22 things every woman needs in her life

Some people believe that simplicity means sacrifice. They can’t understand: Who would intentionally strive to have less and do less when there’s so much we can obtain in the world today?

Sometimes, I struggle to sit still and write at my desk because I want to get out in the world. I don’t want to charge out my door with a to-do list that’s a mile long, though. I want to meander with my son and bend over to examine the flowers blooming down the road.

The irony is that people who strive to live more simplistic lives seldom feel like we’re doing without. In fact, we often feel more joy and gratitude because we learn to recognize the liberating difference between too much and just right. I’m on a constant quest to find that perfect balance, and believe me—with a very active little boy and all the responsibilities of work and motherhood, it’s a never-ending endeavor!

22 things every woman needsThrough my research as a storycatcher and children’s journal author, I’ve observed a lot of people celebrating and struggling with life, often at the same time. Part of my job is to lean into folks’ experiences and recognize the patterns that bring us down and the pleasures that pick us up, so that I can create richer, more fulfilling prompt journals.

Regardless the busyness or struggles we all face, I’ve observed a prevalent trend:

The happiest people—the folks with the deepest sense of self-love and purpose—always notice everyday moments. It doesn’t matter how complicated their lives get.

They always weave time into their day to welcome the simplest pleasures.

I’ve compiled a list of 22 little things every woman can benefit from in her life. Do any of us need to have all of these things all the time? Of course not.

But read through this list and see what’s already a part of your life. By consciously noticing details and making time for them in our everyday life, we discover gratitude for what we already have.

You may also look at this list and see reminders of what you could add or adjust, especially as we approach a new season. The important thing is that you just celebrate because some of these things (like a bra that fits well!) are certainly victories.

22 things every woman needs

  1. A secret spot in the house for chocolate.
  2. A bra that fits.
  3. A sharp pair of scissors, potentially also kept in a secret spot so they never vanish or get mis-used and dulled when you most need them.
  4. A favorite nonprofit to give time or money.
  5. A small but great collection of stationery—fun cards, sympathy cards, birthday cards, postcards, extra envelopes, and stamps.
  6. A signature pen.
  7. A little confidence boosting lipgloss, nail polish, necklace, or other luxury that takes just a moment to apply.
  8. A movie you’ve seen so many times you can quote half.
  9. A really good kitchen knife. (In As Always, Julia, Julia Child wrote it’s everything a woman needs.)
  10. A subscription to something that arrives at your door—magazine, clothes, coffee of the month, or even dish detergent and diapers.
  11. A dress you love.
  12. A cute (and current!) photograph of you.
  13. A mother son journal or mother daughter journal.
  14. A favorite morning drink, preferably with a favorite mug that is only yours.
  15. A friend you can call and a friend who knows she can call you.
  16. A fun nicknack, quote, comic, or postcard taped behind the cupboard door or in the pantry.
  17. A hardback copy of your favorite book.
  18. A go-to restaurant or easy meal when you just need a break from the kitchen.
  19. Fresh flowers—in the house or somewhere along your commute outside.
  20. A pay-it-forward moment, like buying a stranger coffee, leaving cash in your neighbor’s mailbox, or giving a bag of groceries to the food pantry on the way home.
  21. Comfortable shoes that never give you blisters. (Tsh loves the Merrell brand)
  22. A few minutes to yourself.

Have a good day,
again and again.

If you feel in your bones the need to simplify so you can live the life you're meant to live...

↓ This is for you.

25 Comments

  1. Seana Turner

    Enjoyed and shared this list:) Looking at fresh flowers out of my kitchen window right now… summer is the best!

  2. Kitchenfairy

    That’s a great list for new moms (and experienced moms) who are having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees and need a little rest/reset time. I’m bookmarking it for next time I have one of “those” moments.

  3. Sarah Craig

    So much better than I anticipated after reading the short blurb that appeared on my BlogLovin’ email! It’s a great list, and so very true! Thanks for sharing…

  4. Betsy

    Perfect list.

