Maple Alps

simple

Will I Be Still?

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

We live in a noisy world.

A few months ago, as I sat at my desk to work, I became aware of the theme from Family Feud playing. I knew that it was Family Feud because I used to watch it with my siblings growing up (an unimportant detail). I realized it couldn’t be coming from our little apartment, since we owned no TV or loudspeakers, and I was home alone. The floor started vibrating from the intense frequencies, and it clicked that it was our downstairs neighbors, who often had the TV volume turned all the way up (or at least it sounded that way).

I relocated to my husband’s empty office, and not seconds after getting myself comfortable in his cushy swivel chair, a car alarm sounded—ringing through the air for a good amount of time before being shut off. A truck then sped out of the neighboring community. I hope whoever it was wasn’t trying to be stealthy because the whole block heard them.

I thought that just maybe, it was now my turn. My turn to have silence. However, people across the way started shouting, and a convenience store truck (I didn’t even know those existed) started driving around wailing, “The Entertainer” out of its built-in speakers. The downstairs neighbors started wrestling elephants, and an exceptionally long train drove by. Judging from the duration of the tones, I’m guessing that every train car had its own horn to toot.

We live in a noisy world - or at least I do.

 

 

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Kaetlyn Anne

Intentionality SpotlightAmanda Walter | Maple Alps8 Comments

Today we continue with Intentionality Spotlight! Similar to Women of Intention, different bloggers are featured in an interview style. Unlike Women of Intention, the focus is more on their blogs themselves, as well as an area of intentionality in their life.

I am so excited to invite Kaetlyn Anne to talk with us today. I won't say too much about her beautiful and inspiring simple living blog since she'll be sharing it, but know that it's great.

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Kaetlyn Anne | www.maplealps.com
 

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your work, passions and interests?

I am a creator, blogger, and Etsy shop owner! I feel most like myself when I am creating—whether that be painting signs, fixing up old furniture, taking pictures, making videos, or even simply decorating a space in my home. A few of my favorite things in the world include sunshine, fresh flowers, a good cup of coffee, and Jesus.  I’m passionate about simplicity and intentional living and I strive to incorporate that into every aspect of my life!

 
Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Kaetlyn Anne  | www.maplealps.com
 

I love how your blog focuses on bringing simple back in everything from wellness and what we eat to how we approach our everyday items. What made you begin your simple way of living and what made you want to share it with others?

Thank you! I began my journey to simple and natural living at the beginning of 2016. At that point, I had been struggling with depression and anxiety for over 6 years and I was ready to do something about it. I had been on antidepressants for a few months at that time, and while they helped me mentally, my physical body was failing. I knew there had to be some other way to find true health.

My mom raised me in a very health conscious home, so I began to actually apply what she taught me and look more closely to what I put into and onto my body. Slowly I began eating better, throwing out toxic bath and beauty products, incorporating essential oils into my daily life, etc. I began to simplify everything and slowly I began to feel better, and better, and better. Eventually I realized I was no longer struggling with darkness like I used to and it was all because I chose to be intentional about what I bought, what I used, and what I consumed.

 
Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Kaetlyn Anne | www.maplealps.com

I wanted to share this journey and way of life with others because I have seen and felt firsthand how much freedom it can truly bring, in our physical and mental health. Our culture is always going to “have the next big thing” that will make you “happier” or “healthier” or “wealthier” but I believe that those things can only be found by going back. To simple and to natural. I want others to discover the healing and nourishment found in God’s creations, not the world’s.

 

What is one other specific area in your life you find that intentionality is absolutely critical? How do you exercise mindfulness in it?

I think that being intentional in prayer time and Jesus time is beyond important. I hate to admit that there are many days where I would like to speed through and get on with my day without taking the time to sit in His presence, but whenever I skip that critical time, my soul just feels off!  

If I’m not intentional about this, I can easily find myself opening the Instagram app more than I open my Bible, and that is not how I want to live my life. I have gotten into the habit of not even turning my phone on in the morning until I have had time with Jesus, as well as setting a “curfew” for myself to turn my phone off at night so I can be intentional and let God guide my evenings as well. 

 
Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Kaetlyn Anne | www.maplealps.com
 

If you could give one piece of advice about prayer to someone who struggles with it, what would you tell them?

Find a time of the day that you can fully dedicate to Jesus and stick to it. It may take a long time to develop the habit, but it is well worth it. Find a place in your house where you feel cozy and peaceful, and meet Him there daily. Leave all distractions behind! (That means your phone J) I’m definitely not always perfect with this, but I know God sees and is pleased with our every attempt to get to Him and sit with Him. He’s standing there with open arms every time!

 

Find Kaetlyn on her website or on Instagram


 

Asian Style Noodle Salad

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

Since the weather has warmed up tremendously, I'm more eager for cold, fresh salads to be on the table. I also have a crazy huge weakness for all things pasta, so although I would love chomping on tomatoes and cucumbers all summer (oh my. I'm hungry now!), once in a while, I crave some starch!

Simple Asian Style Noodle Salad | www.maplealps.com

Pasta, however, does not provide the crunch I crave come summertime. My mom always makes this delicious Asian salad with ramen and a delicious ginger dressing, so I decided to do a take on it and see what I could come up with. 

It has been a crazy summer, and since this can be whipped up quickly in a pinch, this is perfect. The dressing can be made ahead for even faster assembly.

