simplicity

simplicity

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“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury - to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.”
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Im back!……. Now lets play a game.

You may of missed me or perhaps you didn't. But I am back and ready to play a game…. Would you would like to join me?

For the past 9 months I have successfully not purchased anything new and have personally contributed less and less to landfill. I have found myself to be less materialistic in so many ways and purchasing things does not even enter my mind space anymore. Although knowing that I can't buy anything new has caused me to hold onto things just in case I need them. So for the next 30 days I will be once again culling the crap….just in time for spring too! 

This month (well the next 30 days) I will me playing The Minimalism Game. Its brought to you by The Minimalists.  

The rules are quite simple:-

On day one - get rid of one thing
On day two - get rid of two things
On day three - get rid of three things 
On day four - get rid of four things, and so on and so on until you reach the 30 day mark.

Now so far its smooth sailing but as the days and weeks go past I think it will get quite hard. Wish me luck! 

If you think you are up for it join me, or perhaps you have a friend that would enjoy the game too. I would be interested to hear how you go or help with any ideas of what to get rid of.

Remember to subscribe or follow me on instagram to follow my progress.


Stay Simple.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Win the waiting game

All our lives we are taught to wait for things. We might find this frustrating, time waisting or boring. Remember time is a valuable thing and we can use it wisely

The wait for the an appointment, the time in between meetings, waiting for a friend, ad breaks or even waiting for a lunch order are great blocks of time to get stuff done. A large task like rearranging the house or writing a report can take hours or even days but large tasks can be broken up into short very achievable tasks. 

Some of the worlds great minds used their waiting time well. Thomas Edison set up a laboratory in the baggage car and between selling sandwiches on the train he conducted experiments. Great Canadian physician Sir William Osler had very little time to peruse his lifelong interest in books. However he set aside 15 minutes a day and complied an annotated bibliography of his library with over 7000 entries.

The best way to get started is to carry a running list of small tasks. Smart phones are great for this as they are usually near by at all times. Even the old fashioned note book and pencil in your pocket or handbag is a great way to jot down things people tell you, important things to remember or ideas that spring to mind. If you are off to an appointment take a book with you and your notebook and pencil. 

Things that feature on my running list
Tidy car
Shopping list
Clean out linen cupboard
Draft blogs
Proof-read assignment
Fertilise plants
Email friends overseas 
Organise photos on my computer
Book in medical appointments

Some decluttering things you can get done in 10 mins
Clean out kitchen draws, going one at a time makes it feel easy and less time consuming.
Sort laundry
Cull 5 items from the wardrobe you don't need
Make a list
Sort email folders
Make a rubbish, tip or donation pile in the garage or near the front door
Tidy pantry
Clean out fridge
Do a quick tidy and dust.

Instead of jumping on Facebook, having that snack or turning on the TV try knocking some things off your list. You will surprised what you can achieve over time and how simplified things can feel.

Stay simple

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Morning rituals

How are you in the mornings? Are you the spawn of Satan? Or do you wake up nice and early, get everything done and float out the door with birds carting your lunch and bag?

It's safe to say I am not a morning person, especially with the season change into winter. I'm possibly the worst person to get out of bed. I snooze for approximately 45 minutes and I do absolutely nothing, except for dip my body in water, brush my teeth, make a mild attempt to make my face look more awake, put on some clothes and get out the door. My morning ritual is terrible. It makes me late for work and I feel frazzled on occasions. I must say my mid week meal prep has improved during meat free may but things could still get better.

I'm constantly finding myself blaming time for everything. Never is there enough of it! However there are 2 untapped hours in the morning that I need to claim back! If I woke up earlier I could tick off so many more things from my list of things to do. I could actually find time to exercise or catch up on reading. The mornings are also generally quiet and people free, two of my most favourite things. 

So this week I have been testing ways to work towards a 6am wake-up,compared to a 7.50 peel out of bed.

I have been stuck in my ways for some time, I couldn't just go cold turkey! I needed to ween myself off sleep-ins. Each day I tried to wake up 15 minutes early. Now that can't be too hard can it? Pffftt I tried for 3 days and didn't get any closer to an earlier wake up.

