Honest Simplicity

my winding road to a simpler life

Month: July, 2014

Yard Sale

Our neighbors decided to have a yard sale, which gave me motivation to look around our house for items we could part with.  We decided to piggyback onto their sale.  The more the merrier, right?  My kids were very excited to have a sale (I remember this anticipation as a child).  They eagerly found toys, books, and movies they no longer wanted and I helped them price their items.  Yard sales are tiring and lots of work, but I find it rewarding to see someone else find treasures in my once-cherished items.  At the end of the day, my kids were thrilled with their sales, I cleared out more stuff from the house, and we all enjoyed spending time with our neighbors.  Our unsold items are already in my car ready to drop off at the thrift store.  Yes, a yard sale can be a fun way to clear out clutter.


Horseshoe Market

I will be at the Horseshoe Market all day tomorrow (July 12) at booth #73.  I’ve been busy the past few days preparing for the show (while taking care of my children).  I still have work to do, so I’m keeping this post short!

2014 Summer Market Poster

Home as a Sanctuary

I’ve been clearing away clutter and simplifying over the years, but still have plenty of work to do in that department. It has been a slow, but purposeful process.  Is your home a sanctuary or a stressor?   So often, we vacation to escape our busy complicated lives only to return back to the chaos.  When did vacationing become a need rather than a want?   Simplifying my life helps me to create spaces of comfort and peace within my own home.  I look forward to the day when returning home from vacation means returning to a place of rest and relaxation instead of returning home to a long list of to-dos and visual clutter demanding my attention.  It pleases me that I am on that path.  What could you do today to make your home a sanctuary?  What distractions could you part with to make room for peace?  Courtney Carver, who I find to be a wonderful inspiration, speaks on this topic in her blog Be More With Less.

Here are a couple of spots in my home which bring me peace of mind:

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I love a clutter-free countertop

I love a clutter-free countertop

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Repurposing Old Towels

We have two kids, so it isn’t surprising that our bathroom hand towels are stained and dingy after much use.  I decided to replace them with new darker-colored hand towels this weekend.  Instead of throwing away the old towels, I repurposed them into cleaning rags.  Honestly, I’m not sure what happened to all of my cleaning rags (repurposed old washcloths) over the years.  Now, with the help of my handy rotary cutter, I have a stack of “new” cleaning rags.  For the past few years, I have also made our handkerchiefs by cutting up my husband’s worn out white undershirts.  Old T-shirts make great hankies, because they are already worn and soft.

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The Coat Closet….Eeeek!

At the back of our house, we have a closet.  It looks nice enough on the outside, right?

outside of our coat/broom closet

outside of our coat/broom closet

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Wardrobe Tally

Every now and then, I count each item in my total wardrobe.  I pull open my dresser drawers, scan the closet, and check the laundry hamper.  This tally includes clothing, shoes, scarves, outerwear, sunglasses, hats, gloves, and purses/bags, (you get the picture).  I do count underwear and socks as 1 grouped item.  I’m not aiming for some magical number, but I like to see that the overall sum isn’t increasing.  Practicing Project 333 helps and I try to follow the one in one out rule throughout the year, but I’m not meticulous about it.  My number as of today stands at 109.  I was surprised to see that I’ve actually accumulated two more items since my last count.  In that time, I realize I added a slip and a pair of shoes.  It looks like I could find two more things to clear out.  I’m glad I counted, because those purchases could go easily unchecked and add up over the months and years.  When was the last time you did a wardrobe tally?  I find that it is a helpful simplicity exercise and a good reality check.  Decide what number works for you, whether that is 50 items or 300.


clothing tally in progress next to donation box


my side of the shared dresser

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Yogurt Sundae

Ice cream often sounds delicious on a summer afternoon, right?  I’m not opposed to the occasional dish of ice cream (I love it), but occasional is the key word.  For a healthier afternoon sweet treat, I made yogurt sundaes for my kids.  Okay, technically they are probably parfaits, but sundaes sound more fun.  Shhhhh…don’t tell.  The kids were excited and gobbled them up.  My yogurt sundae ingredients: Brown Cow cream top vanilla yogurt, Love Grown Foods cocoa goodness oat clusters, fresh organic raspberries, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup (aren’t you proud of me for admitting I have that last ingredient in my fridge?).


Vitamix Veggie Boost

About a year ago, I invested in a Vitamix blender and I’m so very glad I did.  I love, it love it, love it.  Actually, I’m sipping a green smoothie as I type this.  That purchase has helped my family create a healthy habit of eating more veggies daily.  The benefit is clear.  I know I feel healthier both mentally and physically when I pack more nutrient-dense whole foods into my day.  I love that I can gulp down 2 cups of spinach even if I’m in a hurry.  When I make fruit smoothies or popsicles for my kids, I toss in greens as well.  Cleaning the Vitamix is a breeze, too.  All I need to do is run the blender with some soapy water and voila!  It was an expensive purchase, but I’d rather invest the money now in my health than spend it at the doctor’s office down the road.  Another positive is that Vitamix blenders are hand-built in the USA.  If you are looking for a very simple way to add nutritious whole foods to your diet, consider buying a Vitamix.  Perhaps this is sounding like a commercial, but that is how much I love this machine and what it has done for my family.

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