Make Memories as a Family by Working Together

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*You can view the family project video, Trimming Branches here.

In today’s modern culture it seems that most families spend time together by going to a restaurant, attending a sports event or shopping. Yet why not rethink this routine? What about a family project?

A few weeks ago my husband and children had a great time trimming overgrown branches in our backyard. Our daughter Winter took time to ride her bike in the summer air and our young son Orion created a little pool of mud throughout the activity.  The kids learned about basic lawn management while enjoying the day with their parents. Of course we got a fantastic workout and a new clear view through our windows.

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*Working with my Dad Jimmy Hotz, 1989 through the 1990s.

Working together in a family business could also yield wonderful memories while teaching the children valuable job skills. One of the greatest memories of my lifetime was working side by side with my Dad, Jimmy Hotz (inventor, musician, producer). Starting at the age of 14, I began an internship in the home studio. There I learned the basics of clerical, administrative, graphic design, music and technology skills which have been foundational in all of my work.

I continued professionally with his company for many years. We also did family projects working together organizing the garage, with Mom Nancy Hotz and siblings. It was a lot of work, yet remains a nice memory for me. I love you Mom and Dad!

Keep a Journal for Posterity

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In this weeks YouTube video topic I cover why we should journal for posterity. I also discuss why:

*Historically journals have been used as essential pieces of literature.
*The most simple record of ones day, may be highly valuable to those in the future.
*Lists and schedules make great journal entries.
*We should make a printed copy of your digital journal as formats change over time!

Log “A Day in the Life” To Pass Down to Loved Ones

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Article and photo by Rain San Martin

Historical events have made their mark on timelines. Yet nothing paints a true picture as our daily recorded activities.

You can base your day in the life entry by using your existing routines or schedule as an outline. The key difference is you are adding more details that uniquely occurred on that day.    It need not be an exhaustive account of your day. Include only key highlights.

Not only will your family appreciate the memory of how you lived, your record may be used as a historical reference. Then perhaps one day your story may be shared, as in the blog post: A Real 1950’s Daily Cleaning Routine.

How to Log Your Day

Have a good quality journal available. Though you could write a digital version of your day there is a slim chance it will survive for posterity purposes, it may not last unless it is printed and bound. Digital formats change with time. One alternative is to write your day in the life journal entry in digital format with an action plan for presenting the text in a printable format.  Start with the time of day you woke up. It’s similar to a morning routine yet will contain more informative details of the day. I will show you an example of the difference between the two:

Typical morning routine:

  • Wake 5 am.
  • Brush teeth, weight, dress.
  • Brew coffee (read articles for 20 minutes) Scrub one item in the bathroom, straighten.
  • Write blog for 20 minutes.
  • Exercise for 20 minutes. Make breakfast.

An example of a morning routine written in the “A Day in the Life” style.

  • Wake at 5 am to the sound of springtime birds. Put on black and white jagged skirts, stripped matching tights, and pirate-ship cameo necklace from Etsy.
  • Brew a strong cup of Sumatra from Fresh Thyme. Light candles on the mantle.  Relax for 20minutes while reading technology and industry news (via the Apple iPad Mini) on Forbes, Fortune, and The Verge.
  • Write blog post for 20 minutes using WordPress. Set timer.
  • Lift weights for 20 minutes as I watch a YouTube documentary series about Dead Malls by Dan Bell, as we are currently in the Retail Apocalypse!
  • Make breakfast to be ready by 9 am.

You can also include a recipe you routinely use.

Here’s my healthy and flavor-packed recipe for Corn Tortillas with Spinach,  Mushrooms, Garlic, and Bacon. And yes, this includes plenty of real natural fat, just as they used in the pioneer days! Serves one. Multiply ingredients by each guest for more servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen spinach
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices of bacon (and reserved bacon grease for extra flavor)
  • 4 yellow corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

On a cast iron skillet cook 2 strips of bacon. Set aside when done and pour bacon grease over spinach in baking pan.

