Monthly Archives: April 2012

Nourish Your Soul in 3 Simple Steps

gorgeous vegetable garden
{Stunning Vege Garden - via Pinterest}

If we don’t eat good, nourishing food, we get sick. We become weak. We have poor energy. But if we feed ourselves healthy, nutritious, satisfying food, we become happier, healthier, more energetic.

This is not rocket surgery.

And yet, so many of us (myself included) forget about feeding the parts of ourselves that drive us. The parts that define us. The parts that set us apart, make us ‘us’, make us happy or make us content.

We forget to feed our soul.

Feed your soul by giving yourself time. Feed your soul by putting that need high on the priority list. Feed your soul by finding it’s best food and relishing in it.

Here Are 3 Simple Steps to Discovering What Feeds Your Soul:

1. How Do You Know You’re Soul is Nourished?

There is a feeling of contentment. Of fullness. Of pride for having done something for you. Something that will sustain you for days. It will carry you through difficult times, tantrums, sleep deprivation, sickness. And it will make the good times feel even better.

2. Question: When Was the Last Time Your Soul Felt Well Fed?

Take a pen and paper and jot down the last five times your soul felt like this. (And do not refer to things that serve others first. These are about you and only you.)

  • Where were you?
  • What were you doing?
  • What were you thinking about?

3. Take Time and Do Each of These 5 Things

Talk to your loved ones, tell them you need time. Tell them you’re out of the house for an hour on Saturday morning, or that you’re taking a pilates class every Thursday night. And tell them that their support is important.

And as you try each of these nourishing activities, you will discover what it is that is your ultimate soul food. You will find that thing, that activity that makes your heart full and your spirit happy.

Then – and this is the key – do that thing. Often. As often as you can.

 

It may be:

  • writing for 30 minutes every day
  • jogging 3 times a week
  • gardening, digging, weeding, planting
  • painting
  • building model planes
  • renovating old furniture
  • singing
  • mountain bike riding
  • going to church
  • playing guitar

Whatever it is, make a promise to yourself that you will care for your soul as much as you care for your body.

You and your family will reap the rewards. Promise.

 

Please share with us, what feeds your soul? For me it’s gardening. The feeling I get after spending an hour or two with my hands in the dirt, working the earth and growing some of our own food, it is indescribable. I feel restored.

 

{Don’t want to miss a thing? Subscribe via email right here.}

Dear Internet, Stop Making Me Feel Like Shit.

The Grass is Greener Where You Water It.
{via Pinterest}

Except, it isn’t the internet that makes me feel like shit, is it?

It’s me making me feel like shit.

We’re surrounded by images of perfect homes, perfect parents, perfect kids. We are bombarded via Pinterest, Facebook and hundreds of thousands of lifestyle blogs, magazines and websites. It is so easy to believe the photos, the light-hearted way perfect lives are described.

But come on. We’re intelligent people. We know that everyone has crappy days, weeks, months. Everyone yells at their kids. Everyone fights with their partners. Everyone has stages in life where the clutter and the mess and the stuff that doesn’t feed our souls takes over. And you feel overwhelmed, undervalued, absent.

I love a good lifestyle blog, a good Instagram feed, a good few minutes perusing Pinterest. But it is not real life. It’s no-one’s real life – but it’s particularly not mine.

We are choosing to give these myths credit. We are choosing to compare our lives to these edited, censored glimpses. And it’s wrong.

We are left sapped of our energies, feeling inadequate, less than. And do you know what, folks? We are doing this to ourselves.

I propose we put these beautiful images, these perfect glimpses, these wonderful ideas and magazine-worthy lives where they belong. As entertainment. As “sometimes” fun and occasional frivolity. Let’s stop allowing them to make us feel like shit.

Because you are enough. And if you think you’re lacking, then looking at images of impossibly perfect toddler birthday parties on Pinterest sure as hell won’t help you get any better.

{Full credit for this post’s inspiration goes to Beth at Revolution From Home. I came across this amazing post on Twitter and really wanted to share my thoughts.}

 

{Don’t want to miss a thing? Subscribe via email right here.}

Chemical-Free Cleaning: The Shower

{From the archives: This post was first published early 2011, but is making an encore because it’s so insanely helpful}

Week in, week out, this annoying, thankless task needs to be done.