Ways that have helped me get up earlier.

Be a granny
Going to bed early really helped as the days went by. I took 15 mins from the morning and went to bed 30 mins early at night, I was actually getting MORE sleep time by the close of the week.

De-clutter your space
Tidying before bed ensures you have a carefree experience in the morning and can get cracking on other tasks (other than cleaning). Tidying up also tires you out so you drift off to sleep quick smart.

Sugarless 
No sugar in the evening will make falling asleep a breeze. You can also meditate or use a sleep sound app to get you off to the land of nod.

Affirmations
Now for me getting to sleep is the easiest part, waking up is where it gets tough. So I have come up with some morning affirmations to help my mind get that extra kick in the butt it needs in the morning. Maybe you would like to try them, all you have to do is say the affirmations out loud. You can even make up your own.
Today is going to be a good day
I am looking forward to the tasks ahead
I will give today my best shot and
I will be mindful in everything I do.

Hearing the words come out of my mouth is a great way to wake up. The words wake up the mind and the soul and really start off the day in a great way.

Natural light
Opening up curtains and blinds before bed lets all that natural light shine in and wake you up, you could even end up waking up before your alarm some days. Fancy that!!!

Think of all the cool stuff
When going to bed try and make a small and achievable things to do list in your head. Don't think of it as chores but get excited about it! It will help you jump out of bed.

Don't waste the time!
Don't check emails, Facebook or Instagram. Use your new found time to get stuff done that you don't usually have time for.

Don't give up
As the days have gone by I have had successes and failures. I have managed to get out of bed earlier and am no longer late to work. I haven't quite reached a 6am workout sesh yet but I'm getting there slowly. Practise makes perfect!


I would love to hear your feedback on your morning rituals! You can contact me in the comment box.

Stay simple.





Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Meat free May

Did you know? That 14.5% of Greenhouse Gases emitted each year are caused from meat production and over fishing has also led to decrease in fish stocks. Experts estimate that many species are close to extinction as a result of the meat industry. Sustainability wise this is not a good thing. Much more needs to be done to ensure our future resources are sustainable. 

Population is also on the rise and it is predicted that by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on Earth. It doesn’t mean that we are doomed, if we start making a conscious effort to eat meat free or even less meat we can make a difference.

Now it’s one thing to eat meat free, but it’s another to actually look what is contained in the foods that you eat that are not plainly seen as meat. For example gelatine is an animal derived product.  Even some alcoholic products are not vego friendly. Did you know that most make up items contain animal products? Bit gross hey? Check and see what your products contain. Also see what vegan makeup I have been using – why my skin feels so awesome!

So this May I’m going Meat Free. It’s going to be hard as I do love a good Big Mac or chicken stir-fry but I think I can do it. There are tons of recipes out there these days and will post some good ones as the weeks pass. Planning my shopping list  each week is going to be important now and I will need to be more organised with my meals. I think leftovers will be my saviour too!

Benefits of being a vegetarian
  • You are reducing the amount of greenhouse gases, energy and pollution the meat industry creates.
  • You are saving the space, resources and man power it is taken to grow the food that is needed to feed the animals we eat.
  • Less water is being used to both water the crops and fill the animals we are eating.
  • You are culling less of the fish population.
  • You may experience less heath issues (heart disease) as a result of less meat consumption.
  • You know what is in the food you eat, after all you are what you eat. 
  • Finally, you are not killing little cows, lambs, pigs and fish who are not able to put up a fight for themselves.

Follow me on instagram and see how I go. I will update with any great meals I make (Maybe not with the ones that don’t go so well).

And remember to subscribe.

Stay Simple.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How to take that first step to simplify your life.

Step 1 

Pick a room of the house, any room. Don't worry about which one because trust me you will want to get through them all soon enough. 

Get a box or basket, laundry baskets work perfectly. Open up the room one space at a time and look and see what you have in there. Open up those drawers and cupboards and dig deep into the depths of the unknown leaving no place un-touched. You might want to have various baskets. One for trash, one for charity, one for the "I'm not sure" pile and one "to do" pile.

