Tag Archives: Simplicity

19Sep/15
What are the many pleasures of having kids?

What are the many pleasures of having kids?

What are the many pleasures of having kids?

image courtesy of chrisroll / freedigitalphotos.net

I have been asking myself one question lately. What are the many pleasures of having kids?

Foolish people tend to focus on the negative even when everything is going well. Others are mostly positive… well, at least when things are going well! But unfortunately most of us tend to focus on the difficulties, the sadness, the wrongs that have been done to us.

When you expect your first child, you get excited, you almost cannot wait for that precious day when you’ll hold that new life in your arms. You know the difficulties that will come with this new born and despite of this you focus on the positive and get extreme joy out of these thoughts.

Couple kids later, you’re in your kitchen trying to accomplish many small tasks that seemed so easily and quickly done in the past. Your kids are crying and they’re not the only ones. You feel overwhelmed and alone. You think of all that you have to do, everything seems so big. Stop right there, shake your body, move around and then continue reading.

Continue reading

10Aug/15
The Myth of Minimalism

The Myth of Minimalism

The Myth of Minimalism

image courtesy of Dan / freedigitalphotos.net

When I first started down the path of minimalism, it was born from being overwhelmed by the chaos that surrounded me.
The chaos of toys, clothes, books, and stuff. Stuff everywhere.

Old things. New things. Red things. Blue things.

There was too much.

It crowded my space and it cluttered my mind.

And so I began the journey to simplicity. Sorting. Purging. Crying. Donating.

It was a long process that was both cathartic, liberating and stressful at times.

The less I had the less I realized I actually needed.

We’re over a year into our journey and I still feel overwhelmed at moments by the sheer volume of things a family of four (plus dog) can manage to accumulate.

Continue reading

09Jun/15
Stand-up Desk

Stand-Up Desk

Here is a short video showing our home office set-up. I have been standing up at my office desk for a few years now and have found it to be very beneficial for my back. Standing at our desk allows us to avoid sitting for a large portion of the day, which has been proven to be more helpful for leg and back health, as well as keeping your hips and leg joints from getting sore and tight.

Our desk is a re-purposed change table that my father made for us, with an adaptation from cheryl’s dad (we’re so appreciative to have fathers who are skilled craftsmen!). Standing also makes it easier to transition from computer work to other activities around the house, and keeps the kids from being tempted to play around on the computer/keyboard (a serious consideration with young children around).

For more information, take a look at our previous post on this subject.

29May/15
Why I Don't Care About Subscriber Numbers

Why I Don’t Care About Subscriber Numbers

Image courtesy of Exsodus / Freedigitalphotos.net

Exsodus/Freedigitalphotos.net

Blogging can be a stressful venture. You’re constantly trying to create original, creative content that makes a splash in the virtual information ocean. On top of that, your always wanting more people to “subscribe” whether to your e-mail newsletter, your blog content, or your YouTube channel (shameless plug here)

Early on in our blogging (though I still feel a year into it that we are very much newbies) every new e-mail subscription brought a tiny thrill of excitement. Whether it was because our message was resonating with people, or because they just loved receiving e-mail was of no significance to me.

On the flip side, every un-subscription notice came as a slight jab. What didn’t they like? Did we say something offensive? Would we change our content to get people to like us more, or stick to what we believed even if nobody agreed?

There is nothing like virtual judgement to turn you paranoid.

Continue reading

24May/15
Healthy Grocery Haul

Healthy Grocery Haul

Eating healthy as a family doesn’t have to be complicated.

It begins with shopping places that have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets, local grocery stores, and even community gardens are great sources. Loading up on greens will ensure that a majority of your diet is healthy and you will be more able to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

If you go to a grocery store regularly, try to shop the outer aisles (where the fresh stuff is) first. Avoid processed foods as much as is possible and buy things with the least amount of ingredients necessary.

We don’t meal plan often, but I do have a few simple, standard meals that I often prepare. We eat 95% of our meals at home, so we are better able to control the quality and type of ingredients that we are eating.

It isn’t about eating “perfectly”, but focusing on whole, natural foods.

Happy Eating!

19May/15
Minimalist Toddler Closet Tour

Minimalist Toddler Closet Tour

In this minimalist toddler closet tour, you’ll get a look into our two-year-old son’s closet. His wardrobe is relatively limited, and this amount of clothing works well for us to be able to give him enough outfits, as well as not be bombarded by laundry. We also have a bookshelf with a few books and toys on it that he can easily access as well as clean up by himself. Keeping a simple closet can be a challenge with children, but play around with different configurations to see what works best for you. Let us know in the comments any tips you’ll incorporate into your closets, as well as something different that you might do.

Other House tours

Here are other house tours you might enjoy.

12May/15
How to Lift Your Mood

How to Lift Your Mood

Have you ever been in a situation that dragged you down and left you feeling heavy? We’ve all had those and it’s usually difficult to shake off the bad feelings. In the following video, I describe a small strategy that will show you how to lift your mood.

I like to call this strategy the human helium balloon. We all know how light a helium balloon is and you’ll use this mental image to make yourself feel lighter. This strategy combines effective breathing and visualization and much more since it uses your other senses.

Continue reading

28Apr/15
Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere

Why I hope I’m never the smartest person anywhere

Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere

Hal Brindley / freedigitalphotos.net

The other night while watching some playoff hockey, JF and I saw an advertisement for a game show called “Canada’s Smartest Person”. I haven’t seen the show so I can only presume it is a trivia and challenge show intended to test different types of intelligence, the prize being both money and bragging rights of being deemed the “smartest” (by a Canadian game show anyways, but that fact might remain unsaid).

Continue reading

17Apr/15
Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

We all need to be more mindful in our lives. Many of us eat our emotions, when we’re bored, or we are dis-engaged from our food. Eating mindfully is a way to connect more with the practice of eating, re-enforce a healthy relationship with food and it allows you to be fully present while eating. Here are five simple ways to eat more mindfully:

Continue reading

30Mar/15
Ode to a cribe

Letting Go of Sentimental Furniture

An Ode to a Crib

Our crib, vacant and ready to move on

Our crib, vacant and ready to move on

This past weekend I dis-assembled our crib. The crib that we picked out at the beautiful baby furniture store when we were expecting our daughter. The crib that we used for our son for almost two years after that. And now, our first-born is in school and our youngest is so definitely not a baby, with his parrot-like repetition of everything we say and his mouth-full-of-teeth grin. And so, the crib had been sitting vacant for over a month, like the baby clothes and infant-seats that went before it, no longer needed for it’s intended purpose. Without need of it, and with it taking up so much valuable-real estate in our home, you would think that I, a purge-happy minimalist, would have been thrilled to part with it.

The thing is, I wasn’t.

Continue reading