Minimalist Wardrobe inventory…

The sun is out for the first time this week, I’m sitting in my comfy pajamas, and eating a yummy paleo pizza that I made yesterday…life is good 🙂

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Before I really dive into the topic of my wardrobe I wanted to give a few brief updates. The first is that, as promised, I started up a batch of apple cider vinegar…this picture was from day 1, and today is day 8. Its looking a lot more like ACV now 🙂

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I also have been doing pretty well about not spending on unnecessary items. For the month of January I have spent a total of twelve dollars besides my regular bills. $2 was on a lotto ticket that I said yes to before I remembered that I wasn’t buying anything, the other $10 were on a pair of fuzzy slippers. (mainly because I am wearing holes in my socks walking around in them all day).

Besides that, everything has been going really well.

Now, onto the wardrobe…

Let me start by saying that my original wardrobe took up my entire closet as well as every square inch of dresser space…it was overwhelming to say the least. In the past year I have downsized my wardrobe to probably 25% of what it used to be.

I am loving the extra space that I have now, everything has space to breathe. WIN_20160121_125829

Now I’ll admit it, there is still a bit more than I am comfortable with. This is my closet currently, I also have a dresser with the smaller things like Tank-tops, underwear, leggings etc. But as of January first I hung all of my clothing backwards. (the hangars are facing the opposite way) as I wear the pieces, I am putting them back the regular way, this way by the end of summer I should have a pretty good idea of what I actually wear and what I don’t. Anything that hasn’t been worn will be donated. I’m pretty sure I already know a few of the pieces that will go, but I’m going to give it until the end of summer to find out.

I wanted to give you a quick inventory of my current wardrobe, it isn’t extremely minimalist, but it is minimalist for ME. Here we go…

  • 7 Dresses
  • 7 skirts (I think that 2-3 will be gone at the end of summer)
  • 8 Cardigans
  • 2 Hoodies
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 2 Dress pants
  • 1 pair of Capris
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 3 pairs of workout shorts
  • 1 workout capris
  • 1 pair of sweat pants
  • 5 long PJ pants
  • 1 Capri PJ pant
  • 4 PJ shorts
  • 3 Pj tops
  • 4 T-shirts
  • 8 Tank tops
  • 1 workout top
  • 2 leggings
  • 1 long underwear
  • 4 gowns
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair of panty hose
  • More underwear than I am willing to count (my one minimalist weakness)
  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 16 shirts/sweaters
  • 4 scarves
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 3 hats
  • 8 pairs of shoes
  • 2 coats

Now I do live in a place with 4 very distinct seasons, so this might seem like a lot. I am still in the process to minimizing to what I use/need and nothing more. It may not seem possible, but I can fit my entire wardrobe in my luggage that consists of 1 suitcase, 4 duffle and 1 small carry-on bag…before that used to only fit my winter clothes. 🙂

Baby steps.

What does your wardrobe look like? Do you have an area that you would like to minimize further?

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Review of Rob Greenfield’s book: Dude making a difference

Hi guys, I normally do not post book reviews, but recently I was able to read the book Dude making a difference by Rob Greenfield.

This book is a journal-like account of Rob’s trip on bike across the United States from California to Vermont. This type of journey account isn’t something that would normally excite me, except for the fact that he attempted to be as close to Zero-Waste as humanly possible on his hundred day trip.

He went so far as to avoid electricity (except for a solar panel he used for his laptop), water from faucets, and food with packaging. He even went dumpster diving behind grocery stores 🙂 Now, it was an extreme experiment, and I don’t think I would ever be able to complete that sort of journey myself…but I did enjoy how he pointed out small ways that you can reduce your own waste at home.

My favorite quote from the book is “I learned that by living simply I can live free. The less complicated I make my life, the more time I have to do what I love and what’s good for me.”

Amen to that Rob!

