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Showing posts from 2016

My Favorite Recipe

Today I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite recipes in the entire world, and no, that is not an over exaggeration! My Mum used to make this dish when we lived in England, and now it has become the meal I make every Christmas for Ry and I. It makes me feel all warm, homey and comfy cozy.

This recipe is...

5lbs russet potatoes
Olive oil
Savoy cabbage
Blue cheese
Marble cheddar and mozzarella
Smoked Gouda

First things first, wash and slice up your potatoes into 1/4 of an inch slices. If the skins are good on the potatoes you can leave them on. Put the potato slices into a big bowl (or two bowls if you don't have one that's big enough ), drizzle with olive oil (just enough to gently coat the potato slices), sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper to taste, and put aside.

Slice entire medium sized savoy cabbage. Fill a large pot with 1/2 an inch of water, put on a medium heat, add the savoy cabbag…

2016 Love List

2016 has been quite the year and it is almost another year gone. Here are the things I loved the most.

The best book I read this year, hands down, was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. I feel like this book changed my life, and I plan on reading it again in 2017. It is a quick read filled to the brim with meaning and beauty. Not far behind is Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Recipes & Food
Quinoa Taco Meat by Dana, The Minimalist Baker, has been by far my favorite food discovery this year, and I've dubbed it 'Quinoa Crack' because it is highly addictive. If I could eat this every single day I would. Also, this oops moment.

My Mum's cheese and chive muffins are also to die for, especially fresh out of the oven when they are still toasty. I can eat 4 in one sitting.

The nasty little pretzel bites from Meyers. They are so bad, that they are good.

Apple crisp made with brown sugar and rolled oats. It tastes amazing served cold in the summer with vanilla ice cream.


Merry Christmas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, our troubles will be miles away
Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
So hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

This song really says it all. Just wanting to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year. 
Lots of love,


Good-bye New Years Resolutions, Hello 30 Day Challenges

Good-bye New Years Resolutions and hello 30 day challenges!

I'm a huge fan of the sentiment that you can do absolutely anything... for 30 days. I came across this Ted Talk by Matt Cutts and felt thoroughly inspired. I completed several 30 day challenges in 2015/2016 after watching the video (giving up meat, keeping a gratitude journal, staying off of social media and giving up coffee) and each challenge has been a great experience. Instead of coming up with another new years resolution that I know I won't keep in 2017, I want to complete 12 30 day challenges - one a month for the entire year, and I am SO excited! At the end of each challenge I will write a post about how each of them went including how difficult or easy I found them, any tips and tricks I came up with along the way and what, if anything, I learnt from the experience.

Here are the challenges:

21 Day No Complain Challenge

I first read about this challenge here. This is a 21 day challenge that given its difficul…

The 5 Love Languages & Holiday Gift Giving

If you've never taken the 3 minute Love Language Test, I would recommend you take it right here, right now. Ry and I took it on our last Sunday Rally and it sparked such great conversation.

It is a test that lets you learn what your partners love language is, and how they rank the 5 love languages from most important to least. It has been a super valuable resource for Ry and I, and I would suggest taking it with your partner every year. Every year we change and evolve and so do our love languages. If we want to love our partners right, then we need to love them the way they want to be loved and the best way to do that is to find out what their number one love language is!

Ry's top result was physical touch, which could be anything from a pat on the back, to hand holding, kissing and more. My top result was acts of service (especially of the romantic kind!). It means a whole lot to me when Ry goes out of his way to do something for me whether it is something romantic like wri…

A Minimalist's 2017 Travel Bucket List

I'm not much of a traveller. I mean, I have travelled. In fact I've been lucky enough to have lived in several different countries in my lifetime so far, but I wouldn't consider myself a traveller.

