Simple Wardrobe

Too often we have closets that are crammed with additional bins of clothes in the garage or in a storage space. But the task of reducing our wardrobe to something manageable can seem overwhelming – daunting. We all know that a streamlined wardrobe makes life so much easier. You select from a few outfits that you know are flattering, comfortable, easy care and work for you. Likely, that’s why you wear the these basic outfits more than 80% of the time. These items are the workhorses of your wardrobe.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a quick way to pare back and streamline our wardrobes, create space in our closets, have outfits that always work and can be selected effortlessly?  Well, because I often travel for weeks with just ten items of clothing, I’ve developed a system for keeping my entire wardrobe to a minimum. It’s easy and it has been working great for me for a few years now. I’m happy to share my system with you and you can decide if it will work for you too.

Here are the basic rules that govern my system –

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Lately, because of traveling and other commitments I haven’t been able to post very often. We’ve been enjoying outdoor concerts, grilling farmers’ market vegies and gathering with friends. However, in spite of and in the midst of everyday living our garden is doing surprisingly great. With all the rain we’ve had and some extra help from my friend L, my flower pots are having a banner year. She gave me a formula (“thrill, fill, spill”) for planting the pots and introduced me to some plants I’ve never used before. It was really a fun experience working with her and discovering new textures, sizes and plant colors. They provide amazing color, scent and beauty every day. Take a look – enjoy!



FlowerPot 1-13


ZenGardenEven our Zen garden – with its herbs, scented flowers and native grasses is happy and content. Plus the wood is getting a nice weathered patina that I really enjoy.

This quote, also sent to me from my friend L, says something about what flowers and all things beautiful can bring to our lives;

26 Iyar 5773 | May 6, 2013, 41st Day of the Omer

Beauty takes us beyond the visible to the height of consciousness, past the ordinary to the mystical, away from the expedient to the endlessly true. Beauty sustains the human heart in the midst of pain and despair. Whatever the dullness of a world stupefied by the mediocre, in the end beauty is able, by penetrating our own souls, to penetrate the ugliness of a world awash in the cheap, the tawdry, the imitative, the excessive, and the cruel. To have seen a bit of the Beauty out of which beauty comes is a deeply spiritual experience. It shouts to us always, “More. There is yet more.”

Joan Chittister, Illuminated Life


Kitchen & Living Space Refresh

We live in a very small townhouse – more like a doll house really. Compared to the other homes I’ve lived in, it seems small, compact, efficient, easy to clean — and easy to decorate – or redecorate as the case may be.

You may recall that last year I revamped every room with an update – mainly using what we already had.

Our kitchen is dated looking, mainly due to the hunter green counter tops. Most often people will remark, “Just get a new counter top.” But there is nothing wrong with this counter top. To spend a ton of money just to change the color is a waste of resources. If I could afford to change a counter top just to change the color, that money ought be going to Mary’s Pence or another deserving organization. This is the reason we live more simply – to free up resources for those made poor by the policies of over-developed nations like the U.S.

Instead, better for me to get creative and think of something cost effective that works.

So . . . what do you do with a hunter green counter top? Is there anyway to update hunter green that looks fun and contemporary? I’ve tried bright orange, soft yellow and sage green. They were OK but nothing special. Today I tried something a little edgy on the back splash – a bright, yellow-green called “tangy apple.” It’s fun. Goes with cobalt blue glass mugs DH loves. We hung the mugs on a rail under the cabinets (Grundtal from IKEA). A soothing light grey (“silver cloud”) was painted above and wraps around the snack bar. Love the more contemporary feel. Take a look.

Meanwhile, switching out artwork in the living room along with two pillows and a throw (from another room) changes the feel of the living room. I added some candles for autumn.

Changing things up keeps them fresh – at least to my eyes. It’s also a way to be creative and see immediate results. For those of us who almost never get to see immediate results from our work, this is a welcome change.

You may also like Simple Living and Romantic “Porch” Before & After.

Of Thick Towels & Warm Comforters

Bathrooms and bedrooms don’t need to be large for me to enjoy them. I seek simpler creature comforts. During cold Minnesota winters thick towels, a down comforter and a soft throw make me smile – as seen in these tiny jewel boxes below.
Marie Claire Maison

Of course a pair of nice warm, wool slippers are always nice to pad around in, on tile floors or cold days. Add a scented candle and hot tea. Snuggle in.

You may also like Colorful Container Garden, Easy Summer Travel Wardrobe and Guest House to Go.

One Room Living

If you’ve been reading this blog you know that I enjoy exploring one-room and two-room living spaces. The earth’s resources are limited. Justice demands that we learn to be content with less, for two reasons; to repair our earth and to share excessive resources with our sisters and brothers who struggle with poverty and hunger.

Around the world people are learning to “lighten their lives” in fun and elegant ways.

Here’s a couple of good examples I’ve seen around blogland.

Don’t forget the Element Hotel green environmental apartments –

Element "Green" Hotel

You may also like “Dallas Snow-Over” or Patio Zen Garden.