Step 2

Pick up something. Ask yourself, Do I use this? Will I use it? Why am I keeping it? Can I give it away to charity? Can I sell it? Do I need to return it? Do I have duplicates of this? Does it fit? Is it broken? Can it be repaired? and am I wasting my space and time with it? 

Step 3

Dispose. Go on do it! I dare you! Try and be brutal, the more you are the easier it will get. If you are really unsure about what to do with an item put it in the "I'm not sure" pile and you can think about it for 3 months (at the most). Give anything that is staying a home and note it mentally, this will help you know what you have, where it belongs and will help you with your speed cleans.(blog coming soon).

Step 4

Finalise the room by actually throwing out the items you need to, actually put the items to be donated in your car and actually put the "I'm not sure items" somewhere you can't see or use them. Remember set yourself a reminder for 3 months and any items you have not touched or thought about are to be culled. If you have anything that need to be repaired or given back to a friend make an "to do" box and put it somewhere you will see everyday (close to the living area or front door works well) this will encourage you to actually deal with it, rather than it making its way back into the depths.

Step 5

Admire. Check out how much space you have, You will notice that you have less to clean and less to worry about. The feeling is addictive.

Now I'm not suggesting you go crazy here and burn yourself out but maybe do this to one room once every couple of weeks and work your way around the house. Pause for a few months or until a change of season and go again. Trust me you will love it.


Stay Simple

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Happiness

"When we make a purchase and/or get what we want, we are temporarily happy and fulfilled. But the reason for happiness is not because we got what we wanted, but because for a brief period of time, we stopped wanting, and thus we experience peace and happiness"

    -Adyashanti

Why does making purchases make you happy or feel fulfilled?

Think about what else makes you happy, list 10 things and have a think about them.

Are they things that keep you healthy? Things that don't send you broke? Things that are not materialistic? Do you think you should be seeking happiness in other things?

I would love to know what makes you happy via my page.

My 10
Outdoors.cooking.friends.horrormovies.wine.chocolate.mypuppy.reading.love.music

Stay simple

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ethical Super

In aims to live a more ethical life I have made changes to my lifestyle and choices to ensure my time, energy and resources are sustainable and I'm trying to be as eco friendly as possible. Now I wouldn't devote my time to coal mining, companies that use palm oil or forest logging would I?

So why would I would I invest my money in companies that support this activity?

I never really thought about my super fund, let alone what that money was being invested to. On closer inspection the investment option that I held was not in line with any of my ethics or beliefs.

Enter stage left.....Ethical Investment Options! These investments are made in companies that support the environment and climate change. They are also working to hold companies accountable for their actions and promote ethical behaviour.

About 10 years ago ethical investment options came about, at first they where not very popular as people didn't know much about how they worked. Now with the way that the world is going we have more awareness of sustainable living, natural power and climate change. The companies that support these areas will be more sought after and I think ethical investments will grow and be more lucrative.

Now how do you know what investments are ethical? Check out http://www.responsibleinvestment.org -The Responsible Investment Association Australia (RIAA). They offer a seal of approval  for investment options including superannuation. They also outline which funds are on board.

The fund that I am currently with was not on their list which was disappointing. However, I am in the process of making inquiries about what investment options my fund does have, and if they are in line with my morals. If not I will be moving over to a more ethical option.

I do suggest you compare the funds, some are more risky and some have better returns than your standard industry fund. Combination investing is also available to divide up your super into percentages and invest it how you like. For example you can invest a percentage to Australian small companies, a percentage in overseas companies, a percentage in property or a percentage in shares. All ethically.

There is quite a bit of research ahead of me but it's worth it. It might be something you never thought about. Check it out and compare your fund!


Stay simple.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

How could you cull the crap?

Minimalism is the art of living with less.

Less Worry
Less Drama
Less Clutter
Less Boundaries
Less Spending
Less Waste
Less Materialism 
Less Stuff
Less Crap

It enables you to have: 

More Fun
More Stability
More Space
More Growth
More Knowledge
More Relationships
More Passion
More Time
More Freedom

Since becoming a minimalist I have noticed so many changes in my life, they vary from being more eco- friendly by culling my waste band my carbon footprint to having more time and space in my life for what actually matters.

