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(credit)

So.

It all started when I wanted to find a recipe for homemade chocolate pudding.  I did what any savvy mom would do, and I went to pinterest.

mistake #1.

After a few hours (yes, I’m pretty sure it was hoursplural – the house was quiet, everyone was in bed, it had been a long day, and pinterest was my stiff drink to polish off the night.  don’t even roll your eyes. If you’re on pinterest, you know exactlywhatI’mtalkingabout!) So, after a few hours of, ahem, searching for a pudding recipe, I found some CUTE wall decor for my girls’ bedroom, landscaping ideas, a new paint color for the living room, a new way to organize my spice rack (which works wonderfully, by the way) tips for composting for my summer veggie garden and a latte recipe.

which I tried this morning and it’s a keeper. the latte, that is.

Just no pudding recipe.

I say all of this hoping that there are other souls that sympathize with my pinterest addiction to reinforce an issue that we have been discussing here on the blog lately – and that is Decision Management.  Meaning that I am inundated with options on every side in regards to healthy eating, green cleaners, Traditional Food recipes, kombucha flavors, and kimchi techniques.    Therefore, even the simple act of making a decision becomes complicated…and sometime we just need a breather!

Gretchen’s article last week was exactly what I needed to bring things back into balance, and I can’t tell you how many conversations my hotty hubby and I have had in the last week about SIMPLIFYING.

For those of us that are JUST starting out in the “natural” direction, it can be crippling!  There are organic tips and tricks ALL OVER the internet and it becomes WAY too much to think about after awhile…which, ironically enough, defeats the purpose of “living simply”.

I grew up watching Little House on The Prairie (10am every morning during the summer, you can betcha I was tuned in) and there are days (like this morning…) that I envision running away to the proverbial Prairie and locking myself away with a fruit cellar and a milk cow, in search of a slower pace and the simplicity of self-sustainability.

(Laura Ingalls Wildersource/credit)

I realized, after watching a rerun of Little House on the Prairie with my daughters (don’t worry, Pa made it out of the coal mine alive – he always does!) that simplicity is different to each person, and this is one area that has to be quite personal, because my simplicty will look totally different than Laura Ingalls (yes, for obvious reasons) and totally different than YOURS.

Although my family’s transition into Traditional, non-processed foods, natural living and holistic health is a process, there are a few things that I’ve come to grips with…

Simplicity for ME is NOT:

  1. Making bread from scratch every week.  I wish that it was and I’m working on it. However, in the midst of homeschooling, church commitments, and running 2 small businesses from home, somethings gotta give and it’s usually my relationship with my bread machine.
  2. Eating fermented or cultured foods at every meal.  We try, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
  3. Never buying disposable diapers. Confession:  My son is wearing a huggies diaper right now. phew. There I said it.  We cloth diaper 98% of the time, even when we travel.  However, we had a particularly busy week and this mama was tired.  So when I walked through the grocery store and I saw that plastic package, I did it.  And I’m ok with that, because my diapers are in the wash right now.
  4. Raising chickens.  Trust me, I’ve looked into it.  But then I’ve also had a reality check. we travel – a lot.  there are some things (like having chickens) that don’t fit into this season of our lives.
  5. Having a milk cow like Ma Ingalls. See #4.

However, there are places in our lives where we HAVE been able to simplify and prioritize, and it’s glorious

  1. We homeschool.  Yep, we are THAT family that has decided to educate their children from home.  It is most definitely not for everyone, and I don’t expect everyone to do it.  But it just FITS us…there’s no better way to describe it.
  2. I make meals from scratch.  Well, usually.  (Except for tonight when Rusty ordered Chinese takeout at 9:30.  You know you’ve done it too. )  We have tried to make our nutrition and our budget a priority, and making our meals at home has simplified our grocery bill and its forced us to get creative (and learn contentment…!).
  3. We eat meals together.  This sounds simple – and it really can be, but it’s one of the hardest SIMPLE things to do.  However, it’s worth the sacrifice and it’s made us treasure our family time.
  4. I (try to!) limit computer time.  Blogging makes this tricky, but it’s possible and the payoff is huge.  My 3-dimensional life is A LOT more fulfilling than my cyber one.  Silly to think about, but it’s amazing how our “quest for knowledge” online to learn one more “trick of the organic-trade” can steal away the precious time in front of us.
  5. I dabble in home remedies and natural cleaners.  Not because I’m overly concerned about being “green” but because I know that they’re safer, cheaper and simpler.  There was a learning curve here, but one that was worth the pay off, and it made me, as a mom, an active and engaged participant in the health of my family.

And there you have it.  There are other areas that I want to “simplify” and I’ll be blogging about those in the coming weeks.  But this is where I am right now. today.  I can easily get discouraged when I read other blogs and see perfectly kept homes, freshly baked bread, homegrown veggies from a massive garden…and not to mention their 5 perfectly dressed and well behaved children…that are probably freshly bathed.  As mamas, we need to find OUR OWN level of “simplicity” and work it!

There are a myriad of ways in which I’d love to simplify our lives, but we aren’t there…YET.  The key is not getting discouraged and not giving up; remembering that my level of simplicity is really complicated and unrealistic for others, and vice versa.

Living Simply is not a goal, but a process; a living, breathing way of life that changes with the seasons.

How have you “simplified things”?

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This post was linked to Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Women Living Well Wednesdays at Women Living Well, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed,  Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health, Frugal Friday at Life As Mom, Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade, Monday Mania at Healthy Home Economist, Real Food 101 at Ruth’s Real Food, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer, Mentoring Mamas at Simply Living For Him, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Seasonal Celebrations at The Natural Mother’s Network

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