California or Bust

I must first apologize for my absence. I have been very occupied with life, and as such, my blog has fell to the back burner.

Along with the change of seasons, comes changes for me and my life. It started with learning of my employer going out of business. The lease for my apartment was coming to the end, and since my employer was not able to provide an exact date for the closure, I chose to leave early.

Since then, I have packed up all my belongings and moved to the west coast. I spent months preparing, packing, unpacking, repacking, and continuing the purging. I was able to get rid of even more, I scanned more images to a digital format, and gave all my furniture away. I was able to fit all of my personal belongings into approximately 6 pieces of luggage. I categorize that “personal” as I did also have 4 boxes just dedicated for all my tea and tea paraphernalia. I must say for the record that my last job was at a tea shop, which is why I have so much. Awesome access to tea!! I loaded it all up, along with my cat, into a van and left.

I have decided to push myself hard with this last round of purging. I will only unpack items as I need them. I’ll keep you all updated with what items are being used. Below is a list of most of the items that have been unpacked. It’s just amazing how little we need.

  • underwear ( I guess this goes without saying, but still thought I’d add it)
  • 1 bra
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • a few shirts
  • toiletry bag (holds only every day items) & other bathroom items
  • some kitchen items, which includes shopping bags
  • laptop (obviously)
  • cat items

This is quite a change for me, as I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. But I am still undoubtedly excited to see what is coming up next for me as well. Not knowing is captivating for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some ideas as to what I’d like to happen. I just mean in the larger sense of things.

Although it’s only been a handful of days since my move, it still feels surreal. It’s a feeling I’ve never really experienced before and I am enjoying the moment. Through this process, I’ve learned it’s so important to venture out and do whatever it is that will bring you happiness. We only have one chance to do all this stuff we call life. Why live it with regrets? Change is inevitable, mistakes are learning lessons, and nothing is ever permanent. Situations may seem scary at first (as this was for me!), but in my experience, one usually regrets the chances that aren’t taken.

 

Goditi la Vita!

 

 

The Trip…What Worked, What Didn’t

One thing I forgot to mention regarding the tea I brought; I did have some hassle going through security at one of the airports. It wasn’t a huge hassle, but not something that was too enjoyable either, as I was in “trouble” for not having my e-reader out, which was the initial reason for the need to look through my bag. I brought a few pairs of socks, which ended up taking up more valuable space as I only needed one pair. Next time, I’d only bring one or two and then just wash them myself. Again, when carrying everything on your back, weight is extremely imperative, and everything counts. I also ended up not bringing the stainless steel container, which I’m glad about.

The pics below show 2 out of the only 3 purchases I made. They were all from local stores, no chains, and the ring was a handmade item, found from a street artist from Colombia, living in Sweden. He also made the ear cuff as a “gift” right in front of me. He makes all his items from old, antique silver spoons of varying sizes.

All in all, I tried my best to be as zero-waste as possible. My Klean Kanteen was used everyday, my reusable cloth shopping bag was used when needed, my To-Go Ware utensils came in handy as well as my napkin, and we weren’t out shopping like crazy. The minimal packing was a learning lesson, as I mentioned in the video that not everything was needed or used. This was also my first trip in 18 years overseas, so it’s been a while since I’ve been in practice with this.

It was definitely a trip of a lifetime, and one I’ll never forget. I have such a wonderful friend, who I am so thankful for inviting me to go with her!

Goditi La Vita!

 

I’m Leavin’ on a Jetplane! (Part 2)

I always seem to forget just a few things. I will also be bringing a small first-aid kit, and small travel pillow. I normally wouldn’t bring a pillow, however I’ve been dealing with some neck pain for a while, and I want to make sure I’m super comfy during this trip. It rolls up so it takes less space (see photo below-left). I am more than likely bringing the stainless steel container. And I also wanted to mention I am not bringing my razor. I’ve heard too many varying stories about TSA’s policy on safety razors and I didn’t want to chance it. Frankly, I don’t even care about not bringing it. I am really looking forward to this trip with my dear friend. And I can’t wait to let you all know how it goes!

