A July Challenge

I’m a sucker for a challenge. Honestly, if someone even mentions the word challenge then I’ve signed up before I know it. Before the smarter part of my brain even gets a chance to question my (usually rash) decision. The last thing I need is logic giving me too many good reasons why I shouldn’t be doing it.

This is why I am signed up for Tough Mudder in August this year (no, that’s not next month is it?). I shocked even myself by signing up. Especially after last year when I was so against the thought – why would anyone put themselves through that? I was pregnant back then and my sensible hormones were probably responsible for me staying well clear. I went from ‘Electrocution – no thank you’ to ‘actually, electrocution, yes I’ll give that a good go, thank you very much.’

My July challenge is a bit less extreme, sensible even. After my recent post on simplicity, a good friend mentioned yet again another challenge. This is by the very guys themselves, The Minimalists. The deal? On the first day of the month start by throwing away, donating or selling one item; then on the second day, two things, increasing every day until you reach the end of the month. I might have peaked too early though, getting rid of garbage bags worth of items yesterday. If you want to join me read this first.

Also, if you want to see these guys (for free) then check out their Everything that Remains 2014 tour dates. They are travelling to 100 cities this year. I’ve already booked my free spot in November when they are in Brisbane. And if you are looking for some more inspiration on how to declutter your home (life) then check out Leo’s Declutter Guide at Zen Habits:

Clutter, it turns out, is procrastination.

And who wants that?

Happy decluttering.

Eva x

Brisbane life

Brisbane is everything that I imagined it to be and in many ways so much more. But I have cold feet.

After nine years in London I needed a change, and so came Brisbane. With beautiful, clear 23 degree winters – the outdoors suddenly became so much more accessible. People in Brisbane just seemed healthier (every second blog post I read seems to focus on the healthy: breakfasts, yoga, parks) and I am completely surrounded by a lot more of my own kind – yes, those crazily annoying morning people. Just as an example, nearly everywhere good to eat in Brisbane opens at 6am and closes at 3pm.

To many of you that might sound a bit boring. You are probably thinking, she’s had a baby and goes to bed at 8pm every night (ok, that’s true). But Brisbane has had a burst of coolness in there too. There are awesome markets, Brisbane does have cool bands, and young designers, and people do have beards and wear chinos. It’s also one of the top places to be an entrepreneur right now (which I’m planning on doing very soon – once that fabulous idea comes along). If you doubt me on that, I’m definitely sure that I read it in a magazine article recently.*

But I have to confess that I still have cold feet. I get nervous if someone asks if I’m back for good and start sweating when I think about where I’m going to send Caellum to school. I secretly have thoughts about picking up and moving my little family to the deepest depths of Africa.** And if not Africa, then perhaps a little tropical island or in the middle of Asia. Or perhaps even the UK (but only in summer, or in the lead up to Christmas). Because while Brisbane is everything that I want to be, it’s the newness that I crave, the wild experiences and the unfamiliarity.

Perhaps there is a way to have a bit of both, as a lot of people I know are doing: working abroad for a short while, travelling in some amazing destinations (yes, all with their babies). And because I’m trying to live more simply, it means I don’t have to buy a house just yet. And luckily, in the meantime, I still have to make it through all the new Brisbane brunch spots.

Eva x

*my friend Amanda mailed me a copy
**don’t worry mum that’s an exaggeration for this blog post

Simply Joy and Eva

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I have been inspired by simplification. I won’t say minimalism, because I know that’s never going to fit in with my life. And it would be a lie if I pretended it could (yes ok, I’ve ordered some clothes from ASOS to fit into my already too crammed wardrobe). Simplification seems a somewhat easier first step for me.

At the moment, I feel a bit cluttered. In my cute little house in the suburbs I literally have no more space to put anything. We even have erected an extremely large shelving unit in our laundry to hold all those bits and pieces we couldn’t fit in the house. I have been thinking back to my London days where I managed to fit myself into a bedroom space that fit not much else but my bed. How did I manage? I think it’s the same as what people say about your pay packet. You spend what you earn and the more you earn, the more you spend. And for space that’s true for me, I fill the size that I have. The bigger the place, the more stuff I accumulate.

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Over the next month it’s my mission to downsize. To pack up bags and bags of unused items and give, donate or throw them away. Starting with the very bad second hand purchase that I made, my outdoor setting that you can’t actually sit on or use. How is that useful?

And this inspiration has filtered over to Joy&Eva. I have only posted one entry since Caellum entered my life. I couldn’t imagine posting anything about my day-to-day activities that consisted of changing dirty nappies, researching how to get babies to sleep and singing nursery rhymes. But now that I’ve broken through the first child, newborn phase, it’s time to poke my head out into the real world and start out slowly and simply.

Gone are lots of the clutter on the pages of Joy&Eva which make me feel fresh and happy (just like the feel of new sheets on your bed). It’s time to start again and so here we are. Day one but not really day one.

Why should you just do it?

A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Yep, that’s right, just starting something is sometimes the whole battle. Like a blog post, a project, a chore or a run. That’s why I’m starting with this quote, because it’s true, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. This is a little bit of something from me…