Lighter Living Task #3 Family Treasures

Lighter Living is more than a book. Lighter Living Tasks are weekly suggestions to make progress on decluttering, organizing and simplifying your life. By working on parts of your home each week, you will breaking big projects into small, manageable tasks.

This week, find a family treasure and make sure the story is recorded about its significance. Record in writing and tell a family member as much as you know about it.

My dad told me the story of a ball knit by his grandmother, my great-grandmother Caroline Hildebrand (1859-1929). [Read more…]

Lighter Living Task #2 Closets

Lighter Living is more than a book. Lighter Living Tasks are weekly suggestions to make progress on decluttering, organizing and simplifying your life. By working on parts of your home each week, you will breaking big projects into small, manageable tasks.

This week, pick a closet, any closet. Grab some trash bags or empty boxes and set some time aside to tackle this project. First, empty it. Take every item out and then clean the closet by vacuuming or dusting.

Before putting anything back in, ask yourself if you love it or use it. For clothes, make sure it still fits, looks good on you and that you have worn it recently or in the last year or season.

Place items in bags destined to donate, consign or to sell. Thin out duplicates such as too many towels in a linen closet. You can also have a ponder pile or bag to look at later.

[Read more…]

Lighter Living Task #1 Refrigerator and Pantry

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998650943

Lighter Living Task #1

Lighter Living is more than a book. Lighter Living Tasks are weekly suggestions to make progress on decluttering, organizing and simplifying your life. By working on parts of your home each week, you will breaking big projects into small, manageable tasks.

This week we are in the kitchen and in particular, the refrigerator. Begin by removing every item and washing off the shelves and drawers. Then before any item goes back in, check the expiration date and look for mold. Throw away old and expired items. Consider tossing food that isn’t good for you. Perhaps re-shock with healthier items. [Read more…]

Favorite books of 2019

I am a voracious reader and read over 50 books in 2019. Some books are for research for my own writing. Other books were a selection for book clubs I belong to.

I have a picked just a few favorites as I do every year for you to consider if you are looking for your next good read. I review every book I read and if you want to follow my reviews throughout the year, be sure to click “follow” on my Goodreads profile and you will be notified of each review shortly after I post one.

 

This Tender LandThis Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author describes the book as a tale of four orphans who set sail together on an odyssey. And what an odyssey it was! I was hooked from the beginning. Each part was unforgettable. My heartstrings were often pulled hard as I became attached to each character. I covered my eyes or cried a few tears or cheered wildly. The author wrote with such compassion for humanity but showed the dark side too. A thread of hope was present throughout, which I appreciated.

 

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will probably be one of the best of the year and I read an average of a book a week. I experienced a wide range of emotions. Unchecked and untreated mental illness coupled with physical and emotional abuse were horrific. Not allowing school or medical care was incomprehensible. Needless suffering and isolation from the rest of the world was shocking. It was also compelling, inspiring and hopeful that anyone could escape such conditions and thrive. Bravo Tara Westover!

 

Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story! It was written with vivid words that brought the marsh girl and her surroundings to life. Suspenseful to the end. Even though I have finished the book, I still keep thinking about it days afterwards. Deserving of acclaim and I wholeheartedly give it a thumbs up.

View all my reviews

[Read more…]

Baby Steps to Lighter Living

If you have decided to downsize or declutter your home, you may feel overwhelmed. Clearing clutter is best done in smaller steps on a regular basis. You may also want to schedule days to work on thinning out your stuff. Mark it in your calendar!

In the movie What About Bob, there is a fabulous scene about Baby Steps.

[Read more…]

Giving is a Gift-Write a Review!

Giving is so easy to do but also so easy not to do. Remember that when you give a review, you may be making someone’s day and giving them hope. There are so many ways to give if we just take the time!

I recently went to California and found a coffee shop/juice joint that I loved and went to three times in the course of a weekend! I went wild and gave them reviews and raves on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Instagram and Facebook. The owner and worker bees were thrilled and so grateful. In particular I loved the Coconut Activated Charcoal latte, which I have pictured here. So, if you find yourself in Newport Beach, go to Juice Mi!

