Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Minimalism: The Gift List

If you haven't picked up on it, yet...I have a problem with buying things I don't need. My weaknesses are good deals on:

Super Cute Things (this could be anything, really)
Scrapbook Paper
Kitchen supplies
Baby Stuff

But, now that I am trying to adopt a shopping list lifestyle, good deals need to be mostly overlooked.  I mean, honestly...if you don't need it, it really isn't a good deal, is it?  My best tool for avoiding impulse purchases is....

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shop Free Week Wrap Up

Well, today wrapped up my shop free week.  I have to say...I enjoyed it.  It brought a few things to light.

Taking multiple small shopping trips (vs. 1 big one) are a waste of time and stress me out.
  I hate taking a lot of time out of one day to buy everything I will need for a full week.  But, each little trip to pick up everything I didn't get on my "one" trip for the week (or things I don't need to get at all), actually take up a lot of time.
  Although I haven't done any comparison, I bet it saves money, as well.  A small trip to the store to buy shampoo, inevitably ends up as a trip home with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a magazine, and a box of crackers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Winter Busy Book

I made Baby a little Christmas bag to take with him to Nana and Papa's on Christmas Eve.  It had his new Christmas jammies and a few activities in it.

Here's a little busy book I made to put inside.  It isn't the best busy book, but it was quick and simple.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Motherhood Monday-Hold on to These Times

It was another one of those days. Baby was giving me a little run for the money.  He wanted to nurse much more than I wanted.  He didn't want to sleep.  He was rough with me and the cats (I can't believe they haven't swatted him, yet).

But, as I was about an hour in, trying hard to get him to take his afternoon nap, I looked at his sweet little face and realized....my baby is 11 months old.  He won't be like this for long.  He won't always let me hold him and rock him and kiss his cheeks.  It won't be long and I will be wishing this moment back.  So, instead of feeling frustrated, I decided to hold on to the moment for just a little while...breathe it in....soak up the sight of my sweet sweet boy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why Minimalism?

I know that minimalism is a way of life for a lot of people.  I'm sure their types of minimalism all vary, as do their reasons for choosing it.  There are several reasons why it appeals to me.

More Time
  I spend a good amount of time dealing with stuff.  I shop for it.  I find a place for it.  I spend time cleaning it or picking it up.  The more stuff, the more time it takes.  Less stuff means less time wasted dealing with it.  Obviously some things are time savers, but there comes a point when too many things are just that....too many.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An Alternative to the Alternative

So, as I told you a few days ago, I'm spending this month with my car dial tuned into Christian radio.  I feel like we let so much stuff come into our minds without realizing it, and sometimes we just need to sort of reset it.  Step back and evaluate how things are affecting your mindset.

Unfortunately, if you are like me, the syrupy sweet, constantly encouraging nature of most Christian stations isn't for you.  It's fine to listen to once a week to and from church, but the thought of listening to it for a whole month makes me gag a little.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simple Fleece Blanket

 My sweet monkey likes fleece blankets.   In efforts to give him something to soothe him (and because I needed to make him something homemade for Christmas), I decided to make him a blankie.

I didn't want to do the knotted kind with the two fabrics.  I am very picky about what I will give him to sleep with, and those are too thick (they don't pass my "breathe through" test).

I didn't want to mess with binding the edges.  I'm simply too lazy.

I found this blanket, and liked the way it looked, as well as the simplicity.  The no-knots gave it a smoother look, but it did still have two layers.  I adapted it to meet my baby sleep standards.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Motherhood Monday- Prayers and Sign Language

One of my favorite things about this age is the learning.  I love watching as little ones learn everyday, mundane things.  It somehow brings a little magic back into life.

My little guy is learning, lately (well...I guess they always are, huh?).  I'm incredibly excited that he is finally doing his first sign!  I worked with kiddos a bit older than him, so I wasn't sure when to expect him to pick it up.  But, for a few days, now, he has been consistently, correctly, using the sign for "all done".  It is so incredibly exciting for me!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh Be Careful Little Ears

Last month I was supposed to work on how I spoke to others.  I admit, I didn't do a good job.  So, I'm going to keep working on that one.  But, this month I am also going to turn the dial.  I am spending January with my car radio set to the Christian music channel.  I don't feel that secular music is all bad.  But, I did this challenge some years back, and I did notice a more positive outlook in my life.  This is a super simple step to take.  I'm not even committing to changing every bit of music I hear.  Just, the music in my car (granted I do have a 30 minute commute each way).  Wanna join me?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healthy Home-Eating Clean

I'm sure that many people are already ready to give up on their resolutions to eat better, but in efforts to encourage you, I thought this month's Healthy Home post was appropriate. 
This month, I bring you my super cool cousin, Ronnie.  She is a mama of 2 sweet little girls.  She and her husband have transformed the way they eat (which is pretty awesome, if you ask me).  Take a read!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Goal-Minimalism

Happy New Year! 

Are you making any resolutions this year?

I'm not really a resolution kinda' girl.  I've just never been keen on them.  I have found, lately, that working with goals in my life (or even on a day to day basis) works pretty well with me.  I have fewer things to focus on, and it gives me the opportunity to just work toward something, rather than feeling guilty if I don't accomplish it completely.  So, I've decided I'm going to work towards a goal for 2013 and hopefully carry it over to a permanent habit in my life.

If you know me, this might have given you a laugh.  Nicole?  Minimalism?  Are you kidding?  I have so much stuff and somehow, I keep getting more.  But, you know what?  What good is a goal, if you've already accomplished it.

There are many reasons I want to work on minimalism this year.  I will let you know more details on these as the year moves along.  But, in short, I have too much stuff.  TOO MUCH, I TELL YOU!

In efforts to reach this goal, and actually work it into my lifestyle, I'm going to work in little, monthly chunks. 

Focus Area:  This will be the area I'm going to work on cleaning up (and hopefully getting rid of some things along the way).  Since I am a busy mommy, I don't intend to spend hours every day on this.  In all honestly, I will be happy to spend an hour a week on it.

Habit Former:  This is the habit I am going to work to form (duh), helping me to achieve a little more minimalism in my life.


Focus Area: Office/Guest Room/Craft Room 

This needs to be cleaned, organized, and I need to get rid of some crafting stuff (frowny face).

Habit Former:  Buy Less.  I can never achieve any sense of minimalism if I keep buying tons of stuff I dont need. 

I have already begun to tell Brandon when I want to buy things.  Not because I need his permission.  I do it because it makes me think.  If I can't give him a good reason why I am going to buy something, I don't need it.  I don't hold myself to the same standards as I wish I would.

Along with continuing this, I want to be more deliberate about what I buy.  I need to make a list.  If it isn't on the list, it doesn't go to the checkout with me.  This should include magazines or candy bars at the checkout.

I am going to choose one week in January to be a shop-free week.  This will be a week where I do not shop for anything at all(here's to hoping, hehe).

Wish me luck!  Simpler life...here I come!