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Slow Living

9
Dec
2017
0

A Simple Path: With Jessica Rose Williams

We are so excited to be joined this month by the wondrous Jessica Rose Williams, known as the ‘queen of minimalism’! Jessica is a writer, photographer and lover of a capsule wardrobe. She helps people declutter their clothes and attain more freedom with less stuff.

You may already have signed up to her free Minimalist Challenge, enjoyed her beautiful photos on Instagram or read her thoughtful and insightful blog. Now here’s another treat for you: Jessica Rose’s philosophy on slow living and the courage it takes to say no.

We think you’ll love this one!

Welcome, Jessica. Thanks so much for joining us.

Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?

By day I run a finance business with my husband but I’m really a writer and a photographer. I blog at jessicarosewilliams.com where I write about living a simpler more creative life, and all the benefits that come with that based on my own experiences. I also work with people 1:1 to help them simplify life and build capsule wardrobes.

I’d always wanted to start a blog but I didn’t have the confidence. Two years ago I made a big lifestyle change and started living a more intentional simpler life. I got rid of everything that didn’t add real value and it gave me the nudge I needed to chase my creative dreams. Getting rid of all the distractions in my life made me realise what really mattered to me and what direction I wanted to go in.

jessica rose williams - slow living

If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?

You are good enough just as you are, be kinder to yourself.

What is it about slow living and the simple life that you find appealing?

I love the overall clarity and calm it brings but it’s the little things that make the big differences. I love waking up at the weekends and having no plans instead of a diary full of things I don’t want to do. I can spend the day pottering around to my heart’s content. I love not being overwhelmed by choice too. My capsule wardrobe currently stands at 32 pieces and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

People often think simple is easy. But it’s the opposite most of the time because it requires you to say no to a lot, and that takes courage. There’s a deep sense of fulfilment that comes from that because you’re designing your own life – and it’s worth being brave for.

How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?

I think it’s really important to set boundaries for ourselves, forget what we think we should be doing and try to tune in to our intuition. So many people are too busy trying to capture the moment to share on social media that they’re missing the actual moment. We have to know when to put the camera down and keep some things for ourselves. It’s all about balance.

I love photography but to be a great photographer you have to develop a great eye, and the only way to do that is to take the time to look. A ‘less but better’ approach stops me from being too click-happy. I’d rather have less images but better quality.

jessica rose williams - slow living

Who inspires you?

So many people, but especially brave women who choose to live courageously alongside their vulnerability. I look up to a lot of past female authors like Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, modern writers like Rupi Kaur and Cheryl Strayed and online creatives like Sara Tasker, to name a few.

What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?

Scented candles, blankets and a good quality bed with good quality bedding. Feeling relaxed and cosy at home is everything to me – I’m a real home bird. It’s amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep can make, and I think a lot of us underestimate this. When it comes to scents, a good quality scented candle can make your home feel like a 5* hotel.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

I try not to think too far ahead to be honest. It can take my mind away from the here and now so quickly and make me feel really overwhelmed, but I’d love to think I’d written a book by then.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Everything inside me is telling me not to answer this question (insert laughing emoji). Let’s just say I was a very rebellious teenager.

Thank you so much for your time, and sharing your thoughts with us! For more in our A Simple Path interview series go here and here

5
Dec
2017
0

5 Lovely Holiday Traditions from Around the World

If you are looking for some new rituals to share with your loved ones over the holiday season, look no further. We’ve hunted around for some lovely holiday traditions that all foster a spirit of togetherness, thoughtfulness and comfort. Whether you adapt these to suit your personal preferences, or wholeheartedly embrace an established ritual, we hope these ideas will bring a fresh energy and joyful time for you and your family and friends.

Jolabokaflod (Iceland) – Holiday Traditions

christmas book flood - Holiday Traditions

Iceland is well known to be a book-loving nation. In fact 1 in 10 people there will publish a book, they have incredibly high literacy levels and Icelanders place great value on the giving of physical books as gifts. So much so that there is a special tradition known as ‘Jolabokaflod’, in which families gather on Christmas Eve, give each other books and then spend the evening reading. People may take their books to bed along with a hot chocolate, or sit together in front of a fire reading quietly. We think this is such a wonderful idea, and a perfect way to calm any pre-Christmas excitement and help children settle down to bed (though we can’t guarantee it will prevent that 4AM wake-up call when they spot their stockings…).

