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jeudi 30 mai 2013

On My WishList for June 2013: "Simplify your day" Zen Habits Program

Hello Lovelies!

original image from here + my added text on top.

Another post about my ongoing Simplicity Project. First I read this post about "9 rules for a simpler day". Then I read about next month's challenge. And I am...

this challenge!

Right now, this is very high on my wishlist for June 2013: I want to take part in the Zen Habits Program that will focus next month on "Simplifying your day". Excerpt from the Zen Habits site:

The Zen Habits Sea Change Program

  • Stop procrastinating [January]
  • Eat healthier [February]
  • Meditate [March]
  • Exercise [April]
  • Write daily [May]
  • Simplify your day [June]
  • Get organized [July]
  • Declutter [August]
  • Be grateful [September]
  • Reduce/eliminate debt [October]
  • Read more [November]
  • Let go [December]
Subscription is 10 dollars/month. 
Full details here :


-Naomi of TeaButerfly.

mercredi 29 mai 2013

I Want a Simpler Life but... Where Do I Start?

Hello Lovelies,

original image via - text added by me.

This blogpost is a bit of a note-to-self kind, but i am publishing it here so it might be useful to others, too.

Well, do you want, just like me, a simpler, slower, more filfilling, zen-like & do-what-you-love kind of life? Do you want to actually live your dream life? OK, me too! ;-)

...But the task of simplifying may seem daunting and well... not so simple! We're often at a loss as to where do we even begin!

That is why I did a little research online and found out 3 must-read simplicity resources.

First, I highly recommend ypu read a short, simple personal story, so you can get the picture. This is simply because, if you know what your dream is, you can start & achieve it! Or, as Jennifer and Aby put it: "Living Your Dream Life Begins with Knowing What You Want."

a beautiful reminder to just "stop & smell the roses", via

You can then have a look at a very thorough zen guide to simple living that answers simply the difficult question of "where do I start?". I suggest you pick a maximum of 5 points (out of this list) - simply choose the ones that are particularly appealing to you, and start working on them... now!
I, for instance, love points #9 #13 #14 #15 of the ZenHabits guide mentioned above.

So, in a nutshell, determine what is your biggest dream/goal and read/act accordingly.

Roughly the same thing as the ZenHabits guide, but in French, the "Par où commencer ?" guide to personal development.

In closing, my motto, beautifully calligraphed:

image via


 -Naomi of TeaButterfly.

PS: if you're willing to dig deeper, there are literally tons of reading material on and offline including these pinterest boards of mine:

* visual candy to help you get organized at home
* articles (less visual) to read about "getting things done"
* visual inspiration : what a simple life looks like

And, finally, the Brain Pickings site has a whole range of articles on the subject of "do what you love" for a living. You can start by this one: "How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love"

vendredi 24 mai 2013

Reflections on "What Makes a House a Home?"

Hello Lovelies!

 image source via

There are many ways to make a house feel more lived-in and cozy. I love this advice: "Surround yourself with happy memories", found here at the Whole Living website, and illustrated by the above picture. I also like this advice: "Get cuddly accents", found here, as illustrated below:

Today, I'll publish another (!) excellent excerpt from the May 18th 2013 GON newsletter, because YES, it is that good and I highly recommend you subscribe to it! This short article deals exactly with the important question of "What Makes a House a Home?"



"My friend's 7 year-old son, Jack, is a very outspoken and fun child. His new thing is to point at beautiful and big houses and declare that's the kind of house he wants to live in.

The other day, his mom reminded him that the size of a house doesn't necessarily make it a loving home. That it's the people living inside a house that make it special.

While he may be too young yet to understand the message of her statement, I wasn' was a GREAT mind jogger for me.

I love organizing and decorating homes. I enjoy watching HGTV, reading home improvement magazines, and scanning the latest ideas on Pinterest.

BUT a home doesn't mean spending lots of money on redesigning a space or buying the most expensive furniture. A home is a place we and our children can go to for comfort and security.

Fortunately, we can create that space by investing our time and energy with the people that matter to us the most.

I hope you have a wonderful week and make sure to enjoy the individuals that comprise your life!"


image source: Fi & Livvy's Cozy Home

Newsletter excerpt: (c) Copyright 2013 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!

