This week, we got to chat about all things slow living with Ashley of @whimsyandwhile. Ashley is a photographer, herbalist, Zone 5 urban homesteader, and she has a passion for a slower paced life.
We were so inspired by Ashley’s approach to slow living, and we’re so excited to share this interview with you!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hello, my name is Ashley and I’m currently working on embracing my multitudes! I am a professional, a photographer, a mother, a homemaker, zone 5 urban homesteader, and herbalist!
I recently went back to work after a three year hiatus staying home with my kids. I am still currently trying to figure out how to balance those various elements while also giving myself permission to rest.
What sparked your passion for a slower lifestyle?
I think I’ve always lived a little bit this way but not as much. I enjoyed staying in with my family for home cooked meals and game nights often while my other friends elected to go to parties. Of course, I did do some partying also.
It wasn’t until I started removing plastics from my home when they no longer served a purpose and thought more on the sustainable things I brought into my home. I think the intentionality went hand-in-hand with learning to live a more rooted, and slower life. I want my children to grow up making conscious decisions and to know how to rest and reset. Allowing myself permission to rest took a very long time and it’s something I’m still working on!
What does slow living mean to you?
I think it has different connotations to different people but for me, it’s making the most conscious decisions to live sustainably; choose the least harmful products for our homes for your planet and our bodies; and making little rituals out of everyday things like pouring coffee or making tea. It means slowing down to hold space and gratitude for all of our blessings.
Describe your perfect day?
A perfect day for me, right now, and I feel like this ebbs and flows, would be to wake up before the sun, by myself to pour myself a cup of coffee in my Chemex around candlelight – bundle up and watch the sun rise with fresh air, then take my leisurely time getting dressed, then to check in to a quaint little Airbnb to spend some time reading, writing, journaling, and sleeping!
Do you follow a morning routine?
Right now, it’s pretty hectic getting my kids off to school and daycare then getting to work but I make time for gratitude practices daily. My weekend routines are a bit slower like they used to be with my coffee rituals and my spiritual practices usually go a little deeper than during the week.
How do you wind down at the end of the day?
After I put my youngest to bed, I have been winding down with podcasts, audiobooks, and sometimes tea when I’m not too tired to make it.
Tips for a good night’s sleep?
I do feel like a good tea or tincture can help anyone and finding a way to release ANYTHING from the day that was stressful and is now over. Speaking out loud that the day is done and it’s time to rest helps. I learned this from an app called Oak which is a meditation app.
I also sleep better when I make time for physical activity. (I’m not great at this.)
What do you wish more people new about slow living?
I think society in general would benefit from incorporating any small things they can to “slow down” even if it’s just taking a moment every night to look up at the stars and the moon, and to cultivate a gratitude practice. I think intentionality and gratitude lend hands to slowing down.
I also think people would find a lot more relief from everyday stressors if they did this!
What are your top 3 tips for moving towards a slower lifestyle?
Consuming and LIVING with intention; making small rituals in your everyday tasks; leaving no day undone without speaking the things you’re grateful for out loud.
3 bloggers/Instagrammers/change makers that inspire you.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I hope this year that everyone finds ways to integrate back into society as they see comfortable with more intentionality and really honing in on some personal lessons they learned, and mostly, to take care of themselves!
Ashley has ourorganic sateen bedding bundle in white.