5.30 pm

media-is-a-good-servant-but-a-bad-master

Before: How I used to live?

  • I knew more what was going on in  the world of media than what was going on in my husband´s head.
  • TV was on at our home even though no one was watching it. And I wasted my time for browsing Internet for no reason.

mom-using-macbook-and-iphone

Changes: What changes I´ve made to my life since I started to pay more attention to my wellbeing and simplify my life?

  • Keeping TV open the whole evening and browsing Internet for nothing were bad habits for me. After recognizing these behavior patterns I´ve learned consciously to change them. I´ve learned ways to rest and relax without my TV, Macbook, Ipad or Iphone. I´ve also weaned myself off media by having news breaks and living without TV.
  • Using a lot of time on media has also been a way to run a way from my problems, difficult emotions and anxiety. I´ve learned to find the real reasons behind my anxiety and how to get rid of them. I´ve learned to process my feelings, face my problems, talk about the difficult emotions and accept all emotions.
  • I´ve learned to set concrete and mental boundaries for being in front of the screen. Nowadays TV is open at our home only if there really is something that we want to watch. We´ve found how much is enjoyable and what just makes us more tired and numb. I´ve learned that reseting my brain by watching TV occasionally does good for me, but it’s bad if I watch it every night. I now see clearly that the real life is the most important thing. I don´t need to know everything and be attached to social media 24/7.
  • I felt the bad effects of too much screen time long before I made anything about it. I´ve learned to put plans into action. I´ve learned to stop making excuses and taken responsibility of my behavior.
  • I´ve learned to observe myself better. It can happen easily and unnoticed that I find myself spending more time with my Iphone than my family because of my work. Or if I´m tired and stressed out I might watch TV even thought there´s nothing worth to watch. The more often I recognize this, the better I can prevent it from happening. And the better I am at making the best out of media.

make-the-best-out-of-media

After: What kind of positive effects I´ve noticed now that I´ve been able to get closer to Living Simply.

  • I’m more mindful: Less time with media, more time in real life. And also more possibilities to be present in your real life and live a mindful life.
  • I feel that my life is in my hands: The ability to set healthy boundaries is crucial for your wellbeing.  Because I can now better control my ways of using media, I can also better control what´s happening in my life. And how I use my time. All that has a very positive effect on my self-esteem and wellbeing in general.
  • Our family talks more with each other: Less time in front of media devices, more time for face-to-face communication.
  • Media takes care of my wellbeing: I enjoy more my way of using media nowadays. I’m not having too much and I’ve learned to make the best out of it. I can use media for the good of my wellbeing. When you have less quantity, you can get more quality. That´s how it just goes! With everything.

child-watching-tv-dad-using-ipad

Next time you can read about the meaning of outdoor activities for the family life.

Click to read the On the way to Simple Living: Intro.

Read all posts from my post series called On the way to Simple Living.

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife



It happens slowly. Without even noticing it in the beginning. We moms swore that it wouldn’t happen to us but now, some years later, we notice it is still happening.

We become boring. 

We hate to become boring, but often feel too tired and busy to do anything about it.

And we forget about our silly plans and childish dreams.

After all, we are mothers. And mothers are expected to behave decently and restrainedly.

do-not-let-expectations-to-restrict-your-body-and-mind

On the way to the midsummer island I saw this small skerry. “It would probably be quite an awesome feeling to practice yoga there. And I bet we could also get a quite empowering photo of it.”, I said to my husband when we passed the skerry.

“Would you like to take the photo now?“, asked my husband.

No, there´s no need to. It was just a silly thought…“, I answered. And kept dreaming about me doing yoga on that skerry.

A month later my husband asked again. “It´s calm today and we´re going to pass that skerry. Would you like to take the photo now?“.

The skerry had been on my mind for the whole July.

I decided to forget about everything else and give my husband a spontaneous answer. “Yes, let´s do it!

It was an awesome empowering experience! To be there on that tiny skerry. Just me and my yoga mat surrounded by the vast blue lake and sky.

