Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm back! While spending a week in Hawaii with my family I was continually sidetracked and took an unplanned break from blogging. I've been busy the last few months, and nothing appealed to me more than reading on the beach. 

Our vacation was hectic as cancelled flights and being on hold with Expedia are never fun. There were a few highlights, which I would love to share with you.

My dad and me on the beach in Honolulu (during our two day delay on our way to Maui)

The sunrise on Haleakala 

Haleakala crater
Biking down Haleakala after sunrise on Christmas day

Hiking on the rocks in Maui

Swimming under a waterfall on a farm in Maui

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season. I'm excited to begin the new year, it's going to be a good one. 

Enjoy today,

P.s. today's your last chance! I loved this 2013 workbook. It helped me reflect on the last year and prepare for the new one. Try it!

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY jewelry holder

As I continue to simplify my life, I find organizational tactics that just don't work. A good example of this was my earring storage. I was hanging my earring from hoop earrings (that I never wear) that were hooked on to the light fixtures in my bathroom. I had another spot just to hang my necklaces.

This week, I was shopping downtown with a friend when in one of my favorite local shoe stores I saw that they displayed their earring in window screens framed by old wood windows. I thought, I could figure out something like that, and I did. This is the first of my recent projects to be finished and put to use. Here is the DIY for my embroidery hoop earring holder!

Step 1: Gather your materials

I already had the embroidery hoop and I purchased the window screen for $1 at my local ReStore. 

An emboridery hoop, an old window screen, and a box knife

Step 2: Cut the screen out of the frame

Step 3: Lay the screen over the small inside hoop

Step 4: Slide the larger hoop over the screen. Make sure the screen material is pulled taught and then tighten the bolt on the large hoop.

Flip the hoop and pull the screen taught
Step 5: Cut the excess screen
Step 6: Add necklace holders (optional)

To hold my necklaces I used small crafting brads and slid them between the two hoops.
Step 7: Hang your handy work! I used two screws, one at the top and one below the tightening bolt. I started with one screw at the top but the uneven weight caused it to tip. The second screw keeps it from leaning to one side. 
The great thing about this is that it is completely customizable! If you need more space for necklaces, turn it on its side and get more hanging space. If you don't have necklaces, don't add the brads and you'll have tons of room for earrings. 

I love how easy this makes my morning! All of my earrings and necklaces are easily visible and don't fall into the sink like before. If you make this project, be sure to let me know how it went!

Enjoy today,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What a mess

I love projects. I'm not much of a crafter, I'm more a DIYer. Over the past two weeks or so I've started around four projects in my room, and completely finished just one. What this leaves me with is nothing short of a mess. I have piles of fabric, random pieces of wood, and spare threads all over the floor. I plan on tidying up of course, but for now I'm living with the mess. 

We all have things we don't like, and sometimes these things come along with things we love.Though the piles may not be something I am fond of, doing projects makes me happy. A bit of a mess is something I'm willing to put up with for that. 

I can't wait to share my projects with you! I'm even going to try my hand at some DIY posts- stay tuned.

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today it snowed. It didn't stick, it didn't stay, but for a good half an hour it snowed. I spent a while with my nose pressed up against the window, watching. Nothing makes me feel more like a little kid than getting excited about snow. It's just so magical. 

I was reminded of the little things, like the weather, that really can be amazing when viewed with a child's perspective. I'm six months away from graduating high school and I want to take every opportunity to be a kid. That means getting excited about snow and reveling in the magic of everyday. Doesn't sound too bad to me.

Enjoy today,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Breaking (and baking) bread

One of my favorite things to do is bake bread. Nothing slows down time more than waiting for the dough to rise, often multiple times, and finally being able to bake. Baking today is hardly what it once was, with yeast that comes in a package and kneading being done by machines instead of fists. Still, the smell of yeast and the stretchy yet somehow silky dough bring me back in time.

This weekend I made challah (hal-lah), a Jewish egg bread, for the last night of Hanukkah. I started with two loaves but with a slip of the wrist one loaf went down to the charring coils of the oven, the parchment it sat on catching fire. We soon put the fire out, and pieced together the burned loaf. 