I used to spend hours sitting on Pinterest scrolling through travel boards wondering why my life wasn't as fun and as adventurous as the lives of those in the pictures I was looking at; Pictures of people climbing mountains, swimming in lagoons, lying on white sand beaches, scuba diving and visiting beautiful historic monuments. "Why can't I do that?" I'd often ask. The truth was that I could do that and much more if I truly wanted to, but I knew myself better, and knew that I found travel to be terrifying and stressful. I knew that it wasn't my idea of fun, and I knew that my kind of travel was very different from the kind of travel often portrayed on Pinterest boards. I sat there feeling like my life wasn't good enough because it didn't match…

7 Date Night Ideas for the Minimalist Couple

Date night is always something I have tried to prioritize in Ry and I's relationship because I am a firm believer in the notion that you should never stop dating your spouse.

Having one on one uninterrupted time to pursue one another is so important, but isn't always easy to come by because life is busy and other projects/plans/chores/tasks/events can easily get in the way. One way to ensure a date night is always on the books is to minimalize your date night by making them smaller, simpler, and needing less preparation.

Minimalism has played a big part in our journey this past year and has called upon us to be more conscious of the items we are purchasing, and to take greater care and have more appreciation for the things we have so it only made sense to introduce minimalism to our date nights too!

Here are 7 date night ideas that we have done, continue to do, or want to do in the future.

Go for a walk Ry and I have gone on more walks this year than in our entire 8 years t…

A Moment of Gratitude

Today I decided I really needed a moment of gratitude. I needed to take a moment, and insist that I consider all of the things I have to be grateful for, because it can be easy to know you have a lot to be grateful for, but it isn't always easy to feel that you have a lot to be grateful for.

My house is a back split with 6 stairs up and 6 stairs down and isn't all too different from a Mole Tunnel, or a Hobbit Home with its twists and turns, ups and downs, offshoots and dead ends. For my moment of gratitude it was important for me to stand in the centre, the heart, of my home and so I stood in the little space that isn't really a hallway between the living room, kitchen and dining room right in front of my 6 steps down.

I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, and imagined I was standing out in the cold in a deep puddle of mud with nothing else around as far as the eye could see. Then slowly I began to imagine the foundation of my house appearing under my feet. Then the wal…

You Need to Hear This

Today I was just going about my day when I found this link someone had sent to me in my inbox. Don't worry, it is safe. It is going to take you to a YouTube video called 'Millenials in the Workplace'. I would have never watched this video had it come across my screen, but seeing as someone took the time to send it to me, I thought, why not? Please watch the video before you continue reading.

For 15 minutes I sat and listened to every word Simon Sinek spoke. Unlike the title suggests, he actually talks about so much more than just Millennial's in the workplace, and I finished the video feeling inspired and motivated. It was a wake up call, one I have been needing for a while now. I've always known social media has a way of ultimately brining me down even if I think it is doing the opposite. I have known for a long time that being on it so often is taking away from real life moments and connections. I have known that I need to do something about it, but the temptati…

The Best Things You Can do for Your Marriage : Sunday Rally

Marriage is not easy, but then again who said it would be?
Ry and I  have been married for 3 years now (where does the time go?!) and I think we've learnt a thing or two along the way. I am by no means a marriage or relationship expert, but I am a wife who wants her marriage to be the best it can possibly be in hopes that it will last forever. I am also a bit of a relationship nerd - I love reading relationship articles, suggesting ideas to Ry of things we can do to make our marriage better, and I love hearing stories about other couples and their journeys. Something we introduced to our relationship this past summer is what we like to call a Sunday Rally.
Every Sunday we take some time to go for a walk, feed the ducks at a little pond we pass by each time, and grab a drink at the local Tim Horton's to discuss us. We usually discuss the week that has passed and ask each other 'What could I have done better for you?' and 'Is there anything that happened last week t…

Always More

This is something I shared on my Instagram account the other day, and felt the need to share here too. You can find me on instagram @merrimentandmirth !

