30 Days of Gratitude..2.Talk to your Family..

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Today is supposed to be about the technology for which I am grateful….I don’t know though, I am indeed torn…

The technology these days is amazing, medically amazing, educationally amazing…but socially amazing…maybe not all of  the time…

For example….I am off to work in my car….my phone battery dies…what will I do?? I remind myself that my parents never had mobile phones and they are not traumatised in any way….my Dad had the oldest cars you can imagine and believe me they broke down all of the time….he always managed…might have had to walk a bit to find a phone, but maybe that’s why he is nearly 80 and still hugely active….

It totally bugs me when I see a family of people on holiday, every single one of them looking at their phones…(not being overly judgemental here as we have done this too…then have to remind ourselves constantly to chat to each other).  Where did the days go when we used to actually “be” on holiday and not have half our brains still chatting to people at home and sharing our every move with them….then, we came home and waited two weeks to receive our photos, half of them with heads cut off and half of them useless, just to put them in a box never to be seen again….

I have one….I am grateful for the camera facility on my phone!! You can capture great moments, just be rid of it if it’s not a good picture, or Georgia’s non existent double chin apparently will ruin her life from the publishing of it….I guess it’s all about balance, get that great shot and then put the phone away and actually look at that great view….or your loved ones….

Educationally Google search….the best… You need to know something, you can find it…you want to learn how to do something….you can learn it…the possibilities are endless..

Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists has removed the internet from his home….whilst I love the idea of this…we live in a small Cornish village and have no Internet cafe to be able to visit for our Internet usage…in fact we apparently yesterday only just got 4G so our circumstances are a little different…For us it will all be about willpower…some days I am great at it…other days I struggle…

Facebook, great to keep in touch with family and friends I most likely wouldn’t be in touch with…I like that….and meeting like minded people all around the world, I love that….

I come from a childhood with no microwave, a Betamax video player, at one time no TV remote control…yes we had to get out of our chairs to change channels…and of channels we only had 3….I don’t recall ever being bored so we always had something to do…or we found something to do….

But do I love being able to do my shopping from home….as the anti social creature I have become, of course I do….I order it…someone bring it to me…I never have to push through to the checkout ever again….I am talking food here because as you know I am minimalising my belongings…not too much shopping to be done now…

Sat Nav….I love that…most of the time…sometimes it can be interesting….we don’t see as many farmyards now as we used to with my Dad at the helm as kids….

There you go…technology…there’s good and there’s not so good…but really it’s all just down to our own choices….put the phones away at the meal table….if that’s all you do then there is a start….find out what sort of day everyone had…you might be surprised….and someone is sitting next to you…talk to them…don’t ask them stuff in a Facebook status….don’t tell them you love them in a Facebook status….tell them to their faces…..don’t Facebook poke them….visit them and give them a hug….a massive hug….and chat…let’s do some more of that….

Let’s be grateful that we have each other…

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I once did tree planting for the National Trust with my sister, we had no phones so there are no pictures….but it was a great day and a memory that stays with me…and those trees are huge now!

Have a lovely Thursday!!

Geri xxx

Screw You Laundry!

I see myself here….anyone else??

Midlife Margaritas

screw-you-laundryDoing laundry is my all time favorite thing in the whole wide world! Said no mom of a family of all boys ever. I would rather eat a fried rat and a side of snails. Seriously. To you moms of little babies and toddlers, just wait. The clothes piles get bigger and sweatier and weirder as they get older. Some days it smells like an Axe Body Spray factory and other days it’s a cross between an NFL locker room at half-time and a pig farm after a monsoon. All equally gross and ratchet.

It’s not just the laundry room. It’s the back seat of the boys trucks, the bedroom, the bathroom and I even find dirty clothes mixed in with the clean clothes. 😦 Big Daddy often gets in the truck and says it smells weird. But does he investigate? Nope. Not until he can’t stand it anymore then…

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30 Days of Gratitude…Just Sniff…

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It’s no big secret….we all know that others do in fact have lives filled with misery and awful situations that they just can’t get away from….but how many of us have great lives that we just take for granted?  Almost all of us….I had thought of advising to start a Gratitude Journal….if that’s what you want to do…go for it…but if you are like me you will start it…get to day 4 or 5 and then start forgetting about it….but if you want to just ponder, take five minutes each morning or each evening just to think about it….just try using the table above from Text My Journal.  Sometimes thinking about it is just as good as writing about it….chat to your family about it each day…ask them the question…

So, what smell am I grateful for today…..interesting…I have a very poor sense of smell….even though it never lets me down when they are spreading very smelly things on the fields surrounding the warehouse….oh my days!!!

