One Bite at a Time

This thing has been about a year in the works, and I hope you’re as excited about it as I am. Today, I’m popping a bottle of wine and celebrating my hard work on this project for the past month. Oh, and it’s also my birthday today. This calls for nothing less than a little giveaway!

Sometimes, simplifying can feel… complicated. Isn’t that weird? We make “living simply” such an ordeal. We think of all those things we know to do, and we try to start them all at once. And then we get overwhelmed, and then we fail. And then we think we can’t do this “simple living” thing.

It’s like we just need something that tells us what to do, in manageable, bite-sized steps.

As of this fall, there are almost 900 posts on Simple Mom, and they all have something to do with making life simpler. For my own life, I wanted to consolidate and pick the very best ones, reformat them into a handbook, and then use this collection as a tool for me to stay focused. To remind myself of the essentials.

So I made one. A handbook, that is. And then I added about 50 percent more new content, and today, I’m sharing it with you.

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler is an e-book, a handbook, and a road map for your journey to live simpler. I think you’ll like it.

52 projects for living simpler, for you to tackle at your own pace. There’s no timeline, and you can start right in the middle, wherever your heart desires.

For $5, you can instantly download this e-book, and then print it (there’s lots of room for you to take notes), or simply read it on your computer monitor. You can also upload it to your e-reader (I’ll release Kindle and Nook versions sometime in the future).

Head here to check out the full list of 52 projects, and to download Project 5: Start Menu Planning for free.

Right now, I can’t really justify a price higher than $5, because technically, you could find half the info from this e-book on the blog, for free. I want to fully disclose this up front, so that you don’t think I’m trying to shyster you.

But with this e-book, a lot of hard work has been done for you: it’s edited, updated, reformatted into a handbook, and wrapped around lots of new content. Several of these project ideas have never been mentioned before on Simple Mom. It’s 169 pages, chock full of do-able projects.

(Oh, and there’s an affiliate program, too, so that you can sell this e-book on your own site or via e-mail and earn 30% of all sales. Head here to sign up.)

Giveaway time!

If you buy One Bite at a Time anytime on my birthday—August 26—you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of my book, Organized Simplicity! I’ll randomly draw 10 names from the list of buyers from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

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Thank you for being Simple Mom readers. Each of you have made the past three-plus years some of the best in my life. I’m honored to share this space online with you! I’ll think of you today as I sleep in, leisurely read on the couch, and play with my family—my favorite way to celebrate a birthday.

Update: Marie at Make and Takes is giving away three copies of One Bite, along with a few other books!

I’d love to know—which of the 52 projects excite you the most?


  1. Emily

    Living Green appeals to me, but I made need the tips on organizing space more, as in a couple of yrs we plan to be building an eco-friendly home that is almost half the size of the house we are in now!

  2. Tara

    When you say “Kindle edition released sometime in future”, are we talking in 2 weeks or next spring?

    • Tsh

      We’re talking sometime this fall, but it’s not the very next thing on my plate. I’ve uploaded plenty of PDF e-books to my Kindle with no problem, so you can always try that. Or you can wait. 🙂

      For what it’s worth, I mention in the introduction that although I love my Kindle, I actually think this book works better printed (I purposely kept the design to a minimum to keep printing realistic). There are places for jotting down notes and checking off lists, and I wrote out all the URLs (shortened) so that you can still easily use all the links.

      I’ll let you know when I do create it, though!

      • Tara

        Thank you for your quick and helpful response. And I always forget about PDF’s on Kindle. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Joy

    Happy Birthday Tsh!! Hooray for birthdays!
    The last one appeals to me….say no. It sounds SO easy, yet, it’s SO hard to actually do!!
    I’m so excited for this! How fun!

  4. Ann Voskamp

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful Tsh!

    *Thank you* for all the ways you make our lives more beautiful…

    Celebrating you today!

    As you eat that cake… one bite at a time 🙂

  5. Emily

    I forgot to say “Happy Birthday” in my first comment. Sorry, and happy happy, Tsh!!

