Category Archives: Simple

Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee

Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee - Episode 141 of The Slow Home Podcast

Given the name of this podcast it’s perhaps unsurprising that Ben and I often talk about the idea of creating a slow home – that is, a home that works for you, dependant on your lifestyle, circumstance and priorities. So often we talk about this in really broad terms though, not necessarily getting in to the nitty-gritty practicalities of what a slow home actually looks like.

So this week we decided to go deep in to the question of home, and specifically, what does the ‘home’ part of a slow home really look like? How does the idea of slow impact the spaces in which we spend so much of our down-time? How can we adopt those ideas into the building we live in now, or the building we may live in in the future?

It was a complete no-brainer for me to speak with Amelia Lee about this topic, as Amelia is someone who walks the slow home walk. She’s an architect based in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland, who helps people create homes that support the life they want to live, rather than create houses that require a life-support in order to exist, and what’s more, she’s been on her own journey towards intentional living for the past few years and understands better than most the impact it can have on the spaces we live in.

Today we talk about the philosophy of Slow Home design and why mindfulness and intention should be the cornerstones of the home we create. We also talk about Amelia’s personal journey towards intentional living and how a trip to Uganda proved the pivotal point for her in recognising the excess in her own life and society in general, as well as what that meant for her fast-growing architecture firm.

The idea of a Slow Home – one that is simple to live in and light on the environment – is something Amelia and I discuss in depth, including ways you can incorporate the idea of a slow home in to both your current house, or any future home.


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You may have heard that we recently hit 1.8 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Unsubscribe from the rat race with Paul Jarvis – The Slow Home Summer Series

Unsubscribe from the rat race with Paul Jarvis - The Slow Home Summer Series


I’ve been reading Paul Jarvis’ Sunday Dispatches and listening to his Invisible Office Hours podcast for a long time. So long, in fact, I felt like I knew him before I’d ever spoken a word in conversation! So it was beyond a delight to sit and chat with him, and even more delightful to realise he is exactly the same in conversation as in his writing.

We spend quite a bit of time talking about the importance of being our true self online, and the BIG difference between that and sharing things we haven’t actually processed yet. Paul has written a lot about comparison and the myth that everyone else is living more interesting, photogenic lives that us, so we dive in to that too. I’ve linked to a fantastic post of his below that I would highly recommend you read if you find yourself playing the comparison game too often.

(Actually, I’ve linked to a handful of my favourite articles from Paul. Do yourself a kindness and take a read over the weekend.)

Paul also talks about his lack of routine, why busy-ness is a crutch we lean on to avoid feeling our feelings, and what he’s watching on TV these days.



Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!


Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

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Support the Show:

If you love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Here’s to a simple year

A Simple Year

While I’m still technically offline until next week, I wanted to pop in briefly to wish you a Happy New Year!

I’m not really one for resolutions but I always find this time of year really exciting. Possibilities are refreshed and hopes are new and there’s just something wonderful about the potential fizzing just below the surface, don’t you think?

More often than not though, this feeling of excitement and possibility disappears before January is behind us. We find ourselves stuck in old habits. Revisiting old issues. Battling the same old piles of clutter and mess, and feeling the same old sense of overwhelm as we realise we don’t know where to begin.

That was me for years, until I discovered the delight of living with less. Less stuff, less stress, less pressure, less comparison, less shopping, less debt, less clutter.

I’ve spent the last five years learning that having less stuff actually gives you a lot.

It gives you the opportunity to focus more on the people and important experiences in your life.

It gives you more time, more energy, more care and more compassion.

It means you can focus on experiences over things. Travel instead of trend-hopping. Memories instead of souvenirs.

Over the past five years as I’ve slowly learned to pare back, find what’s important and live (mostly) according to those priorities, life has become easier. Simpler. Sweeter.

  • We have afternoon naps on the weekend
  • Cleaning up takes minutes, not hours or days
  • I spend less time dusting and organising
  • There is more time together on the weekends
  • We entertain more
  • Our horizons are expanding and we’re travelling more as a family
  • I worry less
  • I compare our life with that of others far less
  • The overall feeling of life is that of contentment
  • In other words, life is good.

Not to say that living a simpler life makes things perfect. It doesn’t.

Our kids fight. We get things wrong – alot. We make poor spending choices. We get impatient. There is still the annual influx of gifts at Christmas (although this is much less than it used to be).

Simplifying life just makes it easier to deal with this. And to me, that is the single biggest benefit of living a simpler life – over time it just makes living life easier. The daily tasks, the constant stresses, the annual pressures – these things become easier to deal with when there is less stuff cluttering up your home and your head.

The difficulty, I would say, is in getting to that point. How do you actually create that simpler life, when right now everything feels so complicated? When you feel so overwhelmed? When you don’t even know where to begin?

A Simple Year.

There are literally thousands of places to find simple living information and inspiration, both online and off. This blog and many others similar to it have hundreds of suggestions on how to start, where to begin, how to declutter and what to do once you’ve finished. And they’re all great sources of information. In fact, that’s how I came to discover simple living and finally get started on my own journey.

