Wednesday, June 8, 2016

At home...

Taking time to step back from Elefantz and potter around home these past ten days has been the best personal decision I've made in a while. It's not until you stop 'doing' and let yourself 'be' that time allows you a wider perspective of your life and how you've been living least that's what I found. 

I realised that just because a great opportunity comes my way doesn't mean I have to take it, and it was my husband who unknowingly triggered that epiphany. After two wonderful opportunities landed in my lap I told him about them and his first response was "Do they fit in with your plans?" 
Seven little words and I couldn't shake them for days. 
Then I remembered back here where I wrote about 'counting the cost' so now I had ten words passing through my thoughts and they refused to be silent.

I'm so grateful Mr E asked the question because when I was honest with myself the answer was no for one of them. Initially I'd been very keen to accept as my ego was certainly stroked - but there would be a cost to my peace of mind. my heartfelt desire to live a quiet homemaker life, the time I could spend with my growing family and probably my health. I humbly declined.

The second offer however, did fit with my life and my plans. In fact it gave me such delight to think about it that I knew this would be a joy and I accepted.

I guess today I just wanted to tell you that it's okay to say no. 

There's so much hype to jump in and say yes when something great comes your way, especially when others you know have done so, but by stepping back and really looking at the cost to your life, your family, health and peace of mind, you may discover it's not what you wanted after all.

In fact, the mental peace I have felt the past two days since making those decisions is exactly the peace I've needed. Choosing to accept or decline is powerful, sometimes brave, and when you make the choice based on who you are, what you want in life, and what's best for the life you enjoy living, the peace and joy you feel inside is priceless. No one can buy what I feel right now. 

Physical peace was also on the agenda during my 'holiday at home' break. I had decided to separate my office and sewing areas into two distinct zones as there was way too much overflow from one area to the other. I'd too long been gathering things from one room in the house and taking to another that I'd regularly be forgetting where I'd left things. Actually, if the truth be told, I had stuff in more than those two rooms and it made my home feel so cluttered and confused that visual peace was a dream I yearned to see.

I began the separation of zones by purchasing a lovely bookcase to house all my fabrics. Over a few days I emptied every box, plastic storage tub, drawer, cupboard, and shelf and sorted out what I would keep, what I would sell, and what I would give away. 
When that was done I began re-homing what was left.

 Now all the sewing and design supplies are right here in my sewing room bookcase...

...and all the business stuff is in the old bookcase in the office.

Our big rubbish bin was full, my car boot was emptied twice at the op shop, and I have two big plastic storage tubs with fabric to sell, but now in every room there is peace and order.
 Oh how I love order and calm and uncluttered areas! Seriously, I grin with delight every time I walk through these zones.

Also during my break I bought two new books. I'm already reading "Amish Peace" and loving it, but have yet to start The Modern-Day Pioneer.
(have you read either of these??)

After a trip to the Bunnings garden centre I fell in love with a Schlumbergera so Mr E got it for me.
Now I'm keen to get more and maybe become a Schlumbergera collector. I could have one of every colour...

I discovered a delicious new tea at Sprout when I was buying our apples and it's so delicious that it could be one my hubby may enjoy...may..might...possibly...well, probably not.
Upside, more for me.

A little bit of stitching has been done, not a lot, just a little...

...and the kitchen even got a good scrub so I could restock with simple healthy fare. 

The downside of the last two weeks has been an onslaught of migraines days after day. 
Having strayed from the healthy wagon I am now reaping the pain of way too much sugar and wheat so I've cleaned out the pantry and the fridge and gotten back on track with 'fresh is best'...

Just this morning I made yummy tahini dressing for a salad lunch, roasted pumpkin with garlic and pumpkin seeds with cajun spices for soup, salad and snacks...

...and baked Mr E his favourite grain-free sugar-free fruit cake.

 Nothing amazing, but good stuff which tastes good and makes our bodies work better. It also allows Mr E and I to manage our Hashimotos Disease wisely.
Small dietary changes make such a difference that I really wonder why I fall into these unhealthy lapses which make us sick?

From here on I'm working to balance my life and keep this calm and contented mindset, to stay on track with simple nutrition, and to make conscious decisions that reflect the life I've chosen to live.

After all, I have a life worth living and people I want to spend quality time with...

bless you heaps,


  1. Dear Jenny. Once upon a time, in my long gone career girl days, I used to run Stress Management courses. Two things came up time and time again. Firstly, indecision itself, creates stress. A decision, any decision, is better than day after day, week after week, month after month of thinking. Secondly, that often until we've made that decision, we consider the rest of our life 'on hold', and chaos reigns. I don't suggest that your life was in chaos for a nanosecond, but certainly the antithesis of indecision, allowed you to feel free to tackle other areas of life that needed attention. It's a valuable lesson. And another thing along those lines, is that not all stress is bad. Dis-Stress is what we've come to know as 'stress'. But Eu-Stress (Eustress) is good and is what gets the adrenalin going and allows us to accomplish more than we thought possible. Perhaps there's been a bit of both in your life of late. Love, love, love the organised 'stuff'. Well done. With Love, Mimi xxx

  2. I'm best at organizing and pretty good at leaving things where they shouldn't be as well. Unfortunately I don't have a separate room for my home office and my sewing room. I have some very manipulative people in my family. My daughter and my sister are the worst. I learned NO a while back. If I could just teach it to my husband. The tasks are things that I would do, I say no. If they get him first he says yes. Then I get the task because I don't want him in his ill health to do it. Stuck in a rut, lol.

