Tag Archives: simplicity

Less is more.

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Yesterday, I spent a whopping 4 hours putzing in my kitchen and dining room.  Putzing, then tweaking.  Tweaking, then cleaning.  Cleaning turned into an all out offensive attack on any can, jar, box, appliance, dish or linen that failed to make my heart warm and fuzzy.  My results:  2 boxes full of donations (courtesy of still unused wedding gifts)….one huge garbage bag stuffed with, well, garbage…and much more order in space.  Getting rid of the stuff did make me feel like a cold-hearted B, but the act of keeping only what I use and LOVE felt good.  Really good.  Less was more.

In the process of doing all of this, I wore S.P.A.N.D.E.X yoga pants.  Yup, I did.  Why bring this up, you ask?  My spandex is starting to feel TOO BIG (woot woot!)  I am down 18lbs and a couple of inches on the waist and hips.  Partly from health issues last spring.  Partly from my new life-diet void of dairy and white flour.  Mainly, I exercise.

I’ve lost significant weight 3 times:  all post-baby blubber.  Nice people would always say nice things about my ‘amazing transformation.’  Each time they said it I thought, thanks!  Wait, what the hell?  Was I really THAT fat?

This time, I was in the clear.  No post-baby thing.  Just exercising my free will to take care of myself.  So when my kid’s teacher innocently gasped and then whispered, “you are so much thinner!  Wow, you really lost weight!  Oh, were you working at that?”

I pause.

I smile.

“Well I was sick for a few months.  I’m eating differently now.  And I like to do yoga and stuff.  Thank you for noticing.”

And we go about our business – the teacher none the wiser about my internal woes.  Was I really that heavy before?

Well, heck.  I guess I shouldn’t care.  I feel great.  Less of me DOES feel good.  And because I’m a person who likes feedback on my work, I am even more inspired to kick my butt on the yoga mat.  Less of me feels like more.

Before I leave you, I have to share daughter’s recent art work.  Completely innocent:  the couple is forming a band.  She thought the police officer would like to come and watch.  Good grief.  I hope this never falls into the hands of a child psychiatrist.

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Miserly Me

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Jello salad.  It’s what I’d like to have around more often.  My problem is that I buy the jello boxes.  I find the jello recipes.  I just don’t get around to making the darn jello.  Such as it is with our evening meals.  I plan, plan, plan….and then the desire to execute just sort of fizzles.  Don’t get me wrong.  Thanks to my farm roots and my 1989 home economics class, I feel like I can whip up a pretty stellar meal with whatever is around the kitchen.  But when I mix in oldest son’s texture issues and my non-dairy/no soy/tomato/oj/onion/peppers/white flour diet… my creative brain hurts around dinner time.  What’s a girl to do?  I, generally, enjoy a bowl of Cheerios and almond milk.  The fam enjoys the hot, seasoned food.  The oldest son enjoys bread.  It works, but it’s not my vibe.  Nope.

So.  Instead of reading so many frugal cooking advice blogs – many of which suggest the use of ketchup as a major ingredient – I am sticking to this:  Cook the favorites.  Sneak in my healthy ingredients more often.  Plan menus around the front page and the last page of our weekly grocery sales flyers.  That nifty suggestion comes from an inspirational little read by Jonni McCoy, entitled “Miserly Moms:  Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy.”  It caught my eye simply because I like the challenge of getting more for less.  Or ensuring They* make less off of Me**.  Her suggestions, like shopping only the front/back of sales ads (actual deals designed to lure us into the store)….or reminding us of the lost art of bartering….or that Ranch wasn’t invented in a bottle, but in a bowl for just pennies in fresh ingredients…  well, these are easy suggestions.  I will NOT pay $4.25 for a box of whole-grain cereal anymore.  The thought makes me physically ill.  Instead, I plan wisely.  I see the sale (you know, front and back pages).  I grab a coupon.  I do not think everything on sale is a good deal.  I head to the cereal aisle and out.  I pay no more than $1 for a box.  As a family of cereal lovers, this makes a huge dent in the food bill.  Money saved can go toward other things that almost never go on sale (e.g. fresh parmesan cheese…mmmmm).

Yes, I am a homemaker. stay at home mom. domestic goddess.  Yes, my bottom-line contribution is being frugal without depriving my family.  Yes, I need to make the J-E-L-L-O.  Not because I’m trying to be frugal.  Because I shouldn’t dare deprive my family.  😉

*They   a.k.a big·wig/ˈbɪgˌwɪg/noun  plural big·wigs

[count]  informal: a powerful or important person
▪ corporate bigwigs [=big shots]▪ a bigwig in local politics (http://www.merriam-webster.com/)
**Me  a.k.a. commoner
noun \ˈkä-mə-nər\
a: one of the common people b: one who is not of noble rank
2: a student (as at Oxford) who pays for his own board  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/)