to do list.

September 13, 2018

celosia and salvia | reading my tea leavesI’ve been given myself a breathing week. A take-a-step-back-from-the-desk week. A wander-the-farmers’-market week. A dive-into-the-archive-and-remind-yourself-what-you-love week. (A rest-your-aching-back-for-heaven’s-sake week.) It’s been something like an impromptu Reading My Tea Leaves staff retreat, except of course, the staff is only me and I’ve yet to find the open bar or the free massage.

In lieu of trust falls and obstacle courses, I’ve been thinking a lot about my work: What it is, exactly. What I’m doing here, precisely. In January, this blog turns ten. It will have been a decade of waking up in the morning and figuring out what I’d like to say. (And a decade of waking up in the morning to see what other people have said back.) 

What is this work? Where do we go from here? I’m still figuring it out, but I think that’s maybe exactly the point. I’ve always been an imperfect tea leaf reader. I like to try things on for size. I like to ask questions. (I like it far better to find answers.) I like to write down lists and check them off. I want to know if there’s the best of something. If I see something that needs fixing, I can’t help but attempt the tweak. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail and when I find something that works, for a while at least, I like to share it.

There’s a lot of pressure to have it all figured out, isn’t there? The wardrobe. The apartment. The career. The climate! The children. The finances. The will. The childcare. The marriage. The in-laws. The siblings. The toys. The underwear. The mascara!?


A neighbor recently found out about my blog. We both worked in the same shared office space for a few months and one morning she stopped me at my desk to say she’d read through the archive. She was matter-of-fact:

“You take something that’s okay and try to make it better.”

It was such a terribly lovely thing to hear that I’m sure I mostly only blinked back at her, stunned by the kindness, but more so by the understanding. This week, I’m trying to focus on that work (and that kindness). In this humid, cusp-y week between summer and fall, before we enter the season of magic (and mayhem), I’d love to know what you guys are hoping for, too.

A few things in the works:

+ On the heels of this post (and this one!), I’m starting to put together a series on smart, simple finances for this fall. I’m hopeful to invite a few other voices to join me in this work and to offer a bit of guidance where I can’t. If anyone has particular resources you’ve found to be helpful, don’t hesitate to say.

+ I’ve also been gathering a list of potential folks to interview for a rekindling of the Simple Matters interview series. I love to learn how other people define simplicity: what their version looks like, or sounds like, or feels like. I hope you do, too.

+ I’m planning to dust off my newsletter again, retooled a bit for a new season and a fresh start. If you’re not signed up already, you can head here to sign up for occasional recaps, favorites from the archives, and brand-new things to add to your no-pressure to do list.

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  • Reply Laura September 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Your blog is one of my very favorites. I really enjoy reading about your thoughts on thriftiness, reducing waste, and sustainable style. My favorite posts are about your do-it-yourself and craft projects. More posts about parenting would be welcome. I’m trying to put my finger on what draws me to your blog almost every day. I think it’s that your approach is so down-to-earth and elegantly simple, whatever the project or topic. Each post is also beautiful, the idea thoughtfully executed.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you! So kind and so helpful!

      • Reply Jessica September 13, 2018 at 3:53 pm

        Laura, I so agree with this! I read Reading My Tea Leaves every day, I have for years, and it is my absolute favorite. I’d also welcome more posts on parenting, and on reading recommendations! (Also, I’m actually unreasonably excited about the return to the newsletter. It’s the little things, right?)

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

          Thank you!!

  • Reply Adina September 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I would rather spend my days away from a screen, but such as it is, I find your blog to be a place of respite, a place to to turn on the internet where I feel a shared source of reflection, whether that ultimately involves taking action on an issue or taking the time to honor quiet or complicated moments. Thank you for your writing, and for the thoughtful pause of this post.

  • Reply Susan September 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I loved the Simple Matters series and the newsletter so this is great news. For me, your blog is about noticing. I love that.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Noticing! I love that, too. Thank you!

  • Reply Sid September 13, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I echo Laura. I appreciate your blog for it’s quiet, calm, simple thoughtfulness. Don’t worry too much about defining or figuring it all out – I’ve enjoyed how the blog has grown and changed as your life has too. Thanks for everything you take the time to share.

