The beauty of Less Stuff

A new year usually brings some resolutions for most of us.  Aside from the obvious of wanting be more healthy or more active, we also look for ways for our lives to be easier.

We feel the need to organize and declutter our belongings.  We go through items and decide whether we have used them over the course of the last year and then decide if we will use them in the future.  We rationalize the items we want to keep that hold sentimental value or that we hold onto ‘just in case’.  Not that this process isn’t helpful; many of us find it necessary to feel more clear and able to move onto the next year with a clean slate.

The problem is that we make room by getting rid of stuff, only to fill it with more stuff.  It is different stuff, but stuff nonetheless.

So what if we didn’t replace the items with other items?  What would happen to us?  Would we feel like we were lacking something?  or…would we feel like we were freer?

In the past I have tried to stick to the rule of  ‘if I buy something, something else has to go”  If I bought a new sweater (well…used more like), then I would have to give away a sweater I hadn’t worn in a while.  This kept the growth of stuff to a nil.  However, this year I am going to try to learn to live without the replacements as well.  If I get rid of a sweater, there will be no need to get another sweater for example.  The purchases will only be necessity based.

Using this logic, I am assuming, I have mostly what I need (aside from food obviously), so I will check in on occasion and let you know how I am doing with this.  The goal in this little experiment is to acknowledge that we have way more than we need.  The result I hope is that without replacing items I give away or purge from my home, that the temptation or ‘need’ to replace will wain.  With that, less stuff happens.



Hesitate-Daily Prompt

via Daily Prompt: Hesitate

Well it has been a while since I’ve written using a Daily Prompt.  I look at them each day and know right away if it is something that jumps out at me.

I guess there is some irony here as the prompt that I actually finding something to write about is ‘Hesitate

Hesitation has been something that has followed me around like a loyal dog.  It is always there, filling my head with doubt in my abilities and second guesses in my choices.  There are countless opportunities that I have turned down because of hesitation.  There are experiences I didn’t get to have because of hesitation.  But, has hesitation saved me from bad choices?  Has my need to feel ‘safe’ with my options actually saved me from something worse?

This is how we rationalize the hesitation.

The truth is, we don’t know.  We don’t know what the outcome of the choices we didn’t make.  We don’t know if our lives would be different, better, or worse, for the most part.

At risk of sounding like a motivational speaker, hesitation stops us from stepping outside our comfort zones and exploring our full potential.

So with this in mind, I challenge you to do one thing a week that you have hesitation about doing.  It doesn’t have to be huge.  It doesn’t have to be skydiving or mountain climbing or anything risk taking.  The point is to put yourself in a position you may not normally be.  That could be trying a new class. Posting something online you normally wouldn’t.  Join a club you’ve been wanting to join.

Is hesitation preventing you from being your best?  Is hesitation preventing you from sharing your gifts with others?  Is hesitation stopping you from helping others?

As I think about hesitation, I am reminded of a quote:


Emerson says so much in this quote.  We go through life with with so much focus on the material.  We hunger for money and things, yet hesitate when it is time to share those things or our time with others.  We follow along this path because that is what we are taught to be important from a very young age.

It is when we don’t hesitate, that we not only reach our full potential internally, we also help others to reach theirs.  Our focus changes from ‘how is this going to affect me?’ to ‘how can I affect others lives?’  The avarice we have been taught to strive for is changed and each time we overcome the hesitation, we grow and help others to do the same.




Shop ‘Til You Drop.

Re-blogging this as a reminder that no deal is worth the craziness of Black Friday. The retailers want you to think you need this stuff or that you friends and family need stuff. They need you. They need your time and attention. Go out and enjoy eachothers company instead. Make memories. Happy Weekend Everyone.

Subatomic Tourism

009 Succumbing to shopping fatigue, finally.

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Harvest Time

Val’s garden had an amazing year.  Her veggies were bursting at the seams and the herbs and flowers have grown really tall.  This year not only did she have her Echinacea, she also had the Calendula.  The other plant she decided to give a go was Fennel .

Val’s Fennel grew to about 2 1/2 feet tall and grew to be a really full plant.  We decided that we would do some harvesting this weekend as the weather is starting to turn a little colder and the plants are turning to seed.  The Fennel is the one we were most excited to try.  Both of us love Fennel in salads and Val had found this great recipe to try.  We were ready for a super fresh Fennel and Blood Orange salad.


The plants were huge! We set out to dig out the bulb that we would use for the salad.  And…this is what we got…


What the…?  This didn’t look like a Fennel bulb.  It smelled like Fennel.  The greenery was Fennel.  We tried to hypothesize why the bulb didn’t end up looking this but we just figured it was the soil or placement of the plant.  We did attempt to ‘harvest’ what may be a bulb but we ended up with a collection of roots that were completely inedible!


Yeh…sometimes things just don’t turn out like you hoped they would.  So when this happens there is one thing to do.  Make a drink!


These were so good I thought I would share them too!  Gin with pomegranate juice and lemon slice.  Delish!  It certainly took our mind off the epic salad failure!

Val figured out later that the Fennel was the herb Fennel and not the Florence Fennel that is used in salads.  We had a good laugh with our drink.

I left with a good bounty of cherry tomatoes and kale.  Val loaded me up with some Fennel, Tarragon, and Mint to take home, which I will dry and use throughout the year.  Some of the mint is in my water jug and some Tarragon is infusing some olive oil.  I was able to pick some Calendula and Fennel seeds to dry as well.

Val had a bumper crop this year due to some timely watering and some organic compost.  The hot summer we had certainly helped to extend this season as well.

Val has one more flower to share with you this week that she grew this year.  Her Chamomile plants bloomed beautifully this summer and she is ready for the upcoming winter with some great ways to use it. Stay tuned for our next post on Chamomile.

I have to share this one last photo of one of Val’s cats, Hope and her squirrel friend.   Too cute!


Day 19 Assignment – Blog Roundup

So I have been participating in this Writing 101 course with WordPress.  Although most of my posts are on another blog I write for, when I saw today’s assignment, I wanted to share with you some great blogs I have found that epitomize what Val and I are aspiring to be.  They have great recipes, fitness ideas, and also just some all around great vibes to them.

Hope you enjoy this week’s blog round up.

The first one is a falafel recipe that was posted on A Spoonful of Nature.  This recipe is super easy with a handful of ingredients.  I love falafels and they are such a yummy alternative to meat.  This recipe is not only vegan but gluten free too and also no no worries if you have a sesame allergy.

Another blog that had a great post this week was from Fit is a Feminist Issue.  This particular post centred around the phrase, ‘You do You’.  I loved it.  I have an 18 year old daughter and she says it all the time.  When I first heard it, I thought, ‘Wow, that is so accurate’.  I love how this cuts through criticisms like a knife, without being harsh or coming back with an insult.  This article really highlighted in a humourous way.  Great read.

The Flexi Foodie also had an article posted this week that was really great.   It was all about overcoming inner criticism. We all have negative views of ourselves at some point and she gave some great ideas on how to turn them into more positive ways of thinking, which is something we can all use help with.

Finally, I started following Amaryllis Log after coming across this blog.  It is mainly a photography blog, but her latest post was so fitting.  It is entitled, Polypores and Funghi.  While running this week, my running partner and I spotted some super cool funghi growing on the bark of some trees.  There was also some in my back yard too.  Her photos are just gorgeous and I can’t wait to see more of her work.

Hope you enjoy this week’s blog round up and my assignment 19.  Thank you for indulging me!