The second loaf turned out beautiful but unfortunately a bit dense, not light and fluffy like challah I've had before. For me, this was a lesson in patience. I did not wait long enough for the dough to rise, and ended up with beautiful but less than delicious bread. I'll know next time to take it slow and make sure the yeast has time to do its job. And this time, I have two big loaves of bread with which to make French toast.

Enjoy today,

Friday, December 14, 2012

An un-stuffed holiday season

Save the stuffing for the dinner table. This year, I decided to go sans-stuff for the holidays.

I only have a small list of people on my holiday shopping list, but somehow I still stress out over the gifting season. I'm a bit of a gift perfectionist, so it usually takes me some time to come up with and find the (close to) perfect thing. The holiday season is a stressful time. Everyone and their best friends are out shopping and with finals and all I just don't have the time (or desire, really) to join them.

Solution? Make stuff! Last year it was candies (peanut butter cups, almond joys, caramels) and this year it was cookies. Giving batch-made gifts for the holidays allows me the time and money to give special gifts for birthdays. In my opinion, one great gift (and some cookies) a year is much better than two blah gifts. I'll give you a quick list of why making things is the way to go.

Top 5 reasons to make gifts:

1. It saves you money
2. It saves you time (everything done in one day)
3. It saves you stress (no crazy holiday shopping)
4. It fosters simplicity (who knows, your friend might have a few of whatever you're giving sitting around somewhere already)
5. Handmade gifts are made with love! Share your love!

And now some links to great gift diy projects (click photos for links):
How adorable?! And not too difficult to make (I know from experience)
Easy to follow tutorial. I've made myself two and my friend one! We love them!
The recipe I used for peanut butter cups- delicious!
Enjoy today,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To-do time

I always have that nagging list of to-dos. Put this away, call so-and-so, finish the laundry. Half the time, I think of something that I need to do and promptly forget it. So I came up with a genius (and never before thought of) idea of... a to-do list! (cue the oohs and ahhs)

But not only did I write my list, I titled my list "To-do Time". This is where it gets fancy. I figured if once or twice a week I set aside thirty minutes dedicated just to those pesky tasks on my list, I could get them done with the least amount of pain. 

So, this morning I set aside 7:30-8am as my to-do time. And instead, I ate breakfast and talked with my mom. I decided that though I need to get things done, those things shouldn't stand in the way of spending time with my favorite people (yes mom, you made the list!). 

I'll try again with scheduling some to-do time and let you know how it goes!

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nothing like it

Quote by Brian Andreas. And yes, this is on my wall!
I never pass up an opportunity to cook for my friends. I learned the art of hosting at a young age, and now my mom and I have it down to almost an exact science. This weekend, I had friends over for Hanukkah dinner. Latkes, brisket, dreidel, and lots of laughter left me exhausted but happy. 

For me, cooking is a way to show love. Any love can shine through a well cooked meal. I cook for my friends, for my family, for everyone. Sometimes  a warm baked something can create an instant good mood, and there is nothing I like more than to inspire happiness. 

How do you share your love?

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Some days I find myself wearing overalls. 

A few months ago I bought a cheap but reasonably well fitting pair at Value Village (the most fun place to shop, in my opinion) with the hope that I could figure out a way to actually wear them in public. I've always felt like there is an adventurous dresser living inside me, whispering ideas of polka-dot tights and 80s sweaters to me in my sleep. 

I used to be too scared to dress how I wanted. I would buy clothes that I loved and never wear them. Lately, I've found my style. I'm more confident in how I dress and that confidence has allowed me to take more risks with what I'm wearing. Sometimes I get to school and immediately regret my outfit choice, but more often than not I end up loving what I'm wearing and getting a few compliments. 

At this moment, I'm sitting in a coffee shop wearing overalls. This morning they called to me from the shelf. Regular pants just didn't seem good enough. So I threw together an outfit and decided, to hell with it, if I want to rock overalls then I can. And maybe it worked, the barista said she liked them. But the most important thing is that right now, I'm loving my outfit and that's all that really matters.

