My Buy Nothing Challenge

The other day I watched the documentary Minimalism.  And after it finished I immediately wanted to watch it again.  I guess lately I feel like a fly on the wall looking at all the STUFF at big box stores, grocery stores or even my own home.

….Maybe because I have two kids now and there is a lot of clutter in our play area and basement (although the Hubz and I find it really refreshing to rotate out the toys, but still the boxes of toys downstairs have got to go), or maybe because I am becoming more in tune with how much I create vs consume or maybe I am thinking about our environment (well always thinking not enough doing on my part) or maybe just the thought of Christmas  gift giving/wrapping paper is giving me anxiety or maybe I just need to change, somethings’ got to change.

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The movie essentially says that we can lead more meaningful lives with less.  I am glad that they had a father of six give his perspective, a couple with two young children give their experiences and even a husband and wife who admit that their son is more ok with being minimalist than their daughter.

I think Miss S is almost at the age where she is realizing she gets stuff (presents, gifts from abroad, loot bag goodies etc) but from the beginning I’ve tried to teach her also about giving back.  But we definite balance out what she is playing with vs what she actually receives.

It’s also got me thinking about people bringing gifts for the birthday parties we’ll host and celebrate this year.  I mean, I know the only thing I remember from my birthday parties as a kid was cutting the cake and playing with my friends – so maybe there is an opportunity to teach our children something here also.

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As for me, I want to try something new.  I would love to do Project 333 but my postpartum body needs a minute.  I think a reasonable goal would be to cut down on unnecessary spending.  I will challenge myself for the next 3 months (Jun 1 through to Aug 31) to not BUY anything for MYSELF.  It’s unrealistic for me to go cold turkey so I have a few rules that I will follow:

  • food is OK (as in groceries obviously)
  • toiletries / costs associated with self care is OK (Vitamins or Physio as an example)
  • paying for experiences is OK (costs associated with travel, day trips, photo printing, events, date nights or activities)

And to be clear, items that I normally buy for myself which are not allowed during this challenge are: nail polish, make up, shoes, clothes, jewelry, craft / stationary supplies (this will be hard)

Wish me luck :)

Long weekend BBQ with friends #May24

This would be our second annual BBQ and I am liking if this becomes an annual thing with our friends (of course we’d love to be able to host our friends over for a meal / potluck more often).

This time we kept it pretty casual by inviting our friends via our whatsapp group chats (ha!).

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On the grill the mister had:

  • Veggie and paneer skewers
  • Hotdogs (halal and veggie)
  • Eggplant “burgers” (with spinach mayo sauce)
  • Simple BBQ chicken drumsticks
  • Pineapple

Plus one of friends brought a deep fryer to make fish and chips.

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With our society becoming more and more busy (long hours at the office, kids extra curricular activities etc) and on our screens than #IRL, I think it’s even more important to put the effort towards friendships, in person interactions and events.

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Although a pretty huge undertaking, planning and executing a lunch or dinner party is always a goal/to do item on our mental check lists.  That said, we definitely weren’t thinking it through much because during all the prep work we were dealing with Miss El’s feeding schedule and skipping the elusive toddler nap (for Miss S).  But I am glad we managed to pull it off and enjoyed ourselves in the process.

Attempts at bread baking

Okay really this post should also include “or lack there of” in the title.  As mentioned, my attempt to make bread have been futile.  That said – I am learning a ton!

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image via pinterest

I really thought this goal-setting activity would be easier than it’s turning out to be.  Mainly because I’ve watched my mom make roti my entire life.  However the bread I want to make is actually not the same type of bread as roti.  I have learned that I want to make bread that rises!  I’ve learned that sometimes you need a bread maker (I don’t have one) and you almost always need a rising agent (yeast).

So far there has been a lot of reading and research and no actual baking.  With that in mind I’ve decided to make my bread making goals more specific (and possibly more complex for my non bread making self).

Okay after all of that I am committing to bake the follow breads:

Wish me luck and please leave me your bread making tips in the comments below!

Planting Tomatoes & Gardening Next Steps

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TLY_GardenUpdate3I FINALLLLYY got around to planting some tomato seeds.  I picked up some ‘initial’ potting mix from Lowes and made a container with a pretty decent drainage system using a tin can and a plate (making the drain holes with a good ol hammer and nail).

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I started the process on Wednesday Afternoon after running some errands and during what I thought would be a nice car seat nap for Miss El.  Unfortunately she woke up crying because of the hammering.  So I had to finish planting the seeds the next day (after the girls’ bedtime) in the garage.  I followed the directions on both the potting mix bag and the seeds envelope.

So within a few days, the tomato seeds sprouted.  I was actually kind of shocked.

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And with the basil I’ve harvested 5 times: 2 batches given to both sets of parents and twice I’ve eaten a caprese salad :)  The last harvest is in the fridge most likely to be eaten in a caprese salad also.

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To be completely honest I am petrified and exhilarated by this whole process.  Here are my next steps

  • Buy a real plant container
  • Research how to transplant tomato seedlings and basil plants
  • Re-research how to harvest basil
  • Buy the “next level” of nutrient rich soil
  • Transplant the plants to the new containers
  • Get on a better schedule for watering
  • Teach Miss S about the plants (mainly so she doesn’t accidentally destroy them)