Maple Alps

simplicity

How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps9 Comments
How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life | www.maplealps.com

Start waking up a little earlier

Wake up a little earlier to establish some good morning routines. It will slow down your morning and you will be able to face the day with renewed energy. Starting earlier will give you more time to breathe and brace yourself for the day - and with time for a hot drink as an added bonus! Waking up earlier and facing the day with purpose as opposed to letting it just happen to you will help you take control of the tone you set! Trust me.



Related: Tips for Starting Your Morning Right



Cultivate the love of homemade goodies

Taking time to gift homemade goodies for your family, friends, and neighbours brings back that community feel that I think our society has lost to some extent. Take time to get to know your neighbours and bring them homemade gifts. This can be as simple as a loaf of bread or a jar of homemade granola or jam to let them know you’re thinking of them. Go the extra mile and package it in an attractive manner that will show that you put thought into it. The process of making these goodies in itself is a good way to relax and pour your heart into something for someone else.



Related: An Aspiring Minimalist’s Guide to Gifts



Make time for family and friends

Spend time with your family. With the exception of your spouse, you don’t generally get to choose your family members, so you should cherish them that much more. It doesn’t have to be elaborate - just eating dinner together can make a huge difference in the culture of your family unit. Once in a while, extend your circle and invite some people over to join you and your family. Building relationships around the dinner table is so special.



Related: Gathering with Intention and Simplicity



Consider getting a pet, or two

Having a fur baby to love is a great thing! Having an animal companion to care for and have as company helps you slow down and think about something other than yourself. Dogs are great to walk, and [some] cats are great lap companions. There are also all sorts of pets out there. Pets aren’t for everyone though. If you’re not into pets, or allergic, you can start with a pet rock! I’m mostly kidding.



Take up a slow hobby

Take some time to be creative and pick up a slow hobby. This could be anything from gardening to crocheting. Maybe you want to pick a pen pal or start a card ministry. You could even paint or build model ships - whatever your sweet, simple life loving heart desires!

How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life | www.maplealps.com

Read more

Like with hobbies, stopping to read is a wonderful way to not only slow down, but to learn about the world in the process. Set some time aside to get comfortable with good lighting and a hot drink to accompany your book. By the way, you can find a few of my favorite books here! Try reading all sorts of things and you might even find some new interests!




Related: Fun and Creative Ways to Learn New Things (Without Going Back to School)



Add Houseplants to your Home

House plants are so great. They add life to your living space, help keep your air pure, and reduce stress! Not to mention that they are super pretty and make you feel fancy. Consider finding the perfect house plant for your home!



Related: 6 Reasons to Add Greenery to Your Life



Go For Walks

Taking some time to just go outside and breathe in the fresh air. You don’t have to go for hours at a time - even just 15 to 30 minutes of walking outside will recharge and energize you. For a bonus, bring a friend or family member with you and use that time to talk and bond. Relationship building is always important.



Be Intentional about your Phone Usage

A lot of us are letting our phones rule our lives, instead of using them as tools. Consider making a phone free zone or implementing rules to make your usage more intentional. Start practicing not to rely on your phone as much.



Related: 5 Ways to be Intentional About Your Phone Usage



Learn to Love Tidying

Keeping a neat and tidy space allows you more time to enjoy and slow down rather than trying to keep up with keeping your home clean. Consider adapting more of a minimalist lifestyle and surround yourself with that things that bring you joy.



Related: So You Want to be More Minimalistic



Be Content with What You Have

Surrounding yourself with only the things that bring you joy helps you to be content with those said items. Loving your things helps you care for them! I know it sounds strange, but I challenge you to try it for yourself!



Related: Why I God Rid of a Lot of My “Stuff”

 

How do you practice living a slower and simpler life?


 

Will I Be Still?

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 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


 

How Living Intentionally Can Help You Save Money

MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Last week, my husband and I went shopping. When I say shopping, I mean that we went to our favourite stores and browsed, and when I say browsed, I mean just that. After two hours, we walked back into our house with not one bag in tow and the same amount of money in our account that we had when we left. I was not terribly shocked, but I am certain that just a few years ago, that would not have been as easy to accomplish.

Living mindfully has naturally resulted in thinking about where our money goes. It is amazing how just thinking about it changes buying habits that sometimes leads to spending what one does not have. Instead of collecting things in our home, we have been discarding. Instead of noticing our money disappear, we have been saving, and instead of always thinking about spending money, we think about giving.

I decided to share today just a few of the reasons we believe being intentional and mindful has helped us save money.

How Living Intentionally Can Help You Save Money | www.maplealps.com

 

Have Only What You Need

I lived in the same house my entire life. When I decided to live abroad, I packed two suitcases and that is what I lived with the entire time. I came back to a full closet and drawers and realized that over half of the things I owned and had collected over time, I didn’t even need. I had just survived three years with what could fit into two suitcases. This opened my eyes greatly. I now need more than what can just fit in two suitcases (having a kitchen will do that), but I still have everything I need and love while avoiding excess.

 

Being Content With What You Have

I never realized the release I needed from material things. Because I had collected so much over the years and kept everything organized, I was not aware of each item I had. This was far from mindful. As I cleaned out closets and drawers and boxes, I finally saw the amount of useless possessions that was drowning me.

How Living Intentionally Can Help You Save Money | www.maplealps.com

 

Find Pleasure in the Simple Things

Because spending money is not on my radar, I get to enjoy more simple pleasure and realize the value of the things that cannot be bought. Once in a while I still love browsing through the mall to see the sights, but urges to purchase anything unless I need them hardly occur. If it does happen where I see something I like, it automatically comes to mind that I don’t need it and I leave the store quite content without whatever it was.

 

Free From Consumerism

I don’t feel the need to have the newest and best things anymore. Everything in my home has a place and a purpose, and I have no intentions to let that slide. I have experienced such a release and rest after getting rid of “stuff,” and I don’t want that frustration anymore. My spiritual life has been strengthened and I am able to think freely without inhibition. Thinking about giving generously to those in need or causes I believe in has become more natural (and more doable!).

 

Have you found that saving money is just one awesome perk of living intentionally?
Tell us about your journey to intentional living!


 
 



 

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!)