thank you and a digital sabbatical

dublin sunset

 That’s Dublin at sunset. Excited to see it in person.

I’m taking a break from online activities for a few weeks.

No blog reading, no blogging and no Twitter. Why?

  • Katy is visiting for a week and we’re all going to Dublin for four days. Should be a lot of fun!
  • I have three paid writing assignments due. A good problem to have but I’ve been low on child-free time to get them done.
  • We’re moving. Again. Found a flat similar to the one we are in now but it a) has a freezer, b) has a desk for Chris and c) rent is a bit cheaper. We can also get it for at least a year.
  • I’m trying to finish a big project that I started at the beginning of the year.

What’s the project? The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year.

It’s a book for expectant parents on how to avoid clutter and slow down and enjoy those precious early days with an infant. It’s the book I wish I had read when I was pregnant. Something to take the focus off all the gadgets and stuff associated with a new baby and, instead, focus on the elements of simple living. Slowing time down and having less stuff so you can really embrace and enjoy your new baby.

I’ve been fairly obsessed with this topic and the guide is the result. The challenge: getting it into the hands of those that need it. Most of my readers here are already open to the idea of living with less. My hope is to get support from more mainstream writers and bloggers. Those that may have heard about minimalism but think it’s about 20-somethings living out of a backpack.

I have my work cut out for me.

Most of the “mom blogs” I read are chock full of advertising for stuff. I’m unsure if anyone earning income by advertising for baby gadget manufacturers will want to lend support or endorse a book about buying less. I guess I will find out.

Writing this guide wouldn’t be possible without the amazing readers here that have shown their support. The comments section alone has been a goldmine of great strategies to live and parent well with less baby stuff. Many thanks to all of you that have contributed and continue to contribute.

If all goes as planned the guide will be launching in October. Gulp. Lots of work to do!

So while I take a break from online activities I would like to leave this thank you list up. Some are bloggers, some have left comments here, some are people I have met in real life, others I have just met in the virtual world. Some are in the minimalist or life simplifying niche others are not. All of them have been supportive of my endeavors here. I can’t thank you enough!

I invite you to add a comment with a thank you to anyone that has made you laugh, made you cry (in a good way), held your hand, given you a positive push to work harder, or do more, or relax.

See you in a few weeks with an update of my Minimize Yo Butt progress, details about the guide and a few weeks of good old fashioned paring down and de-cluttering for fall.

– Rachel


Vicki and Vanessa: amazing women/mothers/people that I met via this blog and then connected with in real life. Thank you for taking the step to contact me. Loved meeting both of you in person. Sad I am no longer in Vancouver to see Vicki and Vanessa, you moved away just as we (and Henry and S!) were getting to know each other. Hope you both had a great summer with your little ones!

Faith: I was so excited when you first replied to an email I sent you. Yeah! I had made my first connection with a mother that was also an aspiring minimalist. Thank you for all of the encouragement and the unending list of resources you send my way.

C from your resources and well researched posts on pregnancy, nutrition and exercise have blown me away. Oh, and your pregnant abs. Unbelievable! Wishing you the best with your new baby and hoping you continue on with your writing.

Jo from you’ve been a big supporter of me and this blog since the early days. Your early encouragement got me excited to do more and document it here. Can’t wait for our in-real-life meet up!

Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist: Joshua linked to me a while back and brought a huge surge in readership. His blog is a great resource for simple living. If you haven’t already checked it out pop on over.

Francine Jay from Miss Minimalist: I was featured as a on Francine’s blog back in December and readers still arrive from that post. Francine’s book, The Joy of Less, is a beautiful and inspiring read for anyone wanting to simplify. Thank you for your support, Francine!

