{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 31

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here

Well, it is the last day of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series.  I had planned on writing about First Aid kits today, seeing as how I had been talking about food and water preparedness the past couple of days.  However, I realized that I had a lot more to say on the subject of being prepared for whatever may come our way, so instead I figured I would do a bit of a recap on the month and what I have learned.

I have been all over the place this month.  At first I had hoped to give tips on how to be intentional, but then I realized that there are so many parts of my own life I would like to be more intentional about, so it instead became about me trying to do a bunch of individual challenges for intentional living myself, and then sharing it with you all.

One of the most important parts of this month for me was backing off the tv and internet.  You wouldn't think that I could do that and continue to blog every day, but surprisingly it has worked out really well for me.  It is still here, we haven't thrown the TV away, and I am still using the computer - obviously - but I don't have it on as much as I did before.  That has thrown a bit of wrench into my communication with people - I am big on e-mail - but I think that I have felt better overall for it.  I'm not going to lie, I will be really happy when the election is over, and I can just turn the news on to see the news and not so much about the election, although I might not want to watch the news after the election either!

I realized that keeping a Sabbath is a really important thing for me.  And I also realized that the way our lives are set up currently, it seems almost impossible to do.  It is something I am working on though, and I think that we will get there eventually.  It is difficult to make such a huge change.  Of course I want to have a day during the week where I completely unplug and don't have any chores to do; where we can just spend an entire day as a family resting and playing.  Apparently I am not that great at planning though, and end up making it through half a day before I need to get back to the business of daily work.

Having the chickens is a huge source of entertainment.  My kids love the chickens, and so do I.  I think I am even winning Matt over a bit!  They provide us with food, and also are able to eat everything I am too lazy to pick out of the garden.  I have been letting them free range a bit more...but they are slowly getting a little too brave and taking off up the street to who knows where.  They always come home at night, but I can't imagine all the people that live in town want to see my chickens walking around their yard and doing their business on their steps...maybe I am overly cautious...I hope!  The chickens have started me thinking about my garden next year, and what I want to do differently, like actually getting to that succession planting I had wanted to do this year!

My kids are creative free spirits.  I love them so much!  I have had a habit of saying no to them for no reason other than my own convenience sometimes.  Obviously it isn't fun to have a large cleanup after the kids play in the dirt, paint pictures...or each other, but to see the enjoyment that they have when they are able to do those things is worth it to me.  They are able to find and follow their own interests, and while I like them to be somewhat contained when making a huge mess, they occupy themselves for longer periods of time and I can actually get other things accomplished, or just enjoy watching them interact with each other.  Not that they should always be left to their own devices, but allowing them the freedom to express themselves and live their lives without feeling like I am constantly telling them no is a great benefit to them I believe.

Overall, this month has provided me with a lot of interesting things to ponder.  I have so many lessons that I have taken away, and things that I want to work more on - like being prepared for a big frankenstorm!  It has been a great experience continuing to write each day though, and although it was crazy to think of writing every day at first, now that it is the end of the month I think I might miss posting every day a bit.  I am very excited for the holiday season, and really want to enjoy it this year without as much stress as I typically put on myself.  At least that is the hope!

Thank you for following along with me!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Linking up at Your Green Resource

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 30

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

Yesterday I talked a bit about food storage, and how I need to work on that because all I have are dry beans and no way to really cook them.  I was thinking more about the dry beans, and how they are a great storage food - because they will last for quite a while.  And then I realized that I should start thinking about water.

We are on city water.  We have never lost water service for an extended period of time.  The only time that we had an issue was a few summers back when they replaced all the sewer and water lines in my neighborhood, and even that was only for several hours in the day.  FEMA recommends that you have 1 gallon of water stored per person per day.  For 2 weeks my family of 4 would require 56 gallons of water.  That is supposed to be enough for drinking and hygiene, but what about for cooking?

I'm not entirely sure how much water I use when I am cooking dry beans, but it seems like a lot.  First I soak the beans, then I rinse them, then I cook them.  I could obviously reduce this by cooking the beans in the same water I used to soak them originally, but it is still more water than what we had stored.  I'm sure a lot of people won't be thinking about dry beans - a lot of people store canned beans which perhaps I should think about.  But, then I thought about making soups and pasta and oatmeal.  A lot of foods that we store would need water to cook them.

So what would be more appropriate than one gallon per person per day.  I think that two gallons would be better and three even better than that.  However, storing that amount of water would be kind of crazy to me. Making sure that you have it changed every few months, is this what people do who are preppers?

I was thinking more along the lines of figuring out how to purify the water that we could find.  I have read a lot of great things about Berkey Water Filters.  I haven't used one before, but it is something Matt and I have talked about getting regardless of losing power and needing an alternate water source.  There are some crazy things floating in our water these days...and it is more portable than the 168 gallons of water I'm thinking we would need for a couple weeks!

What do you do about water security?  Is it something you don't think of because it is always there?  I know a lot of people around where I live have wells, and when the power goes out, so does the pump.  Some have manual pumps as back ups, or ponds that they take water from.  Do you know what your options are?

Linking up at the Barn HopHip Homeschool Hop, Backyard Farming Connection

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 29

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I mentioned on Friday that I would be talking a bit about preparedness for the end of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series.  I have to preface this all by saying that I am not a prepper, I don't have tons of things stocked up in my house to use - although I probably should, which is why I am writing about this.

I was reading on the FEMA website that they recommend keeping 2 weeks of non-perishable food on hand in case you lose power for that amount of time - although they seem to think that is highly unlikely.  I guess I would agree that it doesn't happen that often, but it seems to be happening more and more frequently.  I remember several years ago we had an ice storm where we lost power for a week, and the next town over lost power for 3 weeks.  I was also thinking about people in the south who had lost power for an extended period of time this past summer.  It may not happen every year to you, but it is still likely that at some point this will happen.

Is 2 weeks worth of food enough though?  Should we store a months worth? Six months?  I'm not sure.  I do know that I need to look more in the direction of getting up to that 2 weeks.  I was trying to go through what we have in the house, and whether or not it would feed us for two weeks, and I have to say that we probably do have enough food on hand.  I tend to keep a lot of dry beans and flour on hand, as well as all the things that I have canned for the winter.  But, if you talked to me at the end of March and most of April...well I would say that we were down to the last jar of tomatoes that I have been saving for a special occasion - whatever that may be.

