Thursday, January 27, 2011

Embracing Ideals

Well, my apartment didn't end up exactly how I described in an earlier post, but that's mostly due to money restrictions.  On the other hand, I love how it has ended up.  I took a large amount of things to the local Goodwill last weekend, and have managed to make my entire apartment free of clutter.  Every item has it's place - finally.

My mother gave me a large cushy chair that perfectly matches a large cushy chair my friend Liz gave me.  I have a fireplace that I've yet to use (have to get a metal grate to hold the wood).

Since I have no washer & dryer right 
now, the laundry closet is currently being used as a costume closet.

I have a few other pictures, but they're nothing to write home about.  For Christmas my mother got me lots of cooking loot (a crock-pot, mini crockpot/fondue thing, microwave, coffee pot), and my boyfriend bought me a mini deep fryer.  I racked up pretty good!

So, that being said, one of my new years resolutions is to start cooking more.  Due to living situations and personal experiences I had forgotten how much I enjoy cooking over the last two or three years.
I started last Friday with a couple recipes from, my favorite recipe site.  I made rib-eye steak and roasted red potatoes.  The steak turned out absolutely phenomenal, the potatoes, not so much.  They never really seemed to cook all the way through.  I am assuming I did something wrong, as all of the reviews say they were delicious and perfect.  Oh well.  If nothing else, I learned how to mince garlic.  Right now I'm jonesing for a good knife set - all I have to work with is a block of four serrated knives from Ikea.

Next week (I'll always be cooking something awesome every two weeks, as payday allows me to go major grocery shopping) I'll be attempting Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon (although I may follow this highly rated recipe instead).  My ex and a friend of his made it about a year ago, and it was amazingly delicious.  I can't wait to learn and add it to my skillset. :-)

In an unconscious attempt to further my attempts at a more minimalist lifestyle (obviously I have issues letting go of costumes...) I have quit wearing makeup for a few days.  There is something liberating about it.  People don't cringe at the look of my face or shy away from me like I thought they would.  It doesn't seem to be a big deal at all.  That's not to say I will never wear make up again, but I may make it something for special occasions, and begin taking care to clean it off before I go to bed on the days/nights I do wear it.  More than anything it feels amazing to be able to rub my eyes after staring at a computer screen all day and not look like a raccoon, or feel as though my eyelashes are jammed together.  The skin on my face even seems to be more hydrated, smooth, and less shiny by the end of the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Cherry Tree Project

When I moved into my apartment, I wanted to do something I hadn't been able to do in the past several places I've lived:  Paint something different.  So I borrowed a projector and hooked it up to my lappy.  Found a pic on a stock website and went to tracing it in pencil on the wall:

After tracing I went on to painting in with high gloss white.  Had I been more patient (and had more money for paint) I would have painted the wall a flat white first, to make the effect a bit more subtle.  But in the long run, I think it still looks great against the "apartment color" wall. :-)

Let me know if these pics don't work, I hotlinked from facebook so there's no telling.  I'll add more "professional" pics later - these came off my Droid X.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clothes cutdown

Ok, I had some extra time (got home earlier than I thought I would tonight) so I went ahead and separated out my clothing.  I realized 10 tops and 10 bottoms was a little drastic.  I wear a lot of hats in life, and I need outfits for various occasions, despite having a somewhat relaxed work environment.

So, I cut it down to 20 of each, which still left me with a gigantic Sterilite bin overflowing with clothing for goodwill.  It feels good.  I can't wait to go drop it off tomorrow.  I'd like to keep my awesome bins, so I will probably put everything in garbage bags to take to the goodwill center.
Besides, I will most likely have to sacrifice at least one bin for all the knick-knacks and whatnot I'll be removing from my life.

Oddly, none of the clothe choices were hard.  Most of the ones I'm getting rid of were things I hated wearing.  I'd wear them as a last resort if laundry wasn't done.  Now, I will have to do laundry, or be smelly or naked, or both.  And that's not good for anyone :)

The Great Cleansing of 2011

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am fascinated by minimalism.  I began reading more about it again on  Friday, and realized I have gone way off path from my original goal since I moved into my apartment (which is fabulous, btw).

While I know my goals of decorating wont be achieved for quite a while, I think it's time to take stock and get rid of some stuff, starting tomorrow.

Obviously, there are somethings with too much sentimental value for me to let go of: the hiking stick my favorite uncle made me, the bronze & glass hourglass I inherited from my grand mother, and a tea set my grandfather brought back from when he was stationed over seas many decades ago, and the set of ruins my brother in law gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  I am pretty sure I will not let any of those things go any time soon.

I think my goal for tomorrow will be simple: narrow my wardrobe down.  10 tops, 10 bottoms.  Any panties or socks that are falling apart get thrown out.  Hopefully this process will keep me from having to buy new socks, because as of now, I can only find about 3 matching pairs on any given laundry day.  I have a surplus of clothes I loathe, don't fit (both ways), or I just never wear.  Just this act will clean out my one messy disorganized room which is literally covered in clothes and other laundry right now.

I learned while doing my tree project (tutorial to come) that projectors are freaking awesome.  I plan to eventually get rid of my television all together once I can afford a decent projector.  I have the perfect space to project onto, a large blank white area above my fireplace.  So there is a perfect reason to get rid of my extra monitor, television, and television stand.  3 largeish items gone.

I have a lot of knick-knack type things around that hold no sentimental value whatsoever.  Some of them are art projects that I swear I'm going to get back around to, and never do.  They're just clutter.  As of tomorrow, GONE.

Next are the stuffed animals.  I only have a couple that I anthropomorphize too much, and will have a hard time with.  One is a pig that I've had forever, and the other is the Swedish Chef.  I have a series of dinosaurs with small bodies and big heads that an ex-boyfriend bought me.  I have finally decided they can go.  It's hard to accept they're just stuffing and material and plastic.

At some point I need to purchase a smaller external hard drive.  The one I have is only 500gig, but it's old.  And large.  Gigantically large.  I need something that easily fits in a coat pocket.  That's for a future day though.

Well, that's all for now.  We shall see if I go through with this cleansing tomorrow!