Fall harvest season & life in California

How I’m embracing our local seasonal produce and falling in love with California again.

A few thoughts on finding joy right now

Between mid-June and late July this year, I started to really feel it: an incoherent, rootless bone-tiredness that settled in and couldn't be lifted. 15 months of pandemic endurance, and my defenses had finally crashed. I felt entirely depleted.  And I'm embarrassed...

The most unique things to do in Mendocino, California

Expansive bluffs that tumble into rich turquoise waters. Nearby ancient forests that tell stories of old. This is Mendocino, a wild and tranquil retreat from the Bay Area. It's an absolute delight. It's no secret that I'm in love with the California coast. Growing up...

How to read more books in 2021

Many of us have long had the goal to read more books each year. These practical tips have helped me increase my reading significantly and I hope they help you too.

A road trip guide to California’s gorgeous central coast

Discover California’s stunning coastline while remaining socially distanced.

Welcome to Simplicity Relished.

Hello! I’m Daisy, a social entrepreneur, writer, and fellow adventurer. I’m here to help you finally follow your heart, explore the world, and live with meaning and joy everyday.

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Fes, Morocco: 10 Things You Absolutely Have To Do

Fes, Morocco: 10 Things You Absolutely Have To Do

I could wax poetic in a long exposé about this fascinating city with institutions dating back to the 9th century. I could, but I won't-- because I want more people to see this. So, despite my love-hate relationship with the list-form blog post, here it is. Because in...

Morocco Travel Diary: Casablanca and Beyond

Morocco Travel Diary: Casablanca and Beyond

Traveling through completely unfamiliar territory is inevitably like drinking from a fire hydrant. There are depths of culture to plumb, ancient stories to sift through, and pockets of communities that are nuanced and complex. I continued to return to a single...

5 Ways to be More Intentional with Your Time

5 Ways to be More Intentional with Your Time

When we were in Morocco, our guide got used to us being 10-15 minutes late to everything. Eventually, he got tired of reassuring us and we got tired of apologizing-- so he told us this: "In the West you have watch. In Africa we have time." I can still hear his accent...

72 hours in Barcelona: Architectural Wonderland

72 hours in Barcelona: Architectural Wonderland

We had a special Barcelona experience: we were barely there for 72 hours, and spent Christmas Eve Catalonian-style. I can hardly do justice to Barcelona's highlights since we only had time for a few stops, but I was absolutely in awe with its architectural...

Choose Your Adventure

Choose Your Adventure

I've been wrestling with some gut-wrenching career and life decisions. Robert Frost's poem about the road not taken has never resonated so powerfully with me. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day!...

Alhambra Photo Diary & Quick Guide

Alhambra Photo Diary & Quick Guide

Oh, the Alhambra. What a gem. No visit to Andalucia is quite complete without strolling the grounds of this magical palace, the last Moorish stand against Christian Spain. I've raved about the Moors and their architectural prowess in this post about the Royal Alcazar...

48 Hours In Seville, Spain: itinerary & map

48 Hours In Seville, Spain: itinerary & map

Seville might possibly be one of my favorite towns in Western Europe, and I have been to a handful. Laid back, sophisticated, sunny and romantic, it's pretty much everything you might possibly be looking for on vacation. In 2015, we ended up traveling to 5 different...

The 5 Secrets of Powerful Speech

The 5 Secrets of Powerful Speech

Words are everywhere. We are constantly bombarded with messages, promotions, updates, advertisements and campaigns, and the majority of it will add very little value to our lives. Despite my efforts to subscribe only to useful newsletters, I can easily receive over 50...

The Royal Alcazar in Seville, Spain

The Royal Alcazar in Seville, Spain

Oh, the south of Spain. Romantic, vibrant, charming and irresistible. Where does one begin? It's a fascinating part of the world that integrates European, Islamic and Mediterranean cultures all at once. Our foray into this amazing corner of the world only lasted...

