Simplicity in the Making; Guest post and giveaway

Today I have a very special treat for you.  When I chose to open the blog up to guest writers I had hoped to have both individuals and bloggers who wanted to share their stories of finding their path whether that would be in simple living or by choosing an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, or something along those lines.


Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Roland, who blogs with his wife at Handcrafted Travellers.  If you haven’t visited Roland and Cheryl’s blog before here are just a small sampling of what you have been missing.  In You have to start somewhere, Cheryl reminds us we don’t have to know the destination to begin our journey;  in Look he’s naked I believe I read this at least 3 times smiling each time that a father took the time from one small comment from his daughter to rethink societies views of what is appropriate for each sex. And if you follow their blog you won’t have forgotten how Roland created his first pair of shoes.  What I like the best about Roland and Cheryl’s blog is that they live by example.


Let me introduce you to Roland who has a very special treat for you.


Simplicity in the making

Cheryl, Csermely and Roland, three of us all together, all alone and all happy… A small family nucleus of mother, daughter and father, who have come to great distances from our extended family, just as we assumed a somewhat peripheral, edge position in society, not by any other force than our own inner call. Ironically the internet connection plan through the only provider we are able to use in the countryside of the Hungarian Plains is also called Edge.

As a young and energetic couple in their later twenties, eight years ago, Cheryl and I took a major life-changing step when we decided to leave the confines of any settlement grid and chose a pre-existing farmstead instead on 13 acres of nature, true, altered by conventional (old fashioned) agricultural practices, albeit with great potentials – so we thought. A natural playground, where we can be further inspired and free to fulfill our dream of living a sustainable life in its most genuine sense.

See, sustainability barely made it on the political agenda in Hungary back then and that didn’t constitute to much more than lip service, while on ground level there was even less happening in this regard, take away a handful of EU and state-funded ecological NGOs. What was painfully missing – and still is –, was an honest, passionate discourse preceded and followed by action among everyday people, so grassroots.

As we retreated behind our property’s open gate, shut white noise out for the bird chitter and deer grunts, having the time to observe and think for ourselves, we gradually rediscovered our forgotten intuition we are all born with. It became more and more clear to us that radical change was in order and although commendable, baby steps were no longer enough: time has come to leap.

And so we did, first in a questioning and critical thinking mode, alongside which came volunteer renouncements to conveniences we could no longer accept as a given, as an automatism.

Then, by time, have begun fitting our way of thinking into nature’s patterns instead of blindly following traditions. So we came to favor “patternal” over paternal. As somebody local capriciously remarked: “it doesn’t belong here”, referring to our freshly put in living fence in lieu of picket.

Well, couldn’t it be that what many consider present is in fact archaic and something else they come across might seem out of place, yet are nothing but a glimpse of the future? Cheryl and I certainly think and feel so.

In our decisions and acts as a family and as individuals we are continuously making conscious efforts to assure that those are in tune with natural processes, for only this way can something benefit the future. In turn, what benefits the future benefits more than just the individual (or family) – it benefits the whole of humanity.

That’s how we have come to see things as virtual outsiders, who still kept in touch with the flow of society, but far adrift from the main stream.

Then as we were expecting our child’s arrival, Cheryl and I resolved to continue on the same unbeaten but promising path we have opened for ourselves: in kinship with society but not in subordination to it.

We had a deliberate delivery, an unforgettably wonderful free birth experience, just the three of us, with no one else present.

Our family takes care of the vast majority of its rare illnesses and we do everything in our power to cure our chronic conditions, such as the self-diagnosed gluten-intolerance, starch sensitivity or being vulnerable to A1 type cow milk, all the while Csermely, our never medicated three and a half year old daughter remains the healthiest and most energetic person we have ever encountered. But let me tell you, her parents don’t medicate themselves either.

The wholesome omnivorous diet is our health insurance, lovingly prepared at home from scratch, gluten-free, seasonal, often using ingredients foraged from the wild, and a real food diet that includes more and more fermented foods, like sauerkraut, clabbered milk or kefir.

Ever since our daughter got on her own feet, most time at home we have spent barefoot and experienced the eye-opening benefits of earthing firsthand. For us grounding has been a clear compass in being able to tell apart what is and what is not good for us.