Smells are interesting and invoke some great memories….I love the smell of Christmas….it usually starts about now when we start lighting the open fire and sitting in the lounge…the fire smell and the crackling sounds are so comforting….then I light candles….cinnamon….mulled wine….it’s like getting a big invisible hug….

Smells are pretty seasonal…..how about the smell of seaweed and the beach at the start of Spring…and then the smell of suntan cream and BBQs in the Summer….Autumn brings hot chocolate sweetness.

And the smell of books….new books and old books with their own unique aroma….blissful…

And Lavender oil….in the bath….on a cold day….

Smell is very closely linked with memory….probably more than any of our other senses.  It’s also linked with attraction….each of us has our very own special smell….not always good ones Christopher….If you are interested the brief scientific bits are basically described at Fifth Sense.

I don’t always wear perfume, sometimes it can be too overpowering…but when I do I am currently wearing Botanical Essence No 100 from the Liz Earle range. (not affiliate, just linking because I love it!).

So, yes I am very grateful for the sense of smell that I have….even when they are bad smells, they are just warning you not to go there, or not to eat that!  Apart from Stilton…not a great smell but fabulous taste….for me….you probably hate it…

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So today….think about your favourite smells….baking cakes….coffee brewing….flowers….whatever is your thing and enjoy the memories…and make more memories….Enjoy!!

Geri xxx

Will You People Stop Eating Here!…

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Today I am talking kitchen again…..it is my favourite room in my house….But don’t you just find yourself forever tidying it, cleaning it, only to look at it and it still looks cluttered and messy….

Now it’s time to put it all away….even those kitchen appliances….you will be surprised how much room you have left in your kitchen cupboards when you go through them and be rid of anything that you haven’t used in the last 6 months….I now have a place for the slow cooker, the food processor and the toaster…however, if my toaster looked like this I would keep it on display…

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That’s not a toaster for hiding!   I keep my toaster and my processor each on it’s own plastic tray and pop them back in the cupboard when cleaned and finished with….I keep the kettle out and about because we drink tea….like a lot…..but I have to get a prettier kettle now….

Clean and clutter free kitchen surfaces is the aim, without getting obsessive about it…then it becomes a problem…admittedly I have started glaring evil daggers at anyone who leaves a cup out….I must try to curb this behaviour…but, once you do the whole put everything away exercise you will be surprised at how difficult it is to just drop something there and leave it….teenagers aside…most people would struggle…..

So, the basics….firstly take everything out of that kitchen you don’t use….just take it out….put it in a pile ready to decide what you will do with it….don’t procrastinate…do that pile straight away….

Take everything out of that kitchen that does not belong there….I have shampoo and toiletries sitting on the corner nearest the door ready to go to the bathroom….it can sit there for weeks….just do it…..

Think long and hard about all of those gadgets….do you really really use them? If no, they must go….Many minimalists don’t have a microwave…it’s a personal thing…I use mine to reheat not to cook things so it doesn’t take me away from cooking properly….teenagers aside…we don’t have convenience meals…

Every day deal with the mail…another of my guilty habits…leaving it there for days on end won’t sort it out and it just becomes more clutter…either do something with it or throw it away….simple…

Empty the dishwasher every morning so that during the day any dirty dishes can be placed in there straight away, no leaving them on the kitchen counter awaiting the grand loading procedure….(I hold my hand up though, I actually forgot to empty the dishwasher this morning, I know what will be waiting for me when I get home….my own fault….).  Or, don’t have a dishwasher….I actually love mine, and we have a kitchen sink without a draining board….that’s my excuse…I always hated washing dishes….But, this does mean I have to keep remembering to clean the sink….it’s on my daily list of little things to do…

There we go….clutter free kitchen tops is the way to go….just try it and see how you feel, if you hate it just go back to covering your kitchen surfaces with things again…at least you gave it a go….

It’s going to leave you more time to do other things…

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Happy Tuesday!!!

Geri xxx

Stop Rushing Through Life….

