A Simple Life

Menu Planner – DIY

I’ve always been one to plan my weekly meals. It saves thinking when I’m tired after work and saves money as I buy what we need and don’t waste too much stuff.

My pad of  blank menus was coming to an end, so I though I’d look and see if there was an alternative way of doing it. I found this idea on Pinterest and decided to have a go. The idea is that it’s re-useable and having the ingredients on the back should help with planning a shopping list. Sounded good to me!

So here is my version.  I ususally put my menus on the fridge so I used an old magnetic board I happened to have, covered it with handmade paper and re-purposed an old box and added it  to the bottom to hold the spare cards that I’m not using that week.

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The cards are colour coded:

Red = red meat

Green = Vegetarian

Blue = Fish

White = Chicken

Yellow = Eating Out/Special Occasion

On one side they have the meal, the other has the ingredients needed as well as the recipe book it comes from- simple!

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We’ll see how well it works this week.

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A Simple Life

Still Walking…

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I can’t believe it’s been so many months since I posted anything. And getting back into it is H-A-R-D!

I’ve been trying to think of the ‘perfect’ post as a comeback to regular writing and colclude that there relly isn’t one. I just need to get back to it and keep moving forwards.
I have so much I can write about that I stall. I need to write simply as well as trying to embrace simplicity in my general lifestyle!
So there. Break over. Back to it. Keep walking…simply!

A Simple Life

Smile

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I got into trouble once when a customer was making a complaint to me. They thought I wasn’t taking them seriously because I was smiling. (Not true!)

 

I’ve found a smile is powerful.

 

Sometimes I make myself smile even when I don’t feel like it and it somehow makes me feel better.

 

I often find people smiling at me in the street. I think I must inadvertently look like I’m smiling half the time. I’ll bet sometime it’s a grimace, but I like it when they return the smile anyway. It makes me joyful.

 

Maybe try deliberately be extra smiley sometime in the next few days… see what happens.

A Simple Life

SLOW

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As I bustled out of the gym, hurrying to be on my way to something else, I glanced over at the group of older ladies all chatting and laughing over coffee.

 

It got me thinking.

 

Often, when I think about going slower, I think of the elderly. For whatever reason, whether it’s because they physically can’t go fast or whether they’ve learnt to appreciate the benefits of ‘slow’ in a life well lived, there’s a lot to learn from them.

 

I don’t mean this in a patronising way, but in a genuine sense that we have a lot to learn from those who have gone before us. Many folks who are a generation or two older than me seem, at least on the surface, to appreciate what it means to take time over something, to be with people and to really savour their company while you are with them.

 

Making bread has taught me to be patient. You can’t hurry it. It needs time for the yeast to penetrate through the batch. Maybe that’s why I’m getting into it at this stage, I need to learn to be slower, to take time allowing things to permeate and marinate with me.

 

I’ve been deliberately trying to walk more slowly. I’ve been trying to look less hurried when in shops or on the streets and am preparing myself to engage with people who are maybe looking at the same thing I am in a shop or waiting in the same place that I find myself. I’m trying to be available. I’m excited to think of the people I may speak to or the conversations I may have because of these choices.

 

A phrase popped into my mind as I was chewing this over;

 

TAKE TIME, MAKE TIME.

 

I think the fullness of what this means may become move evident in due course, but in its simplest form, I want to take time over things and people more and make time to do things and be with people.

A Simple Life

REST

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These three words have been painted on the chalkboard in my kitchen since the beginning of the summer holidays. They are things that I find hard (read almost impossible) to do. I felt that this summer break was a good time to begin to try and embrace them a little more (I have a suspicion that it’s a lifelong journey!)

 

Today, I’m thinking about Rest.

 

I’m an active person. I’m generally tearing around with a zillion things to do. I do a lot of sport. I can be found in the swimming pool mostly and I feel guilty if I have not done some form of exercise in a day, whether that be a cycle to someplace or a full-on session, complete with fins and paddles, in the pool.

 

But in the last few years I  have learnt to embrace a more genteel side to exercise, namely in the form of yoga and Pilates. My body copes much better with these forms of exercise. I have reluctantly hung up my running shoes as each time I try to run I get injured. “Finally…”, my body is saying, “…you are listening to me”!

 

I understand the concept in sport that we need to rest in order to build muscle and all that, but I’m not so great at actually doing it. I see rest as having to stop, be totally still, a ‘lie on the sofa and do nothing’ sort of thing. And I don’t like that idea.

I think I’m only seeing half the picture though.

I have thought about rest before. I love a good acronym and this one came to me and helped me to look at this whole idea afresh.

 

R – Rest is REJUVENATING. It allows recovery from energy already expended.

 

E – Rest is ENERGISING. It restores energy for what is next.

 

S – Rest is SANCTIFYING. For me, this means it allows me time to pray and chat to God in a place of quietness and peace. It’s good for me.

 

T – Rest takes TIME. I think this is possibly the hardest one for me. It takes time to rest and I’m always concerned I’m missing something or wasting time!

 

Restful activities? Are there such things? What defines rest for you? How do you incorporate it into your life?