Showing posts with label Slow Living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slow Living. Show all posts

Want to be Happier? Boundaries

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Let's talk guarding your mind and mental health. In our modern society, we are consuming more content than ever. And these things we consume have a profound effect on us, whether we realize it at the time or not. Of course, we can't control other people or the type of content they put out, but we can control ourselves and monitor what we consume. It's called boundaries, and we should be making more of them. And for that matter, we should be making them offline, with the people in our lives too.

Full, Not Busy

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

As I sit here writing this post, I realize how productive I've been in the past week. I have times like that, where my energy levels ebb and flow, and this happens to be one of those times when I've been particularly adept at finishing up projects and crossing things off the to do list. I like the word 'productive.' I never want to be known as the alternative - busy. I don't want anyone else to comment on how busy I am, and I certainly never want to say the words 'I'm so busy lately.' It's a true four letter word to me.

Embracing Autumn

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

I've been trying to live more seasonally. Eating the season's produce, experiencing the weather changes, even switching up our indoor decor. It doesn't come as easily to me in the warm months but now that we're heading into fall, and inching closer to my favorite time of year (winter), I feel much more at home with embracing these subtle changes. I think it helps me live a slower pace of life, when I stop and not only take notice of these seasonal shifts, but celebrate them. I know September 1 isn't the start of the fall season just yet, but we're getting closer and I've experienced some of the changes already.

How I Slow Down the Days

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I know I've mentioned slow living a lot. In my diet, my routines, even in the content I consume. So many people are disillusioned with the breakneck speed of our modern world, even more so after the various lockdowns we've had, and slow living sounds like a lovely alternative. And so I've shared the details about these sub-sects of my life, about stitching them together to create a slower life in the long-term, but that doesn't answer the question for a lot of people of 'how do I slow down today?' So I have a few tips for you on how I instantly slow down a day that's feeling just too rushed. Things you can do this very moment to take that first step of slow living.

Adopting a Minimalist Diet

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

When I posted about our updated kitchen and the super adorable pantry containers, I wanted to share about what I've been eating and just how I make those pantry staples into meals. But I figured that would be quite a hefty post. Instead, I wanted to focus separately on slow food and a minimalist diet.

I have a lot of goals related to slowing down different aspects of my life. And my diet was definitely one of the things I wanted to makeover to be more simple and slow. That's where slow living started, after all, with the slow food movement. It was all about focusing on sustainable, local, organic, and whole foods and was a direct resistance to the opening of a McDonald's in Rome. McDonald's might not be my personal vice, but that doesn't mean I don't have plenty of my own.

The Joy in Everyday Homemaking, Even When You're Burnt Out

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I've posted a lot lately about routines and the things we need to get done every day - getting dressed, morning and evening routines, cleaning, laundry, cooking dinner every night. It can start to seem not only overwhelming, but exhaustingly reminiscent of Groundhog's Day. Because those are the daily living tasks that just don't end. Even when you finally get all the laundry done, you still have to wear clothes and there will be another load tomorrow. The dishwasher is finally empty, but you have to drink your coffee out of something. You did all the grocery shopping and cooked all the meals but an empty fridge will stare back at you again next week. It's repetitive and mundane and can easily leave you asking 'why even bother?'

I hear you. I've been there myself. Still am there, some days. Yes, the rhythm of life reminds us that we're alive. It's good to sit back and remember that we get to do all these daily tasks because we're alive. But even when I'm being grateful for that fact, there are still a few things I do to bring back the joy in homemaking, even when I'm a little burnt out.

Slow Living Homemaker Morning and Evening Routines

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

I've posted about my morning and evening routines before, but they always focused around working outside the home for 8+ hours a day. I had to accomplish certain tasks by a certain time each morning and set things up every night to ensure I was prepared for the next day. Life looks quite different now, so my routines needed to adjust. I still enjoy having some sort of plan to count on, simple as it may be, even though I now have the whole day at home during which I can get tasks done. I need something to signal to my brain when it's time to start getting things done and when it's time to relax and sleep. Making over these routines, slowing them down and simplifying them, has been a fun task to cross off my 101 in 1001 list.