Enjoy today,

Monday, December 10, 2012

New feature: check it out!

Starting today, there is a new feature on Slice, Serve, Savor! In the tabs section, along with the home page and such you'll find the Check It Out page. This is a page I will keep updated with the books and blogs I'm reading and the music I'm listening to. I commonly find inspiration for this blog from the things I'm reading and listening to, so take a peek at the list if you're in need of a little inspiration yourself.

Enjoy today,

Friday, December 7, 2012

A year in review...

2012 is hardly over yet, but it's about time to start reflecting on the year that has passed and the year that is to come. I have yet to sit down and really spend time on this reflection, but within the next few weeks I certainly will- maybe even on the beaches of Hawaii (could it get any more perfect than that?). 

I've been reading other blogs that say how great it is to do a year review. It helps process what has happened during this year, and gives inspiration and a fresh start to the one to come. 

Read how Tammy Strobel at RowdyKittens reviews her year here.


Find Susannah Conway's 2013 workbook here.
(I plan on using this for my reflection!)

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I know mine is going to be busy, but I'll try my best to find time to appreciate the small things.

Enjoy today,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Write through it

Last night I couldn't sleep. It was just one of those nights where I couldn't stop milling through something that had happened during the day. Since I've been enjoying writing about things on my blog, I thought that maybe writing about what was on my mind might help me think through it.

So, I got out my notebook and a favorite pen and started writing, making sure to keep an open mind.

I decided to sort of prompt myself through writing about the situation with these questions:

What happened?
What were my feelings toward the situation/person before this happened?
How do I feel about the situation/person now?
Did my feelings change and if so, why?

After answering these questions, I started writing to the topic of "things I should remember", which was kind of like giving advice to myself. What I found was that among the ten statements I wrote, two of them were really inspiring. They helped me learn how I actually felt about the situation and gave me a new perspective that I had never seen before. 

This was a new way of approaching a problem for me, and I found that it really worked. Though I can think through things, I tend to get lost in my own mind and lose my trail of thought. By writing everything down, my thoughts became more organized and easier to analyze. Once everything was in front of me, I found connections and solutions that wouldn't have shown themselves otherwise. 

I am planning on trying this technique again in the future. It really does seem applicable to almost every problem from a fight with a friend to a bad test grade. I would love it if others found this technique helpful, so give it a try if you can't get something off your mind!

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happiness photo feed

You read it right! I decided to add another feature to my blog: a happiness photo feed! I actually created an Instagram account (something I thought I'd never do) and created this lovely slideshow. It will constantly update with any new photos I post to Instagram. 

My idea with this is to (hopefully) improve my photography and to more easily share the little things that make me happy. Taking the photographs will help me to notice the small yet wonderful things that I might otherwise miss. I was partially inspired by Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens, she talks about how photography helps her be happy here. Maybe one day I'll get good enough that I don't need the fancy filters that Instagram has! For now, I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoy sharing them.

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Simplicity is contagious

I have been continually paring down my belongings, and it seems to have caught on!

Over the years my mom had accumulated five mugs which she only uses during the holiday season. For the rest of the year they sit unused on a shelf. I had been encouraging her to get rid of some of them, but she insisted that they were important to her, and I didn't mention it again.

So, I was surprised to see her the other morning, putting most of her mugs in a box. I asked her what had changed, and she said that she realized that every morning she reaches for the same Christmas cup and that the others rarely get used. She made her own decision about simplicity.

What she decided to keep were her two favorite mugs, an old-fashioned Christmas mug and a simple Hanukkah mug. They are both important to her, not only because they are pretty but because they hold sentimental value.

What I learned from this is that simplicity cannot be forced. My mom's final decision to get rid of the cups is only strengthened by the fact that she made it without pressure from me. I am so enthusiastic about the joys of simple living that all I want to do is share my passion. Sometimes I am simple to the extreme (read about my future tiny home here) but I know that even the smallest act of simplifying can bring happiness. I hope that by striving to continually simplify my life I can inspire more people to find simplicity.