  6. Sarah Park

    Cheers! A very happy birthday to you, Tsh!

    I love, love, love this book, and am so excited to tackle the projects! I most need to get a morning routine in place… With school starting, things are feeling crazy around here! I need to make it a priority to focus my thoughts before the kids are up and clamoring for help. 🙂

  7. Hannah

    Thanks for helping us live simply so we can focus on what is important!
    Happy Birthday from Austin!

  8. Tricia

    Yay!! I’m so excited to dive into this….and Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

  9. caroline

    I am going to have a hard time picking one that excites me the most. There are so many! What a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

    And Happy Birthday!

  10. Heather Allard

    Just bought mine! So excited! 🙂

    Happy birthday, Tsh!


  11. michelle

    Tsh, I started browsing through your new book and it looks fantastic! I’m excited to use it. Thanks for the chance to win Organized Simplicity!

    Happy Birthday to you! I’m looking forward to hearing you speak at Relevant and excited to, hopefully, meet you!

  12. Tiffany

    Congrats, and happy birthday from one late August baby (27th) to another!

  13. Anna

    How exciting! I can’t wait to start browsing the book. I loved Organized Simplicity, by the way. And have a very Blessed Birthday! (It’s my husband’s birthday today, too!) 😉

  14. Marla Taviano

    Happy, happy birthday, Tsh! (It’s my parents’ 39th anniversary today too.) I bought the e-book, and I’m DYING for it to show up in my inbox!! Organized Simplicity is easily in my Top 10 Favorite Books EVER (which is saying a lot, because I’ve read about 16 million books in my lifetime). SO excited about One Bite at a Time!!! Thank you!!!

  15. Anna

    Oops, I forgot to say which project excites me the most! There are SO many I’m going to implement, but I’m intrigued by your thoughts on finding a hobby. Right now I’m up to my ears in caring for my 500 Babies, and I long for something to do just for fun, for me. Kinda goes along with carving out intentional down time, too, right? (Oh, but I have to admit “going paperless in the kitchen” absolutely TERRIFIES me. I’ve read your post on it before and thought, “There’s NO way.” But maybe I can take the plunge and give it a try!)

  16. Lori

    Happy Birthday! it’s my husband’s birthday today too! The ebook looks helpful, I’m definitely going to check it out.

  17. Kelly

    Happy birthday, Tsh! Just bought your ebook and I can’t wait to read it. Thank you!

  18. jeannett

    I would just like to say that I’m in love with the fact that you said “shyster”.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday.

    Annnnnd I’m off to buy your ebook and sign up for the affiliate program. Because I’m sure it’ll be shyster free.

  19. GaBrilla

    Thanks so much for this Tsh! You hit it right on the head when you said we can try to implement more than one thing at a time, in our quest to live simply. I do that SO much and am often back to the drawing board. I visit your blog often and it is so great to have all the best of your blog compiled in one place. Have a wonderful Birthday!

  20. Robin Guthrie

    The book sounds fun, but I would want to know first if the projects are geared for people who don’t have a family or are living single.

    • Robin Guthrie

      Is there there anyone who has the book able to answer this question??

  21. Brent

    Hi Tsh,

    Happy Birthday! I would love to read your book because it sounds interesting.

  22. Diane

    Just downloaded the book, can’t wait til “quiet time” this afternoon to dive in! Also, because I added my bank account to PayPal, instead of using my debit like usual, they’re giving me $5 cash back. So I’m essentially getting the book for free!!! Even though I don’t get credited for 6-8 weeks, I’m thinking this counts as staying “financially neutral,” my husband’s fancy word for “don’t spend any money today honey.” Now off to sell some kids cloths at Kid to Kid so I can go buy a birthday present at Target 😉

    Thanks so much Tsh and Happy Birthday!

  23. Courtney (WomenLivingWell)

    How exciting! I love this! I loved your book Organized Simplicity and this looks like a great refresher course for us all!!! Thanks for your hard work on this AND Happy Birthday!!

