TV-Free Update and BAGELS

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I’m SO happy that I nixed the tv for the first month of 2018!! I’m only a week in and I’m already sleeping better, accomplishing more, mentally engaged, and have been busy dreaming, wondering, doodling, and learning! I fought the urge to pick up the remote when I was tired or bored for the first few days, but that completely wore off by day four. I love digging into this frigid month instead of getting lost in a show and forgetting that January exists.

Also, Oprah. I broke my no-tv rule and watched her awesome Golden Globe Awards acceptance speech online. Just. Wow! Might have cried a little.

Get ready for it! Here’s what my first tv-free week looked like!

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BAGELS! This was my win of the week — all caps necessary! I’ve wanted to try making bagels following a recent obsession with Bullfrog Bagels in Washington D.C. (probably good that I don’t live there for this very reason). I tried this recipe that Love and Olive Oil shares from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day and did a little dance while eating my first ever homemade BAGEL! Side: I got a little excited with the poppy seeds — still sweeping up runaways.

Favorite moment. Playing silly word games with my husband and looking at the snow from our candle-lit apartment. The games went something like “name a country that starts with [insert letter]” and 20 questions — where one person thinks of something and the other has 20 yes/no questions to guess what it is. Soooo much laughing! I love dating my husband!

Cleaner space. With more time, I’m cleaning dishes and tidying before bed so my mornings are more pleasant. Enough said.

Learning. Books: working my way through a stack of books. Current favs are Steal Like an Artist and Art for God’s Sake. Podcasts: I’m relistening to The Slow Home Podcast by Brooke McAlary and her husband while working on projects. I head over there for tips and tricks about how to slow down and be more present and mindful. Hands-down my favorite simple-living “poggy.”

Technology use. Did you know that Steve Jobs didn’t let us kids use the iPad? According to Business Insider, he responded to a question about letting kids use the iPad with “… we don’t allow the iPad in the home. We think it’s too dangerous for them in effect.” He was aware of its addictive nature. Picking my jaw off the floor. I’m working on identifying when I switch into mindless internet roaming!

Movement. In this Slow Home episode, Katy Bowman reframes the idea of exercise to simply working in more movement throughout the day. I tried this in a tiny way by kneading bread dough by hand instead of using a bread maker. Arm workout complete! Worth a listen!

Better sleep. I’m paying way more attention to tired signs instead of pushing through one-more-episode. Also, Harvard says [playing that card] that “blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin” and watching tv or use of electronics before bed can disrupt the body’s natural clock. Sheesh — don’t I know this is true? Checking the socials at 3 a.m. … good luck falling asleep again! I could stand to use a tip or two from neuroscientist and professor, Matthew Walker, who was recently aired on MPR, especially his little note about caffeine. Worth a listen too!

Side: Brace yourself, I’m going to be referring to a lot of Podcasts and interviews this month. … Double side: Did you know that this is what happens to the brain on podcasts and THIS is what happens to the brain on tv? Fascinating.

Thinking. Simple, I know. But why is it so difficult to roam around in my own head, question, wonder, and process when all I want to do is blob-out in front of the tv?? Not sure I know the answer yet — but I spent a lot of time in corpse pose when I was super tired this week and let my thoughts run amuck. … I realize that the point of this pose is to remove thoughts and clear the mind, but it also works great to relax AND do some mighty processing.

Coming up this week: A sledding date, walking to a coffee shop (because its warmer than ZERO degrees, hallelujah!), tortilla making, more thinking, more corpse pose, more reading/listening, and generally filling my headspace.

Loving this challenge! Follow my Instagram account (@lightandminimal) for additional tv-free updates and random thoughts!

How are your 2018 goals shaping up this month? Would love to hear about what you’re learning, reading, or what your new interests are! Feel free to drop a comment below!

Simply, Becky

TV-Free January — Day 1

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I did it! I made it to midnight yesterday — happy 2018! 🍾🎉 After sleeping in a bit and drinking some tea, today has been about making a pile ‘o muffins and celebrating the first day of a TV-free January by reading on the couch.

These gingerbread muffins are my favorite and I make them all year! The website that I found the original recipe from doesn’t exist anymore, but this recipe is very similar. Soooo good!!!

I love to cook and bake in our small kitchen, but quickly found that the only way to make the tight space work was to reduce the amount of things in it. The funny thing is that we don’t seem to mind the absence of a few items (like a toaster) and just get a little creative when we need a tool that don’t have. For muffins, we only have one 12-cup muffin pan and don’t own liners or a cupcake storage tote to save space. For transporting, other items like a 9×13 baking dish or a serving plate work perfectly!

Would love to hear how you’re jump-starting your 2018 goals this month! Feel free to drop a comment below.

Also, follow me on Instagram (@lightandminimal) for more TV-free January updates!

Simply, Becky