We love the sound of Jolabokaflod, and to make it more affordable and sustainable will be buying second-hand books this year. We plan to combine this with the giving of Christmas pyjamas, so everyone can properly snuggle up before the big day (this brand are making special Jolabokaflod pyjamas if that’s your thing). You could also suggest that everyone reads aloud from a section of their book so you can all share your stories.

Farolito lanterns (Mexico) – Holiday Traditions

This Mexican custom is focussed on bringing light and happiness to the whole community. Intricate designs are cut into brown paper bags, then a candle is placed inside (resting on some sand to keep the lantern steady) and they are set out along pavements and windowsills around the local area. Some of these displays are large and impressive, but a small collection of farolito lanterns in your front yard or along your street could be a lovely way to light up your town.

Furniture fix-up (Guyana) – Holiday Traditions

In Guyana, and across the Caribbean, a pre-Christmas tradition is the polishing, fixing and cleaning of household furniture. Curtains are washed or replaced if they are tatty, furniture is waxed and polished and even covered over until the feasting on Christmas Day to keep it looking perfect. We like the idea of getting the house in order before the chaos descends. It’s often hard to keep the house clean when you are busy hosting, cooking, and endlessly tidying up piles of wrapping paper and new toys. With this tradition, at least you know you will go into the festivities with a spick-and-span home. Just don’t expect it to look like that by the end.

Ancestor worship (China) – Holiday Traditions

As the majority of the Chinese population are not Christians, Christmas is not a huge deal there. Instead, the main focus is on the Chinese New Year in January. Part of this is the celebration and remembrance of ancestors, and this could be a nice tradition to incorporate into your holiday festivities. Photographs and pictures of family members who have passed away are hung in the main rooms as a way of celebrating their lives and keeping them close at this important time. If you have pictures that you’d like to display, you could set aside an afternoon during the holidays to place these around the house, or on the mantlepiece, telling stories of your ancestors or just remembering people who are no longer with us.

In Finland it is traditional to visit cemeteries on the evening of Christmas Day, placing lanterns on the graves, with a similar intention of keeping alive the memories of lost loved ones.

christmas candle lantern - Holiday Traditions

Advent windows (Switzerland) – Holiday Traditions

This is a lovely, and very sociable, tradition that originated in Switzerland but can now be found elsewhere. The focus here is on Advent. Each house on a street (or in a village) is allocated one day on which to mark the coming of Christmas. The windows are then decorated on this chosen date, and the household hold a party for people in the village or on the street, offering guests food and mulled wine. This seems like a perfect excuse for 24 days of solid partying, and a great way to get to know people in your area. If the party aspect seems a bit too much, you could allocate each household on your road a day in Advent and ask them to make a window display connected to their number.

christmas traditions mulled wine advent - Holiday Traditions

We hope these have given you some ideas if you are looking for new traditions or rituals to help you celebrate the festive season. And if you prefer a quiet, simple holiday time tucked up under a blanket with a plate of roast potatoes, then we wish you well too.

If you have any traditions you’d like to share, we would love to hear them. Just drop us a comment below.

16
Nov
2017
0

A Simple Path: With Leslie Carrington

We are thrilled to be joined by Leslie Carrington this month in our series of interviews exploring slow living and how to live a more simple lifestyle. Leslie is CEO of HolistiCitiLyfe, a company that organises wellness vacations designed to help you feel more balanced, healthy and happy. Leslie and her colleagues create tailor-made itineraries for a client’s trip, with a focus on restoring and rejuvenating both mind and spirit.

And the wellness is not purely intended as a holiday treat. HolistiCitiLyfe offers support for people once they get home and land back in the busyness of their lives, so they can continue to reap the benefits of a holistic approach to life. We think this chimes perfectly with what our A Simple Path series is all about: thinking about how slow living can all help us lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

Here are Leslie’s thoughts on having a ‘non-cookie cutter approach to wellness’, and her advice for her younger self. Think of her interview as a mini-retreat where you can escape out of your day for a few precious minutes.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Leslie Carrington. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?