Lay out 4 sliced yellow corn tortillas on a cooking tray. Drizzle with canola oil and a touch of butter. Assemble the frozen spinach and mushrooms with olive oil and butter in a separate cooking dish. Cook both trays for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Add chopped fresh garlic to the veggie mix for the remaining 3 minutes.  Top the crisp tortillas with veggie mixture and bacon. Enjoy a healthful hardy breakfast, bursting with flavor.

Publish your journal entries for posterity!

You may even turn your writings into a book such as Henry David Thoreau did in with Walden.  The masterwork, which was published in 1854 logged his account of simple living out in the open woods. Noting the folly and trappings of mindless purchasing, his philosophy resonates with the people of today’s minimalist and simplicity movement.

Now go and log your day in the life!

Bring the Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge Into Your Day

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*You can also watch my YouTube Video: The Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge

Images and post by Rain San Martin

Hygge means coziness. It was one of the big trends for 2017 on Pinterest. This way of life naturally combats seasonal affective disorder. Hygge is a big part of life for the Danish people. Because they spend so much time indoors during the winter season they need to make their interiors as welcoming and joyful as possible. This is how they have adapted to the colder climate. Though it is primarily a way of life for the winter, the same philosophy can be used during the spring and summer! Those who practice the minimalist lifestyle will find it is also compatible with the simplicity movement.

Make relaxation stations.

I have three areas that I have set up for when I would like to enjoy comfort: The kitchenette, living room and bedroom. The first is the kitchenette which has a homey vintage style coffee sign. This has a view of the sunrise, making it a great spot for coffee or breakfast. For the living room, we own an antique heirloom rocking chair. This is seated next to a wooden table with magazines tucked away in the drawer. There is a view of the mantel which is perfect for placing glowing candles.

I bring that feeling of “hygge” into the bedroom by having a sturdy back pillow cushion and extra blankets accessible in the closet. White string lights hang above the bed which makes a soft enveloping glow for reading. 100% pure essential oils are grouped together in a tray next to the bed.

Have warm beverages available like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.

I keep extra tins of Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Chocolate available. Along with a couple of bags of marshmallows for when the mood strikes. For coffee, I stock up on bags of Seattle’s Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks). My favorite blend is Medium Dark Rich – Level 4. There is no better tasting coffee in my opinion and the price is very good.

2017-01-06 Hot Chocolate Marshmellows

Have cozy robes and socks.

I got a plush robe last Christmas which I love. If you have young children or a spouse they will enjoy snuggling up with you and your robe. My young son hopes to get one as well! Then we can burrow together like a couple of hamsters. In the spring and summer, you could try a cool satin robe for comfort.

Decorate with natural elements.

When we bought our home eight years ago, we were blessed to see it furnished with wooden floors and cabinetry. Rugs give added warmth. I have a carved wooden bowl which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a prepared meal. A wooden table set creates a homey rustic feel. Iron pans and copper cookware are also timeless.

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Hope you enjoy bringing the coziness of Hygge into your everyday life!

Decluttering Girls Closet

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Join me on YouTube as I declutter my daughters closet. Sure we want our children to clean up as much of their own bedrooms as possible, yet occasionally jumping in and doing a clean sweep will make it that much easier to maintain. The rooms of our children not only impact them, the whole family can’t help but feel relaxed as they walk past a clean room!

Though my original plan was to spend only 1 and a half hours on the project,  the process ended up taking a total of 3 hours to fully complete. This would be about 2 weeks worth of “Flylady” style decluttering, averaging about 15 minutes per day.

I achieved the following tasks  when decluttering the closet:

*Hung clothes that fell on the floor.

*Folded jeans and shorts.

*Tossed out trash or anything broken.

*Placed unused items in good condition in a box for giveaway.

*Grouped books and art supplies on shelves.

Now it’s your turn to declutter a closet in your home!