Showing posts from September, 2015

Taking Time to Relax

What do you find relaxing? Do you find listening to your favorite music relaxing? Are you a person who feels rejuvenated when you spend time outside or go for a walk? Maybe you need peace and quiet to relax and just be. Other people find it very relaxing to be with friends or family. Or do you have trouble identifying what is relaxing?

Identify what is relaxing

In trying to live a simple life, identifying what is relaxing is part of the process. Look for something that allows your mind and body to unwind and recharge. When you strip away all the distractions of daily life, the must-dos, the requests from others, can you identify what is relaxing?

Honestly, my first response is "It depends." What I might find relaxing one day, may not work the next. My moods tend to change and what appealed to me yesterday, might not today. I have a few go tos, like being outside, or finding a room that is peaceful and quiet for Yoga stretches.
Trial and Error: As I mentioned above, what I fin…

Commotion - Is it Good or Bad?

Commotion is all around us. Sometimes it is more prevalent, and sometimes we allow it to cause stress in our lives. How we view that commotion, is the impetus for it to be stressful.

The other morning, a lot of things were happening at once. My daughter and I were leaving the house for a charity walk at the same time our son was leaving for work. We could hear the noise from construction about a half mile away, and the neighbors were getting a new roof which necessitated a lot of workers, their trucks in the street, and many air guns to attach the shingles. We all started feeling the stress of the commotion.

My drive to work is full of traffic and I consider that commotion because it is always changing, always eventful, and usually stressful if I let it. Any number of things happening all at once, or as the dictionary defines it: a state of confused and noisy disturbance. This usually translate into stress.

So how can commotion be good, instead of bad? My feeling is in the way you ap…

Save Money by Being Healthy

What a goal, right? Save money and be healthy. Yes, I definitely would like to accomplish this goal! Today I was thinking about our food budget (which is never where I want it to be) and realized that I could spend less money and be healthier at the same time.This led me to think about other things I could try that would be considered healthy choices, and would save money.

Evaluating the things we spend money on, I could possibly eliminate or reduce them and replace them with something healthy.  For example, replacing a bag of chips with homemade popcorn costs less and is a healthy eating choice. Yes, it takes some time to make the popcorn, but it is so much better for us than a bag of chips. Additionally, the whole bag of kernels cost me under $2, which has has 27 servings of 5 cups of popcorn. If you do the math, that is 135 servings. One bag of chips costs us around $3, is full of salt, fat, and preservatives, and is no where near to as many servings as in a bag of popcorn. My hus…

Free Isn't Necessarily Free

Free is king in our house, and recently, I have been trying to evaluate each "free" item we happen upon. For you see, for us - free isn't necessarily free. Often there has been some associated cost, such as additional money, time, and/or clutter in our life. As I look back at all the free things we have accumulated over the years, this is what I found our "costs" to be:

Furniture: We have accumulated a lot of free furniture over the years through various means. When we moved into our first home, my parents gave us a set of dressers from my grandmother. While very nice, and made of solid wood, they showed wear and tear that prompted my husband to spend many hours refinishing. A similar story accompanies two beautiful, antique pieces of furniture in our living room. Both were salvaged from the end of people's driveways in our neighborhood, and both required many hours of refinishing along with the cost of stain and polyurethane. Our children are magnets for f…

Changing My Reading Habits

I am an avid reader and devour books, mainly fiction. Books with happy endings are the only kind of fiction I enjoy - edgy, distraught-filled books don't interest me. Non-fiction books interest me, but I don't often take the time to find ones that I would like to read. Blog posts interest me also, and I have been reading a lot of them lately using Feedly. 
Lately, however, I have not felt as satisfied with my reading. I am rushing through my reading. When I start a book, I can't put it down; I have to finish it. So I read while I am cooking dinner (yes, I have burned dinner because of this), I read while my husband watches a movie, I read during the news, I read after work. 
Reading like this, which I liken to "pigging out" on food, is not fulfilling anymore. In fact, I feel it is not adding anything positive to my life; in fact, at times, it is taking away from relationships. It is stressful. Basically, I have to finish the book. Often times, I am only half lis…