The Christmas decorations are up, and I’m already starting to twitch a little. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I wince. The house looks festive but full, maybe too full, especially with the tiny messes in every corner. Hal, age 4, is into wrapping the whole house and putting it under the tree. She, like most of us, thinks that empty space needs filling. For that very reason alone, minimalism is hard. It’s hard to do less. Minimalism is a continual, deliberate choice that manifests itself even in the space between the last branch of the lit evergreen tree and the hardwood floors. How will we fill that space? That’s a question we’re asking ourselves more intentionally this year, especially now that Hal can comprehend our decisions. Read more
Here we are again. December will be here by the end of the week, and 2018 will be here the day after that. December is shorter than February. I’m certain. It’s the season of gift giving, which I’ll be talking about over several posts. My extended family is comprised of some of the best gift givers on this side of the Mississippi. Christmas is their Super Bowl. My Super Bowl, on the other hand, just passed. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I did not inherit the good gift giving gene.
Do you remember when I started a permanent series on Minimalism twelve days after the new year? Well, twelve days after that, I signed a contract to write the cookbook The Minimalist Kitchen, which will be in your hands April 2018. This series (and life) took a major pause as every effort went into creating the book. I wont write a whole lot more on minimalism in the kitchen until after the book comes out, which creates plenty of space to talk about minimalism from a different perspective. Since the beginning of January, I’ve gotten several emails about minimalism and kids with subject lines like—SOS, Help, is it even possible?! Read more
I should know by now that the word never never holds up. After turning in my last paper in college, I swore I’d never write another. In college, I also swore I’d never dabble in web design or take pictures with a heavy camera, especially one set on manual mode. Over lunch with a freelance designer early in my design career, I swore I’d never work for myself because taxes and accounting. And then, as so many of my friends began to publish cookbooks, I swore I’d never write one myself. A couple years into swearing that, I added the caveat, unless one pours out of me. Read more
Last year I did a major pantry overhaul. It was a disaster prior. I shared the before (close your eyes) and after, along with 7 tips to building a minimalist pantry. It’s been a whole year, and we’ve stuck to it. We’ve made some improvements too. But before I get into those, check out the original post. For a comprehensive guide to creating and cooking in a minimalist kitchen, pre-order my cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen (Oxmoor House, April 2018).
After posting the fireplace reveal, I’ve gotten a couple of emails and comments with the same question—how will you decorate for Christmas? With plenty of green garland, vintage red, buffalo print, and not much else. As you well know by now, I’m a minimalist by nature. The best thing about garland and real trees—they disappear (get recycled) after the holidays. This is coming from the girl who toted a fake tree to 3 states purchased from Target at 75% off in college. Every apartment we rented had to have room for that human-sized box. Sorry Kev. Read more
At my first design job out of school, we had an efficiency box. If a step in the workflow seemed inefficient, you put anonymous feedback in the box—either a problem or a solution. Upwards of 12 people touched a project during its lifetime. To meet deadlines and create great work without mistakes, an efficient workflow was key. It hit me while dialoguing about Minimalism in the Kitchen during the A Couple Cooks podcast—the kitchen pantry should be no different. It should be smart and efficient. It should work for you, not against you. So, I built a minimalist pantry. Read more
When I started registering for Hallie well over a year ago, I was beyond overwhelmed. The big box baby stores nearly swallowed me whole upon entrance. There were far too many options on the shelf, and every store told me I needed 10,000 products that all served a different purpose. Gulp. After seeing moms around town, toting what seemed like a large suitcase + a baby, I believed them. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this after all. So I went in search (for many, many hours) to find products that served multiple purposes, grew with the baby when possible, were affordable (with a couple splurges here and there), and, dare I say, beautiful. Scrolling down, I still gasp that I call this a minimalist baby registry. No matter the case, they require stuff. I’ve included what we bought (and thought) and what we skipped. Above all, every baby and family is so, so different. Find things that work for your lifestyle. Here’s what worked for us.