Days 9 and 10 of 28 Days to Simplify My Life a la Pinterest: Read Walden and Check the Week’s Forecast

As suggested by The Paleo Mama in her post, 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life, I started reading Walden on Day 9. I already owned it as I’ve meant to read it forever. Henry David Thoreau seems to be my kindred spirit – I would love to live in a cabin in the woods for two years. Growing up, I always said I’d like to grow up to be a hermit in the mountains. Of course as I grew older I realized that I’m a study in contrasts – while I would still love to live as a hermit, the options are a) hermit deep in the country or b) living in the action in the city. Suburbs, small towns, acreages on the edge of the city, not so much my thing. So the city wins, but if it were just me all on my own, I’d probably be hunkered down in the woods. For at least part of the year.

It remains to be seen what Walden will teach me about simplifying my life, and chances are it’ll take me a while to read this, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy ruminating on what Thoreau has to say.


On Day 10, I took another suggestion from the previously quoted Perrie Samotin on Stylecaster and planned a week’s worth of outfits according to the forecast.

This worked well in that it took any planning time out of my outfits, and out of packing for a night away at Justan’s mom’s place, however I’m not convinced yet that this outfit planning is helping me any. I think this is mainly because at least 3-4 days of my week are spent mostly at home. I rarely have to rush out of the house in the morning. Therefore, I’m taking up precious nighttime minutes when I generally watch funny shows, write, have a bath or do yoga, with outfit planning. Alternatively, I could be spending five minutes in my unhurried morning, when I don’t feel like doing those things, or can’t justify them, picking out my clothes. I have a feeling the more general, big-picture tips I’ve seen on Pinterest about purging and simplifying your wardrobe to make your favourite outfits more obvious and accessible are more helpful to someone in my situation.

Also, I’m sometimes known to spend a couple days at a time in yoga pants and a tank top. So there’s that.

Tomorrow I’ll try setting a timer for my work tasks. I like the looks of this tip – I think it will help me stay focused on each task and ultimately get things done more efficiently!

Find the Pinterest board with all these tips and more here.


A Hike to Our (Future) Strawbale Homesite (And Dressember Day #28)

My ultimate dream, the fantasy that is always on my mind, the thing toward which I’m always working and striving, is to build a small strawbale cabin on my parents’ land (or rather, the piece of land that will be mine one day). This will be kind of a vacation home, but we plan to make it entirely self-sufficient for all seasons, and hope to retire there one day. I spent a couple of years choosing the site very carefully – taking into account sun, wind, slope, drainage, water, visibility, view and more. We have no planning done on the house yet (well, that’s not true – I know what I want for the floor plan, most of the features, rooms, and so on – we just haven’t met with a designer or started anything concrete), but I go visit the site a few times a year to experience it in different weather, at different times of day. Ideally, I’d like to put a temporary shelter – even a shed or something – on the site so I can camp there once a month for at least a whole year.

Over the holidays, we hoped to snowshoe back to the site. However, it’s been very warm and too much of the snow has melted. So instead, we hiked. Here are some photos from our hike (followed by a photo of my Dec. 28 Dressember entry).

A pretty willow tree in the middle of winter.

On our way to the site. The sun was setting behind us and the light was fantastic.

Grandma and Neko hiking up one of many big hills.

See that light? And that, my friends, is what we call the Magic Hour.

This will be the view from our living room window at winter solstice.

The creekbed (for the spring) in winter.

I didn’t take a photo of the actual site this time out, as it doesn’t look like much more than scraggly grey brush this time of year. However, this gives a nice idea of the look of the land. The thing that I especially love about the site, and was kind of unexpected, is that it always feels about 2 degrees warmer than out on the road. The wind is always lower, the snow doesn’t drift there, and it always feels calm, sheltered, and warm. This is amazing! Such a peaceful feeling there. The creek (spring-fed) runs past the house, just down the hill through the woods, and a grove of poplar trees offers shade in the summer while letting the sun through in the winter. There is a perfect tobogganing hill just a few metres away. The slope of the hill that the house will sit on is perfect to dig into for a root cellar. I could go on and on!

Oh and of course, my Dressember photo for December 28! We are at my parents’ place, so I thought it would be fun to grab an old babydoll dress (from when I was 13!) out of the basement. This is genuine Courtney Love/Hole era!  It looks ridiculous without the belt, but with the belt, I quite like it!