• My Minimalist ‘Aha!’ Moment

    It’s not that I woke up one day and suddenly decided to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. No, the dye was cast after the innocuous, or so we thought, decision to watch a documentary on the local on-demand-channel. It was a Friday night, January 15, 2010 to be exact, and we chose to view “Food, Inc.”, a movie we knew nothing about.

    So we watched. Having been a vegetarian for over thirty years, I went into the viewing fairly confident that the movie would probably affirm my choices and perhaps I would come away with a new insight or two. Oh, such sweet, simple naivete!

    My husband observed the movie from a somewhat detached vantage point while I watched with increasing horror and dismay.

    By the end of those 93 minutes, I knew I could not live in denial anymore. It was impossible “unknow” what I had learned. Like a cosmic light switch flipping in my awareness, I knew I had to make some changes so that I could live with integrity in my own skin. I adopted a vegan diet and a leather-free life-style then and there.
    The next day, I went to my closet and began pulling things out.

    Good-bye salmon-colored designer sandals with the clear, round Lucite-bubble heel; good-bye taupe knee-high, western-style boots; good-bye aqua-hued, faux-crocodile mules; good-bye woven red leather chunk-heel sandals; good-bye black mary-jane flats with the leather flower accent on the ankle strap purchased at a summer sale in Paris. Good-bye dark chocolate brown boots with the ultra-pointy toe.

    Good-bye cherry-red leather gloves lined with gray rabbit fur.

    Good-bye numerous leather coats and suede jackets and elegant handbags and turquoise padded opera-style wallet that snapped shut with a reassuring ‘click.’

    Bye-bye Leather

    It was with a mixture of relief (mostly) and regret (a twinge, but hey, some of these items were kinda chic) that I donated all of these items to Dress for Success, a nonprofit group which provides professional clothing to help low-income women successfully enter the workforce. It took more than one trip.

    Afterward, as I glanced in my closet, I felt a sense of peace. The first round of purging had left a little bit of space between my hangers and I could actually see where the back walls met the floor.

    And I knew that my work had just begun.

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  • elegant simple life: a new blog about living with less stuff & more joy

    Bright Tulips, photo by Christianna Pierce

    The Vernal Equinox marks the transition between the cold, dark days of winter and the bright, new life of spring. It seems like a fitting time to launch “elegant simple life,” a blog which will focus on living a life of lightness and elegant simplicity.

    I have been moving towards a more minimalist life-style due to a number of factors, which you can read about here. Instrumental in this decision has been the inspiration I have received from reading the wonderful blogs on minimalism and simple living prevalent in the blogosphere. Yes, I’m talking about you, Miss Minimalist, Rowdy Kittens, Becoming Minimalist, mnmlist, Far Beyond the Stars, Simple Minimalism, … and many more that I’ve listed here.

    Is there a need for another blog on minimalism? Truly, who wants to read yet another blog by a suburban wife/mother of teens/plant-based dietitian/minimalist/amateur photographer/meditator/Arrested Development aficionada? I mean, really, isn’t that niche already taken? But in the off chance that there is room for one more, I hereby throw my non-wool, non-leather, eco-friendly fiber hat into the minimalist blogging ring.

    I hope you’ll join me!

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