List #1

I love writing lists; shopping lists, to do lists, lists of aims, packing lists – if I can put it in a list I will.

Today i’m writing a list on my way to work of small happies and things to appreciate.

1. The life saving magic of a hot cup of tea. Sorry M.K today is not your day.

2. The smell of washing powder. For some reason this smell is very seasonal for me. It doesn’t seem to smell as good in winter.

3. Guilty Pleasure Playlists. We all have them right? It can’t just be me? Mine includes The Osmonds ‘Crazy Horses” – that’s all i’m saying.

4. The skincare routine that WORKS. I’ve found a winning combination in burts bees sensitive skin cleansing balm and Pixi toner.

5. Summer Jackets – this has little to do with the actual item and a whole lot to do with the fact i’m no longer lugging around my huge wool coat.

6. Payday next week – again, not so much about the money but the happy feeling that comes with financial security in full time employment.

7. Family Sunday – I’ve decided to work this bank holiday but will be having a family barbecue on Sunday. So i’m excited for the Easter break all the same.

8. Weekend To Do List: in two weeks Drews exams will be over and we can resume our weekend to do list. First up Isokon gallery in Archway.

9. Pinterest: I’ve always loved pinterest but now I know we will be moving soon I have gone all out on my interior boards.

10. House plants: At the moment we have three small house plants. I’m planning the new ones we will get in the new flat. I want to be surrounded by nature, even indoors.

What are your small happies?

Weekend ‘To Do’ List

As mentioned in my last post, here is our Weekend ‘To Do’ List.

Parks/Gardens + Other

  1. Primrose Hill + London Zoo (Sloth)
  2. Richmond Park – The Isabella Plantation
  3. Severndroog castle
  4. Hampstead Ponds + Kenwood House
  5. Shadwell Basin
  6. Skip Garden Kings Cross + Kings Cross Nature Reserve + Wellcome Collection
  7. Kew Gardens
  8. City Farms
  9. Red Cross Garden + Borough Market
  10. Battersea Park
  11. Culpeper Community Garden – Islington
  12. Gardens off Essex Road
  13. Holland Park – gardens
  14. Walthamstow Marshes
  15. Abney Park Cemetery 
  16. Victoria Park + Broadway Market

Walks

  1. City Tree Trail
  2. East End Walk
  3. Inns of Court Walk
  4. Woodberry Wetlands + Parkland Walk
  5. Lee Valley Walk + Otter Discovery Trail
  6. Capital Ring
  7. Little Venice – Warwick Avenue

Museums and Galleries

  1. Design Museum
  2. Science Museum
  3. Natural History Museum
  4. Isokon Gallery – from 4th March
  5. Royal Academy + Serpentine
  6. Tate Extension + Postmans Park, St Pauls
  7. William Morris Gallery + Epping Forest or Walthamstow Marshes
  8. Barbican
  9. 221b Baker Street
  10. Anselm Kiefer at White Cube
  11. British Museum The American Dream

Day Trips

  1. Hitchin – Lavender Fields
  2. Box Hill
  3. Brighton – booked
  4. Cambridge
  5. Eden Project (probably a weekend)
  6. Heriot-Watt University Trip
  7. Open house

Food/Drink and Shopping

  1. Franks Bar – in summer
  2. Skygarden
  3. Portobello Market
  4. Jam in a Jar
  5. Cahoots – Kingsley Court, Carnaby Street

What’s on your ‘to do’ list? If you have any suggestions of places to go in the UK please comment them below!

Ally. xx

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Goals for 2017

I’ve decided to set some goals for 2017, this is partly to aid the ongoing declutter but also to reduce the amount of free time I waste. When I get home from work I flick between Facebook, Emails, Pinterest, and whatever else online. I waste time. So these goals are to make the most of the time I have, improve my health, and hopefully improve my day to day.

  1. Continue to Reduce Clutter – So far I have done well to organise my clothing, put things on eBay, and stop looking at shops online. I have also started to be more mindful about what I want to buy, if it is practical, good quality, and will be valued it can go onto a wish list. If it’s none of the above, why am I looking at it?
  2. Establish a Morning and Evening Routine – I don’t want to meticulously plan my time, that’s a bit over the top, but I do want to establish a morning and bedtime routine. I want to cut back on the time I waste doing nothing. I want to use my time wisely to practice a new hobby and make my mornings easier .
  3. Take More Photographs – As I shared in my last post, I love my camera. I love taking photos, waiting for them to be developed and then seeing the results. I often spend my weekends exploring the different heritage sites and community gardens in London, and would love to document these in a photography project.
  4. Make Homemade Lunches – Since starting my new job a month ago I have been super lazy with making lunches – this is important for me nutritionally and financially, so should probably be number one!
  5. Do Everything On My Weekend to do List– At the beginning of the year me and Drew (my other half) made a list of things to do at the weekend. The list was composed of all the things we have said we wanted to do over the years, but had either forgotten, or never got round to – We made the list because of our busy schedules, so we don’t wast the time we have together and so we never have an excuse to not do something. So far it has worked out really well. I recommend making a list like this, it will probably last us all year!

