Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Getting rid of the thing does not mean getting rid of the memory.
If your blessings become your burdens, then they are no longer a blessing
If it doesn't fit, get rid of it
More isn't better. It's just more.
If you forgot about it, you probably don't need it.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
|Spending less time with my stuff, and more time with my kiddos; including this cutie pie!|
Please email me your address at j.and.w.blog (at) gmail.com!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
It's now less than two months til Christmas! Are you excited? I am...even if I think it is a bit early for the Christmas decor to be out in stores.
As we prepare our hearts for the holiday season, I also like to prepare my home. The early part of November is the perfect time to clean out closets, go through drawers, and just minimalism in general. Usually this is when the weather starts to have us spend more time indoors, so turn on some music (Christmas music, if you dare!) and start cleaning out! I also love to clean out my home in preparation for what the holidays may bring: visiting family and friends, trips away from home, and gifts.
Gifts can be tricky...one family Christmas party can totally scrap your plans for minimalism in the New Year. I'd like to share what my family is initiating.
Have you heard of this gift-giving poem:
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
And something to read.
I love that! 4 gifts per family member, that's it. (And kids' clothes and books get a free pass with minimalism in our home, since they are so hard on both and get replaced often!)
My two-year-old, W, might receive this for Christmas:
Want - A helicopter from Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue
Need - A new pair of shoes
Wear - Christmas jammies
Read - A Larry Gets Lost book
For my husband, it might be:
Want - A spherical ice mold for whiskey
Need - A new cell phone
Wear - A new belt
Read - A subscription to Auto Week
If you exchange gifts with extended family members, consider asking for experiences instead of things (and consider giving experiences, too!). Depending on the recipient, that might be a zoo subscription, passes to a local museum, movie tickets, a trip to the spa, or maybe a special trip to Starbucks!
Our family is trying to put the focus of the holidays back on memories and family instead of accumulating possessions. Will your family consider joining us?
Also, today is the last day to enter my giveaway!
Monday, October 27, 2014
It's no secret that I adore magazines.
And magazines are my favorite form of media for a minimalistic lifestyle.
First off, they are flat out fun to look at! And there is a magazine for any interest. I am a huge fan of Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living, and my husband is reading Auto Week and Car & Driver (opposite ends of the spectrum there!)
And then there is the minimalist aspect of things. They are a wonderful thing to read and then get rid of. You can recycle them, share them with a friend, start a fire, leave them in a waiting room, or donate them to Goodwill!
To inspire you and to celebrate making it this far in our thirty-one day challenge, I have a GIVEAWAY!
One reader will win a selection of my favorite magazines!
To enter, just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite magazine is!
Winner will be chosen and announced on Wednesday, so be sure to check back then!
I went to write this morning's post and realized I forgot to post this yesterday!
B - I had so much fun with you this week doing fun parenting things, like dinner picnics in the park! I am so grateful to be raising our kids together!
J - This week you got to meet a group of firemen, and you made me do proud! You were the first kid to step up and give the fireman in an oxygen mask a hug, and you thanked every officer for letting you see their truck. Way to go!
W - You are working on using your compassionate heart with playing doctor. You are never squeamish, and always have a good "nosis". I can't wait to see where this takes you, baby boy!
A -This week you made it apparent you had a favorite book: Ladybug Girl. It is too cute!
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
I spent a brief post on seasonal decor, but I wanted to share a bit about minimalism and my every day decor.
After our last move in the spring, my husband confessed to me that his absolute least-favorite move-in task was hanging pictures. This was after he had finished unloading the entire moving truck himself (I was 7 mos. pregnant) and painting a huge wall in our living room. So I knew he wasn't joking around.
Since we have at least two more moves in the next year (thank you, Marine Corps), I thought to myself, why? Why continue to make an already stressful thing like moving, even more stress?
So we made the decision to go more minimalist with our decor. We no longer have any picture frames to hang up. And it made our move so much easier!
But we had this very dated mantle when we moved...
So what to do, what to do?
We did keep my favorite mirror to hang (it was a wedding present and I just love it!
I also wanted some pictures of my sweet family.
And I have just been loving these photo panels. They are available from most photo-product websites. Easy to move, no breakable glass, and will work in a variety of spots, just in case we don't have a mantle in our next home.
Sometimes, it's the little things that can make a big difference!
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Has that ever happened to you?
First: Is it something I've been looking for?
