slow living

Why Do We Keep Our Lives So Hectic?

One thing I’ve learned about maintaining a complicated life is that it’s one of the best ways we have to avoid looking at some of the larger questions. It may not apply to everyone, but I believe it explains a lot about why we’ve been moving so fast. The idea of getting to know ourselves or becoming reacquainted can be intimidating.

As long as we convince ourselves that we’re so busy and our work is more important and that we can’t afford to slow down, then we don’t have to look at our own lives and the personal issues that are so difficult to address . It could be— a marriage that isn’t working, a career that’s draining, friendships that no longer serve us, the creativity we are afraid to explore, childhood traumas that have been crippling us.

In Search of Our Garden Memphis Wellness Blogger shares an article of why we keep living hectic lives

As you start to slow down, to cut back your work hours, free yourself from all of the things you said yes to, you’re going to have some time on your hands. You may begin to feel the need to start nourishing your body, catching up on sleep, eat cleanier, spend time in nature, exercise and learn how to enjoy yourself again. Then, you will reach a point where there is nothing left to do but deal with some of your inner issues. Creating the inner strength to move through them will lighten you up.

In Search of Our Garden Memphis Wellness Blogger shares article of why do we keep our lives so hectic

An amazing thing happens when we slow down. We start to get flashes of inspiration. We reach a new level of understanding and wisdom. In a quiet moment we can get a insight that can change our entire life and the lives of the people around us in incredible ways.

Living more simply will make it possible to create those quiet moments. Out of those quiet moments miracles happen. Be open to them.

10 Ways to Create a Simple and Natural Home

It is always been said your home is your place of refuge. Our homes should be a place of comfort, rest, and relief from the world. We all want to create a peaceful home and to enjoy people and things that matter. By taking small steps to simplify our home, we can create a more natural home that rewards us with loving environment to thrive.

In Search of Our Gardens Memphis Blogger shares 10 ways to create a simple and natural home

We all know that going green and minimalism isn’t a trend, it’s what has been done for countless generations. Many women before us lived a simplified life before modern conveniences. It’s incredibly important that we are mindful of our actions as individuals today. Our day to day decisions are incredibly significant, and like many other changes we wish to see in the world, it starts at home. Some changes that can easily be made to live more simply can start with food, cleaning, and beauty.

FOOD

Eat whole unprocessed foods.

By eating whole and unprocessed foods you are not only giving your body the best advantage to stay healthy but helping the environment as well. Cutting down on the energy sources needed to produce processed foods directly benefits the environment.

Purchase food in season.

Seasonal food is better for the climate. When your food travels around the world to get to you, it uses lots of energy. Produce, especially local produce has a significantly lower carbon footprint.

Replace plastic storage ware with glass.

Take a pledge to become less wasteful and start by replacing plastic for glass. Glass jars are almost the symbol of the zero waste movement. Here’s the great thing about glass jar in your home, they can be used over and over.

BEAUTY

Add natural remedies to your medicine cabinet.

Incorporate the healing benefits of plants into your life. There’s nothing more simple than going back to using 100 percent natural remedies and medicines.

Try making your own lotion, soap, deodorant, or toothpaste.

Many beauty products can be made with cleaner and less toxic ingredients right at home. Be more resourceful and use common kitchen ingredients or natural products like essential oils.

Choose non-toxic, natural cosmetics.

The enhancement of beauty should not be a big deal. Our approach is to always be simplified and sustainable. Choose cosmetic brands that are non toxic, free of animal testing and without harsh chemicals.

CLEANING

Make your own cleaning products

There are countless options of home cleaning products that are simple and very effective. Your cupboard has some magical ingredients to clean and deodorize.

Know the recycling rules in your area to ensure proper recycling.

In the days of immense waste, recycling should not be a second thought. Find out what your neighborhood days of recycling are scheduled or recycling centers in your neighborhood.

Run the dishwasher and laundry machine only when they’re full.

Cut back on electricity usage and product waste by only running the dishwasher or laundry machine after you have a full load.

Try a cup of white vinegar instead of heavily fragranced fabric softener to soften clothes.

White vinegar can be used for so many home hacks. One of our favorites hacks is as a fabric softener. You can save money and the environment.

In Search of Our Gardens Memphis Blogger shares 10 Ways to Create A Simple and Natural Home

Creating a natural home takes time—it’s a process that occurs over years of changing your mindset and your lifestyle. By implementing a few of these small steps at a time, you can become a better steward of your family’s health and happiness and decrease your environmental footprint. Let’s all commit to creating the best possible home!

We have many, many, many more ways to create a simple and natural home. Come back for our weekly homemaking series to get updates on more ways to create a simple and natural home.


Why I Began Searching for My Garden and Living Simply

You don’t get to this place in my opinion by chance. No way! You are here in the place because you lived your life in a manner in which “busy”, “stressed” and “grinding while getting to the money” was your default mode. Scenario two, you felt your life was cluttered—- home, car, finances, everything was chaotic and you desperately needed to make a change. Lastly, you really felt that somewhere deep in your soul, you would magically discover there was “more in less”. For me, it was all three. I didn’t know what was going on in my life, how I would get to the woman that I kept visualizing on well designed vision board when my life was in utter disarray.

At the time, I was working way too hard and not making substantial financial or professional progress. Twelve hour sewing days with multiple projects and yet still at the beginning of the month, I barely made enough profit to pay rent. How and where do they do that? My constant grind was preventing me from spending quality and undistracted time with my daughter. My dating life was in shambles. I would never date. My desires for my future husband were not going to be met with the way I was living. No way— my husband would not be looking for me behind a sewing machine. Self care was a thought that never crossed my mind. Most importantly, I was facing an all out catastrophic battle with my inner self trying to balance the divine feminine aspect that need to flourish.

