Book Recommendations for Minimalist Parents

Anyone can be a minimalist. You might not use that word, but you might still be a “minimalist” at heart. Whether you’re on a road to declutter, simplify, streamline, slow down, live sustainably, or spark joy, these book recommendations will educate and inspire. For me paring down and experimenting with minimalism is all about making things easy on myself and my family, freeing up headspace … Continue reading Book Recommendations for Minimalist Parents

c section minimalist zero waste birth hospital bag packing list

Minimal and Zero Waste Hospital Birth Bag Packing List: Gentle C-Section Edition

Here’s what I packed and will bring with me to the hospital for my gentle c-section with my second baby. I realize there are a lot of labels on this post (“minimalism” “zero waste” “gentle”), but they all give some insight as to why I packed my bag this way. This list is focused on zero waste or low-waste and being minimal, since that’s my current … Continue reading Minimal and Zero Waste Hospital Birth Bag Packing List: Gentle C-Section Edition

plastic free eco friendly water bottles - review and giveaway on

Plastic Free Bottles – Pura Stainless Review

*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own and you guys know I only share the good stuff. Long before I learned about the concept of “zero waste,” I spent a long time slowly trying to eliminate plastic from my family’s home. No easy task in our modern times. Inspired and educated by Beth Terry and her book, and driven by my own … Continue reading Plastic Free Bottles – Pura Stainless Review

Jord Wooden Watch Review

In an attempt to cut down on my smartphone use, I have been on the hunt for a watch. I haven’t owned or worn a watch in several years. The truth is, I have relied primarily on my phone for the time and sometimes hear that siren call and open it for a minute. Which usually turns into several minutes mindlessly checking email, social media … Continue reading Jord Wooden Watch Review

Kiddobloom toddler baby spoon

Meredith Tested: Kiddobloom Utensils Review

Living a plastic free, low waste lifestyle is certainly possible with a baby, toddler or kids in tow. Research, preparation, and a few of the right products by your side help considerably. Oh and a support system helps too. You have a friend in me! I’ll always tell you that no matter what, YOU’RE DOING GREAT. Even if you’re not perfect. Progress not perfection… (Are you sick … Continue reading Meredith Tested: Kiddobloom Utensils Review

How to Declutter Your Facebook Account

I’m pretty much writing this post for my future self. Just like other areas, our digital lives need a good scrub and purge every once and a while. I used to put up with a lot more noise in my email Inbox and my social media accounts, especially Facebook.

A funny thing happened on my journey towards a more minimalist life: I don’t have as much patience for noise anymore. Not just in my house or my car, anywhere.

Now I try to flee cluttered (with physical, visual, and emotional litter) places to find quiet, or I drown out noisy spots with things I do care about. In short, I don’t feel I should have to “put up with” annoying messages, things that make me feel anxious or guilty or uncomfortable for no reason, or just shiny stuff that distracts me for a moment and pulls me away from more important things.

These “important” things may not necessarily be that serious or even driving my life or my business in some way. It just means they are intentional things I want to do/see/read and I enjoy them.

We all have to deal with unavoidable discomfort and hard choices. So why force ourselves to confront a million little – possibly stressful – things every day when we don’t have to?

Of course I don’t apply this same impatience and ruthlessness to every single corner of my life. When I’m at the park with friends and our kids, hanging out with people I love, enjoying an activity, or working hard on a project, I don’t let the little things get to me. If I don’t have time to do the dishes or clear off the counter before writing an important email, I’ll let it go. For the time being, that is.

On Facebook, you will see ads and sponsored posts from companies you didn’t ask to see. They will take up space where you wish you could see a friend or author or news outlet that you actually want to hear from. Unfortunately there’s no way on Facebook to completely streamline your newsfeed and eliminate all distractions and advertisements. However, you can greatly cut back on unwanted content in a few steps and with a few minutes of work. You might even find that the advertisements you see are more relevant because they often look to your interests and other pages you like to target your account.

