Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Keeping Your Life Simple

This post is part of The Peony Project's monthly link-up

Ever get that feeling when you move to a new home and you throw the moving truck door open and are instantly overwhelmed at all the stuff you have?  Welcome to my life.  My name is Lecy and I am a chronic minimalist.

You might hear the word "minimalist" and imagine someone who sells everything they own and moves to a tree-house in the wilderness.  Although there are some people who do that, there are quite a few more who own homes and possessions.  They just enjoy having more open space than cluttered.

It's not that I don't enjoy having things or spending money, because this girl could easily blow a paycheck in one trip to Target, but I get such a headache with the struggle of having to maintain, clean, move, store everything.

A few years ago, my husband and I made a decision to lead a more simple life.  To be intentional in what we spent money on.  We were going to simplify our home.  Our diet.  Our routines.  Our lives.

What prompted this decision was moving two times in three months.  We had decided to move from our apartment of eight years to a house in the country.  Our move-out date was set with the apartment, only the house we were moving into wasn't ready yet.  Major anxiety attack!  Having been left no other choice, we had to pack all of our possessions into a storage unit and move into a hotel with two cats in tow.  It was a nightmare.  We kept only necessities with us and luckily made it through the next three months in tact.  

Living for that long without all the "comforts" of home made me realize that it is easier not to have the knick-knacky things and to streamline our possessions to necessities + things we are passionate about.  By doing this, we learned to appreciate the smaller things.  The moments.  The quality time with each other and with the fuzzies.  Real food.  Nature.

By simplifying your possessions, you're not losing things.  Instead, you are gaining appreciation for the things important to you and letting go of the rest.

Life can often become cluttered with everything you collect over time and when you learn to let go of some of these things, you open up that space.  This space, left open, can clear your mind and promote the three c's: contemplation, creativity and connection with those around you.  I'm sure you have experienced that feeling before - when your home is cluttered and you cannot think straight.  After you've put things in their rightful space or editing your closet contents, your mind opens right up.

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau

In the book of Matthew we are told to store our treasures in heaven and not collect them here, where they could be taken by thieves or destroyed by pests.  This doesn't mean you shouldn't have possessions here on earth, but your focus should be on God.  He wants us to enjoy all that He has provided for us, but by simplifying our list of things and letting go of the the stuff we no longer need or appreciate, we are also pleasing Him.

What are some things you'd like to simplify in 2015?

The post Keeping Your Life Simple first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Guys Behind the Blog // February Link Up


You guys!  I'm so excited to be joining Betsy from Heavens to Betsy in her The Guys Behind The Blog link up this weekend! That means I'm handing the reins over to my main man, Lorne.  That's right.  Hubs is taking over the blog for the day.  Strap yourselves in - Lorne is at the wheel!


1.  If you could write a book, what topic would you write about and why?

Fishing, duh.  Fishing is a passion of mine and I use the fish to help feed my family and friends.

2.  What is the one thing on your bucket list, or one thing that you'd like to do or accomplish in your lifetime?

My number one thing on my bucket list is to become a boat captain and show others the joy of being on the water and hope to light that spark and love of fishing in younger kids.

3.  If you could look out your window and only see one view for the rest of your life, what would you want to see?

Warm water and sand.

4.  Imagine you're opening a shop.  What are you selling?

Fishing tackle and gear.

5.  If you could have 50 lbs of anything other than money, what would it be?

I would want 50 lbs of raw gold to use as a bartering tool.

6.  Time to brag on your girl...tell us one thing that makes you proud of your wife!

Because she's a fighter.

::wiping eyes::  Isn't he so sweet?  Incidentally, I could have predicted most of his responses to those questions except the last.  My man has always been a fisherman and a fisher of men.  Since fish is something I can eat, he makes it his responsibility to come home at least once a month with fresh catch, which goes right into the freezer.  I'm such a lucky gal.

Hope you all enjoyed getting to know my husband, Lorne.  We are both excited about joining in on this link up in the months to come, so you'll hear from him again soon!