But, on one glorious day and a two hour conversation with my sorority sister Shemika, I had an epiphany. I felt deep, like down way way deep, in my core—that I was in the wrong place that was conducive for growth. In order to save myself from myself, I had to abruptly cease every way in which I was living my current life. A creative sabbatical, just 5 days initially, was the first step. I disconnected from the world. I initiated my own weekly day of rest and decided to be still. A trip to the bookstore led me to “In Search of My Gardens: by Alice Walker and the journey to simple living began.

Andrea Fenise Memphis Wellness Blogger and Memphis Lifestyle Blogger shares a new journey into simple living.

The significance of reading this book during this time was major in my shift. In the book, Alice Walker speaks about her search for the African American women’s suppressed talent, of the artistic skills and talents that they lost because of slavery and a forced way of life.  Our great great grandmothers who were artists, seamstress, writers and goddess of the Earth could not relish in their gifts. They were being stripped down to nothing by hardships or manipulative America that robbed them from their being. These women, our great great great grandmothers were artists “driven to a numb and bleeding madness by the springs of creativity in them for which there was no release.”

The suppression of talent that Walker spoke of that frustrated me but wasn’t the only thing that really resonated with me. It was the strength and tenacity of those women, mothers, Black women that moved me. The collection of essays offered hope, healing, and wholeness to my broke world. It showed me that despite the current climate of darkness and trouble, if I searched for my mother’s garden that determination, strength, yet simplicity of living. I could bring light, hope and harmony into my own.

While In Search of My Mother’s Garden, I began getting revelations that my personal life was in shambles because of me. Unknowingly, I was in a war against myself, fighting the need to express myself creatively and be myself. I didn’t know my purpose. I just knew I hated sewing for people and I wanted more meaning to my work. I had changed. The things I was interested in had dramatically changed. I wanted to show the world the carefree, simple living, natural remedy loving woman despite the portrayal on social media.

Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and a respect of strength-in Search of My Mother’s Garden, I found my own.
— Alice Walker

My weekly rituals of rest became days of decluttering and reading. I began working my soil and planting my own garden. Taking the time to play music and make my own clothes without being rushed. Dinners were made with vegetables that I grew with my own hand and love. My rosewater facial serums were created by me and for me. I had finally gotten to the point to have the courage to live in harmony with myself. I could no longer live in two different worlds pretending that working 16 hour days were the final destination. Over consumption could not be my narrative. I wasn’t living that life. I was searching for a way to express myself and honestly nurture my spiritual self by way of manifesting and exuding love, beauty, strength and creativity through my work. Now, I am here. Here in a place that illustrates vividly how I can now dream dreams that someone knows unlike my great grandmother. I can carry on a legacy of making everything I touch reveal grace and beauty. And, I can do that my living intentional and simple with meaning.

In Search of Our Gardens, the blog, was conceived out of a desire to put more of my authentic self in the digital world.

Andrea Fenise Memphis Lifestyle Blogger and Memphis Slow Living Blogger shares journey to simple living

DIY Grapeseed Oil for Eczema

Healing eczema isn't the easiest thing to do when your skin has reached the point of open and dry patches. Trust me, I have been there many many times. Winter is approaching very soon and anyone that suffers from eczema knows how harsh this time of year is on your skin.  Don't down all of the Merlot just yet. I have grape expectations this year of you of finally having glowing and healthy skin. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Lifestyle Blogger and Memphis Wellness Blogger shares a DIY Grapeseed Oil for Eczema

Grapeseed oil is one of my tried and true natural products in my skin care regimen. My regimen is very simple and clean and free of steroids. It is a three step process--- Clean-Moisturize-Occlusion. The occlusion step is one that I think many do not implement when treating or healing eczema. However, it's essential. Skin occlusion is just an effective way of absorbing creams or lotion  because it leaves your skin hydrated. Simple and plain, occlusion locks moisture into the skin to allow it to speed the healing process up. And, applying grapeseed oil does a magical job at occlusion. It brings skin healing properties to moisturizers. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Wellness Blogger and Slow Living Blogger shares a diy grapeseed oil for eczema

The easiest way to create your own moisturizer is to add oil to oil. Pick an essential oil with a smell you love. I have tried lavender, rose, and orange. Now, I take my grapeseed oil formulas a little further since I have a garden and add fresh dried rosemary for a savory and bold scent. Just mix a few drops of your essential oil of choice into your grapeseed oil. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Lifestyle Blogger and Slow Living Blogger shares DIY Grapeseed Oil Eczema remedy

Here's a regimen I suggest after a shower or bath. Moisturize your skin really well with a lotion of your choice. My favorite for eczema is Vaseline Intensive Care. I don't know what they use in their formula but my eczema has been clear since using it. After applying your lotion, seal the moisture in by applying grapeseed oil all over your body. Not only is the oil creating a protective layer to lock in moisture but it is healing the skin as well. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Lifestyle Blogger and Memphis Wellness Blogger shares a DIY Grapeseed Oil for eczema

Balsamic Vinegarette Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Balsamic Vinegarette Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Many of the things I enjoy eating and cooking are highly shaped by watching my mother cook or savoring the taste of her food. This Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken Recipe is a blend of my mother's baked chicken and how she would eat veggies drenched in balsamic dressing.... 

Herbal Self Care Bath with Roses and Mint

Herbal Self Care Bath with Roses and Mint

Herbs, flowers, and oils have been used as therapy in baths to relax the mind, soothe sore muscles, and promote softer skin. I'd love to share my rose, mint and essential oil bath that I faithfully indulge in during moon cycles, after menstruation or just when I need to relax.