Enjoy today,

Monday, December 3, 2012

My 5 most important things

In my efforts to simplify my life, I have found that an absence of things leaves room for happiness. I have also found that with less physical objects to value, the value I place on "things" has grown. It's often said that the "best things in life aren't things" and I wholeheartedly agree.

My Top 5 "Things"

1. Family and Friends- they make me happy, I make them happy. It's (mostly) a circle of happiness!

2. Time- whether it's five minutes of tea drinking or half an hour of blog writing I love finding time to do the things that I enjoy and that make me happy.

3. Kindness- no matter who is being kind to who, it makes happiness on both sides.

4. Giving thanks- thinking of what I am thankful for helps me to realize what amazing things I might be missing out on every day. It helps me notice and appreciate the good things in my life.

5. Hugs- no explanation needed.

Try making your own top 5 list. I guarantee it will brighten your day as it has for mine.

Enjoy today,

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cut and paste

To me, finding time to make things is essential to my happiness. It's a trait that I share with my father, always wanting a project to work on. My schedule lately has been hectic to say the least. Running from high school to community college to rehearsals and shows for the musical left me with little time to create. 

The few occasions I was able to find a spare moment I did what stressed-out Addie does best, I baked. Not only did it allow me a calm moment, but I brought the goodies to the cast and crew of the musical I was a part of. I love making others happy, so I gained joy not only from the baking itself but from the smiles and high-fives from those who took one (or more) of my treats. 

Now that the show is over, I find myself with more time on my hands. Even with that, this week has continued to bring stress as my college applications come due and my classes at the community college begin to wrap up for the quarter.

My math teacher says that the world would be a happier place if everyone colored for a few minutes everyday. I think that cutting and pasting are a close second to scribbling with crayons. So, today I took a few minutes (okay, maybe half of an hour) to start on my first holiday gift project- Star Wars snowflakes. I found this project on Pinterest and knew just who it would be perfect for. Not only does working on this project give me a moment of crafty peace, it brings me happiness in the anticipation of giving this gift.

Finding a few moments to do something that brings a calmness to the day adds to the ever important happiness in your life. 

What will you find time for? 

Enjoy today,

P.S. find the printable for these awesome snowflakes here!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursdays (Part 1)

So many things in our lives, the smallest things, go virtually ignored. Why do we not recognize these things when they can bring so much happiness? Starting today, I am on a mission to hunt down every little thing that I can be thankful for in my everyday life. I hope to inspire you to spend time recognizing the small joys in your life as well. Feel free to share them with the blogospherere by commenting on this post. You never know how much happiness you can bring by sparking a positive thought in someone's mind. 

Today I am thankful for:

Warm toes.

It took only a few days of me walking to the city bus stop in my raggedy Toms for my mom to decide she was going to buy me some new shoes. The constant state of dampness and rain here made it a
sure thing that when I got home my shoes would be soaking wet and my feet practically frozen. After discovering that my boots (low quality and faux leather) were most definitely not waterproof, we
took a trip to the local shoe store. I have worn my beautiful new boots almost every day since then. I
am thankful not only for my warm boots but for the fact that my mom cares about my health and

What are you thankful for today?

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Views on success

I had all but forgotten about my garden until my mom went outside to pick some herbs. She came back with a small handful of tiny carrots and radishes. I took a moment to enjoy my small harvest, and I was just amazed that I had managed to grow much at all.

I'm no good at it, but gardening is something I enjoy. The idea of growing my own vegetables makes me excited, even though the reality is that I will hardly grow enough for a salad.

Maybe next year I'll be able to get at least a meal out of my garden, but that's not important. I love getting dirt under my fingernails and having an excuse to wear overalls, and that makes the work worth it.
Sure my kale hardly grew an inch, but sometimes that's where the fun is. When discussing his search for the perfect light bulb filament did Thomas Edison not say "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work"? I did not grow an unsuccessful garden, I simply found the proper way to not to.

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Second chances

Some things deserve second chances. For some the struggle comes in forgiving people, others in trying new food for a second time. Lately, I have had to concede and give something unexpected a second chance.