My name is Leslie Carrington, and I’m a licensed Social Worker, Life Coach and Founder of HolistiCitiLyfe (HCL).  I created HCL from my passion for wellness and love for curating events and travel retreats. These two ideals collided and are now at the forefront of everything that I do and curate for my very special clients, community and travellers.  

By changing my own life through clean eating, physical activity, meditation and the incorporation of ancient practices, I help others change their lives and enjoy a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit.

holistic wellness slow living - Leslie Carrington

If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?

Looking back to when I was young, trying to invent and simultaneously discover who I was destined to be, I recall trying to keep up with the Joneses, as if I had no mind of my own.

If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, it would be to live life on your own terms.  Go with the burning desire inside to live a more simplified lifestyle. Everything happens for a reason and your life will end up right where it’s supposed to be. Don’t be afraid to be different and affect change in others.

What is it about the simple life and slow living that you find appealing?

Much like my previous answer, we spend a large part of our lives chasing things that we think are going to bring us happiness. Things like careers, money, relationships, and other tangible items. As I have become older AND wiser, I have come to appreciate the simpler things. Natural foods, natural skin and hair care products, nature, a holistic way of living.

Changing my life to fit my goals and the reflection of what I value most is how I’ve always wanted to live. Finding meaning and purpose while living “the simple life” is more appealing to me now more than ever.  Seems that’s why I have made it my mission to help others discover the very same thing – if only for a moment.

How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?

There really is no easy way to answer this question. Nor do I have the “magic” solution, as this is a tug and pull for me on a daily basis. I especially find it difficult to counteract the pull during my wellness events and travel retreats. Capturing the exciting and inspiring moments is important for marketing purposes and such, but being in the moment is the main purpose of my wellness events and occasions. It’s meant to be a time to unplug, detach and communicate with others – the old fashioned way.

Entrepreneurship, however, often leads me to want to capture the moments. Often times, it’s also something that I want to remember and find the need to share with others.  There is intrinsic value in understanding the need and desire for curating images. But so much of my personal and ordinary but beautiful life experiences are “lived” in the moment, where neither my camera nor phone are close enough in proximity or thought to provoke the, “Let’s get this shot”.

slow living mindfulness retreats
Who inspires you?

My biggest thought influencers are women of color who lead a life of passion. Woman who have found their calling, many of whom are in the healthy lifestyle industry, and who help others to find solutions to living a more fulfilling life of balance.

What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?

Egyptian cotton sheets, a comfy duvet, and a bed full of decorative pillows collected from my travels, books and more books, my yoga mat: Best recipe for a good night’s sleep.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

I hope in ten years’ time that I will be providing holistic and wellness experiences to individuals both nationally and internationally. That I would have grown my tribe, network and staff of wellness professionals, living more simply and inspiring a love for learning how to transform life through implementing solutions to mind, body and spirit wellness. That my non-cookie cutter approach to wellness will break holistic barriers.

From a personal perspective I would like to have done much more travel for pleasure and not only business.

slow living travel holistic wellness - Leslie Carrington

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Lived life on my own terms. It’s pretty exhilarating☺

Thank you so much for your time, and sharing your thoughts with us!

If you’d like to read more about slow living you can download our guide here.

What does living a slower, simpler life mean to you? Drop us a comment, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

1
Nov
2017
0

What is Slow Living? Let’s have a conversation

Throughout our A Simple Path series of interviews with creatives, entrepreneurs and influencers, we’ve been exploring the question: what is slow living? What has become clear is that there is no fixed answer to this, although there are some common strands to what people feel constitutes a slow life. We thought we’d gather together the wise words and ideas we’ve collected so far to create our own Linenbeauty guide to slow living.

We will also address some of the hindrances, the impossibilities and falsities of attaining a purely simple, slow life. Yet ultimately we hope to share some useful tips, thoughtful reflections and everyday inspirations.

