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.




Daily Prompt Post: Someday

via Daily Prompt: Someday

As I scrolled through the reader today, I saw the Daily Prompt for today was ‘Someday’.

Someday‘ gives us the feeling of the future; a hopeful future.  ‘Someday‘, we will have world peace. ‘Someday‘ we will have equality.  ‘Someday‘ we will cure diseases.  The danger in using this word regularly in your own life is that we forget to live ‘today’ instead, we focus on ‘Someday’.

We all do it.  When we are young, we hope for the day we will be adults. When we are adults, we hope for the day we can have a partner or a family of our own.  We hope for the days we can travel.   We hope for the days our kids are grown.  But we soon realize, that we have been so focusing on ‘Someday‘ that the years are fast behind us.  More often than not, those things we were going to do or ideas we had for our lives, are still just sitting there waiting for our ‘Someday’.

I know we are a week, almost two weeks into 2017, but I challenge you to make a new resolution for this year; well hopefully one that will take you into the next year and the year after that.  Let’s all try, and I mean try and if you fail sometimes, that’s ok, just start over, to do our ‘Someday‘ today.

If you have been putting off something you want to try that is new to you for ‘Someday‘, try it today or make plans to do it.  The only way for these things to happen is to change your ‘Someday‘ to ‘Today’.

Val and I wanted to share our love of food, music, movies and fitness with you and just over a year ago, we started this blog.  We aren’t the biggest or the best blog out there but hey, we have grown.  We are sharing and getting great response from our readers.  The blog was something we had thought about for some time and finally just decided to do it.


So let us know what it is that you may have been putting off that you want to try today…instead of Someday!


Adios 2016-it’s been real

Buh Bye 2016!  

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

We hope your Christmases were met with good health and happiness as you celebrated the season.  This year is drawing to an end and like many of you out there, we are ready for a new chapter.  2016 will go down as by far one of the most bizarre and tragic.

The public figures we have lost this year seems to be one of the worst in recent years and 2016 doesn’t seem to want to stop taking them from us, with the most recent passing of Carrie Fisher.

The election south of the border was, well, interesting to say the least.  The result of which we will be seeing the fall out from over the next 4 years and hopefully it won’t be too notable.

The atrocities in Syria are still ongoing and from someone who lives in Canada, I can’t even begin to imagine what they are living through.  We should all be extremely thankful we have the good fortune of being born where we were.  It is truly by chance for all of us and if the same things were happening here, we would hope others would want to help us.

Global warming is at an all time high and whether you are of any religious faith or not, I fail to understand how these two things cannot exist together.  Surely if we were given this Earth, we would be expected to take care of it.

But hey, there were good things too. Maybe in your own life, 2016 was a great year.  Maybe you got a new job that you love.  Maybe you moved to a new home.  Maybe you met someone who enriches your life.

Crave Life had a great year!  There were over 12000 views to our blog and 1200 likes to our posts!  We are so very happy that you have joined us to read some recipes or fitness posts or to get some movie or music suggestions.  We love to share things that give us a smile and also things that cause us to pay attention to the world around us.

We thank you for reading and following us here and on other social media.  We thank you for the comments and when you share our posts.  We thank the other bloggers out there who have re-blogged us or have asked us to share on their sites.

We hope that 2017 is amazing for all of you and that we can say it will be the best year yet this time next year!  So I close today with a quote from the beloved Carrie Fisher, who was one of the first strong female characters I saw as a kid when she played Princess Leia.  I wasn’t a cool kid, but when I dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween in 1977, the side buns and white robe made me cooler than ever.  Thank you Carrie.

“Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well. Unfortunately, it hurts all three of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.”


30 Days of Yoga…I know, I know

Another 30 day challenge?

Yes.  Sorry.


This one you will thank me for…. I mean it.

First off, I have to thank my daughter Abbey for telling me about this one.

Most of us, especially in the areas of the country, well let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of our country (Canada) that has mild temperatures in the winter, so we’re all in the same boat here.  There are a lot of other places on this big blue planet that are experiencing the same shift this time of year.  It is just kind of hard to get out some days.  The days are shorter.  The temperatures are colder and to go back out after work isn’t always appealing.

So I turn to the internet!

Not for Netflix this time!