  • Reply Karen Scutt September 13, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Your nursing post about 10 or 11 months after you had Faye was the best. Fashion and baby/toddler related posts are my favourite things you muse about. I especially love it on your insta when you write about the not so simple, not so sustainable stuff….every now and then there’s reference to a grumpy 18 month old or being exhausted after 545 am wakings from both kids as it reminds us all that beautiful lives have chaos. And it’s important to relate. I love your voice and prose no matter what you write about though. It’s always there.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks so much, Karen.

      • Reply Anna September 14, 2018 at 9:54 pm

        Karen, thank you! So beautifully put and I could not agree more – especially with, “I love your voice and prose no matter what you write about.” This really resonates with me! I love nearly all your posts Erin but especially when you find new uses for old or formerly used elsewhere things and parenting. Thank you for always providing such a beautiful place to stop in, Erin <3

  • Reply Helen September 13, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Same! I feel like I often chime in on controversial issues, but in truth I love the sense of discovery, the times you end up circling back to what you had, and the shared struggle to maintain sanity in the face of consumerism. In terms of topics, I love the idea of managing finances/household in ethical way, potentially something on managing media with children? I also love DIY/craft projects. If you feel like taking on any new hobbies, I’m happy to go along with you! I’m especially intimidated by making clothes but feel like this would be an exciting venture. Oh and I like the habit shift and simple stuff series.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks so much, Helen! I’m so glad you don’t shy away from the trickier subjects (but I’m also so grateful to read this note!).

  • Reply Danielle September 13, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Your blog is most definitely my favorite and a bright spot in many of my days! You do such a wonderful job encouraging better behavior while also being realistic and not judgemental – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I especially second Laura’s thoughts up above.

    I really like your DIY posts, the Baby Proof series, the Waste Not series and the ones about children’s books. It’d be fun to hear your favorite parenting books (or other grown-up books in general!) too! All of your topic ideas sound interesting – looking forward to reading them!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks, Danielle!

  • Reply Kelly Libby September 13, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    oooh. these are all wonderful additions to your blog, erin! I’m especially excited about the return of the Simple Matters interviews. i love your blog so much and am aching for calm during what feels like a constant hurricane of terrible news online. The past few weeks I’ve been actively purging from my online and social media life. more is NOT better. I deleted over 4,000 old, non significant photos with so many more to go so that I can print the best, well loved photos to frame and create small crafty albums as I did in my previous life. I’ve removed “friends” from facebook and am focusing on the smaller group of actually friends and family. i’ve stopped following so many “news” sites on my feed. i’m listening to lovely podcasts instead of the NPR and CNN loop. I’m adjusting back into fall by reading the blogs i had loved for so long but hadn’t been reading as much. And, your blog is a respite in the storm.

  • Reply Sara September 13, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    “To pay attention this is our endless and proper work” -Mary Oliver

    To me, this line from Mary Oliver captures the ethos of your blog. It’s also the reason I’m drawn to your work again and again.

    Thanks for revealing the beauty that exists within the ordinary but important spaces of our lives through your words and images.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      I’m so glad you think so. Thanks so much.

  • Reply Kathleen September 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    I really appreciate your fairly recent shift to adding practical ways to help and contribute on various issues at the end of posts. I would love to see the Simple Matters interview series return. And I LOVE how your neighbor summed up your work – it seems perfect and something I’d like to aspire to in my own life.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      I’m so glad. Thank you.

  • Reply Anna September 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I can’t remember how I found your blog, but I’ve been reading (and, until now, mostly lurking) for a few years. I’m in the process of trying to simplify my life and declutter my chaotic small (rental) house and your blog is like the trusted old friend I keep going back to for advice and support. I especially love your Life in a Tiny Apartment series and (since my daughter arrived 2 years ago) Baby Proof (I would also really miss My Week in Objects if you ever decided to stop doing that one!). And, yes please to a revival of Simple Matters! Since the world is such a complex place, I also really appreciate that you actively and intentionally engage on (sometimes difficult) social justice and political issues – please keep doing that. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless sometimes at how dark the world can seem, but your blog posts (as well as the comments from so many of your lovely readers) often provide not only opportunities for learning, but a much needed ray of hope and a call to action. Thank you!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks so much, Anna!