When I was pregnant with Isla I became super-sensitive to commercial bathroom cleaners and their horrible, toxic smell so I had to find a natural alternative. It’s taken me a couple of years to perfect it, but I wouldn’t consider any other option these days.

You’ll need:

borax
white vinegar in a spray bottle
damp cloth
microfibre cloth or old, soft rag

1. Spray your shower walls and floor (or all tiled surfaces) with undiluted white vinegar.

2. Sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of borax over your damp cloth and use this to scrub your tiles and grout, concentrating on any dirty/soap-scummy/mildewy spots. Leave the vinegar and borax while you clean the rest of the shower.

3. Give the shower a quick spray to rinse off the vinegar and borax, being sure to concentrate on the floor to rinse out any excess. Also give the glass surfaces a quick spray with water.

4. Spray the glass surfaces with your undiluted vinegar and wipe over with a clean damp cloth, concentrating on any shampoo or soap scum around the bottom.

5. Wipe over the whole shower with your microfibre cloth to dry and remove drips and streaks.

Fun? No. Green? Most def.

For those who don’t like the smell of vinegar, it’s good to know that it does not linger. Once it’s dry, the vinegar-y smell is replaced by a freshness. Alternatively, you could spray your shower tiles with tea-tree spray afterwards (10 drops of tea tree oil in 500ml water). This will mask the vinegar smell and also stops mould/mildew forming on the tiles.

Do you have a green-cleaning solution for your shower? I’d love to hear it!

 

{Don’t want to miss a thing? Subscribe via email right here.}

2012 in 2012: March Update

You didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you?

I may have taken a break recently but the 2012 in 2012 Declutter Challenge is still going strong.

Here is what I have rid our home of since my previous update:

Items Donated or Given Away:

  • linen (blankets, towels etc) x 44
  • kids clothes x 163 That was a big one, folks!
  • my clothes x 12
  • accessories x 7
  • home decor x 14
  • baby items x 37
  • books x 6
  • magazines x 6

Items Thrown Away (Beyond Repair or Use):

  • odd socks x 11
  • miscellaneous crap x 9

Total = 309

 

Add that to the 407 items already gone, and we’re at a total of 716 items of clutter, eliminated. 36%.

But now, I think we head into the hard stuff. The amount of things I can reasonably throw away is diminishing, as we’re at a point where lots of the easy-to-spot useless crap is gone. I haven’t been a hoarder for a long, long time, so I’m going to have to start making decisions – real decisions – about things soon.

Do you have trouble letting go of certain things?

You can follow my progress for the 2012 in 2012 Challenge here. If you’re new to the challenge, you can learn more about it here:

 

{Don’t want to miss a thing? Subscribe via email right here.}

5 Ways to Create a Slow Bedroom

Serenity, warmth, comfort, rest. That’s what a bedroom is all about, right?

Which is funny, because our bedroom appears at times to be all about piles of folded laundry, random toys, empty glasses and four in a bed.

Slowing down one of the most important rooms in a home is a wonderful way to start simplifying your life. It will give you room to relax, space to disconnect and the quiet to rest.

Here’s 5 ways you can turn your bedroom into the haven you need:

1. Declutter.

Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air.

2. Go Small

The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff. Sparky and I now share one small wardrobe. We know it’s time to organise and cull when that space gets cramped.

3. Get Rid of the Gadgets

No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I admit I have been guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I definitely sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before I bed.)

4. Light and Airy

You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.

5. Somewhere to Sit (Other than the bed.)

A bench at the end of the bed is your best option – it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out the clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid it, then consider a smaller chair instead. A bentwood chair or a mid-century dining chair could work beautifully.

Obviously, everyone’s idea of the dream bedroom is different. But if you need to slow down, simplify, declutter and reconnect, then a slow bedroom is what you want to create.

Not Convinced? Give it a Trial Run

  • Leave the technology out of the bedroom for a week and see how it makes you feel.
  • Clear everything off your bedside tables – with the exception of a book, lamp and glass of water. See the serenity some empty space brings.
  • Make an effort to open the curtains and windows every morning.
  • Try making your bed every morning – first thing. Sounds ridiculous, but it starts your day with a small achievement and makes your bedroom into the haven you deserve.


Let us know how you go, and share some of your favourite bedroom images. Or do you already sleep in a slow, serene space? Share it, pin it, tweet it. We’d love to see it.

(All images via Lonny)

 

{Don’t want to miss a thing? Subscribe via email right here.}