List of Comment-ers that have rocked it here:

  • Amber – I love Amber’s balanced approach to pretty much everything: parenting, nutrition, work (well, her admitted attempts at balancing work), and decluttering. Thank you for inviting me to my first, and so far only, Tweet Up! I appreciate all your comments here and your support.
  • Erin – Erin and I actually knew each other from selling/buying cloth diapers from each other in Vancouver. She found my blog on a message board and realized we knew each other. Erin wrote a wonderful post about her minimalist journey that started a few years ago. She’s now detailing her efforts on her blog: Dreams You Dare to Dream. Thank you, Erin!
  • abracadabra – haven’t heard much from this commenter lately but she has been a fantastic contributor in the past. Thanks, A!
  • KT – another minimalist minded family living simple and enjoying the benefits. Thank you for all of your comments, KT.
  • Jenny – also a part of my writers group that has been so encouraging. And she’s now debt-free!!
  • Momma Jorje – another downsizer planning to move into an RV. Thanks for the support, Jorje =)
  • Karen (Scotland) – lovely and helpful comments on the laundry!
  • Sharron – another one that gave huge help on the laundry situation here. Also across the water from me so hopefully we will one day meet up in person.
  • Laura/Apple – thank you for all the encouragement, Laura. Much appreciated. Particularly your insightful comments about moving to a new country and homesickness.
  • Mariza – Mariza’s moving her family into an RV so we’ve been on similar paths this year. Thank you for all the encouragement and great comments!
  • Tina – thank you so much for nominating me for Joshua Becker’s blog list! Your support has been fantastic.

And thank you to everyone that reads this blog. Seeing that people care about this lifestyle, that living with less is bringing people more of what they want – time, health and freedom – gives me more confidence and motivation for my own plans. This isn’t always an easy path but it’s always rewarding.

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  • What a beautiful photo Rachel!

    That’s great that you found a new place to live that meets your needs a little better than your current flat. Of course moving again will be a bit of a pain, huh?

    Thank you so much for the mention — I’ve truly enjoyed connecting with you this year. :)

    Enjoy your trip and time in the “real” world with Katy over the next several weeks. I’m looking forward to hearing about your time away once you return!

    P.S. I’m SO excited for your eBook this October!

  • That book sounds fantastic! Really wish I had it when I had my first…by the time #2 rolled around, I was much wiser that it took so little for this little creature to be happy. I too love Becoming Minimalist and Miss Minimalist! Enjoy the break!

  • Rachel, you’re a busy woman! Best of luck with your move and hope you have an awesome time on your vacation. Also, looking forward to hearing more about your book – I expect there will be a lengthy discussion on cloth diapering? :) You’ve had so many great posts to date, all of which have been inspiring to me to step up my “A” game and get more serious about continuing to live minimally as a lifestyle, rather than consuming more than I need and decluttering my condo a few times each year. Thanks for the “push” and looking forward to seeing where this journey continues to take you!

  • The book sounds great. My kids are way out of that stage but it sounds like a book I would have enjoyed. We definitely went the minimalist route with our kids. Our family motto is “less is more”. Can’t wait for your book to come out. I would love to share it with my readers.

  • Enjoy being unplugged, Rachel! It’s great that you have some vacation time to look forward to in addition to writing deadlines and a move.

    I can’t wait for your new book as I hope to pass it on to my daughter. Her first baby is due at the end of September. Your post on what you do and don’t need for a baby (particularly the part on slowing down and accepting that some things will change in your life) have already helped ease some first-time mom anxiety. Thank you!

  • Thank you for the link to! I am just beginning to dig in to the minimalist life and have been reading your blog archives daily. I also found Joshua Becker’s blog on my own and have been getting a ton of great ideas from there as well. I already have two kids (9 and 6) but my husband and I have been talking for two years about having more. Our top three reasons to NOT have a baby are 1) cost (we can afford one, we just don’t agree with the high expenses) 2) the junk that accumulates and 3)my body (I am a marathoner and more and I am sure that is on my hubby’s mind as much as it is on mine!)

    We have been taking huge steps lately to really minimalize our lives and it is so wonderful to take tips from other people out there “like us.” Our friends and family look at us like we are nuts!

    I am trying to kick start documenting all of this with my own blog, but I know it will take time to get everything the way I like it. Thanks again, and good luck on your project…maybe by the time it’s ready, I’ll have a reason to get it! :o)

  • Ahh, i am deeply flattered that you mentioned me, i don’t think i helped that much, but thank you anyhow!!

    Dublin (although i have never visited :() is amazing, so i am told!! Enjoy your time with you sister, family time is the best time.

    Wow for the book, I often think how differently i would have done things if i was to have a baby now. My eldest is 16 now and i remember thinking at the time how a tiny 7lb baby could ‘need’ so much stuff. Of course he didn’t, (don’t get me started on baby baths and moses baskets!) Even though i was only 18 when i had him i just knew i could not have a house stuffed to the rafters with things.

