26 Steps to Simplicity: Gratitude

Are you grateful or greedy?  Closely connected to our discussion on contentment is the idea of gratitude.  When we are grateful for what we have, it magically becomes enough.  However, when we compare and complain that what we have isn’t good enough, we convince ourselves that more is the answer.  More will change our disposition and make us happy, when in truth, it only leaves us more unsatisfied.  As Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says, Gratitude, I have found, is[Read more]

How to Encourage (and Enjoy) Your Child’s Independence

(I am taking a break from our 26 Steps to Simplicity series to bring you this post.  It still falls within the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, though: E is for Encourage.) I’m sitting here at the library, attempting to create an editorial calendar for my blog, while my four-year old daughter enjoys her weekly Storytime session.  Unlike the other moms, I am not participating with my daughter, marching around the room, waving my duck sign, or listening intently[Read more]

Wake Up Happy: Clean Your Kitchen (Plus, a Giveaway!)

If you want to wake up happy, you need to clean your kitchen before you go to bed.  I know, life gets busy, and the day grows long.  We run out of energy after dinner and think, I’ll take care of all this tomorrow, before turning off the light and leaving the kitchen in total disarray. However, even if you are a morning person who can tackle a full day’s worth of dishes, including those streaming in from breakfast, nothing[Read more]

A Writer’s Manifesto On Living with Passion and Purpose

happy leap

I’m tired of seeing people live halfheartedly, without purpose or passion (myself included). It is too easy in our Western, consumer-driven society to cover our lack of meaningful living with the pursuit of more things. Shopping, eating, sex, TV, social media- we gorge ourselves on superficial excess and then fall into desperation from our meaningless existence.  All of that striving and buying and hooking up (to people or technology) just leads to more of the same until we finally stop[Read more]

The Secret World of Perimenopause

secret world of perimenopause

  In the days leading up to your period, do you experience splitting headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, or general un-wellness?  Do you have an erratic menstrual cycle?  Are you hovering around 40 years of age and wondering, what in the world is going on? Yeah, me too.  I thought menopause happened in our mid to late 50’s.  How could I be 41 and already going through it?  Confused and concerned, I decided to do some research, and I[Read more]

Confessions of a Facebook Addict

Hello, my name is Aimee, and I am a Facebook addict. Over the past six months, in an attempt to get my addiction under control, I have taken two, month-long hiatuses from Facebook (by deactivating my account). In doing so, I made some startling discoveries. How often I was formulating Facebook posts in my head for the everyday happenings in my life.  I caught myself in the kitchen that first day, conjuring up a pithy post about the meal I[Read more]

5 Strategies to Avoid Unnecessary Spending

Part of adopting a minimalist approach to life is living only with those things that are necessary and that bring you joy.  However, our tendency to shop recreationally counteracts that end, as we fill our homes with more and more things we don’t really need . . . or want.  As a beginner on this journey, I have found five strategies to help me stop impulse spending in its tracks.  1. Flee Temptation.  Which store sucks you into its vortex[Read more]

Simple Beauty Secrets

Your smile. Laughter. Rosy cheeks. Clean lines. Good posture. Confident steps. Hydrated skin. Soft hands, whether gnarled or smooth. Eyes bright from a good night’s rest. Honesty. Humor. Humility. A reverent spirit. Words of praise. A heart filled with love. Outstretched arms. You.     What would you add to the list?  What makes you feel beautiful, or what do you see that is beautiful in others? Let’s engage in an uplifting, inspiring, simple dialogue about beauty.  

Why I Said No to Organized Sports

Fall is here, and with it brings a whole host of opportunities to sign up, join up, start up. Only, the more we say yes, the further down we slide into lives filled with excess.  On this journey toward less stuff and more life, I realized that one thing we had more than enough of with five kids was organized sports. Over the past five years, we have allowed our older boys, ages 10 and 12, to participate in baseball,[Read more]

Simplifying in September

I know it seems crazy, with all the back to school, season-changing madness, that I would pick September to write a series on simplifying our lives, but . . .  Imagine achieving a peaceful, uncluttered, happy home now before we make a futile attempt to slow down and scale back at the holidays. Imagine saying no to Black Friday and the excessive, budget-busting gift-buying and the stress of trying to juggle a million holiday party invitations and family commitments. Imagine[Read more]