  • Reply marion September 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    I read a lot of blogs, but your’s is by far the one that feels more real (or that I could relate more to what my life is, imperfect but beautiful).

    Your blog puts a beautiful view of things and life, but at the same time realness: I can relate to it because I found that are not far from the little problems/to do’s/fixings that I have to deal, but in a view that make’s it more beautiful and also that are encouraging. So instead of feel envy or sad to not have any of it like many blogs make people feel, it actually feels like, yeah sure, I can improve on that! or I had exactly the same problem! very down to earth real stuff/life and problems.

    So, back to the things that I like:
    little improvements posts! (one of my favorite, also with all the ones that bring alternatives to a same problem)
    finance posts please!! (those ones would be nice to see also other perspective’s on other people’s life on a same finance subject post, or perhaps little real plans. I’m wondering if like me, some readers would like to see other opinions but not just from America… would be nice to see how somebody from another part of the world face or manage it).
    Would be lovely to see more about working (specially) freelance mothers/fathers real life.
    More Simple matters interviews!
    More simple stuff!
    I would say also more tips to live in a small appartment, but there are already quite a lot…

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Haha! So many tiny apartment tips! Thanks so much for your kind words.

  • Reply Grace Claus September 13, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    For your financial series: If you’re up for finding a new bank (I think you said you’ve had the same account since elementary school!), you might want to check out Simple Bank. It’s an online-only platform that has no fees, in an effort to simplify banking. I haven’t used it myself, but a friend RAVES about it. Might be worth checking out:

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Will check it out! Thanks!

  • Reply Kat September 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Such a lovely pause for thought. Your blog is always a peaceful place and your essays on parenting have stuck with me the most.

    I would love to hear about managing paid employment with paid childcare in your discussion of finances. In discussions of this sort, it feels too fraught with judgement and assumptions that one way is the best way even though I know everyone is just doing the best they can with what they have. I think the way you handle delicate topics with graciousness and kindness would be refreshing.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, indeed! Will add to my list!

  • Reply Jay September 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I enjoy your blog so much, Erin–thank you! Some of my favorites– the Life in a Tiny Apartment series, the Habit Shift series, anything about zero waste, the action items you list, the book recommendations. The list goes on!
    Also, because of your IG post a while ago, I discovered Rachel Cargle . Can’t wait for your blog post on the topic.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you.

  • Reply Debra September 13, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Looking forward to your series on finances and more of the Simple Matters series! I’ve missed the newsletter so it’ll be wonderful to have that as well. And I totally agree about the pressures of perfection. I have to repeatedly question myself to make sure I’m not over-thinking when I should be moving my attention and focus to something else.

  • Reply Kristen September 13, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I love your blog, Erin, and I’ve recommended it to so many people that I’ve lost count. I’d love to read more in the Simple Matters series. I especially love the Life in a Tiny Apartment and Habit Shift series. My husband and I live in a tiny apartment in Buffalo, NY, and posts in those series have the best actionable tips for us. I’d love to see more about zero or low waste and sustainable shopping options, too. I’ll never be a parent, so your parenting posts are lost on me, but I always love the gift guides and rely heavily on them when shopping for my niece and 3 nephews. Thank you so much for all the work you put into this space. It is much appreciated!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks, Kristen!

  • Reply lauren September 13, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I always find myself returning to your blog. Even if it’s after a long holiday away, it’s exciting to return to see what I’ve missed. You manage to write so beautifully about the simplest of things. Sometimes the beauty is in the detail. It’s a nice reminder to take one thing at a time and to watch things evolve in my own life.

    I enjoy all posts: home DIY’s, recipes, morning rituals, kids/parenting advice, sustainable fashion, seasonal changes…
    In particular, it’s about the way you write, your beautiful pictures and your attitude. Thanks for the daily joy your posts bring!

    My recommendation for the simple matters interview series is Brooke Mcalary from Slow Your Home.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Meg September 13, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The simplicity of RMTL is such an escape and my personal self care of regular reading. You’ve introduced me to some worthwhile things and practices I cherish (especially the advent calendar).

    I’d like to suggest an interview with Jaime Jennings for your Simple Matters series. She is a co-owner of an amazing craft shop here in Denver and founded a Ladies Mountaineering Club.

    Anyways, thank you. I always appreciate reading your words.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you! Will check her out!

