Despite it being extremely hot outside (we are having Indian summer here in Pennsylvania) I am so happy that Autumn is here.
I never really decorate for any seasons, but this year I am so in the mood for it.
So, I was on the quest for:
Picture 1: I found an old milk jug at the house and painted it white. Then I also found this small gold ribbon and tied it on it. I bought these Autumn looking flowers at my local craft store (Michaels) for 5$. I find this piece to be minimal and very atmospheric and I love it <3
Picture 2: Everything was already in my bedroom (the shelf is a DIY and so is the frame with flowers- I collected and dried them up). I just added a small blue vase (had it in the house) and bought some Autumn looking flowers from Michaels (3$) for a nice color pop.
I actually think that the rusty orange flowers somehow bring the whole thing together - and I absolutely adore it.
It's a great example of how small details can definitely transform the whole room's ambience. It's the fist thing I see when I wake up, and it makes me pretty happy :)
Picture 3: Next I took a vase that I already had in the house and spray painted it white (it was bright blue before - not my thing). And yes, once again I put some Autumnal looking flowers inside of it. I know it's repetitive, but they all are so different - somehow it all just goes so well together.
I already had the LOVE sign, but I think that golden leaves in the flowers bring out the sign even better.
This one is situated in my living room's bookshelf. It's minimal and it's rustic, and it was only 2$ (for the flowers) + 7$ for white spray paint (but I used it on so many different things).
Picture 4: I also bought this awesome looking pumpkin. I try to stick to grey- white- black theme, so this is a wonderful pop of color for my room.
I placed it near the tv, on a small table that holds white flowers (couldn't take the picture due to horrible light).
This pumpkin is proof that decor doesn't have to be excessive, or big, or expensive (it was 5$). Little details have such a way of brining the whole room together.
Also, the less decor you have the easier into focus on it - nothing gets lost amidst the clutter.
Those are all of my minimal Autumn additions for this year. I added something small and bright in each room, and to me it made a huge difference. I also placed a Autumn wreath on my front door (no picture).
I had ideas of going with live flowers, but nothing really blooms anymore outside (I don't ever buy flowers - I try to scavenge what nature gives me). But maybe soon I can get some bright read laves to display in a vase. Or some very pretty twigs.
I am all up for free, nature decor (as long as it doesn't have any bugs on it).
When I first set out on a journey of decluttering and simplifying my belongings I decided to start with my closet. It just seemed like the most logical place to start. There are many reasons why to minimize and declutter, but I am not going to tell you why you should do it, instead I will tell you why I did it.
Reason 1. I have gotten quite tired of not being able to fit a single extra hanger on the rack, yet never having anything to wear that I truly liked.
Reason 2. I like to spend minimum time assembling my outfits.
Reason 3. I like to get good use for my money out of my items. Every time I see an article of clothing I never wore in my closet I internally cringe, thinking that I could have bought something way better in its place (like books, or sushi).
Reason 4. Having less makes me appreciate things I already have more. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. I have become very selective about things I own and things that I buy, so everything I own is truly loved and well used.
Reason 5. Minimal and sleek closets are very IKEA, and I dig that style.
I have been slowly and gradually working on my closet, but it is still not at the point where I want it to be, which is okay, because I am really enjoying the journey. Here are a few tips that helped me to start decluttering and refurbishing my closet.
1. Pick 3 words. These words will help you to define what is the most important quality when it comes to the clothing you wear. For me those 3 words are: comfort, confidence and simplicity. Through all of the years that I have experimented with different styles, I couldn’t understand why none of them stuck. I tried being edgy, I tried being girly, I tried so hard being boho. But every time I would assemble a style defined outfit I would feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, the outfits made me look good, I just had trouble doing some basic things in them: getting out of the car without something getting stuck, or lifted; eating without dipping my sleeves into my food; bending down…You know the struggle. Then I go and put on a good pair of jeans and a grey tee and I can breathe again. So I made comfort my number 1 priority when shopping for clothes - and everything changed. Now, I don’t mean that I go around wearing sweats and baggy shirts (although nothing is wrong with that if that’s your style) just the things I buy are not extravagant, or a one season styles anymore. I try to buy things that are timeless and simple in design. For when I feel comfortable and attractive in the clothes I wear, only then I feel completely confident.
2. Define your style. It doesn’t have to be an industry defined style, it just has to be you. If you are still experimenting with what style suits you best, try buying pieces that can be worn multiple times and that are easy to mix and match. If you already know what your style is, stick to the items that define it, and you will love everything that you have in your closet.
3. Work with seasons. If you want to go ahead and re-do your closet in one sitting, you can totally do that. But I learned that taking a “seasonal” approach to things works better for me. When I was “winter” cleaning, I only went through and discarded things that I would wear in that season. I left some of them as my “maybes” to see if I would wear them at all. Well I went through the whole winter only wearing about 4 of my favorite sweaters, one pair of jeans and a skirt. Recently I just discarded all of the items that didn’t even get touched in the winter. Now that it’s “spring” time I am going through my spring items. When you work with the seasons you get to see exactly what you wear and what you barely touch.
3. Pick a color scheme. You don’t have to, but it helps (especially when you are out shopping). When you stick to certain hues and colors, it’s much easier to shop, as viola, everything in your closet matches! It works very well with neutral colors: blacks, greys, tans. But if you are a lover of bright colors – make sure that they complement each other. Myself, I noticed that I am the most comfortable in greys, blacks and dark blues (might sound boring to some of you, but that’s okay), so for my color palette I chose: black, grey, navy blue and maroon (as my accent color). Now, that doesn’t mean that all of the closes I own are only of those colors, just most of them. I have whites, few hushed greens and some spring looking florals. As I am still in the process of building my “perfect wardrobe” I like to keep my options open.