* Copyright, contact and reprint information:

* To subscribe, visit:  

In closing:

photo source: World of Interios, via

You can find a lot of visual inspiration through commented slideshows about lovely, cozy and lived-in homes here:
at AT (cozification article)
at RS (5 ways to create a cozy home)
at Whole Living (13 ways to a cozy up at home)  
I also love the home inspiration posts by Jane, at her lovely "Ill seen, Ill Said" blog.

Enjoy your home!

-Naomi of TeaButterfly.

jeudi 23 mai 2013

How to Live a Simpler Life


Hello Lovelies,

Left: simple bouquet image via

[Please note: external links & images will be added later today to this post which includes very valuable information I wanted to share with all of you right away!]

I just spent three weeks in hospital and I am finally outta there and feeling good! My stay at the hospital was put to good use, not only to take of my health, but also to take time & reflect about life's essentials, about my own wants, needs and real priorities. Voluntary Simplicity has always been important to me, I am drawn to it, I crave a simpler life but it is not always easy to achieve as we all live in a consumers' society that distracts us from the essentials of life.

That is why I created a few (more than 5, but less than 10) boards on pinterest about simplicity, and the essentials, sorted by season: fall essentials, winter essentials, spring essentials & summer essentials. In addition of each season's essentials, I gathered a general visual inspiration about simplicity in the broad sense, and since I am very particular about my home & interior decoration, there is also a board about minimalism at home.

On top of that, I stumbled this mornign about Maria Gracia's weekly GON newsletter, and found this gem of a short, concise & informative article about "How to Live a Simpler Life" spread out in just 11 points. read below (and I highly recommend Maria GRacia's GON website and weekly newsletter!)

"Life doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, our lives can be made a whole lot easier by simplifying. Here's how:

image via

1) Spend Less

We are bombarded with advertisements tempting us to buy the latest fads and gadgets, and are told they will make our lives better. Before buying into the `more is better' philosophy, stop and think. Ask yourself if the item is something you really need or something you want?

2) Save Your Pennies

A simpler life is one in which you are prepared for life's unexpected surprises and emergencies. Having a savings can turn your life from one of panic, to one of security.

3) Cleaning and Throwing Out

The more stuff we accumulate, the less enjoyment we find in our life. Stuff makes our life complicated. We have to store it, move it, and worry about it being taken from us. It almost becomes an addiction, which robs us of time spent on life's priorities. Start going through your house, room by room, and getting rid of those items you no longer use, care about, nor enjoy.

4) Downsize

You really don't have to keep up with your neighbors, wealthy relatives, or friends. It is OK to drive a less expensive vehicle or live in a modest size home. The less expensive car will still get you from point A to point B, and the modest house will still provide shelter for you and your family. You will be able to spend more time with your family and less time worrying about the car and house payments.

5) Say No

We have commitments to others. Some which are necessary as we raise our families, and others which we do because we feel we should. Saying no to those things that we know we do not have time for is okay. This means saying no to our kids when they want to be involved in every extracurricular activity, or saying no to the neighbor who needs you to watch her children every day. By saying no to some things, we can have the freedom to say yes to things that are more important in our lives.

6) Single Task

We hear all the time that we should be multi-tasking. However, taking the time to do one task at a time can and will simplify our lives. As we focus on one task at a time, we tend to do it well, instead of spreading our attention among several tasks.

7) Evaluate Your Time

Make a list of everything you do in the day that takes up your time. Evaluate how each task fits into your priorities. If a task does not fit living a simpler life, then consider eliminating that task.

8) Develop a Game Plan

Living a simpler life is not easy. This lifestyle requires one to have patience and dedication. Living a simpler life requires that you first figure out what you want out of life, thus creating a game plan. Writing down your desires, thoughts, and plans will help you decide what you can live with and without in your search for a simpler life.

9) Establish a Media Fast

Our lives are bombarded with media, from magazines to daily blog reading. Living a simpler life can be accomplished by limiting our exposure to television, emails, magazines, blogs, social networks, and other electronic sources. Establish a day, a few days, a week, or longer where you take a media break. You will find more time for those things which really matter to you.