Asian Noodle Salad | www.maplealps.com
Asian Style Noodle Salad | www.maplealps.com

Simple Asain-Style Noodle Salad

What You Need:

  • 4 ounces chopped or grated carrots

  • 12 ounces (or more!) chopped red cabbage

  • 12 ounces chopped broccoli

  • About 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (I used soba noodles)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or lemon juice)

  • 3 TBSP agave nectar

  • 3 TBSP natural creamy peanut butter

  • 3 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger

  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

What to Do:

  1. Cook the noodles until al dente (follow package directions).

  2. Drain and rinse with cool water and transfer to a large serving bowl.

  3. Add the red cabbage, broccoli and carrots.

  4. Whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, peanut butter, agave, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

  5. Pour over the noodle mixture and toss to combine.

  6. Add the peanuts and cilantro.

  7. Serve chilled.

 

What's your favourite summertime salad? 


 
 
Asian Style Noodle Salad | www.maplealps.com

Women of Intention Week Ten: Simple Living

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Welcome to week ten of the series, Women of Intention! We are just over halfway through and Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

How does living simply tie into intentional living? #WomenOfIntention16 #MapleAlps

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet Stefanie of Simple Acres, an inspiring blog full of natural health, farming,home decor, art and humour!

Today, Stefanie will be talking to us about simple living and how it has benefitted her and her family.

After reading this post, be sure to check out Stefanie's blog and share this post :)

Find Stefanie on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are you passions, work and interests?

My name is Stefanie. I am a very passionate person. I'm a mom of three, wife to my high school sweetheart, Registered Dietitian and entrepreneur . I'm passionate about my family first. Secondly, I find value in helping people find quality of life and success through self care and simple living.

 

What would you say simple living is and how does it tie into your intentional living?

Simple living is deeper to me than how to up cycle an old spoon or make an affordable yummy meal...simple living is leaning into that inner voice that guides your life to truth, joy and purpose. At Simple Acres I DO offer simple ways to be creative and nourish yourself and family but I also write about being present, intentional and grateful in life.

How can one adapt a simple lifestyle - what does it practically look like, and how can it be of benefit?

First off I believe to simplify lifestyle requires perspective. Perspective of what truly matters in the grand scheme of life. To me relationship is the most important thing we have as well as the memories we create with the people we love. With that perspective it makes reducing the excess is life easier, whether it is too many things that stress us out or steal our time or over commitment that robs our joy in the present.

 

On your blog, you talk about country living being in your blood. How has nature played a role in this lifestyle of yours? Do you think things would be different if you lived or grew up or lived in the city?

I was born in Wyoming. I have endless memories of fishing with my parents and being in the mountains hiking and viewing animals. Those type of memories stick with me. They created a sense of oneness with nature and ultimately a connection with the Creator Himself. No matter where I am I definitely crave open space and nature because that is where I feel the best in life. I grew up later in life in the city so id say for me it's the first foundation of life that created who I feel I am related to nature. This is what inspires me to raise my kids on a farm setting.

What would you say to encourage someone who wishes to live simply but is having a hard time?

First I'd like to say, I feel your struggle as I do to. Simple living and the mindset of focusing on less to ultimately have more (peace, joy and presence)is a learning journey I am on as well. I would say take it one day at a time, reflect on gratitude and SAVOUR the moment you are in! Every aspect of life offers joy from a delicious meal with a friend to the kiss of your sweet child. The details in life like organizing, spending, decorating, cooking...whatever you feel the need to simplify start in one area of your life at a time... It's a journey worth being patient with yourself with. 


What about you? What helps you be intentional in your life? What do you think about simple living? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

Women of Intention Week Seven: Simplici-tea

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple Alps1 Comment

Welcome to week 7 of the series, Women of Intention! We are about halfway through! Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Do you live a simple and intentional life? Read how one woman does! Women of Intention Week 7 #WomenOfIntention16

Women of Intention Week 7

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet Lu Ann of, The Cup of Life

Lu Ann is a true tea enthusiast, and whenever I visit her fantastic blog, I get thirsty! Today, Lu Ann will talk to us about the role of tea in her life, and intentionally living simple lives. I don't mean to give a spoiler, but she has some great things to say. Why don't you grab a cup of tea and join us?

After reading this, don't forget to check out Lu Ann's blog, and share this post! :) 

Find Lu Ann on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


Tell Us A Bit About Yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

Hi! I’m Lu Ann and I’m a tea enthusiast and writer based in Ontario, Canada. That being said, tea is my biggest passion, work and interest. I love being able to help others see that there are many ways to enjoy tea (it’s not just for drinking!). When I’m not writing about tea or drinking it, I’m finding the many ways I can incorporate it into my life through tea infused recipes, DIY, and more.

 

You blog about all things tea. Where did this love of tea come from?

When I was seven years old I finally got my first sip of tea. While I don’t remember the tea exactly I recall it came from a wooden box and was strawberry flavoured. It was love at first sip. What made me enjoy it so much wasn’t just for the beverage but also for the company - my mother and sister. Tea for me has always been viewed as the best way to bring people together. When I started my tea blog is was more of a place to share my creative writing with a cup of tea by my side. I later had the great opportunity to join the wonderful tea community and my blog began to become so much more on the world’s most popular beverage, tea. 

What would you say simplicity is and how does it tie into your intentional living?

The easiest way for me to describe what is simplicity is to compare it to a cup of tea. I find tea is one of the things that help me focus on more natural aspects in life and live according to my values. While there are many fun and cool tea products that can “help” you make the best possible tea the thing we need to remember is that you really only need a bowl, water and tea leaves to experience something wonderful. You don’t actually need that tea timer, the newest kettle, or even that frother for cafe quality tea lattes at home. Sometimes aesthetics are nice but can take away from the true meaning of tea. Like life, simple is always best.

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling with living with intentionality?

Try your best to bring it into your life slowly. Small steps are key. Start by being more aware of those around you and your actions. Everything you do should be done mindfully. If you need guidance, before your next action, simply ask yourself “Why am I about to do this?” Oh, and also make yourself a cup of tea!


What about you? What helps you approach simplicity and intentionality in life? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)