I plan on posting about my cleaning routine and what a typical day in the life of a homemaker looks like, but it seemed simpler to break it up and first dedicate a post to these bookends of my day.


Producing versus Consuming: Active Slow Living

Thursday, June 11, 2020

I think we all just spent a few months experiencing slow living - a stark contrast to most of our lives before any sort of lock down order. People dealt with this in a lot of different ways. It may have started with Netflix binges and 24 hours of pajamas, but then morphed into something different. A lot of banana bread was made, that's for sure. A lot of homes decluttered. But I think that's a natural outcome of a slow living lifestyle. There's suddenly much more time in the day when you're not jamming your schedule with events, and people quickly realize that constant consumption is not all it's cracked up to be.


Because slow living doesn't mean sitting around doing absolutely nothing. When I share about this way of life, people always ask 'well what do you do all day?' Whatever I want, really, and that's the point. I may not be carefully scheduling all the hours in my day like I used to, but that 'lazy slug' feeling of three straight days of movies and take out isn't good either. I didn't drop one extreme for the other, I simply shifted my priorities so I can take the time every day to do the things I love. Life should happen for me, not to me. Or what I like to call 'active slow living.' And it's all about producing and doing instead of consuming.

Do you have a lot of unfinished projects around the house? That's often a sign of hiding behind consumption instead of taking action. I've been guilty of it too. We consume things first as an excuse, instead of becoming the person we want to be, telling ourselves that we absolutely need something in order to get started. We can't start working out without new workout clothes. We can't start decluttering and organizing without buying a bunch of new bins at the Container Store. Can't make that scrapbook without spending $200 on more supplies at the craft store. But it's pretty easy to see, in all of those excuses, that consuming things is distracting you from the life you really want to have.

We all have these projects that were started with good intentions but never finished and these things we 'don't have the time to do'. It's the trap of consuming instead of doing, and there's a lot of emotional baggage that comes with that. It's so easy to hide behind the laziness of consumption. No one likes taking responsibility for the fact that they're the only thing standing in their own way.

But why write off your joy in the present with this over attachment to more, more more? We all write off progress and the lives we're living now, thinking that we'll be a better version of ourselves once we buy this thing, but that just keeps removing ourselves from taking responsibility for actually taking action. You don't need Lululemon pants to workout. You just need to move. There's no need to keep consuming in order to become that better person.

So why would slow living help with any of that? How can I do more if I'm simultaneously slowing down?

Because what I'm really slowing down is distractions, allowing me to be pro-active. To seek out and do more of what matters, instead of just reacting to circumstances. It's a habit I've had to really learn and practice at constantly, but I find it's the best way to live in the present and enjoy each day. No more of that stressed and anxious feeling that comes with being hurried.

What does this look like, in a practical sense? Waking up early each day because I know I function best on a schedule and in the mornings. Cleaning the house daily, before it builds up and becomes incredibly dirty. Creating a budget and saving for big expenses, emergencies or vacations. Walking more and making my own meals instead of resorting to take out and fad diets. Making phone calls, mailing letters, unloading the dishwasher and completing other 5 minute tasks as I think of them instead of perpetually putting them off. Actively sorting out these tasks purposefully before they pile up to that insurmountable mountain of stress. Acting, not reacting. Doing, not just buying something to make the problems go away.

There's just something about doing each of these things by my own hand that helps me stay connected in the moment, no longer feeling like the days are disappearing too fast. And even though I do these thing slowly, I know they're still moving me forward. I fully enjoy the present while I take steps to be that slightly better version of myself that I have in mind. Always a work in progress - but not one that writes off all the progress that's already been made.

My New 101 in 1001 List

Monday, April 20, 2020

I know what you're thinking - another list? Didn't the last one just start? Not exactly. But the 1001 days aren't quite up yet, so I understand the confusion. The end date for the 3rd 101 goals in 1001 days list is the end of this year but I'm about done. With the whole list. And I love having goals to work on so I decided to move up the start date of this 4th list. It might seem strange to start a new goals list in the midst of all this uncertainty but I almost think that's why I want to start. There are so many things on my list I can start working on right now that will not only improve my life and home, but will also give me something to control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. That deeply appeals to my enneagram type 1 self.