I'd seen them before and not had any strong opinions, positive or negative. Star Wars didn't appeal to me much when I was younger and I didn't absorb much of the plot. What I liked were the creatures and the sparkly laser swords (yes, I now know they're called light sabers). I wasn't much interested in watching the movies again, but I decided to watch them with an open mind.

It turns out I really like Star Wars.

The hardest part about second chances is that sometimes we have to admit that we are wrong. Well, I was wrong. I may never dress up as a Wookie, but I'm certainly excited to finish the series.

Second chances seem to be addicting- I tried cauliflower (my least favorite vegetable) this weekend... and actually liked it. Who knows what is next!

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A little something special

I've talked before about treating ourselves to small delights. (Read here about my pumpkin) Well, I've done it again! At the local farmer's market I was buying produce when I came across a vendor who was selling bags of walnuts in the shell.

They were so beautiful, I just had to buy them. I put them in a bowl on the kitchen counter, and they bring me a little bit of joy every time I see them. They are lovely, fun to crack, and they remind me of the bowl of nuts in the shell that sometimes sat in my grandmother's living room.

There is something about cracking open a nut. It's a bit of nostalgia for the days when nutcrackers were commonplace and "Walnut Pieces" didn't come in bags at the grocery store. The shell adds an element of simplicity, something I'm always looking for.

Finding simplicity and joy in unexpected things is one way I bring happiness into every day.

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A day at the beach

There's nothing like a day at the beach. Where I live, beaches consist mostly of rocks, seaweed, and driftwood. Not exactly what you think of for a fun outing. Unless you are a dog.

Our dogs Mia (big and yellow) and Max (brown and small) love the beach. They love the beach, they love the car ride there, the love the excitement of knowing that something is happening when we put our jackets on and for once don't shoo them away. It seems like every time my family takes the dogs for an outing, we talk about how, since the dogs love it so much, we should do this more. So why don't we? School, work, housework, (and in the Northwest) rainy days just seem to always get in the way. 

What finally motivated us was Max's diagnosis with lung cancer. While at the beach Max ran, played, and rolled in dead things like any dog half his age. I feel guilty for not doing things like this with the dogs all of the time, but I also know that I can't change the past. Things like this allow us to realize that there are hassles and annoyances in our lives that one day we will miss. Appreciating the things we have in our lives now makes little room for regret in the future.

With this in perspective I vow to:
Pet my cat
Occasionally pet the dogs (even though sometimes they smell)
Tell the people I see everyday (and sometimes take for granted) how much I appreciate them

What will you vow to do?

Enjoy today,

Monday, October 22, 2012


I haven't posted lately for a few reasons. 

Reason 1:
My computer's hard drive decided to quit on me and is in the process of becoming functional again.

Reason 2:
Last week was homecoming week! 

This may not sound like a valid reason, but at my school it most certainly is. Our homecoming has evolved from a football game and dance to a full on class competition with dress-up days, fundraisers, hall decorating, and lunch events like dodge ball and a scavenger hunt.

Every year, I live for homecoming week. It is the only week of the year when my whole class comes together, and uses everyone's strengths. The athletes compete in dodge ball, the artists help decorate halls. Everyone who helps is appreciated. Staff members have said that my class is the best to ever go through my high school, and I believe it! How we act during homecoming shows it.

Every moment I had that wasn't spent on class, rehearsal, or homework, I helped with hall decorating. This year's homecoming theme was board games, and the senior class had Candy Land. From the pictures below, you can see that we were able to transform a regular hallway into an awesome world of candy! That takes a lot of time, effort, and teamwork. I love hall decorating because it allows me to use my creative strengths in an amazing way.

This year, homecoming was bittersweet. I loved everything, but it also made me think about how this was my last high school homecoming. Though this made me sad, it also made me appreciate this year even more. I'll always be glad I had this opportunity to be so involved with a great group of people. This year, I even got to stage manage the big assembly, which was always my favorite part of the week. The finality made me realize that I really needed to savor every moment, and I did!