  • Reply Maggie Rose September 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I am especially excited for the Simple Matters series! Your thoughtful words spark my curiosity about others that you are inspired to interview. I look forward to the newsletters and simple finances. In my life, it feels like finances are easier once you get to a mental and physical place of simplicity. I certainly think it will be beneficial to understand more about finances in connection with a simple life and how they can help one another! Your blog has helped me simplify my life which has helped tremendously for my career as an art teacher. So thank you! P.S. Cheers to taking time to re-charge and get inspired! I wouldn’t be surprised if you created a post one day (not on your break! haha) about encouraging others to take a simple sabbatical. I imagine the post would be poetic, educational, and aesthetically pleasing as always! P.P.S. You would crack up at the amount of “moments” around my apartment that have RMTL inspiration written all over them, like everything from black & white prints in mustard-colored clips, brass coasters, & market baskets. I’m having a vision of an opportunity for readers to share an RMTL inspired photo with you once in a while, although I have no idea if that is even possible in the blog world! 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      So lovely to hear about your moments! Thank you!

  • Reply T.M. September 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Excited to see you bring back the Simple Matters interviews. They were mesmerizing. And well put together. I’m one of those nosey people who likes to snoop around other people’s houses (not to the extreme, just general wandering and noticing), and that series really scratched the itch. (Brilliant idea, by the way.)

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Yes! Number one reason I love evening walks! So much good people watching!

  • Reply Kim September 13, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    One of the things I love about your blog is the way you manage to capture each season. Both in terms of the calendar year and of life. It reminds me to look for the simple magic in everyday and appreciate the beauty in the ordinary. I think your parenting posts are so valuable as they really point the way to making simple living work with kids. Of course living with kids is complex but sometimes hearing about how someone has figured out a way to make an advent calendar simple and meaningful is the motivation you need to tackle your own project. I always love your style and beauty posts also, as well as your travel logs. Still dreaming about that place you stayed at in California. Congrats on almost ten years of inspiring others to live simpler, more sustainable lives!

  • Reply Adrienne September 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, has it been 10 years?! I remember finding your space through your “Life In A Tiny Apartment” series–must have been 8 years ago now. Two whole tiny apartments ago. I really enjoy the tone of your writing. As others have said better, it’s a calm moment of reflection in a busy day. The Waste Not series has been a nice addition and I look forward to the finance segment. Really, anything you care to discuss is sure to be thoughtful and a pleasure to read.

    Funny side-note, we’re starting a family here in San Francisco, and as my husband and I scan our humble 450sf thinking, “Is this possible?” I tell him, “Reading My Tea Leaves does it with two!” He’s not exactly sure what that means, but I think it’s comforting to both of us. 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      WWRMTLD? xoxo!

  • Reply Crystal September 13, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    I check your blog daily and wait with anticipation for your next post. Your blog has been so inspirational in making simple changes in my daily life and noticing the small things that I sometimes take for granted. I have become more mindful of the environment, more educated on social justice issues, and have become more appreciative of the little things that aren’t always appreciated (like the toilet plunger…haha). Thank you for the habit shift of living a simple, more aware life.

  • Reply Mel September 13, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Erin, I too have read through your archives and love how the simple essence and vision of your blog has remained the same over the years. Looks like your 10 yr RMTL anniversary is on the not too distant horizon?! As a WOC, I actually come here, not only for the pretty goods but to support your activism.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks so much, Mel. I’m so glad you’re here.

  • Reply Jen September 14, 2018 at 2:33 am

    If you’re interested in simple and finances, get thee to Frugalwoods! This woman and her family changed the way that I think about money and spending and thrift and simple living! I really can’t say enough about how great they are.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      Yes! Will do.

  • Reply Mel September 14, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Can’t remember how I first stumbled across your blog but I love it as a 20 something year old Australian who’s moved from a big city to a small rural town and to a smaller city. Re the upcoming financial series ‘The Barefoot Investor’ is well worth checking out – Australian so something’s will be country specific but basically all about keeping things simple regardless of your income or lifestage.