But if you’re looking to make 2016 the year you create a simpler life, you might be interested in joining A Simple Year.

This is the third year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of this course and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’re achieving.

Rather than having to work through the process of simplifying by yourself, A Simple Year is an interactive online course created by some of the best known writers in the simplicity movement (and me). Leo Babauta, Courtney Carver, Cait Flanders, Colin Wright and Tammy Strobel (among others) have come together to create something amazing. Each month you focus on a new area of simplicity by working with one of the simple living advocates mentioned above.

  • January – Clutter
  • February – Busyness
  • March – Travel
  • April – Cooking
  • May – Digital
  • June – Work
  • July – Money
  • August – Self-care
  • September – Mindfulness
  • October – Eating
  • November – Relationships
  • December – Gratitude

If you’re looking to make 2016 the year you simplify your life, I can tell you that our 2014 and 2015 members have had incredible success and this year is going to be just as transformative.

There are already hundreds of people signed up to take part, and registrations close at the end of January. Check out for a full outline of each month’s module and to register.

In the meantime, we’ll be back to regular podcasting (and maybe the occasional blog post!) real soon.

Happy New Year! xx

How to deal with relationship clutter – SHP020

How to deal with relationship clutter - SHP020


First Thursday of the month means it’s time for another hostful episode!

This week we’re taking some more listener questions and trying our best to answer them, and I also talk a little about my decision to stop blogging.

When we recorded this episode I was only a week into my decision to step away from the blog, so it all felt very new and uncertain.

Now, a few weeks later, I can easily say that it’s been such a positive change for me and my family. My mental and physical health has improved and I’m back to regular mindfulness practices. What’s more, I feel lighter. I’m happier. More prone to dancing in the kitchen, making (and laughing at) stupid jokes and gardening with the kids. It’s all good.

Actually, it shocked me to realise just how much those things had slipped in the months leading up to my decision to stop blogging. It was such a gradual shift that I didn’t recognise the changes until I took a break.

I plan on recording an episode of the podcast about the process and the changes I’ve experienced so I won’t spend any more time digging in to it now.

Instead, here’s a look at the questions Ben and I try and answer today:

  • How do you deal with friend or relationship clutter?
  • Is there room in the life of a working mum to pursue slow living? Or is it solely the domain of the single-income family?

Usually I’m excited to share these conversations, but that second question really had me talking in circles. And while I did my best to articulate my thoughts on what is a really complex and highly individual issue, I worry that I left too many things unsaid. But there’s only so much we can fit into a 30-minute conversation! 

I’m really looking forward to getting your thoughts and feedback on this one, so please feel free to leave your comments below. 


Today’s show is sponsored by where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including On Writing by Stephen King (and yes, it is the second time I’ve recommended this book but it is THAT good.)  Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.


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The Slow Walk


Over the past couple of weeks, I stepped back from the online world. I went 10 days without checking emails and over two weeks without posting to the blog or social media.

And, somewhat surprisingly, the world didn’t stop spinning.

The world didn’t stop spinning, but my head certainly did.

And do you know what I realised? I’ve shifted so far away from my personal philosophies that I hardly recognise myself.

Back in the day, before my breakdown, before I closed my business, before I discovered the delight of living a simpler, slower life, I used to rush everywhere.

Everything was hurried and harried. I was never off. I was never at peace. I could never sit and watch a movie without checking my email. I couldn’t enjoy playing with my daughter without feeling like there was something more important to do.

While I was offline these past two weeks I realised I had become that hurried, harried, disengaged person again.

Ironically, writing, blogging, podcasting, teaching, tweeting and Facebooking about slow and simple living has made my life fast-paced, hectic and far too complicated.

Previous to this offline break, I can’t remember the last time I was able to fully disconnect from work and be present in my day to day life. What’s more, it happened so gradually that I wasn’t even aware of it until now.

So I’ve come to a difficult, but ultimately positive decision: I’m stepping back and making some big changes.

That means I’ll be closing The Bloom at the end of August (members, all details are in the email I sent on Friday) and aside from show notes for the podcast, I won’t be posting here regularly.

Instead, I’m going to spend the rest of 2015 focusing on the podcast and our in-person Slow Living events, while reclaiming the slower, simpler life we’ve worked so hard for. (I’ll also be sending an exclusive article to newsletter subscribers once a month.)

I need to re-engage with my priorities. I need to let my ego go. I need to stop thinking that success and importance come from busyness. I need to simplify.

I can’t, in good conscience, talk about the benefits of living a slow, intentional life if behind the scenes I’m living in a way that is anything but. That’s hypocritical and it’s doing everyone a disservice.

The truth is, living a slower, more intentional life means making hard choices and tough decisions. It means saying no to things I want to do now in order to say yes to things I really want in the future. 

This has not been an easy decision, which is why I can tell you it’s the right one.

I also want to tell you how much your support, kind words, emails, messages, comments and encouragement has meant to me over the past 4+ years. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being part of this community and thank you for your support and your understanding.

Here’s to walking the slow walk.