What are your goals of 2017? How are they going? What are you finding the easiest and hardest to implement?

Ally x

Areas I want to Simplify

When you decide you want to simplify your life the sheer number of tasks that encompasses can feel so overwhelming, where do you start? For some, starting with the biggest problem area seems like the best option. For me that’s the wardrobe, and that’s where I started. But generally the biggest problem is often the hardest, I don’t want to limit myself too much, but I still feel like I’m carrying excess. So i’m going to refocus, away from the wardrobe and tackle other areas of excess.

In no particular order here are the areas I need to simplify:

  • Paperwork – why do I still have bank statements from 5+ years ago? time to shred and recycle.
  • Toiletries and Cosmetics – I love receiving toiletries for Christmas, but as I prefer showers to baths, bath bombs and other bath foams can probably go. In with the charity bags.
  • Art Stuff – 4 years at Art school means I have accumulated a large selection of art materials. I still want some to play around with on the weekend, but that large cardboard box full is in dire need of a clear out.
  • Junk Drawer/Baskets – I probably  don’t need my old glasses prescription, miscellaneous adapters and other unused items. Potentially the easiest area to simplify, but kind of the hardest. Why does this stuff never have a place other than the junk drawer? Oh yeah, it’s junk!
  • Bed Linen – No-one needs 5+ duvet covers. But here I am. Time to get tough I think.

 

 

Wardrobe Purge #1

I’ve started the purge!

I’ve decided to take the decluttering slowly. Before we moved house just over a month ago we donated several bags of clothing, books – and whatever else to charity, so with a lighter load I have decided to take it easy this time.

I want to find what I’m comfortable with; For some people, owning 7 tops, two pairs of trousers and a jumper is enough. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to be that person – I want choice. I need to work through my clothes and see what is working for me, do I like the fit? Is it practical? Am I actually going to miss this item? So with that in mind, this is my first mini purge.

Clothes going to the charity shop this week:

  • 6 Tops
  • 5 Jumpers
  • 1 Coat
  • 1 Tote Bag
  • 1 Pair of lounge pants
  • 2 Pairs of boots

Clothes going to friends:

  • Chunky Batwing Cardigan
  • Striped Sweatshirt

Minimalism: Day One

Having now decided to adopt the Minimalist lifestyle, my first day probably isn’t what others would consider a good start – I’m currently in between jobs as such, tomorrow is my last day at work, and then I’ll have a few days off before my new job, so like all keen Graduates excited by the prospect of their dream job … I went shopping.

What I’ve taken from the Minimalism documentary is that the concept isn’t about having no things, but having what you need, and things you truly love and add value to your life.

It’s safe to say I can’t turn up to my new job in my old faded jeans, chunky jumpers and casual boots – But what I can do is buy what I need and be mindful in my choices.

Today I bought:

  • Two Shirts
  •  One pair of trousers
  • A jumper
  •  A stripe T-shirt.

I figured this was a pretty good basis for a smart-casual dress code. Now I’m home I’m looking at all my other clothes and wondering why I even own them? When I made my first post this weekend I made a list of the clothing I own that I truly love and use all the time, the list was surprisingly short considering my extensive wardrobe selection.

It went something like this:

  • Huge Blanket Scarf
  • Grey Oversize Coat
  • Cable Knit Jumper – with the long sleeves
  • Green Hiking Boots
  • Black Jeans

Time to have a sort out I think.

Let’s see how this goes!

A.xx

Welcome

Hello! Welcome to my blog.

I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now, and after some careful consideration and watching the documentary ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things’ I have found the area I want to explore!

One thing I’ve taken from the documentary and the selection of blogs, articles and websites dedicated to minimalism/mindfulness is the concept of aligning your lifestyle with your values.

In August last year I stopped eating meat, I love animals, I could never hurt an animal, so why should I let someone else do so for me? A simple idea. Now it’s time to simplify the rest of my life. What do I enjoy? What makes me happy? Ultimately spending money on possessions, half of which I never use doesn’t make me happy. Yesterday I went on a walk with my boyfriend, at the end of the walk it started to pour down with rain, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at the simple pleasure of trying to escape the rain in the middle of London whilst everyone else huddles under shelters.

So that’s the general idea anyway.

Now, where to start?

I think I’ll start with some lists.

A. xx