Spring Guidebook

Free Spring guidebook to help you get the most from this beautiful season. Whether it is during actual Springtime, or just when you have a season of growth. Click image below to access the digital PDF. Also available to print and use as a hard copy! I love to print off the foods to nourish pages and post in my kitchen for easy access while I menu plan.

Happy Spring!

Waste-less Shopping Goals

I love shopping. However not the shopping you are probably thinking about. I love grocery shopping. I lay the blame for my shopping addiction partially at the door of the Trader Joe’s store that just moved in down the road from me and partially on my love of good food. But my need for dark chocolate peanut butter cups aside I find the whole exercise of planning my meals, getting my shopping list and strolling around the store (ignoring my shopping list) quite relaxing.
As Rachael and I discussed this month’s theme of zero waste and being more environmentally friendly I realized that my approach to shopping is far from earth friendly. I tend to shop last minute or when the urge grabs me and my lack of planning can lead to buying things I don’t need. So in an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of impulse grocery shopping (for some people its shoes for me its random cheeses) I have decided to focus on five specific goals to help me move toward a zero-waste lifestyle when it comes to shopping:

1) ALWAYS bring my reusable bag. I have a few bags I can use instead of paper or plastic at the store, but I always seem to forget them at home. My solution to that is I will keep one in my car and then even if I forget my preferred giant bag I will have it. Additionally, if I get to the store and I don’t have it I can just tell them to forgo the bags and I will load directly in to my car.

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2) Along the same lines as number 1 I have purchased several canvas bags to deal with all my produce and bulk bin buys. They just came yesterday so I am excited to try them out. I just explored a few options on Amazon until I found some from “Organic Cotton Mart” what would work for me.
3) Make a shopping list and stick to it. This for me is about limiting food waste, I often come home with too much and then I end up throwing out food.
4) Try to buy glass containers or easily recyclable ones where possible. There are often choices between plastic and glass-I am going to be more mindful of this and go for what can be recycled.
5) Finally, I am going to try to consolidate my shopping trips so that I am not over buying (see number 3) and am saving gas in the process.
So, these are my goals. I would love to hear any other suggestions that people have for more mindful shopping and if you want to follow along with this month’s challenge let us know how it goes!

{My} Minimal Wardrobe Essentials

Just thought I would throw back to minimalism month, and keep the love going. I feel that it also fits with our “Live Like A French Woman” month, as French women seem to have quality, timeless pieces for their wardrobes (generally speaking here).

Disclaimer-your essentials might look completely different! If you are looking to minimize and simplify your wardrobe, there is no rule that says to stick to blacks and other neutrals like I have. This is just what I like, and feel comfortable in. But if you like teal and pink, with fun patterns, by all means go for it! You still can pair down your wardrobe to your most worn, and favorite pieces, to create your minimal wardrobe essentials.

What would you put as a “must have” on your list?

minimal essentials

PANTS: Leggings*High waist light wash jeans*Black slacks*Dark wash jeans

TOPS: Striped shirt*White v-neck T* Black v-neck T*Gray tank*White Blouse*Chambray button up*Black silk blouse

OUTERWEAR: Trench coat*Leather Jacket*Heather gray crew neck sweater*Over-sized navy blue sweater*Black v-neck cashmere

DRESS/SKIRT: Little black dress*Black pencil skirt

SHOES: Patterned flats*Black converse sneakers*Gray suede booties*Chelsea boots*Black Sandals

ACCESSORIES: Baseball cap*Black felt panama hat*Patterned scarf*Black purse*Navy and pale pink nail polish*Gold jewelry

 

Comment below if you want any particular links or ideas for any items for similar items! Our current favorite brands are also listed here.

A House Divided

Every four months or so my husband and I have the same “discussion”-what some might call an argument but who cares about labels? I reach a breaking point with the amount of things in the house and the constant cleaning so I go on a bender ripping through the house looking for things to get rid of. My husband usually follows behind removing things from the discard box saying “we might use this someday!!”

This scene is probably not foreign to many couples; there is not always perfect agreement when it comes to what is a “necessity”. My lovely husband is a keeper (in more than one way); he becomes sentimentally attached to EVERYTHING. When I tried to get rid of a pan that we had used in our first home he became very upset about it and insisted that we needed to keep it since we might need it. Mind you we had three other pans just like it so it was more about the memory for him than the usefulness.

This sort of interaction causes more than a little contention in my house. With this month of the balance project focusing on minimalism the “discussion” happened again. This time we decided to really have a sincere conversation and try to see the others point of view. I explained to my husband that the whole reason I wanted to downsize was to allow me more time with him and our daughter and less time with our home and things. He explained that he found use in the items that we wanted to keep and was nervous that I would simply throw everything out. I want to embrace minimalism to bring peace in my life and it seemed to be doing the opposite of that.

So what did we do? We realized that (not to be cliché) communication is everything. We decided that a compromise would be the best way to solve our problem. I agreed that my husband’s studio space was his and I would not try to minimize it and we would let me help him organize his space so that when he needed something he could find it. We took a trip to Ikea and invested in some storage facilitators agreeing that everything he might need at some point should be able to fit in that space. I do believe Ikea has both saved and severed many a relationship. 🙂 In conclusion there is no right way to be a minimalist, the key is to remember the goal is more mindful living and there is no perfect formula for that.

Snapseed Me and the hubby as portrayed by a very generous caricature artist