What does slow living mean to you? How do you try to incorporate elements of this into your life? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. So, brew some warming coffee, put your feet up and settle down for a few minutes of peace. And please drop us a comment if you’d like to join the conversation.

Click on the link below and read the guide online, or download it to read at your leisure.

The Linenbeauty Slow Living Guide

Slow living - Linenbeauty

18
Oct
2017
0

5 Natural Ways to Beat Autumn Colds and Winter Blues

If you are suffering from the Autumn sniffles or struggling with the ever-shortening days and darker evenings, we’re here to help with natural ways to beat autumn cold.

Our immune systems can take a battering at this time of year, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Eat well (try not to reach for sugary quick-fix snacks when you are feeling tired), take a good quality vitamin supplement, get plenty of sleep and try to find some time in your day to be still and quiet. Sometimes you might need extra help to get back on track, like these 5 remedies below. All are based on natural ingredients, but if you are pregnant be wary of essential oils and check their suitability before using.

Here are 5 ways to see yourself happily into winter:

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2
Oct
2017
0

A Simple Path: with Cindy Luquin of Cultura con Wellness

The slow living movement can seem rather monocultural, and many people are put off sustainable options like ethical clothing or green beauty products due to their price tag. It’s important that the message of living responsibly and minimising our impact on the environment is not just heard within its own echo chamber, or amongst those on higher incomes. Which is why we were delighted to find Cindy Luquin and her blog, Cultura con Wellness, where she talks about her efforts to empower the Latino community and people of colour through her intentionally conscious lifestyle. And we were even more thrilled when Cindy agreed to feature on A Simple Path.

So take a moment to yourself, sit back and enjoy Cindy’s thoughts on wellness, balance and how a major health trauma forced her to reevaluate her life.

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19
Sep
2017
0

How to Clear Out Your Closet For Fall

Do you ever have that thing when, as the season changes, you look into your clothes drawers or closet and realise you have NOTHING to wear? The weather here changed so dramatically in the space of just a few days taking us from shorts to woolly socks seemingly overnight. And there seems to be very little in the closet that will actually work for right now. If you are organised, your fall/winter wardrobe will be stored safely awaiting this change in temperature and you can just switch them around. But if, like us, you just seem to have no appropriate clothes, here’s how to clear out your closet and make your wardrobe work for you this season.

clear out your closet

To get started, empty all your clothes onto the bed. Hold each item in turn and ask yourself these questions:

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8
Sep
2017
0

A Simple Path: with Katherine Heath

What a treat we have in store for you this month! We are picking the brains of the lovely Katherine Heath of Wild Grey Skies for her thoughts on all things sustainable and natural. Katherine is a social media manager and content creator* at (hug) London, who not only takes gorgeous pictures, but also has lots of wisdom to share about ways we can be more ethical in our consumption, and how to attain more balance in our lives.

Welcome, Katherine Heath!

wildgreyskies

1. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?

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29
Aug
2017
0

6 Books that Will Help You Slow Down Your Life

Many of us strive to slow down and lead simpler, slower lives but just don’t know where to start. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by things-to-do, work, family and all the other things that can trap us into what feels like an endlessly revolving door? Do you browse social media or magazines and end up feeling envy at other people’s seemingly perfect homes or holidays or relationships? Sometimes we need a bit of help to bring ourselves back to what really matters. These 6 books will do just that. From ways to radically change your life to simple steps towards feeling freer and happier, these books have something for everyone seeking to live better, with less.

1.For a major life-overhaul

Erin Loechner Chasing Slow

Slow Down - Chasing slow

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17
Aug
2017
0

A Simple Path: Decluttering and living intentionally, with Heather Hall

This month we are delighted to be joined by Heather Hall from thesiftedlife.co. Heather has developed a programme to help people ‘sift’ their lives – to get rid of clutter, to find simplicity and create more time for the things they love. She lives, and works, by this mantra: “There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less” (G. K. Chesterton). Her aim is to support and guide people who are feeling overwhelmed by ‘stuff’ and help them live better, with less.

Sit back and enjoy her insightful, thoughtful interview. We think you will love her ideas on carving out a simple path through this crazy world.

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