4. Shopping ban. Put yourself on a “no shopping” challenge for any amount of time you feel comfortable with, but try to go without clothing shopping for at least 1 month. This little trick helps you to see what you have in your closet. It challenges you to create outfits with pieces that you already own, very often things that you long forgotten that you had. Exploring your own closet can be very fun sometimes.
5. Follow one in - one out "rule" This very common trick helps with keeping your closet manageable. If you just cleaned up your closet and then went and bought millions of new things to stuff back in there – well then why were you even cleaning in the first place? When you are still in the process of decluttering your closet try to only buy things that you really love, things that go with other things. Remember that you have to love that new item enough to be able to let go of something in its place. This also helps with compulsive shopping habits.
6. “Would you buy this in the store?” This little tip actually helped me a lot. When I went through my closet trying to discard things that I barely wore I kept asking myself “Would I pay money for this in the store right now?” Sadly, most of the time the answer was “no”. It showed me how little use I got out of the money I paid for that piece of clothing, as well as opened my eyes to some of my bad shopping habits.
7. Don't get too excited. When I first learned that stores like Style Encore and Plato’s Closet will give you cash for your clothes, I think I went a little overboard. I started looking for things in my closet that I could sell, not the things I just wanted to get rid of because I didn’t like them. I kept imagining all that cash that can be spent on some staples I still needed to bring into my closet. In the end, my happy bubble was obviously popped, as they give you very little cash (clothes are practically worthless, however if you bring some nice shoes or designer purses you can make some decent cash there). So, when decluttering, make sure that the items you want to get rid of are actually the ones you don’t care much for, not just the ones you think you could sell.
8. Visibility. I have noticed that having an open style closet really helps with clutter, as there is virtually no room for clutter to hide as everything is on display. I purchased a free standing clothing rack and a few of open shelves. All of my favorite things I hang on the rack, and then I fold my jeans and chunky sweaters to display them on the shelves. Undergarments and hosiery obviously stay hidden. However this approach only works if you have a walk-in closet, or just a really big closet. For smaller closets and closed drawers try using dividers as they will help to organize and increase visibility in a small space.
Here is a small gallery of inspirational images of extremely minimal, tidy and beautiful closets. I have taken these images from Pinterest (when most of the time it's impossible to find owners of the images), so if I used one of your images without the permission, please let me know.
If you are anything like me - then big and complicated recipes scare you. No matter how tasty the dish looks I am always hesitant to try a recipe that has more than 10 indigents in it. I think I am just lazy. So that is why recently I have been focusing on cooking simple meals. And results?
- I always have all of the ingredients on hand
- Less time cooking
- Less time cleaning dishes
- Better for your body
- So yummy!
Ahh, I forgot to mention the best part about this recipe. It is totally customizable! Don't like kale? Substitute it with a vegetable you love. Want an even healthier version? Use sweet potatoes instead of regular ones! Too plain for your taste? Add some colorful vegetables!
Now let's get started.
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 15-20 min (depends how soft you want your veggies)
Ingredients (2 people portions)
- 9 small sized potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 4-6 napa cabbage leaves (depends on the size of the cabbage)
- 2 big stalks of baby kale (you can use mature kale, but young one is so much yummier)
- 5 heads of baby bok-choi (again you can use large one, just downsize accordingly)
- Vegetable broth (just enough to submerge the veggies)
- 1 tbs of Curry spice powder (brand of your choice)
- About half a cup of Thai Style coconut milk (comes in a can, but I transferred it into a mason jar)
- 1 tbs of soy sauce (not pictured)
Peel and cut up potatoes and the carrot. I like my potatoes in small squares and my carrots in small circles. Place them in a cooking pot and cover with vegetable stock. I didn't provide measurements for the broth because it will vary. You only need to cover your vegetables enough so they can cook. Simmer until tender. While your potatoes and carrots are simmering chop up your kale, napa cabbage and bok choi into small pieces.
When potatoes and carrot are about done (I poke mine with a knife to check) add coconut milk. The amount of milk will depend on how much broth evaporated while cooking (we don't want it to be too watery). Usually less than half a cup is needed. Next add curry powder and stir very well. I add about a tbs, but if you love super spicy foods, crank it up a notch. Or better yet, use spicy curry powder (like Vindaloo curry, although that stuff is so strong it makes me cough! So proceed with caution if you decide to switch it up).
Add a tbs of soy sauce (for saltiness). For even healthier meal you can use the 'less sodium' soy sauce (I use that one) or not use any at all (but it might come out a little blah). And now it's time to add the veggies! I used all leaf veggies in this recipe, but you can totally switch it up. As long as it goes well with curry taste.
Stir everything together. Simmer on low heat until greens are soft (this is a personal preference, if you want veggies fresher only simmer for a little bit; if you like them nice and cooked give it some more time). When veggies look like they are done, take them off heat and plate your yummy lunch (dinner).
Note: I know that curry dishes are normally served with fragrant rice, but since this dish has potato (starch) in it I choose to omit the rice. It tastes delicious on its own. Just make sure your consistency is not too watery.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you will enjoy this customizable, super easy, nutritious and delicious curry recipe. Also, it is super CHEAP too make. It is definitely a staple in our house.
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