Friday, May 23, 2014

Simply Plenty - how it hit me, months later...

Sometimes, inspiration hits months or years before you even realize what you needed! I love those lightbulb moments- I have even been known to smile a half-smile and nod as I catch on.

 For me, it occurred with this blog name. I knew I needed to name my blog Simply Plenty, and I just knew I wanted to make life simpler. Well, over the course of the past few months, I have sold that redone vintage trailer (for a profit- yeehaw), gotten rid of over half my houses "guts" and sold a motorhome (for a loss- gotta love depreciation)!  Woohoo! I have fallen in love with the idea of a "Simple life"- not strict minimalism, but my version of it. :) I get funny looks and shocked comments when I talk about what I'm doing or how the garage sale pile is filling a room now, but how it feels inside is amazing!  I have had some serious inspiration from some of my favorite bloggers: Carmella, the Minimalists, Joshua Becker, Leo Babauta, Meg Wolfe, and Francine Jay. I love how I pick up bits and pieces of what fits me and mine with each read. I have read several books from these people (it's been so long, with the busy life of being a mama, since I've read, and it was good to get back in the swing) and enjoy getting closer to what my dream is...

One thing that each author discusses is how amazingly free it feels to live simply. I am here to say that I whole-heartedly agree with that!  Not only does it feel more free, life feels lighter!  Not as heavy, not as burdened. My hubby made a comment tonight that the air smells better the past few days. He then stopped and said he wasn't sure if it really did, or if it was just because he felt "lighter"!  I loved it! 

Things are less crazy, and when you live in a "zoo", that is nice. Things seem a bit more peaceful- especially when the electronics are hidden ;). And visiting and sharing our days with each other flow easier. It's a wonderful thing to be best friends with your family- we learn the most from them, so why not be each other's best cheerleaders too? Friends have disagreements, we're not all alike, but we can still be best friends! That's the whole point. That's what our goal is- to lift one another and find pure happiness together, as a family. And it is coming by being simple. 

Each day is a process- some days I am too tired to empty stuff- it's coming bit by bit though. And I'll be having the mother of all garage sales in the next few weeks as a celebration :)! This way of living may not work for everyone, but it is working for me. In hindsight, my tiny little hair-brained idea of living more simply - and that being plenty- blossomed into what it was intended to be all along. An even more wonderful thing- A more full, more complete, and more happy life... all because of LESS! It makes me smile just to say it!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Vintage Trailer Progress!! Woohoo!

From cushions and curtains of nastiness, behold-

To dreamy, cute, modernish retro, behold again-

 Love the Michael Miller Plum Woodland fabrics as curtains and denim "night curtains". The floor has blue specks so the upholstery looks fabulous with it. I love the cozy feel it already has- now to find some cool string lights :)

I've been busy the past few days and it has paid off! Love how it is looking. Love that it doesn't need interior paint or flooring. I will need to paint the exterior, but until it's warmer outside, that won't work :)  I also need two glass globes for the propane lamps that I will grab soon. Getting closer-

Monday, March 3, 2014


I have a love/hate relationship with this item in my house. On weeks when I get to ride my bike everyday and eat wonderfully healthy, I love it because it shows me numbers that I like to see. But on weeks when the weather is too cold and I have to exercise inside, or if I am not strict enough with what I eat, then I want to throw it out the window! Yup, right out the window, or maybe I'd stick it in the weekly garbage pickup to make sure I didn't have to see it again :). Anyway, with the weather cooperating some at the moment, I am ok with this piece of bathroom. 

When we got married, we got a scale, the kind the has the pointer that swings around to the number. It was all nice and cozy, cause it never got too specific. Then, when I started eating healthier, (I began 3 years ago with the Belly Fat Cure. That system taught me a whole new lifestyle that I love and got me to a weight that was my dream. I feel better and stronger!  I loved it! So, over the past three years, I have adapted it and tweaked it and figured it out to perfectly work with me. It's been a very good thing.) I guess I got stupid cause I went and purchased a digital scale that has a readout that goes to the tenth of a pound. It worked well as the pounds dropped, but now that I am just maintaining, and my weight can swing as much as a few pounds a day, the tenths accuracy level is not may favorite! HA!  But it all works out, and I can be happy at myself when I do what I am supposed to do! 

And good grief, it makes me feel better to eat healthy and exercise too! Go figure!

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Last summer, in Victoria, Canada, we had a special treat. Along with the fish and chips we had waited so anxiously for- from Red Fish Blue Fish (yes, we stood in line for over two hours!), we were able to taste and savor Poutine at a different meal. Wow- it was comfort food on a platter! Well, in a bowl, but the idea is still the same. Ever since then, I have been scouring the web for a comparable recipe. I finally found one, thanks to a wonderful Canadian, and was able to make the creation this week. We even have a local cheese factory for the white cheddar curds- perfect! 

