Jenny Mustard


Do you know Jenny Mustard?  She’s so much fun! I love watching her videos about minimalism on YouTube.

I don’t know Jenny personally, of course, and my life is nothing like hers but somehow I sense she has a good heart in that healthy body she’s currently walking around Germany.  She hails from Sweden.

Jenny is a vegan, as is her husband, David.  I’d like to head in the vegan direction, but I have a long way to go before I can say I’m meat and dairy-free.  I am working on being more natural and homemade, and whole foods in my kitchen, though.

I made homemade no knead artisan bread this week, and it was sooo, sooo yummy!  Nothing like the wonder bread that I am forced to buy when shopping my regular super markets in NEPA.  I’m planning a whole grain version of the no knead bread this weekend.  I hate to knead yeast breads, and I love the holes that fill the chewy slices when no kneading is done before the baking begins.  Really chewy and wonderful!!

Today, I decided to share one of Jenny’s vlogs here, so that you can know her too.

Again, I love her heart!  Enjoy!!


Minimalist Tuesday

So, I didn’t realize that yesterday was Tuesday.  The Labor Day holiday had me confused.  Does that happen to you?  I have no idea how those who are retired keep track of the passing days.  Not that I wouldn’t like to try that for a while. I would!  But, yeah, I missed my opportunity to blog about minimalistic living in NEPA by missing the fact that yesterday was Tuesday.  That’s why I’m reclaiming Tuesday today!

Do-overs are okay, right?  Right!!!


Slow is the way to go.  I have learned from observing others that slow and steady is the right pace to pursue when big changes are in the works.  I have a friend who goes at her recovery in a slow way, and she is full of insight and not the least bit stressed about her journey.  She is my role model for this new lifestyle change I’m adapting to this fall, so I’m following her lead.


I decided to attack three small projects this week, de-cluttering and modifying as I go.  My first project was a bookcase I have in my hallway.  I don’t have pictures of the case to show you today, but hopefully I will soon.  It looks pretty good right now, but sparse, so I may move some of mister’s books out of the bedroom and into the hall, so that we can put some pictures or other things on his book shelf in the bedroom.

Project No. 2  and 3 was a modification of my kitchen towel drawer and the master bath closet.  I already shared a little about the kitchen towel drawer, I think, but in case I didn’t, here is what I initially came up with; owner manuals included in the drawer arrangement above.


You can’t see the manuals, but they are under there, and made the drawer too full.  It was hard to get the towels in there on top of the manuals.  Looks pretty good though, right? Last night I was wanting to do more…itching to apply some of Marie Kondo’s rolling technique to my linens and maybe free up some space. Here’s how it turned out…


You can see the difference immediately.  I removed the manuals and will find a new home for them, somewhere else.  What I like about this method for storage of linens is that I can color-code things and see all my choices before picking a towel to use.

Can you say: Time Saver.

Part of why I’m going minimal at this time is the desire I have to clear out the clutter in my house and my mind and make it easier, way easier, for me to make decisions.  It think this do over of my towel drawer meets all important criteria for achieving that goal.

Next, I applied the rolling method to my master bath linens. Here’s how that turned out.


When I saw this picture, I thought this area still looked too messy for my liking.  Focusing on the linen aspects of the space, I decided to color code my wash clothes.  Mind you, I did this piece of the project before work this morning.  Yeah, I’m a lil bit OCD, but I do like the new look.


Folding towels this way (or should I say rolling), freed up enough space for me to store my paper towels overhead. Sorry you can’t see that, but take my word for it that it’s true.  I still have some thinking and organizing to do in this space.  Getting all those wires and cords under control would be nice, but for now I am happy with how it looks and how much economy of space I created just by rolling those big towels.

Note: The tool box at the bottom of the closet has grown three times the size it was when I first decided I needed my own girly tool box in the house.

Why has the tool box grown so large?  Because mister has added all sorts of tools to it that he thinks he needs, but never uses.  The combined weight of those additions literally broke the handle on the previous box.  Mister was delighted, because he went bigger and better (?) when he bought me a new box.  I now have to pile the tape measures (why do we need two?), and the duct tape and one paint brush on top.  They won’t fit inside that HUGE box.  I will soon be yanking out some of those never used but-he’s-sure-we-can’t-do-without-them tools, so that I have room for my girly tool collection.

I try reminding my love that this is a girly tool box, and he has a whole tool SHED to store his stuff in, but it has not worked. Yet!  I think an eviction notice will be needed to get those tools to vacate my space.  I will be writing one up very soon!  A girl has to do what a girl has to do to reclaim her territory, right?!


