Tag Archives: family

Living Like Audrey -Victoria Loustalot- Some Simple Quotes- a book review 

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Hey Audrey fans (or gift givers of Audrey fans) there’s a new book on the market to satisfy your Audrey cravings and there’s some pretty good advice in their too on how to capture some of the grace and simple elegance she was renowned for.

Here are a few of my favourite ‘simple’ themed quotes from the book.

There was absolutely nothing pretentious about her and that showed when she prepared a meal because her tastes were so simple.

She loved just being home with her family,we’d have dinner in the kitchen…she certainly respected and loved her career but her family really came first.

Audrey spent most of her time letting other people talk and letting other people move and be. And not just any people, but people she loved and respected and could learn from.

Her secret may have been in her understanding of balance and moderation and in knowing herself and listening to herself. ‘I have to be alone very often…that’s how I refuel’.

Every time you feel vulnerable, everytime you’re scared, every time you do what’s right for you despite the naysayers, and you don’t die and the world doesn’t end and you wake up the next day, you turn vulnerability into strength.

Even if your an urban dweller and you can’t imagine living anywhere else, you might remember what Audrey valued about the countryside and try to incorporate it into your daily experience. To cultivate a sense of delicacy, immerse yourself in nature, spending time away from the harsh lights and sounds of the city and its crowds.

Walking! Relaxing! Breathing.These are Audrey’s self professed “rules” of living.

 

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HYGGE- Getting Comfortable Can Get You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Have you heard about Hygge yet? It’s a Danish word (pronounced hue-gah) apparently without translation, and describes bringing a coziness, warmth, companionable and peaceful atmosphere in your home, your social life and life in general. Well, that’s a kind of definition- it’s my humble attempt anyway. There are books and blogs and YouTube videos sprouting up trying to define Hygge but most agree it’s easier to live it than to define it.
How do you live it? Well for some it’s candles and cozy socks, wine and friends and a fireplace. For me it often is letting the sun in, feeding my sons lots of home cooked meals and desserts, reading to the youngest one in bed, and chatting on the phone about movies to my eldest, putting my pj’s on early and reading or watching a sitcom or an old movie, setting a friend up on the couch with a cup of tea and a cozy throw. I was living it, some of the time, without even knowing it. Maybe you are too.
If I think about, it I was mostly practising Hygge when I was consciously trying to be good to myself, when I was trying to create comfort and peace against hard times, but mostly my Hygge efforts would be applied to someone else rather than me. And now I think back, when I needed it most is when I let my Hygge efforts lapse, when times went from hard to very hard or even just to normal and busy.
Why is that so? Why do I say Hygge takes effort? It’s interesting because theoretically it takes little effort to light a candle, slip on a robe, run a bath or make a hot drink. I think the effort is in the thought process-that IF you set up a Hygge atmosphere or treat that you should STOP and ENJOY it. I think that’s what it is for me. I might think, ‘ugh I couldn’t be bothered making a cup of peppermint tea and setting some biscuits on a pretty plate’, but what I’m really probably thinking is ‘ if I make myself a treat or make myself feel cozy…I have to stop worrying for a while and find pleasure in the tea and biscuit, I have to commit to the Hygge without getting up to do one more thing, I have to be able to say ‘hey everyone and everything I’m off the clock for a bit, don’t disturb me because I’m very important and am treating myself’. Let me tell you, I would NEVER say that.
So I have only been truly Hygge when I have felt kind of tired and in need of comfort, but not when I’m very in need of comfort. I haven’t been practising Hygge ‘just because’ either, and that, I am willing to bet, is the true practise ideal- to be Hygge anytime, all the time, just because you like it. Wow, that might involve some self-love and self-care there! Maybe that’s why the Danish are some of the happiest people on the planet, hmm, Oprah I think I’m on to something…
So from all this Hygge-nalysis I can conclude that-

*Hygge is important to me and I feel better for it when I practise.

*Hygge involves mindfulness and don’t you know mindfulness cures EVERYTHING!

*Hygge is a natural craving of mine that I often don’t feel able to ‘indulge’ in.

*My sons and my friends like my Hygge ways and I love doing it for them.

*I want to want to Hygge just for me everyday. I want to feel deserving of it and the time it may take and the related expense (though it’s mostly minimal).

*The more I decide to mindfully Hygge the more I will Hygge and reap the rewards. The more I Hygge for myself the more my family will reap the rewards of a relaxed mum.