And the photo? Well, you tell me! I loved it! I can´t believe it´s me there. One very ordinary mother of two posing there in the middle of lake Puruvesi in my bikinis! This is the photo I´m going to show to my grandchildren. And tell them that grandma has also been young once ;)

fulfill-your-dreams

Motherhood changes you. Yes, it does that in many natural and good ways. But sometimes in a bad way too. It may make us to restrict ourselves. And force us to be something and behave somehow that is just not us.

I read an interview last week. 90 year-old grandma was asked what advice she would give to herself if she could be young again.

Remember that there are less limitations in life that you would think.“, was her advice.

It´s a good advice. For all of us.

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife



What kind of days I´ve noticed to recharge my batteries the best?

Simple holidays. Days like this one.

summer-morning-on-lake-puruvesi-finland

moms-peaceful-breakfast-on-boat

mom-and-children-swimming-together

mom-practising-yoga-on-beach

boat-lunch

simple-lunch-perch-fillet-served-with-rye-bread

mom-doing-dishes-at-boat-home

afternoon-nap-on-boat

parents-moment-just-for-themselves

dinner-vegetable-soup-carrots-rye-bread-and-milk

family-fishing

child-wondering-fish

mom-doing-forest-trip-with-children-on-an-island

mom-picking-wild-blueberries-with-the-children

peaceful-summer-evening-on-lake-puruvesi

evening-swim-gives-sweet-dreams

luxurious-but-simple-evening-snack-on-boat-home

mom-and-children-lying-in-the-cabin-and-reading-bedtime-story

the-best-thing-about-simple-holidays-is-quality-of-life

Our family holiday is now over and boat life is about to end.

But these kind of simple holidays stay with me. I know I’ll remember them vividly for a long time to come. How luxurious they were and how their pampered my wellbeing.

Another thing that I’m going to remember is that again we still had too much to do during our holiday. Me and my husband promised to each other not to do that this summer, but we still did. Our July was full of things that we loved to do. Too full. So even though we had many simple days, we still want to have them more. We need them more. It’s our way to achieve a balanced life.

So here´s a task for us (and for you too if you like) for the next holiday:

Mark the days that you want to spend without ANY kind of prebooked plans or schedule into your calendar well before your holiday starts! AND PROMISE TO YOURSELF NOT TO CHANGE THAT, NO MATTER WHAT! 

We promise to spend one week on an island without any kind of plans next July. 7 simple days like the one above. That´s a deal!

Life is full of fun things to do and holiday is a perfect time to do them. But too much is too much. Also fun things can make you stressed out and tired if you have them too much. And that’s not the purpose of holiday.

I wish you had (or going to have) that kind of days during your summer holidays. If not, make a promise to yourself to have them next time. I´ll guarantee it´s worth it!

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife



the-food-you-eat-can-be-medicine-or-poison

I found the quote above a couple of days ago. A strong message said in a very straightforward  way. Too straightforward perhaps, I thought first. Then I kind of change my mind. I realized that some things in life deserve to be said in such upfront way. They need to be said like that to be noticed.

I think food and its effect on our physical and mental wellbeing is one of those things. It´s better to say directly that it matters a damn lot what kind of food and how much you eat in your everyday life!

mother-cutting-spinach-on-vegetable-garden

Our 115 liter freezer is now full and I am happy! It’s full of wild blueberries, chantarelles, spinach, broccoli, beans, zucchinis, rhubarb, black currants, red currants, raspberries and strawberries.

Now it´s time to start to fill up our second freezer and the dirt cellar at the grandma´s. And preserve food by drying for the wintertime. Picking wild mushrooms and lingonberries are on our To do -list next. My husband tries to get us some wild fish too. And me and my mom continue harvesting our vegetable garden.

broccoli-from-own-vegetable-garden

It’s sounds great to be able to have all that food. Yes, it is like that. But it’s also a lot of work. All the berries and mushrooms don´t find their way to our plates during the winter unless we don´t pick, clean and preserve them. And vegetable garden does not blossom if we don´t make the effort to take care of it. Guess how many days me and my husband had during our holiday without any kind of picking, growing or catching food? Not many, I can tell.

