25 March 2012

3-2-1 Stop - a Book Review

It's always an honor when someone trusts you with their carefully-crafted words. Lorilee Lippencott recently gave me the privilege of reading and reviewing her latest, 321 Stop - stop running and start living, just released last week. You can read more great reviews at Amazon, but trust me, this is a must read for anyone looking to find an individualized guide to living a more simple life.
Fresh off a trip to the African Bush, I paused at the observation of our society waging a battle against too much stuff while people all over the world suffer from a lack of basic human needs. It’s a cultural war, but each of us has to figure out our own exit strategy. In 3-2-1 Stop, Lorilee Lippencott gently steers you to a life where less truly is more. It’s not just another Minimalist-How-To. It’s a practical, emotional, & spiritual guide to owning a smaller slice of the proverbial American Pie and discovering a more manageable lifestyle. 
Unlike other blogger-turned-writers, I didn’t feel like Lorilee was regurgitating her free blog into a money-making script.  Each chapter is packed with encouragement, inspirational advice and valuable resources. Lorilee’s conversational approach invites you to come sit “in a clean, uncluttered, cozy chair with a cup of something fancy” while you ponder some real questions. It’s a process of self-examination where you have the freedom to make your own assessment of what to keep and what to let out of your life.
Whether or not you agree with Lorilee’s Christian perspective, you’ll be blessed by her guidance as you learn to analyze your life and establish your own goals. If you apply the concepts, you’ll soon be on the path that is right for you – not necessarily a path comfortable for society at large – even if it is the road less trodden. 

If you like the book, you'll love her blog Loving Simple Living

23 March 2012

By Special Request - Mary's Scones

By Special Request... these are the BEST scones I've had outside the mainland. My friend Mary brought these to me and was so gracious to share her recipe. I've posted her version of the recipe as a jpeg, so it might be hard to read, but it's really not mine to share... I didn't feel free to "rewrite" it, so you get it straight from her handwriting :) 

I made these today and forgot to glaze them, but they were still wonderful. I use blueberries, but the other variations are equally wonderful. 

Not Gluten Free, but worth it!
Pre-glazed Blueberry Scones

16 March 2012

Welcome To Front Porch Sittin' Season!

It's Friday.
It's Spring Break.
The girls are playing in the neighbor's dirt pile.
My tea is perfectly steeped and just the right temp for sipping.
It's a beeeeeeeee-you-tea-ful morning.
Yep, it's the official start of Front Porch Sittin' Season!

Crummy phone-pic, but you get the idea

For about 8 months out of the year, our front porch is my favorite room in the house. I'm one of the lucky few that doesn't suffer from seasonal allergies, so unless it's freezing cold or blistering hot, I'll be out ease dropping on my neighbors enjoying my newly landscaped yard.

Our rarely visited living room boasts a set of Salvation Army furniture, but my front porch is dressed in style - well sorta'. Enough wicker seating for three, a small table to rest your tea, and an outdoor rug for your weary feet. Just right for a conversation in the Spring.

11 March 2012

Four Criteria to Avoid Trading Cash for Clutter

Wandering the mall used to be a frequent and expensive after-dinner event for us. Then we discovered the freedom of living debt free.. and later, the freedom of living clutter free. We are enamored by the idea of living off the land in a tiny house, but I'm not exactly the Pioneer Woman, so shopping is still a necessary evil. To avoid trading cash for clutter, before we take anything to the cash register, we measure it against these criteria:

04 March 2012

What Does it Really Cost to Own a Car?

In August 2005, just five short years after promising myself I'd never purchase a brand new car and take a financial hit for depreciation, I brought home "Kitten" - a brand new 2006 VW Golf TDI. I parked her in the garage and her diesel engine puuuuuuuuuuuurred. With a promise of 40+ mpg, Kitten was actually going to save me money and pay for herself in less than a decade.

01 March 2012

Kids Are Minimalists At Heart

Some kids have the beach... Mine have the construction site next door. Either way, I vote sand as one of the Top 100 toys for kids. They are fascinated with it.

My two girls have big wanters. I can't go to any store without at least one of them selecting 100 things she thinks she needs. While they do insist on having a baby doll to clutch at nap-time and bedtime, they don't really play with any of their toys. But dirt, sand, and sticks will entertain them for hours.

Minimalish kids?? I think so.