why​ minimalize

We all have different thresholds of clutter and for things that are around us. When I look around my small house, I can see where a die-hard minimalist may say, ‘Gee, you have a lot of Easton Press books, or that I still have my Fiesta Ware.’ Even though I have gotten rid of probably 75 % of what we did have ( grand piano and 2 couches and a futon) plus more, there is still a comfortable amount of stuff that I like.

I love my Needles and Pine Tepco dishes that are in the Heywood Wakefield. Even though I use White dishes daily, I do use the Tepco and I use the Fiesta Ware. But I have them where I can appreciate them visually and they fit on the shelves they are on.

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That’s a big minimalist thing and I do use that concept of how much ‘real estate’ or space do I have for those items. If they were boxed away, I would get rid of them. But they are out on my shelves and fit the space. If you need to start your minimalist journey, I’d recommend the container concept. There’s only so much room on a shelf or in a drawer for items. So that is your parameter. You can only put what fits and that doesn’t mean cramming things in sideways.

So why bother decluttering and minimizing your stuff. From my own personal experience, my house stays cleaner as there is less stuff to dust and overall less stuff to deal. My stress levels are quite low( mostly) when things are tidy and uncluttered. I read a great article on some blog about when we’re stressed we want to declutter and I can say that is what I did.  I found the more I released the less stressed I was. My home felt better to be in. As an introvert, I spend a lot of my time home especially since I no longer work at the library. So

  • cleaner house
  • less stuff to deal with
  • lower stress levels
  • more time for other things like reading, cooking, walking etc

 

There’s less noise in my head when I have more white space around me both literally and figuratively. I think there’s even more, I can declutter down the road but for now, it is a nice balance.

 

 

Simple Sunday

We are in for some very cold weather and snow is even predicted for Thursday.

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This is a pretty picture of Tahoe though with snow.

Ugh!! I do not like cold weather. It was 41 degrees this morning walking but with a jacket( I have a North Face polar fleece I bought like 8 years ago), it was comfortable. But when it gets to 29 degrees like it is predicted, then that is cold.

So today is a gym day and then some light chores. The zone is the bedroom this week and closet, so I’ll work on the pantry/closet again. It’s just always a work in progress. Our bedroom only has a bed and Heywood dresser, so it’s pretty easy to just tidy and dust and wash the windows.

I downloaded a fun ebook by the author of ‘Decluttering at the speed of Life’

This one was her first one ” How to manage your home without losing your mind’

She is really hysterical to read and I gleaned a few good ideas.

Tomorrow I get my 6-week labs so we shall see. It’s sorta like Russian Roulette. Will they still be normal or will it have changed? Who knows , right??

Tonight I’m making another Skillet recipe from Cook’s Illustrated ‘The Best Skillet Recipes’. I’m making skillet lasagna.

 

‘Zen Camera’ a book review

‘Zen Camera’ is a unique book that captures an artistic approach to photography. The photos are quite stunning and I enjoyed many of the Zen thoughts about how to take pictures and even deeper, the why.

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The book goes into 6 lessons to do so as to improve one’s photography. The lessons are thought provoking and innovative.

The author David Ulrich is a talented photographer as well as a Buddhist teacher.

If you are into photography or just want to deepen your skills it is an excellent book. I would highly recommend it.

 

This book was given to me from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.

Meanderings

Our weather continues to be quite cold. It’s sunny but once you step outside the wind is really cold. It looks like this all week. It makes it hard to go outside and do anything.

I had a good gym workout although my ankle is still bothering me some so i only did 15 minutes on the treadmill. I may go tomorrow and just do some weights.

Then I had some catch-up chores to do in town. The store, bank, another store and then home. I still need to hit Home Depot for a few misc. like a weird little bulb for a light.

We came home to house very tidy and the bathroom zone is done, so there’s not much in the cleaning dept but I will vacuum and dust tomorrow. Plus I need to get a few pots to repot some of my plant friends. Most are doing great where they are but one spider plant is trying to regroup in a new spot. Some plants are in good places now but come summer the sun comes into the house differently.  So those plants will need to be moved as it will be too sunny.

