This month, I read Tsh Oxenreider's memoir/manifesto Notes from a Blue Bike and I thought... if you like reading Shop Good, you might really like this book.
In one sense, I am loathe to point everyone to another writer who is like me, but much farther along, with many more resources, more wisdom, and a published book… But, Tsh is just that good!
The truth is, I don’t read blogs much. [I am all the more swelled with gratitude when anyone takes the precious time to read mine – seriously, THANK YOU. It means so much to me.] I create, I work, I cook, I clean (ha ha, no I don’t), and I do read. I love novels & memoirs, I read the Bible. I try to keep up marginally with news/world events by reading the New Yorker and (honestly, shameful as it is to admit this as a news source) scanning the Facebook trending stories. But regular, devoted blog reading just doesn’t make the cut.
So, all that to say, I am no expert in Tsh Oxenreider’s giant of a writing hub, The Art of Simple. I’ve read a number of articles over time, and I like it. I like her. The like her contributors. We are simpatico. So, when I saw her book, Notes from A Blue Bike, on the library shelf, I snapped it up and have been devouring it ever since.
Tsh's blog/community hub, The Art of Simple
The overall point of the book is summed up in its subtitle: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World.
She discusses food, work, education, travel, entertainment, & money all under the banner of intentional living. Good living, living the way you want your life to look, she argues, doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen. And you can.
I’m about as non-extreme as they get, though I do find that friends are increasingly tagging me in the comments of "buy less" articles or forwarding me videos on sustainable products (those friends are right; I love it all).
Maybe I seem extreme to you! I hope I’ve documented the journey enough along the way, so that it is clear that my ramblings have been a result of no extraordinary eureka, but more of a very slow journey. Tsh has documented her journey, and is very relatable, though I would say she is a more radically committed pilgrim than I am.
Her life, and most of her examples, center around life with kids, babies through grade school. So, if you are in that era of life, you will probably be the most to benefit or find interest here. But, as with any wise & grounded piece of work, there are snippets & profundity here for everyone.
Give it a read & let me know what you think. Or, if you are already familiar with The Art of Simple, share the articles that you have found most interesting or impactful below in the comments!
[Emily Teo Guest Post]
I’m sitting at a coffee kiosk at the Jardim de Estrela in Lisbon, Portugal as I write this. I’m nibbling on a pasteis de nata, a traditional custard tart pastry; my children are playing a few yards away at a giant climbing structure; I hear my son speak in French to some other children, presumably from France. My family and I are on a month-long summer vacation, travelling around Portugal. We started in Porto, then flew to Sao Miguel in the Azores, and now settled in Lisbon.
Six years ago, my family unknowingly set ourselves on a journey toward starting a children’s clothing company.
It didn’t start with a business plan, it started with a single choice — a simple “no”.
On April 25th, 2013, the four of us — me, my husband, & our two daughters — were sitting together at the table, eating lunch. The news was on, which, in hindsight, was really unusual; we are not typically TV watchers, especially during a mealtime. I don't remember why the TV was on, but I do remember getting out of my chair, picking up my daughter, and walking closer to the television.
I received a big shipment of blankets a few weeks ago, and on Instagram I posted this photo of me with the pallet of 16 large boxes towering over me.
Subsequently, I received several DM questions about when the new blankets would be added to the site. The answer is not now but also always — both are true!
This seemed like a good time to give you all a tour into our dignify back room to explain more of how we make this colorful business work.