  • Reply LB September 14, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Looking forward to the financial tips, the return of Simple Matters and your continued posting here. I really appreciate your blog for being one of the most realistic, political, and calming ‘lifestyle’ blogs on the internet. Love your tiny apartment posts and your seasonal posts, too. 🙂

  • Reply Emily September 14, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I love the Simple Matters series. I’m glad you’re bringing it back. Also, I’m looking forward to what you have to say about finances. It’s an important topic. My husband and I got into the budget habit early in our marriage (mostly out of necessity, since we quit our jobs so that he could pursue a Phd program overseas.) When we created that first budget, we decided to add a category called the ‘discretionary fund”. It was a bit like having an adult allowance. We each had a certain amount of money every month that we could do whatever we wanted with, and the other person had no say in how it was spent. If you wanted to save it, great. If you wanted to buy something the other person didn’t get, no problem.

  • Reply Kelly September 14, 2018 at 8:45 am

    1. This is my favorite place because you’re both realistic and striving, and so is your whole family, not just you alone, and the work you do is clearly treated with reverence.
    2. I can probably help with a lot of the things you have in the works; I’m a creative freelancer in the tech space, but I also coach others on contract negotiation, and selecting simple tools for time tracking and accounting and invoicing. I’m also a behavioral science wonk (spoke at SXSW a few years ago) and I’ve given talks about living simply and the very real ways our brains deal with those choices and habits.
    3. One of the things about simplicity is how individual it is. I was one of the people who wrote to you about straws, and I was so touched that you posted my response. My best friend and I each write WordPress blogs for and audience of one, and talking to each other about our choices and the logic behind them makes me feel so seen.
    4. My favorite part of your writing is how your voice comes through. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Oh! Sounds awesome! And thank you!

  • Reply Heather September 14, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Your blog is my favorite. It is a place where I find renewed energy to do good, to see through the distractions of consumerism and focus on what is important in a simple, daily life. The joy in our home has increased through an effort to maintain simplicity and your blog has contributed to that immeasurably. I love it all. If you are looking for a great financial blog that values simplicity, try Frugalwoods.

  • Reply Marcia September 14, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I love the picture poems and the sustainable crafts! My two year old is almost at the age to do a lot of the crafts. We are trying to reduce our garbage (down to 1/3 of what we had a month ago), so your input on making fun things that are compostable makes me smile from ear to ear.

  • Reply Sylvia September 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I read your blog every day. The images are beautiful and the content is interesting, thoughtful and refreshing.
    You have a unique perspective that is rather like a breath of fresh air, not condescending, not “preachy”, just simple and lovely.

  • Reply Mary Kate September 14, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Well put. I feel like I spent a long time striving so hard to hit that goal ,then that one, always frustrated by the idea that I hadn’t “made it” yet. Then I read a quote inside an essay that changed my way of thinking. “The struggle towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” It comes from The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. He’s talking about Sisyphus, condemned by the gods to forever be rolling a boulder up a hill, only to have it fall before he reaches the top. So every day he goes and gets it and starts all over again, and Camus wants to know why? Why not give up? Ultimately Camus concludes that the beauty is in the attempt. And I feel like that is life: the joy in the striving. Because if you really think about it, what would you do when you actually reached the top? Stop trying for things? That sounds boring. All of this a long-winded way to say, I love what you’re doing in this space, I love all the ways you “struggle towards the heights” and I hope it is making you happy.

  • Reply camille September 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Regarding finance resources: I loved Elizabeth Warren’s book, ‘All your worth: The ultimate lifetime money plan”. I found it simple and widely applicable, and it helps that I am a big fan of hers.

    I second what everyone has said above about the respite, beauty, and calm found in your blog, and I look forward to your posts daily.

  • Reply lee September 14, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I have two blogs that I love and have been following for years, and yours is one of them. I love your writing style and the topics. I also appreciate your willingness to talk about difficult topics (immigration, racism, etc). I am looking forward to the finance posts! I’d also love to see more posts on applying the simplicity/sustainability framework to relationships. How do you make friends with similar values? How do you maintain healthy boundaries and communication patterns with loved ones? This may be too far out of the purview of your blog. I’ve found that the issue of making and maintaining (& letting go) of friendships has been a big part of my adult life as I’ve moved around for school and work.

    Thanks for all the work you do! Your staff of one (YOU!) has an honest and pure spirit that is bringing light to RMTL readers!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Ah, relationships! Will think on it! Thank you!

