The Pursuit of Simplicity

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I was reminded this morning of a quote by Yvon Chouinard.

“Going back to a simpler life is not a step backward.”

How often I have to remind myself of that, daily even. In our world of 9 to 5 desk jobs, stuffy board meetings, etc. it’s tempting to think that’s all there is. And if you encounter the corporate world, they will wonder why you are doing what you love to do and will persuade you in another direction – as if they own your life.

I’ll be honest, I have my doubts. The influence from corporate life is insurmountable. Going back to a simpler life feels like a step backward. But that’s how I know I’m doing the right thing. When you do something for yourself, you will doubt and you will receive push back. But that’s all the more reason to press on.

So no matter what your calling is (maybe it is the 9-5 desk job), here are some ways you can push through the criticisms and enjoy life as it’s meant to be lived.

Trust in the Lord with this new endeavor

This is a huge one, guys. Anything I do: cooking, my ability to write or style a table is because God has blessed me with these abilities. It’s not really about me at all, it’s about Him. Making sure my heart is in the right place and giving glory to Him is what’s most important. The bottom line: I would rather risk it all and have a deeper relationship with God in the process than be safe and be far away from Him.

Listen to your critics AND your fans

This reminds me of something Michael Scott said (he was a very influential thinker), “Don’t listen to your critics, listen to your fans.” I don’t think that’s entirely true because your critics shape you just as well as your fans. But I’ll tell you something, doing something you love and having people appreciate that is more reward than money. I have had too many interviews with no call backs, or no interviews at all after turning in an application that I thought was very well done. Hopes and dreams are crushed because a couple people make a decision about someone’s worth. Take that with a grain of salt, but move on and create your worth in this world.

Never give up

Okay, I know this is super cliché but it rings true! If Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would have given up on their dreams where would we be? (I wouldn’t be telling you this now that’s for sure, and a whole host of other things) Though I don’t intend to be the next Steve Jobs, no matter how big or small your dreams are, pursue them with everything you’ve got. Look guys, we’re only given one life. And that life is WAY too short to waste it away being somewhere you don’t want to be. (Of course there are obligations and seasons but that is a post for another time)

What are some of your dreams and how are you pursuing them? I would love to hear from you!

Mornings Like These

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Do you ever have mornings like these? Nothing to do, nowhere to be, save for enjoying the beauty of your own home. I had a morning like this. It got bright as the sun rose, highlighting the fall colors on the trees. But something inside of me knew it was cold out. So I stayed inside and began my morning ritual – coffee and local eggs, which I opted to bake in my cast iron skillet. The new dining room table was looking beautiful adorned with florals, the light creating sharp contrast on this bitter cold morning – a rustic look which I adore.

watching the world wake up

coffee and farm fresh eggs

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breakfast

It’s important that we have mornings like these once in a while, and dare I say often, if possible. The reason I love mornings so much is because it’s a fresh start to a new day. And how you start your day is how you intend to end it. When we slow down our mornings, we slow down our entire day. And by that I mean being more mindful, creative, and careful about what we do and say. Our days become full of meaning rather than walking through life blindly.

I implore you to take a day or a few days to slow down your mornings. Drink a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. If you can’t watch the sun rise, get up earlier (still have coffee) and take some time to reflect, pray, and meditate. You might be surprised how much better your day ends up!

How do you like to start your day? Comment below!

{Gather} The True Meaning Of Hospitality

The holiday season is coming up and that means decorations, gifts, parties, etc! For the first time, I have a home I can entertain in. It’s new and exciting! I know I want to do away with all the fluff and get back to the basics. I’m hosting a Thanksgiving gathering with our closest friends around the idea of simplicity.

If you’ve never heard of me talk about this before, it’s part of the Slow Living movement. Instead of focusing on decor and lavish dinners, everything is much more simplified and centers on human conversation and connections.

But even in the effort to simplify things, it can get quite complex and hectic. Keeping up with the Joneses… or Kinfolk, Local Milk, whatever you want to call it. I can’t honestly say I’m not inspired by them. We’re all following someone.

As I was doing my daily She Reads Truth devotional this morning they were talking about hospitality (how appropriate). I mean, real hospitality. What it looked like for Jesus to invite people in. He dined with tax collectors and sinners, and was found hanging around the shunned people of the day. They never worried about the decor, whether it was simple or lavish or what food they had there. And I’m sure that was the last thing on Jesus’s mind. All He cared about was that He got in front of the people who needed Him the most. That’s true hospitality. Inviting people in no matter their social standing for the simple goal of loving on them as Jesus did.

