I started out 2015 repeating the mantra of ‘simple’.

Simple. Simplicity. Ease.

My barometer would be to ask myself

Self, does this person/place/thing/idea make our life simple or more complicated?

And if the answer wasn’t a neon flashing arrow toward simple, I’d quietly and confidently pass.

We all know life is messy. And much like my children, it does a pretty good job of creating chaos all on it’s own.

So I just decided that this year, I wasn’t going to add to the chaos. Easy.

But life was sitting across the table from me as a sipped my tea laughing her beautiful head off

and handed us a new job and then job instability; great health insurance as long as you’re healthy and then four trips to the hospital; norovirus for everyone (!) in our one bathroom, cottage house; amazing, miraculous news and then utter heartbreak.

 

Ease.

I always find myself exhaling deeply when I say the word ease.

Try it. Deep breaths are free therapy.

 

I know I cannot be alone in this craving for simple so I thought I’d share a few things that we’re doing to create more breathing room and some things I’ve read that have kept me inspired.

#1 We’re digging ourselves out of debt. 

We’re using the program You Need a Budget and a few tips from Dave Ramsey. We’re also having weekly budget dates (sexy stuff) and looking at our die-debt-die tracker on undebt.it.

#2 We got rid of cable.

We still treat ourselves to Hulu (can’t miss Scandal) and Netflix for the kids (Wild Kratts for life).  But we’re watching a whole lot less TV. More music, less TV. It feels good.

#3 We’re staying in our cottage house.

It’s teeny but it’s ours. We’re tackling projects that we’ve been meaning to do for a few years (I’m looking at you banquette) but put off because we were always wavering on selling or renovating. We even briefly entertained selling our house and living on a sailboat for a few years. But then I saw what Kyle meant when he said ‘sailboat’ and suddenly our cottage house looked like the Ritz.

#4 Sunday morning family breakfast.

Simple, inexpensive and delicious.

#5 No more than yes.

No to things that feel like obligations. No to people who bring us down. No to weekends that don’t allow for at least one nap.

 

Here are some other people who have forged that simple path ahead of us. A cup of chocolate orange truffle tea and one of these and I’m breathing deep.

The Art of Simple where Tsh writes about decluttering, traveling the world with her hubs and three kids and hippie stuff like not using shampoo if you’re into that kind of stuff. I’m not…yet.

Becoming Minimalist and Josh’s books. It started for him on a weekend he spent cleaning his garage instead of playing with his kids. His neighbor said, why don’t you just own less stuff.  So he pitched 70% of what he owned. Simple. Genius.

Mavis Butterfield and her mission to only spend $100 a month on food for her family. Now, growing most of your own food is not really simple in my mind (my current garden agrees) but I love her writing voice and I dream of having a garden that feeds my family, so she makes the list.

And keeping with the whole 100 theme, 100 Days of Real Food both the blog and the cookbook. Real, nourishing food. Can’t get more basic than that. Unless you try to make your own tortillas. Finn, my tortilla loving boy proclaimed, these are NOT tortillas and then spit his on the floor.

Yoga with Adriene is the first time I’ve done a yoga dvd/youtube video and did not feel like a poser. She’s real and adorable.

And speaking of yoga and youtube, Cosmic Kids Yoga. Kind of the opposite of yoga with Adriene and more like Teletubbies but I’m not exaggerating when I say my kids are obsessed. My five year old does 3-4 videos back to back and has reminded me on more than one occasion that peace begins with me.

 

So friends, what tips do you have for us on living a simpler life? I’m all ears. I’d love to know how you paid off your debt, how life without shampoo really works or what helps you breathe deeper. Tell me in the comments below or post on Facebook.

And until we meet again, Namaste.

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