To be able to eat fresh and local food, you need a lot of time and a right kind of environment around you. Or you need to earn enough money to be able to buy it from Farmer´s market or a grocery that sells local and fresh food.

There are a lot of ways to achieve a balanced and healthy diet. But the cold fact is that you choose your food and diet and the amount of energy, time and money you use for having it. You can go to extremes, be indifferent about the whole subject or choose something in between.

It´s YOU who decide what to put in your mouth.

No, it´s not always easy to find time, energy and money to eat well and healthy, but yes, it is possible. You just have to make the right choice. Prioritize food.

eat-well-and-you-will-be-well

Our family has chosen food. We are ready to save a lot of money from other things to afford to have time to pick wild berries from the forest, catch wild fish and have a vegetable garden.

We´ve done our choice because we´ve noticed it to be good for our wellbeing, both physical and mental. We´ve also done it because we believe that the quality food is the safest and the most powerful form of medicine. 

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife



These are my kind of people. I feel safe and comfortable with them.

I had just participated as a volunteer to Saimi Hoyer´s, the Finnish model and writer, high heel walking lesson. I did something that I hadn´t had courage to do before. I was quite surprised with myself.

saimi-hoyer-model-and-writer

cars-on-field-in-finnish-countryside

It was an evening in July. We were visiting in Vaara´s summer village party with our German friends. Vaara is located next to my childhood home village. The one where our home by lake Puruvesi is going to be. (Can´t believe we´re moving in 3 weeks!)

I enjoyed the party a lot. It was such a pleasure to see many familiar people I hadn´t seen for years. I was especially happy to see how active the village community is and that there’s many young people and families living in the area. Many villages in the countryside are dying out because people are moving into cities. This one is not! The village of Vaara in Punkaharju is alive and well. So alive that people there just built a new playground for the children. How great is that!

saimi-hoyer-teaching-walking-with-high-heels

finnish-village-summer-party-in-countryside

It felt good to spend an evening surrounded with the people who share the same rural roots with me. Again I realized how meaningful it is for your wellbeing to have same minded people around you.

At the party I also remembered Anni Mattila´s song “Where I belong”. Anni is a talented female Finnish singer and songwriter. I heard her song for the first time few years ago after Anni herself had found my blog. I loved the song and identified strongly with its lyrics.

handmade-birdhouse

mother-laughing-at-herself

Where I belong

(written and produced by Anni Mattila)

Left a trail of crumbs to follow home
didn’t expect to stay away for so long
now the bits of memories are crumbling away
and who I though I was has been changed

I had to get away from my routine life
but independence is just loneliness in disguise
as the distance grew so did my hunger to see
got lost in the woods, looking for the real me

Feel like going on
confusing as it is
more clever than before
won’t be dragging these bags anymore

So I gotta go back to my home
I gotta know where I’m coming from
meet the past, let go at last
’cause I’m not so sure anymore
Where I belong
oh where I belong

Sun is shining through the shadowing branches
choose the unbeaten path I’m taking my chances
strong roots to grow tall and to reach up high
feet on the ground, head up in the sky

Playing hide and seek
with my future self
I’ll rewrite my own story
once I know where to begin

I gotta go back to my home
I gotta know where I’m coming from
meet the past, let go at last
’cause I’m not so sure anymore
Where I belong
oh where I belong

traditional-finnish-fish-soup

vaara-village-in-punkaharju-finland

family-and-friends-visiting-village-party

After the party I listened Anni´s song again. I realized how much I’ve grown since I heard it for the first time. For all that time I’ve been taking the journey back to my roots, back home. I have searched and found where I am coming from. I have found who I really am.

Couple of years ago I was still quite distracted and lost. Now I´m not. I know where I belong. My journey and growth continues but I already know my values and myself so well that it’s easier to move on and make choices that I know to be good for me and our family in the long run.

Living close to your kind of people. People with whom you feel safe and comfortable with. That’s good for your wellbeing and growing as a person.

That´s what I realized on that beautiful and fun summer evening. That is what I want.

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife