easy lavender syrup (+10 drool-worthy ideas for using it)

easy DIY lavender syrup | #diy #recipe #lavender #cooking #baking #kitchen #spring #mothersday

With spring here and Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve been in the mood for all things floral and bright. From the floral kimonos to nature-inspired children’s books, I’m swooning. One of my favorite ways to infuse this season into our home is with an easy lavender syrup. I love the calming properties of lavender essential oil and am becoming quite obsessed with the flavor. The other day, my obsession spurred me to the stove to make a quick lavender-infused simple syrup (which I, of course, have been using on everything I eat and drink). read more

what you should know before getting backyard chickens

What you should know before getting backyard chickens

Note: This site contains affiliate links. For more information, please read the Amazon Associates disclosure in the sidebar to the right.

It all started when Lily was 1 and I had the sudden urge to get backyard chickens.  My parents were about to replace their coop with a new one and offered to give us theirs. It was the perfect opportunity.

Rather than chatting with my husband first, I decided to “surprise” him with the “news” that we were getting chickens. (It’s easier to ask for forgiveness later, right?) read more

easy Easter eggs (inspired by the real Easter story)

Easy Easter Eggs | #easter #eastereggs #jesus #palm

Spring really is a magical time of year. After months of cold and darkness, seeing the first blooms of the season is like reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is a season for fresh, new beginnings. A season for celebrating nature and enjoying the sunshine. It’s also a season of anticipation, in many ways.

I can’t help but look forward to the brighter, sunnier months ahead. And of course, I look forward to Easter (which is approaching in just a couple weeks)!

We love celebrating Easter with the traditional egg hunt and Easter baskets. I also love finding ways to emphasize Jesus in all of the festivities. read more

7 ideas for a darling (but practical) easter basket

Easter Basket Ideas #easter #easterbasket #parenting #minimalism #spring

We’ve sprung our clocks an hour ahead. Our hens are laying double-time, and the hummingbirds are dueling over our lemon tree blossoms.

Spring is here. Hallelujah!

We have Easter in a couple weeks, and I for one cannot wait to set up the kids’ baskets. We’re trying to steer clear of candy this year, opting for some adorable and practical gifts instead.

7 Ideas for a Darling (But Practical) Easter Basket

Note: This site contains affiliate links. For more information, please read the Amazon Associates disclosure in the sidebar to the right. read more

3 steps to refresh your kitchen (without breaking the bank)

refresh your kitchen

Note: This site contains affiliate links. For more information, please read the Amazon Associates disclosure in the sidebar to the right.

Take a moment to think about your kitchen.

I mean, really… think about it. Reflect on all that it does for you.

Day in, day out, it is always there just waiting to be of use.

As the heart of the home, it singlehandedly hosts everything from daily meals to gatherings with friends. You probably use your kitchen multiple times every day (in some capacity, at least). read more

appreciating the gift of parenthood

Appreciating the Gift of Parenthood

Parenthood.

They say the days are long, but the years are short.

How true this is.

I often think one of my biggest failings in motherhood is that I rarely take the time to pause and reflect. Months pass without me even stopping to consider what has changed. Or appreciate what has remained.

Lily.

It’s been 40 months since she crashed into our world and made us parents.

She is my enthusiastic, contemplative, sensitive-hearted baby girl.

Lily Playing Trick-or-Treat

I love the way her eyes dance wildly when she looks at me. As if each moment we spend together were a riotous thrill.  She has grown and changed so much over the last three years, but that gaze has remained constant.  I love how it reminds me of the baby she was. read more

the newest way to declutter: swedish death cleaning

The newest way to declutter - Swedish Death Cleaning #cleaning #tidying #declutter #konmari #swedishdeathcleaning #minimalism #organize

If you haven’t heard, the new decluttering trend these days sure is a cheerful one:

Swedish death cleaning. 

Pleasant, isn’t it?

Being the decluttering freak expert that I am, I had to look into it. I started with a web search and also read the book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.

The book was actually charming at times. Leave it to the Swedes to find ways to incorporate balance and harmony into an otherwise dreary topic. The author, Margaretta Magnusson, lives in Stockholm and is in her 80’s or 90’s and has undergone the “death cleaning” process three times. I’m not gonna lie — a good portion of the book is her reminiscing about events in her life that she was reminded of during the process of death cleaning. read more

how to keep your home spotless with kids ;)

Joy and Simplicity | How to keep your home spotless with kids

I’ve scoured the internet for ways to keep my home cleaner. I keep coming back to the analogy that cleaning a home with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. But after much trial and error, I think I’ve come up with a surefire plan to help us moms keep our homes spotless.

How to Keep Your Home Spotless with Kids

#1 – Always clean up one toy before moving on to another. If the kids can’t manage this, they probably don’t need toys.

keep home spotless with kids | Joy and Simplicity

#2 – Limit your toy collection to 1-2 per child. Less is more, right? Oh, and try to avoid toys with a lot of pieces. (I’m looking at you, blocks.) read more

4 categories for minimalist gift-giving

4 categories for minimalist gift-giving

Note: This site contains affiliate links. For more information, please review the Amazon Associates disclosure in the sidebar to the right.

There’s something about the Christmas season that drives me crazy. Don’t get me wrong — there are aspects I enjoy with all my heart, like spending time with family, indulging in too much junk, and pausing to feel the joy of Christ in my life.  But, I always seem to get wrapped up in consumerism way more than I would like.

When it comes to avoiding over-consumerism, last year was one of the best Christmases I’ve had.  It was sweet and simple, thanks to a new rule we’ve adopted. read more

top 10 hygge-inspired gift ideas

top 10 hygge inspired gift ideas | Joy and Simplicity

We’re almost halfway through November.

(I’ll pause for a moment to let that settle in.)

Soon we’ll find ourselves in the bustling Christmas season. And while it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness, I think it’s important to remember that this is a season for us to really be present with each other and *enjoy* the moments we have together.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by encouraging loved ones to pursue a slower and more intentional lifestyle through the gifts we give. This year, I anticipate many of our gifts having a theme of minimalism and hygge. read more