Spring Cleaning

Hi there – sorry it’s been AGES since my last post! I’ve been working some really crazy hours lately and neglecting everything else.

Speaking of which, I am way behind on spring cleaning of my home and other projects that I had planned. I am taking a short vacation soon but then I think I’ll consider putting in a more extensive vegetable garden.

Right now, I have a large container with basil, onions, strawberries and arugula but my veggie consumption has increased dramatically. I love the farmers market but seems like I’m always there! I’m lucky to have a few regular local farmers markets and a large farmers fruit/vegetable stand near my home.

The reason I have been eating more vegetables lately is an increase in my colon cancer risk. I’ve shared before that I’ve been getting colonoscopies every couple years since age 34. Recently it’s been more like 6-12 months apart. I’ve been doing some reading about organic vegetables and juicing and how it seems to help. I haven’t gone 100 percent vegetarian yet but probably 75 percent of my diet is veggie/fruit now. As a result, I don’t have to count calories anymore because those foods are naturally low in calories. I’m having a fruit shake most mornings now.

I used to have chronic indigestion and acid reflux, which also makes me a risk for esophageal cancer. My reflux is gone now, and only appears very mildly if I have Indian food, sushi or processed carbs. So I’m also trying to eat more whole grains like brown rice.

I’ll let you know how it goes – so far I’ve lost 6 lbs not trying hard at all and 3 inches off my waist. Oh, and no more hypoglycemia! Still have a bad sweet tooth though.

A friend recommended the book Eat to Live which was really helpful. Also the website Summer Tomato has lots of great ideas for healthy eating.

The best part, as a Minimalist, is that my life is less complicated with heartburn medicine and cooking elaborate recipes by eating a more whole-food diet. Organic veggies taste much better and don’t need as much sprucing up. So we shall see!

I’d be interested to hear if you are eating this way or grow your own fruit or veggies. Please comment if you have any suggestions!

Posted in Food, Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 333:

Here’s the capsule wardrobe I’ve been wearing for the most part this past month. Not including jewelry in my list this time. I have 2 or 3 other skirts I rotate in occasionally as well. Made it really easy to pack for my recent 12-day vacation. I discovered Xmas earrings, pins and scarves take up a lot less packing space than bulky Xmas sweaters!! I only brought about half these items on my trip.

Black handbag (black wallet doubles as a clutch)
black heels
black short cuffed booties
Black ballet flats
Saddle brown ballet flats
chocolate Topsiders
Black & white polka dot scarf
Turquoise flannel scarf
Multicolor gauze scarf
Gray cashmere cardigan
Black & white jacket cardigan
Red cardigan
Black cardigan
Aqua cardigan
Ivory cardigan
black dress
Ivory/ brown print dress
Black & white print dress
Gray turtleneck
Ivory short sweater
Black short sweater
Charcoal short sweater
Red short sweater
Black & white blouse
Hot pink long sleeve polo shirt
3/4 sleeve charcoal tee
3/4 sleeve black tee
3/4 sleeve ivory tee
Charcoal sweatsuit
khaki slacks
Black slacks
Gray slacks
Black cable sweater
White crew t-shirt
Black crew t-shirt
Black skirt
Gray skirt
dark wash jeans
Gray wool pea coat

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Traveling Light

I apologize for being away for so long! I’ve had a crazy schedule at work the past few months.

The good news is that I was hired full time after 2 years – previously I was a consultant with a contract that renewed every six months. So that means much better health coverage and benefits than previously.

When I was “officially” hired, I traveled to San Jose with some other co-workers for orientation. I also had dinner with my family while I was there.

I thought I packed light – a laptop bag and small rolling carry-on, as it was just an overnight trip. However, the next morning I was chagrined to learn that I’d be leaving for the airport directly from my office! I had to bring my luggage to the office with me.

Seems I still have more to learn about minimalist travel. If I could do that trip again I would bring: 1 cardigan, 2 knit dresses, a nightshirt, 1 pair ex-oficio underwear (can be washed & worn next day), and 1 pair ballet flats. I would have worn most of this and the nightshirt and 2nd dress would have fit in my laptop bag in a little bag or packing cube. I’ll be ready for next time!

Posted in Travel, Wardrobe | 2 Comments

Autumn 2012 Capsule Wardrobe

It’s August 31! Time for a wardrobe refresh.

Inspired by my recent positive experience with Project 333, I’ve put together a capsule wardrobe for Fall that’s just slightly larger.

Autumn capsule wardrobe (40 items):

Black handbag (black wallet doubles as a clutch)
gold earrings
Black and clear crystal necklace
Black, pearl & brass bead bib necklace
Gold medallion necklace
Gold & amber ring
Pearl earrings
black wedges
black slides
Black ballet flats
Tan slides
Teal silk scarf
Multicolor scarf
Black cotton cardigan
Pumpkin short cardigan
ivory cardigan
Brown and ivory dress
Gray sleeveless dress
black dress
Black & white print dress
ivory short sweater
Black short sweater
Charcoal short sweater
Teal short sweater
teal polo shirt
3/4 multicolor wrap knit top
Blue cable knit vest
White pima cotton crewneck T-shirt
3/4 sleeve black T-shirt
white short sweater
Black & white sleeveless blouse
Black & white knit jacket
Black slacks
Gray slacks
Khaki skirt
Black & white print skirt
Black cotton skirt
dark wash jeans
Khaki 3/4 raincoat

Looking forward to a new season!

Posted in Wardrobe | 7 Comments

Project 333 – The Wrap-up

It’s hard to believe that it’s already three months since I started Project 333!