Even when things are ending, a bittersweet moment can be used to further appreciation and happiness. I know I'll be ready for high school to end come June, but I also know that I will have gotten the most out of my time there as I could have, by savoring every moment.

Enjoy today,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My future home!

The other day while I was on my run, I happened upon this trailer sitting in a lot in my neighborhood. This instantly made me think- tiny house! But how do a house and a trailer go together?

I can hardly even scrape the surface of the topic of tiny houses in one post, but today I'll at least get started. The Tiny House Movement is a group of people who decided that the constraints of the modern way of life were too much. By building a house on wheels, they can move wherever they want and can easily live debt free once the house is paid off. This lifestyle appeals to me, as unlike my peers I don't have the urge to constantly buy things. As you read before in this blog post, I have gotten rid of a lot of my stuff. The appeal of downsizing even more is compelling! I can't wait to build my own tiny house!
To read more about tiny homes visit this website!

Enjoy today,

Seven sevenths

"I can't believe it's Monday already, I can't wait for the weekend!" 
How many times have we heard, or even spoken some version of this phrase? Until a few weeks ago, this was exactly my way of thinking. Through writing my blog posts, I've started thinking even more about savoring every moment. What I realized was that most of us are setting ourselves up to be happy only two sevenths of our lives! If we are constantly yearning for the weekend and slogging through and simply enduring the week, we're missing out on five days of potential happiness. 

It may not be the most fun, sitting through work or school, but even those activities can become meaningful. During class, I like to challenge myself to be as productive as possible. Not only do I get my work done, but I am less stressed during and after class, as I have better absorbed the material and usually don't have to study as hard for tests or suffer through confusing homework assignments. The same philosophy can be applied to work, a little concentration and motivation will allow for a relaxed and enjoyable lunch break, and an evening without the stress of work left undone.

I also like to give myself things to look forward to on my weekdays. After I get done at rehearsal for the musical (where I do sometimes stressful things, like taking blocking notation), I like to go on a run before dinner or go to a Zumba class with my mom. Making dinner is also an enjoyable activity for me, as is watching a new episode of my current favorite television program. Some days just the anticipation of a warm shower is enough to better my mood. There are always happiness-inducing activities we can find time for during the week!

My goal is to live seven sevenths of my week enjoying the day and savoring the moments. I know that sometimes I'll be in a bad mood that just won't go away, but sometime 6/7 is not bad at all.

How many sevenths will you enjoy this week? It's always up to you!

Enjoy today,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finding the time

My schedule lately has been, to say the least, a bit hectic. Senior year of high school is supposed to be (or so the movies say) the year when you bond with your friends and have crazy amounts of fun. What the movies don't tell you is that between college applications, senior class schedules, extracurricular activities, and jobs, it's almost impossible to find time to spend with your buddies. One of my lovely friends Beth (whose hands are pictured above) , has a crazy schedule like mine and we just hadn't been able to see each other much since school started. We decided to take matters into our own hands.

Since we're both part time Running Start students (we take classes at both the high school and the local community college) we have Wednesday and Friday mornings free from school. Last Friday we met for coffee at our favorite downtown coffee shop. Between bites of muffin and sips of Americano (decaf for me, regular for her), we caught up on each other's lives.

Sometimes we get so busy we forget to pause and make time for what is really important to us, which for me includes my friendship with Beth, and we forget how easy it is to make a simple effort to find time. We both would have thought that we would never have had time to see each other, but all it took was a creative look at our schedules and finding a free hour, even if it meant getting out of bed a little earlier. And it was worth all the effort.

Enjoy today,


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Unexpected inspiration

Sometimes we find inspiration where we never expected- like inside of this mint tin. At first I thought it was cool for St. Claire's to put a quote inside of their mint container, and then I realized how great that really could be. We all need reminders to be compassionate, to consider that maybe a grumpy clerk is having the same bad day we had yesterday. This reminder is perfectly placed. I have a mint just often enough that I forget that it's there, so every time I see it, I consciously think about it. I love quotes, but putting them on a wall or post it where it will be seen every day causes them to lose their value, as they are glossed over every day. By having the quote hidden, when I find it I always think about how I can practice compassion in my day. 

