Christmas 2016

Gosh, I haven't taken this many photos in a long time or had the time to edit and post them. I hope you've had a lovely Christmas. We've had a glorious week of family time, fun and festivities. We managed to see more members of our extended family than in recent years and Tim and I also managed to sneak away for two nights. We stayed in Shrewsbury which is an hour away from home. We enjoyed reading (I finished A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson and read Matt Haig's The Girl Who Saved Christmas), walks by the river and lots of time in coffee shops and cafes. Driving through fog and waking up to a frosty white landscape enveloped our stay in a Narnia like magic. I don't think the spell has quite broken yet.  

At home, Tim saved our Christmas with his epic cooking and skillfully managed to cater for our new vegan (eldest son became vegan six weeks ago) whilst also ensuring it was gluten free for one of the grandparents. Yes, that it is a gluten free and vegan lemon cake and it tastes as good as it looks. It's even better with a douse of limoncello (as is Christmas pud). Our starter was homemade beetroot hummus. We get through a lot of hummus these days.

We're having a quiet new year and leaving the boys to do the partying. I hope you enjoy your new year weekend and I look forward to sharing more Just a little less with you on the flip side (apparently this refers to DJs not talking until after playing the B-side of a vinyl record but it also means 'see you later'). Vinyl and vegan; it's all so 2017.



Wishing you a very

Hello dear friends. How are you? I've missed you. 

Christmas can be overwhelming – I know, I say this every year (and usually just about now, twenty four hours before the big day). The cause of this overwhelming sensation is, I believe, due to the complex contrasts of Christmas: it's a time of luxury and debt; excitement and anxiety; hope and dread; love and resentment; laughter and tears; togetherness and loneliness; long working hours and precious time off. 

Yet, Christmas is actually quite simple. At the heart of the Christian story of peace and love lies simplicity and this can be appreciated by anyone whatever their religious beliefs or circumstances. Beyond the layers of wrapping paper, underneath the towers of high expectations and lurking at the bottom of our to-do lists is an opportunity to embrace simplicity. 

I love the magical moments of anticipation, the hustle and bustle of a houseful and even the camaraderie (OK stress) of long hours in the kitchen. But what I love most about Christmas are the simple things. Chirpy robins on Christmas cards, paper hats slipping down our faces over dinner and a cheeky sherry beforehand. I love the extra time that the holiday provides. I love church on Christmas Eve packed to the rafters with tots in nativity outfits. Christmas carols calm the chaos and friends and family share their laughter and remind us of our roots and strong bonds. The years bring fond memories but also new trials. We've had difficult challenges in our lives this year and I'm sure you have too. On the bright side these often bring us closer together if we're open and generous to each other. 

So this year, let's embrace the complexities and contrasts of Christmas. Let's share our hearts and homes and be grateful for Christmas and the gifts it brings (wanted and unwanted). Let's learn more about ourselves and remember to embrace simplicity. Even if we haven't got there yet.

Once the wrapping paper is shred, the expectations have collapsed and our to-do list has expired we could just have the greatest gift of all: to be reminded of the simple riches of our lives and to take these into the new year. Simplicity calls.

Enjoy your Christmas xo



45. Happy Friday Links

Happy Friday! I'm back with some links to soothe, centre and inspire.

Looking forward it's the only way: Nine Trends I Predict via Tynan

New reading: Amanda  Sandlin for her philosophy and art.

Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. The bonus feature interviews are inspiring.

Real corners of my home via Lazy Daisy Jones

Enjoy xo



News, Norfolk and Links

Hello. Ready for a catch-up? August and September have passed by with their late summer splendour and I find myself in early (no double figures yet) October ready for an amalgamation of blog posts. Think Minimalist Monday, Friday Links and holiday highlights - all on a Friday night. Not very minimalist, I agree, but I feel I need to dip my toes back into the water before my fragile blogging skills surreptitiously sink. This year has taken an unexpected turn as I've somehow taken on more work. Since working almost full-time since January on a temporary basis I've been working full-time as a permanent class teacher since September. It's been five years since I was last in this position and so it's taken a while to adjust to the pace and demands involved. I'm quickly adjusting and enjoying my new job. Luckily, I have lots of support and love at home to see me through. Working full-time is a choice and therefore I feel quite free.

Did you have a good summer? I do hope so, and for anyone in the Southern Hemisphere I hope you're enjoying early spring. Holiday photos have an almost mythical quality don't you think? These shots were taken in North Norfolk where I spent a few days with my mum at Brancaster Staithes. It was such an unspoilt and beautiful spot. Running along the back of our hotel along the marshland coastline was magical and exciting and I would love to return to this area again.Think colourful beach huts, seal watching and sea lavender. Pretty mesmerising. 

So, minimalism and working full-time? I think it can work. I really do, Yes, I have less time but my free time is more precious and therefore carefully planned or wisely used. There's still time for simple pleasures: early morning radio, reading, weekend walks, cafe dates, and seeing friends. Sometimes life gets frantic but then it always did. My minimalist wardrobe, mindfulness and gratitude techniques are powerful tools that I didn't possess five years ago. I find myself drawn to minimalist and simple living blogs more than ever. However, I refuse to be a pawn in the simple living industry and read selectively. 

And so onto a few links which I have found useful, inspiring and entertaining. Please pop in and say hello and let me know your current simple pleasure, news or views. I've missed you and Just a little less. It's four years old now and here to stay. 



Hello July

Woo hoo summer has arrived so here are some photos of recent summer fun.

  • A day spent on our friends' barge two weekends ago. This was my one and only shot before my camera battery died.
  • Courgette salad - low GI and a perfect way to use one of Aldi's super 6 this week. Yay to super frugal healthy food. 
  • Pots in bloom outside our front door.
  • FUSE festival from last weekend. My camera stayed in the car whilst I had fun. 
  • The first fuchsia in our pallet planter. 
  • Blue skies.
  • Strawberry cake. Almost too pretty to eat. Yay to post gym treats.
  • Waiting for the first sunflowers to open.
  • Strawberry picking. Worth it for the smell alone.

Sending you brief words but lots of love. Have a great week xo