    Enjoy your break!
    Love Sharron x

  • you might want to consider contacting these people. I believe they might be somewhat on the same page as you (more or less?). I have nothing to gain from giving you this list. I just frequent these blogs/websites and comment occasionally. (she is pregnant and a sort of minimalist) (very minimalists with 5 young kids driving from Alaska to Argentina in a veggie powered truck- so they can live their dreams of traveling.) (I found him via a comment he left on one of your posts) another family paring down in order to live out their dreams of traveling with a 2 and 4 year olds.

    Hope that helps and you are able to either advertise or pick their brains for help. hehe.
    I wish I had know what I truly needed when my twins were born. I probably didn’t buy the amount that most would but we definitely had more that what we needed.
    Good luck on your book and keep us all posted.
    I don’t recall if I have every commented before, but have been following for several months now.

  • Rachel, thank you for writing/being Minimalist Mom! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and have learned so much. Wishing you a great time off, visit to the Emerald Isle, and visit with your sister!

  • Dublin (what I can remember – Hen Weekend:-)) was amazing! Enjoy!
    So much to say but won’t ramble on here, I’ll e-mail instead.
    Just want to say one thing however – You make me very proud to be a simple living Mom!
    Now go get writing, you’ve work to do!! x

  • Rachel thanks for the kind words.What a lovely way to start the morning. Talk about an inspirational woman!!!!You have been the catalyst for so many changes in my life and journey to living with less. We miss you in Vancouver, the weather is lovely right now and there is lots of walking happening. I too will shoot you an email away from here. Sending you lots of love and positive energy for your writing and for the changes about to come.

  • What a brilliant book-idea, Rachel! (…would love to have a third and be even more minimalist than I was with my first two!)

    As regards Dublin…could you mail me when you’re coming over again, I managed to delete your mail by accident. Thanks. :)

  • Great projects ! I would love to read your book : it’s a terrific idea. I too wish I had such a book when I was pregnant. I recently discovered your blog as I slowly start to “downsize” my expenses and my stuff. Good luck with your projects

  • Wow – Thanks to you for inspiring so many of us!! Hope all goes well with your down time. May your days be prooductive, your book sounds awesome.

  • I’d like to thank you Rachel and Erin (Dreams You Dare To Dream) and Type A Minimalist.
    A book for new parents will be invaluable Rachel! I’m just getting rid of thousands of dollars of baby stuff I never needed so I wish you the best of luck reaching new parents everywhere. Have you considered asking minimalist Mom’s you know to give talks at community centres or pre-natal classes? I got all my parenting info/support through my local rec centre drop-in playgroup. Wish someone had presented a minimalist approach to parenting to me back then!
    Erin, love your blog, and I have to thank you for introducing me to a minimal wardrobe and for your laid back attitude toward minimalism. I can get a bit wound up and your blog has reminded me to take it easy.
    Type A Minimalist, thanks for all the great tips and information. You are a veritable encyclopedia of simple living!
    Have a great sabbatical Rachel. Looks like you’re in the right place to do it. I’ll be looking forward to your digital return.

  • I personally would love to feature your guide on my blog. I’m also thoroughly happy about it coming out in October because that gives me plenty of time to read it before my baby comes in January!

    Also, if you ever want to do a guest post, just let me know! I’d love to do more posts about minimalism.

  • Awww, I’m glad to support! You’ve certainly inspired me. I don’t sell ads on my blog, but will gladly link up your book when its finished. Just keep us posted. :-)

  • Well, I do sell ads, because I like me some money, but I’d be happy to review and promote a book about doing with less baby “stuff.” I’ve taken that route for my own kids. Enjoy your time off! I’ve been taking my own little digital vacays and am planning some more, and it’s so lovely.

  • I would definitely promote your guide on my blog although I am one of those ad-free types. I would have loved reading this guide when I was pregnant – although I already took a minimalist approach to having a baby and kept telling everyone there is no need to buy everything new for a baby when people are always giving things away or selling them. (Most of my baby stuff came off of freecycle). I will enjoy giving this guide out to pregnant friends though – I had one friend put herself in debt buying everything new when she was pregnant with her first baby. She was too busy trying to get everything perfect to have time to relax during her pregnancy.

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