  • Reply Sonja September 14, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I love Simple Matters series! Actually love them all. I’d love to hear from folks who have employed your thoughts and embodied the wisdom in their own homes. Example, I live a hectic life with crazy commutes and careers, and a lovely husband, and darling preschooler, and balancing all of that with calm can be trying. I turn to your book and blog often to be reminded and bolstered by the power of simplicity and mindfulness. Our home is a respite from the world and I’m grateful to your guidance and honesty as you parent and live a meaningful life. Simply, I’d be curious to see and hear from folks who are trying their best.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Trying our best, indeed! Thanks so much, Sonja!

  • Reply Carla September 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I am a 55 year old mom of 3 living in Denver, Colorado and for me, personally, Instagram/Blogs are all about inspiration and a way to connect with a larger community of people who do great things. I find encouragement, enlightenment, beauty and so much more within the small group of Instagrammers/Bloggers I follow. Reading My Tea Leaves has touched my heart for many years now. I have donated to causes, contacted my congressperson, become even more environmentally conscientious and gained a heightened awareness of the loveliness to be found in every day( ‘Five Little Things That Made My Week’) to name a few….all because of your posts.
    Stay true to yourself and continue to post what to speaks to your heart. You’ve done amazing things thus far – keep up the great work! I am grateful!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks so much, Carla.

  • Reply Audrey September 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    This post made me emotional for some reason! Sheesh. I stumbled across your blog a few years ago when I was in a desperate internet search for natural deodorant recommendations. I’ve read along religiously since. You’re such a breath of fresh air to read (your book included!) Thanks for what you do and looking forward to what’s next!

  • Reply Kim M September 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    While I truly enjoy your unique voice, I’m really looking forward to more Simple Matters interviews. Have you ever met ? Or perhaps the woman (presumably) behind Faire? I also think it would be interesting to hear from a woman working in an more “office” career stream rather than someone in the creative or freelance field.

  • Reply Ellen Anderman September 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Like Carla, and Meg, I live in Denver and have turned to your blog daily for many years. It is an oasis of beauty and an inspiration for considered living. As a 64 yr old empty nester with 2 children in their early thirties, I (and my husband of 38 years) I have a long history of making homes in very different places, of different sizes, and fulfilling different purposes. My life is far away from yours, but I always find your observations, your choices and your photos (both blog and Instagram) good prompts towards a better, and clearer, life. Thank you.

    I, too, look forward to more Simple Matters, but encourage you not to box yourself in too closely, your heart is a wise one, follow it where it leads, and let us come along for those moments that you wish to share. Your writing is exceptional, but I am sure doing it daily can be a chore sometimes. Remember on those days that a single photo from the day before with one of your captions a la “Things that Matter” would be enough to fill the oasis with its requisite beauty and restorative powers for most of your readers.

    Thank you for it all.

  • Reply Kate September 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    I just came to say that I have really enjoyed your blog (for about 8 years now) and your perspective on all sorts of things you’ve posted about over the years (simplicity, parenthood, current events, home organization, womanhood, etc). I don’t comment because I don’t need to add to the noise , but I wanted you to know that your work is appreciated. We relocated to a new region and I transitioned from working to staying home with my two year old, and living in a new place without a social network has given avenues like this one even more importance in my daily life- the few minutes I have a day to sit and read your thoughts and become inspired. So thank you, and greetings from Cleveland, Oh.

  • Reply Juliette S Rousseau September 14, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I really like your blog and read it daily, I like the small apprtment tips and the the waste not serie, and all the musing about life in a big city with young children (I can relate, living in SF in a rental with a 7 year old).
    I always discover things thru your Friday links and love your photos. Sometimes beautiful items that you link to are out of my price range (most time actually), but that’s ok, your blog is a beautiful window into the world. Looking forward to the next 10 years ! (Ha! NO pressure!)

  • Reply Beth September 14, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Never give up Week in Objects! I am actively trying to limit my blog consumption these days because I can get caught up in the aspirational stuff out there and either get down on myself or lose sight of actual *life* in those moments. Week in Objects is the blog antidote to all that and I always visit on Fridays. I also appreciate the Friday links; yours are wonderfully curated with intelligent reads and things I might not otherwise come across.