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A happy refreshing weekend….

Christopher with a digger and chippings…

 

Happy boy….

Me reading and cooking…

Happy me…. Lisa Jewell’s I Found You finds it’s way into My Favourite Books! list and Banana Chocolate Chip cake with Cashew Nut Butter Icing…finds it’s way into my favourite recipes…now that’s a new list to start very soon….

I had decided exercise and activity was the way forward and had been putting it off and putting it off…so today we decided to walk to Trebarwith Strand…have a drink and then walk back again…we had sunshine, we had rain, we had rainbows and pasties…

The walk worked….I found my need to exercise again….feel fabulously better…Of course having a hot chocolate at the Port William, Trebarwith Strand is a breath of fresh air in my book…

Continue with simplicity folks….Just be you and things will get easier…

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Monday is coming! We can do this!!

Geri xx

More Space or Less Stuff?

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It has taken many years of moving to bigger places to fit in all the stuff….I have to call it the “stuff” because I couldn’t really tell you exactly what the stuff consists of….

The light bulb moment started with discovering a talk on You Tube by The Minimalists – they talk much sense and are pretty cute as an added bonus… at this point I realised (I had already known this but chosen to block it) that I don’t need this stuff in boxes…the mysterious space hoarders, the bits covered in cobwebs….believe me those cobwebs are not pink….

So, time to get rid of the stuff and therefore reduce the space….and go and actually do things….the things we always slot away as pipe dreams, as things other people do but we actually never will….if we carry on as we have been….

Just half an hour available yesterday evening….but it’s half an hour closer to having it cleared…

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A little pile of things collected from our kitchen, dining room and living area….old paperwork for burning…wires, chargers etc. no clue what they might charge….

I made a purchase this week, but it was something I needed….I had these lovely knives for Christmas from Georgia and they need to be seen, no need to stash these away in the drawer….I bought a magnetic knife holder…just £10 so no great financial loss and pretty pleasing…

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We have very few DVD’s and rarely watch TV, but when we do we use Netflix – have had no problems using them…in fact we do get our moneys worth because Georgia watches every episode of just about anything….more than once….

If we want to watch something new we go to the little cinema not too far from us….it’s a bit of an outing for us…comfy seats…only fell asleep there once….

We have very few CD’s….I have been listening to the same Jason Mraz CD for about a year and a half in my car commute to work, which is just a short one….this morning interrupted with a cows changing fields….but Jason is keeping me happy in the mornings…(there’s a thought)…

We use Spotify and again no problems with this system…Georgia and I share it….the only downside being she changes my chosen music remotely with her phone when I am mid shower….when I can’t get out and have to listen to Justin Bieber for the duration….nothing against Justin…but not really my cup of tea….OK, I admit, it makes me swear a little bit when I hear it changing….

So DVDs and CDs no great clear up for us there….but books…I just can’t change over yet to the Kindle…it doesn’t have the same feeling for me….I don’t have millions of books, just one shelf in the downstairs toilet…even though I do plan to have a bookshelf in the “she-shed” I have planned for the bottom of the garden…a bookshelf and an armchair…and some fairy lights…and maybe a little bit of bunting…

At the moment when I get a new book, I have to remove a book from the shelf and donate it….I do have a plan to sort out a local book swap at some point….maybe when that “she-shed” is in place….we have a crazy idea about a revolving shed…it might not be so crazy after all….I think a Saturday morning book swap and cake session could be a good plan….

Today is publication day –

The Cosy Christmas Teashop

by Caroline Roberts.

My pre-order is in for the paperback version, but if you can’t wait it is available on Kindle today… you might want to purchase The Cosy Teashop in the Castle first if you haven’t already read it as this one is the sequel…who doesn’t need some pure escapism? I know I love it…and there are recipes in there too…you know the comfort type…cookies, fire, Christmas stories…life is complete…except for Patrick Dempsey, yes, he could be there stroking my feet as I read….I mean, Christopher….he could be there stroking my feet and life would be complete….

Good luck today Caroline…hope it’s everything you wanted it to be….

So, I continue through the grand clear up mission….confusing the cats along the way…

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Timmy Twoshoes (the one without the tail) “Will you stop changing stuff!!”

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From Becoming Minimalist….

Happy Friday….my best day!!!!

Geri xxx