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!


  1. It's hard to deal with the big box retailers being open all sorts of days. But you are lucky, here in Canada they are open during our Thanksgiving Day, and many are now planning to be open during Christmas. I just escaped in time, since my retailer was threatening to be open during Christmas Day. That is simply not needed!!!!

    It's due to the fact that a very large nearby community has Asian residents, and many of them don't celebrate Christmas, and were demanding that they be able to shop during that day. It's sad that we can't do without a retail store for one day a year.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  2. I agree with your assessment that the "cause" behind OWS has grown blurry. A recent news reporter was asking various demonstrators what their goals were in participating in OWS. The answers were quite varied, ranging from "freedom of speech," "end the war," and my hilarious favorite (but unshared) cause, "eradicate men!"

  3. I hear that! I'm so sick and tired of the onslaught of constant commercialism. And, I'm guilty of buying into it more often than I'd like to admit. We've been trying to live simply for a couple of years now, and it's a challenge. The advertisers know what they're doing, and have success in creating desire where it's not necessary. Wish we all could get back to living a more simple life because I'm pretty sure we'd be happier, more carefree and certainly have less debt, which means we'd have to work less. I know that's what I want. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I'd never heard of either of those events. Thanks for filling me in!

  5. We are bombarded daily with advertisements everywhere we turn. It's no wonder we are such a materialistic people! Getting rid of the television in our home was a great way to reduce much of that. I'm encouraged to hear that you are re-focusing on the things that truly matter :) It's easy to get swept away with wanting the latest and greatest, especially if everyone else is doing it!! Keep up the good work, Oz gal :)

  6. I agree Susan...big business is shoving it'self in our faces and I really do get tired of it. Since we've moved to the country we don't eat out much any more and when we do we try to keep it local unless we have to head into the city for something which isn't very often thank goodness. A good amount of my holiday shopping will be small businesses in the country like Yoder and Halstead and we'll probably head to Newton if need be. We've shopped at WalMart for years but now with most of their products made in China (we read labels) we've decided to keep our money in the USA if we can help it. I'll be shopping Etsy more over the next month! Thanks for this post. I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Maura :)

  7. You know, I couldn't agree any more with this post if I wrote it all myself! My mom and I actually had a conversation about this not to long ago-We both admitted that we were dreading the holidays.

    I haven't enjoyed the holidays in a very long time and this is the time of year that I normally dread.

    We came to the conclusion it's nothing WE did though-It's all the hustle and bustle and the feeling of NEEDING to do this and NEEDING to do that-going shopping, decorating, baking, family, etc etc etc. It's all become stuff that stress us out and we don't enjoy anymore.

    On a different note, I was lucky enough to snag my mom and I both $25 gift cards from AMX for Small Business Saturday-I'm really excited about it, too :)

    I wish you nothing but luck and happiness on your simplicity journey!

  8. We must be on similar wavelengths. I've been taking a step back to simplify things again lately. Even in my computer life...I was following so many blogs that I couldn't possibly keep track of my favorites. I had to let some go. They were good blogs, just not my cup of tea. You, of course, are a keeper! I just found that I'm spending too much time on my computer and I needed to step back and get back to other things. Now on to simplify in other areas...

  9. this is what i ask myself...
    1.) do I REALLY need it.
    2.) where am I going to put it.

    If I answer yes to #1, #2 usually stops me in my tracks...

    simple! :)

  10. I moved into a 5th wheel. THAT taught me to really think about purchases! LOL

  11. Hey Susan, love time no see! I've been thinking along the same lines, in fact my current blog is Minimalist in the Making -
    I've been writing there since the beginning of October and concentrating on simplifying my life. My journey will be a long one but I'm determined!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :-)

  12. Ha - I meant "long time no see" but hey, love and miss you so I guess I combined it ;-)

  13. sounds like a great upcomin' giveaway.

    I just couldn't let today pass without wishin' you a wonderfully blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving sweetie.

    God bless ya! :o)

    BTW: place...ya'll come!!! :o)

  14. I need to work on this too. And, geee thanks for making me the bad guy. LOL Just joking.