Now, I may have the food down, but what I don't have down is a way to cook the food.  We don't have a wood stove installed in our house, but we do have a grill which has burners to use with pots and pans.  I think we could build a fire outside if we really needed to - however that wouldn't work in the winter when we have a ton of snow.  So just having the food is great, but making sure you have a way to cook it is something else all together.

What do you do when the power goes out?  Do you cook on the grill?  Or just eat cold food?  My dry beans probably won't do me any good if I don't have a way to cook them.  Any suggestions?

I'm linking up with the Barn Hop, Your Green Resource

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 27

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 26

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I decided to go in a completely different direction with my intentional living series today.  See, we have this crazy storm coming towards us called Sandy.  Of course, being in Maine they are saying a combo Nor'easter/hurricane and it won't be nearly as bad as in the south.  That doesn't stop everyone from flocking to the grocery store and clearing out the place in badly planned for preparation for hunkering down.

One of the most important ideas I grab at for my family is food security.  That doesn't just mean food security from the very large agribusiness that supplies the majority of the food in America, but also if there is an emergency.

I'm definitely not in the camp that has months of food set aside.  In fact, I'm not really sure how many days of meals I can make out of the food that is in my house.  I know that I have a lot of dry beans, because we eat a lot of dry beans, but it obviously isn't enough.

Over the next few days I am going to try and get together a plan for emergencies.  I think it is important, especially when you rely on the grocery store or Target...and even a public water system or private well that uses an electric pump.  I know there have been storms up here where we have lost power for a week or more, and people just a town over have lost power for several weeks, where would I be if that happened this weekend?  Probably not in the best situation!

Some things I plan to talk about are food, water, and the ever important first aid kit.  I am excited to share with you what I find out!  Is this a bit of a stretch on Intentional Living?  I don't think so.  I think this month has been all about facing what I have been putting on the back burner for so long, and that makes me feel intentional.

What about you?  Is Sandy coming your way?  What do you do to make sure you are ready?

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 25

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

It has been getting easier to not have the computer on, not check my e-mail or facebook.  I really didn't expect that from this month.  I thought I would talk a lot about self-sufficiency, making sure that we have enough healthy food to eat, and making sure that I make most of it from scratch.  That is still important to me, but it seems this month is more about getting rid of technology - at least in my day to day.

I'm not planning on disconnecting completely, but there have been more days this past month of me not turning the computer on in the morning to check my e-mail or read up on my favorite blogs.  I have an iphone that sits in my office unused.  Last night I went to bed and didn't even bring the phone upstairs with me - totally unheard of considering I spend a large portion of my nighttime wakefulness playing solitaire and writing e-mails.

It is kind of interesting to see myself put all of these steps that I have been talking about for some time into practice.  Will I completely disconnect sometime?  Perhaps.  I have to say not watching the news, and not reading all the craziness related to the election on facebook has definitely given me a bit more peace!

I'm sorry I wasn't here yesterday, but I plan to finish out the end of the month, and will probably have more of these introspective posts coming soon!

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 23

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here

The last couple of weeks I have talked about getting the kids toys taken care of and also letting my kids make messes.  Today I want to talk about praying for my kids.  Obviously we all want the best for our kids. That is not a stretch by any means.  But, do we actually put into thought what we want for our kids?  Or do we just try to raise them as best as we can without thinking about the future?

I'm not saying we should waste away what is now, I am saying that we should be preparing them for a life away from us.  We want them to make good decisions, we want them to have the morals that we think are important.  We want to feel secure when they do eventually leave the nest.

One thing that I tend to forget about is praying specifically for my kids.  I want them to be their best self, and sometimes while in the thick of life, I pray for patience for myself, I pray for a happy day, or for the kids to go down for rest time around the same time.  I forget to pray about the characteristics that I hope they end up having, I forget to pray for their maturity and decision making ability as they grow.

This week I am concentrating on praying for the specific attributes that I want my children to have.  That and peace for my family.  I think that is something that I seem to skip over a lot, which I shouldn't with a 4 and 2 year old at home!

The opportunity to be intentional about prayer for my children (and myself) is something that I don't do as frequently as I ought to.  So, I am hoping that I can start that now.

I am linking up at the Hip Homeschool Hop

Inspiration from Peanuts and a giveaway!

For the past couple of years I have been throwing away everything it seems.  I have been evaluating each item I own to find out if it makes me happy, or if it just takes up precious real estate in my home.  That isn't to say that I don't love having something encouraging to look at.

When in high school and college I always had a little flip desk calendar which would give me wonderful quotes to ponder through the day, or a little comic relief to the craziness that seemed to be going on in my life.  I was really excited to see that DaySpring offers a Peanuts flip calendar!  I have always loved the Peanuts.  I love all the Charlie Brown holiday specials, and this desktop calendar offers me some definite nostalgia.

Having something that you can look at and make you smile is so important.  It doesn't need to be something large, but if it puts a smile on your face and in your heart it is worth it!

DaySpring has been very generous to offer one of my readers a Peanuts Day Brightener and a 16 month Family Planner!  Just enter using the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DaySpring sent me these items in return for my post.

I'm linking up at Giveaway Day

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 22

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

One thing that I have been trying to do more of with regards to my definition of Intentional Living, is use what I have.  I thought last week that I was being a genius putting my chickens out in my garden.  And they did a great job out there for a little while.  But, then apparently, they were bored.

Clearly it makes much more sense for my chickens to roost next to my door rather than turn up the garden.  So I have been letting them be chickens this past week, trying to get the outside cleaned up for winter, I am letting them roam free.  They keep coming back, so that is a plus!  Although, since I started letting them really free range, something strange has happened.