I hope as we all plan our parties this holiday season, we would remember what true hospitality looks like. Whatever our style is, let that take the backstage. But let our hearts point to Jesus this holiday season.

Adele

The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World: A Brief Synopsis

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I’m sitting here with my warm coffee, thankful to have some peace and quiet on this fall morning. It’s my day off at the flower shop, but my day on for blogging. Although my body is quiet my mind is very much churning with ideas. I’ve been doing a lot of recipes lately which is great! But I thought I would take a break from that for a post or two.

I wanted to direct your attention to a book I’ve been reading called Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider. She has influenced me for a lot of reasons but I think the most influential is that she is a blogger just like me trying to do what she loves for a living. And best yet, she succeeds and provides for her entire family doing what she loves. There are a few major points Tsh touches on that I hope will compel you to live a more mindful life.

Travel

Travel plays a huge role in their family. They have always loved to travel and they didn’t let it stop them when kids came along. With the flexibility their work life brings, they are able to take more frequent trips. Perhaps more compelling is their view of American culture after living in a foreign country. Tsh talks about living in Turkey where milk was delivered to your door and the farmers market was easily accessible by bike. People lived close and were in community, making life much richer. Upon arriving back in the states, they were much more aware of their place in this world. And they were determined to make simplicity commonplace in the states.

Food

I’m never surprised to hear that other countries are doing better than us in the food realm. They have stuck with the age-old idea that local is better and they are thriving for it. It makes life much richer when you can talk to the grower. That is a rare thing these days. In Turkey they had to buy in season. We can buy berries from the supermarket in the winter and the poor kids growing up do not know this isn’t normal. It would do us very well to know where our food comes from, buy in season, and create meaningful meals where people can gather around the table.

Education

I found this one to be the most interesting. I think mainly because a lot of people now (myself included) do not hold to the belief that public education is the only way to go. I remember what it was like in school and I do not believe it was a place that encouraged real creativity. You were rewarded for your grades, seldom because you were creative. Tsh talks about homeschooling and how her kids were finally able to explore themselves, their interests, and the world. In some cases, public school is not going to teach your kids how you want them to be taught, so parents must roll up their sleeves and do it themselves. Homeschooling is obviously not for everyone and she gives examples of what other parents do and how it works for them.

There is so much more I could have talked about but for the sake of brevity I wanted to keep it fairly short (and it’s already too long of a post for my taste). I hope this brief overview gave you something to think about! Or if anything else to read her book! You can find it here on Amazon. I hope we can all find some way to live intentionally in this chaotic world, big or small.

Adele

A Fall Favorite: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I believe fall is the most contemplative season. Whether we’re out on a walk or in the kitchen, it seems the world stops for a while so we can admire its beauty. The cold weather beckons for good food and warm company; whether that’s around a fire or a table. I always think about Little Ingalls Widler, back in the pioneer days. The always had a fire going in the kitchen and the family would gather around the table for a warm meal. In the fall and winter, it was crucial that they had enough food stored up. Though we don’t have to worry about that now-a-days, I still think it does one good to step back, take great care in preparing, and savor the company the meal is shared with.

It is an understatement to say Butternut Squash is a fall favorite! I’ve seen it everywhere from Pinterest to Instagram. And would it come as a shock to you to say that I’ve never even tasted it before?! Yep, you heard that right. I’m not a big soup fan, I will admit. But I couldn’t resist when I saw A Daily Something’s recipe. It looked so delectable, from preparation to the bowl. Once more, it wasn’t too complicated that I could give it a first try. Now, this is a very basic recipe but the flavor in this should not be understated. The squash is roasted with garlic and thyme making it a very savory soup. You can always create your own recipe and add things like pine nuts and apples, or add buttermilk or half and half for a thicker soup. But if you’re looking for a basic butternut squash recipe with loads of flavor, this is a great place to start!

cutting the squash

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removing the seeds

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roasted butternut squash

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bread

butternut squash soup

 

{Recipe}

Butternut squash

1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic

Olive oil

Fresh thyme

Chicken broth

 

– Preheat oven to 375 –

Start by cutting the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds in the cavity (these can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds!). Place 3 cloves garlic and 2-3 sprigs of thyme in each cavity. Then, drizzle the halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Carefully turn the halves over and place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. You should be able to stick a fork in it easily if it is done!

Sauté the onions in olive oil over medium heat. Next, add the butternut squash. Turn up the heat a little so the squash can caramelize. Add your chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, use an immersion blender to break up the squash even more. Otherwise you will end up with a very thick consistency. Serve with fresh bread and enjoy!

