minimalism

Simplicity + Swapdom

February 10, 2014

livelovesimple.com

It’s no secret that simplicity + organization are two of my primary goals at the moment. It isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish, especially when you’ve got a little one. What I’ve learned in my first nine months as a mama is that babies grow — quickly. (Shocker, I know.) This means that your home becomes a revolving door to stuff — clothes, pajamas, shoes, toys, etc. Something fits, and then it doesn’t. Something is fun, and then it isn’t. You get the picture.

Anyway, all of this is the reason that I am so excited about Swapdom! Have you heard about it yet? Swapdom is all about trading — and I personally have been waiting years for something like this to come along. The makers of Swapdom spent months puzzled over how to make peer-to-peer exchanges more efficient. Finally, they found the answer: multi-person swapping.

The Swapdom site makes swapping easy and efficient. It’s a new way to find one-of-a-kind previously owned items that you need — in exchange for things that you already have! Hallelujah, right!? Users simply request items they love, tell Swapdom what they’d offer in exchange, and then sit back and let Swapdom organize a multi-person swap for them!

It’s a pretty awesome idea. I am a huge fan of the “sharing economy.” I’ve been waiting for society to move in this direction for a long time and I feel like Swapdom is just one of the avenues in which we can make it happen. It’s easy, and better yet, it’s free! Get rid of stuff that you don’t need as you receive things that you do need. Win/win, am-I-right? Yes!

Head on over to Swapdom, check out my profile and then create your own. Let me know when you get on there, so that I can check out your stuff. 😉 I’ve just uploaded a few things and I’ve got a lot more coming up.

P.S. If you’re interested, Swapdom is having a pretty awesome giveaway for a Phil and Ted stroller! To enter, simply like their Facebook page, here! Good luck & I hope to see you over there! xo

Homemaking: The Bedroom

February 4, 2014

livelovesimple.com

As I mentioned here, one of my goals for 2014 is simplicity + organization. I am slowly making my way through each room in the house — getting rid of what we don’t need/use, organizing the necessities, and making things pretty. Over the weekend, I did some work in our bedroom. I cleaned the nightstands and put our new duvet cover (a Christmas gift from my mom) on the bed. It is from Pottery Barn and you can find it here. I’d fallen in love with creamy, ruched duvet covers while exploring Pinterest and I’m thrilled to have my very own on our bed. It’s so warming, bright, and just makes the whole space feel lovely.

As I mentioned above I’ve been taking my time as I move through the house. Reason being that I want to create sustainable change. I am thoroughly purging and organizing, rather than moving junk from one space to another as I have done in the past. It’s a challenging process — practically (because I have a nine-month-old at my heels) & emotionally (because I am letting go of a lot of things, some that hold sentimental value).

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I’ll continue updating this space & sharing photos as I move through the rest of the house. In the meantime, you can follow my home design inspiration board on Pinterest for peeks into what’s to come.

Check out the bedroom furniture selection at Furniture.com to find some pieces to help finish your room project.

If you’ve any good tips for organizing, please let me know in the comments. I’m not very good at this & can use all the help I can get!

Cleaning Out My Closet

January 24, 2014

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Remember how mortified I was after sharing a peek of my closet? Ugh. Well, I finally got around to cleaning that thing up. It was an emotional process and I did it in two parts. As I mentioned in the challenge post, the first part consisted of donating several garbage bags full to charity and giving all of the cute stuff to my sister-in-law. That happened a few months after Roman was born. The second part happened today. It consisted of purging two more garbage bags full. I went through everything relentlessly. I asked three questions of every piece: Will I ever wear this again? Should I ever wear this again? Will this ever fit me again? Then, when I was done with it all — I went through it again with an even harsher eye.

I’m really proud of the progress that I made and the purging that I did. I’m not done yet though. In a few weeks, I want to go over everything once more. I held onto several pieces because they have sentimental value and I think I need to let go of most of those, too.

Simple living is really important to me. I know that it is so very good for my soul. I thrive in cleanliness and organization. It’s a real challenge, however, because I am naturally messy! But I am adding simplicity + organization to my goals for 2014. This will be the year that I break my dirty (pun-intended) habits.

