Simple Pleasures: A Day in the Life of Elsie, New Mom

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer I’m just entering the stage of life I always looked forward to the most: motherhood. I’ve dreamed about these days for a long time, and in April of this year our son was born. Life is so very different now, but it’s beautiful and full of simple abundance. I’ve had to learn how to hold my plans loosely, because I never know what Little Dude and the day will bring. Unpredictability is good for me, though, as I’ve held to my […]

Getting Rid of Junk Will Make You a Better Homemaker (I Promise!)

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer Do you want to be a better homemaker? Help your living space to breathe by clearing the clutter and eliminating stuff you don’t need or enjoy. I had no idea what a difference decluttering would make to my homemaking, but it’s been profound. A few years ago, I turned “simplifying” from a minor hobby into a serious pursuit. My husband and I examined every item we owned, and decided that there was an awful lot we could live without! Decluttering was […]

A Minimalistic Approach to Summer

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer Whew. The school year is over. Does anyone else want to breathe a huge sigh of relief with me? In many ways, it feels like my family’s been on fast forward since school began last August. And I’m tired. Even though I homeschool my two children, our year’s been jam-packed with co-ops and lessons. Strangely enough, I tried to be intentional with our plans this year,  yet somehow we ended up with at least one family member having some sort […]

4 Steps Toward Simpler Living

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer With seasons of constant change, I often feel like I’m living in crisis mode, putting out fires and just surviving, let alone living simply. I learned about the natural living lifestyle in the fall of 2009 after debilitating sickness threatened to take my quality of life. I grew up on the very SAD American diet, and I didn’t know a thing about natural living. Not a single thing. When I did dive in, I found the water deep and the information fascinating. […]

8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home

Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? Several years ago, my husband and I discovered that the clutter in our homes was eating away at our peace and enjoyment. It distracted us, made us grumpy, created extra work and messes, and just generally detracted from our lives. During that season, we began to really tackle all the stuff in our home and view it with new eyes. We asked questions like: Do I truly find this beautiful or useful? How long […]

Healthy Ways To Handle Seasons of Stress

  By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer Are you in a busy or even difficult season of life? Are you looking for healthy ways to survive (and even thrive) during these days? Look no further for help! Maybe, in full disclosure, I should first list all the unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Because trust me, people, I’ve thoroughly experimented with these, too. These may include (but are not limited to) taking it out on your husband and kids, eating potato chips and snickerdoodles way into the night, and […]

Forget About Giving Toys … Choose Experience Gifts

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer Toys lay scattered across the floors of my children’s bedrooms. Despite my daily reminders to pick up, chore chart attempts and a rotating toy system that did – for a time – work wonders, my children have no desire to routinely clean their rooms. I can’t say that I blame them. I didn’t want to when I was 4 or 6, either. As much as I think I’d like to help the process along by getting rid of most of their toys, […]

8 Tips for Spending Less and Giving More

By Nina Nelson, Contributing Writer A few years ago, our pastor showed a video at church that completely changed my approach to Christmas giving. The video was by a wonderful group known as Advent Conspiracy. They create thought-provoking videos to inspire change and a shift in mindset when it comes to Christmas. They have four main tenets: Worship Fully Spend Less Give More Love All Before learning about Advent Conspiracy, I had taken a “more is better” approach to giving. I would make long lists of […]