We have lived in our house for about 6 years and we still have not painted the master bedroom or the guest room.  I know, right?  Where has the time gone?  I think these two rooms got forgotten because we were so busy getting the rest of the house the way we wanted it, and getting to know the two wee humans that came along and are too cute to ignore.  Anyway, it is time. On my list of future projects are the painting of these two rooms, and the metal bed frame my grandmother gifted to me years ago. That bed frame is an awful brown color right now. Depressingly brown.  But it’s going to be sparkling white soon.

The guest room is getting a minimalistic white do-over, with green plants added to offset the stark white walls and bed, bedding, and window hangings.  I’ll make sure to take before and after pictures of the space, so you all can appreciate the difference when it is done. I’m excited to have at least one room in the house go all minimalist on us.  Won’t that be awesome?


I’m quickly running out of new projects to start on this minimalistic journey, but that’s only because I have not yet tackled the tough stuff–the attic, the food pantry, and the laundry area.

The dirty clothes pile has been whittled down to almost nothing. Maybe I will actually be able to keep on top of this most-hated chore because of the new emphasis on blank space.

Already, we are saving money because of this new emphasis. Along with getting rid of the stuff, I am committed to not buying anything unnecessary for the home.  New bed linens and curtains are necessary, right?  We are saving so much money. We NEED nothing!!!

What changes are you making to your living space right now?  What do you like about blank space and the potential it holds?




ThreeGoals-AlternativeIt’s Thursday again, and time to update the blog regarding progress made on my teeny, tiny habit-building efforts this week.

Here’s goes. My goals this week were to complete a 7N7 challenge; seven minutes of exercise in the morning, for seven days; to eat raw veggies with a lil bit of protein every day for both breakfast and lunch; to reduce my daily caloric intake by 100 calories each day, working my way down slowly, hoping to be at 1500 calories per day by Christmas.

How’d I do?

No. 1 GREAT!!!  I am seeing a habit beginning to form around my morning exercise. I’m so excited to see this happening.  I know I need to kick it up a notch if I have any hope of developing a healthy “lifestyle” for the future.  This habit of morning exercise is key to seeing that happen.

No. 2 Good.  I thot this goal might be beyond me this week, and I did struggle to make it happen. I did not have a perfect score where the veggies for breakfast habit is concerned.  I met my goal only 4 days out of the week, and wished I had not set the goal to begin with, since I have been trying so hard to build a habit of eating oatmeal in the mornings.  Why did I abandon that habit to start anew? Who knows!  I will be going back to oatmeal for breakfast this week, but I will say that I did eat veggies for lunch almost every day this week and it helped my body to work better.  Yay!

No. 3 Poor.  Honestly, I did not do well with this goal at all. Bummer. I did not meal plan, I did not calorie count, I did not write down what I ate, and I did eat carbs that I should not have eaten.  However, I also did pay attention to portion size when eating supper, and I did eat raw foods for lunch almost every day this week.

My impressions going into a new week of goals:

I’m feeling really good about the exercise I’m getting each week as I’m challenging myself to these teeny, tiny, totally winnable goals and habit building scenarios.  I’m feeling good about portion sizing. I’m feeling good about veggie eating. I’m feeling good about goal setting.

It occurs to me that if someone wants to change a lifestyle, it might not be all that easy to do it. Lifestyles are developed through basic processing skills.  Where the brain goes, the body follows.  In thinking about what it takes to change the basic way I think–simple, maybe, but not easy–I am realizing that changing how I think might be difficult, indeed.  Is it even doable?  Changing how I process ideas, attitudes, challenges; how hard is that?  Add to all this difficulty the fact that everything in life around us is constantly changing, slipping away like sand on the beach, and I begin to see that real change, true change, dynamic change doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time, and practice, and determination; and faith, and practice, and goals and God.

I will get this, it just might take some time!

My three teeny, tiny, doable, and habit-building goals for this week are:

1. I will do an 8N7 challenge this week. Kicking my early morning exercise session up to 8 minutes, seven days a week.

2. I will eat oatmeal for breakfast this week

3. I will do 10 minutes of meal planning each day, specifically focusing on reducing daily intake of calories and trying to get to 1500 calories per day by the end of the year.

I think these goals are doable, but that last one might only result in planning and not doing, at least Sunday through Wednesday of this week. I’m headed out to Lake George, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and parts north this weekend with mom and sis.  We all have plans in place for eating light while we are away, so that will help, but I am not going to obsess about food while I am away. Food or Weight, either one.  I will be focusing on connecting with family, taking some great pics, laughing a lot, and living life large, as best I can.

I’m praying we do not get drenched the whole time we are gone, or run into flash flooding situations.  I’m also trusting God for a great vacation with my ladies.  Trusting Me to stay the course and eat clean this week.

If you have some thoughts about lifestyle changing, please chime in with a comment.  I’m eager to hear your thoughts, especially if you have read a book that aided you in your own efforts to change things up in your life.

What goals do you have for yourself this week? Why is goal setting something you like, or don’t like, to do?