Have a great day!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites - St. Patrick's Day Round Up

It's Friday and it's March!  That means St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner.  Being part Irish, St. Patty's Day is one of my favorite non-religious holidays.  I just like wearing green and pinching people who aren't.  The green holiday is a theme for lots of yummy treats, crafts ideas and fun projects here in the blogosphere.  Today, I'll be sharing all St. Patrick's day themed goodies.  Click the links below to read details and check out the submitter's blogs while you're at it!

Leprechaun Bait by Lani at Life Anchored

St. Patrick's Day Word Search by Meaghan at Cook. Craft. Love.

Irish Crème Cheesecake Brownies by Chrisy at Chrisy Is Blogging




Thanks for stopping by my St. Patrick's Day favorites!  Do you wear green and celebrate the holiday?

The post Friday Favorites - St. Patrick's Day Round Up first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   *This was not a sponsored post - just some things I love and wanted to share with you!  If you wish to share any of the ideas above, please click the links and share from the original source.*  If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vegan Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies - An Earth Balance Buttery Spread Review

I received a free @Earth_Balance product from #Influenter to test and review.  As always, my opinions are genuine and my own.

I've been interested in trying my hand at creating a recipe and featuring it on the blog for quite a while, so when I received a free tub of Earth Balance vegan, non-GMO, "buttery" spread, I was instantly inspired to create a cookie that incorporated some of my favorite ingredients - cinnamon and oats.


I'll tell you, I believe that nothing tastes like good ol' butter in baking and I was nervous to try this product.  Most "buttery spreads" tend to be hard and dense and taste more like car wax than a food product, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  It spread easily on toast and tasted similar to butter with no chemical taste.  I decided to move forward with the recipe.

I spent an entire snowy day in the kitchen measuring ingredients, testing, eating and measuring more ingredients before I got the recipe exactly how I wanted it.  Here is what I came up with.


Ingredients
1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1 & 1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. unsulphured molasses
4 tbsp. water
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups old fashioned oats

{Because this recipe is vegan, I have used the water, vegetable oil and baking powder mixture in place of  eggs.  If you want to use eggs when making this recipe, use 2 large eggs and omit these ingredients.}

Preheat your oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, beat together your buttery spread, cinnamon, table salt, white sugar and molasses until you get a creamy mixture.  Add your water, oil and baking powder (or eggs) and beat until combined with your mixture.  Then alternate mixing in your flour and oats.

Your dough should look wet, but hold it's shape when you drop 1 ounce portions on your baking sheet.  If your dough is too wet, mix in an additional 2 tbsp of flour until it's consistency is as described above and if your dough is too dry, you can mix in 2 tbsp of water.

Bake your cookies for 9-11 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.  When they are done, the cookies will still look wet in the middle, but the edges will have a golden color.  Let them sit for a few moments before moving them to a cooling rack.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


These cookies give you the chewiness of an oatmeal cookie with the spice of holiday cinnamon flavor and are great with a cup of chai!  (Baker's note:  because this recipe doesn't involve eggs, you can safely eat the dough right out of the bowl!  Enjoy!)


Using the Earth Balance buttery spread in this recipe was a great call.  The taste and texture was very much like butter with the added bonus of it being vegan and GMO-free.  I would purchase this product for my vegan recipes in the future!

The post  Vegan Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies - An Earth Balance Buttery Spread Review first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.  *I received the product ( #EarthBalanceSpreads) featured in this post courtesy of @Influenster for testing purposes and review.  I was not cash compensated or required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions are genuinely my own.  For more info on these types of posts, please click the Terms of Use tab above.*  If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Be the Message Devotional by Kerry & Chris Shook - A Book Review


For the last fifteen days, I've been reading in a new devotional book called Be the Message Devotional - A 30-Day Adventure in Changing the World Around You by Kerry and Chris Shook. This book is geared towards Christians who are interested in reading the Scripture and understanding it's purpose in the time it was written as well as today and applying it to your lives.

Because this is a 30-day devotional, each chapter is one day.  The days are set up in several sections:

  • open yourself (the theme of the daily reading)
  • open God's word (the scripture reading)
  • open your mind (understanding the message when it was written and present day)
  • open your heart (quiet reflection on the reading with a space to write your thoughts)
  • open your life (speaking to God about what he wants for your life with a space to reflect)
  • open your arms (a passage on how you can be a disciple and bring the message to others)


The Scripture in this book is from the New International Version of the Holy Bible, but you could look up the verses in any version you enjoy reading from.  Although it isn't necessary, I keep my Bible with the book and do some additional reading while going through the daily devotion.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who needs to deepen their understanding and relationship with God.  The only thing that could make this book better for me, is if it were longer.  I would love a full year of reading like this, but I would settle for three months.