Barefoot walking takes me to another example to the self-reliance we cherish so much: creating our natural wardrobe. Csermely has been privileged to only wear natural clothes handmade by us since she was born and we have progressed toward switching our entire adult wardrobes over to handcrafted, as well.

Most importantly this has taken mental shifts, like learning to part with our past not worthy of the keepsake title. Aiming for ecologically sound solutions we have realized that much of our inheritance did not belong to us anymore. Think about it this way: none of us is enslaved to our past.

Another prerequisite was a continuously growing set of crafting skills, all of them self-taught based on research and lots of hands-on experimentation – don’t regard your mistakes failures, but something that propels you towards success.

What is also quintessential is to stick to your values and never lose integrity.

For ourselves this meant an inseparable marriage with the natural, genuine and simple. In fact our entire life is now governed by the strive to seamlessly integrate into nature’s simple, yet sophisticated character.

If you feel like you have the energy to swerve your life course into similar direction but could use a kick-start, take advantage of either participating in the giveaway associated with this post courtesy to Lois as hostess, by which we are offering a free spot in our month long e-course Natural Simple Living: Crafting Solutions for Your Healthy Life and Home over at Handcraftedtravellers, starting February 3rd.


Another option for you is to partake in Everyday Simplicity, a 21 day long e-nspiration, where for three weeks you receive daily prompts of not more than 300 words as inspirational support to change your life for better and something more: towards simple. This plan is available in February and April at your own level of affordability.

Roland Magyar is a sustainable life designer, a passionate positive poet inspired daily by his daughter and wife. He co-runs handcraftedtravellers, a lifestyle blog dedicated to sustainable simple living.




Thank you, Roland, what a generous offer you have made.  To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below and tell us what simplicity means to you or how it has changed your life.  If you are new to living a simpler, lighter life feel free to share why you feel drawn to a simpler lifestyle.  I will randomly choose a winner of the giveaway on Tuesday morning (January 14).

29 thoughts on “Simplicity in the Making; Guest post and giveaway

  1. Reblogged this on quarteracrelifestyle and commented:
    I wanted to share this guest post at Simply Free. Both this blog and the blog of her guest Handcrafted Travellers are just wonderful. This bright young couple share a lovely life of simple living that is just so right. I am excited to say I just won their giveaway, an e-course in Everyday Simplicity. Am very excited and heartfelt thanks to Roland, Cheryl and Lois for making it possible. Please do check out their site, it’s simply hours of very gentle reading that will reasonate with many of my readers.

  2. I think your boys will get it when they are older. My youngest was very easy going but my oldest wanted what he saw his peers have. He was very good in soccer and wrestling and wanted to join the traveling leagues. I wouldn’t agree to that as it took too much time away and cost a pretty penny. Today he is a parent himself and is following in my footsteps in how he sets limits to the activities his children are permitted to do. Sports are wonderful and I would never have stopped my boys from participating, but family time comes first.

  3. love the article and I can hardly wait to dive into his blog – I’m still living a life of chaos and craziness with a burning desire to simplify – my children are still young and involved in sports so we run around a lot – however, I’m taking things one step at a time – not eating out, not spending our money on things we don’t need, making sure we eat together, spend time together and slowly getting rid of excess – material and emotional out of our lives – don’t know if I could ever reach the complete simple lifestyle but I find the older I get the more I crave simplicity – a definite path that I am following, that is why I appreciate blogs like your blogs…

    • Chaos likes to run around. Become unbusy and a simpler life will find you, chances are you will like what it has to say.

    • Momwhearingloss, I would say you are doing just fine on your journey. None of us will most-likely reach any kind of perfection but it’s the conscious effort that means the most. Just having meals together as a family and not eating out is huge and will have a lasting effect on the way your children choose to see the world later in life.

      I know all about sports, I limited my boys to one sport per season but that still was more some weeks than I really wanted to be out running, but the experience of working together as a team and the physical exercise was worth it in my opinion.

      I know you will enjoy the wonderful articles when you have an opportunity to visit Handcrafted Travellers.

    • Sue, I think you will enjoy what you find on Roland and Cheryl’s blog. They really do think through every aspect of living lightly on the earth and are setting a lovely example for their daughter.