You might not understand right off.  You see, we have 6 white chickens (which we think are the leghorn variety), and 2 araucana chickens.  Do you see the issue yet?  Right along we have been getting 6 white eggs and 2 colored eggs.  One would be the first dark green egg, and then the other would be the light blue egg you see sitting next to it.  These colored eggs would tend to show up one in the morning and one in the evening.  Imagine my surprise when going into the chicken coop this weekend and finding a brown egg (or what Emma prefers to call pink!).  So, can anyone help me out with this?  Do we have a visitor chicken coming and laying eggs in our chicken coop?  Or can chicken eggs change colors?  I'm assuming that one of the araucanas have been laying the green/blue eggs and then the other one just started laying these pink eggs...maybe?

I am linking up at the Barn HopRural Thursday, and Clever Chicks Blog Hop

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 21

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

Each day, awakening, are we asked to paint the sky blue? Need we coax the sun to rise or flowers to bloom? Need we teach birds to sing, or children to laugh, or lovers to kiss? No, though we think the world imperfect, it surrounds us each day with its perfections. We are asked only to appreciate them, and to show appreciation by living in peaceful harmony amidst them. The Creator does not ask that we create a perfect world; He asks that we celebrate it.  ~Robert Brault

Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day review

I love learning.  It has taken me quite a while to be able to say that.  I think I was scarred by college a bit, meaning there were too many things that I was not interested in that I still had to deal with in order to get to what I was interested in.

The one thing that my college did teach me though, was that I really have a love of theology - the study of God.  I have always had a great interest in everything Bible related.  So, I was extremely excited when given the opportunity to review the book Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day.

Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day is a book with 40 short chapters about understanding theology.  Understanding God and the Bible, and what God says through the Bible are incredibly difficult.  There are people who can study the Bible their entire lives, but still not be able to grasp everything.  This book puts you on the right path.

Broken up into short chapters that are full of incredible references, it addresses the most common questions that come up in Christianity today.  Did God make everything?  What is Sin?  How can Jesus be both God and Man?  What are the Gifts of the Spirit?  These are all questions that this book starts to explore.

I really enjoy the extra references given within each chapter.  To be able to go back to the Bible and see the text explained is extremely helpful.  The Bible is confusing, God is confusing.  Realizing that we will never know everything is important, but trying to find out as much as possible about God and what He teaches us through the Bible is also important.  I believe that this book is a good start to all of that.

I have been a Christian for a long time, and I was able to gather quite a bit of knowledge that I didn't know before.  I think this book would be good for new Christians, and also people who have been Christians for a long time.  Having the ability to make it through a chapter in such a short amount of time is helpful, everything is already laid out for you, you just have to think about it!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my review.  The opinions are my own.

{31 Days} Intentional Living Days 19 & 20

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I value my time.  All of us do, right?  I am constantly looking for ways to get more time out of the day.  Yesterday I didn't turn my computer on the entire day.  Now, I have to say that rarely happens.  We are so connected through the internet - e-mailing friends and family, online banking, the constant information stream.  But, surprisingly it wasn't difficult to not turn the computer on.  Matt was home yesterday and we had a few things we wanted to accomplish, the kids wanted to play, and it worked out really nicely.

I have been trying to only have the computer on in the early morning before my kids are awake, but there is something very relaxing about completely disconnecting from everything for a day.

This weekend I am going to try and step back from the computer a bit and see how much time I can find in my day.

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 18

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I'm not big on exercise - at all.  I don't know what it is about exercising that I don't like, but there it is.  Now, I have to say that I used to exercise a lot.  After college I wanted to get rid of the weight that I had put on while there, and so I worked out every day.  And I continued working out every day until about 6 months into my marriage, and then I stopped.

Why did I stop?  Well, I have a whole list of excuses, but my main one was that I was at my goal weight, and I didn't need to exercise anymore.  Now, if I had continued to be intentional about my eating at that point there probably wouldn't have been an issue.  However, when Matt and I got married, I worked in the city and took the train into the city early and arrived home late - so we went out to eat a lot.  Who really wants to cook dinner when they don't get home until after 7?  Not I!

Then when we moved back to Maine I still didn't exercise, and then I got pregnant with Emma, and then I was put on bed rest for the last couple of months.  Did I eat well?  Nope, it was my first pregnancy, so I ate everything that I could see :-)  Now after 2 babies I am paying the price.  My eating is much better than it was 5 years ago, but my exercise is still pretty non-existent.  Sure we go for walks as frequently as possible - not so frequently now that it is seriously cold out and raining every day - but not that intentional exercise that I need.

This week I have made it a point to exercise every day, and it totally sucks.  I hate it honestly.  But, I know that I will feel better when I am healthy again.

Any good music you can share to keep me motivated while exercising?  Do you struggle to do it every day even though you know you should?  What is your favorite excuse?  Mine is that my kids are 2 and 4 and are absolutely insane to leave to their own devices for 45 minutes :-)

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 17

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I have been doing a good job of keeping the TV off.  Not that I watch TV constantly or anything like that, but I do like to watch the news, I have a deep rooted love affair with General Hospital (which my babysitter turned me onto oh so many years ago - great right?!), add in anything cooking related and I am a happy girl. I have instead been trying to concentrate on living.

The funny part to me?  I haven't done any knitting really.  I am ready to place the thumb on this one mitten, but haven't bothered to get some scrap yarn to do it yet.  Hopefully it will happen today.  They really are a fast knit, and goodness knows my kids need their mittens finished (22 degrees outside when we woke up on Monday!).

I have been doing a little reading.  I am going through Romans right now in the Bible.  It is really interesting to me how many different questions I can come up with on my own.  I am not big on devotionals - I never know if I am coming up with the right answer - but the questions, those abound.  It goes along really well with what our Bible study at church has been doing (going through Genesis).  It never ceases to amaze me that when I have a question about one part of the Bible, I find myself in another part getting an answer.

I am also reading the Twilight books again in preparation for the last movie coming out next month - I know total dweeb - but, I really enjoy them.  Plus, every time I flip through the channels I seem to find myself halfway into one of the movies.  I am on Eclipse right now, and I am enjoying them as much as I did the first time I read them a couple years ago.

I'm also reading One Second After, which I saw as a recommendation from a friend on Facebook.  Now, I am usually a very fast reader, not so much with this book.  It is really good, but I have to keep putting it down.  It is about what happens after a perceived electromagnetic pulse.  Whether or not that is possible, I have no idea.  I am inclined to think yes.  Everything in the book seems so real, I need to keep putting it down before I pack up my family and head for the hills :-)  Definitely a book that makes you think.

