I don't think my family is anything particularly unusual here in Norway in the way we live. However recently I have noticed a lot of comments and posts on social media from people wanting to simplify their lives and looking to Nordic living to inspire them to change their lifestyle. In this time of so much uncertainty many of us have an urge to make our lives simpler, less pressured, less stressful and make the most of simple pleasures and joys.
So I invite you into my life for a few minutes as I share how my family and I live simply, more rusticly and Nordicly in our little part of southern Norway
We reuse and recycle where possible
Whenever we are doing anything from a building project to furniture renovation to crafting, we always look to what we already have that can be reused.
Our recycling goes beyond putting things in the right bin. For example waste such as chicken poop, garden waste and vegetable matter goes onto the compost heap which in turn fertilises the vegetables fruit and plants that we grow in the garden. This way of recycling fits nicely with our unplanned plan (is that a thing?) to live more organically. If you don't have that kind of space you can compost on a very small scale inside without any smell using the Bokashi method which uses microbes in an airtight container to create compost from food waste.
We grow our own food and forage more
Not only is growing your own food a superb way to see what goes into it, but it's an easy way to get food. What could be simpler than stepping outside your front door to pick a few lettuce leaves or some herbs? If you have kids or grandkids you'll find they are much more likely to eat something they have grown and picked themselves. My youngest will happily go round the garden trying every herb we grow, but if I put them on her plate all I would hear is "blerrrh".
Our decor is more traditional and rustic
Living in a house that is more than 100 years our decor would look a little odd if it was ultra modern, but we also have lot of vintage pieces and family antiques that we love to use. Traditional and rustic decor is usually made from natural materials and reminds us of our heritages and history. It's also very in-keeping with Nordic decor that is almost always made from natural products in neutral colours.
We don't follow fads
Fad and fashions come and go. I am not saying that we don't follow some fashions and with two teenagers it's hard not to, but we try to assess whether they will be something that will stay the test of time or look odd and out of place in a few months time.
We eat with the seasons
As a cordon bleu chef I will always lean towards dishes with fewer ingredients and seasonal ingredients. French cuisine prides itself on making delicious memorable food with just a handful of very good ingredients and if you look closely at traditional, provincial Nordic food it holds the same values. Seasonal eating will nearly always be the freshest and best available.
We appreciate simple luxuries
I think this is where it all started. Many years ago I started to follow a blog called The Simply Luxurious Life. Shannon, the author, made a conscious effort to simplify her life and appreciate good quality, simple pleasures. We have brought that into our own lives in Norway and make a point of appreciating simple luxuries like picking apples, using locally produced products and enjoying the natural world around us.
We are always ready to welcome into our lives new ways to make things a little simpler and help us appreciate the simple luxuries and look for the positives in every situation however trying and testing it might be at the time.
How do you appreciate the simple luxuries in life, or do you have ways in which you would like to start? Let me know in the comments or come into my Facebook group, Living a Nordic Life, and share them in there.