Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Dressing with Less

Project 333's blog offered a chance to write about your own personal experiences with the concept of capsule clothing projects.

I really enjoyed the challenge of downsizing. Always have. I was that person in college, who purged their paper pile before they went home for the holidays. And now, even with the fact that I live in a 1,500 sq foot house, I try to squelch any clutter as quickly as possible.

We bought an extra wardrobe when we first moved into our house because the closet in our bedroom is long and narrow. I also had a three drawer nightstand and a dresser to house clothes. Slowly, but surely, I began whittling down my clothes. (I really loathe doing laundry.)

I never sought to stick with 33 items for 3 months, so I only purchased two accessories, a pair of shoes and a shirt since July 1st. But I try to stick to the one in, one out method. For the aforementioned purchases, I am donating a pair of earrings to make room for the pair purchased and the pair of shoes were a pair of boots I'd been eyeing for awhile, from Modcloth, that went on super sale. I'm donating my old four year pair of boots that had become a bit faded in color.

Upsides of less:
-Laundry is so much easier. I do about two full loads a week (husband's and I clothing together).
-I don't have to paw through piles in the morning.
-Our closet usually looks like this (when there isn't stuff hanging to dry from laundry):

-I spend less overall, even though when I do buy, I may spend more per piece. Quality over quantity.
-I usually haunt thrift stores, so there are less new pieces (and waste from making of said new product) introduced overall.

-I still have the urge to splurge because ooh, shiny! when I'm out. But I've learned that very rarely do splurge purchases pay off. I usually end up hating them, honestly.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Beauty in the midst of ugliness The public library is a makeshift school.

Honoring #MikeBrown

Ferguson residents line a parade of roses down W Florissant, leading to where Mike Brown was taken from this world.

YES  This definitely needs to be a thing.


Yeah, because nothing could go wrong with this set up

On August 20th

(Photo credit:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Grown-up Curtains

We have large bay windows that open up to our backyard and while those are glorious, the treatments are not.

Yeah, that's some sexy stuff.

Found these at Lowe's, along with two 96 inch rods. They are both a gorgeous dark brown, which ended up working well with the wood panels.

The husband working on measuring. We got two rods instead of just one because a. we wouldn't have been able to fit a giant one in the car and b. we were worried about bowing.

Behold! It adds more light and boldness to the room, especially since we hung them much higher. The lining still needs to be added, so the old ones are still up, but hidden.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More on #Ferguson

If you aren't reading Jesse Williams tumblr, I feel bad for you.

Pictures from 8/18

The last picture made my blood run cold. Here is a vine of it.

& from over the weekend

Perspective indeed

THE fuck?!

Yes. & This is still a community People will still live, work, etc here after the cameras stop rolling.

Please do not fall prey to the media’s game. Anger at the actions of the police in Ferguson is totally justified, but in the midst of that we cannot allow the people who are living with the situation every day to be dehumanized. Despite all this tragedy and chaos going on around them, they’re still a community and in many ways they’re pulling through all of it together. They want peace. Anyone looting or burning things down is a very small portion of the community. The whole story is so much bigger.

A story doesn’t need tear gas to be interesting. We need to hear every side of this story, not just the horrific parts.


(photo credit:

90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein arrested for peacefully protesting today in Ferguson.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Summertime

Almost the end of summer already. I'm glad for the warmth, and kinda wary about winter again.

How kick ass is this?

That’s precisely the situation facing San Francisco’s estimated 6,436 homeless residents, who currently have just seven places in the city where they can shower.

Motivated by the belief that everyone has the right to be clean, Doniece Sandoval founded LavaMae, a non-profit with an innovative idea: take old, unused city buses and retrofit them with fully functioning showers for homeless people to use. Last weekend, LavaMae, a play on the Spanish word for “wash me,” launched its first mobile bus.

The truth right here

My cat would be doing the same thing

Nope, no racism here  Disgusting. Marissa Alexander is still being denied justice.

