Monthly Archives: March 2012

AIM 1 should last forever…

Thought I would take a moment to say that AIM 1 has changed my life! I still find myself OHIOing, and really dumping what I know I won’t use. I find myself organizing my make-up drawer when I have a free few minutes, and making sure I really do take those water bottles out of my car…And soooo, I decided- AIM 1 is not going anywhere! I will try to incorporate this into my daily life so that it becomes a habit, like brushing my teeth.

I would LOVE to hear how AIM 1 has affected you. Do you feel like keeping it in your life like I do? Are you over it? Click on the chat icon to comment…

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Quote of the Day/AIM 3: Progress Report…

“If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, then this is the best season of your life.”- Wu-Men.

So I did not go grocery shopping yesterday, and it felt great. And because my time was so free and available, and my mind was so clear, I was able to focus on what I really wanted to do at the moment when my son came home from school and was starting to get a little mischievous. Normally, I would be so busy with random bits of unimportant matter, that I would simply turn on the TV for him. Not yesterday!!!

I wanted to make Hamantash but I did not have the necessary apricot butter, and no prune butter either! I had to make do because my son was finally willing to bake with me and I was not about to lose the precious opportunity! What did we do? We went shopping in our pantry and decided to make Thumbprints in the shape of Hamantash. Because this was truly a team effort, they did not come out as “perfect” as I would have liked but they were surely good enough. Additionally, it felt great that my son felt like he made and ate Hamantash, when all he ate was a natural, nutrient packed cookie with no added sugar.

First, roll into uniform sized balls

Next, flatten into round pancake

Then, place jelly in the center

Fold up 3 corners into each other...

bake...and...finished produce

So…not as beautiful as I would have wanted, not my typical “perfectionist” but I found joy in the simplicity of baking with my son for our holiday. He really did flatten each ball into pancakes, without my help, and he took pride in doing so.

Lessons Learned:

1. Making do with pantry ingredients felt great.

2. Holiday treats can be simple, easy, and healthy.

3. Focusing on the enjoyment of the action rather than the finished product enhances life enjoyment, and creates true meaning.

I will be posting the recipe I use for Thumbprints in the Healthy Recipes Category of goneminimalist.

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Quote of the Day

‘What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.’ ~C. S. Lewis

When you want to make a change, start small. If you want to start exercising, eating better, buying less, spending more time with your kids, drinking less coffee, etc. BABY STEPS will get you there. Think about something you’ve been wanting to change, and take one baby step today…(AIM 3 will work, but it’s your choice)


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AIM 3: Clutter Foods

So I read this article on Oprah.com http://www.oprah.com/home/Clutter-Foods/2. In this article, Peter Walsh describes the types of foods that tend to clutter up one’s pantry. I’ll summarize it here:

1. Aspirational Foods: The foods one buys in the hopes of using even though it isn’t their type (a junk food eater buying gourmet spices, baking goods for a person who never bakes) you hope you’ll use it, but never do…so the food just sits there space hogging!

2. Entertainment Foods: The foods you buy in case company arrives. The food ends up sitting there because either you never end up entertaining, or you go out and buy FRESH items when you DO entertain…space hogging again…

3. Security Foods: This is the secret stash of junk food that the healthy eater keeps so that he doesn’t need to feel deprived. Not a good idea, because it will get used at the WRONG TIMES. In the meantime it’s just space hogging again…

4. Emergency Clutter Foods: These are the foods you are told to buy in case of an emergency. They should be kept in the basement, or in the least invasive spot. These foods can also be put into use and then replenished, but Walsh explains that this requires a very organized person.

Really, what an interesting article, and the perfect reason to start AIM 3. 

Tomorrow is Monday, a day when most people go to the supermarket, or make their food orders. So here is your challenge:

ONLY SHOP FROM YOUR PANTRY!

For any items other than milk, meat, poultry, and produce, you are to design your dinners around whatever you already have in your house.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BUY ANY CANNED OR BOXED ITEMS!!! USE WHAT YOU HAVE…Oh and GOOD LUCK!

MY PANTRY BEFORE AIM 3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AIM 2: Progress Report…

It was easy to accomplish this task for me. Maybe even too easy. I sat with my son and played Zingo. As for my daughter, 10 minutes of alone time in the morning before my son woke up was just perfect. Weekends are easy when it comes to mindfulness…Perhaps I will try this one again tomorrow…

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AIM 1: Days 6/7: Progress Report…

So this AIM has come to a close, but I don’t want to end it!!! What a great week of clearing up, de-cluttering, and creating SPACE. I was amazed by how easy it became to start clearing things up or handling things using the OHIO method. It turned a switch on in my head, and now it just won’t turn off! So what did I get rid of anyhow?

