Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Simplicity

Vintage Sunflower Postcard

This week I'm striving to simplify my home a bit - removing some of the possessions I own and prioritizing those items that are truly useful, beautiful and enjoyable.

I'll be going through every room in my house (except the garage, that's too big of a project!) looking for things I can edit, declutter, remove and give away.


  • Does your family eat eggs? If so, consider a quick project of making boiled eggs to use through the rest of the week. It just takes less than 20 minutes to make a panful of hardboiled eggs. You can slice them up on salads the rest of the week, tuck them into lunchboxes or eat them at snack time. Or make an egg salad sandwich for your own lunch one day this week as a treat.

  • Make meal plans for the week; create grocery list

  • Look over the week ahead. Do you have time for family time, time for yourself, time with friends, alone time with each of your kids, exercise time, time to read and write?

  • What appointments do you have coming up this week? Any birthdays you need to send cards and gifts, make phone calls or go out to dinner to celebrate?

  • Grab a cloth and wipe down all the light switches in your house. This five minute project really helps keep your home looking neat and clean, you'll be surprised at the difference!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Simplifying

What I'm burning in my bedroom today as I work in bed: Honeysuckle Candle by Claus Porto

I own too many things. Way more than I need. There are books falling off my bookshelves, clothes spilling out of my closet, multiple candles and perfumes on my bathroom counter, dishes stored under beds and in the garage. I have too many shampoos to choose from during my shower, and more stationery than I could use up in five years of solid daily letter writing.

I'm not a hoarder, but I'm definitely a shopper. I use the fact that I entertain frequently to tell myself it's ok to keep all those dishes, serving pieces and table linens - even the ones that haven't seen a table for two years.

I've definitely been able to cut down on the shopping lately (except for items that do get used up, like candles and lotions). But now it's time to edit, prioritize, and make my life simpler by having fewer items to worry about, dust and care for.

I already started in the linen closet recently, deciding I didn't need 9 extra sets of guest sheets and didn't need quite so many beach towels. Today I will work in my bedroom, guest room, and bathroom.

Counting all the "items" that are visible in my bedroom (furniture, accessories, etc) definitely shocks me and makes me want to prioritize what things really need to be here. Two nightstands definitely belong here, I need all three lamps, an armchair, my hope chest, a bookcase, and the TV need to be here. But two boxes of stationery, a huge stack of papers and magazines (they should go in my office!) and six decorative pillows instead of just two or three, means I have too many items in the room. In the bathroom, there are some extra towels I can put away out of sight, a box of kitty litter that should be moved under the sink, but the bathroom scale I use every day must stay.

By tonight there should be many fewer items in these rooms, whether I give them away, repurpose, throw away, recycle or attempt to sell them.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Citrus Shower Gels

I just used up a bottle of summery shower gel, so I'm off to Bath and Body Works to see which of their new citrus shower gels I might like to take home for tonight's shower. I suspect the pomegranate citrus will be my favorite, but you never know - perhaps the peach citrus will call to me. I'm intrigued to smell the apple citrus one, but I don't normally like to smell like apples after a shower.

Citrus Shower Gels, at Bath & Body Works

LOVELY BLOGS: The Colors of Indian Cooking

"A Hollywood screenwriter, a Bollywood kitchen." This blogger doesn't offer her name on her 'About me' page, nor does she sign her posts, so I had to sleuth out that her name is Kathy, from her Contact page. Kathy has been cooking Indian food for 20 years, and shares her recipes for delicious dishes such as kaffir lime mousse and gluten free cookies. I love her step-by-step photographs, I feel I learn so much more that way, and her photographs are beautiful. Don't miss her recipe for gluten free roti.

LOVELY FOOD: Gourmet Sugar Co

This shop sells delightfully shaped (and vegan) sugars. They're shaped like stars, shells, and hearts. If you buy some to stock up on for tea parties, be sure not to store them in a humid area such as your kitchen. Why isn't regular sugar vegan, you ask? Read this page if you are curious.

LOVELY MOVIES: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

I enjoyed reading the book, so I was looking forward to seeing the film. I'm sure it will be a lavish spectacle with beautiful costuming and scenery. However, I'm discouraged that the Rotten Tomatoes rating is only 17%! I suppose I'll have to wait until this is on Redbox so I will only invest a dollar and a bit of my time if it turns out to not be an enjoyable movie, sigh!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Trailer


Becoming a Knitter (Mama in Progress)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup (Bon Appetit Hon)

Cheeseburger Pie (Veronica's Cornucopia)

The El Bulli Dish Name Generator (Slate)

Laundry Room Design Progress (The Decor Scene)

Lunch at Disney Cruise Line's Enchanted Garden (Brownie Bites)

Orange White Chocolate Ice Cream (Flavors of Mumbai)

Raspberry Brownie Bites (Daily Bites)

Rhubarb and Rosemary Creme Brulee

The 36 Most Common Cooking Mistakes (Cooking Light)


Joy to the World said...

I love the idea of doing eggs in batches! It helps to remind me to eat them. Also, I used to do fruit in the same way so there was always something washed and cut when I wanted it. I need to get back into the habit!

Erin Browne said...

Thank you for linking to our blog (Brownie Bites)! I absolutely love your blog and I've added it to my RSS reader. I always aspire to be a better housekeeper and I completely agree with your philosophy that you have to stay on top of it little by little before it becomes and overwhelming all day task.

Erin said...

Thank you so much for linking my blog! Your site is so inspiring and I'm adding you to my reader.