Watch this and try not to smile

How beautiful is this view? Or this one?

Stupid AP for your victim blaming. Ugh

Absolutely disgusting My heart goes out to the families.

Their names and lives matter.

Simplicity I really need to try some of these tips. I hate feeling the need to catch up with so much.

May he rest in peace Our Genie.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Witness account to Mike Brown's murder

Solidarity, but damn


The conflict on Monday wasn't just about Brown, but also the result of years of racial tension given a sudden shove. Likewise, tweets, videos and images from the scene on the ground demonstrate that the authorities in Ferguson did their part maintaining an atmosphere of mutual hostility.

This video caught by CNN shows a white officer telling Ferguson residents to "bring it, all you fucking animals"

From the Washington Post

He was illegally instructed to stop taking video of officers. Then he followed officers’ instructions to leave a McDonald’s — and after contradictory instructions on how to exit, he was slammed against a soda machine and then handcuffed. That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news. The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous.

After being placed in a holding cell, he was released with no charges and no explanation. He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him.

More info

(Photo Credit:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: The Big Tiny

The fact that I ended up checking out this book from my local library was a complete accident. Last year, I was looking up books on happiness and came across this book as a Recommended Read. I, on a whim, reserved it at the library. Loved it and she mentions frequently that Dee Williams was an inspiration for the changes she made in her life.

Clearly, I had to reserve The Big Tiny as soon as I could at the library.

Williams is living "the American Dream" like the rest of us; desk job, car and recently acquired homeownership status and all of the expenses/headaches that go along with it when she collapsed and discovered a very serious health issue.While at the doctor's office, she flipped open a magazine to read an article about a man who built his own house, but in miniature. After flying out to meet him, the author becomes inspired to do the same thing.

And does just that. Her house size? 84 square feet.

The Big Tiny traces Williams' journey from sketching plans for her eventual house, to buying a trailer from an interesting group of Russians, fighting with various pieces of wood, downsizing almost of all of her possessions, and then setting up shop in a dear friend's backyard.

A reader couldn't help but be slightly jealous of her daily routine, which involves waking up under a skylight and drinking coffee on the front porch to watch the sunrise. She doesn't have indoor plumbing and has a weak internet signal, which forces her to interact with her community and with nature, which begins about four feet from her head.

Williams' experiences aren't all pleasant, but she ends the book, asking, " Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs...when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart..."

A very good question to ask. This memoir was a lot of fun to read. Williams does not take herself seriously at all and when I finished this book, I realized the nearly 300 pages flew by because it felt like I was talking to a friend over drinks. A recommended read for anyone's bookshelf.

(Photo Credit:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: I have a new best friend. His name is Working Dishwasher

I've had to handwash my dishes upon many an occasion; three years in college (one glorious year, the bestie and I had an apartment that had a working dishwasher. Glorious times. Until we had a bottle of Arbor Mist explode in the freezer. Judgement freeze zone, people, we were lacking the wherewithal to buy good booze. Moving on.) and when the husband and I lived in a studio.

I thought I would never have to again, until this year. As noted, our old dishwasher crapped out after the holidays and we've been meaning to purchase one, but you know how it goes.

Then we woke up last Saturday to my mother calling. My mother is a thrift store/yard sale fiend. So she bought us a $15 dishwasher at a yard sale. Husband actually got photographed loading the thing into the back of his car by the local paper. That will be framed as soon as I get my paws on it.

Anyway, since we still had to deal with the old pipe issues, we got new adapters (after digging through hundreds of options at Home Depot) and we were able to reuse part of the old pipe.

Once we had the pipe secured, we dragged the old dishwasher out. I apologize for that scream last Thursday night.

We were greeted with this:
Yeah. The entire back of the old dishwasher was covered in crap too. Our best guess is that when they put in the dishwasher, they did so with a sledgehammer. The yellow insulation is supposed to be inside the walls, people.

