Project 333 ~ My closet struggle


It’s a closet Johnny Cash would feel comfortable with. Minus the jeggings and striped pink sweater.

Have you ever seen so much black on one shelf?

So after reading about Project 333 for months now, I finally body-checked my resistance and started some serious sorting and pitching. My beloved calls this “playing closet”. It’s a quirky thing, but I only felt comfortable pulling the essentials out with all of my other clothes staying put on the left side…with a sheet over them…Casper-style. Yes, it looks like I’ve got a shower stall in there, but the whole point is that I can’t see them, right? Out of sight (or under sheet), out of mind.

It really does feel a lot more relaxed getting dressed in the morning. I can see what can mix and match so much easier, and I’m not overwhelmed with a sea of color and patterns. It’s no surprise that black dominates here, and I have the accusing teens to prove it..”Maaa-ooom, you look funeral bound 80% of the time!” Oh, well. It’s slimming, chic, doesn’t show our dog’s hair, and I happen to really like Johnny Cash.

I perused people’s wardrobe capsules while trolling online for Project 333 inspiration, and I found that many of them were just too monochromatic or one-color-heavy. The Northwest is a dark and rainy place…I’m desperate for many colors…like Joseph and his fancy dreamcoat. I have my Frenchie days where I just want to wear my BlackbootsBlackDressBlackcardigan. Then there are the days that only a bright multicolored sweater and sparkly Converse will do. It’s just. enough. variety.

I’m feeling like I should have done this long ago! Looking forward to the ease of having my wardrobe be an uncomplicated activity.

If you’re taking this project on, I’d love to hear how it’s going!

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Hoo-boy! Hardest thing I’ve ever done, eating-wise. I’m doin’ it, though and following the darn rules. It started February 10th.

The positives:

-Skin is clear and a bit glowey…really enjoying that

-Bloat is gone and although theWhole30 folks recommend not measuring/weighing oneself until Day 31, I believe I’ve lost some cm in the waist

The Sugar Dragon is close to being kicked to the curb (don’t test me with gummy cokes, though…they’re a weakness)

-I discovered that alcohol does not need to play a part in my nightly ritual

The negatives:

-I’ve been cranky and short with my offspring

-I had a couple of days where emotions took over and I felt a bit out-of-body, and not in a good way

-My energy didn’t go up to the high level it is now until Day 18

-I experienced the “kill all things” stage for one day too long

*Looking forward to eating a bowl of Kashi (of all things!) on the 11th. Even though my spouse thinks it “tastes like the front yard”, I miss my sticks and twigs.*

Have a wonderful week, friends!




Enough  \i-ˈnəf, ē-, ə-\ :   equal to what is needed

This word has lost meaning for me along the way.

I’ve been trying to reacquaint myself with the concept and have identified several opportunities to embrace it. As an American accustomed to a certain lifestyle, I’ve become lazy about challenging myself to stay within the confines of enough. I realize that enough means many things to different people, but I do know what it should look like for my family and me…and I hafta admit…




Although I’m thoroughly fascinated by the Joy of One concept…and I love the idea of Project 333.…and I covet the Tiny House People’s simplified existence…I’m still tuning in to what enough looks like in my home and in my own head.

I’ve identified the areas where I’ve wandered off the enough path.

I’m aware that it’s best to focus on one goal at a time (for maximum success), so the plan is to be aware and purposeful in one area for a month at a time.

February ~ Enough is Enough….Commitment to maximum health with TheWhole30

March ~ Enough Stuff….A moratorium on buying anything new

April ~ ‘Enough Said….Listening more/Talking less

May ~ Enough Already….A mass media hiatus

June ~ I am enough/You are enough….Only allowing positive things to be said about myself and others

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My February focus, Enough is enough, is already underway (started this in late Jan.) and that’s another whole post in itself.  Hoo-boy! It is really clearing my head (and my tummy issues–bonus!) and I think I might be walking into a way of eating that will stick with me for the long haul. The positives are too plentiful to ignore the fact that TheWhole30 is one amazing thing to do for your body and future longevity. I finish the month of protein/vege/fruit/fats intake (with no other carbs) on March 10th and will do a re-cap of how I redirected my meals…it’s not easy, to be sure…but really, really worth it.

