A glimpse into the life and times of Julia. Loving, learning and growing my way through it all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simply Put-Part 2

Earlier this week I talked about how I've been working on living simply.
If you missed it you can read all about it here.
As promised here's how I've started to live it out practically in my life.

Please note; I realize that none of these ideas are revolutionary by any stretch. If my Nonna knew I was telling people about how excited I am to be cleaning with white vinegar she'd swatt my bum and call me shamo!

Cloth Napkins-
Instead of continually spending money on paper napkins (which is not very enviro friendly) I got my hands on some FREE cloth napkins.
Actually they're fabric samples that Flowie gave me that are the perfect size and surged around the edges ready to go. There were so many I gave Maryellen her own set! Of course I ironed them after I washed them. The Nonna would be proud.

That's the Nonna. Just in case you haven't met her yet.
Instead of spending money on purse sized tissue I bought some hankies and rock them daily, Nonno styles.
Bonus: hankies don't crumble into little pieces that stick to your face for your entire commute to work when you wipe sweat from your brow on those hot summer days on the TTC.
That's the Nono's leg. He was a gigantic man as you can see from his large foot.
That's me in Italy circa 1980. Cute, no?

Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar-
So cheap and so effective. The Nonna had it right all along.

Second-hand Furniture and Recycled Linens-
This amazing arm chair came from Sarah's parents cottage.
It is the most beautiful and comfortable chair in my home and is frequently fought over by guests!
My couch came from Yonge Street Mission's Double Take Store. It was a steal at $65. It is so beautiful and comfortable. Just ask all my house guests!
The throw pillow was purchased from Pre-Loved a company that makes clothing and linens out of recycled clothing. I bought it on sale, like big time sale.

The rest of these pictures are some of the people that I love.
To share with.
I am thankful for.
Content to just be myself around.


Mom and Flowie.

Leanne and Lisa.



Arlyne and Noah.

P.S. If there isn't a picture of your here please don't be offended. Chances are I love you but don't have a recent picture or want to use your lovely face for something else!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Simply Put-Part 1

Over the past few years I've been trying to figure out how to live my life more simply. I'm not really sure where the desire first came from. Could be the bible, necessity, friends, guilt, frugality or just plain good sense.
You're probably wondering what "living simply" means to me? Well I'm glad you asked. I think it comes down to a few key things that I've learned from the people around me:

1. Spend less to give more. This idea comes out of the bible and is a cornerstone for Christian living amongst my friends at The Meeting House.

2. Share. Your life. Your stuff. Your money. You. Many of my friends live this out in their everyday lives especially Maryellen. It has been such an amazing gift for me to share a meal with the Boyes almost every week for the past year.

3. Be creative. Being creative with the resources you have allows you to do so many things. My friend Nadine does an amazing job at this. This past year she didn't have a lot of work but she enjoyed her life to the fullest. She is an extreme example of being creative with what you have. For more on the adventures of Nadine click here.

5. Be content. With what you have. With who you are. With where you are at. I'm not saying that you should be complacent at all. But if you hate it, change. It makes me sad when people don't live in the moment, always looking to what's next does not make for a content person. When I am content my perspective on my life is much brighter.

4. Be thankful. Need I say more?

Now I bet you want to know how this has all played out practically in my life.

Guess you'll have to stay tuned to find out.


P.S. If I didn't mention your name and you live out these things please don't be offended.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blow the dust off.

Saturday was cleaning day!
I love cleaning day.
Don't judge.
I love sucking up those dust bunnies with the vacuum and scrubbing away that soap scum in the bathtub.
There are few things that evoke a stronger sense of accomplishment than a clean apartment.
But there is one thing I don't love about cleaning day...dusting.
Chances are I dislike dusting because I'm allergic to dust and end up with a really runny nose when I'm done.
Over share?
But like cleaning toilets dusting must be done.
While I was Swiffering my way around the apartment I thought about dusting.
Instead of thinking of the objects as stuff that needed to be dusted I began to reflect on the objects themselves.

Jen and Jamie gave me this beautiful hurricane candle holder.
It was a gift for my birthday years ago, before they were married parents of a toddler and a baby on the way.
It was at a birthday bbq that Leslie threw for me at her house. All of our friends were there. Terry cooked the burgers and Sharon made a delicious strawberry shortcake.

 That is an onion and that's garlic.
Anyone who thinks otherwise of the ceramic wall hangings I bought for my Dad at the one-of-a-kind show over 10 years ago with Sarah has a dirty mind.
Ahem, Leslie.

That glowing orb is from Ikea.
As is 75% of the furniture in my home.
My sister bought it for me as a housewarming gift.
My sister has amazing style and flair for home decorating.
I'm a little bit country and she's a little bit rock and roll.
I love my sister in a way I can't put to words.

 This is my favourite picture in the whole world.
My brothers are my favourite people in the world.
We were supposed to be taking a "nice" picture for Nonna on Christmas eve 2009.
This is really who we are.
I love my brothers more than I can explain.

 This is the only piece of art that I own.
Michelle, the artist gave it to me because it was cracked.
So beautiful, even if it is damaged.
Kinda like people, no?

 These pictures are of me and my parents at my college graduation.
I love them because you can see how proud my parents are to be there beside me.
I cried that day.
I wasn't sad.
I was so happy that they got to be a part of me succeeding in that way.

Pink frame=Sharon's gift before I left for Italy. Kept it in my room right beside my bed for the entire year.
Picture=Me and Rebecca, love that girl so much.
Candles=A gift from Rebecca before I left for Italy.
Animals=Who knows where those came from.
Tell one person you like pigs and all of sudden you have a collection.
I really do like pigs though.
Can you guess why?

This wooden bowl is from Malawi.
It was a gift from Matt a few years ago.
It sits in the middle of my "mantel".
To remind me of my friend who is so far away.
To remind me to pray for his ministry, one I am so invested in.
To remind me of hope.
To remind me of being called.

I realize that all of these things are just "stuff".
But I love the stories, love and passion behind them.
As I've gotten older I've realized the value in a handful of very special things over a lot of meaningless stuff.
These are the artifacts of my life that tell my story.