On Saturday it was all about the magazines and catalogues. It is hard to believe, but I found magazine issues from September in my magazine holder!

On Sunday, today, was all about TOYS. Toys toys and more toys. I was cleaning up the kitchen set that my son and niece had been playing with, and I found random things that had no place in this house! One of those squishy gummy balls that collect germs, lint, hair and whatnot, a few broken cars, and a walking toy that isn’t mine (this one is going back to its rightful owner!).

Anyway, it felt great to get rid of a lot of the stuff, and I feel we are off to a good start in going just a bit more minimalist.

 

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Purim

Purim is here, which calls to attention 2 major topics:

1. MISHLOACH MANOT: buying, prepping, delivering, storing…

This year, I opted out of my normal creative Mishloach Manot route—I bought them. In buying them I stayed minimalist because I bought things that are useful to the receivers. When they open my package, there will be no need to dispose of anything but the cellophane and decorative ribbon. I got these Mishloach Manot from Surrey Lane on Avenue P in Brooklyn (718-627-6991). Delivery is an option as well, but I prefer to do so myself.

The platters are nice, neat, useful, and reusable.  

2. JUNK FOOD: Perhaps, one of the worst offenders in clutter- junk food madness!  I would like to open up a discussion regarding what people plan to do with all of that stuff, a post inspired by my friend Pamela. Will you be giving your junk food away, storing it in a big bin, allowing your children to go at it just for the day and disposing of it thereafter? Looking forward to hearing your methods…

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AIM 2: Mindfulness and Undivided Attention

By now I am sure you got the hang of AIM 1, and while there are still 2 days left to complete this AIM, I think it is time for a new one.

This one is more about mindfulness, and really being in the moment, one of the main purposes for this blog. Before we get into reading materials on mindfulness, I thought we could do a small practice that is also in line with the Sabbath.

AIM 2: Undivided Attention:

Over the weekend, aim (pun intended), to give each one of your children, 10 minutes of completely undivided attention. This means no cell phones, daydreaming, eating (unless it is with them), watching TV, or allowing for any other distractions!  You can do so by playing games, reading books, talking, etc.. Just do it! Let me know how it is and what it feels like, as will I.

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OHIO

Only Handle It Once...I love it…Thanks Stefanie!

Only Handle It Once means that when something comes to your attention, a school project, a piece of mail, and invitation, etc. you are to decide then and there what you will be doing with it. School project-into the bin, invitations stored into iPhone (or any other mobile calendar) and then discarded or saved (depending on who it is from!)

I believe OHIO should be a motto to live by, as it will certainly keep reminding all of us that if it doesn’t get done now it isn’t getting done! (that I learned from my friend Gloria)

 

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Aim 1: Day 5: Progress Report…/My “Junk” Drawer

So today was all about the kitchen drawer AKA the “junk drawer.” Most of us have that one drawer in the kitchen designated to miscellaneous, and it really is difficult to keep it in order. I threw away some packing slips from online orders, a receipt, rubberbands, and some random already written on- but likely never viewed- post it notes. In all honesty, it wasn’t much, and here’s why:

A look into my “junk drawer”

1. The plastic boxes are from The Container Store. They call it their accessory box, and it costs $1.69/box (a small price to play for the ultimate in clutter control). I also use them for crayons, puzzles without boxes, playing cards, wires/chargers, pretty much anything!

2. The 2 small boxes in front are OXO pop-up containers. They came free with the 10- piece- set, and are usually too small to store food items so I shifted them to here. (FIND A USE FOR EVERYTHING!- or scrap it!)

3. The yellow lidded jar is an apothecary jar available on amazon.com. (Apothecary/GMS Vitamin Dispenser – 6 Sections). It has 6 sections and you can rotate the lid to access each group of vitamins. It also comes with labels. I use it to store vitamins (an idea I got from my mother-in-law). It saves time as there’s no need to open and close several vitamin bottles each time I take vitamins. It also eliminates clutter, as the vitamin bottles can be discarded (sometimes there is not enough room in the apothecary jar for all of the vitamins, so I leave the bottle in a cabinet, a bit higher up, not hogging so much valuable kitchen real-estate!). The jar costs $9.95. It is available on Amazon Prime.

By the way, I believe Amazon Prime membership is vital to living in a more minimalist lifestyle because:

1. It saves time, no need for a store.

2. It saves money, great prices.

3. It controls the impulse to stock up at Target, Costco, or anywhere for that matter, because items are just a click away.

Are you an Amazon Prime Member? Do you use subscribe and save? Let me know if you agree…

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