Hello 2016: looking back and looking ahead

Hello 2016: looking back and looking ahead

Did I miss the the Happy New Year gravy train? Despite being barely a week into 2016, I feel like I did. How quickly we move along these days-- and what's the rush, really? It seems as though it will be January for a while. So let me indulge in a little reflection. As...

Bon Nadal.

Bon Nadal.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends. It's funny how travel can take you far away-- and then closer than ever-- to the heart and soul of the season. From the moment we stepped foot in Sevilla to this very moment in Barcelona, I've encountered strange new reminders of the...

10 Highlights on our Upcoming Spain and Morocco Itinerary

10 Highlights on our Upcoming Spain and Morocco Itinerary

We're en route to Spain today and will be spending the next two weeks enjoying Andalusia, Barcelona, and then Morocco! I am so excited to travel internationally again, not least because my posts on Japan (particularly the ones on Kyoto) have had such positive...

Why Travel Is An Excellent Component Of Simple Living

Why Travel Is An Excellent Component Of Simple Living

There's a fluidness between choosing to live simply and choosing to explore the world. Simple living allows us to focus more on things that matter to us-- faith, family, advocacy, community-- as we shed off the frivolous things that ensnare us. But sometimes, simple...

Let’s Build A Cafe In Ecuador

Let’s Build A Cafe In Ecuador

You might remember that Aaron and I spent July in Ecuador. We wandered through the lovely streets and plazas of Quito, and made a 3-day jaunt to the Andean town of Cuenca as well. But the main reason we visited was to volunteer with Casa Victoria. We helped run their...

Making Room: The Truth About Hospitality

Making Room: The Truth About Hospitality

Come in, sir, for you are weary And the night is cold out there Though our lives are very humble What we have, we have to share... These simple yet remarkable words are sung by the bishop in the musical Les Miserables (kudos if you recognized it!). I experience a jolt...

Give Impact: 7 Socially Responsible Gift Ideas

Give Impact: 7 Socially Responsible Gift Ideas

It's no secret that we Americans spend billions of dollars every holiday season purchasing gifts for each other. It's also no secret that many products we purchase are made in industries that have been neglectful (at best) when it comes to the lives of factory...

10 Realistic Goals For The End Of 2015

10 Realistic Goals For The End Of 2015

Friends might already be mourning the passing of another year and setting hopes and expectations for 2016, but this year isn't over yet! 2015 still has a good 30 days, and a lot can happen in 30 days. If you've come to the end of this year anxious, tired, and with a...

Our 2015 Thanksgiving Menu Inspiration

Our 2015 Thanksgiving Menu Inspiration

It's that week again... when I'm wandering down the aisles of our local grocery store like a child in a candy shop. I just can't wait for our family gathering on Thursday where we get to feast on delicious, seasonal dishes that I'm creating this week. For the past...

When Authenticity Becomes A Recipe For Disaster

When Authenticity Becomes A Recipe For Disaster

We are now a culture obsessed with authenticity. We've donned a peevish perspective on social media, on networking, on new friendships-- basically on anything that might not feel "real" enough to us. We expect everyone to divulge everything. Authenticity is a good...

7 Ways to Make Today Matter

7 Ways to Make Today Matter

In the wake of tragedy-- whether personal or global-- we find ourselves asking questions that often lie dormant when things are going "just fine." The challenge of living in this tension we call the human experience, where we fluctuate between exceeding joy and...

The Life-Changing Magic of Finding Your Purpose

The Life-Changing Magic of Finding Your Purpose

I've been championing simplicity on this blog for about a year now. It started last fall when I came across Courtney Carver's Project 333-- a capsule wardrobe challenge that has now become a near-mainstream trend-- and I took it upon myself to find additional ways to...

