Slow Food Movement and Notes from a Blue Bike (5 book) Giveaway

Curled up in our bedroom, book in hand, hot cup of tea in the other, kitty by my side, and warm Ugg boots keeping me warm in our cold Oregon winter, I couldn’t help but smile as I read my friend Tsh Oxenreider’s newly released book: Notes from a Blue Bike – The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World.

blue bike

I love so many things about the book–how can I do it justice? in one blog post? The answer is: I cannot. You just need to pick the book up yourself (or several books – one for yourself and a few to give away!) Your mind will soak up Tsh’s words (who blogs at The Art of Simple), and the wheels will start turning with ideas for how you can slow down, simplify, and prioritize your family in a greater way.

Being intentional.

Tsh’s “food” chapter was my favorite, probably because my niche and passion for blogging has to do with people and food. We are intentional when it comes to inviting people over for dinner, and for our family, meals are garden-to-table (14 raised garden beds). Even in the winter, we try to buy organic and local.

A meal together in Oregon.

Tsh and I have not shared a meal together with our families, but the day is coming. She and Kyle will be invited with their 3 small children to our Oregon home, and hopefully our 3, now adult and 1 teen children, will be there to mingle with the guests. It’s what we’ve always done. The older with the younger, a party on our side patio, a garden-to-table meal— oh, and with no cell phones at the table. Our parties are never perfect, but people are priority. So because of this, we have to fight the technological culture war … (which I love how she trickels this concept throughout the book). Our kids know what is expected around the table … I don’t need to say more. :)

Slow Food Movement.

Her chapter on “slow food movement”–giving up fast foods, knowing where your food comes from, getting families to cook together, prioritizing the family table–goes straight into my heart. Slowing down with intentional family time was always a key for us. Even with sports, we still tried to eat together. Mealtime with our family–melding healthy foods and intentional conversation together–I’m convinced is what has shaped our children and made them who they are today. It’s rather cute, I’d say, when I get pictures texted from the boys up at college (U of Oregon) of their “healthy” rice or quinoa bowls, filled with beans, eggs, and asparagus, squash. Somehow, some way, all our years of showing and growing real foods, made our kids value the “slow food movement.” It paid off.

blue bike

Eating slowly.

Eating slowly also means that as a family, we dine around the table more often than not, all five of us present. Sure, our small children have nowhere else to go right now, but we hope to root deeply in their minds that dinner means togetherness around the table, in no hurry to be elsewhere. To do that, we must stop working in time to devote an hour or more to cooking the evening’s fare and to letting our kids help in the kitchen, so that little by little, they understand that real food takes time. Later when they’re adults, slow food will be normal to them. – Tsh

More about the book.

Tsh’s book is part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, as she travels from a hillside in Kosovo to a Turkish high-rise to the congested city of Austin to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles schooling quandaries and dinnertime dilemmas, as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, … and blue cruiser bike.

Notes from a Blue Bike

My tiny bit of advice.

Here’s my (50-year-old) advice, having already raised 3 kids. You will fall off the bike, which will sometimes hurt (yes, it does!), but you have to get back on and keep cruising, making healthy decisions for your family, trying new paths ahead (don’t always feel like you have to stay on the same path). This part is very important: Watch and observe the map that has been ridden before you by friends and family. You’ll be able to learn from others’ mistakes, and possibly take a different route. :)

Lastly, I love Tsh’s challenge.

I invite you to climb aboard your own bike, ask yourself these same questions, and explore your own ideas for slowing down. From the conversations I’ve had with many of you, it sounds like you’re dying to veer over in to the slow lane as well. Less chaos, more freedom, fewer events on the calendar, deeper relationships. Many, many cultures around the world aren’t running the treadmill of efficiency. So what does it look like to live like this in the Western, post-modern world? If you’d like a friend on your journey to finding a life that’s slower, more intentional, and soaked with more meaning, then put on your helmet and bike with me. It’s a bumpy ride, but that only makes it fun. – Tsh

Notes from a Blue Bike

Giving away 5 books!

I’m so happy to be giving away 5 copies today!

Follow the Rafflecopter instructions, here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! And thank you, Tsh, for the opportunity to spread the news of such a fabulous, much-needed book for our society today!

73 comments on “Slow Food Movement and Notes from a Blue Bike (5 book) Giveaway”

  1. I wish I could spend less money and shop less. I´ve done quite a lot of things to slow down my life and am happy with it! :)

  2. We have 3 young kids and we have been working towards getting them onto the same teams for sports so we only have 1 practice and 1 game a week instead of 3 separate of each. They’re almost all the same ago so that works for us.

  3. I wish I could declutter my small apartment … that would definitely calm me down!

  4. I wish we had less regularly scheduled activities on the calendar so we had more room for spontaneous activities. For example, we got a bunch of snow yesterday, so cross country skiing is open. Unfortunately, there is no time for it.