For me minimalism isn't some new fad or hobby its the way I want to live my life. Everybody has a different outlook on life and no matter who you are I really think that you would have someway you would need to cull the crap.

For a moment consider it. Go on I dare you. There would be some way you could live a more simple and minialisitic life. It just starts with realizing it then taking the first step.

I would love to hear your feedback, how could you cull the crap? let me know by emailing me from my page.

Remember subscribe and follow me on instagram.


Stay Simple


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Notice the Distractions

As I write this blog I have literally a handful of things going on. I am looking up how I can volunteer for my local council, I'm reading a magazine, texting a friend, listening to music, checking instagram while adding things to my shopping list. I actually haven't finished one thing I was meant to do tonight up until this point of realization as I write this blog.

How distracted do you get? I get distracted heaps! "Holly is a great student but is distracted easily" was on majority of my report cards at school. 

Social media is a massive distraction, especially for the younger generation. At work if I am waiting for something to load or print I opt to check my instagram. What am I even looking for? nothing really but I still do it. So this week I have been trying to notice when I am distracted, what is actually distracting me and why in order to try and curb that distraction for the better.

Answer me this... How many times a day do you get distracted from the task at hand? Once? twice? five times? sixty times a day? add all of those wasted minutes up how long would you have? A fair while for some. Yesterday I took a tally of how many times I looked at social media, junk emails, texts and googled random things. My tally came to 25 times I was distracted and I'm just making a rough guess here but it would be about an hour worth of wasted time! That could of been a work out or a cup of coffee with a friend.

Some reasons why we get distracted:-

Ignoring the task at hand
Escaping for a short moment
We have a constant need to be achieving something or multitasking
We have an addiction to online activities (shopping, gaming, Facebook)
We like to know what other people are doing or
We may want flood our minds with information

The more I notice that I am distracted and the more I am mindful of it the more I realize how its affecting me. I feel that its harder to get back to the task at hand, my brain is fuller, my list of things to do is bigger, I'm more stressed and then down the track these feelings often result in being distracted once again and finding a way to escape.

Ways to get past distractions:-

Enjoy each and every task you do, once completed give yourself a self five (a high five but only you are involved)
Take each task on completely and ignore all distractions no matter how awesome they are
Make sure you take breaks to eat or recharge (this can include catching up on emails and social networks)
Turn devices off if you can or
Deactivate email alerts or messages notifications

I have started to notice that my days go quicker, I'm less stressed, I leave work on time each day and I enjoy whatever I'm doing much more.

Remember that if you do turn any phones or email notifications off you can always let your family members of work colleagues what is the best way to contact you if it is urgent.

I would love to know of any other ideas you may have to curb distraction and if you like do a tally of how many times you are distracted. I would like to know your feedback via by page.



Stay Simple.








Saturday, 29 March 2014

The sewing box

I have now successfully made it to 3 months of not buying anything new and have simplified my life greatly. I am slowing culling my useless possessions and finding space in my life for whats important.

Not being able to buy anything new makes you think about what you have and how you can make it last longer. Lately I have found myself mending items of clothing and being less ruthless when just chucking something out. If its unwearable or broken it usually ends up in the bin and as it is not donated either this is a waste.

New buttons, fixing zips, sewing up hems and seams are not hard things to do, it just takes the right tools and a little patience. If you have never sewn a button on something I suggest you give it a go. Its probably the easiest thing you will ever do and is so useful.

When I was younger I was fascinated with my grandmothers sewing kit, its where all the spare buttons ended up, all the off cuts of material where chucked in there too even old film canisters (I never knew why, but they are a great way or storing pins). All of the things in there where useful and often brought my favorite clothes or soft toys back to life.