Note: This process might take a few minutes longer than a few minutes, but give it as much time as you can or break the task into smaller chunks if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It will be worth it in the end.

How to streamline your Facebook friends list >>> 

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What do you actually need in your kitchen? Start with these five kitchen essentials -

Minimalist Kitchen Essentials

Unlike wardrobe essentials that cannot possibly work for everyone on the planet, there are a few things that I think every kitchen needs. This list is zero waste-friendly and plastic-free. Skip all the plastic crap that will break sooner than later and get good-quality, versatile pieces that will last a long time. Materials to look for: bamboo, wood and metals. If you think “good quality” … Continue reading Minimalist Kitchen Essentials

how to build a spring capsule wardrobe for New England weather

My Spring 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

It’s springtime! The sun in shining! The birds are chirping! … And it’s cold one day and hot the next where I live! Here in northern Vermont it was warm and sunny yesterday, and it’s snowing today. Haha. My husband and I made the mistake of switching out our capsule wardrobes a bit earlier than initially planned because we were packing for a trip to California in late March. All was well and good until we got back to Vermont in early April and it was 20 degrees F outside. Ouch.

Even though the temperature is wildly fluctuating, most of the items in my spring capsule are starting to get some use. My husband and I loosely follow the Project 333 capsule rules and we count clothing, shoes, accessories and outerwear but do not count pajamas, lounge wear or workout gear. The actual number of pieces isn’t as important to me. I’m just trying to be as minimal and practical as possible. I think my winter capsule was actually around 30 pieces, and my husband’s was right around 33/34.

For Spring, I have 32 items in the rotation. This doesn’t include my socks/underwear/bras, tank tops that are just for layering and never worn on their own, pajamas or workout gear. I have pared down those items considerably in the last few years, though. I don’t have many duplicates. Many items listed below were also in my winter capsule. If you’re curious about which pieces are staying through the seasons, let me know and I’ll go through and mark those items in some way.

Here’s a list of everything in my closet (though not all of it is pictured.) I tried to keep a mix of items that I could layer for cold days but also be nice and comfortable on warmer days. I like reading about specific capsule lists, so I thought I’d throw mine in the mix. I’d love to know what you think – Should I keep sharing details about my minimalist wardrobe or is it too much? Shout out in the comments below!

I work remotely – from home some days and sometimes from a local coffee shop – and I’m running around after my 17 month old daughter the rest of the time. I started working remotely in 2013 and that changed my outlook on my wardrobe a lot. I do like getting dressed in “real clothes” everyday, though. It might seem silly to switch from a pair of pajama pants to a pair of black leggings and call it being dressed, but for me it makes me feel awake and ready to tackle the day. I know a lot of people take advantage of working from home and stay in loungewear 24/7 but that just doesn’t work for me. One thing I’ve realized about myself during this journey to minimalism and exploring capsule wardrobes is that it helped me stay true to myself while still being practical. I’m less aspirational in my clothing now (bye bye all the blazers and high heels I was holding on to from corporate life,) but I also have way less loungewear than I used to because I just didn’t like it or wear it that often.

The colors I gravitate towards in my wardrobe and in the rest of my life (seriously, my home is also these colors!) are: black, white, gray, olive/army green, navy and pops of warmer tones like pink and orange. This season I only have a slight “pop” of color in a magenta scarf and a pair of light pink pants.

Meredith's spring capsule wardrobe - monochrome and minimalist women's wardrobe ideas

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Minimalist toiletries, zero waste travel

Zero Waste Travel Tips

Outside the home is where I end up accidentally accumulating the most garbage. In my home, I can usually control what comes in. Add in the unexpected locations and situations of travel and it can seem impossible to attempt zero waste. Here are the techniques that help me while I’m on the road – whether I’m going for a day trip, weekend away or longer stay. These tips can also apply to different modes of transportation – driving, flying, train. Or like, submarine? Actually I have no idea how to be zero waste on a submarine. Sorry. 😉

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