2011 Minimalist Moves

As you probably know by now, I’ve been working on minimizing my possessions and simplifying my life for a while now.2011 was a good year for me in terms of lifestyle choices.  Since that’s one of the focuses of this blog, I thought I’d write about it in a bit more detail here before shifting my focus back to the present.

Not Buying It

I moved from Houston to Austin in August, when I got back from Costa Rica.  When we moved into our new apartment I only bought two brand new pieces of furniture: my hammock chair from Costa Rica ($20 and made from recycled materials), and our kitchen table from IKEA ($30, split with my roommate). I’ll take the hammock with me when I move. The table can stay as it is attached to the wall.

Christmas, in my family, is a hard one to get around.  There are a lot of people in my life who really enjoy giving gifts, so I try to encourage them to give me practical gifts.  This year I got a lot of new clothes.  I used the one in, one out rule, so I now have a much nicer wardrobe that doesn’t take up any more space than before.

For my part, the only gifts I bought new were for the kids. My mom just lost her mom, so I got her a harmonica and a ballerina figurine to represent the memory of both of her parents. Dad, Tim, and Mindy got knitted hats from yarn I had in my stash. I was especially proud of Mindy’s hat— it was made of recycled sweater yarn and scrap Noro Kuryeon. AND it was my first fair isle project!

Homemade Beauty Products

I tried my conditioner recipe again. It works as long as you keep it in the fridge (which the tutorial, of course, advises and I simply chose to overlook before); I tried the NoPoo method this summer, but I don’t think I’m ready to start doing that regularly. I have really fine hair and worry that it might be to harsh for me to do exclusively. I have reduced my hair washing by 50% since the beginning of the year, though. I’m down to every other day instead of every day, and I plan to keep working on it. I’m open to new ideas. As long as it doesn’t leave my hair frizzy or make it fall out, I’m willing to give it a try.

I’ve started using my own deodorant mix, and I love it. I have a jar filled with baking soda and a little bit of corn starch (to act as a binder). When I get our of the shower, I apply some shea butter to my underarms, dust some of my deodorant mix on with a powder puff, and follow with coconut oil and whatever essential oil I have on hand. It may not last as long as commercial deodorants, but it works better than the natural stuff, and I think I smell less overall. When I use Secret or other such nonsense, my armpits don’t stink, but I feel like the odors still work their way out. That doesn’t happen with this method. I love love love it.

Also, I’m in love with coconut oil. That’s all I’ve been using as a facial moisturizer this year, and it’s amazing. I had been having breakouts and then I realized that the problem was not that my skin was getting too oily, but that my naturally dry skin need more moisture. Weird.


This year will probably involve more DIY experiments.  I like the idea of being as self-sufficient as possible, so I am always open to new ideas to get myself there.  I’ll keep you updated if I come across anything good.


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