I recently came across @audreyroloff 's blog, AujPoj. As I read through each and every blog post of hers I discovered 'always more'. Always More is her mantra because there is always more kindness to be found, always more love to give, always more effort that can be put forth, always more to someone's story... There's always more. As a I try to move towards a minimalist lifestyle, I've noticed how easy it is to focus on the less... Less stuff, less buying, less clothes, less waste, less spending, but what about the more that minimalism offers? By clearing away all of the clutter and cutting back on the consumerism, more room is made for more of what really matters. There is always room for more. So the idea of 'always more' really struck a chord with me. On another note, I got this tattoo not too long a…

Breakfast Made Simple: Oatmeal 3 Ways

If you're anything like me you love eating breakfast, you just don't love making it amiright? If you don't like making it, or you feel like you don't have a lot of time chances are you aren't eating breakfast as often as you should. I find that when I keep my breakfast quick and easy I am more likely to make it before I head out to work. With the weather here in Canada starting to get colder by the day (#winteriscoming) I find myself staying away from smoothies and granola, and instead reaching for something warmer and heartier like oatmeal. Oatmeal is so quick and easy to make, is super filling, delicious AND healthy so you can't go wrong! It also makes me feel all warm and toasty before heading out into the cold, so I  thought I'd share 3 simple ways to make it extra delicious!

Each base is the exact same: I buy a big bag of plain Quaker quick oats that honestly last me forever. I always make my oatmeal using skim milk, but you can use water or a milk al…

Have Yourself A Minimal Little Christmas

Today is December 1st and the Holiday Season is fast approaching and my family and I have all agreed that this year we are going to have a much smaller, much more minimal Christmas, and you know what? I couldn't be more excited! Christmas is a time of year when we are meant to relax, slow down, spend time with the ones we love, and have gratitude for what we already have; It is a time to look back at the year that has passed, and look forward to the year ahead, all the while being present in the moment and enjoying the here and now. Sadly often times the holidays are instead spent scrolling through Pinterest feeds and online retailers trying to find the perfect gifts, and trying to create the perfect holiday. Along the way we spend too much money, and too much time running around, and not enough time simply focusing on what matters the most: laughter, good food, and even better friends and family.

Here are some simple reminders for the Holiday Season...

1. Your presence is presen…

It's That Time Again: Another 30 Day Social Media Cleanse

Earlier this year I embarked on a 30 day social media cleanse and the rule was simple: no social media for 30 days. The only exception was YouTube, and I wouldn't really call that social because I never leave comments or interact with others on it. It was goodbye for 30 days to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Instead I got to enjoy conversations in person or over the phone, I got to speak in more than 20 characters per sentence, I got to enjoy photos sans filters, and I had to actually dust off my cooking books if I wanted a new recipe. It was an amazing experience that was both anger inducing and liberating all at the same time. I found myself getting bored easily because every time I picked up my phone thinking I'd just browse people's pictures or take a look at what I'd missed on Facebook, the absence of the apps (because I was smart and deleted them) reminded me I wasn't allowed to go on them, and I got angry. I was angry because it meant I'd a…

The Platinum Rule

As a kid I was always taught the Golden Rule: to treat others the way you want to be treated, and now as an adult I can appreciate the sentiment - if you don't like being called names, then don't call people names for example - but there is one problem with the Golden Rule, and that is that it's 'me' centred; It makes me the centre of the universe and assumes that everyone wants to be treated exactly the way I want to be treated. We are all so wonderfully unique in so many ways that it is impossible to expect everyone (or anyone for that matter!) to want to be treated the same way that I want to be treated. The Golden Rule is great for children, but as an adult I think the Platinum Rule speaks to a higher level of respect for those around us whether that be strangers, family, friends, or animals.

The Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated.

When I first heard The Platinum Rule it blew my mind. I immediately thought back to all of the times I'…

Through The Looking Glass

Minimalism is like a looking glass. At least to me it is. And once I decided to peer through it, the landscape I saw stretched out before me on the other side was so different than anything else I'd ever seen or known. Minimalism has truly been a window into so much more... more thoughts, ideas, experiences, and possibilities than I could have ever hoped for. It has made me reconsider my lifestyle choices, and it has led me down a path I never even knew existed. I've started reassessing so many areas of my life and while the change has, and continues to be slow, it is good. Oh so good. Every time I feel like I've hit the point where I think minimalism has done its magic and the work is done, I am reminded that it is a journey not a goal; It never ends, but is instead an intentional choice I make every single day. So what's next? Well here are some of things I plan to begin or continue working on:

Wear only all natural makeup. I am almost there! I still have a few items…

A Minimal Tree House Get Away

Ry and I needed to get away. We just need a few days. A few days away from work. Away from people. Away from life. We needed to be re-energized, and we were not going to achieve that staying where we were. We found this amazing little tree house retreat, and decided that it was the perfect place to spend a few days.