What you need to create you first sewing kit:-

  1. A box or container - now remember you don't need to buy this, any old box will do as long as there are no holes or ways for pins to escape it will be fine.
  2. Scissors - try and have a dedicated pair to sewing as using them around the house makes them blunt and they will not cut fabric as well as they should.
  3. Pins, Safety Pins and Needles - you can pick these up from any two-dollar store. 
  4. Pin cushion or container - remember a film canister is great for this, or you can make your own pin cushion with some fabric but making a ball with off-cutts and putting a piece of material over the top and securing with safety pins.
  5. Thread - good quality thread is a must, it will ensure those buttons won't break off and its easier to sew with. Get the standard colors, white, blue, black, brown and beige to start off with.
  6. Seam Cutter - is a little tool thats used for un-picking thread. Its good for those mistakes when starting out.
  7. Measuring Tape - a roll up one is a good idea.
  8. Buttons - Keep a variety and always hold onto any you find or get with new clothing you can keep them in a small jar inside your sewing kit.
  9. Hem Tape - Can be used as a quick fix before a night, all you need is an iron. 
  10. Lighter - burning the end of certain material melts and fuses it together. Just be careful.
Check out my little DIY sewing kit and sewing area its slowly growing and fixing my favorite items of clothing and making them like new whilst saving me money.



If you make a habit of buying things you do not need, you will soon be selling things you do. Filipino Proverb.

Stay Simple.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

My visit to Eco Village

On Sunday I went along to a guided tour of the Eco Village in Currumbin Valley. I wanted to check out what it was all about and see how things where different than any other housing estate. I had heard both good things and not so good things through people so I wanted to go check it out for myself. 

On arrival the Eco Village had a very relaxed feel about it. A cafe welcomed us that was quite busy with both residents and visitors. We met our tour guide and took a seat in a shady area under a big fig tree. He gave us the low down on where the idea of the Eco Village came from and how it all works.

The first thing I noticed about the village was that there where no gutters on the side of the roads, the reason for this is that 1. Its an expensive architectural addition, 2. All rain water is designed to run off to the grass, and 3. They have built the roads to ensure that any excess of water either by rain or flood is washed down into catchment tanks or small gullies and ponds then washed downstream into the Currumbin Valley. This was very clever! Another thing that I noticed was there where only a small amount of fences dividing the houses. I thought this was strange but on closer inspections of the property and the houses its more aesthetically pleasing and is not a worry at all. The land is so spacious!  

All of the rainwater water for each house is kept in separate tanks and there are even specialised fire fighting tanks per house. All houses have solar power which is offset and results in a very small electricity bill and each house has gas as a backup which is known to have a lesser carbon footprint.

A large recycle centre is in the making and also a bed a breakfast. Eco Village has the vision in the future to have its own mall with a baker, various stores and doctors surgery making it more of a community village environment. There are many residents that work from home as hairdressers or architects for the community as well. 

Eco Village has a very strong sense of community, they believe in a sort of "what goes around comes around" philosophy. If someone needs a lawnmower, a baby sitter or a lift to the airport there is an internal online forum where residents can post what they are after or have to swap/sell and someone will quickly be there with a response in an hour or two. They seem to have a strong sense of trust.

The community feel continues as we started to walk around and check it all out. Rather than having huge homes with lots of wasted space they have modest sized homes and large common areas with a pool, meeting hall, commercial kitchen and playgrounds, they even have their own library and large outdoor pizza oven. The community area and the commercial sized kitchen are designed to accommodate visitors as the houses are not that big.

As for the houses, there are no huge slabs that are first laid down to build, only one small one that is used for the garage and another small concrete panel that is used for heating/cooling. This concrete is polished and is seen as a panel of flooring inside the houses. In the summer its cool and in the winter the sun heats it up and keeps you cozy. A lot of architectural magic has been put into the houses. Most houses face the north and no concrete or bricks are used on the east and west sides, this is for both temperature regulation and the breeze. Most windows are not perfectly transparent as they are made from an eco glass that assists with the temps too.

Majority of the materials in each house are recycled, in the house we inspected there were recycled floor boards, rail tracks used in the awnings and recycled tin buckets used outside as outdoor light fittings, most of which are LED. Eco concrete has been used around the village which is made from fly ash which is a material with is left over after the combustion of coal. I was astounded by how green, simple and minimalistic this place was. 

Most houses grow their own food and there is an abundance of chickens too.