I am linking up with Ginny today, I look forward to seeing everyone from over there!  I have a couple of giveaways going on right now as well, you can find them up on the right side of the page.

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 16

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

My kids love crafts.  Anything where I take out paper, glue, markers and stickers - they are happy.  I honestly think that if we had an endless amount of craft supplies, they would do little else besides crafts.  Now, I don't want you to think that we have wonderfully themed crafts that we do every day.  Not a chance.  In fact, when I try to have a planned craft it always goes wrong and I get frustrated.  Why can't they just listen to the directions?!

Well, they would rather do it themselves.  And perhaps my very cool cut out pumpkin from construction paper to decorate it doesn't interest them as much as decorating each other...my kids are 2 and 4 after all.

But the hardest part of craft time for me?  The paint.  Above all the craft supplies that we have (and we have quite a bit - an entire room of it actually), they prefer to paint.  And not that great water color paint that washes right off, no it has to be finger paints and any other paint that has a very thick consistency.  And it gets everywhere.

Remember how I just said that my kids prefer to be creative in their own way?  Well, that almost always includes painting each other.  I guess I should be happy they aren't painting the walls.  Why am I talking about this?  It is because I have a hard time letting them because I know that I will have to spend a large amount of time cleaning up afterwards.

I was thinking about that yesterday while my kids played with reusable stickers as paper dolls, and realized that they have more fun when I let them explore their creative side, instead of squashing it because I don't want to clean up a mess.  I should be encouraging them to be creative, and not be as concerned about the mess that follows.

Isn't life just full of messes anyways?  Shouldn't I let the kids explore their own creativity and imaginations?  When I think about homeschooling my kids, and I think about how I want them to follow their own interests, what if their interests are messy like paint, but I don't want to bother cleaning up so I don't let them do it is as often or in the way that they choose?  I think that it would stifle their desire to learn, and that is the exact opposite of what I want.

So, today, when my kids ask me if they can paint, I will put them in their play clothes and put an old sheet on the floor, and let them go to town.  And maybe I will be able to read a book while they are entertaining themselves.

Do you have a messy part of your day that you try to avoid with your kids?  What if you said yes instead of saying no?

I am linking up at the Hip Homeschool Hop and Mommy Club

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 15

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

This month seems to be going quite quickly considering I am writing every day.  At the beginning of the month I was a little concerned about whether or not I could actually write every day.  But, now I have realized how long winded I actually am :-)

I think that one of things that has been holding me back, as far as intentional living goes, is the fact that I have never felt entirely settled in my house.  I know that seems silly, especially considering we bought our house six years ago, but it is true.  We have spent so much time trying to make this into an investment property - always dreaming of the next phase, that we forget to live where we are currently.

This year I finally decided to take charge of where we live.  Obviously we won't be selling this house in this market, and we aren't going to rent it with no place else to live...so our only other choice is to make this house our home.

The first step for us, for me, was to get chickens.  I have been wanting chickens for a few years now.  Well, technically I wanted little pygmy goats (I used to show them in 4-H when I was younger), but since goats are not allowed in town (although they are considering a new ordinance for small livestock!), my next choice was chickens.  We got the chickens in the spring, and we love them.  Even my husband who swore he would have nothing to do with them.  He declared them "my thing" and left me to it...until we picked up the adorable chicks, and then at that point he was on board.

I have been "gardening" since we moved into the house several years ago.  First starting with containers, and then moving to a largish garden in the ground.  Unfortunately, it seems that every year some sort of pest seems to get to the garden before I can.  But, with the addition of the chickens, I am hoping for a better outcome.

Currently, we are letting the chickens go through the garden.  I want them to turn up all the weeds, and hopefully eat the bad bugs - although they could possibly eat the good bugs and worms as well.  But, at least the ground will be turned up.  I am very excited to say that the chickens are doing exactly what I hoped, and they seem to be quite excited by it!  This weekend, Matt put up a little garden fence around a portion of my garden, and then put the chickens in to go to town.  That is exactly what they have done.  In two days they have pretty much destroyed all weeds in the section that was fenced off.  Tomorrow I hope to move the fence to a new section of the garden for them to go at it again.  I wish I had put them on a little earlier at this point, but they seem happy so far!

I really hope to be able to plan out my garden this winter, really plan it out.  I tend to order seeds, start seeds, then lose focus - whether due to outside forces (like the year the town ripped up our yard to replace the water lines) or due to my own circumstances (ie being pregnant, or having a 3 week old during planting season).

It may seem like such a small step, but it is a move in the right direction for my intentional living.  Do you have chickens?  Do you put them in your garden at the end of the season?  Does it help?

I am linking up at the Barn Hop and Rural Thursday

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 14

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I spent the first half of this month really thinking about the ways in which I want to be intentional about my life.  The second half of this month I would like to concentrate on making some of those ideas realities.  I spend a lot of time thinking about what I should be doing, but never end up getting to the doing part of things, and that will change, hopefully, over these next couple of weeks.

Today is Sunday, and I am already failing miserably with my observing the Sabbath - since I am sitting here typing this right now.  But, I am getting my head in the game for a new week, and hope that next weekend things will be different.  Have a wonderful end to the weekend all!

Green Leaf Living review & giveaway!

I am constantly looking for "green" alternatives when it comes to the home.  Whether it is cleaning or body care products, I want it to be natural and healthy for me and my children.  I was so excited to find out about Green Leaf Living specifically for those reasons!  Green Leaf Living offers handmade bath and body products as well as green laundry alternatives - and a few more things you should check out in her shop here.

I was very excited to get to try out some of her products for myself!  First up is the most amazing lotion bar. I had heard of lotion bars before, but never tried one.  This one definitely did not disappoint.  The lavender scent is amazing, and the lotion bar itself makes my hands feel so soft and smooth, which is especially important for me considering the dry air of winter is fast approaching!  I am a convert to the lotion bar, it wasn't greasy, and I felt better about using it with the ingredients listed right on the package.  I also tried the lip balm in the frozen margarita flavor.  Oh goodness, in my husband's words "whatever was put in this is amazing."  It went on very easily, and tasted good to boot!  