So if you are in the mood for vicariously living an adventure across the U.S. waste-free I would recommend that you check his book out. It’s a very easy read that will make you look at life a little differently. P.s. it says right on his website that all of the proceeds from the book are donated to 1% for the Planet nonprofits!

Check out his website too at www.RobGreenfield.tv/dude

Have you read the book, if so what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

Minimizing Food Waste

Food waste can be the king of all waste for some…I should know, I used to throw away/discard food all the time and never thought twice about it. That is, until I started becoming a minimalist and zero-waster.

Simplify. Yes, simplify, that is the key to eliminating food waste. We all have those 5-10 dishes that we make incredibly well and are our go-to meals. I have found that by keeping my shopping to those ingredients for those dishes I have generated a lot less waste.

“but Candice, isn’t eating the same thing boring?”

That’s the thing, I buy the same staple ingredients, but that doesn’t mean that I have to use them in the same way every time I cook with them.

Let me give you an example…

A staple in my diet is potatoes, whether they be purple, white, or red. But I know at least seven or eight different ways to cook the potatoes, and that way I have one ingredient but I can use it a bunch of different ways. Whether you mash, roast, fry, put them in a stew, etc. It doesn’t matter, it’s one thing that I buy that does many different things.

Another brilliant example is coconut oil. This stuff is literally a miracle, it can be used for cooking, baking, in toothpaste, as a lotion, moisturizer, conditioner, etc. It does a million things, but I am only buying one jar at the grocery store.

Basically I buy things that can do double duty 🙂

So here’s an example of a recent grocery list:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Onions
  3. Garlic
  4. Bananas
  5. Apples
  6. Oranges
  7. Mango
  8. spaghetti squash
  9. Coconut oil
  10. Vinegar
  11. Eggs (pasture raised)
  12. Lemon
  13. And usually some sort of meat (local, pasture raised and grass fed.)

This may not seem like much, but I know how to use each ingredient in a few ways.Not only does this decrease food waste (because you know you are going to use your ingredients) but it also saves you money, because you aren’t buying a bunch of things that you don’t need/won’t use/ will go bad before use.

How I use a lemon:

  1. The zest can be used in salad dressings and cooking.
  2. The juice I use for cooking and dressings.
  3. I also use the juice for cleaning and for sugaring.
  4. What’s left over after that gets nuked with some water to clean out the microwave.
  5. And lastly, anything left over hoes in the compost.

Another way I cut back on food waste is by eating at least 90% of what is in my fridge/pantry before I make my next grocery trip.

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Yep, you read that right, before.

This cuts back on waste and it makes things interesting because I end up with a few random ingredients left at the end of each week that I get to play around with to make a new dish. Hence the “it doesn’t get boring” part 🙂

Lastly, I always compost any food scraps that I have left over at the end. So 0% of my food ends up in the trash can.

 

Home-made Condiments :)

Hi everyone, I hope you’re enjoying the New Year. I wanted to update you guys on my resolutions, as well as a few other challenges I have been a part of. I also wanted to show you the Condiments that I made today in less than 15mins.

First off, I’m coming up on my six month mark of being make-up free….and I really am not missing make-up as much as I thought I would. Actually, it is much easier to get ready in the morning without it…although I do sometimes wish that I had a bit of eye-liner, I figure once July roles around that I might try my hand at making my own make-up (mostly just eye liner and maybe a bit of powder). But all is going well on that front.

Secondly, is my resolutions….have you stuck with yours? I mostly have. I am just a few days away from being completely finished with my editing of my novel. I also have been following the no-spend 2016 challenge…except for $2, I spent it on a lotto ticket. Feeling kinda guilty, but it just doubles my resolve to keep denying myself and sticking to my minimalist budget.

Besides that, I finally switched my banking to sending me emailed statements instead of paper, reducing my paper clutter 🙂 I also wanted to spend more time in nature…but given the fact that it is only 17 degrees out, that isn’t going to happen until it warms up a bit lol.

The last one, which is what I started today…was to start making more things at home. Zero-wasting by using what I already have, and minimizing the things I need to buy.