Second: Is it still in the original packaging? If it is, can I return it? Or maybe give it as a gift?
Third: Is it in tatters, and that's why it was shoved to the back of the closet?
Fourth: Do you just not want it anymore?
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
|Always a plus to have this cutie on my team!|
Sunday, October 19, 2014
|Baby A had her first visit to the quilt shop! Look for projects on the blog soon!|
B - Every week of flight school I watch you walk the balance between studying the amount required and being present in your family's life. Thank you for including us on your journey! We can't wait to see you winged.
J - This week I saw your imagination take off with building things. It amazes me! You only need to see something built once to be able to repeat it, and there have been spaceships, submarines, and more all around the house.
W - You are so sweet, baby boy.mit warms my heart how you tell everyone you meet about your little sister. You are also comical, which is why immediately after introducing your sister, you pretend you are a dragon.
A - At four months old, I cannot believe how feminine you are, sweet girl. We are having so much fun together doing girl things. You are the perfect addition to our family, and none of us could imagine life without you.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
|having more DUPLO blocks seems to result in more spread around, not more playing|
|W has fully embraced the less is more mantra for his daily dress|
And no, he's not potty trained yet, he just wears underwear over his diaper
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Thank you for all of the encouragement on yesterday's post!
Baby mementos can take up a lot of room, and a scrapbook can take up a lot of time and materials to maintain. I mentioned it in this post, but I have a simple method for preserving memories.
I realize it may not be for everyone, but it is the perfect solution for me!
My trusty laminator is key here!
I have a stack of white card stock cut into 5x7 inch sheets. Then I affix the cards, pictures, and other flat mementos I want to keep with adhesive, laminate, hole punch it, and I'm done!
Each child has their own ring, and we have one for all of the cards we send out as a family.
It's a fun way to look at how my kiddos have grown!
Baby A has some fun things...
her sweet little footprints...
the cigar band from daddy's celebratory cigar...
and the card from her hospital bassinet. So sweet.
Because laminating is very permanent...there's no undoing it once it's been done...I like to use my scanner and get a high quality digital scan of anything that is especially important.
I hope this helps you get a jump on any piles of mementos you have sitting around!
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
We recently moved and the room with the most to pack and unpack was, by far, the kitchen.
And, really, there's just no getting around that.
Dishes are breakable, pots and pans are big and heavy; there is just a lot that goes into stocking a kitchen for a household.
So what do you weed out? How do you make your kitchen feel clean, organized, and minimalistic?
Kitchen gadgets: boy, there are a lot of them! A tool for every different type of food...it can get crazy. So I suggest really watching what you actually use when you cook.
I had an egg separator, that I hated washing. So I always separate the yolk from the white using the shell. The separator was just there to make up the crowd. There were a dozen other tools in my drawers that I forgot I had, and cooked just fine without them.
Also, the pantry: this is the first home that I have ever lived in that has a "pantry." Honestly, I really don't like it. I'd rather have the food up high in cabinets, than in an easily-accessible closet right in the middle of the kitchen. But I'm making do. This isn't a forever kitchen.
Although it has definitely been a learning experience.
This is what my pantry looked like the first month we lived in this house.
Awful, right? I'm embarrassed to show it to you!
After a lot of tweaking, cleaning out, plastic tubs, and the help of my trusty laminator...
While it wasn't my intent to spend money on new containers and tubs...the day after I cleaned out my pantry, sugar ants found it!! I guess they appreciated the organization. So the small initial investment in air-tight storage will save me money in the long run because I won't have to keep replacing food because of ant invasions.
Also, the plastic containers are much lighter than the glass ones, and will be one less thing I will have to worry about getting broken during a move. Plus, I love them! I love the clean look, and it didn't hurt that they are accented in my favorite color!
Do you have any secrets for keeping your kitchen clutter at a minimum?
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Are you working towards minimalism?
What are some of your reasons?
Sunday, October 12, 2014
B - the last couple of weeks having you home have been so wonderful. I know you're eager to get back to flying, but I'll miss you.
J - You tried some new things this week - riding a horse, a zip line... - and I'm so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone!
W - You can be so fearless, little boy. You amaze me. And this week you and I have been having fun with music. I love hearing your voice sing jingle bells.
A - You and the love you so obviously have for your brothers touches my heart, baby girl. I love to see you get yourself in between your brothers and reach out to touch them, it is too sweet.
Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
Have a blessed Sunday, friend!