I was also sent the laundry soap in the lavender scent.  I am big on homemade laundry soap, and I was so excited to see how this would work.  It was amazing.  The scent was pleasant and the soap was so fine that it easily worked in my cold water wash.  I thought that it brightened the clothes really well, which sometimes doesn't happen with homemade laundry soap.  I definitely recommend it!

There are many other products available at Green Leaf Living that you should definitely check out.  I was very impressed with the packaging and the overall quality of the products.  

Now for the fun part for you, my readers!  Green Leaf Living has generously offered to award one of my readers their choice of either a lotion bar and lip balm, or one pound of the laundry soap.  I think both prizes are amazing!  Just enter using the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent this product in exchange for my review, the views are my own.

I am linking up at Giveaway Day

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 13

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

So long as breath remains in our lungs untapped potential lies inside us waiting to be released.  The reason that we are alive is that we are carrying something inside us that this generation needs.  - Wayne Cordeiro

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 12

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I want to talk about eating healthy today.  I would like to say that I KNOW what is healthy and what is not.  My problem is not knowledge in this part of my intentional living, it is the fact that I don't choose those foods all the time that is the real problem.

I won't lie, I feel better on the random weeks when I eat mainly raw vegan.  My body responds well to it, my mind is clearer, and I feel healthier (plus I always lose a few pounds!).  The issue is in the preparation of those foods.  I am already cooking from scratch, but I seem to inevitably prepare a meal for my family that doesn't line up with what I would choose to eat.  Not that it isn't healthy and balanced, because it is, but for me it isn't the healthiest I can be.  Think a lot of breads and richer foods that I shouldn't be eating, but that my children definitely should be eating because they need all that extra energy!

My goal for the next couple weeks (and beyond) is to make it a point to make what I need to eat to make me feel better for breakfast and lunch.  And then try and stay away from so much homemade bread in the evening (a serious difficulty I tell you!).  I am home all day, there is no reason that I can't do that.  I tend to eat at abnormal meal times, 10 and 2 instead of 8 and noon, which could potentially help.  It seems as soon as I start making something for myself, my kids want it, but if I make it for the three of us, only I want it.  It is a little more food prep, but I should be able to do it.

Do you have trouble eating what makes you feel healthiest while still cooking for your family?  Do you have any tips for getting enough calories into your toddlers without helping yourself to the leftovers?

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 11

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for their comments the past few days!  There have been a lot of thought provoking ideas that have come from it.  Also, it is nice to see that others are actually on the same path as me.  Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one doing xyz, glad to know I'm not!

This will be a bit of a continuation of yesterday's post, mainly because I still have a lot to say on the subject - and also because I really don't want to write about healthy food today, which is what I had planned :-)  So, if you haven't read yesterday's post yet, you might want to pop back and then read here!

After thinking about how I can't seem to do everything that I want to do when it comes to intentional living (and the never ending blog trap of comparison), I decided that I needed some action items.  It is all well and good to think about these ideas, and to want to live intentionally, but unless there is some type of action all you are doing is thinking, and that isn't very productive.

My first step is going to be sitting down and writing out everything I want in an intentional life.  Seems a little broad I know.  I feel like if everything is written down, then I can look at it and start crossing off what isn't possible for my family in this moment.  Plus, it might give me a better appreciation of what I am doing currently.

I then want to compare that list to my family mission statement.  I wrote about our family mission statement here.  Taking the list of how I want my life to be, and trying to figure out if it lines up with our family mission statement is important.  If I put "build community" into my mission statement and then say that I want to move off grid out in the middle of no where...well they don't line up, and then we either have to change the family mission statement, or cross that off grid move off the list.

Once I have a physical list of what I am doing, and what I want to be doing, then I can start moving towards those changes.  I think that once it is listed out, either I will see there is way too much on the list and start cutting things, or I will be able to visualize where I want to be, and the list will help move me in that direction.

Now, lists aren't for everyone, but I think they can be a good tool in this type of situation.  You will be able to see that wanting a farm like soulemama and traveling the country in an RV like the Organic Sister are not entirely compatible and you will need to make a choice which is more important to you and your family in the right now.

Do you ever list out your goals and realize that some are polar opposites?

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 10

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I am a serious book nerd.  I may have mentioned that here before <sarcasm intended>.  It is probably the one thing that I would choose to do for the rest of my life if I could only pick one thing - outside of being a mama I mean.  I especially love all those non-fiction stories.  You know, the ones about where the city girl goes to the country and becomes a farmer to follow her love, or the one about that family in NYC that decides to go No Impact, or that one about the family that can live in a tiny house.  Yeah, I have read all of those and then some.

So what does this have to do with intentional living?  Well, I think that I am too quick to think "why can't I do that."  To me, it almost is the same as "why can't I have that," which I would typically put in the category of being a consumer and relate more to seeing all that is available to us.  This is kind of the opposite.  To see others live with less and want that, but not know how to get there.  And then the what if game starts.

I can read a million books on homesteading, and still not end up being where I think I should be.  And maybe that is part of the problem?  The fact that I think I can do it all.  I can be a farmer in the country and a minimalist (hmm...those don't seem to go together so well).  I can live off the grid, except that I don't have an off-grid house...and no real prospects of getting one anytime soon.

I used to always want to "keep up with the Joneses," but now I wonder if perhaps I am trying too hard to keep up with the O'Brien's and the Smith's and that other family whose name I don't know, but they have some goats.  Instead of looking towards electronics, I am looking towards getting rid of electricity.  I guess there is probably a point where I should step back and look at what I have, and then work with it.

That is what I am trying to do anyways.  The reality is that I live in a house that is too big for our family, but we also have a huge house that is great to entertain in.  I don't have that wood cook stove that I would really love, but I also don't have to come downstairs and start a fire before I make the kids breakfast, or my coffee.