Mind you there are some downfalls, there are no dogs or cats allowed as this effects the environment and the wildlife. There are guidelines that are to be followed when building and it is quite expensive to buy a block of land or house at the Eco Village. Body corporate rates a quite high too. Although in turn the levies you pay give you a part share in some of the common property that surrounds a house within a group of other houses. So you have a say in how that land is looked after and what it is used for, which I think is pretty cool.

Check out some pictures of the Eco Village.


The Entrance
The common area and pool
The common area and communal pizza oven
An Eco Village home
An Eco Village Home and Common Area
The Currumbin River that runs through Eco Village


If you get a chance I recommend going and checking it out, it has definitely given me some ideas on minimal houses, eco friendly architecture and ways to open up a sense of community. If only the whole world was like Eco Village.

Stay Simple.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Greening Products

Ok greening products is the name I just made up for green cleaning products, pretty clever hey! Haha

In this post I wanted to show you guys how many cool green and eco friendly cleaning products there are. You would be surprised what is on that supermarket shelf right next to the the stuff your mum has been using since you can remember.

There are  2 great ranges of earth friendly cleaning products that I LOVE using, Earth Choice and Eco Store. Both are available at Woolworth's and both are very well priced, even cheaper than the alternative in some cases. They both have a huge range! You can get the greener alternative of almost anything from laundry liquid, to hand soap, to all purpose spray and wipe, even body wash and shampoo! All you have to do is take the time to look for it, but once you know the brand you won't be able to go past it next grocery shop.

So why use Greening Products?

The range is huge
It's well priced
They strive to use recycled packaging that is biodegradable
The companies use renewable products for a sustainable future
They sell larger quantities of product meaning less packaging and cheaper for you
It's plant based so it is ok to go down the drain and is ok around pets
It's grey water and septic safe
The products are cruelty free and vegan
Using them makes a difference and feels good.

The products contain NO

Petrochemicals
Ammonia
Chlorine
Sodium Laureth Sulphate
Triclosan
Cocamidopropylbetaine (gosh that words long)
Cocamide DEA
Synthetic dyes and
Perfumes.

It's a choice that is better for the planet and better for your health. It cleans exactly the same and smells really good too.

This week I am giving away a prize pack with some of my favourite ecostore cleaning products and suskin skin care products (including rose hip oil mentioned in my previous blog - why my skin feels so awesome) so you can try them for yourself! RRP $42!



All you have to do is either head over to my Instagram page, follow me, share the competition picture and tag @cullthecrap OR send me an email via my blogspot page about what products you are using at home (green or not) and if you prefer the greener alternative.

The winner will be drawn in 2 weeks time. Best of luck!

Stay simple.




Sunday, 9 March 2014

Love outdoors and adventures? Try Geocaching!

Last week whilst searching the net for the location of an apparent haunted railroad tunnel (weird  I know) I stumbled across a new hobby. Geocaching! You may or may not have heard of it. Its very similar to orienteering and is a real life treasure hunt with more than 6 million people playing along and more than 2 million hidden treasures.

Its hard for me not to get over excited telling you and type this in capital letters but this is the coolest thing since sliced bread, ok..... and a tad geeky.

First of all you get the App on your smart phone - search geocaching. There is a free one and one that is a premium service and costs about $10. Once you have created an account name your off! Your smart device will use its GPS to locate you and show where you are in the world, it will then show you any hidden treasure that is nearby. Now when I say hidden treasure what you are looking for is a "geocache" which is a container containing a log book for you to sign to show that you have found the location. Now it sounds easy but let me assure you there are people out there that take this very seriously! There are anything from large buckets with "trade items" to tiny little "nano-caches" that can be hidden extremely well, I found one the other day that was a fake bolt underneath a park bench attached by a magnet!

Once you have navigated yourself to the location there are also hints available and photos if you are really stuck. If you are super clever there are certain caches that have riddles and questions that need to be answered that uncover the coordinates to the next cache. 

Here is one I have found.



The best things about this hobby is that its free, your outdoors locating some awesome places and its really fun finding the caches. It was originally designed to take people to great travel destinations. See where you end up!