Letting the Pages Turn. Because I Get To, I Don't Have To.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The emotional ups and downs of this time are crazy, aren't they? On the one hand, I've learned how much I freaking love staying away from people. Seriously, we should all be glad I love animals too much to be a serial killer, because according to all the true crime shows, I've got all the other hallmarks. I thought maybe I was doing okay because I still had John at home but now I'm all on my own at my parents' house (they're in Florida) while he's at the firehouse and nope, still doing fine. I text people (only 4 with any regularity), call my parents every couple of days, and did one facetime happy hour with two friends. And it's been more than enough human interaction for me. Don't judge.

On the other hand, there's still been things to grieve. We're not leaving for our Florida vacation tomorrow, as intended. A silly thing to grieve, but it's still there. Canceled some fun plans with friends in May because it's pretty unlikely that anything will be normal by then. Again, silly, but real. We also have traditions surrounding March Madness and Easter and draft day and the Derby that just aren't going to happen. And there's an underlying anxious feeling over John and my dad's health. John because he's in the line of fire and has what I like to call 'the immune system of a carnival goldfish.' And my dad because he's 80 and has other health issues. He's been good about staying inside but they want to come back here to Chicago at some point, so I worry about them traveling (next month or later).

The anxiousness isn't going to go away, not with so many unknowns still out there. I have ways to not dwell on that so much (but not ignore it either.) But the sadness over cancelled plans and traditions is something to emotionally work through, rather than just digging my heels in and insisting it'll be 'back to normal soon.' There will be good things and many more bad things to come out of this, but life will not be the same when this is over. It will not be 'back to normal soon.'

And I'm letting that page turn.

Microwave Culture, the Myth of Balance, and the Peace of a Slowed Down Life

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Slow living. This concept that I'm basing more than just my blog posts around. It sounds pretty, peaceful even, but what is it? I've hinted at it, talked about it in passing on some of my other posts this year, but we haven't exactly defined what it is. And while the details might vary by person, the concept is the same - it's about decelerating modern life, by being mindful of our time and making sure every day is full of things that matter to us. Not the things that we think matter or that society tells us should matter, but the things at our core - our real needs and values. It's slowing down in order to quit stress and foster peace in its place.

Everything That's Been Hard Lately

Monday, March 23, 2020

An ominous title for a post, I know. I do, in general, want to keep this space a spot of calmness and simplicity in a chaotic world. But before I can really do that and explain why and how I live slow and simple, I need to go back and explain all the things that were hard. This post is the only one that's a bit negative, it'll be getting more positive from here. So, here are the things that happened in 2019 (and last week) that were mentally and emotionally taxing:


Things Look Different

Friday, March 20, 2020


Things look different around here. Maybe you noticed when you opened this post, and maybe it didn't hit you until I told you to look around, but it is different. Maybe you picked up on the fact that the post title isn't just about a blog layout.


Why I Simplify (Everything)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

If you remember from the beginning of the year, my word for 2019 has been 'edit.'  I've absolutely been sticking with that for the last 6 months, even getting a new job so I could edit out the biggest annoyances of my old one - taking the train every day and going to court.  I'm constantly editing my wardrobe and meals and what I do with this blog.  Edit and simplify.  I thought I would share a few of the top reasons that came to mind about why I love to simplify so much, why I put the effort in to think through everything and edit my choices this year.  Also known as 'what I actually love doing with all my free time and money that I now have since simplifying everything in my life.'

Create An Intentional Evening Routine

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Like I mentioned yesterday, I think evening routines are just as important as morning routines.  Maybe even more so, because I believe you set your self up for success or failure in your day based on what you do the night before.  Here's how I went about setting up my more intentional evening routine.

Create An Intentional Morning Routine

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links.  

I need my intentional morning routine, because using my mornings well affects my entire day.  If I wake up late and don't follow a plan, my whole day feels off and I don't get everything done that I need or want to.  A morning routine gives you time and energy for the things that matter most, so I'm sharing not just my routine but also how you can set up an intentional morning routine yourself to help guide your day.