A day In The Life of a Florist – Flowers of the Good Earth

This little bird is one of many in the shop!

This stage of life I am in right now is so exciting! For once, I am doing something for myself. I wanted to share this journey with you! After 4 years of college and 1 year of banking, I figured out what I want to do (gasp!). I never thought I would get to that point. Actually, I think I knew all along what I wanted to do but I was too busy pleasing every one else.

I quit my job at the bank to enjoy a much slower pace of life. Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t want to work. I just want to work doing something I enjoy. I took a part time job at a flower shop here in town and I am also starting a business with my good friend Sarah. Check us out at Slow Living Blog. So, life is pretty good right now. For the first time I feel like I am on track!

The flower shop is called Flowers of the Good Earth and it is so charming! The inside is so beautiful with arrangements on display everywhere. They keep birds which keep you company with their chirping all day. There are two cats in back (that used to roam the store but because of cleanliness issues, they spend the majority of their time in a back room) and chickens outside that lay eggs which the owners then sell. Outside is all the outdoor plants as well as baskets, chimes, and garden decor. Don’t get me wrong, it can get very busy and hectic. But overall, it is a relaxing place to work. Much better than a bank!

I wanted to show you some pictures of this super charming shop and encourage you all to follow your dreams as well!!

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This is the “backyard.” It’s nice to be able to go outside and work on a nice day!

 

plant nursery
The outdoor nursery. These plants desperately need moved back to the greenhouse because it’s getting cold!!

 

chickens

 

The above picture is probably my favorite part about working here. Not only are there cats and birds to keep us company throughout the day, but chickens right on the property that provide us with eggs as well! Of course they’re not free – $2.50 a dozen. But now, I know where my eggs are coming from. The chickens aren’t cramped together where they step in another chicken’s feces and are so fat they can’t walk. It makes me feel good knowing they are healthy chickens when I go to eat an egg! And the convenience of having eggs right at work can’t be beat!

 

 

eggs
If you can see in this picture, each egg is a little different shade of brown and they are varying sizes. Definitely not store bought!

 

destaminating lilies
When the lilies come in, we have to destaminate them. They are those brown “caps” on the ends there. Once they open up if the caps are left on they create this powdery orange substance on the lily that makes it unattractive.

 

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Orders can pile up here at Flowers of the Good Earth!

 

I bet many people think working at a flower shop would be relaxing and laid back. I know I certainly did. But it can get crazy! At least at Flowers of the Good Earth the to-do list can quickly pile up with orders. Funerals, weddings, prom, etc. We do it all! But when I look at the two owners, I can definitely tell they take pride in their work every day. Sure, it can get busy. But when you are doing something you love and are called to do, it makes it all worth it. Thinking about starting my own business is daunting! But I would rather work at something I love than live out my existence in an office chair!

I hope I gave you some inspiration to do whatever you love. And it’s never too late to make that leap! Please feel free to comment with any of your experiences or inspirations! And, if you ever find yourself in little Lancaster, OH, come on by the shop and say hi!

– Adele

 

Slow Living Blog Launch!!

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Hi guys,

So I told you about the project my friend Sarah and I are starting and I am happy to announce we have launched our blog page, Facebook page, and twitter account. We are the slow living sisters and we are documenting the art of seeing and creating beauty in our everyday lives. I encourage you to visit and follow slowlivingblog.com and check out our latest post on homemade chai tea latte. Tell all your friends too!

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement as we start this project!

Adele

Slow Living {In the Kitchen}

Ahh, finally back to the blog. So sorry I’ve been gone, friends. I’ve been pretty busy and preoccupied with other projects! My friend Sarah and I have decided to start a business. Not really sure what it will look like yet, but it will be centered around the idea of living simply – Hey! That’s what my blog is about! More than living simply for ourselves, we want to show others what it looks like and how they too can live a life more in tune with their surroundings. One way to do this is to hold small, intimate gatherings; enjoying company and conversation, and teaching the art of simplicity.

I figured I would show you what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been into food photography from what I’ve been baking and cooking. There is something so personal about the food we eat. It is our daily sustenance; without it, we die. But in this day and age, we have lost touch with our food. When we grow our food, harvest it, prepare it, and eat it, we have a personal connection and a knowledge of where that food came from. Food photography is about showing the beauty of being in our kitchen, of slow living, and all the messes and imperfections that come along with it. In other words, it’s life.

{Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza}

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{Pumpkin Pie}

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{Apple Galette}

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{Morning Cast-Iron Baked Eggs}

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