Be the Message Devotional - A 30-Day Adventure in Changing the World Around You is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The post Be the Message Devotional by Kerry & Chris Shook - A Book Review first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   *I received the book featured in this post for free, courtesy of Blogging for Books.  I was not cash compensated or required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions are genuinely my own.  For more info on these types of posts, please click the Terms of Use tab above.* If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites

Well hello, lovelies!  I hope your week has been great.  Mine is because I have a big announcement, which I'll talk about a little later in the post.  ;)  Speaking of which, on with the Friday Favorites!

Let's start off by talking about lunch.  Do you remember what cafeteria food looked like when you were in school?  Mine was always pretty gross - like skip lunch altogether, gross.  A recent article shows what school lunches look in different countries, and... Let's just say that the US's doesn't look appetizing compared to the rest.

I loved playing with dolls when I was a little girl.  I had probably a hundred Barbies, Cabbage Patch and other dolls.  Now that I'm an adult, I think about the kind of dolls I would give my daughter (if I had one) and my nieces.  Most dolls on the toy store shelves have tons of makeup on and are dressed inappropriately, not to mention the unrealistic body image message they send.  Tree Change Dolls is changing that.  Sonia gathers discarded dolls from thrift stores and gives them a make-under.  (video link

Last week, I made "I'm sorry" brownies for hubs and they were a big hit.  They were also a hit on the blog, so clearly, we need a replay.

I've been a subscriber of Ann Voskamp's for years and she's come out with these inspirational "sticky notes for the soul" (printables) and she shared this one on her blog last weekend.  

I've never been one for romance, but I can appreciate a guy doing something creative to show his lady what she means to him.  Like this guy, Brian Flynn, who found an illustrator and turned his girlfriend into a Disney princess - and several other female characters from popular Disney movies.

I played the flute in orchestra when I was in elementary and junior high.  I love the sound of the flute and thought this video was so beautiful.  Apparently, butterflies think the flute is beautiful too.


I told you at the beginning of the post that I had an announcement... My family welcomed a new baby boy this week!  This is my youngest sister's second child, but first boy.  Both he and mom are doing well and we are so excited to snuggle on this little guy soon!

Hope you are having a great Friday!

In case you missed it... 
The Mean Girl Dilemna and Why We Need To Stop Talking About Each Other (part of the Girls Rocking 2015! series)

Rich Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Ten Tips to Simplify Your Morning Routine


The post Friday Favorites first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   *This was not a sponsored post - just some things I love and wanted to share with you!  If you wish to share any of the ideas above, please click the links and share from the original source.* If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Girls Rocking 2015 - The Mean Girl Dilemma And Why We Need To Stop Talking About Each Other


Have you ever watched the movie Mean Girls?  If not, it's a comedic film about a clique of high school girls and the hell they raise on the other female students.  The girls have this scrapbook called "The Burn Book" where they write terrible things about their fellow students and the teachers in their school.  The main character, Katy, has lived her life traveling with her parents and being home-schooled, until she joins this public high school in her junior year and is befriended by the clique, dubbed "the plastics".  With their backing influence, Katy goes from being a friendly, innocent girl to a viscous monster, fueled by gossip and drama.  After watching this movie, I began wondering, why do girls feel the need to talk about each other?

Let's take a look at cliques and why they can become so dangerous.  Cliques are nothing more than a group of friends who stick closely together.  Peer pressure can become a big influence in groups like this.  These girl cliques set the standard for what is "cool" by all wearing similar clothes, having their hair done the same way and getting attention from boys.  Naturally, a lot of girls on the outside want to be part of the "in crowd".

Not only are these cliques very selective about who they let into the fold, they can also pressure girls both in the group and on the outside to do things to hurt others or break the rules to prove their loyalty.  They bully girls by making fun of their clothes, teasing about the way they look and are just plain mean to them.  The mean girls establish themselves as the most popular, prettiest and what the outside girls should strive to be.