March brings a hold on my problem. By problem, I mean my weekly visits to get “just one more book”…be it for my job as a teacher or for my own development (nonfiction are my favorite), I can spot something worth throwing in the ‘ole cart every visit. Yes, I always buy used, but friends…like anything else, these items add to a whole lotta crazy wallet drainage…not to mention the space these books take up in my home has become an issue. Avoiding the mall and other places of temptation will not be hard and I’ve pitched any kind of catalog temptation, so we’re good there, but the cyber-shopping? Good grief, I need some awareness! I think just using the computer for blogging and work will be in order.

April is when I will hyper-focus on what people have to say…and when I do speak, I’m hoping it will consist of mostly questions about what the other person has shared. I notice that with my 3rd graders, they are usually thinking about what they want to say when someone else is talking. This is normal when you’re eight…not so much at 43. Being present and really hearing another’s words is important and I’d like to be better at it.

May will bring some solitude, I believe. Although I’m not a big TV watcher (2-3 recorded HGTV segments are my “shows”), the commercials I’m fast forwarding through are still seeping in. I’m also witness to the materialism when it’s blaring in the background with someone else plopped in front of it. We’ve done a pretty good job of limiting mindless screen domination…funny thing, my kids’ favorite is The Brady Bunch series on Netflix. ‘Watched it twice! We’re deliberate about what we DVR and make a date to watch it…but those damn commercials…the more is better message is definitely affecting me and the little people in our house. I’m over it. In fact, I’d love to see this month’s project turn into a step toward getting rid of it all together. It’s not just TV, of course, when dealing with the effects of advertising. I’m banishing magazines and ad-heavy internet content as well. Pinterest is a black hole I seem to fall into when it comes to seeing how others live (particularly with home design). I think the first step of enough and being content, is not having the superfluous, excessive more, more, more that creeps in through the media.

June is a month to really think before I speak. There is so much negativity floating in our country’s air. I’m always surprised at the outright meanie pants folks on the web who use the guise of anonymous to crucify someone with their words. I’m shocked by how brutal the media is with dissecting the lives of people trying to find their way. I’m not a person who feels compelled to give my opinion on others’ decisions and lifestyles…in fact, I was brought up to love and accept, which for the most part, I feel I do pretty well. But, there is always that less-than-loving thing that can escape from my lips…sometimes it’s about the woman yelling at her child in line at the grocery store…sometimes it’s the guy who’s signaling to me in sign language as he cuts me off…and sometimes it’s just quiet judgment as I watch people at a safe distance. I realize it’s all the same…it’s ugly and dark…not a place I’d like to dwell. I will reel in positivity in the beginning of summer! It’s a good time for it.

Do you ever create little projects for yourself to improve your life? I’m interested.


Simplified Food/Fitness and the Whole30


MyFitnessPal is not a friend of mine.

We were introduced on New Year’s Eve…me, wedged between couch cushions (bloated with the aftermath of celebratory, poor food choices)…him, quietly downloading his little App self into my unsuspecting world.

It was a good relationship for approximately nine days until we spiraled our way into an argument of wills. He brazenly projected his bright red -400 calories back to me after a day of failed restraint. I felt awful.

We broke up.

I finally had to admit it was a “It’s not you, it’s me” scenario. Calorie counting has never been a happy thing for me, although in the context of US eating habits, I’m a healthy eater (it’s an annoying portion size deal). Why would it magically jumpstart good eating decisions on the dawn of a new year (in my 40’s no less)?

At the risk of goin’ Oprah on you, I decided to write down what I knew for sure about what my body needs to be in a happy place…not to mention what my head needs as well, as it attached to said body.

