Hand-Picked Peach: Week 33

You're a Peach

I have been enjoying this week’s peach since Christmas.  I love vintage things.  There are times that I think I have been born into the wrong time…until I remember than air conditioning and indoor plumbing are relatively new and then I’m so glad that I live during these comfortable times.  LOL!

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I love Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Etta James.  There is something so romantic about their music.  I feel like I’m just a sophisticated as Audrey Hepburn when I listen to it.  Because of my love for this old school music and my love of vintage things, I got in my mind last summer that I wanted a record player and vintage records, and this past Christmas my husband made my dream come true and he bought me this portable Crosley turntable.

First of all, I know nothing about records.  I just knew that I liked the nostalgic and sophisticated feeling of listening to a record.  This Crosley player has been so easy to use.  I simply plugged it in, set the speed, and I was ready to go.  Luckily the speed is on most record packages, because again, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to this stuff.  I’m simply learning as I go.  This player also comes with software to convert your records to digital files, which I have not used because I listen to my podcasts in the car instead of music.

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The other thing that I love about this player is how old-school and classy it looks.  It has the perfect vintage vibe even though it is new.  The size is also really nice.  It doesn’t take up a lot of space when it is out, and if you have a small living space, you can always close it up and store it when it is not in use.  I do leave mine out on the table, next to my vintage Zenith 1938 radio (which we haven’t gotten around to restoring yet).

I have been able to get almost all of my records for $3 or less at local thrift stores, yard sales and Half-Price Books.  I scored several kids’ records at a yard sale and play them for the kids when it’s no-TV time.

I think that this turntable is perfect for any vintage-loving person that wants to dip their toe into records.

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Disclaimer:  The above post does contain some referral and affiliate links which means if you use the link and decide to purchase an item, I receive a little money from the company, at no extra cost to you, to help keep the blog going.  Thank you for supporting the blog!

Anything

I have promised to write a review of this book for a few months now, but I kept putting it off.  Honestly, its because this book rocked my world.  It had me questioning my faith and my love of God.  It pushed me, and that can sometimes hurt.  This book made me take a hard and honest look at our life and our church life.  But I loved it.  In the midst of all of the soul searching, Jennie also made me feel like I wasn’t alone.  There were so many instances that I felt like she took the words right out of my head.  Like when she said, “I care what other think because deep down I want to be seen as great–I want to matter.  I find it impossible to forgive; to truly be able to forgive people who hurt us must be one of God’s greatest miracles.”  Or when she wrote, “There is something to humility that is costly…something resembling humiliation…an outright declaration of the wreck we are without God rather than composing a beautiful existence that barely needs a savior.”  Sound like you too?  Ready to hear more? Continue reading

Hand-Picked Peach: Week 32

You're a Peach

This week I have another podcast for you.  I started listening to The Simple Show just this year.  The host is Tsh Oxenreider, who is also an author that blogs over at The Art of Simple.

Similar to Marie Kondo, Tsh does not believe that the amount of stuff you have determines whether or not you have a simple life.  Her approach to simple living is to find your life’s purpose and then focus and develop your life around that.  Only the things that get in the way of you living this purpose are considered excess and should then be dealt with.  For example, maybe you are in charge of the children’s nursery at church but you really feel called to women’s ministry.  You would need to then make a change.  Stuff isn’t necessarily the problem of not living a simple life, so having a giant collection of ceramic cats is not an issue….unless they make you uncomfortable….with all of their little eyes following you around the room…(shudder)

Anyway, Tsh interviews guests that are living out their purpose so you get a firsthand account of how they dealt with letting all of the excess go.  One of the most recent episodes I listened to was about a family that sold their house and moved from Florida to a farm in Texas, as UNPAID interns, in order to learn how to become farmers.  They didn’t feel like cubicle life was for them, so they made a change.

Many guests are creatives of some sort and work from home while taking care of their kids, so the question of, “How do you do it all,” frequently comes up and the answer is always that they don’t.  Some of have help during the day so they can write.  Some focus on homeschooling and writing and the laundry and house cleaning are still family chores tackled on the evenings and weekends. Many talk about how their work looks differently in different seasons of life (babies versus all kids in school).

I know you will love this podcast and the guests so head over to iTunes and subscribe!

The Simple Show: Conversations on Passions, Projects, and Living Simply

Simple March

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I know that I haven’t been blogging on a very regular schedule lately, but I promise I have a very good reason.  Can you keep a secret?  I’m having a new website created!  I’m working with the very talented Katie Dahl from Dahl House Designs.  She is being too good to me and really guiding me through the process.  The writing part of blogging comes pretty easy to me, but the techie stuff, not so much.  That’s why I’ve been a little absent here; I’m working on creating an AMAZING website with an AMAZING lady, so I hope you’ll forgive me for being a bit sporadic these next few weeks as all of the pieces fall into place.

So it’s ten days into March and I haven’t told you what I’m going to be working on this month for my Simple 2016.  Honestly, it may not all get done, but here are a few things. Continue reading

StitchFix Review: Fix #2

StitchFix Box Two

Last week I mentioned that I had started to use StitchFix, a personal styling service.  Before I go into what I got with this Fix, I thought I would explain a little how StitchFix works.  You start by filling in a personal style survey.  This includes rating images of outfits, telling the stylists what your style is, as well as what sizes and measurements you are.  After you fill in the survey, you pay a $20 styling fee and StitchFix sends you five personalized items.  You get three days to try things on and decide what you want and what you’re sending back.  If you keep an item, the $20 styling fee is deducted from the price of the item(s).  If you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount!  You can get shipments scheduled every few weeks, every few months or have them come when you manually request them.  Ok, on to the review! Continue reading

Hand-Picked Peach: Week 31

You're a Peach

Just in time for Easter, this week’s peach(es) are the bunnies from Cuddle+Kind.  The ones I bought for L and J just arrived this week and they are so sweet!  These are a bit expensive for your average bunny for Easter, but I was willing to pay that to support a business with a good cause such as Cuddle+Kind.  For every doll they sell, they provide ten meals to hungry children.  After reading the content on their site, I was shocked to find out that 45% of deaths of children under age five (3.1 million kids) are due to poor nutrition.  Cuddle+Kind has partnered with World Food Program USA and Children’s Hunger Fund to provide meals to kids at schools.  I had not thought about the fact that they say that providing meals at schools give impoverished families even more incentive to send their kids to school to gain an education.  That’s a two-for-one!

