3 Easy Steps to Minimalism

minimalist workspace
via

I’ve been meaning to become more minimalist in my life for the last couple years. When you have a mobile lifestyle and move every year, it makes sense to live by less is more. But this move, more than any other (even more than my original move down to Virginia) is really testing me and forcing me to purge. Here are three easy steps you can follow to learn from my new move-imposed minimalism!

  1. Hit a deer with your car and drive it back to your parents house to be fixed. Load up your car with your last-priority “stuff” that you haven’t used in months (or if ever) in your current pad. Be excited, because you’re taking back a car slightly larger than what you originally rode down in so you can bring more things with you!
  2. Go to a conference in your new city, and half-assedly pack up your car and drop some things off to store at your friend’s house. This is the “second in command” trip – things you use, maybe not every day and not immediately, but things you’ll need in your new house.
  3. Assemble your A-list possessions the weekend before you move and have a complete meltdown as you slowly begin to realize that not everything is going to fit in your car, no matter how much bigger it is. Move boxes into your car in order of importance and try not to panic as you realize you’ll probably have to part with that great little black dress you never got to wore, or your hair dryer (which should have been replaced months ago because the motor sucks your long hair into it,) or the ten plain white tank tops that should go anyway because they’re old, stretched, and stained. Slowly reconcile that you’re losing and no matter how prepared you thought you were for your move this time, you are and were not.

So there you go! Three easy steps to becoming a minimalist.

I know that this isn’t the worst thing and that downsizing is good. I had just hoped to make it to Nashville with at least one piece of furniture in tow (my club chair, which I should have in retrospect brought down to Sixx’s last week) and enough groceries to get through at least my first week there.

blog management / 36 ideas for writer’s block

writer's block ideasSometimes the thought of sitting down to type out a post can be very daunting. Writer’s block is real, and it effects all kinds of writers – even bloggers. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, here are 36 ideas to try to get your brain going!

  1. Things you don’t know about me
  2. Most embarrassing moment
  3. Q&A: Ask your readers to send you questions on social media and cover them in a blog post
  4. Favorite TV shows & movies
  5. Your five favorite photos and the stories behind them
  6. Post your favorite recipe
  7. Favorite fonts
  8. Tune Tuesday: post your favorite songs, music you’ve been listening to lately, etc.
  9. A Day in My Life: document 24 hours in your life
  10. Write a Buzzfeed-style listicle
  11. Do a favorites post of things you’ve been loving lately (these are one of my favorite kinds of posts to write and read!)
  12. Feature your favorite bloggers
  13. Every day is a holiday – look up what today is and talk about your favorite way to eat that food
  14. What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?
  15. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? (I would buy Kraft Dinners, a la Barenaked Ladies :))
  16. Take part in a linkup: Wordless Wednesday, Fan Friday… there are tons of linkups with different topics. Pick one and join in!
  17. Write a primer to your favorite band
  18. Two truths and a lie: tell three stories (and include photo proof if you want!) but one of the stories is a lie. Get your readers to guess which one it is!
  19. Be a fashion blogger for a day – grab a friend or a tripod and style up your favorite look
  20. Post a haul video or blog
  21. Gather your popular posts and cull them together for new readers
  22. Publish your bucket list
  23. Talk about your favorite books
  24. What’s your morning routine? Are you a shower-and-go girl, or do you meticulously apply makeup and style your hair every day? (I alternate between both of these without shame.)
  25. What’s the last vacation you went on?
  26. Talk about your hometown – best places to eat, fun activities, etc. for anyone who might be looking for a weekend getaway
  27. Describe your perfect day
  28. If your life was a TV show, what would it be?
  29. What’s your favorite sports team?
  30. Try doing a vlog!
  31. How did you spend your last birthday?
  32. Write about your college experience. If you’re still in or haven’t gone to college yet, talk about what you hope you’ll remember ten years after graduation.
  33. Create a challenge for yourself – maybe you want to drink more water or use more coupons. Blogging about it creates accountability!
  34. Talk about why you started blogging in the first place. Why do you continue writing?
  35. What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?
  36. How do you pack your lunch? What kind of snacks do you bring for the workday?

So with those 36 ideas to get you started, maybe it will help you break through the block! (And selfishly, these are all the kinds of posts I like reading. More workday snack posts, I say!)

