On my SIMPLICITY radar

It’s become a broken record saying, but it holds steadfast: Gratitude brings happiness into your life.

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I like this gratitude recording app because it pops up at random times during the day (hence the name!). I like going back through my days to see what was bringing me joy.

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Paleo eating has proven challenging when traveling to multiple destinations with the family.

I can’t remember what author stated that one who is mindful about what they eat “shouldn’t be caught with their pants down” (meaning, having nothing in my purse and a plethora of fast food joints in view are not a good combo). I have discovered some great purse-worthy snacks and these are at the top of the list.

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This bar  and this jerky have gotten me through some moments when there wasn’t any food for me around and I was in peril of snarfing down garbage.

 

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Loving this book—a good summer read when there’s much reflecting about the necessities of life. I have fallen in love with so many quotes from this gem…notably: “How do you grow into someone you like?”, “We must root to rise”, and “No one is static. You didn’t marry one person, but all the past and current and future people within that one person”. Molly Caro May is a poet and a visionary. Can’t wait until she writes another book.

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HGTV candy

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This tiny house blew my mind on Tiny House Nation. It had so many cool uses of multi-use space. I’ve got a big ‘ole crush on Zack Giffin...and not only for his building skills!

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Finally, a fan letter to the Matriarch of Tiny (the BIG tiny, that is)…

Dee

Dear Dee,

I adore you. Your wit..grit..humor..bravery. All of it. I got some strange looks on the plane while reading your book—seems laughing wildly is not acceptable in small spaces these days. I was moved by your story, but even more inspired by your character and attitude about life. You are a treasure and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

With admiration-

Lara Blair

(Hmmm…seems someone has an author crush. I can’t help it! There are so many wonderful simplicity writers out there putting their uplifting words on paper. So glad to have time to read this summer! ‘Beauty of being a teacher.)

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What are you eating, reading, watching this summer, friends? I’d love to hear!

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Small House ~ Big Style Part III

I think I’ve found my favorite tiny house. 

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Can’t you just see this little guy soaking up the sunlight in the high plains of eastern Oregon? Ahhhh…someday my scrub yard will come to fruition. No mowing!

Tiny home owners Andrew and Gabriella Morrison know a thing or two about design.

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See more of this home here.

Somehow this house doesn’t seem so small—could it be the photography? Or does it really look like I could hold a small yoga class in here?

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I’m so drawn to modern design with these little homes….like this one.  So crisp, bright and clean…yet, where in the world would I put my giant windmill in my kitchen?

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I’m also a bit obsessed with small houses that involve the BEACH of some sort. Small house + hammock + sand = YippdedeeHappiness

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via.

 

Two things for tiny house obsessed peeps like me:

1) Tiny: A Story About Living Small is out and rentable from Vimeo. ‘Been waiting for this as I usually don’t like to pay 20 bucks to rent a movie.

2) Tiny House Nation is new and looks promising. ‘Got good reviews too!

 

This was my view from our little “drive-thru window” in the Twinkie this week.

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It was a hub/wife trip and we had the best time riding our tandem around the Olympic Peninsula, taking ferries from island to island. ‘Magical time!

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I have to say that I’m totally addicted to living in a small space in the summer. Everything’s within reach and it takes 3 minutes to clean. More time for adventure! I’m thinking that’s what the tiny house folks experience as well.

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This is a “nighty night” from the silver bullet. ‘Hope all you friends are having a fabulous summer wherever you may be.

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On my SIMPLICITY radar

Radar

 

I’ve been waiting for this new read to come out.

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Have you ever watched Dee Williams in action on Youtube? She is so incredibly likable and charming. I just wanna have tea in that little bungalow.


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Another good read comes from Claire Diaz-Ortiz, who really has some fabulous ideas in the area of our digital lives:

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This book  speaks about a topic that is going to become hot in our country as our brains morph from our digital connectedness.