20170612_012657

 

Goditi la Vita!

Just Talking…

Just an ordinary day, running errands, can be extraordinary. I never used to be the “wear my heart on my sleeve” type, but I am who I am. I want to help make this world a better place, and I’ve learned one can’t do that by staying silent. I invite conversations and questions, because one can’t grow without knowledge. This conversation was quick but meaningful, at least for me. I felt great and hopefully I made a difference in one person’s day.

 

Goditi la vita!

Something Old into Something New

Yesterday was rainy…and then snowy. I had the day off, and due to the less than desirable weather, I stayed inside, doing some odds and ends around the apartment. A project I’ve been wanting to work on for years now, I started. I’ve been holding on to this pattern for a homemade scarf for at least 15 years at this point. (Maybe longer; eek.) So I thought, what better of a time than to get started. So the cutting up of an old flannel shirt and a pair of old flannel pants began. Once I got the pieces I needed, the rest of the shirt and pants turned into more tissues; these are for the bedroom.

20170502_125346

Almost anything can be turned into something new…maybe even something you didn’t even think of at first.

Get creative!

 

Goditi la vita!

Home Tour: Art

In the dining room, there are 2 pieces (3rd is still in the works to get ready). They were both painted by my step-mom, Lisa (one of THE best artists I know). The one on the left is a replica of a photograph taken in Hungary and looks exactly like the photo. That was a family trip (many years ago) and everyone who was on that trip has a print, so it’s a way that we’re all connected, living many miles apart. The piece on the right is Zelda the Zebra. This is a more recent piece, and the minute I saw her, I immediately wanted her. She’s just so beautiful.

20170426_175006 (1)

The living room has a majority of our art. The first pic is Fred. This piece hangs above my fiancé’s work station and is another piece made by Lisa. This piece is made from upcycled bike parts, game pieces, and a cigar box. He’s so fun!

20170426_175054

These photos are what we call “the story of us.” In our last place, we had them all framed, but wanted to do something different as those frames were pretty weighty and needed a ton of nails to have them on the wall. In this place, we opted to take them out of the frames and put them up on a twine line with clothes pins. These photos are of road trips, birthdays, events, and random days hanging out. This is one of my favorites.

20170426_175105 (1)

This is what I call the gallery wall. This wall has an assortment of pieces; local artists from Minneapolis, Stillwater (MN), and Asheville, NC, more pieces by Lisa, a photograph taken by my mom, a canvas painted by my fiancé (Behzad, aka baldspotstudios), a clay mask I made in elementary or junior high school, a piece Behzad found at a thrift shop, a piece of driftwood, and a part of a trophy I won with my 2 sisters. Going forward, we’ll put more of our own pieces up.

20170426_175043 (1)

I know one of the myths of minimalism is “minimalist” artwork or maybe nothing on the walls. This is one area I love to bust because I love having color on the walls. However, I do believe that art should be carefully selected and should only be what you really love. Throw out what you think should be on your walls and go for what speaks to you. I’m super lucky in that I have artists in my family and I’ve always enjoyed photography myself.

So, that’s all the art. Who knows, some pieces may get switched out here and there to make room for others. But that’s the point; it should always be customized to you.

Again, this is something that should take thought and care. Pare down your art to only what you love. But make sure you’re not being influenced by anyone else. Guide yourself and you’ll never go wrong.

 

Goditi la vita!

Home Tour: Part 4-Entry Closet & Kitchen

**I must apologize that the sound and video don’t match up completely. This video was shot multiple times and I just really wanted to get it posted. (Don’t worry, this’ll be the only one.)

I forgot to mention our cookware collection, which consists of 2 crockpots (1 small, 1 medium size; we both had 1), 2 frying pans (1 small, 1 large), 2 medium size pots, and 1 large pot. We also have a couple bread pans and 1 medium size baking pan.