Celebrity Gossip: Why I Don’t Keep Up

Celebrity Gossip: Why I Don’t Keep Up

I didn't grow up in a family that watched much American television. In fact, my family didn't watch any television-- we owned a TV for years without actually knowing how to turn it on. As far as I know, there were no truly strong moral objections to television. There...

How to Practice Self Care This Holiday Season

How to Practice Self Care This Holiday Season

I am so thrilled to have Sheryl from How To Make A Life on the blog today with some tips for self care. The holidays are a busy time, and we need to develop rhythms to practice peace, relaxation, and true enjoyment during this season.  Hello everyone! I’m Sheryl from...

My Epic Formula For Getting Dressed Super Fast

My Epic Formula For Getting Dressed Super Fast

Does the title of this post promise too much? Perhaps. But I can't express how much it has improved my life to shrink my closet to the essentials. I think my fall capsule wardrobe is the best capsule wardrobe I've but together yet, and I'll tell you why. The trick to...

10 Minimalist Secrets To Minimizing Regret

10 Minimalist Secrets To Minimizing Regret

We've all heard the adage that hindsight is 20/20, but that's no consolation for poor decisions made. We can easily become so wrapped up in self-punishment for the past that we experience very little life in the present. While all of us have regrets-- large and...

4 Mindset Changes That Are Good For Your Body

4 Mindset Changes That Are Good For Your Body

I used to roll my eyes when older people would say, "Youth is wasted on the young." Now I'm one of those old(er) people. The past few weeks, my vision has started to get blurry. I have a hard time reading screens especially (which is why my posts have become less...

10 Best Snapshots From Taiwan

10 Best Snapshots From Taiwan

My love for Taiwan runs deep. I grew up visiting at least once a year, partly because much of my extended family still lived there at the time. Every January, my mom would fly us to Taipei to celebrate the Lunar New Year when my cousins would get a break from school...

Does Your Demeanor Tell Lies?

Does Your Demeanor Tell Lies?

Demeanor, (n.): outward behavior or bearing (e.g., a quiet, somber demeanor). Synonyms: manner, air, attitude, appearance, look. The past few weeks have been chock full of failures, frustrations, rejections, and struggles. But you wouldn't know it if you came over to...

10 Simple Things I Want For My Kids

10 Simple Things I Want For My Kids

This post is going to make me sound really old-fashioned. Perhaps, just old. I work with kids everyday, and even if I'm barely 10 years older than some of them, I see a stark difference between their realities and mine. While my students are hardly a conclusive sample...

How To Wear White This Fall in 3 Easy Steps

How To Wear White This Fall in 3 Easy Steps

Once autumn rolls around, we tend to put away the whites. The old fashion "rule" of not wearing white after Labor Day has sunk in deep. But, as someone who loves wearing white and doesn't believe in fashion rules anyway, my goal is to make white a wearable color all...

7 Confessions of a Chronic Problem Solver

7 Confessions of a Chronic Problem Solver

Someone recently remarked that we are a nation of problem solvers. I would extend that statement to encompass much of Western culture. Our instinctive response to a problem is to seek a solution-- the sooner the better. There's nothing wrong with solving problems per...

Why You Need To Choose A Lifestyle (and not just a career)

Why You Need To Choose A Lifestyle (and not just a career)

As diplomatic as my writing voice (usually) is, I've always marched to the beat of my own drum when it comes to lifestyle choices. And by that I mean that I've rarely bent to the culture around me. Being naturally introspective and determined has led me to...

6 Ways To Stay Connected When Life Gets Busy

6 Ways To Stay Connected When Life Gets Busy

I anticipated that this season would be busy for me-- both due to personal pursuits and the rhythms of our culture-- but I must admit I've been feeling unprepared. It's only early October and I've already felt the pressure of a tight schedule, too many items on my...

Fall Capsule Wardrobe: 33 Essentials For 3 Months

Fall Capsule Wardrobe: 33 Essentials For 3 Months

Here it is, finally: my fall 2015 capsule wardrobe! This is the first fall capsule I've put together, and I'm so excited about every piece that is in it. Fall is a tricky season to dress for, especially here in Southern California. This week we'll be experiencing...