Sadly, these cliques are not limited to high school girls.  They are in elementary schools affecting girls as young as six years old - and adult women deal with them every day.  In fact, I know of them existing in churches.  So why do girls feel the need to talk about each other?  Let's look at some reasons.
  • Peer pressure - A girl talks about someone else to fit in or prove loyalty to the clique.
  • Afraid of retaliation - They do it because they are afraid the group will turn on them.
  • Instability in life - Something is off balance in their life so they take it out on someone else.
  • No support at home - They aren't getting the attention or affection at home so they act out.
  • Lack of confidence -  The girl has low self-esteem and is jealous so they use their position in the group to bully other girls.
We are in a time when hit "reality" tv shows demonstrate grown women name-calling, talking behind each other's backs and lashing out violently.  How can we expect anything different from our daughters when we Tivo these programs or talk about a friend behind her back with our girls sitting next to us, hearing every word?

Women have enough battles to face in the world without having to deal with the mean girls.  Why don't we stop talking behind each other's backs and start supporting each other?

Here are some additional articles you can read on the subject:

Cliques and Conflicts:  Helping Young Girls Manage The Social Scene
How Girls Bully
Stand Up To Bullying

The post Girls Rocking 2015 - The Mean Girl Dilemma And Why We Need To Stop Talking About Each Other first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

You can read the previous Girls Rocking 2015 posts here and here


Monday, February 16, 2015

Rich Chocolate Brownie Recipe


My husband LOVES brownies and since I did something last week that upset him, I thought I could help make it up by preparing his favorite dessert.  He likes them best when they are chewy on the edges and fudgy in the middle.  I have a trusted recipe I've been using for years and thought I'd share it with you.


This recipe is super easy and you can pull it together in just minutes.  Here are the ingredients you'll need:

     1 cup flour
     2 cups sugar
     2/3 cup cocoa powder
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
     4 large eggs
     1 cup vegetable oil
     2 teaspoons vanilla
     optional:  nuts of your choice and/or semisweet chocolate chips/chunks

Preheat your oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder until combined and lump free.  In a separate mixing bowl, stir together your sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until combined.

Mix your wet ingredients into you dry and mix until everything is incorporated.  I find it easiest to use a rubber spatula to scrape all your dry ingredients from the side and bottom of your bowl.  Once everything is mixed together, pour your brownie batter into your baking dish and use your spatula to level it out before popping it in the oven.

You will bake your brownies for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When the brownies come out of the oven, set the dish on a cooling rack and do not touch them until they are completely cooled.  Cutting them when they are still hot will only give you a crumbly (but delicious, yes) mess.


This recipe will give you the best fudge-like brownies that are a bit chewy on the edges.  Eat them alone or with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.  If you plan to give this recipe a try, make sure you post a picture on Instagram and tag me in it.  I'd love to hear what you think of them!


In case you missed it... 
Friday Favorites

Girls Rocking 2015! - How Negative Thoughts Are Killing Our Self Esteem

Ten Tips to Simplify Your Morning Routine


The post Rich Chocolate Brownie Recipe first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.   If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day


I hope you all have a special day with your loves.  :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, y'all!  Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and today is Friday the 13th! (Did you know there are (3) Friday the 13ths this year?  Enough odd facts - let's jump in to my favorites!

Favorite Talent:  Blowing Glass

Favorite Funny:  Tiny Hamsters on a Valentine's Day Date (video)

Favorite Charity:  The Australian Man Who Knits Sweaters for Penguins

Favorite Invention ever: The Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Favorite Place:  Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Favorite New Creative:  Embroidering Around the World

Favorite Couple:  Love After 56 Years (video link)


What are your favorites this week?

In case you missed it... 
Girls Rocking 2015! - How Negative Thoughts Are Killing Out Self Esteem

Ten Tips to Simplify Your Morning Routine

Ten Things I Learned In My First Year Blogging

The post Friday Favorites first appeared on Simple Life, Happy Wife.  *This was not a sponsored post - just some things I love and wanted to share with you!  If you wish to share any of the ideas above, please click the links and share from the original source.*  If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...