Small shops and restaurants are great places to start reviewing to help give them a boost. Pick your favorite platform and give your favorite spot a shout out!

At the end of the year, charities are often in desperate need of donations, particularly financially. Why not research and donate to three charities this month! You can also drop off clothing, canned foods, etc. or spend some time volunteering. In November, I donated to The Gathering Place, Warren Village and Nica Nadadores. [Read more…]

Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

Lighter LivingLighter Living is now available.

Colorado book stores that carry Lighter Living:

Breck Books and Boulder Bookstore.

You may also buy on IndieBound.

Lighter Living is also in paperback or Kindle on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You may find professional reviews on BlueInk Reviews as well as Foreword Reviews.

Clearing clutter is much more than cleaning out a closet crammed with things or getting rid of the contents of boxes piled in your basement, attic, or storage unit. Most of us have unfinished business that might make us feel like we walk around dragging a heavy ball with a chain connected to our ankle. When you declutter and possibly downsize, you can free yourself of weighty matters that tie you down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

[Read more…]

Tiny House Living

In an effort to bring awareness to benefits of living in smaller spaces, I interviewed Molly King about her recent move to a tiny house.
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1. What event or situation prompted you to think about living in a tiny home?
 
I recently realized that my love of tiny homes and cozy spaces, in general, can be traced back to my love of the Boxcar Children books. I always loved the concept of running away and living in a “found space” away from the normal lives of other people. I grew up building forts in the woods, and seeking out small nooks and corners to curl up in. 
 
Fast forward to 2016, when I seriously started researching Tiny Living—whether it was in a tinyhome, RV, or van. I learned as much as I could over the course of 8 months, and ended up realizing I didn’t want a mobile living structure—mostly because I still wanted to be in cold environments, and winterizing exterior pipes and dealing with the waste water / electrical seemed like a hassle. 
 
I ended up tabling the idea and living in a house in Breckenridge, CO for a year and a half. But the idea of tiny living was always still percolating. 
 
Come the fall of 2018, I began a dance partnership that resulted in me wanting to move to Salt Lake City, UT. And of course, when thinking about moving there, all I could picture was living in a tiny home. Within 3 months, I’d stumbled upon a tiny home space to rent. And, as of February 1, I’ve been living in my dream home! 🙂 

[Read more…]

In Search of the Superfluous

I love the word superfluous. It is an adjective and according to dictionary.com, it means being more than is sufficient or required; excessive. It also means unnecessary or needless. But wait, there is more! Obsolete, possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.

When I grabbed onto this word, I began to use it in many ways. I walked around my home opening every cabinet, cupboard, drawer, closet and box. I evaluated the contents of every nook and cranny in my house in search of the superfluous. It was everywhere. How many office supplies do I need? How many duplicate kitchen items do I have? How many spare linens and towels do I require? [Read more…]

Lessons to Learn from a Tragedy

In the Summit Daily News on December 29, 2018, I read the story entitled, Family remembers Arvada man who died following cardiac event at Keystone. The picture shows a smiling man on the ski slopes, Daniel Mares, age 52. He was three years younger than I am, which caught me eye. His first cardiac event killed him without warning on December 22, 2018.

The article provided Daniel’s background and a glimpse of his personality and passions.  It stated that he was “characterized largely by his effortless intellectualism, a carefree and joyful disposition, and the love he shared with his children.” He had two kids age 23 and 21, who are now struggling to deal with his loss on many levels.

I enjoyed reading about Mare’s life until I got to the point where it was revealed that he had not done any planning for the inevitable, his ultimate death. I then felt heartsick for his kids, who are just a bit younger than mine. The article quoted his daughter, “This was his first cardiac event, so I don’t think even he was prepared for it. There’s no will, no life insurance and no financial records…so we have nothing, and were the only people our dad had.” [Read more…]