If you want a half hour of really great Yoga, give this 30 day challenge a try.  Yoga with Adriene is just what I was looking for.  Now you may be wondering, why do you need a video if you’re a teacher?  Well, sometimes it is just nice to have someone else guide you through a practice.  Adriene is a lovely young woman who surprisingly doesn’t teach a boot camp style of Yoga, which I just do not want for myself.  One thing we have to remember about our practice is that it is for you.  Not for the person next to you in class or your friend who can do a headstand for 15 minutes.

This 30 day challenge starts very gently; easing you into a practice so it is perfect for beginners as well as well seasoned Yogis.  She guides you through the basics and works up to more advanced poses, but don’t let that scare you, she gives wonderful alternatives for those who are not quite ready.

I am half way through this 30 day challenge and have no problem fitting it into my day.  This one you can do even before you go to bed and it won’t get you all pumped up like some do.  You will gain strength and flexibility throughout this 30 day challenge and it will give you a wonderful foundation to build on your own practice.

So before you turn on the Netflix or the Food Network, go to You Tube and check out Yoga with Adriene‘s 30 day Challenge.  She also has many other videos on there if you want to check them out!  It will be just the relief you need from the craziness of the Holiday season!  Take of yourselves!

Cocktails Anyone?- Yes please!

December is here and there is so much going on!

No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, there are gatherings that may call for an indulgence in food and drink.  We tend to eat things we may not normally and also drink a little too much.

Don’t worry!  We’ve got your back!

We had an evening of experimental cocktails…I know…we are awesome.  We did this just for you!  The result was a few amazing recipes that we want to share.  Perhaps you can give them a whirl over the holidays!

The drinks we chose were mainly gin based but I am sure vodka can be substituted for any of them, if that is your drink of choice.


Getting a few of the recipes from Amelia Freer’s book Cook. Nourish. Glow, we set out to concoct a few cocktails that were delicious and have some nourishing qualities as well.





The first one we tried was a simple white wine spritzer.  This is a great way have your wine and water too!

Here’s how you make it:

Take one lemon and zest it and mix with 2 teaspoons of sea salt.  Wet the rim of your wine glass and salt the rim with the lemon/salt mix.  Add a few cubes of ice and pour the white wine over the ice and add a splash of club soda.  A lemon wedge is a nice added touch.


You get a refeshing, lemon bursting drink that contains no added sugar!  Deeeelish!

The next one we tried was a Granny Smith, Vodka (we used Gin) and Matcha Cocktail.  Ok…have to admit, sounds weird.  Also have to admit, looks weirder.  Tastes pretty darn good though!  So if you want to get your Matcha on in your cocktail, give this one a try 🙂

Here’s how to make the Granny Smith, Vodka (or Gin) and Matcha

Val has a juicer, so we were lucky to have this at our disposal.  We juiced 6 Granny Smith apples (approx 1 cup, although we were able to get more than that), 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha powder, 1/4 cup of vodka or gin, 1 tablespoon of cocnut nectar, crushed ice and club soda.

Whisk up the matcha powder into 2 tablespoons of water.  Put into a shaker with the juice, vodka or gin and coconut nectar.  Shake baby shake!   

Pour over the crushed ice and splash it with some club soda!

Enjoy the greeness of this delicious cocktail!

We garnished ours with lime and juniper berries. Very refreshing and matcha-y!

Check back tomorrow for a couple of more of our holiday cocktails we have sampled from this amazing book.  AND one of Crave Life’s own creation!


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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Declutter or Rearrange? The Grey Zone

via Daily Prompt: Rearrange

I wasn’t going to do a Daily Prompt today, in fact I have a recipe to post, but I scrolled through the WordPress Reader today and saw this Daily Prompt and couldn’t help myself.

As some of you may have read on our blog, I am attempting some minimalism in my own home,and life.  I have sorted through, thrown out, given away various items to thin out the ‘stuff’ that we haven’t seen or used for a very long time.  The word prompt, Rearrange, caught my attention right away.  The process of decluttering or minimizing is tricky, it can often be disguised as rearranging.  I found myself guilty of this very thing.