  5. Oh to just slooooow down. It’s a foreign concept to me. I need to learn to do that more

  6. Less focus on my to-do list.

  7. I’ve been working on it. My favorite moments are stopping to admire the moon when ever I have a chance!

  8. I want to be present at my life, not just rushing to get it all done.

  9. I love the idea of slow food vs. fast food. My family always ate together growing up. It was a wonderful time to bond with each other and with friends. Unfortunately my husbands family did nothing together so it’s hard to get him to see the value of eating at least one meal a day together. We’ll get there tho!

  10. Totally want to read this! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Love to cook and so do my kids. Would LOVE to learn how to slow things down a bit.

  11. I would love to learn to simplify and enjoy each day. That book sounds like a great step in the right direction:-)

  12. I have a sporadic schedule but would love to take all Sundays off and spend them with a morning at church followed by a lazy day of exploring the country around me.

  13. Like you, slow food is a big part of our family life, despite sports and other activities for our kids. I’d like to slow down the weekends, too, which at the age our kids are (17, 14, 11), we’re finding quite a challenge.

  14. As a soon to be retired couple, I’d love to plan more candlelight dinners….they encourage us to be intentional about slowing down our eating and spending more time connecting with conversation and eye contact, and yes, even some hand holding like in a romantic restaurant!

  15. I SO need this book!!

  16. I started making a change last night to help me slow down and relax more…I’m meditating! It’s wonderful!

  17. Thanks for offering up this chance! We’ve been doing several things to “slow down” including cutting up activities that we didn’t really enjoy. We make it a point to eat together every night (thankfully that’s still possible), invite others to join us, and LISTEN to one another (rather than just waiting for our turn to talk, LOL). Still much to learn, and I’d love to hear Tsh’s advice

  18. I have my own business as an IT consultant, I run a food/craft blog, I have an etsy shop where I sell my quilts and crafts, and I have 3 awesome nephews that I want to see more. So I need to learn to slow down, live intentionally, and spend time on the things that matter: those boys.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

  19. I find it easier to be intentional and slow down since I’ve passed 50. I’m relishing in choosing quality over quantity. I still fall off the wagon, but tomorrow’s another day. I’m also embracing the fact that I have to take care of myself, now more than ever, so I can fully appreciate this gift called life and those I love. Tsh’s earlier writings have been great and I look forward to this one. Thank you.

  20. I would love to slow down with committing myself to obligations – being more fun and spur of the moment.

  21. To slow down would be amazing. I need to learn to breathe and take it easy in the evening hours after cooking dinner, playing and then bathing my child. It would be nice to take a moment and just look out the window and breathe.

  22. I wish I could keep the table clear so we could get our small family back to eating at the table with conversation and no TV. . . That would mean slowing down for all of us to really take in each others’ company.

  23. Working 50 hours, remodeling our house and taking the kids to their activities takes a toll. I need to slow down and just take time to relax and enjoy and be in the moment instead of trying to think ahead and check off that darn to do list.

  24. As a busy mom of 5 under the age of 12, plus running two businesses from home while my husband works unconventional hours for very little pay AND we have my parents living with us – – – I just feel like this is a fast moving train I can’t get off of. This busyness is necessary – for finances, for raising children, for just for the simple fact that life is crazy and loud with 9 people living under the same roof. I’d just love some relief. I’m very hopeful that reading this book could give me some tips!

  25. I have 4 children ranging in age from 7-17. We do a good job of spending time individually with each one, but I want to simplify the time when we are all together. It’s always happy chaos, but I want us to be able to find activities that we can all enjoy together that are also low key:)

  26. Id like to slow down and enjoy God’s creation more. During this long snowy winter I only go to work!

  27. I read a quote once that said something like “Slow down; you’re only passing this way once.” This is such a sobering thought for me, and I want to read Tsh’s book for tips on how to simplify and enjoy my life.

  28. We are working toward routines that would allow us to spend five dinners of the week together.

  29. I wish I could slow down the ‘free time’ we had after school and before dinner/bed for children. I would like more hours to visit museums, drive through the mountains, hike in the woods and not rush from homework to exercise to dinner prep, eating and cleanup.

  30. Trying to get my family to eat more slowly and have conversations at the dinner table. Forty five minutes to make dinner and they are done in five.

  31. Our kids activities seem so distracting. I wish we could get a better handle on them and work with the activities and time better.

  32. I wish I could slow down and just enjoy watching my children be children. We are always in a rush to get somewhere and it is so difficult to find time just to appreciate the everyday, little things.

  33. I so need this book! It just might be the answer!

  34. I’ve started simplifying and slowing down by saying no. However, I need to declutter my home to simplify more.

  35. If I’m being honest I wish that I was better at saying ‘no’ to things that I’m not truly passionate about. I KNOW that if I said no to more things then I would really be able to be more intentional with the rest of life!

