Friday, June 12, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race

Here's a post I wrote a year ago. Even though I've been at this for quite a time, there is still work to do. There probably will be as long as I have young children in the house, and probably longer. 

I'd really LOVE to be one of those people who could just purge my house in a weekend and BE a minimalist right away.  But, sadly, I'm not.  I've been at this for a while and I'm still no where close to done.  I call myself an aspiring minimalist, and who knows when or if I'll ever make it to calling myself A minimalist. I'm not even sure I want to be a "true" minimalist. But I'm working toward something.  And that's a success in itself.
It's easy to look around and be overwhelmed and feel like I'll never get there.  But when I really think about it I can see how I've changed.  Every once in a while I look back at old photos and it reminds me that I am making progress.

When I look at my kitchen right this second, it looks cluttered and messy to me.  But looking deeper, it's all stuff I can take care of in a matter of 5 or 10 minutes.  One counter is full of strawberry jam that I finished canning and needs to go downstairs.  One counter has a few remnants of breakfast on it.  I can remedy those things easily.  But the kind of cluttered that it used to be could not be cleaned up.  It was "clean" and obscenely cluttered!

If you're starting on this journey, I really encourage you to document it.  Not that you'll ever have to show anyone, but for yourself.  These types of photos can really inspire me on days that other things don't work.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What I'm listening to

One of the things that keeps me going is listening to podcasts. It's great to hear the perspectives of others who are on a similar path as you, or who may have already been down this path and are now reaping the benefits.

Here are my favorites

The Art of Simple
Tsh Oxenrider is a world traveler, blogger, and the author of several books, including Notes From A Blue Bike, which is currently assuming one of the top spots on my Kindle, and she loves Jesus. Her podcast consists of chats about simplicity (and much more) that make you feel like grabbing a cup of coffee and joining in the conversation. Click above to get to the podcast, or click here to learn more about Tsh. (Not a typo. Pronounced "Tish" but spelled Tsh.)

Simple Life Together
Simple Life Together was the first podcast on simplicity that I ever listened to. The podcast had probably been around for six months or so when I stated listening. I immediately went back and downloaded and listened to every single episode in order. I really can't get enough of Dan and Vanessa Hayes, the husband and wife team behind this successful show. As they have been simplifying their lives, they have stopped recording episodes on a regular basis, but they still run an episode every few months. Don't let that stop you though, there are some great tips throughout the show and I still go back and re-listen to episodes every now and then.

The Slow Home Podcast
Brooke McAlary is the creator of the Slow Your Home website. Brooke has been focusing on living simply for over three years. She's an author, blogger, and most recently a podcast host. I'm enjoying listening to all of Brooke's interviews, and chats with her co-host, her husband, Ben.

Modern Farm Girls
Liz Wolfe of and Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish talk about farming, sustainability and Paleo living. My husband and I are slowly creating our small one-acre homestead and this podcast has been very informative as well as entertaining. I look forward to each episode. While I may never completely go Paleo, I'm always moving closer to that type of diet, and I love all the information presented.

Other podcasts that I enjoy...

About simplicity

Value of Simple with Joel Zaslofsky
Minimalism For The Rest Of Us with Robert Wall - You can listen to an interview with me, at the very beginning of my journey here!

About life

Hope*ologie is a member site that helps you find hope when you need it most. The Hope*ologie podcast, however, is available for free on iTunes. This podcast is hosted by Gary Morland and his two daughters, Emily Freeman and Myquillyn Smith. Gary is an "ordinary guy" who knows that Jesus is the answer and does his best to share the message. Emily blogs at Chatting at the Sky and is a writer. I'm excited for her newest book, Simply Tuesday, which is coming out in August (available for pre-order now!) Myquillin blogs about making your house a home, no matter how long you plan to be there. Her Instragram photos are inspiring to say the least! You can find her at her blog, the Nesting Place. Together these three, along with guests from time to time, chat about everything! It is very enjoyable. Although it's not specifically about simplicity, the underlying themes of joy and hope fit well with simplicity ideals.
(I'll admit, I'm not a member of the site, yet. I heard about the Hope*ologie podcast on an episode of The Art of Simple and searched iTunes to subscribe. It wasn't until more recently that I went to the website and realized that Hope* was a member site.)

About parenting

Inspired to Action
Kat Lee talks with others about how to be a Godly parent, and how to take care of yourself in order to be the best parent you can be. Just the intro makes me feel blessed every time.

About gardening and farming

Chicken Thistle Farm's Coop Cast 
and Vegetable Gardening with Mike Podlesny

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What minimalism is to me

Minimalism is individual to every person who strives for it.

When I first stumbled upon the term I pictured a white, sterile room in a flat with a wall of windows and one black leather sofa with one end table.  But that's not what it is for me.

For me, it can be summed up in this quote by William Morris.

It is just that simple, and it is not simple at all.  

Follow my journey through My Simple Chaos!