Since the start of these videos, we have purged even more items. Both of our wardrobes are able to fit into our larger suitcases. The only items that weren’t able to fit would be our shoes and outerwear.

DSC00103

Other items that will be purged will be some board games and the Nintendo (we just don’t play enough). Other miscellaneous items will also be going in the next couple of weeks. This has been an ongoing process and I’m very happy to say it’s almost complete. Going forward is just the maintaining, which will be much easier.

I hope this showed that you CAN be a minimalist and still have some things. The whole point is to live without excess, within your means, and with the things that are needed and the things that bring you the most joy. As you saw in the Living Room post, my fiancé is an aspiring full-time artist. That type of career requires art supplies. This is OK! We have some books. That’s OK! We’re just purging things that weigh us down, bring unhappy thoughts, things that aren’t being used, etc.

Keep what you need and love. Get rid of everything else!

(But don’t just toss into the trash. Please dispose of your items safely and appropriately. If someone else is needing something, why not offer to them? Ask around to see if you’re able to unload to someone else who may need these items. Donate to animal (and human) shelters, hospitals/clinics, Habitat for Humanity, or thrift stores. Look around to see where items are needed, because the landfills are more than overloaded. And just because an item is no longer needed in YOUR home does not mean it’s worthless or doesn’t have any life left.)

If you have any questions about where to send an item, let me know. I will look and find a place for everything, including items that do need to be disposed of.

Like I mentioned in the video, there will be 1 last Home Tour video. This will be about art. No, not all minimalists like plain white walls (although I’ve been there…not too fun). I’ve always enjoyed color on my walls, and I’ve always tried to put up what I love the most.

Goditi la Vita!

Home Tour: Part 2-Bedroom

 

A couple things I forgot to mention in the video:

  1. I do NOT wear only black. I do like and have black, but as you can see from just these 2 videos, I do wear color. Although, I do hope to dwindle down even more, which means I will choose pieces that are more versatile.
  2. I wanted to include an inventory of my closet, showing how easy it is to get by with less. This list was complied at the beginning of the year, so I know there have been a few things to leave since then (we just dropped off a box to Goodwill).  But for the most part, it’s pretty accurate.
  • Shoes: running sneakers, winter boots (which I might be able to use for hiking as well), black high heels (for formal events), turquoise heels (for fun events), Croc sandals, flip-flops (which are soon on their way out), and a replacement pair of sandals.
  • Tops: 8 t-shirts, 14 shirts (long, 3/4, short sleeve), 3 tank tops, 1 sweater/1 sweatshirt, and 1 outer layer shirt.
  • Bottoms: 1 pair of shorts, 7 pants.
  • Workout gear: 1 pants, 1 shirt, 1 tank top, 1 sports bra, and 6 pairs of socks.
  • PJ/loungewear: 4 pants, 4 tops, 1 nightgown.
  • Misc: 6 scarves, 1 belt, 1 black bra, 2 white bras, 10 underwear, 9 pairs of socks (3 pairs came from my fiancé), 1 long underwear top, 1 winter hat, 2 pair winter gloves, 1 winter jacket, 1 rain jacket, 1 pleather (3 season) jacket, 1 outer vest, 1 zip-up light sweater, 3 dresses, a black blazer, 2 small purses, 2 medium totes, and 1 lingerie set.
  • Jewelry: Medic Alert bracelet, 1 silver bracelet, 8 rings, 6 pair of earrings (not including the ones that stay in my ears-which is 5), 5 necklaces, 1 watch.

I know this may seem like a lot to some of you, but when compared to what it used to be, this is much less. Also, like I mentioned in the video, some things are kept because of working certain jobs. I also want to mention, many of my pieces were either free/found/passed down, or second-hand from thrift shops. Some of these pieces that were purchased new were purchased from local artists/shops from various places and then, yes, even from some chains; so from various outlets. I even have many items from my grandma! And even better, I once had a bunch of stuff from my youngest niece! Gotta love being able to use hand-me-downs!

Next up…the living room.

Goditi la vita!