How I’m Designing A Delightfully Simple Life, One Day at a Time

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Edited to add: Wow- I missed the perfect opportunity to title this “How I’m Designing A Delightfully Simple Life, One Meal at a Time”

To design a delightfully simple life.

My new + improved manifesto.
My beginning goal.
My mid goal.
My ultimate end goal.

What does it mean to design a delightfully simple life? To me, it means more than what words can describe, it's more of a feeling. But I'll do my best:

  • it means spending more time doing things that light you up...even if that means absolutely nothing,

  • enjoying the petite pleasures in life,

  • more happiness + less stress, 

  • simple yet thoughtfully curated,

  • in most cases quality over quantity,

  • soul-satisfying but also altruistic, and

  • deliberate contentedness.

It's like the mission statement for my own personal life. The way in which I will move from day to day, always keeping in mind those things that do not align with my mission statement + values have got to exit the stage. And those activities and people and petite pleasures that bring me joy- more of those. I think it's safe to say we all want to live our best life (cardi b voice). But if we don't outline values or craft a personal mission statement, how do we make that 'best life' a reality?

Your best life...and my vision of what it means to be living my best life are likely very different views. What you define as success and how I view success are also likely defined very different. What’s your mission statement in life? What does it mean to be living your best life?

So, basically I never really thought I would write this next statement which is today's topic. 

I’m actually learning to enjoy cooking.

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Phew. There, I said it and somehow after all these years of conditioning myself to believe I hated cooking I still somehow don't believe myself. 

My 20-year-old self wouldn't even recognize me today. 

Confession time: I was the worst offender and the best customer of local fast food joints. It all started when I was interning at the local Chamber of Commerce back in 2010 and 2011. Every morning I would stop by the Woodshed (a popular gas station in northeast okla / southeast kan) and grab TWO bottles of coke and a pastry, biscuits and gravy, or a bag of chips and then head in to the office. That would normally suit me until lunch time and then 9/10 I would go grab a bbq pork sandwich, french fries and another coke. OR if I was feeling a rather "healthier" option that day, I would walk down the street to the Sunflower Soda Fountain and grab a tuna salad sandwich, chips and a chocolate shake. HA 

BUT IT GETS BETTER!

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After work I would stop by and grab whatever fast food JF thought sounded good for dinner. 

Fast forward to fall of 2011 and after leaving my internship, I went to work for a bank. The bank was literally 55 ft from a donut shop. Yes, you guessed it! Sausage rolls, donut holes and cajun pies EVERYDAY. These bad habits just transpired and I continued to eat fast food almost 3x a day for almost 3 years. Every once in a while I would make a home-cooked meal but it was not a regular habit I enjoyed or ever consistently picked up. 

Looking back and reflecting on all of this, the most ridiculous part is the fact that it wasn't even the health aspect that broke the camels back. It was after calculating how much $$ I had spent on FOOD alone in any given month. I kept recalculating and thinking "this CAN'T be right". 

Needless to say, this is about the same time I actually started paying attention to my spending habits and trying to be better about investing and making my money work for me

#radgirltip If you have a habit of regularly eating fast food and you'd like to kick it, do me a favor and start keeping tabs on how much money you're spending on just food. Go through your checking account over the last 30 or 60 days and take a look at how much money you're eating...and just think: what ELSE could you be spending your monies on besides overpriced bbq pork sandwiches?! Add those extra dolla's to your savings account. (I LOVE using Ally because I can't immediately transfer funds to my checking account if I want to make an impulse purchase.)

But Merrissa, it is so easy to run by my favorite fast food joint or Chinese takeout when I'm in a jam or when it's been a long day and all I really wanna do is go home and relax and not have to worry about cooking a meal!!! I totally agree! And there is definitely a time and place for those scenarios! But not everyday, like I used to tell myself. 🤪

So back to today’s topic, not only is eating at home better on the wallet but it's ultimately better for your waist and overall health too. The best part is knowing exactly what ingredients you're using and this typically means less junk + preservatives. Yay! With all of that being said, for me, aiming to cook more meals at home makes me feel just plain good.

I feel better on a mental + physical level when I choose to regularly eat nourishing meals rather than junk. I feel satisfied when I can cook a good meal for myself + JF + company.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT GET IT TWISTED. I WILL DEVOUR CHIPS + SALSA + QUESO + ALL OF THE SANGRIA MARGARITAS.

(cue the 80/20 nutrition rule- actually I’m pretty happy with a 70/30 ratio if I’m being honest)

Here’s the recipe for success if you’re anything like my 20-year-old self:

Find or develop a couple of really good recipes that are easy, delicious and something you excel at. You know, the kind of recipes that are SO simple you will almost always have the main ingredients on hand and you could literally cook it with your eyes closed. Jot these recipes down and add them to your recipe vault. Keep these in mind when you're having one of those days where you’re tempted to stop for fast food. Or stop for fast food. #70/30 #yolo

If you're still riding the but-fast-food-is-life struggle bus and need some inspiration, check out some of my favorite recipes + food blogs.

 

Go-to Food Blogs:

Real Food Whole Life - Robyn shares so many great (+ simple) recipes! 

Pinch of Yum- Lindsay has a way of making you salivate through the computer screen. Her photo's make you want to cook ALL THE FOOD.

Minimalist Baker- Although a vegan food blog, she has many dessert recipes that you'll want to try, like yesterday.

Budget Bytes- If you're looking to ball on a budget, Beth has your back. 

JSHEALTH- I love Jessica’s approach to healthy living!  

Recipes:

Parmesan Chicken Tenders 

Homemade Granola Bars

A Healthier Take on Taco Tuesday 

This post is just the beginning of how I’m designing a delightfully simple life. If this is something that sparks your attention then be sure to check back and read how else I’m curating a deliberate + purposeful life. As a remixner, for you and me, this is simply a guideline- not a do or die recipe for success. 🖤

On another note, we ordered our new counter tops last night and I CAN’T WAIT until they are installed. I have waited so long to order them. Mostly because we didn’t know which route we wanted to take, what material or vendor. Finally bit the bullet and bought exactly what we wanted.

Who knew buying new counter tops meant signing your life away too? Will also admit I did a little happy dance when they said it should all be installed by the end of December. 💃🏼

Do you enjoy cooking + eating meals at home? Have you ever had a fast food problem like me?!

Xx, Riss

LifeMerrissa