So, my final assessment? The whole experience was MUCH easier than I expected. It’s made me re-evaluate the way I shop and take a hard look at my “needs” vs “wants.” It sounds corny, but it was really a life-changing experience.

Now, I started this project after practicing Minimalism for a couple of years. But I now realize that, although I have far less material possessions than my friends do, I can get by with even less than I thought.

I went into this project with excuses ready, to explain to my co-workers and friends why I was wearing the same clothes over and over. But amazingly – NO ONE NOTICED. Not one person commented. In fact, I actually received more compliments on my appearance than usual! Probably because I coordinated my wardrobe so that everything would go together.

I ended up swapping a few clothes items for accessories in the last month, because I wasn’t even wearing all the clothes. I did have to be careful about doing laundry weekly so I had enough clothes. The last month, I did get restless, but it was more about a desire for variety/shopping, not based on actual need.

So…what now? I am going to plan a seasonal capsule wardrobe from now on. I will give myself a little wiggle room with accessories, but otherwise I don’t need anything more. I am on a diet and have lost 20 lbs already, so this will make it easy to replace my wardrobe. I went through my closet this week and filled three bags with clothing in other sizes I had been “saving” – I realize now I won’t need that much.

I want to thank Courtney Carver of http://www.bemorewithless.com for coming up with the idea for this great project! I really encourge you to try it – maybe even for just 2 weeks if you think you can’t do it. I think you will be shocked at how easy it is!

Posted in Wardrobe | 4 Comments

The Olympics – Without a TV

I don’t have a TV.

More specifically, I DO have 2 TVs, but they are not hooked up to anything. They can play DVDS but I don’t even use them for that anymore – I am getting ready to give one of them away, and the other is truly a decoration at this point. Its days are numbered as well.  I’m not 100% sure they even work as it’s been at least 6 months since I’ve turned them on. 

I haven’t really watched TV for the past 10 years, and usually I don’t miss it.  I posted about this a long time ago and got quite a reaction from readers!   The only time I really miss it is during Presidential elections, big events like Katrina or 911, and ….the Olympics!

The Bejing Olympics I pretty much missed.  I tried to watch the opening ceremony online but I think I got a virus along with it.  It was slow and also in German!  Luckily a friend had taped the opening so my Mom and I watched it later. I think I saw one running event on someone’s TV.

This time, the London Olympics, has been very different.  I was able to see quite a bit of the opening ceremony using the NBC app on my iPad.  Since I am a former skydiver, former Corgi owner and huge James Bond/Daniel Craig fan, I’m glad I got to see the video with him and the Queen (and the Corgis!!).  I unfortunately was not as lucky finding clips of the closing ceremony but I did see a little bit.

NBC actually was extremely generous and posted lots of footage of the Olympic events, even featuring key clips for the day.  I felt guilty that I actually didn’t watch more, but of course the point is that I don’t like to watch TV!  I watched enough that I feel more a part of the Olympic experience this time and got to enjoy some key moments.  They have plasma screens in the kitchens at work too so I caught occassional glimpses of rowing, etc when I was getting coffee.

This experience has still not convinced me to watch more TV (except PBS which I love and can get on my iPad).  However, I was inspired by the videos I did see and was glad that this time I was able to share a little bit in the Olympic experience.

Posted in Consumerism | 3 Comments

One Lovely Blog

What a nice surprise!  Hulya of A Minimalist’s Musings has nominated Simpler. Easier. Happier for the One Lovely Blog Award!  Thanks Hulya, and I’m looking forward to reading your blog in more detail as well!

Here are the Rules of Acceptance:

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire.
  • Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know you have nominated them and link back to them.

7 possibly unknown things about me:

1- I am a D-licensed skydiver and have jumped out of a plane about 350 times.  At one point, I was on a 4 person skydiving team.  I unfortunately had to quit due to sinus problems, but I’ll always have the great memories and friendships!

2-I have a serious allergy to chocolate.  So unfair!

3-I was in ballet for about 8 years.  Yes, I saw the Black Swan, LOL.  It doesn’t really exaggerate.  Ballet is tough on your feet, but it burns a lot of calories!  I used to eat like a high school football player and I weighed 110 pounds.  Those were the days.

4-I am supposedly a “prodigy” in regard to learning foreign languages.  I was tested years ago for aptitudes and the #1 career recommendation for me was working as a simultaneous translator for, say, the United Nations. Unfortunately, I have not really lived up to my polyglot potential.  I can pick up random words and phrases really quickly, but I’m only “fluent” in textbook Spanish.  Hoping to get fluent in French and maybe Italian in the future.

5-I am very accident-prone!  Maybe because I’m absent minded and sometimes don’t look where I’m going.  I’m always doing face plants into walls, falling down the stairs and tripping over stuff in general.  Luckily, thanks to my  ballet background, I can usually land gracefully.  I’ve also caught my hair on fire!

6-I absolutely love gardening.  My townhouse has a patio that I have turned into a small garden.  I love to sit outside, look at the flowers and commune with nature.

7-I am slightly claustrophopic.  I do OK for the most part, but I get edgy if someone really hems me in, or when I’m in a big crowd.  Those movies where they crawl through the building’s narrow air-conditioning shaft….ugh, I don’t even want to think about that!!!

Here are the other blogs that I would like to nominate for the award (some of my blogroll favorites were the same as Hulya’s, so here are some new ones) :

1-Minimalist Packrat


3-Promising Poet

4-Small Notebook

5-Minimalist Woman

6-People, Not Stuff

7-Lucent Imagery

8-Emma Bauer


10-Minimalist Lifestyle


12-Minimal Student

13-We Live Simply

14-Liquid French

15-Jacqui McCoy

Posted in Miscellaneous | 10 Comments