There's a new magazine on the block, 'The Simple Things', brought to us by the same people behind Mollie Makes. I saw this mag advertised a few months ago and it looked right up my street, and they were running an introductory offer of 3 issues for a fiver. I signed up straight away.
The first issue landed on my doormat last week, I was very good and saved it, all day, without peeking at it, and as soon as I had some 'me' time in the evening I sat with my cuppa and some chocolate, snuggled up with my quilt and my new mag.
So on first impressions, and having spent a blissful hour and a half devouring every page, I am pleased to say I really liked it!
This is the magazine's philosophy, and I find it very refreshing. The magazine didn't linger on materialism, there weren't pages and pages of advertisements for furniture I couldn't afford, range cookers I didn't have the space for or gadgets I didn't need. Instead, there's a great blend of recipes, gardening advice, articles on food and cities, and a little bit of crafting thrown in too. There are also plenty of little snippets of people's simple pleasures - enjoying cups of tea, watching the birds, and even how simple things are enjoyed around the world. For me, it's Mollie Makes, but for grown ups.
I think The Simple Things magazine has a lesson for us all - slow down, open your eyes and find the beauty that is there, right in front of you. Apps (for my phone) such as Instagram, have already made me slow down and look for happy things in the mundane of every day life - a pretty flower hiding in the hedgerow, a heart shaped stone on a beach, a meal I've enjoyed cooking.
I've put together some of my favourite photos from the past few weeks, I was surprised to find so many of them were food related. Perhaps this is because I have been enjoying a small but satisfying amount of tomatoes produced from my own plants which I grew from seed. Perhaps, also because it is now clearly autumn - there is a nip in the morning air, orange leaves crunching underfoot - this automatically brings for me a yearning for comfort food. After a summer of salads it's now time to bake and roast - tasty and warm dishes with seasonal produce.
My homegrown tomatoes have been used for bruschetta and gorgeous pasta dishes. Homemade bread was used as the base for the bruschetta. We've had apple crumble and many main dishes made from roast butternut squash, courgette (also from the garden) and tasty chorizo. Butternut squash was also the main ingredient in an amazing risotto I made last week. The loaf in the centre of my collage was a recipe from The Simple Things mag - spice cake with rhubarb (from the garden, of course).
I have also enjoyed a few simple things that weren't food related, mainly enjoying the outdoors - gorgeous vases of flowers straight from the garden, a walk by the harbour, browsing local farm shops and a fabulous bargain book haul from the local car boot sale.
I just love how the 'simple things' needn't be expensive. The pile of books above cost a whole pound for 7 great stories!
Even if The Simple Things magazine doesn't sound like your thing, take it as a reminder to just enjoy the simple things around you. Make a point of snapping more pictures, cutting pretty pictures out of magazines, or storing a recipe you simply must try. In this day and age when everyone is money conscious, it is lovely to just stop. And smell the flowers - literally.