If you want to learn more check out the videos on the Geocaching website.

Remember to subscribe for future adventure updates and follow me on instagram @cullthecrap

Stay simple.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Vintage fashion finds

This weekend I had a very close friend get married and had a few out of town visitors, one came all the way from Scotland. She has been following me on my journey and knew that I may of been having a hard time not buying any new dresses. So she got me a gift! 

Not only is this a new dress for me to enjoy but a vintage re-worked item that is re-made from original vintage clothes. Check it out. 



The label is Loving Youth and it is available in stores at Top Shop and ASOS Market Place where used, vintage and re-wored items can be bought and sold. I love it! 

Stay Simple


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Meditation

This week I took myself along to a meditation class and I have to say it was not as easy and relaxing as everyone makes it out to be. I was thinking I would be taken off to a magical land inside my mind that would look like the clouds and I would feel a million dollars after. Although I am assured that this can happen it does take time as I have now discovered. 

Day to day life gets us all down at some point or another. Our energy levels drop and the daily grind can really take it's toll, both physically and emotionally. You may not even know you are stressed or anxious until a point where it may effect your health in a certain way. Think headaches, back pain and even being a grouch.

Now I believe that everyone's experience is different when meditating, as the purpose is to focus on ones feelings and step away from the constant doing and movement of life. Firstly we had a quick chat about why people meditate and how it helps to simplify ones life, then we got comfy and shut our eyes and examined how we felt at that particular point in time, almost scanning our body for strain or any other feelings we may have. We  then practiced breathing and really taking notice of the breath, this was hard for me, I never realised how little breath I have. I felt like my breathing and lung capacity improved by the end of the session. We also attempted to meditate while not moving for a period of time, now this sounds easy but not moving an inch is hard, especially when you are noticing how your body is feeling and thoughts that are distracting your breathing. Once time was up I did feel very calm and I was not in a great rush to make that first move, which is a good sign I hear.

Despite how challenging meditating was for me, I can really see the benifits, it's that escape that ones mind needs, almost like a reset button or a 1Up in super Mario cart.

Let's just say I will be heading back to this class and letting you all know how I go.

Check my instructors page out if you like Try Try Less Be More.

Stay simple.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Selling your crap

Last year when I had the idea to cull my crap and set myself the challenge of not buying anything new for a year I had a bit of a freak out, I wanted to hold onto stuff because a year is a long time, but that wouldn't be culling my crap would it!

Over the past few months I have been slowly sorting through my junk, slowly assessing what I have, what I need and what I need to cull. Some of my junk items made it's  way back down into the garage (which was clean at the start of the year I swear!) so this past few weeks I have made it my mission to get rid of it all by selling it online.

The easiest way of getting rid of stuff is through Gumtree.com.au, there is loads of trash and treasure on there, the best part is if it's something large and hard to get to the tip you can put a low price on it and it will get swooped up for sure, you don't even need to lift a finger! They even have an app now so you can walk around your house take a picture and post the add straight away!

Good old eBay is another avenue for culling your crap. There is a great chance if getting rid of quality items for good prices. There is a big market for second hand clothing on eBay, I have sold heaps of dresses on eBay and made quite a bit of pocket money.

The Tender Centre is another great way of selling items, it's set up as a blind auction and you find out at the end of the week if your reserve is met.

You would be surprised what sort of cash you can make with those useless items collecting dust and wasting space.

And remember this Sunday it's Clean up Australia Day! Find a site near you online or register your own and join in to help clean up your local area. Last year 550,300 volunteers removed over 16,000 tones of rubbish across the country. This year we can top that!



Keep it simple  

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Vintage fashion finds

Shops are my most recent enemies, It sucks not being able to buy anything but it's for a good cause and that's what keeps me going, that and getting to do the groceries each week.

Although on the weekend I did get to buy something. A vintage dress - check it out. I love it!


Arkive Vintage is the cutest vintage clothes store that sells hand picked retro items that are great quality and very similar to current fashion trends (funnily enough the 80s and 90s trends are back in). It's my new favourite store because I can actually shop there as well as recycling contributing less to landfill.

