Goodbye Debt. Hello Hawaii.

Posted by Marko on October 9, 2019 in Off Topic |

Earlier this week I was chatting through the comments section with Gena from Ha Nui Loa regarding a really humorous guest post from Gip Plaster from So Much More Life about the false stereotypes people have about Texans. Since Gena lives in Hawaii with her husband Jeff, I was sharing with her a couple of my stereotypes — or expectations — about what I thought it would be like to visit Hawaii.

Ever since I was a young girl and my parents visited Hawaii, I’ve wanted to go there. My husband and I always thought we’d spend our honeymoon there, but when the time came we chose instead to go on a less expensive honeymoon to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We use the money we saved to put towards a down-payment on our home. While I don’t regret this decision, I still yearn to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Read more…


Multitasking = Scattered Energies

Posted by Marko on September 17, 2019 in Off Topic |

This morning I was reading a post written by Selena from This Contented Life. It was an entry from her Life Lessons series titled Do One Thing at a Time. Her post really got me thinking about the downfalls of scattering our energies. Not only does multitasking cause unneeded stress in our lives, it also decreases the quality of our output.

Sometimes multitasking is unavoidable. For example, when I’m working and my boss sends me an email, I know I have to stop working, read and respond to the email. I work from home four out of five days each week, so responding promptly to emails lets my employer know that I hear her. It’s how we keep the conversation flowing on the days I’m not in the office. Read more…


The More (Open) Minds the Merrier

Posted by Marko on August 25, 2019 in Off Topic |

This may be an unpopular post, but there is something that’s been bothering me lately. Why are so many minimalist bloggers encouraging others to stop reading blogs while also refusing to associate with new people outside of THEIR space (blog)?

Isn’t that like saying, “Oh no. I won’t come to your party – it’s not good enough. But please, continue to frequent my parties with your good tidings and good cheer!”

If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life, it’s that we’re all connected. How could you possibly discover more about the world and yourself if you close yourself off from others that may have different ideas than you? Read more…


Less Me, More We

Posted by Marko on August 9, 2019 in Off Topic |

Well, May 21st came and went and we’re all still here. I’ll admit I wasn’t worried that we wouldn’t be, but you never know.

Speaking of the anticipated rapture, I was reading a post written by Laura from Smash Your T.V. and Have Adventures this weekend. It was about an end-of-times sale she spotted on Craig’s List where a few nonbelievers were putting out a request for people’s worldly belongings. There was a common theme throughout the ads that indicated the *stuff* the believers would be leaving behind would be gladly taken over by the nonbelievers placing the ads. Read more…


Living a Mindful and Frugal Life

Posted by Marko on July 25, 2019 in Off Topic |

When I think of being frugal I think of living economically. It is being mindfully aware of all my daily actions so as not to create unnecessary waste. I think of simple living, reducing costs and streamlining my home and business.

We live in a society that creates waste in increasing amounts. We upgrade all the time — whether it is our clothes, or our appliances, or our electronic equipment.  Whatever it is, most things are no longer created to endure time and wear, as the assumption is that most people will replace it before it breaks. And some people have come to the attitude that if it breaks, they’ll just buy a new one anyway.

Therefore we are living in a very disposable age. The problem with disposing and replacing is that we generate more and more waste in manufacturing, transporting, retailing and eliminating of products. To me this is the opposite of frugal living. Read more…


Stop Consuming, Start Creating

Posted by Marko on July 7, 2019 in Off Topic |

There is a happiness and contentment that sets in when you stop trying to fill the discontent in your soul by consumption — and instead focus your energy on creation.

Consumption : the utilization of economic goods in the satisfaction of wants or in the process of production resulting chiefly in their destruction, deterioration, or transformation.

~As defined by Merriam Webster

Consuming as a past time doesn’t contain the sustenance necessary to keep us satisfied for long. We never quite get our fill when our main objective in life is to consume by upgrading our possessions. We upgrade our car, our house, our job, our clothes, our TVs, etc., etc., etc.

As soon as we obtain the latest object of our desire, our sights are set on the next *thing* to upgrade. Of course this means our energy, time and resources will be allocated to our next upgrade as well. We never quite make it though, do we? We upgrade, decide what our next upgrade will be…and round and round we go. Read more…


Do You Have an Escape Plan for Your Life?

Posted by Marko on June 19, 2019 in Off Topic |

When I was younger I used to keep a backpack in the toy box by my bedroom door. Inside were all of the things I felt I would need in order to survive if for some reason I was forced out of my home. In it I kept some extra underwear and a couple pair of socks, a change of clothes, shampoo and soap, and a little metal Band-Aid box with all of the cash I owned at the time, $40.00.

I looked through the backpack fairly often, taking stock of what was there, and updating the contents as my needs changed. Sorting through the filling oftentimes led me to daydream about the fantastic adventures I would have if only school and parents weren’t keeping me in check. I dreamed of living in the woods near my home, and would even take my backpack there to pretend I was doing just that. Read more…


Lost Friends, New Connections, Fog and Projects

Posted by Marko on May 23, 2019 in Off Topic |

Hello! I’m going to go with a little bit different kind of post today than I usually do on Fridays. I hope that’s OK with you.

To be honest, it’s been kind of an unusual week here in markoaten land. Lots of my blogging friends have dropped out of the blogging scene (even if only temporarily), and I’m feeling a little lost without them. I’m looking forward to making new connections, but I’m sad about those that have left.

Plus, I’m running on three hours less sleep than usual from the storms that kept me up last night. That might be creating some of the fog I’m feeling today. Read more…


What’s on Your Bucket List?

Posted by Marko on May 4, 2019 in Off Topic |

I’ve been talking a lot about paying off debts, saving money and getting rid of the excess in my life. I’ve mentioned that I would like to make more time and space in my life, but I haven’t specified what I plan to do with this extra flexibility. Some of the things I’ll be focusing on with the freedom I’m working towards can be found on my bucket list!

Do you have a bucket list?

For those of you that aren’t sure what a bucket list is, it’s a list a things you would like to experience before you die. When you create a bucket list, you should pour out every desirable experience you can think of — without regard to time or money. Read more…


Cheap Minimalist Birthday Party for Kids

Posted by Marko on April 19, 2019 in Off Topic |

Many of you seemed interested in the low cost minimalist birthday party we threw for our son’s seventh birthday this past weekend. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful feedback and ideas! It was so comforting to have all of your creative suggestions to fall back on if at anytime the party started to drag.

Birthday Cupcakes
These are the cupcakes my son had me make for his party. Lemon cake with a meringue-type frosting. Simple and delicious!

This year my son invited four friends from school to our home to celebrate his birthday. We were worried that the boys might get bored since the norm in our area is to have a party at a super-mega-birthday place like SkyZone, Pump It Up or Super Games. Read more…

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