My goal for the year is to live more simply. To cook meals from home with fresh local ingredients, to spend more time with friends, and to visit the new coffee shops popping up as I search search for my favorite cup of London Fog.
My word for the year is Free.
To me this means loving and living freely. Not holding myself back. It means writing down my dreams and going after them.
It means saving for the future, planning the build of a small house and sustainable garden. Growing my blog to become financially free and free of student loans.
It means changing the rate which I purchase new items, by repurposing what I have, going relatively plastic free, and minimalistic.
It means being free to be me.
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12 Ways to Live Simply This Year
- Visit the farmer’s market: This is one of my favorite sources of entertainment. Walking through the market with a friend, or by myself. Visiting with vendors from the area. Chatting with the tea lady who also is an astrologer, and the gal that makes soaps. Last summer I even sold produce myself in a van turned market truck. And need I forget the fresh flowers! I love bringing home a fresh bouquet each week!
- Stop by the bakery: I love the smell of fresh bread and pastries. If you don’t make your own bread, visit a bakery and bring home some fresh bread! Adding a cozy touch to any meal.
- Sit down at the coffee shop: I’d say I wouldn’t be a Seattlite or millennial if I didn’t enjoy spending time in coffee shops. Lately I have been ordering a London Fog instead of my usual mocha (I love chocolate), and trying to visit all of the shops that serve their drinks in real mugs or I bring my own mug to fill up! One way to skip the disposable to-go cup trend is to avoid driving through drive throughs. Not only does this help me remember my own mug, but I get to sit down and visit with locals.
- Bring a jar to the tea shop: I am loving my switch to loose leaf teas at home. Did you know tea bags are compostable but many are wrapped in plastic or paper lined in plastic? I am trying to reduce plastic where ever I can. Yes, the coffee shops use tea bags, but at least I’m trying! For the tea I drink at home, I recently started visiting the local tea shop with a jar in hand and filling it up with loose tea. It is fun to smell all of the blends. Sometimes they even have samples! I use a tea kettle and stainless steel infuser to make my drinks at home.
- Cook from scratch: I think this is a bit of a lost art. Shop the bulk bins, fresh produce, and if you eat meat visit the butcher. Shop the outside of the store instead the aisles of processed food in the center. Try having a cook from scratch night. Start by making something simple.
- Use up what you already have: A few months ago I moved out into a new apartment. Then my sister moved into my room and started sending all of my “stuff” over to me. I had lots of art supplies saved up from college from all of my illustration classes. I decided I better not keep storing it all under by bed anymore. I had better start using it. So I started painting again! Next I am going to dive in and start drawing with my collection of pens, ink and charcoal. I also started sewing again, since I insisted on keeping two sewing machines, it was time to start putting them to good use. What kinds of things are you storing that could be brought back to life? Any hobbies to dive back into?
- Draw and paint: Do you like to create art? I notice many adults have forgotten what it was like to draw with crayons as a kid. Let’s get bring that creativity back into our lives. Sitting down to draw washes away the noise from the outside world and allows you to express the imagination and feelings in your soul.
- Sew: Be it mending clothes to extend their life, quilting a baby blanket, or making your own produce bags. Sewing is a fun way to slow down, get creative, and make something special to use in everyday life. My latest projects were a baby blanket for my niece and a cloth napkin/utensil holder.
- Sit down to write: I started to sit down to write a little everyday with real pen and paper. I even started to write my blog posts by hand before typing them up. I found it so much easier to stay focused. The words flow out of my pen, and I think they come more from the heart. It is so nice to unwind and disconnect from technology and watch words flow onto the paper.
- Use up old notebook pages: Writing in a notebook takes me back to when I was younger and wanted to write stories. I seemed to only ever used the first part of each notebook. So now I am trying to use the empty pages with notes, post ideas and goals. I simply clip my story ideas together and start using the rest of the book. If it’s a story I might want to come back to. I start writing from the back of the book.
- Go for a walk: This is honestly my favorite thing to do. I would rather walk anywhere than drive if possible. I walk to the grocery store. Downtown for coffee sometimes. I even walk home to my folks whenever it isn’t too dark out. When I want to spend time with friends, I usually invite them for a walk instead of an activity we have to pay for. Save a little money, get fit, and get outside!
- Start a garden: Last year I helped grow a market garden with produce for a CSA and local farmer’s markets. The year before that I filled up my whole deck with potted herbs and veggies. On the farm my favorites were a salad leaf mix, arugula, raspberries, peppers, cucumbers and broccoli. At home I grew a lot of herbs: oregano, basil, thyme, lavender and rosemary. My favorites to grow in pots were carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and strawberries. Gardening is a great way to get outside. It is also very rewarding. At the end of all of your hard work you have a bounty of fruits and vegetables to share! Last spring I even started a little nature journal for my garden:
Embrace the simpleness of journaling and gardening, and make your own nature journal. Hop over to my second blog to learn how.
What activities make you slow down and enjoy the simpleness of life? Are there any hobbies you want to jump back into? What simple task do you savor?