We had already planned to update the kitchen cabinets and now we'll have to completely take down the drywall, too. But since we can see the original wood framing (yes, that's bad too, future homeowners) that looks in really good shape. So the damage is mainly cosmetic. My wallet just sighed in relief.

I wanted to clean that all out before we put the new dishwasher in, so I donned a respirator. But first, trolled my cat.

She was not as amused as I was.

It's the latest style. Clearly.

And then, pretties! Yes, the floor will probably be updated too.

And now......

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This shirt is complicated. My husband and I call each other hubby and wifey and it doesn't bother me. But wearing a shirt that states the same thing does. Why?

I first saw it mentioned on A Cup of Jo, as a sweatshirt. I thought it was definitely cute. I think the Mrs. necklace from Kate Spade is cute, as are new family names the Smith family, est. 2014. They are trinkets, announcing a new identity. One could argue that a-you don't need anything beyond a wedding band or b-you don't absolutely need to announce a change to the world. But I wanted the cute stuff, the kitchsy Pinterest identity come to life. Humans want to fit in and I'm no different. Maybe I wanted a tangible way to show, aww, cute, we're a new team.

Maybe I liked the shirt because my husband and I each kept our names (I use the phrase specifically because the onus is almost always on the woman). I don't use Mrs. either.

I'll say it outright, it's hard being one of two women in a group of married couples who kept her birth (maiden name, can you please die a slow death?) name. I've been told I'm not really a real wife because I kept my name, a fact my father-in-law loves to ignore come Christmas card season. When I asked him why he refused to use my name, I was told my real title was Mrs. Husband's Last Name. You can imagine why I'm not close with this man.

I also haven't fully accepted the "wife" part of my identity. Four and a half years in, you would think otherwise, but I'm a stubborn one. I worry about being seen as only a wife-nothing else. But is it bad to be seen as a wife? I'm not ashamed or regret being married and I realize it doesn't cancel out the rest of me. But since there is such a focus on women's relationships as being the sum total of their being, being married kinda takes precedence over my other identities: college graduate, photographer, etc.

I'm not sure if I'll ever feel completely comfortable with the wife title. I've seen marriages go horribly wrong but I've also seen beautiful love stories. Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I think it will be an ongoing process and confronting, in a good way, what marriage is and what I can make it, which will include how I label myself.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Less and less

I've recently come across this website and I'm bookmarking almost every article. I read this one today and it struck a chord with so many things I'm trying to accomplish this year.

It will all get done, or it won’t. Either way, you will be ok. You can start stopping the madness by calling a catch up truce with the following:

  • Blog reading. If your blog reader is full and you have hundreds or thousands of posts waiting for your attention, start over. Declare blog reading bankruptcy and hit “clear all”. This might be a good time to assess what’s in your blog reader too. Did you add a paleo blog last year and now you are more interested in updates from a vegan blogger? Were you following a blogger that changed focus and lost your interest? It’s ok to remove blogs from your feed. There is more goodness to come. Make room for what means most to you right now.
  • Social media. If you haven’t checked Twitter or Facebook in days, you are not obligated to read everything that was posted while you were gone. You didn’t miss a thing and chances are, whatever you missed will be repeated.
  • Entertainment. You don’t need the latest TV, books, movies, games, music to be completely fulfilled. It will all be available if and when you are ready and if you are never ready, that’s ok too. Letting it go feels so much better than keeping up with it all.
I've had books on my Amazon "To Read" list since I graduated college. I've had books on my shelves just as long.

I'm taking this year to clear out the clutter: I've gotten rid of close to 75 books, cut down my Twitter and Feedly lists and purged my file cabinet and hard drive.

I realize I have better things to do than endlessly chase or organize or clean things in my life. I joked with a friend that it was time to shit or get off the pot. If the books on my list or shelves aren't read by the end of the year, they get donated.

We have so many items that fight for our attention on a daily basis, why not cut the fat and truly enjoy the things we love?