  24. Christin

    Oh my goodness! This sounds great!! I am opening a brand new site on Sept. 1st called Homemakers Challenge – (inherited from Amy Bayliss) and this would be a wonderful thing for us to do there in the future!! YAY!!! We’re launching by doing Sarah Mae’s 31 Days to Clean. Perhaps, after the new year, this might be something to dive into.
    {Because no one is going to want to get into new projects around the holidays, I’m sure!}

    I’ll put it on the calendar. Going to purchase it now! And Happy Birthday!! 😉

  25. Michelle S.

    Happy Birthday!
    I’m off to get the book! 🙂
    Congratulations on bringing it to fruition.

  26. Kelley

    Ooh! This sounds fantastic!

  27. Melody

    Happy Birthday, Tsh! I just bought my copy and am excited to work through it. Your blog has influenced me so much this year – gives me a much needed smile, accountability, redirecting me back to where I need to be, spurring me on to new places. This is what writing is meant to do! And you do it in such a lovely, humble way. I never feel bad about myself in your corner of the web – only inspired to keep trying and keep focused on what is important. I am so thankful that you write and are willing to share it with others. Thank you!
    —-my bite is the annual vacation. Looking forward to being intentional about that in a simple way!

  28. Christin

    The sign up “here” isn’t hyperlinked 😉

    • Christin

      For the affiliate program (sorry).

      • Tsh

        It’s fixed now! Sorry about that.

  29. steadymom

    Happy, happy birthday! Take it easy and simple today!

  30. Krissa

    Happy Birthday! I think the e-book looks great!

  31. Heart and Haven

    I’ve just ordered the e-book and can’t wait to receive it! Hopefully, I’ll win the Organized Simplicity book too 😉
    I love all your posts, and can’t wait to see what’s in the 50% you added.

    Oh, and I hope you have a splendid birthday!

  32. Lynda

    Bought this ebook first thing this morning and am excited to dive into it. While I don’t have any kids at home anymore, I desperately need to get back in charge of my life (I live a cluttered, undisciplined life) and can already see from the 52 project titles that I’m not going to be disappointed!!

    Thank you and Happy Birthday 🙂

  33. Jami

    Happy Birthday! I have enjoyed reading your website since the beginning (even though my only child just turned one). I always find lots of useful tips. I am working my way through your book and just downloaded your e-book. I look forward to reading it.

  34. Yvonne

    The timing of this is perfect! I’m loving your book and this website, but feel like there are so many great ideas and I want to do them all right now, but I can’t. So this is great to keep me focused, organized, and on target. Thanks! And hope you have a very happy birthday!

  35. Annie~Savor This Moment

    Hope you have a great Birthday! You have such great ideas on your blog, I’m sure the book is equally as awesome. Love the price, too!

  36. Ursula

    Happy Birthday Tsh!! Congratulations on such a huge and exciting feat!! Way to go!! Oh man, I’m so excited about many of the projects, I don’t think I could choose just one! getting more sleep, meal planning, streamlining! And so cool that you made it in project-style. Fitting title, my uncle would ALWAYS say that: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading it!

  37. Successful Woman's Resource Center

    Happy birthday Tsh! And congrats on the ebook, I’ll be adding it an an affiliate to my resource center!

  38. Archer

    Happy Birthday, Tsh! I love your blog. Your blog even has simple concepts to apply to life in medical school with 2 kiddos! Thanks so much for all your work.

  39. Emily

    Happy Birthday! How exciting, I think this will be really do-able and encouraging to see things change slowly, without getting overwhelmed!

  40. mindy

    Happy Birthday!! Just ordered my ebook! Very excited to have an organized copy of the best of your blog! I think I’m most excited about ideas for creating family traditions:)

  41. JGilman

    Happy, happy birthday. Just ordered the ebook and can’t wait to start reading. We’ve been working on our family mission statement this week and I can’t wait to adopt some of your other ideas. Thanks for everything!