  • Reply Francella September 14, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    I have checked your blog over the years and there is a sense of familiarity and comfort in arriving here weekly. Unlike some of your other readers, I am decidedly child free and love more your musings on self care as a writer and woman.

  • Reply Sasha L September 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    So much here to love Erin. I feel like a better person because of your political and social justice links and discussions, really appreciate those. Your blog is also calming and beautiful in the way you notice and share small things, moments, feelings that seem intangible. I appreciate your willingness to engage in thoughtful discussion in the comments. Yours is one of the most intimate and relatable places on the internet for me, I’ve never been disappointed here. No advice, just all of your magic seems to be working really well. Thank you for making many days a bit brighter for me and so many others. It’s not nothing

  • Reply Joanna September 16, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I look forward to the Simple matters interviews. I love the peaceful simplicity here. It’s such a gentle feel. Simple in the city is awe inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing your writing, photography and simplicity!

  • Reply Guro N September 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I love reading your blog! I take advice from you and try to change habits and notice the changes of seasons like you do. Greetings from Bergen, Norway.

  • Reply christina September 17, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I, like all the others above, greatly appreciate your freshness and perspective on life. Your blog is refreshing and is one of the best of simple living and living small. Even though I live across the country, California, I live in a small house and did so with 2 children. (Two bedrooms, one bath about 700 sq ft.) Ha now they are adults, and still live here although the circumstances are different. My son, 23, lives in a Studio on our property while he goes to school. My daughter is a full-time librarian who lives in the house but helps so much. So life changes and yet it is beautiful. I have bought a few of the items you like to share and they have all been great. Thank you for your blog.

  • Reply BRI September 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I agree! But not just better in that it’s a good, practical solution and upgrade on something in particular, but that it’s more beautiful too, often simpler, and that it’s regularly a spontaneous one of a kind effort of attention. That’s a fine creativity to see applied in daily life. It has the air of the sacred.

  • Reply Emily September 18, 2018 at 12:30 am

    I had to chime in with standing ovations of praise for you Erin… we’re thriving in rural Montana & sometimes I mention something wonderful to my husband about a post you’ve written & I swear he (also) thinks of you as our long lost friend out East. Daresay I was a bit spooked as I read this post, fearing that you’ll stop writing & then where on earth will I gather all of these lovely, inspiring thoughts and parenting support and fabulous values etc. etc.?!? Keep up the grand work. We are grateful.

  • Reply Samantha Tillapaugh September 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Erin! Glad to hear that you’ve found a week of solace. On the topic of financial advice, I write a blog at that might have some insight on ways we can make financial living one with intentional living. I’d be happy to help, if you need a voice. Hope your moments of peace continue on to this week. 🙂

  • Reply Nicky September 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I don’t have children, or live in a tiny flat, or have my own business. I’m not American. But this space is still my favourite. I like the way you write. I like your photography. I like that even though we have none of the above in common, there are so many other things (that aren’t even things) that I’m 100% on the same page. You don’t shove things into people’s faces, but you do leave them here for others to consider. You embrace imperfection with such grace. You revisit things often, because habits are good, but if you never break any of them you don’t get to experience and embrace change. You talk about topics that many find uncomfortable. This space is a calm, all-welcoming one. I think I realised I was hooked My favourites are My Week in Objects, Tiny apartment survival tips, and waste-not series. But whatever you decide to write about, I’ll still read it. I like that your voice is here and I hope it stays. I’m glad you exist.

  • Reply Julie Dunson September 20, 2018 at 3:03 pm


    I’m grateful for your words, photos, etc. Thanks for sharing joy and inspiration. I’m not sure what all your finance series entails, but my husband and I have loved Simple Bank. They have made banking human again by taking away fees and and all the other noise of traditional banking.


  • Reply Laura Boyle September 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Hi there Erin,

    When it comes to matters of money, Australia has been taken by the book by Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor. While it is based on Aust banks his simple steps for getting on top of your finances, living within your means and avoiding credit debt can be transfered to any country.


  • Reply lauren September 23, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Would love to see the Simple Matters series picked back up! As someone who works in agriculture, it would be nice to see an interview or two from how simply those who grow our food live, or how folks who live in a rural setting, and work long hours, find time for the little pleasures in life. Thanks for it all.

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