Share in the comments what your go-to type of post is when you’re less than inspired – maybe it will help a fellow blogger!

Desi’s Dream Apartment

dreamapartmentphoto credit

Here’s the thing about moving: it stinks. And when you’re moving around the country in your little Toyota Corolla, you can’t drag along things like furniture with you every time you relocate, and it hardly seems cost-effective to bother renting a U-Haul for my $80 Ikea bed (bought secondhand on craigslist) and my falling apart $40 (again, Ikea via craigslist) dresser. Since I’m hoping that this time, the move will be at least a little more permanent, I’d ideally like to style up my apartment a little bit more. Here are some of the pieces I’m leaning toward!

wishlist

Ikea Trysil - My old bed was a MALM, and I liked it, but it always felt a little low to the ground. This frame has higher legs, and I like the sleek lines of it.

Ikea Knopparp - This couch would be better in black, but I like the lines of it too. Seems like it would be really comfortable and hug you. Eventually I might just want to get a sleeper sofa, but this will be a good start.

Three-piece dining set – Instead of having an indoor dining table, I’m just going to get a patio set and turn the dining room into an office.

Crosley Turntable - It’s definitely time for a record player upgrade in my life.

Macbook Pro – I have some ideas popping around in my head that involve needing to be more mobile and have a faster computer. My old 2008 Macbook Classic is fine for reading and blogging bed, but it’s not apropos for meetings anymore.

Sisters of Los Angeles Rocks glasses - I will probably live without real plates and dishes for awhile (I have two plates, lots of tupperware and cooking accessories), but I deeply want a new set of nice glasses. The theme of my apartment is going to be travel, decorated with photos and reminders of my vacations. (Probably the last thing that my wanderlust needs, but I love the idea.)

So this is my wishlist! I’m hoping to score a lot of furniture over time on craigslist, and I’m thinking about getting a bigger TV. I know I don’t need it, but I’m starting to feel like I might be the kind of person who needs those kinds of home comforts to really feel settled (and also, that I’m the kind of person who needs to feel settled.)

What tips do you have for decorating and furnishing a new place on a budget?

My Favorite Fonts

For a designer, there are few things as truly traumatic when leaving a job as leaving behind your carefully curated collection of fonts. As I’m spending time cleaning off my computer and making a list of the great ones I’ve found since I got here, I thought I’d share some of my faves!

fav fonts

Raleway / california harvest
Dolce Vita / Market Deco
Mermaid / Sacramento
Antrokasdemo / Nouvelle Vague
Baron Neue / Remachine Script
Rosewood STD / Southern Aire
English Essay / Mouse Deco
Governor / Alley Cat

Faves Around the Web

I shared some of my random favorites last week for #FavTotalSocial, but today I thought I’d share some of my fave things happening around the web. Great products, great blogs, great resources, and big dreams!

gobi gear hobo roll

GobiGear recently launched (and fully funded!) their Hobo Roll Kickstarter campaign. I’ve been totally intrigued by this product since I learned about it last fall because though it is primarily marketed toward outdoorsy camping types (which I am,) I also think it would be great for road dogs. Whenever I jump on the road for a few days, I get so disorganized so quickly (when we were up north, I literally could not find my running shorts for two days.) and Sixx, who is on tour full-time now, definitely needs to maximize organization. I’m very excited to review and check one of these out! Keep donating to the Kickstarter so they can add more great features, like shoulder straps!

NPR has been pushing out lots of interesting articles lately – many on stress (which are relevant to my interests) and HIV/AIDS. Their treatment of some of the AIDS coverage could be handled more delicately and less accusatory, but the Shots blog is a great place to lose some time right now.

I have been seriously, seriously considering buying an old Airstream or Avion trailer and living in it full time, so I’ve been reading a lot about the feasibility and cost of what that would mean, and god bless the internet for showing me that other people are out there doing it! Airstream Dreaming, Trailer Chic GirlsWhere Is Kyle Now, and even Tiny Little Teardrop have been great sources for research as I try to figure out if this is feasible.

airstream

And finally, TheSkimm. My girlfriend turned me on to this a few months ago and I’ve loved subscribing to it. It’s a newsletter that gets sent early in the morning, so you’re briefed on the important world events before you start your day. That way, if you get stuck next to your very worldly boss as you fuel up at the coffee maker, you can sound a little like you know what’s happening outside your world sphere.