There are a few house plants I’d like to add but they’re more unusual so I may need to go to the nursery for them.

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Having been a minimalist for 5 years now, I’m only recently adding plants to my decor. I think after we painted the whole house( except my daughter’s room) Simply White by Benjamin Moore, the green really makes the room pop.

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I’d highly recommend house plants to your minimal decor for a number of reasons. The best is that they purify the air. Plus, they really add a wonderful dimension to a room.

Dinner is a mushroom frittata with goat cheese and roasted potatoes.

 

Happy Valentines Day

We’re back from our little trip/work trip. Yesterday didn’t go as planned but was still okay.

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This was the view on our morning walk. That’s looking back at the Santa Barbara Wharf. Stearns Wharf.

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This was the night before at Moby Dicks which is on the pier. Fun place to watch sailboats and birds.

So back to what didn’t work. We left to head up to SLO so B could go to the co-op. that was fine. Then we found a great lunch place, Firestone Grill. Had a good lunch but by then it was still 2 hours plus to Monterey.  Then we got to Monterey, the hotel actually wasn’t in Monterey, so that was the first oops.  It was really too far to back to Cannery Row or the Wharf. The room wasn’t up to par for me. Kinda smelled funny like cleaning stuff and it was just laid out wrong. But we managed and just decided to call it a day and went to the store for salads and cheese.

But we walked this morning and then left early so as to just get home.

So here we are and I just took a nap. Yay for home.

 

Santa Barbara

I do love Santa Barbara.IMG_0209

The beach walk is lovely and you can literally walk for miles right by the ocean. It was a little breezy this morning and my eyes were watering a lot.  This is a residual effect of when I was on Velcade, my eyes just watered all the time. It doesn’t happen too much now except for the cooler air and wind.

We had a lovely coffee at Renauds and in a while, we’re going to the Thrift store for a quick look and then maybe downtown.

B has to work at the co-op later so I shall read and then we can figure out dinner.

Last night we went to our standby Ollio’s pizzeria. Oh my, their pizza is the best and their chopped salad is excellent. It was crazy busy but we still had a good time.

We came back to the room and watched some  Olympic figure skating. That was a treat as we don’t have TV at home.

Five on Friday

  1.  I think I overdid the gym last week and so this week my ankle has been giving me some trouble and then I had a bad cramp in my hamstring so now I’m hobbling from that pull. It seems better today and I know, from experience, this too shall pass. In the meantime, I only walked a mile this morning and very slow at that. Hopefully, it’ll be better for Santa Barbara next week.   I love walking on the beach trail right by the ocean. The weather looks nice but not as warm as I was hoping for.
  2.          Late next week I go for my 6-week labs. There’s always a little anxiety. I think once a cancer patient, going for labs or any tests just brings up past emotions.  I am way better than when I first was diagnosed and would have meltdowns. Now I just think about it some and don’t dwell on it. I’m sure, if I was back in the thick of treatment, it’d be different.
  3. Finished out taxes with Turbo tax and surprisingly we’re getting a small refund. I would have been happy to break even but those Goodwill etc donations do add up.
  4. Finished paying for my son’s full time semester at CSU Sacramento. We put it on a card to get the reward points. I’ll pay it off next month. He’s doing very well and started a new paid internship.  Traveling to Sac State is costing him quite a bit more in gas and food so his money is going there.
  5.  Made a new recipe from one of the cookbooks I bought for a dollar. It is Cooks Illustrated best Skillet recipes. This one was pasta with peas and prosciutto. I had one last pack of prosciutto in the freezer that B got as a sample. You don’t cook the pasta first but do it in the skillet. My son LOVED it and requested it as a rotating dish.

So today I’m going to the gym and just do some upper body weights and then to Tractor Supply store as last week I saw a T-shirt I liked that was inexpensive and made in Viet Nam so hopefully isn’t made in a bad factory.

I don’t need anything from the store so that’s nice.

Dinner is homemade pizza!!