*I don’t need to live in Denmark to become one of the happiest people on the planet.
Do you Hygge and how? Do you let your thoughts and beliefs hold you back from regularly practising Hygge like me? Comment below with your tips and and problems and support. If you’d like to engage with me more on topics subscribe to this blog 😊

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Simple Breakfast Ideas to get you out the door

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If you or your family have a ‘go to’ breakfast like cereal or toast with an egg for example,that is great but some people have problems eating breakfast due to reasons, such as those below, that can be remedied.
* Being too rushed- planning breakfast, establishing a morning routine and simplifying can help you have the time to sit down and enjoy your breakfast-even if you have kids!
* You or your child has no appetite in the morning or has food allergies or preferences that may take time or require special ingredients- thinking outside the ‘cereal box’ will help. Typical breakfast food are NOT the only thing that need be on the menu.
* Your family wants a hot breakfast or craves variety- a little planning and pre-preparation will allow you to serve a pleasing breakfast.
* When you think about the cooking and clean up cereal or toast is just easier- True, a quick and easy breakfast is a great idea, but there are options if you are willing to plan ahead.

Any of the following ideas are worth considering if you want to simplify breakfast or enjoy a more substantial breakfast without stress or taking too much time.
* Write a list of possible meal ideas that you and your family enjoy or would like to have. Refer back to this list when preparing the grocery list. When you read the hints below, add any new ideas to this list. Check out the Internet, especially Pinterest, for appetising inspiration. Look up ‘mug cooking’ ‘breakfast bowls’ ‘overnight oats’ for example and prepare to expand your culinary horizons.
*Keep your staples on hand ALWAYS .For example,have bread in the freezer and plenty of milk and allergy free alternatives (if required). If you don’t write a shopping list START NOW or do you like going to Woolies for soy milk in your slippers? 
* Set the scene the night before , maybe after the dinner clean up, by laying out placemats, crockery, cutlery etc. A child can do this – and probably should before they get anymore screen time! Think about what pots and utensils you will need and have them ready on a shelf or corner of the counter.
*If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher empty it at night so it’s ready for the breakfast run. If you’ve got dishpan hands like me fill the sink as you fill the kettle and wash as you go. Aim to clean up so you’re next meal isn’t sabotaged by crusty bowls and grungy pans.
* Prepare any ingredients you can ahead of time. When you are preparing ingredients for another meal STOP AND THINK if you can also prepare something else now for another meal. Say you are chopping veggies for dinner, spend a couple of minutes chopping some more for an omelette or similar. Store them extra in a ziplock bag or airtight container and it will be available for the next few days.
* Pre- measure dry ingredients for your own ‘make-ahead’ mixes. If your are making or planning to make muffins, scones, piklets etc measure a few extra batches of the dry ingredients and store these in labelled plastic containers or ziplock bags in the pantry. On the inside of the pantry door have a copy of each recipe with the ingredient list divided into dry and wet categories and also include the method and oven temperature. When you want to make the item the recipe is within easy reach. You will already have the dry ingredients measured and sifted and need to simply add the wet ingredients, mix and cook. Pikelets on a Tuesday should no longer be too much of a problem.
*Leftovers for breakfast-why not? Look at other cultures, breakfast is more varied that we often think. You’ll find variations such as rice dishes, cold platters of meats and fruit and veg, and hot meals that will keep you going until lunch. I’m not suggesting cold pizza out of the box but why not leftover fried rice or savoury mince or spaghetti bolognaise (growing boys love it!) Use leftover roast veggies to make a frittata or have on toast.
*Cook the breakfast ahead and heat it up as required. As my boys need it, I make extra or cook more food alongside the evening meal for lunch boxes or reheating for breakfast. I often do this all during the day to ease the dinner time workload. Some extra chicken breasts or browned mince or burger patties do not go astray when the ‘little ones’ are becoming ‘big ones’! One caveat, label or hide anything you want to serve for a specific meal because the fridge may get raided by growth spurting bandits.
*Don’t judge the minimalist. Some kids and grown ups never deviate from their ‘same ole’- let em be. Overall variety during a week of meals matters more than switching up breakfast everyday. If junior is a vegemite on toast enthusiast ensure that the variety is introduced at other mealtimes and snack times-peacefully too I might add. Don’t fret- a stressful eating environment causes more lifelong challenges than a more ‘relaxed’ attitude.

I have come to the point when I can eat the same thing day in and day out for most of the time. It’s a health and simplicity decision for me. My son is currently needing more variety and volume so I can provide that using the tips above-it’s no trouble and I know it’s getting him through the school morning /soccer game.
Share you’re tips and problems and support in the comments. Let me know what you’d like to read about. Subscribe for updates sent straight to you inbox.

🌟Simple Life Mum

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