We curly cut the potatoes and baked them, a bit different from fried, but still incredibly yummy! As we sat out back and ate our dinner, we were flooded with memories of that camping trip! So fun!  And there was even a serving left to enjoy later :)  Like I said- comfort food in a bowl- a wonderful takeaway from Canada! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I am not much of a fan of exercise, but I make myself do it. I am much more disciplined with the way I eat to stay healthy. That was until last summer. I got the pink cruiser my hubby got me off the hangers. It has 21 speeds, the only way it works in our hilly area. And I got moving on it, pulling my littlest little in the trailing trailer. I realized about Day 2 that I LOVED biking!!  There is a massive trail system near our home, and I utilize that to the fullest! I rode each day until the snow hit this winter. I have been doing indoor exercises the past two months, just counting the days til I could ride again. The kids have been begging to go too, but when there is snow all over, it doesn't work too well :). Until today that is!!

I was thrilled that it was warm enough (40 degrees is my limit, I don't have heavy duty winter biking gear) and that it was sunny to boot. The snow was off the paths, so off I went. 

It was pure joy!  The wind in my face, the calm and quiet, and the best part, the BURN in my legs. I L-O-V-E the burn!  It let's me know that my pushing and pedaling are doing something. When you are pulling yourself and another 70 pound trailer with child, it can give you some pretty decent burn- and I eat it up!  I could so get into this biking thing. It doesn't even feel like exercising, just FUN with the added bonus! Sign me up! There is no snow in the forecast for a few days, so I am going to take advantage and ride my little heart out :)  Here I come!  Then if snow hits again, I will be able to hold myself off til Spring. Until then, I will enjoy every minute of the ride!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Uh-maz-ing! It's Grandma's!!!

I wrote here about my bread adventures. Well, once that bread came out of the oven, not only did it smell just like, but it TASTED just like my Grandma's too!  I even called my cousin, who was close by, and had her come taste it to make sure I wasn't dreaming!  Then my sweet mother came by to seal the deal- and sure 'nuf- it's the real thing!  I could not be more happy!

I made the bread again this week and shared some loaves. It is just dreamy! It makes me smile each time I start grinding the wheat! And I love eating healthy, so it's an added bonus. I want to share the legacy, so sharing the recipe it is!  My Grandma based her recipe on the Magic Mill "Foolproof" bread recipe, but she changed it up, switched around, and edited quite a bit- that's what took so many years to figure out. (I actually just found a copy of the recipe book at a thrift store yesterday so I could have it for future generations- I giggled when I saw it!!) So here goes-

My Grandma's bread- otherwise known as the "BEST BREAD ON THE PLANET"
(adapted from Magic Mill Foolproof Bread Recipe)

4 Tbl dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
2 C milk
3 C hot tap water
2 Tbl salt
2/3 C oil
2/3 C honey
2 eggs
2 C white flour
8 C freshly ground red whole wheat flour


1. Add yeast to the 1/2 C warm water. Stir. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Combine hot tap water, milk, and 7 C wheat in Bosch mixer. Mix on low speed until 

3. Add salt, oil, and honey. Continue to mix until blended. 
Add 1 C flour to mixture.  Keep mixing.
Add prepared yeast to mixture and blend thoroughly.   
Add eggs and blend thoroughly.

4. Add rest of flour to mixture. Knead for 10 minutes on low speed.

5. Remove dough and roll in to four loaves on oiled counter. Place into oiled pans. 
Oil top of loaves for soft crust. Place warm damp rag over loaves and allow to 
rise 1/3 in bulk for about 35 minutes (I did 45 min. - for high altitude).

6. Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes. Remove from pans. Put on rack to cool.  Brush 
tops with butter if desired.

Serve with butter and honey while WARM!!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Look Up

It's a dream of mine to someday live in a place that I can look up and see the stars. 

Yes, I can see seem stars where I live now. It's not a "big city" by any means, but it's city enough to not have tons of stars visible. For some reason our dinner conversation revolved around stars tonight, and it got me thinking. I recalled a family camping trip a few years back, out in the boonies, where dear hubby woke us all up to come outside and gaze at the stars. "Seeing" the stars could never describe the view before my eyes, it was definitely "gazing"!!  Stars is an understatement- as far and as deep as you could fathom, there were stars. It felt like you could reach up and touch them. Just incredible- the Milky Way was right there, soaring through the sky, as clear as day! I mentioned at dinner tonight, that that was the first time I could recall seeing that many stars. Dear hubby looked shocked and asked, "Didn't you see that many growing up?!" 

Well, I grew up in a fairly small town in the deep South, and there were not tons of lights around. I can recall summer evenings chasing fireflies, and playing family baseball until it got too dark to see the ball. I can remember talking to the Man in the Moon- I love the night sky, just plain and simple, so yes, the Man in the Moon and I are on a first name basis. So I really thought about my hubby's question. And I thought hard...

I finally had to respond, "I guess I didn't look up". It jerked my heart a bit to admit that I didn't remember if there were crazy awesome numbers of stars in the sky where I grew up. Then I thought about all the other things I didn't want to miss if I didn't look UP, or AROUND, or DOWN, or ANYWHERE! I don't ever want to look back and think that I just didn't look. I want to be here. aware. right now. I want to soak it all in, and breathe it to my core. I want to be part of life, of everyday, of living. 

Maybe someday I will have that little spot where I can look up and see the heavens opened up with stars each night, or maybe I will just have to dream. But either way, I will make sure I am looking every day!