    How is Blossom doing. I've been thinking of her.
    xx, Carol

  3. Thank you again for wise and inspiring thoughts. I've been reading a beautiful book entitled Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel that has inspired a lot of "re-creation" in me as has the book Audacious by Beth Moore. Keep up the good work. Your photography is also beautiful and peaceful.

    Mimi's comment inspires thought, too.

  4. Here on the other side of the ocean from you, I find that we are in a similar, making wiser choices on food and well-being. Maybe that is what the Word means when it says the grey hair is a sign of wisdom? Haha! I've got plenty of those, so now I'm trying to live up to that! Lovely, peaceful organized "stuff" -- I need to work on that, too.

  5. Glad you are back and feeling rejuvenated. Your 10 days went fast, I'm sure it seems even faster to you. My DH has a hard time saying "No" as well. After the other day, I think he will be reconsidering. I know he just wants to help, and he feels guilty when he says no. Your plant is so pretty and with all of those beautiful fabrics surrounding it. I too recently bought and Amish book, Amish Values for your Family: What we can learn from the Simple life-Suzanne Woods Fisher. It is in my To Be Read Pile. I am getting back into working out and trying to eat better. It is hard for me as the other half has no interest in it. I know I always enjoy my space when it is clean and decluttered. Enjoy the rewards of all of your hard work.

  6. I do pray your migraines go away with your resolve to eat and live healthier. I adore your clean and neat zones for sewing and office. How refreshing to reduce the bulk and keep the best. I am still and forever reducing my STUFF! It becomes such a chore and I am not good at it. Hopefully downsizing will be my FORCE to reduce clutter. I love your words of wisdom dear. Thank you for showing us that "Living Gentle Domesticity" is very possible.

  7. Good Morning Jenny! Your new rearranged fabrics area looks so pretty! I sure wish my various fabric storage areas looked as nice; but maybe they will if hubby can ever find the time to make my shelves. I am sorry that you have been having migraines again. I know horrible they are. I am glad to hear that you are going back to preparing meals with your healthy alternatives that help in so many ways. So hopefully the migraines will go away quickly. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers! Have a fantastic and creative day!

  8. I'm so glad this has been worthwhile for you, and you took the time to evaluated and to do what needed doing for your health and your well-being. You do have plenty of reason to stick around!

  9. Greta post Jenny. I got myself into a mental frame where i "had' to have a certain designer's fabrics. The latest came out & i was wondering why am i doing this i used to be happy just going to the local shop & getting fabric for the project i was working on. It had to stop i did really love the range so just bought a fat 1/4 bundle for a project but that is it now. Back to using my stash & just picking up what i need at my local LQS.So your post certainly rang a few bells in my head that i've slipped back into a place i don't want to be & i need to start cleaning out my life. Hugs,xx

  10. Sweet Jenny,
    Your honesty, transparency and talent are an inspiration!In the midst of migraines you accomplish more than more than I could imagine. Migraines are horribly painful. (I had several years of migraines and strange drugs and there were days I couldn't even think of moving!)

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your lovely new peaceful areas!! You are helping me purge my own space and maybe even de-clutter my creativity! :)

  11. Thank you, Jenny, for your sharing and encouragement to us. You are so inspiring that I am going through my fabric with "new" eyes. Part with the ones I am never going to use. More is not better, just messy. :^)

  12. Thank you, Jenny, for your sharing and encouragement to us. You are so inspiring that I am going through my fabric with "new" eyes. Part with the ones I am never going to use. More is not better, just messy. :^)

  13. It all looks so wonderful Jenny, my crafting space needs exactly this but it's such a daunting job and I just don't know where to start first......

  14. Hi Jenny

    Thank you for your blog today, it is just what I needed to hear.

    I do remember you having a similar blog sometime ago.

    I will also have to make some decisions regarding time and your words have just confirmed the conversation I had with me DH last night.

    God Bless and keep up with your lovely blog.

    Melinda Meyer

  15. Glad you came to some resolution, dear girl - you must do what's best for you and for your family! I'm really sorry to hear you've been suffering during your vacation, I hope you're better now - I have no idea why we sabotage ourselves like that, I really don't. I do it too. I KNOW how much better I feel when I don't eat certain things [chocolate, she whispers] but I eat it anyway. ARGH.
    Your new spaces look wonderful...I'll be doing that soon - we may close next Wednesday!!!!

  16. I have the Amish book.... love it!

  17. What a great post to motivate me. I also have crafting spilling over to the entire house! I made note of the books because they look like books I would want to read. Thank you for this post. Diane

  18. Impressed with your organization and separation of spaces. Here I'm wanting my desk back in my sewing space because of the computer to veiw tutorials and such.
    I won't even talk about bad eating. We have been on vacation and I've ate more fast/just food in 9 days than I have in the past year. Yikes. My body feels it. Some how luckily I didn't gain weight. I think all the walking. I haven't blogged either. I'm a slacker. I'll blame it on all the food. But I did get almost a whole quilt down when we got home. So I did find some motivation.


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