So, big surprise, I found the needs to be simple. I raised my white flag in the face of a very un-simple method that was filled with enemy phone apps and cereal that tasted like the front yard.

1)      Drinking 64 oz of water a day (no small feat when you’re in a classroom all day) strangely always helps with bloat

2)      Not eating after 7:00 works for weight maintenance

3)      Running not only works, but it clears my head in the doldrums of winter

4)      If it doesn’t live in my pantry, I won’t think to eat it

5)      Green smoothies are a wonderful way to get my veges, but also a vehicle for avoiding fattening teacher lounge snacks after the students leave

6)      I cannot be trusted with chips and salsa anywhere in a one mile radius

7)      My Italian-loving palette can be fooled by zucchini noodles

8)      I feel like a wildebeest if my morning exercise routine is skipped

9)      A raw food diet makes my skin glow and I get the “zing-ees” (incredible alertness at  the usual slump hour of 4 pm)

10)   Protein/Vege meals solve my stomach IBS issues and I feel uber-good.


I’m getting it now that simpler is better when it comes to maintaining a fitness plan as well.

I discovered at age 22 that running agreed with me and the very act of strapping on the Nikes provides momentum to get out there on the trail. I also found 20 minutes, some simple weights, a post-it note of cardio/ab/strength moves, and a swept garage is all I need to do the rest. The mound of work-out videos (a smirking Jillian Michaels at the top of it) loitering in my utility room just reminds me daily of what I’m not doing. Frankly, less has got to be more when it comes to making a commitment at 5:00 am, my work-out time of choice. If it’s not simple I will find every excuse (lint rolling a fleece jacket, anyone?) to avoid getting out there and gettin’ er done.


In my cyberspace stumbling, I have uncovered a wonderful place.

The Whole 30 has descended into my home and I have been reading like crazy. I’ve dabbled in Paleo over the years, but could never find the strength to completely clean sweep the pantry of snack foods disguised in green and brown packaging with ORGANIC sprawled across the front. THEY ARE STILL SALTY CHIPS (even though 4 out of 5 healthy eaters find them to be a good substitute for the usual chip/salsa fare). The premise of the Whole30 is to eat only raw foods (avoiding carbs) for 30 days. These are the guidelines.  Judging by the forum comments about the degree of detox on specific days (i.e., Day 5: “I want to kill everything”), I’m a bit scared of how I will feel, but I’m going for it as of February 10th. Totally random start date, I realize, but for various reasons, that’s the day. I’m gearing up by eating mostly proteins/veges/fruits/nuts up until then—the hardest part (sadly) is giving up my sweet little glass of wine I enjoy while I’m cooking dinner every night. I feel some self-examination coming on the face of this challenge, and honestly, I could use it. It’s clear that separating the emotional part of eating from “food is fuel” is a hard road for so many of us, but I’m ready to explore the contentment and sanity this view can bring.


I’m also cracking open this book by the same folks to jumpstart this whole shebang. The science part always resonates with me.

I’m looking forward to the simplicity with this way of eating more than anything. I find that when food choices get complicated (especially when I’m standing in front my open fridge), I get flustered. I don’t want to spend so much time mapping out what goes into my mouth…it’s exhausting. Yes, there will be a fair amount of planning, shopping and pre-cooking items for this upcoming 30 day sojourn, yet I have found that Sunday afternoon works great for that. I like throwing things in my teacher lunchbox on Monday morning, knowing that I have all the snackage I need to get from 8-4. The C.Y.A. factor in my sugary treat laden workplace is KEY.

I’ll keep you posted as to how this little experiment goes. I’m hopeful that it will shut down some old habits and the murky film over my food attitude will be wiped away. I would like to see a simple diet add to the overall simplicity quest in my life in ways I never imagined.

How ’bout you? What do you think of a 30 day challenge of this magnitude?