Showing posts from April, 2015

April challenge final update

This last part of the 30-day minimalism challenge was a bit more difficult. I kind of panicked at first. I didn't think that I could get through it. But I did!

Day 16 - 2 small shelving units, a plastic basket, 3 wire shelves, a metal rack, a chair, a plastic shelving unit, a lampshade, an under bed storage container, a desk, a long decorative shelf, a vacuum, a buffet stand, an ottoman

Day 17 - 6 shelves, a sheet of tiles, a set of Christmas lights, a mat, 7 magazines, a magazine holder

Day 18 - a magazine holder, 3 tops, 14 movies

Day 19 - 19 movies

Day 20 - 20 movies

Day 21 - 21 movies

Day 22 - 22 movies

Day 23 - This day was make-up day. Remember when I said I'd take everything out of my vanity and only put back what I was using and get rid of the rest? Well, I did it.

Day 24 - 24 more items from my vanity

Day 25 - 25 more items from my vanity

Day 26 - 26 (and a few) more items from my vanity

Day 27 - 27 movies (yes, I really got rid of 123 movies, and I still have some le…


I don’t usually give myself enough credit. I compare myself to others and think that they appear to have it way more together than me. Their lives seem more interesting than mine. I mean, look at all of what they’re doing! Then I start feeling guilty and down on myself and think “Why can’t I be like that? Why can’t I live life and take on new things?”

I’ve mentioned this to my awesome friend Christy.She looked at me like I was crazy. Then she started listing all of the things I’ve been doing recently, which made me think of other things I’ve done.

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

In August 2009 (I decided to start here), at the age of 35 with a 10-year old daughter, I bought a new house on my own.

I think it was in 2011, I started playing the ukulele. I still play and I try to attend monthly BUG jams. (BUG = Bytown Ukulele Group) At these BUG jams, I've lead the group in song in front at the mike (90 or so people at any given time). I've done a few solo performances at these jams too…

Tiny habits

I've been into watching TED talks lately. There are so many interesting subjects and interesting speakers. I usually gravitate towards the minimalism and self-improvement type talks. Recently, I've watched one on tiny habits by BJ Fogg, PhD. Basically what he says is don't focus on big change, focus on tiny habits.

I'm giving it a shot! I've made some improvements in my life. But there is always room for improvement (actually, much room).

So how does it work? Well, I'm paraphrasing here, but what I got from the talk is that you have to think of a goal, break it down into super simple easy steps that take almost no effort to achieve, and pair it up with a habit you already have (and of course don't want to change) which helps trigger the new habit. For instance, if your goal is to keep a tidier household, start with something simple. You could write it up like this: "after I get out of bed, I make my bed". This is actually my first one. It's …

30 day experiment

On the night of March 24th, I packed up all of the things in and on my vanity. Make-up, perfumes, jewellery box, mirror, hair accessories, everything! I put them away in a bag that I kept on the floor beside my dresser. I took out of the bag only what I used. At the end of the month, I got rid of almost all of what was left in the bag. I felt like I needed to go through everything before letting it go. There were a few things that I didn't get rid of that I hadn't used in a month, like a couple of nail polishes. But they were still good, and I do plan on using them in the near future now that I'm regularly going out dancing. :)

This is what my vanity looked like before.

This is what it looks like at the end of the month.

This is what I got rid of.

It may not seem like much, but there are more than 60 items in that pile of stuff. I'm satisfied with this purge. I might end up purging more, but I think that I'll be getting good use out of what is left.

Lindy hop swing dancing!

So swing dancing doesn't have much to do with minimalism, but it is part of experiencing life, which is one of my goals going through this whole minimalism thing.

A few weeks ago, I went swing dancing for the first time in my life. It's a recurring event that happens every Saturday nights. They have two types of swing dancing - West Coast swing (WCS) and Lindy Hop swing (LHS). On April 4th, I tried the WCS. It was fun and I was quite happy to be encouraged out of my comfort zone. I was in a slightly bad mood that night, but dancing cheered my right up. By the end of the night I was grinning from ear to ear! Now, in my opinion, for the WCS to look nice, the woman dancer has to move in way that I consider to be sexy. I feel too awkward yet to move that way. At least in public. But I'm open to trying it again and hope that eventually I'll either learn how to sexy dance, or learn to not care if I don't. :)

On April 18th, I tried LHS. I said if I enjoyed it, I would si…

April challenge mid-point update

I've been doing it, the 30-day minimalism game! Here is what I've gotten rid of so far:

Day 1 - underwear with a hole in them
Day 2 - an eyeliner and lipstick
Day 3 - deodorant that I don't like and two used mascaras
Day 4 - 4 shirts I haven't worn in over a year
Day 5 - I wanted to do more than 5 items: 2 more shirts that I haven't worn in over a year, underwear with a hole in them (yes, another... I think I'm due for new underwear...), a sock with a hole, 15 or so magazines (I forgot to count them before I threw them out but it's a year's worth of two different magazines. They were a gift to my landlord when he bought the house I'm living in and he said I could keep them)
Day 6 - 6 magazines
Day 7 - 2 sweaters and 7 plastic bowls
Day 8 - a box of trash and a carpet that have been sitting in my basement for a while, a bathing suit, and 5 sweaters
Day 9 - broken sunglasses, a measuring cup with faded measurements, a broken tong, a usb key, 1 t-shirt…

What will you do with all that free time and money?

When I talk to people about my journey to simplicity, I get asked sometimes what I will do with my extra free time and money. I don't have an answer to that. At first, not having an answer stressed me out. What's wrong with me that I don't have a plan? What's the point of going through all of this if I can't figure out what comes next? I don't think that these people intentionally wanted to force me into figuring things out right away. I think that what I'm doing has people rethinking their own lives. And if they're anything like me, they like having examples. Not that anyone should and will do what I'm doing. Ever. But a little comparison can be helpful sometimes. I also think that for some of them, it's just genuine caring and interest in me.

Anyway, after stressing out about it, I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to know just yet. At the moment, I still have too much to get through before I can effectively contemplate what…