How does this all relate to what I wanted to talk about today, knitting?  Well, I am still knitting mittens.  I have 2 pairs done, and 3 to go.  In my head I always think I can accomplish what I am knitting faster than I actually do.  It isn't a bad thing, like I said last week, knitting lets me slow down and take a step back from everything.  But, I need to realize that I am not going to knit sweaters for everyone I know this year, and I will be lucky to get one made for Jack (in addition to the one I have already made Emma).  That is OK.

I need to create the identity and the life that works for me and my family, not what I think that life should be based on what other people are doing.

Do you laugh at the Joneses but run after the O'Briens?  And just so everyone knows, I don't think I actually know any O'Briens...in case there was confusion :-)

In case you are looking for a picture of the hat and little mittens I made for the new baby...well...my sister-in-law ended up having the baby last Wednesday, and as I was rushing to get everything finished before we could visit my new (and first!) nephew...well...I didn't take a picture.  Silly me!

Linking up with Ginny and her yarn along and Rural Thursday.  And stay tuned for a book review this weekend for Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 9

You can find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I am de-cluttering again.  It honestly seems like I am always de-cluttering and I can't figure out why.  I am not bringing new things into my home, so why am I de-cluttering again?  I think I am learning to live with less, and when I constantly keep re-evaluating what I have and what I actually use, I realize some of the things I keep holding on to are not really worth the effort it takes to maintain them.

First up are my kids' toys.  Don't worry, they go through their toys with me and help decide what to get rid of.  Christmas is coming, and that means more toys.

I have written before about toy organization and it always seems to work out well.  The problem that I am finding now, is that we have gotten rid of all the toys that are not used, the majority of the plastic toys that we don't want to have, and are left with good quality toys that make you use your brain a bit to play with them.

I am not sure I want to get rid of the good toys, and I am also not sure if I want to spend the time to store them for a few months and then rotate them again.  What is it that kids really need?

I asked Emma yesterday if she would rather have her toys or play outside, and she said play outside.  It is always play outside.  Unfortunately, my little area is not a great place for me to send my 2 and 4 year olds out to play alone...and while I love to play outside with them, I do still need to make dinner once in a while.

I notice that when my kids have a lot of toys available to them, they feel overwhelmed.  They aren't entirely sure which toy to play with, and so they take them all out.  That isn't necessarily bad, but after a short while of playing they are bored.  They have too much choice.

So today, we are going to go through their toys and only keep a few things available to them, and see what happens.  Will they be more content?  Will they be more creative?  Will they still get bored easily?

I want to teach my kids to live intentionally, and I want them to learn to make good decisions, but I sometimes wonder if we are trying to give them too much at one time.  Thoughts?

I am linking up at the Hip Homeschool Hop, and at the Mommy Club.

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 8

You can find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I have been thinking about self-sufficiency and how it relates to intentional living.  To me, it seems like self-sufficiency is an integral part of intentional living.  But, to someone else, community involvement might have the central role.  I'm not entirely sure why self-sufficiency seems so important to me, it was never a huge concern several years ago.

It seems like everything comes back to food for me.  I want to make sure that I can provide food for my family, or at least find it if I am in a situation where I need to find it.  More recently it seems like I have been trying to find ways to not only provide food for my family, but to also figure out ways to rely less on "the system" and more on our own abilities.

The struggle seems to be living with one foot in each world.  I'm not saying that I want to completely remove myself from civilized society (although sometimes I do consider it!), but I do wish that I didn't have to rely on the government for basic things such as water and sewer, and also to have the ability to be less dependent on the electrical grid.

I wonder if my family was able to live in a cabin in the woods a la Frontier House, if it would make a difference in the grand scheme of things, or if it would only matter for my family.  And if it only mattered for my family, would that be enough to go through the trouble of getting to that self-sufficiency point?  Or should it be for the "greater good" of the world?

The constant pressure to have have have is definitely wearing on me.  I am constantly looking for the alternative.  I don't want to buy presents for Christmas, so instead I will make them, I don't want to buy prepared refried beans, so instead I will make them.  But, with one foot still in the formal economy and certainly not being self-sufficient, I see people buying instead of doing for themselves, and I want that ease.

If I didn't see everything available, would I still have that desire for it?  Probably not.  So what is the answer?  How do I move forward if I am constantly seeing what I don't have?  It becomes exhausting.  Maybe I need to add a degree of minimalism in with my desire for self-sufficiency.  This month of intentional living continues to have me questioning everything, and it is fun for me to put thoughts down and really start to get some answers from it all.

Do you think that self sufficiency relates to intentional living, or is that not even on your radar?  What would be your central theme when thinking about intentional living?  Is minimalism even on your radar?

I'm linking up at the Barn Hop

Pirate's Booty review and giveaway

When I am looking for snacks for my kids (or my husband!) I am looking for quality and whether or not it tastes good.  I really believe that Pirate's Booty meets both of those criteria.  It is a snack that I am comfortable giving my family because it is healthy and tasty!  My kids love it too, which is great when I am trying to get any type of healthy food into them.

I was very excited to find out that they are going to have a very cool Halloween snack bag this Halloween season - definitely would prefer this in the old pumpkin for the kids instead of the candy!

Here is what Pirate Brands had to say:

Halloween provides an exciting evening full of fun for kids, but it can be downright scary for parents who encourage their kids to eat healthier foods and make sweets a limited part of a balanced and nutritious diet.

Parents can make the holiday a little healthier by swapping sugar-laden candy treats with Pirate's Booty, a deliciously baked, all-natural snack that kids love and moms can feel good about adding tot he trick-or-treat bag!  Pirate's Booty has less fat and fewer calories than traditional Halloween candy and zero grams of sugar.  Also, Pirate's Booty is gluten, peanut and tree-nut free, so it's safe for kids with these common food allergies and their classmates too.  Pirate's Booty is made without trans-fats and ingredients you can't pronounce.  Plus, the Pirate is already dressed for the occasion!

This year it will be easier than ever to pass out Pirate's Booty, as all Target and Super Target stores across the country will be offering the Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar half-ounce 24-pack "Trick or Treat" box.  The Halloween 24-packs of Pirate's Booty are available now through October.