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Ever since the Happiness Project I’ve been tirelessly mindful of the small things that bring joy in my life. I like this idea:

 

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100 Happy Days is a fun challenge. I think it will require more effort on my part to recognize what I’m grateful for….not a bad idea.

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When I took complete control of my health, juicing and green smoothies became a big part of my diet. I have at least one every day. A girl can run out of interesting recipes to toss in the Vitamix!

Enter my new favorite kitchen tool:

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If you haven’t seen any of Farnoosh Brock’s stuff, it’s worth a look-see. She is lovely. And positive. And inspires one to take charge of his or her gut health.

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I wish I could go to this conference.  Joel and Dan really know how to put an event together. If you’re in spitting distance (or further) from Minneapolis, this should be on your list.

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‘Very excited to be Freshly Pressed last week. Thank you, WordPress! Super fun to reach some of you I would have never found. Your comments were so appreciated and it absolutely made my week!

Also thrilled to be a link on the BecomingMinimalist newsletter. Joshua Becker makes me think on a weekly basis. ‘Love that guy and his message.

 

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Who else fantasizes about living in a tiny house?

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I believe I’ve found it.

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…only available in Spain, of course.

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(The rest is here at JestsonGreen)

The perfect big-windowed simple house to plunk down in a field of sage brush. Light galore and rooms big enough to be alone. Perfection.

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Hellooooo…Laaaaa-raaaa….

You have two kids, two dogs, a busy husband and a lovely home in the country. How is this kind of small house fantasy even helpful at all?

I guess this is the practical part of this series.

I do a lot of daydreaming. My husband would tell you this. My kids would definitely agree that I dream out loud. Lately, though, I’ve been keeping the small house dream locked away deep inside. Honestly, I think it would freak out anyone related to me if they knew what I was thinking.

I get it.

It’s not practical.

We just built a barn, for crying out loud…we are not going anywhere (for now…in five years…who knows?). I realize this, yet my internet wandering rests with Kirsten Dirksen, who whets my appetite for small dwellings with style (thank you, Dan, for the link!). Tiny house books are creeping into my bookshelf, hiding behind cookbooks and giant photography anthologies. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I’m betting it has something to do with a desire for a drastic change during a time of steady progress into a simpler life.

I know the answer to my change-loving, wanderlust-prone heart’s questions:

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With prayers of gratitude, I scoop in all the contentment I can muster into the crevices so desire and wonder can’t fill them with not-right-now visions. I find that fantasizing and having an active imagination about the future really can co-exist with current happiness and contentment. Yet, I realize that it’s important to not let curiosity turn into longing. Longing is never good. It suggests that something is missing…and there might be, but it’s definitely not in the dwelling category in the life of my family. I’ve found that my small house fantasies increase when my life gets more hectic. Work commitments/kid taxi schedule/weekend plans = more time on the couch with Tiny House Swoon on the laptop.

So, for now I’ve decided that it’s okay to window shop where these teeny tiny abodes are concerned. It’s entertainment and also plants teeny tiny seeds of thought for the future.

Surf on!

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This week on my SIMPLICITY RADAR

Radar

Good reads:

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Dan and Vanessa Hayes have written a book for moms….and friends, it’s a great one. If you’ve ever tried to be SUPERMOM instead of a super mom, this one is for you. So many  useful tips and lots of great videos and links. They poured their hearts into this project and it shows.

For the next two days, a pdf of the “Super mom vs. Supermom” will be available on the Edit and Forget it page on Facebook. You can request to be a member through this link. After that, I’m assuming it will be available on their site.

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Thank you, Jen Hatmaker, for completely obliterating existence as I know it in the Blair abode.

If simplifying, sorting and tossing were Olympic sports, you would’ve watched me on TV last month, instead of the crazy people on death defying jumps and small skirted cuties scraping ice chips off their tushes in the rink.

I am on a mission, friends, (hence the debut of c’est blog).

Mrs. Hatmaker is a personal hero of mine. In her latest book, Seven, Jen’s family identified seven areas of excess and in seven months fought against “modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence”. This woman makes me think—seriously think (and laugh out loud too, because she’s hilarious) about our own family ways. I feel a surge well up from deep down that has been festering like an active volcano with an eruption plan.

