Friday, February 16, 2018

Motherly Advice...taking a mini break at home...

Do you ever feel like you've just had enough of everyone and everything?
You usually notice it when suddenly the most innocuous request sends you into a flap.
Someone says 'where's my socks', and it's all you can do to refrain from screaming  'they're in the #@&* drawer where they always are if you'd just open your eyes'.
It's then that you know you need a break. It doesn't have to be a long break. Mini breaks are a great tonic for the flagging carer in all of us. And we are ALL carers in our own fashion aren't we? Some of us care for small children, school aged children, offspring in tertiary education or their first jobs, partners, parents, friends and loved ones. Some of us have made a profession of caring for others.
We ALL care for someone in our lives.
And that means that sometimes, we ALL need a break.
We took a mini break recently.
A bit of sand and surf and a pretty view is very rejuvenating.
But we've just as often taken a mini break at home. We simply stop answering phones, turn off the technology, read, sleep, walk, and take it easy.
It takes some discipline, but it can be done. Granted, more difficult with young children, but there comes a time for all of us when we can take time out for ourselves, and instead of feeling compelled to fill our days with busy, it's refreshing to see two or three days of nothing as a good thing.
We enjoy the garden we've spent 15 years planting and nurturing...
We take time to walk our own neighbourhood with all of it's hidden treasures...

..this little creek runs along a gorgeous walking path near our home, but it's a bit creepy walking it alone as a woman (we actually had someone the media named The Bike Path Rapist attacking women around here a year or two ago...he was eventually caught, but nobody ever felt the same about this path...such a shame). But walking it with my lovely husband is a singular pleasure.

It's a great time to get a bit of a head start on some non-chocolate Easter gifts...these little terrarium bowls remain popular, don't they! But that was a pleasure, not a chore. Make sure you have some pleasurable tasks to look forward to.
Fresh fruit and home made yoghurt should be the order of the day for snacks.

And the rest of the time we eat just as simply.
We treat ourselves to exotic cheeses and gourmet potato salad from a local deli.

We roll all manner of vegetables and herbs like mint and coriander (cilantro) into rice paper rolls for another simple meal.
This delectable stuff found it's way onto our platters a few times. The brain never switches off, so of course I've now made my own.
It's just half a red cabbage, cut into ribbons, 2 apples chopped, simmered with a few glugs of vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 cloves, a bay leaf, and some chilli seeds. Yummy.

It truly made us wonder why we eat such complicated meals. Especially when we love to eat this way. What a revelation. There is such a difference between eating a full scale meal, and all the preparation and cleaning that goes with that, and simply cutting up a few bits of this and that to enjoy.
Lesson learned. The refrigerator is now stocked with salmon, smoked, fresh, and hot smoked, leg ham slices, home made potato salad and coleslaw, as well as olives, pickles, chutneys, relishes, hard boiled eggs, gourmet mustards and jams, thick Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and leafy vegetables, and home made red cabbage and apple kraut. Dinners are done and dusted in an instant. And brilliant in the heat of our Summer here.
Of course, there's also very little washing up, and this type of eating is so much easier on the digestive system. Kids love it, and there's less drama too in dealing with food preferences. You just leave off what they don't like, and load their plate with things they do.
Of course, we treat ourselves to a coffee here and there. This view greeted us at one memorable spot. We try to find the out of the way spots that engender peace and calm. Not for us the hustle and bustle of the trendy cafes. Not for these mini breaks anyway.
And after just a few days, sanity and calm is restored to our tired brains, hearts and souls.
Sure it's not the same as a 'real' getaway. But frankly sometimes a 'getaway' is more trouble than it's worth. Unfamiliar beds and pillows, traffic and noise, travel and the trials that come with it, can be vastly overrated.
Sometimes, a mini-break in our own home, is just what's needed.
Do you do home mini-breaks?


  1. I believe we all need them. I find I need them more in the winter -the walls seem to close in. Wonderful post!

  2. Haha, I read the title as 'Mimi break' at first lol. What a good idea, you're right about getaways sometimes being a big effort, particularly with young children! I find in my current stage of life one of the best things is to have a house cleaning blitz for a couple of days, cook double dinners, bake up a storm, and then have a few 'days off'. Which of course is only so possible with lots of little people around, but it does mean that I can sew, knit or read instead of doing housework, I only have to reheat dinner, and lunchboxes are easy to put together. If I feel like a bath it is clean and ready to go. If I feel like baking then I might try a new recipe, something a bit more special than my regular 'fill the tins' recipes I make. Probably not the true definition of a break, but definitely a bit of a change from the regular routine.

    I love the look of your meals, it sounds like a very relaxing few days :)

    Jen in NZ

  3. Every morning I get up earlier than everyone else and I have a cup of good hot coffee and read "my blogs"! That is my mini break every day!

  4. Lovely idea, and your food choices looked yummy!

  5. We try to take these kinds of breaks often and do day trips also. Last Saturday we took a trip down to Palouse Falls and had a winter picnic on the cliffs overlooking the falls. Cold but beautiful! This weekend I think we will be staying home, cuddling up and watching movies since the weather is a bit frightful out there.

  6. Hi Mimi,
    Oh, I could not agree more with you about mini breaks. There is nothing that refreshed us like taking a lil time to sit outside in the sunshine or
    just in the fresh air and look around us at God's beauty. We do need to
    unplug from everything for a short while, sometimes a short nap will do
    the trick cause when I am overtired my positive mental attitude will go
    right in the dumper, but as soon as I get up from a short nap I am like
    a new woman..........I think life can be so stressful these days and that it wears on us much more than we even realize. Also as we are getting older I find I just do not have the energy levels I used to have and a
    few days of a lot of activity exhaust me. I think the Lord approves too, t as it is why He tells us to take a sabbath rest on Sunday....We can never
    get accused of working too hard on a

    Great post hon,
    Love and Blessings, Nellie

  7. I love your tips for taking a break, Mimi - especially your meal tips. These are wonderful and I am definitely going to try some of them out. I am on a forced break right now because I am sick, but having a real home vacation sounds wonderful. I am so looking forward to spring. Thank you for the inspiration! Hugs xo Karen


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx