumption of greens.  And I balance my splurges with my frugality and thriftiness.  Balancing a life of living with less helps me live with more intention.

I don't have this lifestyle mastered, nor would I want to.  The words "simple and balanced" are simply a reminder to keep myself in check with all the temptations life brings.  What to wear, how to discipline, what to feed my family, how to decorate my home or my child's birthday party, the list goes on.  These words have taken the pressure off mothering and have allowed me to focus on my top priorities.

One mindset I have changed to encourage minimalism is eliminating the word "busy" from my vocabulary.  Busy is a choice.  In our daily life I don't want my family to be busy - but rather productive.  Intentional on how we go about our day.

If you are curious about adding more simplicity or minimalism in your life try writing down all the areas in your life that feel cluttered.  Physically and emotionally.  Start small.  Few people have an entire day they can spend organizing their closet.  Start with your shoe collection and pull everything out.  Make 3 piles.  Sell. Donate. Keep.  Then move on to your jeans.  repeat.  Then see how you feel.  Maybe the minimalism balance doesn't start in your closet but in your head.  Write down what's making you feel "busy" and cross out everything that's not important.  Then tackle the rest.

Now that you know my story I plan to share many more thoughts on how I use simple living to simply live.  Follow your own path and don't let anyone tell you how to live your life according to theirs.  

On simply living to simply live.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker
 

how to experience Fall without living in it

a lovely lifestyle blog

Fall awakens me!  Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago the season of fall is in my DNA.  I realize that if you didn't grow up with something, you wouldn't have a reason to miss it.  I however, need to experience fall from all 5 senses in order to feel in touch with another year ending.  It was the thing I missed most after moving to the south.  I have visited Massachusetts, Washington DC, Tennessee, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, New York, and Minnesota in the fall.  Last year we went back to sweet home Chicago, and this year we took the family to the Pacific Northwest, where my hubby grew up.  My soul is filled up!  We saw, felt, smelled, tasted, and heard fall in all its beauty.  Seattle is my favorite partially because we are such water people.  And the mountains!  And the real pumpkin patches and apple orchards. Most likely if you ate an apple today it came from WA. It's as authentic as it gets.  Over 70% of the country's apples come from here.  And fall of course makes us think of hot drinks and Seattle is the mecca for adorable coffee houses.  All this equals lots of snuggling and closeness with the ones you love wearing your favorite sweater.  

traveling to find fall

Fall trips remind me every year how important it is to go back to your past senses and connect them to your present life.  Just because I don't live in a state that has the traditional fall in my eyes (I realize it's all relative), its not going to stop me from making this part of my children's DNA.  They will just have the travel and exploration part added to their fall experience.  

This trip also reminded me that if we don't like something about our lives, we need to fix it.  I'm not willing to move because I love this place we call home, but traveling is a very very happy medium of fixing the lack of fall we have in Texas.  If it wasn't for my yearning for fall, we wouldn't have been inspired to go out and find all the fall beauty and adventure this country offers.  So if you don't have this beautiful season, consider traveling to it.

After every vacation I make a simple video of little moments to help us retain our memories.  I wrote about tips on documenting with video here.  

And now that I'm home I need to make a grocery run to make one of my favorite fall meals that you can find here.

And I'm looking forward to catching up with the episodes of This is Us with hubby.  In an earlier post I was talking about all the dark television that's out there and this show is something that gives a sense of hope.  It's simple and enlightening.  Found this gem for those of you who want to relive this episode, or for those of you interested in starting a new series about life - relatable raw pure sweet life. 

I hope you find lovely in your week.

traveling to fall
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taking pause

on our chalk board this week

on our chalk board this week

I feel the only appropriate thing to do today is to take pause here.  Reading the news of what happened in Las Vegas feels paralyzing. Most of me wants to be distracted from this today, but I also want the truth.  Thinking about the words I use to tell my children of the news makes me... well... how did we get to this point where this is even something we are talking about??

Today I will take the time to pause and then tomorrow I will look for the good in the world.  It's there.  It's hard to see during times like these, I know.  There is much more love than hate.  We need to put the focus on love... and gun control.  I appreciate what Jimmy Kimmel has to say here regarding our public safety.

I strongly feel, for a long time now, that we need to take a step back and look at what we are feeding our minds.  We are the movies we watch, the books we read, the people and conversations we hang out with.  The good news is, we are in control of the content we feed our minds and our children's minds.  I've witnessed the truth behind "we become like the five people we spend the most of our time with" and I also know dark media creates a dark world.  What we see is what we think, and therefor what we and our children will become.

Love always wins.