The good news is there are a lot of people who are stopping and redirecting themselves…and their families…just like the Hatmakers.

There is hope for our excess-filled nation. The promise of a new awakening to Less is More excites me to no end and books like this one push the movement further into view. Thank goodness for that.

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Documentaries:

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I have Amazon Prime and watch lots of documentaries for free. Stumbled on this one somewhere and I found it hopeful for a generation who might be changing the game.

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Blogs:

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For the design obsessed there’s Home Adore They feature many small dwellings that are loaded with good design and space efficiency.

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For the tiny house obsessed (raising my hand over here in Washington):

Small House Swoon

and

Tiny House Swoon

provide some dreams for what may be possible someday.

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Project 333 wardrobe additions:

After purging random multi-colored items that never seemed to go with anything, I have assembled quite the widow wardrobe. I found the perfect addition to my summer capsule items:

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Lovely for day or night (just add wedges and a sassy scarf). It is made of swimsuit material, so if you wanted to spontaneously hurl yourself into the waves, it would most definitely be okay.

Speaking of sassy scarves, I’ve been turned on to a wonderful company that creates the most beautiful accessories (and all for a fabulous cause):

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I figure this will be my go-to scarf for all of spring and summer. It’s light, neutral and goes with everything.

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‘Hope you find some of these helpful. Thank you for being here as I blissfully blog away the ideas scampering through my busy brain.

I’m uncovering a whole-lotta awesome in this quest for less.

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Small house, Big Style ~ Part One

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via. Minimallisimo

Part One: Dreaming about it.

I’m obsessed with small dwellings that exhibit extremely good design. I’m not talking good design in terms of efficiency & good use of space. That’s a given.  I’m talking beautiful lines, lotsa light, simple & sleek finishes, minimalist furniture and a few eclectic pieces original to the designer. No plywood here…just tons of thought put into a space unique to its owner.

I have my favorites.

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via Sunset.

I have my Pinterest image arsenal that fuels my desire for small and lovely.

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Via. Urlaubsarchitektur

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via. Olson Kundig

I have my small dwelling dreams in place.

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I believe I could live in a 800 square foot space if it had high ceiling and tall windows.

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via Jose Campos

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via. HighestHeels

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Via ArchDaily

It’s always been about the light for me. Being a Northwest girl, I crave sunshine most of the year, but will settle for gray window light. I like viewing the world outside as a part of the inside world. That connection is happiness to me. I used to think I needed the space to twirl (you know…flailing about to Earth, Wind & Fire while dusting), but now I think I could live in a small space if it was designed with light in mind.

I also love landscaping that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.

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via Boutique homes.

Currently, the hub spends countless hours mowing acreage at the Blair Abode and I’ve groused more than once about it eating up the few sunny days we have for fun & frolic. Not to mention the fact that he is looks like a sci-fi character with his huge goggles, bunny suit and face mask (he’s an allergy nightmare). It’s that whole own your space, don’t let it own you deal. My dream of a high desert lot in Bend, Oregon lives on (above). Pretty, but easy.

It’s true that we fill the space we live in.

Smaller space, fewer spots for Crap We Don’t Need. The small space in our Airstream, The Twinkie, is so fun to navigate when we travel. I really love having everything within arm’s reach.  I even like how the small closet forces me to choose a few favorite clothing items for a trip. ‘Simple living at its best.  It has me daydreaming about cross country road trips in retirement. Being a teacher, I realize that for now these trips will be summer excursions…practice runs for when we’re gone months at a time. It has me wondering why we didn’t do this as a family before the kids went to high school. I know the rational answers, of course, but there were days when it could’ve happened and practicality won out.

That’s a whole other post for another day….Part Two comin’ at ya soon.

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P.S. Dan Hayes, from Simple Life Together, recommended a great Youtube vlogger for some small dwelling entertainment. Good stuff!