- 115 :: picking backyard-garden-to-belly strawberries. no packaging or transport emissions necessary.
- 116 :: noticing + appreciating even the smallest beauty...that table in a less than optimal spot offering some beauty in concert with that stem left over from a spent bouquet of flowers which were rescued from being dumped elsewhere.
- 117 :: wearing a chosen uniform to work. perfectly functional. less to care for. no urge to shop. less choices to make.
- 118 :: visiting the local farm that will supply lots of our food this summer.
- 119 + 120 :: tailoring a thrifted pair of pants to fit like a glove...and returning the pants that I bought instead.
- 121 :: picking up other people's rubbish (even though I don't like doing it).
- 122 + 123 :: freezing excess strawberries from our garden to preserve them for later + then making ice cream out of them.
- 124 :: choosing period underwear instead of disposable liners.
June has been hot, and the outfit I've been reaching for most is this one. It's made up of a pair of linen shorts + fitted tee. I knew I loved these shorts from Black Crane the moment I saw them. They somehow feel very modern + minimal to me..and at the same time they remind me of summers in the (not so modern + minimal) late 80's. Shorts weren't so short, and clothing was oversized. Summer, for me, was full of sun-kissed shoulders + sand between my toes.
Today, I wear these shorts with a little tee that reminds me of 90's, tiny tees worn over + under slip dresses. Tiny-tee summers were, for me, full of a different coastline's sand + salty breezes. This summer, these two pieces feel just right together. There is no sand where I live these days, but we have a trip planned. This outfit will come along to the beach, no doubt.
-Black Crane shorts :: made in the USA from natural materials - linen :: they get wrinkly + it just doesn't matter to me
-It is Well LA tee :: made in California from natural materials - cotton + modal :: this tee has held up well to weekly wear over more than a year
-Birkenstocks :: made in Germany from leather, cork + synthetic material :: I wear these year round with socks or without
My small wardrobe offers plenty of variety...but also...I have no problem wearing my favorite things (also know as "the same things") over + over again! :)
The dollars spent added up quicker than the days did this month...meaning there were more meals to be made when we'd spent most of our food budget. It's discouraging to be sure...but on a day where I felt more determined than defeated...I saw the bright side.
And so...making the most out of all those bright sides...the last four meals we ate were made with a laugh + what must have been a bit of magic. Oh, and they got compliments too! Ha! Here's what I've got to say about that:
A few good meals to consider when seeking to stave off the next trip to the grocery store:
My thoughts have turned toward things I'd like to change about my kitchen periodically over the course of years we've inhabited it. In all the homes in which we've lived, I've focused on ways to change things that cost little + are often subtractive rather than additive.
Here, I've removed most of the doors on our upper cabinets + painted all of the insides + outsides clean, light reflective white. This provides open shelving for functional ceramics + jars full of bulk ingredients. The bottom cupboards were painted a warm, latte tone that doesn't fight with the red tones in the flooring which came with the house. Drawer + cabinet pulls were swapped out, cracks were caulked, the ceiling was painted, and we got down to living.
These days, we're thinking we might be able to embark on a bigger shift, and it's both thrilling + terrifying. Money is a big barrier...and so are my thoughts regarding waste. It's difficult to reconcile thoughts of ripping out a finished kitchen just because I have a desire for a different one. No matter how "eco-friendly" the new choices are, doing nothing at all is usually the most environmentally-conscious choice.
Minimalism is often useful both monetarily + environmentally. Most of the changes I'd like to make, at this stage, are again subtractive rather than additive: removing a wall, upper cabinets, soffit, and the dishwasher (which we haven't used in eleven years). I've thought through the value of each item I'd like to keep in the pared down space. My hope is that everything would be useful + nothing would be superfluous.
People like to caution that removing storage space in the kitchen always leads to regret. I'm not worried. There is a wall that could be great lined with tall cabinets, if we (or the next home owners) decide to add them. I'm so grateful for the mind shifts that I've lived into over the years. It feels like freedom + confidence + lightness.
As far as additions go, I'd like to add a larger window which means the addition of lots of light. One long, wall-spanning shelf would provide space for those functional ceramics + jars. For now, that's it. Space, light + clean lines are what I'm after...because it's all just the frame for all the rest...laughter, stories, good food, hugs, rest, celebration, life.
To be hopeful in bad times
is not just foolishly romantic.
It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty,
but also of
What we choose to emphasize
in this complex history will determine our lives.
