Gratitude Archives - Simple Is Good For You

The Beauty and #Hygge of a Lazy Weekend

I have been enjoying a lazy, cozy, playing it by the ear sort of a weekend. My hubby boy is still away so it’s a perfect time for me to worry just about my own entertainment. And while I was planning to maybe reach out to some friends and catch up, the ‘feels like 8 degrees’ temperatures surely discouraged me from doing so. So we texted and spoke on a phone instead, no rush, each of us from under our own blankies 😉

I also took time to organize my sewing supplies (again). It seems like I am organizing them more than actually sewing with them 😉 but it makes me happy to go through all the fabric again, the thread, the ribbons. I have also been crocheting a little ‘thingy’ for my nephew’s baptism this May. Just a simple, white cape to cover the car seat (or whatever my sister chooses to cover). Once ready I am going to embroider his name on it too. I basically spent both weekend days at home, by myself, doing things that made me feel good.

Basically, this weekend, I hygger.

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My Happiness List

The other day, while in the office and looking for some files in the storage area, I stumbled upon a dusty book. Since I am a sucker for books, especially ones that seem inspiring and in search of an owner, I put it aside to skim through.

The seemingly children’s book (no idea how it even ended up in a child-free office like mine) is a gem. Also, as of last night it found a new home and currently resides in Queens 😉

My Happiness List

While I see myself as a very positive person, I tend to fall off the wagon occasionally, especially in January (and a bit of February too) with these temperatures being below freezing, it is just too easy to feel a bit blue (whiny, ungrateful and just overall cranky).

I definitely appreciate an unexpected source of happiness quotes and some suggestions on how to put myself in a happy state of mind. Of course all good things require some sort of work. But fear not, this work is actually pleasant. A ‘Happiness List’! That seems easy, right?

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Home Trip Update and a Few Frugal Things

Landed safe and sound at our local Jasionka airport on Friday afternoon. Home, sweet home, here I am again 🙂

Very happy to see that last week’s snow has already melted by now, although of course I brought my snow boots with me, as advised by my sister (as my only pair so I am stuck with wearing them wherever I go). Today we had 65 degrees and it is going to be up to 68 for the next week or so. It is very unusual this time of year of course and while most of us here are thrilled, my dad is very displeased. Mild winter now means frost in April and May which obviously sucks for fruit and nut bearing trees and agriculture overall. It’s official – global warming has made its way to Poland as well.

My three nieces have grown at least couple of inches each, all of them as cute as a button. This year they managed to wait patiently until I settled a bit before I pull out all the gifts from my suitcase. To my satisfaction, I received three ‘thank you’ pictures 10 minutes later.

Frugal accomplishments

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Frugal Accomplishments, No More Budgeting and Feeling Grateful

My biggest frugal accomplishment this week was spending money only on groceries. No meals out, no work lunches, no expensive coffees with friends. Except one time, I was not even tempted too much to be honest, I think frugality definitely is growing on me. Instead if spending my paycheck on things I don’t need, what really makes me happy is being able to consistently transfer a chunk of $$ into my retirement account. They are not big amounts but I know that slow and steady wins the race. I feel very lucky I am able to transfer something every single month, I know there are many people out there who do not have the luxury of doing so.

Frugal accomplishments

We are having a lovely weekend away from the city. Staying for free at a friend’s house – priceless.

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Open Yourself to Frugality

I am in awe sometimes how much it ‘all’ depends on one’s own attitude.

Positive spirit attracts positive things, peaceful demeanor makes your colleague adjust her voice to reflect yours, the frugal mindset will literally make it ‘rain’ with opportunities to save money or get things for free.

It surely does take a little effort but not as much as you think.

Open yourself to receiving:

1. Don’t be afraid / ashamed / embarrassed to be perceived as ‘frugal’

Come out of the frugal closet.

Yes, I will happily pack all the leftovers after work lunch. Hand me downs for my nieces; anyone? I will take them! Kitchen towels and half used toilet bowl cleaner that you won’t take to your new apartment? I will use take them too.

See what I’m saying? Make it known to everyone that you graciously accept things. Once you do, free goodies will just keep coming to you with minimal effort.

