Thursday, June 18, 2015

lately creating...

lately I've been creating...

a small stack of goshorty bibs with this delightful brushed cotton 'peas in a pod' print

creating space to slow down
creating space to be there for my children more
creating space to hold them through illness

(and creating some cushion covers for the brown couch with colourful fabrics that I love like mad! it's lovely to add more colour, more patterns, more life, more me to this house) 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

things that have helped me declutter and simplify

I've been really good at blaming different life factors for the state my home:
- I have never had to do the almighty downsize for an overseas relocation
- when I got pneumonia at 27 weeks pregnant and had to stop working due to illness and a prem baby, I lost the planned 3-7 weeks of "nesting" when my maternity leave started
- both babies were sickly leaving me little down-time
- my two-storey house makes it impossible to keep an eye on the kids (and vice versa because without that, MUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!) so I can't declutter
- I could go on!

so in line with the thinking, reframing and action I've slowly embraced, I have found the following things to help with the decluttering/downsizing/simplfying process:
- being kind to myself!
- was where I started, after seeing a "27 fling boogie" tip in a Listener magazine.  while I don't feel like I fit in the target market for the site, it helped me find a few helpful daily routines to help me get on top of the chaos.
- Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project (and to date, I always keep one duchess drawer empty)
- my darling friend Nic loaned me a copy of Marie Kondo's book on the Japanese art of tidying up in january of this year, and it kicked me up a gear.  touch every item. does it spark joy? no? it's gotta go.
- friends with smartphones and Viber who are on a similar journey.  progress or before/after photos are exchanged, as are words of encouragement or decisiveness where needed.
- and the Simplify and Clutterfree With Kids books
- 40 bags in 40 days challenges - not just limited to Lent.
- - which I found via podcast, then discovered the website.
- most importantly, variety.  getting to know myself more means I find out what works for me.  I get bored, so if I can change tactics or motivators then it's refreshing enough to get me going again.

my two children have been so very blessed with toys, craft supplies and more.  it became too much.  coincidentally when I discovered how much it was taking over, a friend happened to tell me about a book she then loaned me which covered the very same thing. is the website, and the book of the same name has been incredible in putting things in perspective from an expert's point of view (as in, someone with appropriate qualifications and years of experience behind them, not just a parent; yes I'm picky about these things!), and guiding decisions on how to simplify life for them.

it's also led to our television going on 3-month holidays, and a huge reduction in screen time.

plus most of their toys have been donated or handed-down and all that remains are some craft and play-doh supplies, imaginative play cooking toys, some angry birds figurines for endless hours (or minutes!) of construction, knocking down and giggling... and Lego.  so. much. lego.

the result? calmer kids. less outbursts. more imaginative play.

and calmer us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

running poker

tomorrow morning, 6am, I get these pretty things back on my feet for a new challenge a friend set me: running poker.

it's a running streak competition. nzd$50 buy-in, and you must run at least a mile (or 1.6km?? I'm going for 2km each day to play it safe!!) every single day. logged within a group on Map My Fitness, you can see who is keeping up with the daily challenge and who has dropped out. we get one $20 buy-back-in opportunity, and it's last runner standing - winner takes all.  there's almost a dozen of us in the group - game on!

the iphone weather app tells me it's going to be 10 degrees celsius, with 50% chance of rain at 6am tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

juney june june

I was having a wee nosey at a checklist for june over on the 'slow your home' blog.

with my 4yo curled up on my lap (rare occurence these days: he is unwell) it was a wonderful opportunity for me to read the post about june being a month of change, to listen to the gale force wind and my humming fridge, and reflect on how much my life and home has changed since embracing a slower way of living.  there's still a long way to go!

in this post, Brooke McAlary shares how many items she has decluttered from her home so far this year. it had never occured to me to do this, beyond the 4 times I've challenged myself to downsize 40 bags in 40 days.  so I think I'll give it a go, and see if I can get rid of 2015 things for the rest of 2015.

a year ago I was slowly slogging away at about 4 areas of my house that looked a lot like this:

and while they are much less, there's still a long way to go.

... here goes nothing!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

slow your home

there are so many wonderful and free tools for people like me trying to slow down.

recently I discovered podcasts, and one that I am listening to often is a new one called 'slow your home'.  the woman who does this podcast is australian (with a very easy-to-listen-to aussie accent.. phew!) and bits of her story sound like bits of mine. 

she speaks about her own journey towards living a slower, simpler, more intentional life. she also interviews names from the minimalist/simplifying blogs and websites I have followed with interest. 

it's much lovelier to listen to this inspirational channel than the howling Wellington wind, or to my children getting grumpy while I try to cook dinner. 

my current favourite: rhythm, baby - this ties in so well with both my own life, and what I try to promote with new mothers at my work.

rhythm trumps routine.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

a little tidying up

this little character, created by one of my little men, kinda sums up how I've been feeling about life lately.  (except my hair is never that full and fabulous!)

so I've been decluttering, tidying, downsizing, donating, and embracing a slower life with less.

I've also deleted about 2/3 of the previous posts on this blog and will probably mow down a few more in time.

inspired by Gretchen Rubin talking about a one-sentence journal, I'm heading more towards that sort of thinking. say more with less. but also remember some of the special things.

getting the stage itch again..

last year I returned to the stage.

I love community theatre, I love the rehearsals, the mucking about, the final weeks of stressing over learning those last lines you stumble over, the costume fittings, the excitement.

opening night is insanely scary and exciting.

my last play was last year after nearly 7 years off, and it was a bit-part (as usual, a bit of light-hearted comic relief) as Greta the air-headed secretary in Agatha Christie's 'Witness for the Prosecution'.

here's a little backstage opening night selfie with my theatre bosom-buddy (and serial-community-theatre-actress) Jess:

and she went on to win an Antoinette for her role as Romaine (the leading lady). that's Wellington's version of the Oscars. terribly proud of her!

so now I'm seeing the audition notices coming through every now and then, and wondering how I could fit in another play... hmmmm...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

gardening hack

we live on top of a hill i like to call 'mount doom'.

it's solid clay, it's almost always windier than the rest of the suburb, and i struggle to learn how to garden here.

five years ago my lovely and talented sister taught me a bit about gardening, and she helped us lay some pavers down.  the carpet thyme hasn't spread between the pavers as we'd hoped, but it slowly moves... sadly not as fast as the clover and other weeds.

i found a solution: take broken/ugly garden pots or kitchen plates, give your kids some tools, and permission to smash, and voila! you can have some colourful fillers inbetween the pavers while the plants take their sweet time to grow.  they still blow around or away in really powerful wind, but i'm not losing nearly as much soil. and it looks purdy!