If we see only the worst, it destroys
our capacity to do something.
If we remember those times and places--
and there are so many--
where people have behaved
this gives us the energy to act,
and at least the possibility
of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act,
in however small a way,
we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
The future is an infinite succession of presents,
and to live now
as we think human beings should live,
of all that is bad around us,
is itself a marvelous
A conversation regarding yesterday's US Supreme Court decision led to talk of core values. I firmly believe that the simpler we can make our core values...the easier it is for them to inform our beliefs + actions. My most core value is love. Simple.
There will always be abortions. Banning safe abortion is not love. Creating suspicion, criminality + lack of access to treatment around miscarriage + nonviable pregnancy are not love.
Oh, yes they (and we) can.
How will it be used it?
A theme of "possible" runs through the links this week. It's up to all of us to choose the sort of world we want to live in + to act in that direction. We are all influencers.
Have a thoughtful weekend, friends.
Simple living is about freedom.
It’s about a freedom to choose space rather than clutter,
to choose open and generous living
rather than a secure and sheltered way.
Freedom is about choices:
Freedom to choose less rather than more.
It’s about choosing time for people and ideas and self-growth
rather than for maintenance and guarding and possessing and cleaning.
Simple living is about moving through life rather lightly,
delighting in the plain and the subtle.
It is about poetry and dance, song and art, music and grace.
It is about optimism and humor,
gratitude and appreciation.
It is about embracing life with wide-open arms.
It’s about living and giving with no strings attached.
Simple living is as close as the land on which we stand.
It is as far-reaching as the universe that makes us gasp.
We will not be happy living selfishly in a small world.
We must live in awareness
and in association with the whole real world.
Our universe. Our cosmos. Our environment. Our earth.
Our air. Our water supply. Our country. Our neighbor.
Our car. Our homes.
All are part of simple living.
I had a hard time thinking of what outfit I'd highlight for May. The weather was quite rainy + then it was hot + then it was cooler again. When it comes down to it...the outfit that I wore most in May is the one I have worn almost every day for the past year. It's the outfit I wear to work as a coffee roaster: a tee, jeans, socks, trainers + a watch.
I thought I'd check in with myself + answer a few of the questions I'd have had about wearing the same thing every day...before I did it. :)
Do I get tired of wearing the same thing every day?
Not really. There are times that I think I'd like to have some different things to wear, but I don't think I've actually felt that way as I'm getting dressed for the day. Whenever I've worn something else...like a button-up or a sweatshirt...I find out why it that piece doesn't work as well as my regulars. A sweatshirt is usually too hot + a button-up gets in my way. I wore different shoes one day + immediately stained them with coffee. On the other hand, this outfit just works.
Do my coworkers notice that I wear the same thing every day?
I don't know...maybe. They most often wear some version of this uniform too...though they probably have more of each item.
How are my clothes holding up?
I spend most of my time on my feet, dragging 150 lb sacks of green coffee, carrying the chaff bucket out to the dumpster, lifting + pouring + bagging + shipping coffee beans. My clothes have to work hard + get dirty + sweaty too. I not only wear these shoes to work, but work out in them too. They've logged a lot of miles this year. Everything has held up very well.
What are the benefits of wearing the same thing every day?
There are so many!
Will you do it for another year?
Quite possibly, yes! Maybe I'll find the perfect pair of overalls or start wearing my olive pants to work (I'd like them with a different pair of shoes). I'm not looking to make a change...but I haven't really made a commitment to only wearing this uniform either. It just kinda worked out that way...and it does work.
Do you wear a sort of uniform to work? I'd love to hear.
Would you consider a cotton "swimsuit"? I grew up in a beach town going to the beach a lot more often than I do these days. I've had a couple cotton swimsuits, and I don't remember the cotton being too much of an issue (not that I swim a ton)...so...yes. Yes, I am considering wearing a cotton swimsuit on our beach vacation this summer. :)
My minimalist heart loves the idea of a two-piece option that just so happens to double as an "everyday necessity". It's all in the perspective, right?
My perspective is greatly helped along by seeing these types of items worn in the beach-like spots. :) (Thank you, Pansy.)
The reviews of this Beklina suit are pretty convincing. Their one-piece suit looking great as a top offers some (more) minimal vacation-packing inspiration. ARQ's leotard has a similar vibe. Ok, I'm excited for summer now. (The sunshine + warm breezes help too.)
All lovely photos via links.
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time