10) Do What You Love

Sometimes we have so much stuff and things we think we need to do that we forget about doing those things we enjoy. By living a simpler life, we can free up the time for those things we really enjoy doing. So as we establish a simpler life, be sure and write down what we love to do, then go and do those things we really enjoy.

11) Spend Time With Those You Love

A simpler life gives us the time to reconnect with the people who are important in our lives. As we get rid of the clutter, both things and time stealers, we need to spend our free time with those who matter most in our lives."

Excerpt from Maria Gracia's Get Organized Now newsletter.

(c) Copyright 2012 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now! 

image via

* Copyright, contact and reprint information:

* To subscribe, visit: 

* The Get Organized Now (GON) website

Enjoy a simple, more satisfying life!

-Naomi of TeaButterfly.

mardi 21 mai 2013

Daily Dose of Flowers: my Spring 2013 Photo Project

Hello Lovelies!

Ralph Waldo Emerson's spring quote via this pin on pinterest

All the following instagrams photos are my own. Lipson (c) 2013. Please use with permission.

"Roses en enfilade"

"Bouquet composé d'une branche de seringa*, un iris bleu et fleurs de marronnier roses"

Note: *Seringa - or seringat - is my fave flower. It smells wonderful, a mix of orange blossom and jasmine. Seringa is the French name of the mock-orange shrub, aka in Latin as Philadelphus.

Untitled, may 2013

My comment on this untitled photo: The #daily dose of #pale #pink #roses from me to you, an ongoing #project through #springtime #spring Today, I also found a half-broken #blue #iris so I broke it off altogether and added it to the #bouquet #white #photo taken on May the 5th #2013  

"Fleurs à contre-jour"

This is #day 2 of the #daily #pale #pink #roses #rose #project 

untitled (closed peonies)

And in closing, let me add this quote:

 via this pin on pinterest

See more flowers at my Daily Dose of flowers flickr photo set and check out "Horticultural Art"'s photostream here. it's worth a look!

Enjoy Spring wherever you are!

-Naomi of TeaButterfly.

lundi 6 mai 2013

"Ghosts": My very Own "Happiness Project" [personal photography project]

Hello Lovelies!

When illness imprisons you, you have to break free!

IMPORTANT NOTE: All pictures were taken by me, Naomi Lipson, during May 2013, in the park of the hospital I was staying in at the time. All rights reserved. Please ask for permission before using. thank you.

I think and read a lot about happiness, and I am pretty sure I am not alone in this. Two regular reads of mine on the Happiness subject are:

* Gretchen Rubin's famous Happiness Project
* Maria Popova's Brain Pickings blog, which deals quite a lot with the issue of happiness, too.

I am forever indebted to the lovely Jane Flanagan, who, through her delightful blog, made me aware of the ideas goldmine that is the Brain pickings website.

About my own "Happiness Project" - and what it has to do with ghosts.

First of all, you might be aware that I suffer from a chronic kind of illness, which means I have to check into a hospital, from time to time. This is a chronic illness, I have to live with it, but it is not life-threatening... Anyway...

As I am currently in a hospital, I wanted to describe through photography the long, not-so-often taken path from misery to recovery. In my initial project, I wanted to take pictures of a patient whose face I found particularly interesting, but after a few days of reflection, he shied away altogether from the project. He looked a bit like this:

photo (c) Naomi Lipson, 1999-2000.

So what I did is take pictures anyway, of all the places I wanted to take *his* photograph in, except he will be no longer there, except as a ghostly presence.

These are the photographs I came up with...

At first, you are behind the bars of illness and misery, you are a prisoner of depression (or any other illness). Can you see the unhappy ghost behind those rusty bars?

Then, through a more or less intricate labyrinth or maze (which symbolizes any kind of path, like undertaking therapy, you are chosing to get yourself out of misery), you  try to set yourself free:

On the long, complicated journey from misery to happiness, you might find different landscapes, open gates that symbolize opportunity, such as this one:

Sometimes, on this long and difficult journey, you may need some rest and will sit down on these scattered rocks:

I guess you get the picture now...

More photos available at my flickr photo set called: "The Ghost Project".

Naomi of TeaButterfly.