I hope that you consider purchasing your littles’ Easter bunnies (or other doll) from Cuddle+Kind.  As I mentioned in my post a few weeks ago, we vote with our dollars so when spending money take time to purchase from companies that are doing good work.

 

Turning 30 Goal Check-In: Month 4

Learning Keeps You Young

Busyness comes in seasons.  We are seem to be packed with things to do all through October.  We get a small break in November before Thanksgiving, but then its full out until the end of December.  January is usually pretty quiet, but February was packed with things to do on the weekends, including J’s first birthday party, and even most weeknights.  All of this to say, I didn’t make huge strides in my goals this month.

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Hand-Picked Peach: Week 30

You're a Peach

It’s Fuller House day!  This week’s peach is Fuller House on Netflix.  Today is the first day of the first season of the Full House sequel series and I couldn’t be more excited.

Over the past few year or so I have started to develop a bit of a girl crush on Candace Cameron Bure for her courage in taking on Hollywood by being very open about her faith.  And I remember loving Full House as a kid.  It is my hope that Fuller House will become a show that I love to watch with my kids and family.  We need more family appropriate TV in this world!  I feel like it’s either cartoons or something that is inappropriate for my little repeater to see.  There is very little middle ground, but hopefully that is changing today.

Fuller House is supposed to be about DJ, Kimmie, and Stephanie all moving back together to raise DJ’s kids after she becomes a single mom.  We will miss Michelle as the Olsen twins decided not to participate, and it is my understanding that Michelle is supposed to off in some foreign country working her dream job.

My only problem will be to not watch the whole season this weekend!

Spark Joy

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy

Yesterday I told you about the book by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I mentioned the follow up book, Spark Joy.

In Spark Joy, Kondo delves much deeper into each category of clutter that you will need to tackle and how to decide what sparks joy for you along with illustrated instructions for her folding and storing methods.  I definitely think that you need to two books together to make the most of the KonMari method of tidying (decluttering).

The first two chapters of Spark Joy are all about joy, what it is and how to fill your home with it.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo does not believe that there is a set amount of things that a person should own.  In Spark Joy she says, “Always keep in mind that the true purpose is to find and keep the things you truly love, to display these proudly in your home, and to live a joyful life.”  She also says, “It’s far more important to adorn your home with the things you love than to keep it so bare it lacks anything that brings you joy.”  I love this because the whole reason behind me exploring a simplicity in my life is so that I can live joyfully and with less stress.  It is not so that I have nothing and live in a white box.

In the third chapter of Spark Joy, when Kondo starts discussing storage, she says, “During the tidying process, there comes a moment when you realize that you have just the right amount of stuff.  I call this the click point.  It’s the moment when, after discarding everything but the things you love, you know that you have all you need to feel content.”  Contentment is at the heart of simple living.  You cannot live simply if you are constantly searching, hustling and striving.

Chapters four through eight give you detailed help in sorting each category of things in your home.  She covers everything from clothing and books to office supplies and medicines.  In this section of the book there are also illustrations on how to fold or store items.  This is extremely helpful for those of us that are visual learners.  I had a harder time understanding the folding and storing methods in Tidying Up because there weren’t illustrations.

The last section of the book covers how to add joy to different rooms and areas in your home as well as the pleasant, and perhaps unforeseen, results of getting your home in order.  She speaks of clients that love lives fell into place after tidying up because they could focus on their relationships instead of having this feeling of stress because of their living conditions.  She talks about one woman who thought she had stopped loving her job, but after tidying up and getting rid of the excess, realized that she did still love her job, but because she was having to spend her evenings cleaning things that didn’t bring her joy, she had no energy left for her job.  All of that changed after she got her house in order.

I think that Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up should be sold as a set.  You need them both to fully grasp the KonMari method.  I have noticed as I’ve started the process of tidying that I do feel more joyful and expectant of a great future and life.  Even if you don’t implement every aspect of the KonMari method, I think these two books are must-reads for anyone looking to create a home they love.

To learn more about Spark Joy visit here.

To learn more about Marie Kondo visit here.

Disclaimer:  I received Spark Joy from Blogging for Books for this review.  This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and decide to purchase an item, I will receive a little money to help keep the blog going at no extra cost to you!  Thank you for supporting me and the blog!

Tidying Up

Good morning!  Ugh!  We’ve had internet issues the past few days so I hadn’t been able to get this post up.  I’m sure after me taking a break last week and then me still being absent yesterday, a normal post day, that you were wondering where I was.  Well, I’m still here!

I finally went ahead and bought Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I read it and her follow-up book Spark Joy this month.  There are definitely bits of wisdom in both of her books and they are starting to help me change my mentality toward all of our “stuff” and clutter.  There were also some things that I haven’t completely bought into as far as her method goes.

Marie Kondo is a professional organizer from Japan that has created what she calls the KonMari method of tidying (decluttering).  She promises that if you commit to the KonMari method that you will never have to declutter your home again.  It was this promise that got me interested in the book.  Never having to declutter again?!  Sign me up! Continue reading