Milkshakes + Moving

February 3, 2013

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There’s been a lot of hustle + bustle in this house lately. I’ve been getting rid of lots of junk, organizing our office, and getting ready to start switching around rooms. Our bedroom is going to become the baby’s nursery. So our bedroom set is moving into our office, and our office is moving into our spare room. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s worthwhile. The moving process is helping me to get organized and to get rid of a lot of the clutter that I’ve been holding onto for way too long.

We’ve been in the process of “minimizing” for four years now. The first three of those years, our house was under construction. We’ve still got a few construction projects left, but they’re minor. The big projects are finished and we’ve just recently started to decorate with our ever-present goal of simplicity in mind.

My big goal is to have everything done by the middle of April. That is the start of my maternity leave and gives me a full month to start nesting for baby boy’s arrival.

I didn’t get as much done today yesterday as I’d have liked, but we treated ourselves to McDonald’s (oh, the horror!) milkshakes all the same. Sometimes you just need a milkshake, especially when you’re six and a half months pregnant and your baby boy obviously has a mean sweet tooth!

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Today I am off to my uncle’s to watch The Puppy Bowl and enjoy some family time. Have a gorgeous Sunday, loves! xo

Homemade Christmas Presents: Coconut Citrus Body Scrub

December 17, 2011

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of consumerism. I absolutely love the magic of Christmas and the holiday season, but the stress of shopping, spending money, and giving people more crap that they don’t need makes me cringe.

So, instead of participating in the consumer Christmas frenzy, this year I decided to make many of the presents that I’ll be giving away. The first of my homemade Christmas present projects were these Coconut Citrus Body Scrubs. A friend gifted me with a jar & I fell in love. It smells divine and leaves my skin feeling like silk. I had to make some for my friends & family, too!

Below, find instructions on how to make your own.  (Gentlemen, you can use this too or it would make an amazing gift for a special lady in your life!)

Ingredients:

  • Holiday Ribbon
  • 2 Glass Jars (I used 1/2 pint, wide mouth, Ball mason jars)
  • Crazy Glue
  • Sharpie
  • Paint Samples in Christmas Colours
  • Grater
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Fork
  • 16 Ounces Coconut Oil (I used Barleans Organic which is also a Fair Trade product)
  • 1 Organic Lemon
  • Salt (I used Course Mediterranean Sea Salt)
  • Grapeseed Oil

Instructions:

1. Collect all materials and clear your working space.

2. Scoop 16 ounces of coconut oil into your bowl.  Microwave for 45 seconds.  (Oil should be warm, but not liquid.  The warm texture is much easier to work with.)

3. Grate lemon zest into coconut oil.

4. Pour salt into coconut lemon mixture.  Add enough salt so that body scrub will work as an exfoliant.  You will have to experiment to get it right.  I used about 1/2 – 3/4 of a 17.6 ounce tube of salt.

5. Pour in a dash of grapeseed oil.  Just a dash!  A little goes a long way.

6.  Stir all ingredients together with fork.  Ladle scrub into jar with spoon.

7.  The next step is decorating the jars.  For the jar labels, I used some Christmas-coloured paint samples that I picked up at a local hardware store.

8.  Use the hole punch to punch out some Christmas-shapes.

9.  Using the jar lid, trace two circles onto the paper.  The larger circle will indicate where to cut the paper.  The smaller circle will indicate where your text should be.

10.  Cut a piece of ribbon a little longer than the length of the jar lid.  Wrap ribbon and crazy glue the ribbon to the lid.

11.  Use a dot of glue to attach one Christmas tree to the lid.  Then, use a Sharpie to label the lid.

There you have it! Your very own homemade Christmas presents. This recipe will make enough scrub for about two jars. If you’re dying for a jar, but this seems like too much work, check out my Etsy shop. I’m selling them!  (Unfortunately, there’s not enough time for Christmas deliveries, but these make an excellent gift all year round and I can customize the jar decorations for you.  Think birthdays, anniversaries, or a special treat for yourself!)  ♥

xo,
Dena

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