About HLS and Me
“Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.”— Anonymous
Home Life Simplified is a personal development blog working to help families (of every description) figure out what is the best way for you to get organised, manage your time, and improve your home and family life so that you save money, reduce stress, dump the guilt, and stop feeling overwhelmed. I will provide strategies and resources to help you make positive changes in your lives. I will not tell you what to do, as my philosophy is “there is no right way, only the right way for you right now,” and that is why I will always tell you to “find your simple.”
What information is covered on HLS?
- Organisation –topics related to physically organising your home and home office
- Parenting and family life -communication within the family, positive “middle of the road” parenting, activities and tips
- Household management – meal planning and recipes, personal productivity, routines, systems, and general “ball juggling” skills (possibly the biggest challenge for many people)
- Personal development and inspiration -motivation, changing your thinking, working out your priorities, values and goals
- Post natal depression and anxiety (personal and practical information and resources).
What won’t you find on HLS?
What you won’t find here is perfection or decorator- level eye-candy. I feel there are enough blogs and websites that offer those beautiful examples and although I may feature occasional beautiful images for inspiration I want to stress that my main purpose here is to show that you do not need to have expensive products, a show home or crafting tools to create a home full of peace, organisation and functionality. I find so many people don’t ever get started on this journey because they are overwhelmed. They are not just overwhelmed by their clutter or lack of knowledge, but they are overwhelmed by the onslaught of perfect images and are left feeling “why bother if I can’t make it look that good?” or “I will start this project when I can afford to stock up on beautiful accessories and baskets to ‘complete the room’.” I can promise you realistic goals, guilt busters rather than guilt inducers, and you can probably sleep better knowing that I am as imperfect as you! If you want to read more on this see my full post on what home life simplified is not.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ” – Confucius
How I got started / my background?
I was always organised and interested in related products – as a child my favourite place was the stationary store and I looked forward to back to school shopping!, but things really kicked into high gear when I became a parent. I was always known for my attention to detail and organising skills in my work life (managing information resources for a non profit in Bangkok; as a conference manager for a destination management company in NYC; and implementing national advertising and promotional plans for radio advertisers in Sydney), but organising a family and house was different. Life with a family is ever changing, even with routines in place they change daily depending on your children’s needs, your schedule, your partner if you have one, demands from outside your home, work, extended family – the list goes on and on.
I ended up finding a special place for myself on the internet at babywhispererforums.com and became a moderator there for almost 5 years. During that time as a moderator I helped women create routines for their children, answered their queries, supported them through post natal depression and eventually found my niche on the household management board. It was there that I ran monthly challenges to create new habits and reach goals. Together we created household notebooks, menu planned and generally worked towards creating a house that worked for us rather than against us. I decided it was time for me to design my own place on the internet to create a community based on my philosophy of “find your simple”. I believe a lot of the stress, anxiety and self-doubt we feel comes from too high expectations, unfair comparisons and fear. My aim for myself and this community is to work to change our mindsets, get in touch with who we are and how we really want to live.
Who am I?
I am an American married to a Brit and living in Australia permanently. I am a type- A recovering perfectionist. I love to learn and am finally working on facing my fears, and living a fuller life, one day at a time.
I have 2 daughters who have chosen their own aliases for this site to protect their privacy. They are Alice (9 1/2) and Lulu (8). They were both born in Sydney and have funny accents thanks to the combination of American, British and Aussie- English spoken in our house. They are both talented and creative and 80% of the activities in our house revolve around music, art and writing – all self directed and much of it mess-inducing!
I suffered from pretty severe post natal depression (PND or PPD depending on where you live) after Lulu was born. It has altered the course of my life in ways I still discover. I knew that whatever path I took to “return to paid work” it would include some way of helping other families with PND. PND/depression/ anxiety is so common (albeit hidden) in our modern society that at some point I can guarantee you will either know someone suffering , or who has suffered in the past, or you yourself may experience this later on. An amazing thing happens when people start talking about depression and anxiety in the open – more people start sharing their experiences and you suddenly find ½ the people you know are actually affected. If my posts can help even 1 person it meets my aim. If you read along, and are someday faced with a friend or loved one suffering, you will be better equipped to offer some support and understanding.
What else about me? In spite of my mother’s best efforts to teach me, I never iron. I also make my bed on average 6 times a year. Once I was shamed into doing it for 2 weeks by Alice’s best friend. She was over at our house, walked past my bedroom and saw the unmade bed. She told me that I was supposed to do it every day – didn’t I know that? I felt so embarrassed for a minute, so I made my bed for a 6yo, but then I got over that!
“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” - Jon Acuff
I hope you will join me on this journey and share your thoughts, your questions, your “a-ha moments”, your opinions, your highs and lows. Please contact me any time with any of the above, but I also hope you will comment on posts and find support amongst each other. I have found the best ideas come through conversation. At HLS there will be no judging – I want this to be a place of positive steps to change your life for the better – no matter where your starting point is.
Find your simple,