Simplicity, Reaffirmed

I had lost touch with Martha, one of my earliest blogging buddies, over the last few months.  Oddly enough, she commented on my blog yesterday and I had just been thinking about her!!

Last night, I discovered she had started a blog about her journey to minimalism.  By this morning, I had tweaked my post from yesterday and provided it as a guest post for her new blog, Minimalist in the Making.

Re-connecting with Martha couldn't have come at a better time for me.  I have been losing my grip on the reasons I am working two jobs.

After spending the last few hours reading many of the minimalist /simplicity /debt-free blogs that Martha has linked to, I have reaffirmed my desire to live simply, and cut much of the clutter from my life and my home.

Thank you Martha, for re-connecting with me at a pivotal point in my life.

So while y'all head on over to Martha's new blog to have a peek, maybe I need to return the Kindle Fire that just came yesterday.  :-\

Note to Self: Remember to Live Simply

Lately it seems like corporate greed is on the front page, in every shape and form.  We see the protestors of the Occupy movement protesting this greed in a vague and rather unorganized protest - there doesn't really seem to be a defined strategy to their efforts.

Then on the opposite front we see news items over the last few days that several large corporate retail brands are planning on opening their stores Thursday evening, instead of waiting for their normal big opening on Friday morning.

Isn't this a prime example of corporate greed?  I get weary of materialism being shoved down our throats 24/7.  We've become so accustomed to this constant onslaught of WHAT WE NEED (really?  do we need all this stuff???) that it's become difficult for us to take a step backwards and reassess what we really need to get by on a daily basis.  Which is a lot less than we think.

And I'm just as guilty of this" I WANT" mentality as anyone else.

I had a pretty good handle on simplicity when I first moved to Kansas in 2008.  Partly because I wasn't working and I really had to practice that philosophy.

Now that I've been working two jobs, to pay off debt of course, I seem to have lost sight of my "simple is better" philosophy the last few months.

I need to get back on track.  Really, I do.  So I'm going to start working on getting back to a simpler way of life.  Again.

As an adjunct to this philosophy, and a pffffffft to large corporations everywhere, there are two events coming up this weekend that remind us to remember small and independent businesses everywhere.

The first event is Plaid Friday, brought to my attention by Jon Katz, one of my favorite dog book authors (A Dog Year, A Good Dog, Dog Days, etc.). Please click through to Jon's website to read all about Plaid Friday and how we can impact independent businesses for the better, in a world swimming with corporate greed.

The second event, Shop Small Saturday, is sponsored by American Express (I know, a BIG corporation.....sigh), but it does support small business and promotes the idea that we need to remember the independent businesses in our own hometowns.  If you're an Amex card holder, you can sign up here (registration is limited!) and earn $25 back on your statement by spending $25 or more at an independent business near you.  Last year, my husband and I ate at a small hometown Mexican restaurant with a large reputation,  for free!

A side note regarding the November magazine subscription giveaway:  I recently had a "Buy One Get One Free" offer from MaryJanesFarm so I thought if the winner chose MJF then I would choose a second winner.  Misty Dawn chose to subscribe to Hobby Farms Home. Sorry guys!!  :-\

December 1st is coming fast, and there will be a new country giveaway.  I'll be tailoring this next giveaway in the spirit of Plaid Friday and Shop Small Saturday - we'll put a new Etsy shop owner in the spotlight next!

The November Country Giveaway Winner Is......

So who gets a subscription to a country magazine???  Wellllll, the random winner drawn this morning was.........  Misty Dawn!!

I was so excited when I saw that Misty's number came up in the Randomizer.  She's my virtual photographer friend/crony.  We discovered that if it has to do with photography, then the other one is probably going to be interested in it too, so we're always sending links to each other!

Misty, let me know which magazine you'd like a subscription to, email me your address, and I'll get your subscription started.

Congrats to Misty, and thanks to everyone else who entered by commenting.

Oh yeah, one other thing.... pay very close attention to the next blog post.  Depending on which magazine Misty selects, there just might be a second gift subscription to another lucky blog reader!!

Oooops.... Weight Loss Program On Hold!

Ok, so I jumped the gun just a bit.... I was going to hit the store after work last night to get the foods I would need to help me lose the weight.  Regretfully, I was feeling quite nauseous before I left work, so trolling through the grocery store aisles after 10:00 p.m. just didn't sound like a load of fun.

I came straight home.

I will renew my decision to lose the weight (and set a new start date) as soon as I have time to hit the grocery store and stock up on the RIGHT foods.  Meanwhile, the Advocare products are sitting here, just waiting on me to get my butt in gear!

I also want to get our weight bench moved from the shop to the garage, in the room we have been renovating.  It's close to the back door of the house, and once the bench is set up, I'll be more motivated to follow through on workouts.

In the meantime, here's a recent gorgeous Kansas sunrise for your viewing pleasure... and don't forget to enter the November country giveaway.... click here to find out how to enter!

YOU Can Hold Me Accountable...

....for the next 24 days!

I have finally decided to make the commitment to lose at least 20 pounds.

I am using the Advocare 24 day program to help me, in addition to eating the right fruits and veggies and totally swearing off JUNK food.

I want my svelte figure back, but more than that, I want my energy back! 

On a side note, I've been boosting my energy lately with the help of Spark.  Spark's vitamins and minerals keep me going through my work-laden days, not only with energy, but also a much welcomed burst of positive well-being and cheerfulness.  You can really feel it -- you just feel better and more positive about life in general after drinking a Spark.

At any rate, I wanted to announce my intention to the world, so that I will be accountable to more than just myself.

Starting tomorrow, a 24-day jumpstart to weight loss and then I will continue to eat better after the 24 days are over!  I promise!!

Follow along -- I'll do a weigh-in tomorrow (ugh).  Not too sure about before and after photos though, we'll see!

Also, don't forget about November's country giveaway.  Click here to read about it - you still have until Friday at midnight to be entered.  A winner will be drawn on Saturday.

Disclaimer:  Yes, I'm an Advocare distributor.  No, I'm really not trying to push Advocare products down anyone's throat.  But I've read so many good things about people who have lost weight using this program,  I decided I really need to give it a try.  And I really DO like the Spark drink!

A November Country Giveaway

And finally, it's time for another country giveaway!

This month, how about a year's subscription to one of the following:

Hobby Farms Home

I've received both magazines at different times in the past, and I love them both.

The winner, to be drawn randomly on November 12th, can select the magazine of their choice.

I'm changing up the rules just a tiny bit this month - simply COMMENT to this post to be entered into the giveaway.  Only one comment is necessary to be entered into the giveaway.

I think that's easier, and much simpler for everyone since we all have such busy and hectic lives!!

Good luck, and have a wonderful Thursday!

a rustic prairie shot from my photo archives