The tree house was expensive, but oh so worth it - the soul rejuvenation that took place over those two days were absolutely priceless. We went over Ry's birthday this past July so it was a great way to celebrate him, make up for the honeymoon we never had, and catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation. The owners Lynn and Michael were amazing - they gave us all the space we needed, but were there at the drop of the hat the second we needed them, and they even surprised Ry with THE most delicious vanilla and raspberry pie for his birthday.

The tree house ended up being so much more of an experience than I had anticipated. Being in the middle of nowhere, with no…

Choosing Your Words Wisely

The more I browse the internet these days the more I read blog titles like: Top 10 Beauty Essentials, 6 Makeup Must Haves, Pay Day Wish List, 15 Things You Need, How to Make More Money, and 6 Things You Have to Do In *insert exotic destination here*.

And I have a bit of a problem with that. Words have great power, and once they are spoken or read they can't be undone. With titles like the ones mentioned above it is easy to start reading these blog posts and watching these YouTube videos and start to feel like your life sucks just a little bit a lot, because you don't have those things. It perpetuates the idea that things and stuff can bring you happiness. It perpetuates the wanting of more instead of less. It perpetuates unhappiness because there will never be enough 'more'. There will always be something else you don't have, something else that you 'need', another place you 'should' visit, another list of 'essentials' ... Maybe I'm bein…

Unwinding With Weightless

The other day I was browsing the interwebs as you do and I stumbled upon a song called 'Weightless' by Marconi Union. It is an eight minute song that is meant to slow down your heart rate as it plays. I listened to the first minute of it and sent the Husband a text asking him if he wouldn't mind downloading the song for me onto my phone. When I got home he surprised me and told me he had bought me the entire album. He loaded it up onto my phone for me and the next day on the bus home as I was feeling a little frayed from a long day at work I decided to pop in my ear buds and hit 'play'. I fell in love, and then I fell asleep. True story. The songs on the album which is titled "The Ambient Zone by Just Music CafĂ© Vol. 4" are so darn relaxing it actually made me drift off to sleep while I was on the bus - luckily I woke up in time to still catch my stop and didn't end up at the bus depot. I was surprised by what a calming effect the music had on me - I…

Adopting a Cat : 5 Tips To Keep it Simple

When I recently adopted a 3 and a half year old cat from the local Humane Society I thought it would be easy, especially since my family has had cats for the past 8 years so I figured I knew a thing or two. Little did I know that some of the simple mistakes I made could lead to quite frustrating (and somewhat costly) situations, for both myself and the cat. I thought I'd share 5 tips I've learnt in the past month that will make the integration of a new cat to your home a lot easier.
Cats are minimalists too. Cats like to keep things simple. They do not need fancy cat litter. I repeat, they DO NOT (notice the use of bold, italicize and underline here) need fancy cat litter. I learnt this the hard way when I decided to buy the 'lightweight' scented cat litter for my new friend. He used the litter box for the first week we had him, and then the second week decided he no longer wanted to use it and turned our spare room into his litter box. I shit you not. Pun intended. We…

Not All of Us Need To Shine

"Not all of us need to shine".

I read that somewhere in one of the many articles I've read on the internet, and like most articles I didn't think to save it. It took a few days for the meaning of this simple sentence to sink in, and when I went back to look for the article to read it again I couldn't find it anywhere. Throughout my journey towards finding happiness, I used to think 'when I have *insert shiny object*, then I will be happy', but the problem with wanting more is that it will never be enough. 
And so, minimalism - the idea of pursuing less 'more', and finding contentment and joy in all the little moments of magic that surround us. For me, minimalism has cleared the fog I was unaware I was walking around in, and I feel like I can breath easy again. Things that didn't matter before, suddenly do, and things I thought were really important in my life no longer are. Not all of us need to shine. Some of us just want to glow. I used to t…