Now for the fun part!  Pirate Brands has offered one lucky Townsend House winner a case of their Halloween themed Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar snack bags!  Just enter the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am linking up at Giveaway Day

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 7

The rest of my {31 Days} series can be found here

Well!  It has been a week of posting every day.  I have to say that when I typically blog, I try to have a bit of a process as to what I am going to post, broad general subjects at least.  But, with talking about intentional living for 31 days, my mind seems to be all over the place!  There are so many things that I want to write about - which is good because I still have 24 days to go.

Today I want to talk about keeping a Sabbath.  I am a Christian, and although I go to church, I don't keep a Sabbath the way the Old Testament calls for you to keep a Sabbath.  I typically go to church, come home and cook lunch and then use the day as a day of cooking and cleaning with football on in the background!  As a Christian we are not held to the Old Testament law, but I think there is something that can be learned from people who continue to keep a Sabbath.

Think about taking a day of the week where you spend in quiet reflection, don't attend to the many issues that come every day (laundry for me!), and instead actually sit down and spend time with your family...for an entire day.  Could you do it?  Could you not lift a hand to work, and instead only lift a hand to live?

I have thought in the past about doing an Unplugged Sunday type project, but every time I think I can do it, something happens where it doesn't work out due to another commitment, to being gone all day Saturday and needing to do work on Sunday.  I am not trying to make excuses, but what I am saying is that you need to purposefully choose to sit back and relax for a day.  I think we would all benefit from this practice.

Do you take a Sabbath each week?  Do you think you could?  I hope to keep a Sabbath for the rest of the 31 Days series, we shall see how that goes!  Baby steps everyone!

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 6

One day at a time - this is enough.  Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.  Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. ~Ida Scott Taylor

I hope that you are enjoying my 31 Days of Intentional Living series!  We are off to visit with my brother and sister-in-law and our beautiful new nephew!  Enjoy this lovely weekend!

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 5

You can find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

Slowing down is a big part of intentional living for me.  I think that is because when I am busy, or have a lot of different commitments, I can't concentrate on the things that are important to me.  I miss huge parts of the day because I am too tired, or because I am preparing for the next outing.  Now, I am not saying that I should be a hermit in order to be intentional, but I do think there is something good about slowing down.

One of the things I do that helps me to slow down is to cook my food from scratch.  You would think that would make my life busier, and that definitely happens on some days, but overall I think I have to slow down in order to cook from scratch.

In the morning, I have to be present of mind enough to start making bread if we want bread for lunch.  I am definitely old fashioned in the aspect that I knead the dough by hand, let it rise, punch it down.  It is methodical, and it puts me in a great mood.  Not to mention it gives me a chance to get out some energy while kneading the dough.  I know that I have to soak beans the night before if we want to have beans during the week, and then I cook them for a couple of hours to have them ready.

These are very small things, but they make me slow down.  It makes me feel more connected to be cooking from scratch for my family, and it allows me the time to talk to my kids and have them help me - as much as they can at 4 and 2!

A great aspect of cooking from scratch is knowing what ingredients you are using.  Wouldn't you rather have chocolate chip cookies that have flour/sugar/butter/chocolate chips, rather than something with 50 different ingredients, half of which you can't pronounce?  I know that by being intentional about my cooking at home allows me to feed my family better foods.  Is it always easy?  No.  Do I still order take out?  Yes.  But, if the majority of the time I am cooking food at home, I feel better about it and our health.

Now, I think that cooking from scratch definitely does not work for everyone.  If you don't know how to cook (like my hubby), you certainly aren't going to immediately make huge elaborate meals from scratch.  A lot of people have serious time constraints due to work.  But, I have to say that you can start from any point!  I have always loved cooking, but I didn't really start making a lot of "from scratch" foods until I moved into my current home about 7 years ago.  I use my slow cooker, I make a lot of soups and one pot meals.  It doesn't have to be elaborate when you are cooking from scratch, and it often can't be if you want to have a life out of the kitchen!

I think practice is going to be a central theme to my Intentional Living series.  It is hard to get up early every day, unless you continue to practice getting up early every day.  It is hard to cook from scratch at home every day, unless you continue to practice it every day.

Do you think cooking more food at home fits in with intentional living?  Or is it less of a concern compared to another aspect of your life?

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 4

You can find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living posts here.

One of the issues that I have with intentional living is that everyone can have a different definition (which my husband so willingly pointed out to me).  How do you go about making changes for your whole family if someone is not on the same page?

My answer, baby steps.

I have written before about the different views my husband and I have.  He is completely fine with eating whatever, which makes cooking for him easy - although he is definitely more concerned now that we have kids.  However, I strive to eat a mainly local, organic, sustainable, in season diet - that's a mouthful!  And since I buy the groceries, and do all the cooking, I can make these changes without any issue.

Food is just one easy example for my family.  When I was pregnant with my oldest, I started to learn a lot more about food, where it came from, what was in it.  I started making changes immediately.  Finding a CSA - community supported agriculture to join, starting my own garden, eating less meat.  They were changes that my husband didn't really notice.  All he knew was that I was spending a lot more time preparing food and less time going out to eat, and he was loving all the new meals I came up with.

Some other changes that I have made to be more intentional about my life and the resources we have available are making my own cleaning products and laundry soap, line drying my clothes and cooking mainly from scratch.  These are all choices that I have individually made, although they also have an impact on the rest of my family.

While I have been making these changes, I am talking - a lot.  I talk to my husband about how much safer using vinegar and baking soda is for the kids, and how fun it can be to involve them in the cleaning.  I can show him how much money we save by hanging the clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.  He clearly benefits from the fresh food and more veggies - evident by a much lower cholesterol level.

I think that when you can show benefits to all parties, it makes all the difference.  No matter how intentional I want to be about our money, about the earth, about slowing down; if I am going in the opposite direction of my family it won't be worth it.  In fact I think it would be the opposite of intentional living.  Instead, there would be a lot of strife as to why I am making changes if they are adverse changes to everyone else.

The more I can do on my own and then show the benefits to the rest of the family, the better off we will be.  We will move closer to our family mission as a team, instead of individuals.  It promotes conversation, and new ideas, and eventually changes for everyone.  We are now getting to a point where my family at least is open to my crazy ideas, and that makes me happy.

Do your views differ from others in your family?  How do you encourage them to follow the same path?  Do you think you can live intentionally if you are moving in a different direction?

