Hello, I’m Amanda!
Welcome to Harvesting Happiness in the City! My mission is to share my experiences in how I stopped chasing the “America Dream” of having everything to focusing on curating a life that brings me and our family joy. A life that is focused on living minimal, sustainable, mindfully, and creatively.
How do you curated a life?
A curated life means that you have taken the time to be intentional about how you live. This expands not only into what you do during the day but what surrounds you. The definition of curation is to collect, select, and present items for people to use or enjoy. Those “people” are us. I practice elements of minimalist living to reduce the clutter and free my space and time with the things that matter most.
“I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” ― Brian Gardner
As a result of having kids and discovering minimalism, I also discovered mindfulness. I have always been a spiritual person believing in the higher being but mindfulness allowed me to connect to myself. I learned the power of our minds, our mindset, and our emotions. Mindfulness allowed me to rediscover my priorities and find my center. I currently practice mindfulness through prayer, meditation, yoga, and journaling. Although these are just a few elements of mindfulness. It’s a constant daily practice that is unexpectedly rewarding.
I consider myself a realistic minimalist. All that to say that I am practical in how I apply the minimalistic theories. I think minimalism gets a bad reputation for being centered around owning the least amount of things possible. I take aspects of minimal living and adapt them to what serves our family best. I have found that by having less stuff, I spend less time managing my home which frees up my time to do more exciting and meaningful activities.
As Americans, we are taught to overfill our days with activities. Busyness is held like a badge of honor. To be busy is to be important. Busyness leaves us feeling drained and tired ultimately resulting in burnout. We limit our ability to be creative, dream, and be present in the moment.
While holding my badge of busyness, I found myself searching for more meaning in my life. I first searched for that meaning by buying more things. Then I realized, that my creativity can set me free.
To find this creativity again meant to live more slowly and mindfully. Making time to reflect throughout the day, process emotions, and fully connect with the here and now. Focusing more on today than what tomorrow will bring. That is when I found my creativity began to flourish.
“So in fact, narrowing down our choices means less overwhelm, and more creativity.” ― Courtney Carver
More to come on this and tips on how to simplify to build abundance in your life.
As a member of the Taurus astrological community, I am inherently connected to Earth. I love all of the things that nature presents. We can learn so much from the outside world. I am happiest when I am outside enjoying the fresh air. My happy place is the NC mountains where I hope to retire or at least obtain a mountain home one day. I value the gifts that nature provides us.
Nothing made this more prevalent than when I first started a home garden. I find peace and calm through my garden. I now hold gardening to be a sacred practice. That doesn’t mean I don’t kill plants on the occasion but I do know they hold value. When I am in my garden or any open outdoor space, I feel at home. Nature grounds me and helps me recenter my focus in challenging times.
I also find the garden and nature allows me to expand my creativity. Harvesting your crops and preserving for the cooler months because a treasured tradition to say goodbye to Summer. I am fascinated by the endless uses of herbs, not only for food but also for medicinal purposes.
Another quality of my Taurus nature is my love for food. Not just food but good food. This is likely why every diet I have ever tried was not successful. If the food does not taste good. I cannot convince myself to eat it.
After watching many documentaries, including the infamous Food Inc., I become a health advocate for plant-based eating. I appreciate the tremendous health benefits that fruits and vegetables bring us. As a result, we eat predominately plant-based but I still enjoy a good steak or hamburger. Life is about balance and finding what serves you best.
I enjoy finding ways to make recipes healthier but also appreciate the need to enjoy a decadent meal routinely.
I am focused on living a natural life and reducing chemicals in our home. This includes our food, personal care products, cleaning products, and much more. I am always looking for new ways to make things myself or find companies that have the same initiative.
Finally, I am on a mission to become more earth-friendly. I am focused on reducing the waste that our family creates and giving back to Earth as it has given us so many great gifts.
What’s your backstory?
Well, I’m glad you asked! I grew up in a relatively small town in North Carolina and ventured into a much larger city in North Carolina where I went to college. While in college, I found my wonderful husband and made lasting friendships that I hold very dear.
After college, I went on to work full-time in public accounting. What I like most about my job is the opportunity I have to make personal connections with people living around the world. While I value the company I work for, the job itself can be a significant strain on my mental state and my time. I found myself craving non-technology-centered hobbies and interests. This resulted in my love for gardening, crafts, cooking, and home decorating.
Not only am I a wife, but I am also a mother to a creative full spirited little girl and a silly caring active little boy. Motherhood has not been an easy journey for me but it has taught me more life lessons than I ever imagined. Motherhood was not what I expected at all, but I am working my way through it as the adventure brings on new challenges every day. There was never a true saying then, “the days are long and the years are short.”
Thank you so much for stopping by. I am looking forward to connecting with you!