Feeling oh so proud of myself as I sorted through boxes of stuff in our basement last year, and getting rid of a huge portion of it, emptying boxes and finally parting with things I thought would be difficult to lose, I found myself this month looking around that area of the basement and thinking,’there is still so much stuff down here’.  Did I just ‘rearrange’ things?  Did I just put things in other boxes and amalgamate into bigger boxes?

I began to open boxes and realized that there is still so much more to do.  Sure, I had purged some stuff that seemed insignificant but I haven’t really challenged myself to minimize.  I still need a basement to store this stuff!  Now, sure, there will be items I have to store.  My kids don’t really have homes where they can store some of these items that are theirs, but how much of it is stuff I want them to keep and not what they want to keep?

Over the next few months, when the weather is keeping us inside more of the time, I will have to put on my big girl pants and challenge myself to not just rearrange, but to really purge some of the old toys, art work, books, and the sporting goods.  I may need to recruit them to see what they actually want to hold onto for their own lives.  They may not want their grade 2 spelling work book!

I have said this before, and here I am saying it again, the act of minimizing is a process.  It is one that you have to revisit often.  It is one that you have to question constantly, “am I minimizing, or am I rearranging?”


Accidental Reading

It happens once in a while when you are looking for something particular online and you come across a website that sucks you in and holds you there, reading, clicking, scrolling and in this case signing up to follow this incredible blog.  Design the Life You Want To Live is a blog by a super talented woman named Lynne Knowlton.

My husband, Tom and I have our anniversary coming up at the end of November.  We like to get away for a night but in November, in Ontario, the weather can be very unpredictable.  We usually opt for a night in Toronto, maybe taking in a show, concert or just wondering around.  I was Googling things to do at the end of November looking for something different.  I came across a post link that said they offered Airstream rentals.  How cool would that be?  We have always talked about doing a trip in a camper, more likely a VW Bus but the Airstreams are really coming back and people are resurrecting them.  Lynne and her family bought an Airstream and completely restored it.  In fact, I dare say it is done wayyyyyy better than it once was.  The trailer, and I use that term loosely as it often conjures up an image of a Winnebago with tires on the roof, is parked on a piece of their land where they also have a …. treehouse!  Yes, you can rent out a treehouse too!

To get more info, click on word Airstream.


Look at the inside…seriously gorgeous.  This is total Glamping.

Did I mention there is a cabin and a treehouse for rent on this beautiful property?  Lynne and her family have done them up and they are worthy of HGTV quality.  Seriously amazing.

Now, the rentals are done for this year, but I will be looking into this for a summertime adventure for sure.  This blog doesn’t just end here.  You can literally spend hours on this blog.

Lynne is a designer and shares with her readers, not only her stunning design ideas in her home, cabin and Airstream, but the blog is filled with so much more.  She highlights Do-It-Yourself projects, Travel highlights (my fave post is Travel Tips that won’t make you want to punch people), Recipes, for not only food but cleaning products too, and a section on Life & Advice, which takes in just about any topic.  Lynne writes with a wit and sharp sense of humour that makes you want to get to know her more.  She is candid and honest in her style of writing that I don’t think is a style at all.  It is just her.

For all you other bloggers out there, Lynne also has a great section on Blogging.  You may want to take her advice on this, her numbers don’t lie.  I’m excited at 250 followers…yeh..well she gets that on a daily basis so I will be reading this section a few times.

As you read through her blog, you will find some personal stuff too.  The most moving posts have to do with her husband, Mike.  They are in the midst of a really tough time and Mike is going through some torturous cancer treatments.  Some people may wonder why she would chose to divulge such personal information and share it with the same honesty she shares do-it-yourself tips.  My take is that the need to be honest and up front with her readers is unavoidable; and that means sharing everything.  Not everything about life, her life in particular, is perfect despite thinking it may be if you just judged by the look of her blog.  By sharing the heartache of the awfulness of cancer with her readers, she is connecting with them on the most basic of levels, human survival.  I can’t imagine how hard these posts are to write for her.

As you read through her blog, check out Lynne’s About page.  She is unpredictably candid here as well, not pretending to be something she isn’t.

I had to share this blog with you as there is really so much to go through and if you just want to look at the pictures, believe me, you can lose a lot of time doing that too.  Design the Life You Want to Live is definitely a blog to aspire to achieve and admire.