Thursday, October 27, 2016

Early Morning Walks

Walker is sick and teething right now, and as a mom it breaks my heart to see him in pain and as a human I NEED SLEEP. Despite going to bed three hours after his bed time we were up before the sun this morning, so we made the most of it by getting dressed and exploring the dead end road in our neighborhood. My mom bought his jacket at a yard sale before we even knew we were having a boy. It's crazy to think that he's here and wearing it now. Time is beautiful and cruel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Explaining Minimalism

Minimalism is an exciting journey that can take you from an obsession with accumulating STUFF to a deeper appreciation of time, family, high-quality goods, etc. It's difficult when you've started the process of de-cluttering your life to keep it to yourself. You want everyone to experience the joy and freedom that comes from climbing out from under the piles of possessions. The problem is that people who a) think minimalism means wearing paper bags and living in a cardboard box, b) think minimalism means never buying anything whatsoever in any way ever at all ever, c) think minimalism means having seven babies and cramming them and your husband and your goat farm into a Tiny House are apt to be defensive, offended, or confused when you bring up the subject of "less".

Joshua Becker,  a leading blogger in the minimalist movement (Becoming Minimalist) and author of the inspiring read The More of Less, brilliantly defines minimalism as "the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it". It is a simple lifestyle built to highlight the things that matter most and get rid of the clutter that keeps us from enjoying those things to the fullest potential. The fact of the matter is that minimalism looks different for everyone. The home of a married minimalist teacher with three kids will look much different from the home of a single minimalist woodworker with a dog. Their lives and professions require different things and different amounts of things. When explaining minimalism to a friend or family member who is unfamiliar with the concept, it might be easiest to start with what minimalism is not. 

Minimalism is not about frugality, rather it is about making your purchases count. There are of course certain monetary gains you make when living with fewer possessions. For one, you buy less, so you aren't spending money on as many purchases. You also don't spend as much money maintaining, storing, or organizing your possessions. However, saving money is not the focus of minimalism. The focus is to make conscious, planned purchases that contribute to your life by fulfilling a need with longevity. You may need a pair of shoes and instead of searching for the cheapest option, you search for the option that will match the most, last the longest and be the most comfortable. This may not be the cheapest, but it fulfills your need simply and with longevity. 

Minimalism does not mean having no possessions, it means having only possessions that you need or highly value. It's more about breaking possessions' hold on you and being most concerned with what matters the most - people and relationships. When you walk into my house, I do not have bare walls, I own multiple pieces of furniture, there are clothes in my closet and dishes in my kitchen, but each of these categories has been pared down to what matters most to me and what I actually need. Instead of 85 pieces of plastic Tupperware, I have 8 pieces of glass Pyrex that is more than sufficient for my weekly food storage needs. Instead of three shelves whose sole purpose was to hold hoards of themed decorations, I have a clean wall holding my most favorite pieces. 

Minimalism isn't a quick fix or a phase, it's a lifestyle. I've purged my belongings multiple times in my life to get rid of things I no longer use or that have gone out of style, etc. Everyone does this. Now that I've been introduced to minimalism, I have a really different perspective. I used to be about accumulating new items and getting rid of old items. Out with the old in with the new, a cycle that repeats itself on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Now I desire to only allow things into my home that I treasure enough and are of a high enough quality to keep for years. I no longer want to host an annual garage sale, because I don't want to accumulate enough things in a year to fill my garage. After experiencing the freedom of fewer possessions, I can't see myself going back to the way I was before - a slave to my stuff and to the desire for more stuff. 

If you desire to share your story with minimalism and the impact it's had on your life, I hope this helps you to explain it. Even though it's a growing movement this lifestyle is not appreciated by the majority of our society. If after you explain the idea to a friend or family member they still think you're crazy and they prefer to continue to fully embrace their consumerism, love them and let it go. After all, minimalism is about making time and space for the things that matter most, and it defeats the purpose to allow minimalism to cause distance between you and the people you love. 

Happy simple living!! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016


We are done with the nursery! Two rooms down, the rest of the house to go. I have to confess...I pulled out some of his Christmas and birthday presents to shoot the room (insert monkey emoji covering his face in shame). They have been hiding in my closet for WAY too long, I couldn't resist. I'm sure he'll forget them by the time December gets here. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

I have moved thirteen times in my life, but the house my parents are in now is the closest thing to "where I grew up". I lived there from age 12 to age 17, and the home with its beautiful dirt road drive and spectacular hilltop view does offer a sense of nostalgia and comfort when we get the chance to visit. My dad built a tree house on the hill in front of the house, and it is just one of those things we won't quite be able to replicate when the house sells. I took Walker out there this week to enjoy his Gran-Dey's handiwork. He loved it!

Shirt and pants...and shoes actually...from Zara Kids. Clearly we love Zara :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

DIY Sparkle-saur Magnet Chalkboard

I have a birthday party coming up for a very precocious four year old who is currently obsessed with dinosaurs. Her mom on the other hand is about to redecorate her room and has no intentions of filling it with prehistoric green. I wanted to come up with something they both would love, so I put together this magnet chalk board. It will be fun for her to hang up her drawings and things, but the dinosaurs won't be an eyesore in her adorable new room. It was pretty simple, but I definitely needed help from Tom with the dino slicing. I'm not good with saws, and I prefer to keep all my fingers for life. 

Supplies Needed: Magnet chalkboard (here), plastic dinosaurs, stickers to decorate, metallic gold spray paint, small magnets, hot glue gun and glue. 

  1. Either you or someone capable that loves you will cut the dinosaurs in half with a saw. 
  2. Sand any rough edges and lay the dinosaurs out on their sides. Spray paint one side, let dry and repeat on the other side. 
  3. Use scissors to cut your magnets to shape/size. 
  4. Hot glue the magnets to the backs of your sparkly little lizards. 
  5. Decorate the chalkboard using stickers. Tip: regular paper stickers stick the best to the chalk board. I found that the puffy ones just peeled off. 
  6. Optional step - I saved one whole dinosaur and glued to the bottom of the board for added theme.
  7. Hang the dinos with their magnets. 
  8. Gift with a box of chalk. 
If you make this, you should leave a comment with a picture! I would love to see the board made with different themes/animals. Thanks for reading!