  5. malinda threatt

    Also wanted to ad to your list is contact with nature, such as watching my little dog tree a squirrel, or watching a pair of Carolina Wrens feed their babies at the bird house outside my kitchen window and the other birds at my feeders. Watching them and the hummingbirds brings so much enjoyment every day.

    • Lisa

      Yes!!! A huge & instant stress reliever, too!! The sky, night or day, flowers, trees, any living thing. It all brings me pure joy as God created it to do. What a great add!!

  6. Jaime

    Yes! I love this list, especially #5. And for #22 id have to pick Keen or Ecco. They feel dreamy on my feet! 🙂

  7. Diane

    This list is so on the mark! I’ve already got #1 covered with a chocolate stash. I make cards and personal stationary, so got that one covered too. I’ll be keeping a copy of this close at hand for the reminder of the little things that make life just a little better!

  8. Eileen

    While I love cute dresses and motivational quotes, I think it is also important to add to this list
    -a safe place to sleep
    -freedom from violence
    -the opportunity to get an education
    -Clean drinking water

    There are so many women and their children around the world that don’t have any of those, let alone stationary or coffee delivery.

  9. Karen

    At least one cat…yes… a cat ! We always have at least 3, they are so comforting.They ask nothing in return…and there is nothing better than listening to one purring after a long hard day . Unconditional love at it’s best !!

  10. Rebecca

    That wall paper is amazing

  11. Jill Foley

    just love this post! I kept nodding my head in agreement as I read through the list.

  12. Zurainny Ismail

    What a lovely list and it reminds me of how easy it is to take wonderful things for granted! Truly living a simple life can be hard and challenging especially when living among people that find our choice of lifestyle puzzling. I won’t pretend that I have attained the strength to live a simple life and I don’t advocate it on others (yet), but I do admit that the greatest obstacle to living simply is usually my own self. But I do try.

  13. Mery

    Me gustaría poder leerlo en Español. gracias

  14. Rachel Federman

    Wow – I love this list! Even just reading it made me so happy. Fresh flowers – yes! Small but nice stationary (recently I went through and gave away/recycled all kinds of cards that I never liked and envelopes that never fit anything…now I so much more enjoy writing a letter to someone! It feels happy and light, not like another chore…or to do…)

    Also I was recently thinking specifically about getting a new bra – haven’t in years and keep wearing the same two stretched out unflattering bras….thank you for this boost/reminder to do something about that!

    So excited to have found this site.

  15. Knittinchick

    Yes to the scissors one. I now hide a small but very effective pair under my mending pile so it’s not stolen for outdoor work (DH) or paper airplane work (DS).

  16. SUSAN SHIPE

    I actually have/do almost all of these things!!!

  17. Jules

    Yes to the scissors especially as the only left-handed person in the house! I would add really good coffee beans! We start our day with two cups of excellent coffee made right here at home, drunk in bed which is placed facing the window so we both look out into the garden. That gets the day off to a great start!

    • Kelly

      Awesome!

  18. ann

    Many years ago, in my first solo teaching job at a very small school, my principle said to me “on very hard days come see me, I have a chocolate drawer and you’ll need some.” Best support ever!
    The one thing I often resist or try to find a subsitute for is outdoor time…I don’t know why I resist, because 5 minutes of sitting outside works miracles!!!

    • Kelly

      I recently noticed that’s been missing in my life. I used to spend a lot of time outside and for various reasons it diminished. I started again and am certainly enjoying it.

  19. Lori

    “By consciously noticing details and making time for them in our everyday life, we discover gratitude for what we already have.” Love this reasoning for the list as much as the ideas on the list 🙂

  20. Ashley LaMar

    Can I give you a giant YES to the scissors?! I’ve lost so many pair because they were ‘borrowed’ for something they shouldn’t have been used for.

    • R-M

      Many people lock the handles together with a small lock. Just don’t forget where you keep the key!

  21. Mary

    My addition to the list would be a wellworn Bible that I read every day to give me strength and insight for each day.

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