Giveaway: Slow Family Living & things that really matter

When my friend Bernadette told me about her latest book project I jumped at the opportunity to host a giveaway; I loved her last book, Make Stuff Together. I even made Bernadette sign it!

While I don’t yet have children to practice all this slowness and appreciation-building activity, I do have a partner and the world-at-large to work on for the time being. Appreciating slowness is a part of modern life I’m hoping to bring back, like snail mail, using our brains when purchasing stuff, and just being generally thoughtful of the world and things around us. That in mind, I’ve really enjoyed popping through Slow Family Living at random moments. (Books I can just open in the middle, read a few sections and return to in the midst of general unfocused life pursuits are a treasure, the books that ultimately get read and absorbed because they’re on my schedule and not their own.)

(From the publisher) In SLOW FAMILY LIVING, readers will learn:

  • How to break up the week and find excitement and joy at home on a standard school night.
  • Ways to bond and grow with one child at a time – without making the others feel left out.
  • Fun ways to foster a loving environment at home with your kids and partner.
  • Ideas for how to get exercise, be social and learn something new as a family without creating an impossible schedule to follow.

One of the instances of spontaneous flip-open reading occurred during breakfast yesterday, when I stumbled upon “The Love Pop In” an idea to surprise your kids (or other forms of family) with a brief, unexpected pop-in. Notably, in times when you might be rushing to accomplish other things. Bernadette’s story of popping in on her kids (discreetly, so no one was embarrassed) when dropping something by the school reminded me of my mother, how fiercely she loves us and the things she would do to remind us of this on small and non-occasions. 

In this and many of the other ideas for ways to ‘slow down, connect, and create more joy’ it’s not the expectation of doing these kinds of things all the time, but rotating amongst them when the time is right. Like when she talks about making out with your partner on an unexpected, not-particularly-momentous parting, “Not all the time, mind you. That might get annoying. But every now and again?”

I absolutely adore (and do on a regular basis with my dog and not-as-enthusiastic wife), “How Low Can Your Pantry Go?” It’s one of my favorite empowerment tactics,

Anyone can run off to the store, but it takes a family working together to come up with something good and creative and innovative. And rather than wasting time at the store, you’re home all working together. No doubt laughing at some of the outcomes, too.

The other part of this giveaway includes a set of cards from my wife, Jo Ann Santangelo. She took this photograph on a day she was running much later than she’d hoped to be and ended up trekking a longer, out-of-the way distance to capture a Car-2-Go. Though her stress level was high (about being late) she encountered the ‘nothing really mattress’ and shoved aside rationality saying she didn’t have time to even photograph it. I’m glad her better judgement prevailed, this image, shot with 35mm black and white film is one of the images in the revisited portrait project she did called Austin Seen. She’s tossing in a set of four ‘nothing really mattress’, East-ATX-printed cards and envelopes for you to remember to slow down! look around! and enjoy what’s before you.

For shipping reasons, we’re asking for entrants from the US & Canada only. Sorry international loves.

Please enter by Friday, April 12, 2013 at midnight CST by leaving a comment below telling me about  the kinds of things that really ‘mattress’ to you and/or things you want to focus on in the coming months, either with family or life in general. Good luck! (p.s. if you don’t leave your email address in the little box where the comment form asks for it, you won’t win because I can’t track you down otherwise)

p.p.s. Don’t miss this giveaway, which closes tonight!