Try hiding one of your favorite inspirational quotes somewhere- when you happen upon it in the future, it might be just what is needed to bring a smile to a bad day.

Enjoy today,

Monday, October 8, 2012

The small things

During every fall for the last couple of years, I get a pumpkin. Not a big pumpkin, but one of the cute little baby sized ones. Last Saturday at our local farmer's market I picked out this year's pumpkin. It's little, and oddly shaped, with almost vertical sides and a reasonably flat top. I think it has personality. I bought it (or really, my lovely mom bought it for me) for a grand total of fifty cents- quite the bargain if you ask me! Lots of vendors at the market had beautiful bouquets of flowers, and the autumn arrangements are starting to appear. As much as I would love one of those, I appreciate even more my little pumpkin buddy that sits on my night stand. He'll last all season, requires no maintenance, and costs a fraction of a penny a day. I usually don't do seasonal "decor" in my room, but something little, like this pumpkin, is the perfect exception to the rule.  They say that waking up to flowers brightens your mood, but to me, a little pumpkin can do just the same.

I hope I have inspired you to find something simple to bring a little extra joy into your life every day!

Enjoy today,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The story of my stuff

So, I had a lot of stuff. I say had because a lot of that stuff is no longer in my possession. Why? Because I got rid of it! It's an incredible feeling to get rid of things- like the reverse of shopping. Instead of feeling that rush of "wow! I bought something great!" it's the feeling "I finally got up the guts to get rid of that!" 

I've been in the process of getting rid of my stuff for a few years now. It's been slow, box by box, but has considerably whittled down my possessions. This time, I decided to attack two areas that really needed some attention: my books and my clothes.

Part 1: My Books
I went through my books first, and managed to find an entire laundry basket and box and pile worth of books that I no longer wanted. Most were books that I had been holding onto since I was a preteen, thinking that maybe I would read them again. The truth is, I don't have the time! And, if I really want to read a book again, I'm sure the public library has a copy. That's one of the hardest realizations when getting rid of things- deciding that though you may want to use something again, you just won't. I know that I enjoyed a lot of the books the first time I read them, but I wouldn't get the same enjoyment out of them if I read them again. 
The hardest thing to get rid of was my collection of Berenstain Bear books. I spent most of my childhood collecting these books, and most of them have been read a million and one times. The thing is, they had been left virtually untouched for about five years. I used to think that in the distant future I would want these for my kid, but what I realized was that they wouldn't hold the same value to them as they do to me. The reason that I'm attached to them is the time that my parents and I spent collecting them, and when I have a child they would not have the same connection that I do. My kid will have the same fun I did collecting a series that they love.

Part 2: My Clothes
I got rid of an ENORMOUS pile of clothes. I was astounded to see how many things I had that I just don't wear. So many things that once I got rid of them I was able to get rid of an entire shelving unit. Just being a teenage girl, I had collected so many clothes while trying to find my own sense of style. Now, I know what I like to wear, and that was only a fraction of my wardrobe, leaving the rest to take up space.

My closet now contains the clothes pictured above, plus a rolling rack of hanging items. To me, it still seems like I have a lot of things, but I know that compared to other girls my age, I have very little. I love being able to see exactly what I have, and not having to dig through piles to find something. When I go to pick out what to wear, it takes me very little time, as I have very few choices, but almost every choice is something I love. 

The books were sold to a used bookstore for store credit, and the ones that they didn't want were donated to our public library to sell at their fundraiser. I had a clothing swap with a few of my friends, and what none of us wanted will be donated to a local charity.

It's a great feeling to have less things, and over time I hope I will be able to pare down even more. My favorite benefit is that it takes me much less time to tidy my room with less things around, and I don't stress out seeing piles of things waiting to be put away. That certainly adds to my happiness!

I encourage you to try getting rid of a few excess things, it's a great feeling and maybe you'll get addicted like I did!

Enjoy today,

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