5 Practical Ways to Restore Your Joy

5 Practical Ways to Restore Your Joy

This week was more difficult than most. For the first time in months, perhaps, I felt stressed. Truly, overwhelmignly stressed. It was not the good kind of stress that pushed me beyond my comfort zone and made me work hard at my endeavors. It was the kind of stress...

6 Indispensable Habits To Schedule Into Your Day

6 Indispensable Habits To Schedule Into Your Day

I'm becoming more and more aware that habits are built with intentionality and discipline. There's a part of me that knows what I should do and desires those good things, while there's another part of me that proves that those desires aren't quite strong enough. You...

7 Foolproof Secrets To Decorating With Plants

7 Foolproof Secrets To Decorating With Plants

I've fallen in love with indoor plants! It all started with our quest to fill up a small patch of dirt in our new patio here in Southern California-- which forced me to look into drought-tolerant options. With most drought-tolerant greenery being succulents, I...

8 Good Reasons To Choose A Small Home

8 Good Reasons To Choose A Small Home

I'm no advocate of the tiny house movement, but I am becoming more and more convinced that the best homes are small. Despite my appreciation for beautiful architecture-- much of which is made grander in larger spaces-- I find myself less and less desiring an...

Late Summer Green Apple Juice with Cucumber and Mint

Late Summer Green Apple Juice with Cucumber and Mint

As we transition into fall, apples of every color are showing up at farmers markets. This is an exciting time of year in terms of produce, because summer fruits are phasing out just as autumn fruits are phasing in. If you like to make juice or smoothies, apples are a...

Winter 2015 Travel Plans… Revealed!

Winter 2015 Travel Plans… Revealed!

It is strange to be discussing winter when summer continues at full heat here in Southern California. Aaron and I spent some time this weekend making a few more arrangements for our winter 2015 plans, and I'd like to share them with you today! Over the course of 2...

5 Principles for Post-College Friendship

5 Principles for Post-College Friendship

As a veteran of a long-distance relationship (that successfully led to marriage), I'm no stranger to the challenges of maintaining friendship over time and space. The reality many of us face after graduating college is that we lose touch with the people we loved and...

8 Ways to Celebrate Autumn No Matter What The Weather’s Doing

8 Ways to Celebrate Autumn No Matter What The Weather’s Doing

Part of falling in love with Southern California has meant accepting the absence of dramatic seasons around here. After 5 years in New England (read: 5 years complaining about winter), I find myself longing for those crisp autumn mornings colored with crimsons and...

Why I No Longer Equate My Time to Dollars

Why I No Longer Equate My Time to Dollars

It's easy for me to think about my hours in terms of dollars. I currently charge an hourly rate, so it's natural to think about my time as money. At first, it was just a business-minded strategy. When I am working, if I can minimize time between clients, then less of...

5 Things I Wish I Knew in my 20s

5 Things I Wish I Knew in my 20s

Today I'm happy to welcome Angela from Setting My Intention to share an important post about life in our twenties! Angela has been an inspiration to me, so I'm so excited to share her post with you! I love the enthusiasm and values driven choices that people like...

5 Favorite Food Blogs For Recipe Inspiration

5 Favorite Food Blogs For Recipe Inspiration

I'm a cookbook kind of girl, but our shelf is filling up. From ice cream to washoku to sous vide, Aaron and I have experts here in the house to teach us how to do food right. But where do I go for spur-of-the-moment inspiration? Pretty much to these five online...

New England Charm: A Self-Guided Walking Tour in Boston

New England Charm: A Self-Guided Walking Tour in Boston

I spent 4 years living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but admit to only spending a handful of days wandering through Boston. It felt so accessible at the time that I rarely found myself jumping at the opportunity to explore one of the oldest cities in the US. Just a few...