Sooo…

I tried my hand out at making my own condiments today, and it turned out pretty well. WIN_20160111_142711From left to right we have barbeque sauce, mayonnaise, and a balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was the easiest, this jar has 3 lines on it that say V, W, O. Pretty much measuring out the vinegar, water, and oil that makes up the salad dressing. I already had the balsamic vinegar and the oil, so I was using ip what I already had, without having to buy a new bottle of salad dressing.
The mayonnaise was a bit trickier, the first batch turned out badly so I nixed the lemon and just used egg yolks, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and oil. I had all of them on hand already 🙂 It’s pretty yummy and less than half the cost of what I would pay for the same amount at the store…win-win!

Barbeque sauce…I’m still playing around with the recipe for this one, but each batch turns out pretty good. Basically it’s tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, sugar, honey, and some cornstarch and water to thicken it up.

So, all in all it was a successful experiment, and now I won’t have to buy condiments anymore. (for those of you who are wondering, I don’t really use ketchup which is why I didn’t make any)

I also had some extra time so I squeezed some fresh OJ…

WIN_20160111_144625Next stop…home-made Apple cider vinegar!

Baby Steps in the kitchen

Now that it is officially 2016, I am in a minimizing/zero-wasting motivational high. These past few days alone I have gone through my things and donated an entire garbage bag full of unused items.

Most of you know that I live with three other people, which can make minimizing and zero-wasting tricky…I think of it as a challenge.

I started this journey by doing a bathroom/bedroom makeover…I donated copious amounts of clothing that no longer fit/I didn’t wear, I completely re-did my bathroom routine swapping out brand names for home-made toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

These two areas were the “safe” areas. A.K.A. the ones that no one would complain about because it only affected myself.

Now I am moving on to the kitchen, the kitchen has always been a point of contention within my family. I think that we have waaayyy to many items in the kitchen, everything from gadgets to utensils that we never use. They however think that we “need” every item although I do most of the cooking and never use them.

Safe to say that we agree to disagree on the point. Anywho, One of my family members is out of town and I am determined to prove that most of our kitchen “daily mess” is his, not mine. So I started by cleaning everything in the kitchen, and I mean Everything.

Our kitchen counter tends to be a dumping ground for dirty dishes, etc. I cleared it all up, and with permission from my mother I boxed up half of our dishes, and donated a few unused items. I kept just enough dishes for us to use, four people and we now have 6 large plates in rotation instead of 20.

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It has cut down on the counter clutter, that and a new rule that anyone who uses a dish must wash it immediately when finished. It is easier to wash one than fifty.

So far I will say that it is working beautifully. I also went through and got rid of expired pantry items, and am determined to use most of the items left in there before I go grocery shopping again.

Another part of my kitchen clean up involved shelving our toaster, it used to sit out on the counter and was only used once a day at most. It now has a home underneath the counter and can be pulled out when used then put away. It frees up enough counter space for me to have my temporary compost bin and fruit bowl on the countertop, both of which I use multiple times daily. I think it looks sort of pretty, what do you think?

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Now of course there are going to be things that I cannot change, like the giant pack of ramen noodles on the shelf in the first picture (my brothers) and the dish drain that I think is rather unnecessary but the rest of the family uses. But I think it is a nice start.

I also have been using my mason jars and the bulk section at the store for my shelf in the pantry…

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I also have done a bit of experimenting today, I ventured into making my own barbeque sauce, which was easy enough to make since we had most of the ingredients on hand already. I also made my own salad dressing.

Check out my Zero-Waste dinner:

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From left to right: 1 salad with avocado. 1 jar of home-made BBQ sauce, 1 jar of home-made vinaigrette, 3 small pieces of flank steak (grass fed), 1 glass of home-made mango/orange/apple juice, and finally 1 mashed purple potato with garlic.

It was delicious 🙂

What changes have you made in your kitchen?