How to Host a Princess Camp, Day 1

Last week, I had the special privilege- and challenge- of coordinating and leading Once Upon A Time Camp at our church.  For two hours each afternoon, I welcomed fourteen adorable girls, grades PreK-2, to celebrate being God’s princesses.  Little did I know that ten hours of camp time equated to 30+ hours of prep time.  Basically, princess camp was my part-time job for the first two weeks of summer, but it was all worth it! For those of you who[Read more]

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Book (and Life) Review

Yesterday, I finished the book Dear Mr. Knightley.  It left me dismayed and inexplicably nostalgic for the life I didn’t live.  I have been thinking a lot about that lost life lately, wanting to escape to it in my mind, while being constantly redirected to reality by the people and pressures which are part of the life I do live. Dear Mr. Knightley, the inaugural effort of Katherine Reay, is about Sam, an orphaned girl who found safety and solace[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Work (A Story About Finding Work You Love to Do)

Do you love the work you do? Does it bring you joy? Or, do you live for the weekends, and wish you could be doing something else for those 40 hours each week? Last week, I attended my oldest son’s music ensemble performance. I sat next a couple I had never met, whose daughter was in the ensemble with my son. The wife and I struck up a conversation about our children and the school, and at some point I[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Unsplash (or, Unifying by Using our Unique Gifts)

One way I simplify my life as a blogger is by using the images available on free photo sites. Nearly all of the featured images for the 26 Steps to Simplicity series (except for Peace and Quiet– that one’s mine) come from the incomparable Unsplash.  I am a mediocre photographer at best, so I rely on the expertise and creativity of others to make my blog shine. Thank you, Unsplash, and all of its generous, independent photographers, for making my[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Kindness

Kindness is an expression of simplicity.  It costs us nothing to offer a genuine smile, warm greeting, or heartfelt thanks.  Here is a list of 10 simple acts of kindness you can perform on any given day: Offer to return someone’s cart to the corral after they have loaded their groceries. Ask your cashier, waitress, bank teller (or other customer service person) about their day. *Be interested in their response. Say “thank you” when someone performs a kindness for you,[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Donate

I hope you have amassed several bags and boxes of culled items from yesterday’s post in our Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  At our house, we are tearing up the concrete floor in our basement today in preparation for a second bathroom.  Last night, I went through all of our art/craft supplies and reduced them by half.  This morning, I rummaged through my tablecloths, gift bags, and wrapping supplies, condensing them, as well.  A stack of beat-up folding chairs[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Cull

Today, in our Blogging from A to Z Challenge, we are going to begin the hard work of simplifying.  Beginning in your room from day one, we are going to cull the clutter. Clutter is a Verb What is clutter anyway?  Interestingly, we often refer to clutter as a noun or an entity, which it is, but essence of clutter is best found in its definition as a verb.  According to Merriam Webster, clutter means: “1. To run in disorder,[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Beauty

Welcome back for day two in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Today, we are talking about Beauty.  I’m sure you are familiar with some of the following quotes: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris “The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” ― Louisa May Alcott “A thing[Read more]

Symptoms and Solutions for Perimenopause

In my previous post, I shared my personal experience of entering into perimenopause.  Today, I will give you a more objective, comprehensive list of symptoms and side effects, along with some great resources to help you navigate through “the change.” There are several signs which point to the onset of perimenopause, which was defined in Prevention as “the transition stage in a woman’s reproductive life that begins, on average, 4 to 5 years before menopause. During that time, your ovaries[Read more]

Valentine’s Day: Not Just a Romantic Holiday

Over the years, I have developed a tender affection for Valentine’s Day.  As a child, this day was marked by the painstaking effort of producing valentines for my fellow classmates, accompanied by the fear of rejection that would come if there were no reciprocal valentines in my own poorly decorated box.  (Back in my day, it was not mandatory to give every classmate a valentine; you could pick and choose who to give them to.) In my college years, I[Read more]