Over the past year or so I have really got into magazines – not Fashion magazines, I have no time for that dross, but craft magazines and slightly different lifestyle magazines.
When I came across The Simple Things I was intrigued by it’s stripped down take on the lifestyle magazine, about enjoying the simple things – simple food, the outdoors, family & friends, collecting, tradition and seasonality – rather than the numerous, overly consumerist, high-end, designer, glossy lifestyle magazines that promote shiny, polished, expensive perfection that I really don’t think is a genuine route to fulfilment or happiness.
My interest also stemmed from where I was in my life at the time – really wrestling with my PhD and feeling lost and discontented with life – and a growing realisation that I needed to focus more on the beautiful, simple things in everyday life; which is exactly what I feel this magazine celebrates.
I love all of their regular features; tasting notes and articles on good, honest food – bread, cheese, chocolate, features on food traditions from around the world – from the Full English to Churros to Merenda (mid-afternoon Nutella on bread for Italian children), personal, intimate guides to great, interesting cities by people who really know them, seasonal garden observations and activities and loads more on interiors, collectors, days out, tea and books. I like that encourages you to take a step back, to look at the things that most of us take for granted and really appreciate them and take joy from them instead – I think everyone needs to do that at least every once in a while.
I will also always love a lifestyle magazine that features real, muddy dogs as part of that lifestyle!
Although, now I think about it, I hold the writers and editors at least partly responsible for my recent weight as their articles definitely led to my nearly month long obsession with croque monsieur and my (fantastically successful) experiment with toffee apple crumble – both simple and both brilliant.
It’s a really great magazine to properly chill out with – the autumn and winter editions have been lovely to snuggle up with and always make me feel warm (especially the bonfire night edition that featured hot chocolate with pink peppercorn syrup). Hopefully the spring editions won’t have to keep me warm for too much longer as I’m still holding out hope that the sun will be bringing some warmth soon and I’ll be able to get outside and put the gardening features to good use!
If you’re also sick of the same old nasty lifestyle magazines and believe that there is more to life, and that the little things matter, check out The Simple Things – I think you’ll like it.