Rhonda Hetzel writes the successful Down To Earth blog and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I was lucky enough to do a workshop with her in 2013 and it was wonderful. Rhonda has just published her 3rd book The Simple Home which is a follow up to her book Down To Earth.
From the start once I opened this book I instantly liked the look of it. It just feels warm and comforting which may sound strange but some books just have that affect. The layout, the font, the images. You can see a lot of care and love has been put into this book. Rhonda has this amazing calming nature and it just comes through the pages in her book.
This book is broken up into chapters based on the months of the year but also to coincide with the seasons within Australia (At the end of the book she also suggests ways to follow this book if you were in the Northern Hemisphere which I thought was a lovely touch and shows how she is widely followed by readers from around the world) She suggests areas you could concentrate on each month that will help you living your more simplified life. This breaks it down into more manageable tasks and helps simple living going from a concept to practical things to do day to day. If you’re not new to simple living you might think yes but I know all this. I found it as a reminder to think ok I know this but how much am I actually doing. Thoughts don’t always turn into actions. If you have fallen out of your simple living ways (we all do at times) this book helps get you back on track and helps you focus on things you can do or change.
You could easily read this book without reading her first book. It is a standalone book with its own topics, information and recipes, however it does refer at times back to her first book Down To Earth. I think that actually works really well as it means she has put new material and topics in this book and isn’t just rehashing things she has covered in the past. Instead of publishing all the same recipes and patterns again she points you in the direction of where to locate them and offers new and different ones in this book. I’ve read other books by authors who have done multiple books and often it’s the same information in every book. Another thing I liked was Rhonda refers to modern technologies such as websites and apps to help you in your daily life. You wouldn’t except apps and simple living would go together in the one sentence but Rhonda is moving with the times and is moving the concept of simple living with modern times. We have to face it technology is part of our lives these days, there are plenty of ways it can waste our time but there are also ways in which it can save us time.
If I had to pick a favourite chapter in the book it would the chapter covering crafting as simple living – total surprise right 🙂 It just made me smile and think the gifts that I’m giving are from the heart. There are many areas of simple living and crafting is just one of them.
Oh and my favourite picture in the book is the rolling pin. I really want that rolling pin now, it is just a little bit awesome!