  4. Recently we moved from a big city in North America to a small town in Australia. We came with 3 bags after deciding life would be easier if we carried a lighter load into our new life. Living in a small town and being relatively unknown we have been able to continue our lives as we left them, living frugally and with less. What an amazing feeling. Living a sustainable life is giving us the opportunity to manifest the things we really want to do…travel and be free to go where ever we choose.Thank you.

    • Vicki, I have so many places I wanted to visit, Australia being one of them. I met a family who moved here, to the US from Australia, they had both positive and negative opinions of both places but it was great fun learning about Australia from them.

      They did get me to try vegimite, (sp?) I thought it was horrible. I made homemade applesauce for them which they found too sweet for their tastes although I added no sugar.

  5. Thanks so much for the guest post, I hadn’t come across Roland’s blog before and I am so glad I’ve been introduced! I fall more in love with simple living every day – by the end of this year I hope to have even less stuff than I do now. I love the feeling of freedom it gives me. And it’s great that so many other people feel this way too.

    • I’m happy to introduce you to Roland and his family. Without the internet and the wonderful bloggers who regularly share their dreams and their journeys to a simpler way of life I would feel all alone in my quest.

      I’ve been on a cleaning spurt and hope to find a few more things to pass on as well in the next week or so.

  6. Hi Lois and thank you for introducing us to Cheryl, Csermely and Roland!

    As you know, I have lived a simple life for over twenty years, and what I love about simple living is that it differs widely with every one who strives for their own understanding of what a simple life means to them.

    For me, it’s a way to find an overall balance of peace and contentment and is dependent on how I want to shape my life.

    For others it’s more of a balance with nature and sustainability.

    And for others, it’s a matter of living in an uncluttered home where everythign has a place.

    Regardless of which simple living concept one falls into, the overall umbrella is living intentionally. At least that is how I see it :)

    Take care Lois and thank you Cheryl, Csermely and Roland for your powerful insights.

    All the best.


  7. I really respect this family who is actually, “walking the walk” just not “talking the talk.” They are a good example of whatever you aspire to, it can be done.

    • So true, Live and Learn. This family and others like them are the ones who will show us how to survive when the fossil fuels run low, or when we all need to downsize our lives due to the economy or global warming.

  8. What a wonderful life story! Such courage it takes to rise above convention and the “norm”. I aspire to only a small part of their lifestyle but guidance from those who have done it is always appreciated.

    • Kim, I have followed Roland and Cheryl’s blog for a while now, their articles are ones that I have to sit with and come back to as there is so much they have to teach me. They continue to inspire me to keep on my journey to an even lighter way of life.

  9. For me, living simply has made it possible for the truly meaningful things to be part of my life: spending time with those I love, being creative, travel, writing, living close to nature.
    Thank you for this post. I will be following your blog. And thanks, Lois, for featuring it.

    • Cynthia, thank you, I couldn’t have said it any better than you did. Simplicity has given me time also to explore new creative mediums along with time in nature and family, and the ability to eliminate a scheduled life.

  10. Thank you, Lois for the opportunity to share our inspirations and findings with your readers, for the kind introduction and to the commenters for the humbling fact that they did allow themselves to be moved by what I had to say.
    I hope this “peripheral” position we chose in present society doesn’t inhibit anyone to try and follow her/his own dream in similar distantiation. It does not mean complete isolation, just the possibility to better see (further from the chalk board) what is truly for us to embrace and what is not.

    • Roland, thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I have much I still aspire to and you and your family are one of the inspirations which help me along my journey.

  11. I absolutely love what this couple have to say Lois and thanks for letting them share here so I could find their blog. What a beautiful life they have discovered for themselves, how fortunate their children will be to be raised in such a world. I found this so uplifting sitting here weary tonight, thank you :)

    • Wendy, just last Friday I shared a link to their property. I love the life they have created for themselves, to go from city life all the way to rural Hungary, alone, is so inspiring. I have a lot to learn from this young couple.

  12. I appreciate to hear from folks such as your guests. It is encouraging to hear, specifically, from folks who have woven their lives into natural nutrition and health. Myself, my family, we work slowly towards such. Articles like this, people like this, give me a boost to stick to my goals, my hope to have my family be more and more such (as natural / healthy/etc).

    Thank you.

    • Lynn, that is exactly why I wanted to open the blog up to others to tell their stories. I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about a family who has found happiness in the simplest of lifestyles.

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