Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More simple lifestyle resources

I'm continuing to search out simple lifestyle tips and techniques. I find that simple lifestyle in many ways is also a frugal lifestyle and that's okay with me. Saving money and resources is right up my alley.

I found this Frugal Living newsletter on It has a ton of ideas on saving money and resources. I'm going to incorporate their frugal cleaning techniques which are also very environmental friendly. I've actually used baking soda to clean around the house and it's amazing what it can do.

The site has a lot of newsletters I'm interested in such as:

and many more. I could spend hours browsing the HUGE selection of topics there at

Are you preparing to host Thanksgiving dinner? Since I'm preparing to move, we won't be hosting our usually dinner here. But, I learned about this site from the Frugal Living newsletter. The site helps you calculate how much food you need to serve your guests for Thanksgiving. Knowing my family, I'd have to add to that total because we are total gluttons when it comes to celebrations and holidays.

I've been floundering for the past few months trying a new calendar/planner. Every so often I get this urge to try a new system because it's a cute planner or I want to downsize or go digital. Last Christmas I got a Palm TX PDA to convert everything to a digital format. It took a little bit of time until I started rolling right along. I loved having all of this information inside a small gadget. No papers to misplace! Then disaster hit. My Palm died and would not revive. I was totally paralyzed because just about my whole life is on it (calendar, planner, addresses, passwords, goals, projects, podcasts, video casts, etc.) I scraped by for a few days trying to figure out how to deal with this crisis. I needed structure. I needed to track my commitments. I needed another planner. So, I started using a calendar that my husband had laying around. It's a USA Today calendar that has a different USA Today Snapshot on each day. I love those things. Anyway, this is the third month since I started using it and it's just not working for me. I need a structured system. I need a systematic flow of information. I need more space. So, miserly and desperate me realized I need to go back to my tried and true Planner Pad system. I've tried so many planners including the Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Although I liked the concept of the Covey system, it was just a little bit bulky and too cumbersome for me. The Planner Pad is a way that I can use what I learned in the Covey system in a more compact format. By the way, I highly recommend that everyone take the 7 Habits class. It's phenomenal and can help you align your life activities with what is truly important to you. This can definitely help you simplify your life.

Until next week, may peace be with you. ~~Lela

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Striving for simplicity

I've been on the hunt for organizing, decluttering, and simplifying ideas. My search has brought me to the Unclutterer web site. I'm loving it! For a good laugh, check out their Extreme Minimalism Monday. I'm giving my friends permission to have me institutionalized if I EVER exhibit extreme minimalism behavior.

Another web site with small space decor ideas is Apartment Therapy. I wandered around the site for a bit and found the Ikea Dream Home. I just LOVE Ikea! I love the clean lines, open space, order, and lots of light they use in their designs and spaces. I want to dispose of my sofa and loveseat to make room for some sleek Ikea items. I'd be re-living my college days on the floor with oversized pillows until I could save up $ for my Ikea dream living room. But, that's not happening.

Did I mention that I'm moving? I'm going for an extreme downsize from a 5,000 square feet home into a 1,000 square feet apartment. So, all of this decluttering and small space decorating research is high priority for me right now.

I'm considering painting the walls of my new space before I move in my stuff. But, my landlord has this clause in the lease that says no painting allowed. WTF? When I asked the leasing agent about this, she informed me that painting IS allowed. I would just need to talk to the maintenance department about the type and color of paint. No dark colors are allowed, she believes, and I would have to return the walls to the bland, boring (and their specified brand and finish) white before I leave. Do I want to go through the bother of running down a maintenance person for the "permission" to paint the walls? I would want to get permission in writing since my lease specifically says no painting allowed. Will the maintenance person be willing to sign his/her name to such an infraction of the lease? Is the maintenance person authorize to modify the lease in this way? Do I have to provide my paint choices prior to receiving approval? That would require shopping for paint chips and making decisions now. You see how this is not an easy decision. But, I love color and beautiful color on the walls can do wonders to make your living space inviting, serene, polished, and just plain lovely.

I have done some preliminary research on paint choices and found this paint with no VOCs that's sold at Home Depot. They don't have a great range of color choices like my all time favorite Behr paint. But, I think I can find something that'll work in the name of promoting a healthy environment.

On a different note, Old Navy is having a $10 and under sale. I strolled through the pages and I haven't found much in the under $10 category. And, my section--the plus section--is a little lame. Then I thought I'd check out the bargains and clearance sections. What exactly is the difference between the two? Is this there just to confuse people? I do like how the site allows you to search by apparel, size, collection, price, and so on. In that respect, the site is very user friendly.

One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple: Life Made Easier. I used to subscribe to it. Now, I borrow it from our library. This way, I can get the information but not incur the expense or clutter. I was looking at the March 2008 issue and saw a review of doormats. Did you know that a good doormat can keep up to 80% of the dirt from entering your home? It sounds like having a good doormat is a good investment even at $34 - $60.

Gotta go to look through the rest of the Real Simple mag. I hope you have a wonderful week!