Do Your Kids Remember What They Got For Christmas Last Year? And a Poll!

January 1, 2015

Good Cheap & Healthy Eats – Super Easy Homemade Freezer Hash Browns

January 1, 2015

A Start To A Thoughtful New Year!

January 1, 2015
empty image
empty image

2015Most people start off the new year with resolutions.  I don’t really make resolutions, but I do set some goals.  My goal for 2015 is to continue my journey towards a simpler lifestyle through minimalism. And what is minimalism?  It is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts from it! You can read more about it on one of my favorite blogs:  Becoming Minimalist

Just wanted to share some information that I’ve recently come across.  Things that have made me stop and think about 2015 and how I want to live it.

– Our Time is Running Out, What will you do with the time you have left?  Waste it?  “Imagine if we all had human-sized hourglasses shaped like ourselves… and, inside, there was enough sand to represent the years of our lives.  I wonder if we’d so easily waste our time and our lives if we were regularly reminded that… every day… every moment… every hour… our time is running out”… from Living Differently

And a commenter on that post (5th comment and one you should read) wrote something amazing “At what point do we feel like we have earned the right to live the life we want?”.  Wow! It reminds me of the number 1 regret of the dying, I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

– Can Money Buy Happiness?  I don’t subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, so I’m sure glad that Jessica over at Life As Mom posted the highlights of the article (that is backed by scientific research) for us to enjoy.

  • Experiences matter more than stuff.
  • You’re less likely to compare your experiences to others than you are a tally of stuff. Collect experiences, then, not things.
  • Counting your blessings and reminding yourself of what you have can make you happier.
  • Giving money, experiences, and gifts to other people is more gratifying that spending it on yourself.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Abstain from things for a time and you will appreciate them more.
  • Debt makes us unhappy. Avoid debt.

– Stories of Ordinary People with Extraordinary Wealth.  Pretty amazing and inspirational. The takeaway?  Simply live on less than you make and invest the rest! Here’s an excerpt from The Motley Fool:

  • Monsignor James McSweeney. Earning a sub-poverty-level income for decades as a Catholic priest, he focused on his investments in his free time, and was worth nearly $1 million when he died.
  • Genesio Morlacci. This 102-year-old former part-time janitor and dry cleaner left $2.3 million to Montana’s University of Great Falls.
  • Gilmore and Golda Reynolds. They seemed like ordinary next-door neighbors in Osgood, Ind. But when they passed away, they surprised the town by leaving it the $22 million they’d accumulated by investing in stocks over many years.
  • Thomas Drey, Jr. This retired teacher spent a lot of time researching companies at the Boston Public Library. Upon his death, he shocked the library by leaving it $6.8 million.
  • Jay Jensen. Another retired teacher, Jensen has lived frugally, investing steadily in blue-chip stocks for some 40 years. He never earned more than $46,000 per year, but he turned that into several million dollars, most of which he’s giving away.
  • Florence Ballenger. Ms. Ballenger was another teacher who lived frugally but well (often traveling around the world). Through investing, she and her husband accumulated more than $6 million.
  • Gladys Holm. She was a Chicago secretary whose salary peaked at $15,000 before she retired. Her secret was paying attention to what stocks her successful boss was buying and selling, and often following suit to a smaller degree. Upon her death, she left $18 million to a children’s hospital.
  • Donald and Mildred Othmer. The Othmers were members of a smart group of people who bought shares of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway and held on for decades. They invested about $50,000 in the 1960s, and upon their deaths in the 1990s, their estate was worth an amazing $800 million.

– National Geographic’s 2014 most beautiful photos.  There is such beauty in this world.  I love photography and thought you might enjoy these as much as I do.  Take a moment to check them out!

Winner, Nature – "The Great Migration" by Nicole Cambré

Happy New Year To You

Happy New Year to you!
May every great new day
Bring you sweet surprises–
A happiness buffet.

Happy New Year to you,
And when the new year’s done,
May the next year be even better,
Full of pleasure, joy and fun.

By Joanna Fuchs



  1. “At what point do we feel like we have earned the right to live the way we want?”

    I read that person’s comment on that blog post. Lots to think about! As for minimalism, I recently had some guests over and two of them complimented my lack of clutter and wished their house was the same. It sounds crazy, but it takes a lot of discipline to not want to fill empty spaces. It’s like your mind sees an empty corner and thinks, “I should put something there.” I’m training myself to love the empty spaces. It makes our home seem more spacious. The decorative things I have out are noticed more and it’s much easier keeping things clean when there’s less around.

    1. It’s profound..isn’t it!?
      I agree about minimalism. No clutter or “crap” means minimal time spent cleaning and maintaining and more time for what’s important to us. There is no peace with visual clutter. I’m slowly, but surely getting there. But I have 3 younger kids too. First I’m starting with our stuff, then I’ll tackle the kids’ stuff.

      1. It’s harder when you have kids. We just revisited the stuff we have in storage and most of it is our daughter’s. She’s hanging on to a lot of her childhood toys and books, I’m afraid. We also have many cartons that contain photos and framed photos that we never unpacked. I don’t know what to do with them!

        1. Why not create a memory wall somewhere in your home where you put up all the framed photographs. As a photographer, I love photographs and portraits. A room hung with photos is a room hung with thoughts! 🙂

  2. I can’t stand clutter. Our living space is for the most part free of clutter and excess. My ebay space is the only area that is just full of stuff 🙂 I love the quotes and links you’ve shared. I want to give my family more travel experiences, and that is what we’re going to focus on once we get our debt paid off.
    Happy New Year!

    1. I don’t have too much clutter, a little bit. But I’m slowly getting rid of a lot of things. I’m always stressed out when the house get a bit messy. It feels so good when it’s clean. Getting rid of crap we don’t need will help it look that way all the time. 🙂

      Travel experiences is one of those things I want to do more of as well. Maybe more extensive travel. We do like to go exploring on weekends..different cities and towns, beaches, etc. My goal is to explore on the weekends in all directions within about a 2 hour drive. Pack some food and take off. Even little trips like that are great!

  3. That is a big goal of mine this year also, to eliminate the clutter. I do love a vignette of pretty things but with all my Ebay scavenging I have kept way too many things! I intend to start putting the things I can really let go of on Ebay from every room of the house. One quote I recall is, “Simplicity, taken to the extreme, becomes Elegance.”

    1. Love that quote Linda. My first step towards minimalism will I think be getting rid of stuff from my cabinets that we don’t use, my closet (clothes that I haven’t worn in a long time) and books (I have tons of books that I will probably not ever read). I can always rent them from the library. My youngest son (9) is very attached to things..never wants to get rid of anything. I usually get rid of stuff from his room when he’s in school. I want to teach him about the UNimportance of stuff. I just rented a DVD documentary from the library called “The Story of Stuff”. Will be watching that with the family today. 🙂

Leave a comment