  36. Spending time with the ones I love. That makes me happy.

  37. we have 3 kids and have a one sport per kid limit at all times, which helps. and we eat dinner as much as we can even when they’re playing sports and juggling practices.

  38. I wish I could spend more time traveling the world and cooking for loved ones.

  39. I have a niece who just got divorced that could really benefit from this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. I am participating in the One Little Word project this year. My word is BALANCE. I am slowing down by finding that balance between what I must do, what I should do, and what I really want to do in almost every area of my life.

  41. I’ve started playing music in the background while I play with my kids during the day (today, it’s oldies). It makes things so much happier and more relaxing!

  42. Both of our children are now out of the house in college, but I always made sure we ate dinner together most nights, even with their hectic schedules. I think now though I would like to slow down by taking more time to spend with friends, sharing a meal, going for a hike, just being in fellowship. I enjoy cooking so it would be nice to have friends over more often and spend time at the family table.

  43. I would like to slow down in the area of my “to do list” – giving it over to God on what He wants me to today and enjoying the now with my 3 littles.

  44. Slowing down is something I’m always trying to do. With 3 young boys and all the school and sports that they are involved with I’m trying to become more intentional in what I say “yes” to. I want to make sure we have quality time as a family and aren’t always running around.

  45. I am trying to slow my life down. I think that the way we eat is a good place to start. We have been trying to eat closer to nature, simple foods, not processed.

  46. Clutter is always an issue in my life. Clearing out our living space would simplify things.

  47. loving her video. Sounds like a great book.

  48. I work all day on my feet so when I get home I want to just relax instead of cooking but then you get into the rut of not eating healthy so I would like to be able to figure how to slow down enough so I have the energy to cook the way I want to.

  49. I need to get better at leaving work on time – it’s always one more thing before you go!

  50. Slowing down and living more intentionally – I’m working on both of these! From reading her blog, I know that Tsh has some great insights, so I’m sure this book will be great.

  51. I want to see more sunsets.

  52. I need to focus more on people – developing relationships takes time and I want to slow down so I can spend more time with enjoying others.

  53. To live more intentional

  54. I want to slow down by being more intentional. I am not a list maker but I need to find a way to have a little more direction in my life…. The days pass so quickly and I am on the down hill slide of life. I may have done one thing right though with slow food. My kids grew up on “Made from scratch” Tonight we celebrated a birthday. The meal of choice….. home cooked won out over eating out by request of the birthday girl. The day was kind of crazy… I thought I didn’t have time for home cooked. I thought we might just have pizza but I made time for home cooked because It is what the Birthday girl wanted. It is always good to gather around the table at home. Janita

  55. I think what my husband and I work at the hardest is just keeping ourselves available to our kids. We have 4 teens and they have busy schedules. I think we tend to work at decluttering our schedules to leave open for whatever may come available. Sometimes it ends up we get a night to ourselves which is a hugely fun bonus! But most wkends we end up with one on one time with some kiddo or get to host a bunch and spend time with our kids’ friends. I think it sends an important message of hey we love you and like you too… And I think it has worked… We are a family that enjoys time together. Unless of course we’ve had 5 snow days in a row… Then it’s total mayhem. :0)

  56. Slow down make a list of the days adventures and not let the phone, friends or others absorb the day….have fun in everything

  57. I cannot wait to read this! We have been trying to slow down by being very intentional about family times, date times and we are going to get back to walking together in the mornings!

  58. Pingback: What it means to hop on a bike | The Art of Simple

  59. I’d like to work on being more intentional with my time…my kiddos are growing up so fast and I want to enjoy this time with them, not be so focused on my to-do list.

  60. I wish I could slow down with my boys!!

  61. I’m working on getting rid of all the extraneous stuff in our home and moving to buying bulk and making our own to cut down on the amount of waste and recycling that we create.

  62. I wish I could say NO more. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking on too much and the next thing I know is that time has gotten away from me.

  63. I want to slow down by turning off my phone…not checking facebook, pinterest, email so much!

  64. I wish that I could start my day with a relaxing walk outside!

  65. We are coming out of a season where we were home a lot. We spent the minimum amount of money buying nothing we did not not need. We took care of each other. In some ways it was very hard, but in many ways we learned wonderful things about unplugging from the consumer mentality and just being. I want to hold on to that.

  66. I need to learn how to slow down and enjoy life more.

  67. I would like to have more time to read good books and really enjoy them. I just have to stop being a clock watcher.

  68. I would like to master cooking and stop opting for the fast option.

  69. I need to learn so much in this area – but especially with food. I would just love to read this book. It really sounds amazing!

  70. I want to be able to see friends and family more and not be so driven by my calendar!

  71. I would love to have slower weekends, to savor quiet time & family time.

  72. Hope I win!

  73. I wish I could focus more fully on one task at once. I really hope I am able to read this book in the near future. I need it! xo

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