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Hi, I'm Stephanie. I believe that simple living is the key to long term health and happiness, so I try to live my life according to Blue Zone principles. I'm here to encourage you to consume less so you can live more.
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A Few Friday Thoughts

Look at me, showing up two Fridays in a row. I guess I really could keep calling it weekly chats if I wanted! It feels nice to return here to type a little more regularly. A friend told me that sometimes you just have to force yourself to do the things you know you love until the love for those things returns, and it makes sense for me in relation to blogging. My love for it ebbs and flows but I do like writing and this is the only time I ever do it.


I anxiously await my construction start date. If you saw my post Tuesday, you know it's on my goals list to get this started. We're waiting on permits and it's quite annoying. In case you're wondering what we're doing (no one asked but I'm telling you anyway): there's two main parts to the project in that we're redoing the entire staircase as well as popping up the roof on one half of the top level to make it a master bedroom. It's a bigger undertaking than it sounds because our stairs suck, they're small and curvy and not up to code since they were grandfathered in. So switching to a normal size switchback staircase is a huge project, especially since it'll run through all three levels. It ends up changing our kitchen layout too, so we have to take out and move cabinets and countertops. The popping up the roof is actually the easier part! Then we can fit a king size bed up there with room to spare and have a nice master. The other half of that level will have closets for storage and by storage I mean all of our Halloween decorations. As well as a little desk and office space for me.

I loathe being under construction, like more than most. So the anticipation is making it worse. I know I'll enjoy the end product, but I'd like to just skip to that point. I promise to share photos when it's all done, which will be in the calendar year of 2021 so help me god. 

If you're wondering why we'd bother if I hate construction so much - we need to (a) address issues and (b) make the space useful. The staircase has always been an issue and the lack of ventilation upstairs and lower ceilings caused some water damage. So why not make the space more useful while also fixing these problems? Being home 24/7 for the last year made us (read: me) realize how important it is to make the home a space you love. Plus we're planning on me never going back to an office job so I need a desk space! All in all, it just came down to 'it's time.' The value of our house since purchasing went way up and we did a future value construction loan to deal with all the financing so things just fell into place nicely. Let me know if you want more information on this tiny niche of future value construction loans because I'm a goddamn expert now. And that was the easy part! It's the dealing with the city of Chicago that's the hold up.

In the meantime, I keep decluttering and moving things around and taking inventory. I love decluttering. Clearly I have nothing left to get rid of but John sure does and since we have to move it all out anyway to get ready for the work, he often makes the decision to just get rid of it instead of storing it all over again in another location. I'm loving every minute of that part.

This Quote:


Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it. - Peter Walsh

Links I Love:


Things I make that turn out fabulously for the firehouse but never ever eat myself. Though I often waver on whether the sugar crash would be worth the migraine, they smell that good.

Grove, for all your spring cleaning needs. I get almost all (if not all) my supplies from here. I can share what I use if anyone cares but I imagine that you don't. I think that link gets you some sort of discount on the first order.

Stocking a natural medicine cabinet. I'm all for taking medication when it's necessary but sometimes it's just not. So many pills are based on ancient herbal remedies anyway (looking at you, Tylenol), so why not skip the extra preservative ingredients and go straight to the source to treat minor illness? It's easier than you may think, and these things work!

Switching off for the day. I don't have a feeling of guilt associated with shutting down to rest in the evenings, but sometimes I still forget to do it. The ease of having everything on my phone is a problem - I check emails, respond to questions on instagram, even fill orders late at night and I need to set a boundary on that time. Office hours, if you will.


What's the best/your favorite Easter candy? Any answer that isn't Cadbury Creme Eggs is incorrect, but you're still entitled to your wrong opinion, just like John who thinks it's Reese's Eggs. I don't celebrate Easter and I'm off sugar because of the migraines it gives me, but I'm with you in spirit.