Check them out on Instagram as well as their online store.

Stay simple

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Compost your waste.

Did you know 50% of Australians rubbish is able to be re-used and re-cycled by using a compost system. Using compost materials not only assists your plants with lots of fabulous nutrients and added vitality it also helps minimise landfill and the amount garbage that has to be sorted through. Using compost or mulch reduces the need to water your plants by 30% so it also saves you time an effort. This day and age going organic is the thing to do, using compost fertilizer on your plants is way better than having chemicals around, it also saves you money.

Lots of local councils are starting to implement composting initiative programs to make it fun and interesting, they even have some prizes up for grabs. Check out Compost Revolution to see if your local council is involved.

If you are on the Gold Coast check out Green GC for ways to get started composting.

The ingredients - 




Just like a cake, remember to add a little water if it is too dry, but not too much.

I picked up my compost bin from an add on Gumtree. But you can also pick these up from any major gardening stores like Bunnings or Masters. See The large selection Bunnings has.

You can also be crafty and create your own using any plastic or outdoor surviving drum or box. As long as it has a hallow bottom and a lid that keeps any unwanted rain, creepy crawlys, cats or wildlife out.

Don't have a garden? No worries there are now kitchen or balcony compost bins available. So there is no excuse.

Also you might think that compost bins smell? This is actually a myth, as long as they only have the right things put in them and a secure lid they will only have a grassy plant smell.

Give composting a go to minimise your waste and help your home grown plants and veggies grow bigger and better.

Check out and follow my Instagram. Visit my Blogger site to subscribe, leave a comment or read more of my journey to achieve minimalism. 

Stay simple.









Thursday, 13 February 2014

Don't trust the Pink Bag

I love to donate unwanted clothes or household items to charity, it's a perfect way to de-clutter the home and your life. But did you ever think where your donations are going?

Most households around the Gold Coast receive a pink bag in their letter box every 6 months or less. This pink bag has printed on it "we need your help".  It looks like a great idea, they come to your house pick up the bag or any other items on a specific day and imply they are given to the less fortunate. Well actually this is not entirely true...

Your major large Australian charities could be suffering because in fact your donations are being shipped overseas to Papa New Guinea or Asia and sold for a profit. These businesses are not helping less fortunate Australians and the business people running the show are not giving back to the community as the large Australian charities are known for. I noticed they do however seem to cover their butts in the fine print on the bag stating that they are a commercial company.

Next time you go to donate ask where your items are going, even ask how they spend any profits. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say.

Now I can't tell you what to do here but I know where I would prefer my donations to go.

Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the contact box.

Remember to subscribe in the box above with your email address and follow me on Instagram.

Stay simple





Sunday, 9 February 2014

Happy Value Day

Here it comes February 14th.... Valentines Day, you either love it hate it or you might even ignore it. Everyone has different feelings about it. 

I personally like how it acts as a little push for some people to show some extra love to one another. If there was a day dedicated to eating seafood or drinking wine I would like it too!

However there are some downfalls to Valentines Day. Think about all the cards, wrapping paper, soft toys and then chocolate we don't need.

So my advice (if you choose to take it) is to be more minimal this Valentines Day and think about what each other may value and appreciate more and give something that isn't given or experienced often, rather than something that costs too much money or will be thrown out.

Some of my giving ideas this VALUE day.

A real plant rather than flowers, it's better for the environment and lasts as long as you can keep it alive for. 
A long walk and picnic. This is one of my favourites. It's a great chance to talk with no distractions and get fresh air outdoors. 
A bike ride or ice skating. Tricks you into exercise which is good for the heart in lots of ways.
A song or poem. This really depends how skilled you are and how romantic you are, it could even be quite comical too. It won't be forgotten. 
A day where one partner may clean the entire house. No one likes cleaning and a chance to have a clean house without lifting a finger is great.
A favourite home cooked meal with candles and music. This is intimate and will also end very intimately.
Printed photos in a frame or local artwork. It will make the home brighter and more sentimental.

This is my idea. It's simple easy and very cute.





Stay simple this Value Day

Xo