I lost my voice a couple of days ago – a sure sign that the busyness of life was overtaking my attempts to simplify it. Trivia nights and birthdays, photo sessions and dinners, a huge editing workload and the shuffle of kids to yoga, to aikido, to see extended family — the rushing from one thing to the next because sometimes life hands you a full plate and says, “Here you go”. I am easily overwhelmed by life generally, so bouts of high stimulation and fast-paced days drain the life completely out of me. I try to steer clear of the Busyness Psyche calling us to continually achieve, produce and move, rather looking for ways, instead, always, to slow down, to move deliberately, to cultivate simplicity. Sometimes this looks like saying no, sometimes this looks like reprioritising what’s important for me in this little season of life, sometimes it looks like putting great effort into our environment at home to create clutter-free, soothing, inspiring spaces, and sometimes this looks like simply picking up my camera and letting happen what always happens when I look through that viewfinder: Clarity.
Seasonal changes have always inspired me. I remember studying for my acupuncture degree years ago and feeling something click inside not only at how health was described and attained, but for how it aligned with what our bodies needed at different times of the year. How we ate and moved our body was different in summer than how it was in winter, and it made perfect sense to me — the idea of living in harmony with our environment and encouraging what was already naturally happening. And in the colder months? Autumn and winter were times for slowing down, for replenishing reserves, for eating heavier, nourishing foods, for hibernating, for reflecting. If summer and spring were for early starts and big new challenges and being out in the world kicking goals, autumn and winter were for home, for comfort, for rest. It’s the ebb and flow between these two that creates the balance: Doing too much of any one thing on the spectrum leads to problems. Over the years, I’ve learned that leaning into what my mind and body needs during each seasonal phase makes me the most happy, the most healthy, and the most grounded.
And right now, I’m all about the soups and tea, the reflection and rest.
So I’m sharing a gorgeous, soothing, cosy Spotify playlist today for those slow-paced at-home cold days (There is so little on earth more replenishing than good music!) which is often on repeat at our place:
(If you can’t access this list, just search theredtent on Spotify and you will find the Winter At Home playlist there.)
Plus some autumny-things I’ve been loving lately…
Afternoon donuts with my boy.
Where we end up playing uno and picking wildflowers for Ella.
Collecting special treasures ready to classify and arrange back home.
Like my husband making some beautiful hexagon shelving out of reclaimed wood which will go in the baby’s room.
Billy’s just learned how to write his name and he’s all about it right now, including walk-stopping to scrawl it in the sand with a stick. I so love that kid.
My soup helper.
Front porch autumnifying.
Where we string up a bunch of tacky plastic autumn leaves and call it a day.
And lastly, baking apple crumble with the kids.
So easy + comforting + delicious + the kids can get involved by peeling the apples + mixing together the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Toss these ingredients together and put them on the bottom layer of a square (or smaller) baking dish: BOTTOM LAYER – 8 apples peeled and sliced, 1/2 lemon juiced, 3 tblsp maple syrup, 2 tblsp water, dash of cinnamon and ground cloves and mixed allspice
- Mix the top layer ingredients together and put on top of apple layer. TOP LAYER: 1 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts — we used cashews), dash of nutmeg, cinnamon + salt, 6 tbsp of butter or coconut oil, melted, 8 tbsp maple syrup.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden on top and serve with yoghurt or a dash of good quality cream.
Happy tea and rest, friends.