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Rush to Succeed

I have been at my (not so new anymore) job for three weeks and two days now. I think I am settling, learning something new every day, even if they are just small things, such as they way my boss likes his envelope labels printed or who the AC or cable company that he uses is. Quite random things actually. My notebooks are getting filled up with info and my ‘to do’ lists are growing. I am going through the entire online database, folder by folder, project by project, year by year. Yep, it is exactly as little fun as it sounds. 😉

Rush to succeed

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The Pleasures of a Simple Life

After quite challenging two weeks at work, I am embracing this 4th of July weekend. It came just at the right time. What a blessing to have three undisturbed days to do anything one pleases. What a blessing to have an invitation from friends out of town. Catching a train from Jamaica station to Long Island at 8:10am on a Saturday morning? Easy peasy! I arrived with plenty of ample time.

While I really like our tiny apartment in Queens, NY, I love getting out of town every once in a while. The smell of grass, the hay, horses, oh the smell of horses. I stop by to take my time to breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and out. To hug a tree. I had all of this growing up, the forests, orchards, wild berries, abundance of carrots and peas. Rose bushes. Simplicity.

Some nature and a pool is all I needed today

Some nature and a pool is all I needed today.

These georgeous raised beds are a dream come true.

These gorgeous, irrigated raised beds are every gardener’s dream come true.

I laugh at myself whenever I remember how, when leaving for the USA, I was hoping I would never go back to a farm life. Funny how life goes. Going back to nature, simplicity and self reliance is all I want now.


High Hopes and an Attitude Adjustment

The Easter weekend was all about bonding time with T.’s parents. Two and a half days of quality time. As I mentioned last week, T.’s relationship with his mom has not been the greatest for the last 3 decades. When I came into the picture I couldn’t quite understand the reasons (I still can’t to be honest) but I have been very encouraging for T. to fix whatever needs to be fixed. Each (rare) visit is full of hopes for moving forward from whatever may have happened in the past that caused the relationship drift apart.

But what does one do when ‘putting the best foot forward’ just is not enough? I think this visit finally made me realize that I would not have that perfect relationship with my mother in law, she will never be the ‘second’ mom I always imagined I would have once marrying someone. T. is used to not having that closeness with his mom that I have been craving for so much. He does not think it is a big deal, but it is to me. He would say he could try to fix things if he knew where they are broken. He stopped trying years ago 🙁

High Hopes and an Attitude Adjustment

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When Good News Come

I think most everyone has been in a situation when life seemed rough, unfair, stressful. Possibly going through a breakup or a divorce, juggling multiple stressful projects at work or going through really tough times financially. I know I have, and whenever I did, I remember putting all my energy into whatever seemed to be going wrong for me at that time. As if everything else around me ceased to exist. All the problems, whatever they were, seemed to be THE biggest problems that the world had ever had to deal with.

But then, while dealing with a painful breakup that was consuming my entire life, the news of my mom’s passing came. While dealing with back to back stressful work projects I got my MRI results and they were not what I hoped for. While going through a period of time of general confusion about life, the possibility of having to have another surgery arose.

Wait a minute.

When Good News Come

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Kindness Is Contagious

Last Friday, one of my work friends, V. and I went out to get bagels for breakfast. While it is a daily happening for most of my colleagues, for me it is not. It was a special occasion. While I was endlessly vacationing in LA this holiday season V. filled in for me at work for the entire week. I was so very grateful and as a thank you, I asked her out to join me at her most favorite bagels place near our office (coincidently also best bagels place in SoHo).

When we got to the restaurant (which is both a sit down and a pick up location), it was FULL. I did not expect that, I mean, it was just a Friday 10:15am and it was packed. We asked to put our names on the wait list and started to wait. We waited, waited and waited some more. I was getting a bit antsy, as at least half an hour passed and we probably were somewhat half way through before being seated. I felt that with another half an hour wait and then another 45 minutes at a table, my day would pretty much disappear. I just had too much to do back in the office. And so we gave up on getting a table and decided to get the bagels to go instead.

Kindness is Contagious

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