  42. se7en

    Oh yay, this is just wonderful, I am so excited about this and can’t wait to read it!!! Great birthday reward, hope you have a brilliant day!!! Love your new wheels!!!

  43. Clara

    Happy birthday Tsh, from Portugal! As I’ve mentioned before I love your book “organized simplicity” and I can’t wait to have this new one. I know that it will help me a lot with my intention of living a simple life with my busband and “princess”.

    Thank you for all

  44. Kirsty Van Itallie

    Thanks so much for giving gifts on YOUR birthday! Hip Hip Hooray to you! Hope you enjoy a lovely day. Looking forward to reading your e-book Tsh. Lots of the 52 projects strike a cord with me…especially ones on cooking and gardening and of course, organising. This will all be so useful as we continue on our house-build and look to move and start ‘fresh’ at the end of the year. Thanks again.

  45. deborah flora

    I think getting all the tips on paper organization sound interesting. Plus the paperless kitchen and cleaning the kitchen as you cook. A lot of this stuff isn’t that hard, but it’s fun to read someone else’s ideas and it inspires me!

  46. Prerna

    Happy Birthday, Tsh! I look forward to getting the eBook soon ‘cos even though I’m obsessive about simplifying and organizing, there’s always room to learn, especially from you. You got me started on the road to simple living.

    Celebrating with you, all the way from India!

  47. Amber Black

    this looks exciting! Happy birthday to you also! I have so enjoyed reading your blog, so much so I bought your book organized simplicity a while back. enjoying that too! Blessings to you and the encouragement you bring to so many people!

  48. Heather

    It was tough to choose…but I’m (we’re!) starting with Project 41. We have three young kids and I’m overwhelmed doing all of the chores with only sporadic help! I truly believe this project will help me hit the ground running….actually…I’d like to hit the ground walking for once. 🙂

    Happy birthday!

  49. Sara

    Meal planning is the one I’m most interested in right now. Please keep us updated as to when you release a Kindle edition!

  50. Rachelle | TinkerLab

    Happy Birthday Tsh!! Organized Simplicity CHANGED MY LIFE, and I often refer to it when I need a reminder or feel off-track. Our house is small, to the point that I growl at its lack of closets or personal space, but you helped me see that it’s all a state of mind. You do so much and you’re a true inspiration. Thank you.

  51. Monia

    Happy Birthday from me here in Switzerland too… Wish I had seen that mail a bit earlier to get a change to win your other book but alas with the time gap between us it was now morning for me… but I got the e-book just now anyway and will head of to print as soon as I get a change (speak: free printer HAHA)

  52. ErinOK @ it's OK

    Alot of these projects are things I’ve been working on in the last year and a half since I’ve been reading your blog.

    I’m most excited by #26- cook staple foods from scratch. I’ve been trying to get there for awhile and struggling with it. . . but I’ve finally made myself a sourdough starter this week, and can’t wait to try making my own bread!

    I also think my family needs #23- turn off your technology regularly. We stare at our laptops a little too much around here.

  53. Rachel Hodge

    Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to coming up with a morning routine. I was just planning on introducing a “Morning High-5” for my kids so why not do one for myself too?! 🙂 Thanks for the kick-start with easy to follow steps. 🙂

  54. Kimberly

    I just purchased your e-book but didn’t receive a download. Did I do something wrong? I’m really excited about working through it – I’ve been following your blog for some time now and think it’s going to be awesome having something to help me implement the great ideas you have. Thanks!

  55. ~M

    I missed this post! Happy Belated Birthday, Tsh! You are a gift.

  56. Alexis

    I am not lucky enough to see your post earlier. I lose the chance of winning this book… Anyway, better late than never, Belated Happy Birthday… Wish you all the best.

  57. Krystelle

    Congratulations! This book you have compiled will really help us moms who didn’t know how to start a simpler living. Thanks for sharing this book and post. God bless!

  58. Jenny Bardsley

    2013 is the year I’m trying out the envelope system. I’ve been wanting to give it a go ever since I read your book. Thanks for the idea.

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