I am linking up at Rural Thursday

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 3

Day 3 of 31.  Well, I can't say that it is easy to post every day about intentional living, especially when I don't entirely know what I am doing!  I think that the past couple of days have gone really well.  I am trying to be more present.  Not that I am not present in my day to day, but there are definitely times when I can just barely get through the days because one crisis after another occurs.

One thing that I have been doing more of this past year is knitting.  I learned to knit when I was in junior high, among other handcrafts.  Knitting seems to be something that is very calming to me though.  I am not as concerned about counting and patterns, but the feel of the yarn between my fingers and the click of the needles have the ability to put me in a good mood.

It definitely isn't easy to knit for me with two littles running around.  They are always very willing to "help" me with my knitting.  But, I have to say that giving them yarn seems to keep them occupied for a good chunk of time.  I am in the process of teaching Emma how to finger knit.  She is pretty good at it, but gets tripped up quite a bit anyways.

To have part of our day as sitting with music on and all of us knitting together, or more likely the kids playing with yarn while I knit, it is a wonderful activity.  It lets us all slow down.  We talk, Emma tells stories which then Jack repeats.  This is extremely important to me in my journey of intentional living.  This slowness allows more time for listening.

As for what I am knitting right now, I am knitting a few special pieces for my new niece or nephew whenever he or she arrives in the next week or so!  And because of that, I am not sharing a picture today.  But, I hope to remember to take a picture before I give it away, which I almost always forget to do :-)

I'm linking up with Ginny today!  If you would like to read my other Intentional Living posts, you can find them here.

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 2

When I was thinking about doing 31 days of Intentional Living, I wasn't entirely sure how to start.  Yesterday I defined intentional living as actively living with purpose.  My husband was so nice to let me know that some people might choose to float through life, to which I said if they actively choose that, it still fits my definition.  :-)

I started to think more about it though.  Where do I want these 31 days to take me?  Do I use it as an experiment to make me live my "best life?"  I don't know how that would work.  See the problem with 31 days, is that it is only 31 days.  And, unless you are already living exactly how you want to be, save for a couple of things, it would be difficult to say at the end of 31 days "I have reached my goal!"

Take waking up early for instance, I started attempting this feat in August of 2011.  Not that I didn't always wake up early (I have a 2 and 4 year old after all), but I was waking up when they woke me up, instead of dictating when I would wake up myself.  Now, after over a year, I am finally able to wake up easily (albeit entirely too early for normal people), and most of the time without an alarm.  Awesome.  But, it took me a year to be able to get to this place.  Do I really have a year for every change that I want to make?  Probably not.

I figured that I should set some goals for these 31 days.  Obviously I would like to accomplish everything that is on my ever expanding list of goals, but that isn't realistic, and I don't want to feel like a failure at the end of this one month!

One thing that I have been thinking a lot about for this month is Television and Internet.  Such a wonderful thing, yet also the biggest time suck that has ever been invented.  Now, I would love to say that we will get rid of the TV, but I am not there yet.  And it isn't even cable that I am talking about - cable I could definitely do without.  It is those other fun things - netflix and hulu plus.  See, we have an internet TV, so we just play everything on the TV, just as we would if we had cable.  And since we have internet, that is the other thing that will easily grab my attention.  I am all about learning really, and having the internet available at my every whim, well, it can drive one crazy if they are not careful.

Take my early morning wake-ups.  When I first started waking up early, I would have my quiet time, pray, journal, make coffee, generally get ready for the day.  However, now, I get up, make my coffee, have a very short quiet time, and then turn on the news and get on the computer.  By the time my kids wake up and my husband is ready to leave for work, my mind is in overdrive about all that is going on in the world, and 40 new ideas for blog posts that I could possibly write...but I don't.

I would like to take this next month and dial back on the internet and news.  I don't need to read every single interesting blog post out there.  I also don't need to hear about the US election anymore.  I am tired of getting riled up about the lesser of two evils, and becoming depressed by the economic outlook for our country.  Instead, I could use the time to write that book I have been telling myself I want to write for the past 5 years, or spend some time in quiet reflection.  I say dial back instead of getting rid of it altogether because I still like to watch TV and movies, and I think that you can incorporate it into your life without it taking over.  I just might need a little more space from the politics and economic news that I get absorbed in!

Being intentional about life, doesn't mean you have to be going constantly, it means you can take a step back and really enjoy your surroundings.  I do not want to go through my life being so stressed about everything.  I wonder if the reason people seemed happier way back when was because the news wasn't on 24 hours/day.  We didn't need to hear about the latest xyz for a week straight, complete with pictures of the event while it is happening.

Do you find that you get absorbed into the news or other TV program?  Is it easy for you to just turn it off and go on living without knowing?  Do you feel happier for it, or do you always wonder what is going on?

{31 Days} Intentional Living - Day 1

31 Days is a project hosted by Nesting Place.  Essentially it is picking a topic to write about every day for the month of October.  You can find more about the 31 Days project here.

I have been thinking for a few weeks now on what I should do for the 31 Days project.  There are so many subjects that I am passionate about these days, and that I thought I could actually write about for 31 days straight.  Should it be from scratch cooking?  Well, I try to do that as it is, and that is probably a good goal to have since October is also unprocessed month over here.  I also thought about green living, or simplifying my life, or no TV for a month.  But, after thinking of all of those things, I realized that my month should be about intentional living.

Intentional Living can be used in many different contexts.  It can relate to personal journeys, ethics or religion, to name a few.  Intentional meaning done with purpose and living meaning active or thriving.  How I define intentional living is to actively live with purpose.  But where to start?

When I was thinking about subjects for these 31 Days, and I listed them out, I realized that they are all part of my description of "intentional living."  I want to have less technology in my life (I know, ironic, coming from a blogger), I want to be cooking all of my meals from scratch.  I want the "green" life, I want to reduce the waste that we have.  All of these things scream "intentional living" to me.

So, for the next 31 days, I will be trying to bring you my version of intentional living.  The steps I am taking, the challenges I am having, the good and the bad.  I hope that you join me!

What is your version of intentional living?  What steps would you take to be more intentional about your own life?