apt: plastic minimization principle

plastic minimization

Here’s a quick tip on how to create a better living space:  minimize the amount of plastic in your home. There are some exceptions but in general, plastic represents dead energy and if you are surrounded by a lot of plastic, chances are you are unhappy with your space.  One exception to this rule is with clear acrylic items, this durable clear material allows energy to flow through with minimal impact on the space.  My other exception is with household tools that get stowed away when not in use, ie. cleaning tools, this foot stool (pictured), because we still have to be practical ya know.

So look around you, find any plastic item you’re unhappy with and change it up!  Try swapping out that plastic cup for an inexpensive pretty mason jar or swap out that plastic electric fan for a stainless steel version instead. These small changes can make a huge impact!  (And don’t forget to recycle or donate your old stuff).

apt: a brighter kitchen with ivory white

rust oleum countertop paint

 Today was a beautiful spring day and I awoke with a feeling of serenity and joy.  I felt inspired to bring more sunlight and positive energy into my apartment and decided to get rid of the sad dark, energy draining countertops in my kitchen.  In under an hour and $50 later, I transformed my kitchen into a brighter happier space.  I think Scandinavian decor’s got it right by anchoring spaces with mostly white, your surroundings become brighter, energy flows better, and we are more at peace.  Here is the before and after:

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considered living: 2 good reads

good reads

There are so many inspiring bloggers out there writing about their experience living a simpler and fuller life.  So many are writing about minimalism, it’s even being called ‘trendy’, with some people subscribing to it like dogma, but for me it doesn’t strictly define my lifestyle.  In fact, it is something I rarely talk about in my personal life and if you knew me, you wouldn’t ever label me a minimalist.  My life is pretty ordinary, I still have a lot of junk in my apartment and still buy new things that I don’t need.  For me, minimalism is a pursuit, a process, and a guiding light.  And it’s about finding a balance that is still practical and realistic.  Since embracing minimalism, I find myself worrying about obtaining objects less, only investing in things I love, and feeling satisfied with what I already have.

Here are some inspiring reads by 2 minimalist boys from around the blogosphere:

becoming minimalist – He is able to articulate what’s so inspiring about minimalism beautifully and recommends some good reads every week on this recurring post.

zen habits – Also very beautifully written.  He writes about the “anti-bucket list”, on being more thoughtful about our life goals and feeling satisfied in doing less.

outfit: simple safari

simple safari close up outfit

outfit incognito.

A minimalist wardrobe does not necessarily need a minimalist aesthetic but should simply be versatile and practical enough to be worn often and in many different ways so that overall you get more out of less.  Natural patterns and practical features like large pockets and lose tomboy fit make this one a keeper for me.  This is what I wore to last year’s music festival season. Continue reading

outfit: faded army green

army green outfit

outfit incognito.

Here I am in army green again.  This time I’m pairing faded acid wash army green jeans with a knit top and fun vintage quilted leather purse in similar shades.  This is a good example of how less accessorizing can make an outfit more chic.  Gonna keep riding on the less is more bandwagon.  Continue reading

beauty: 5 anti-aging secrets

anti-aging skin care secrets

Is your night cream ripping you off?  Some of the most popular anti-aging products are totally ineffective, many of their claims are not even biologically plausible.  And many more products carry ingredients that are formulated or packaged ineffectively.  It takes 6 months to see any difference, so many women continue to get ripped off while they wait.  I’m not an expert, but by having a basic science background and the neurotic drive to do some cosmeceutical research on pubmed, I’ve come up with a list of 5 essential and 2 non-essential anti-aging skincare ingredients.  Drum roll please!

The 5 Essentials:

1. L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) Continue reading

outfit: grey on gray

gray grey outfit

incognito.

My monochromatic tendencies are in full bloom these days.  Just as pale lavender pairs well with grays, so do other shades of grey.  This cargo skirt is just as utilitarian chic as the army green shorts I’ve posted on earlier.  It’s frills — big pockets, statement zipper, drawstrings — are toned down by the simplicity of everything else. Continue reading

outfit: grey & lavender

lavender outfit

incognito.

I almost threw this entire outfit in the donation pile, but just couldn’t let myself.  When I bought this pale lavender jacket a few years ago, I was enamored by its slouchy tomboy shape, but I rarely wore it.  Sometimes I love something because it is so special but don’t wear it because it is too ‘out there’.  Isn’t that silly?

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outfit: army green is a neutral

army green jacket outfit

incognito.

Every year since 2010, army green jackets and parkas has been on trend during the cooler days of spring and fall here in New York.  Military style is utilitarian, urban, cool, and I’m a fan.  In this outfit, I’m wearing 3 different shades of army green.  Yes, it is green on green on green, but it works because did you know army green is a neutral color?   Continue reading

beauty: minimalist holy grail hair routine

living proof night cap

Miracles can come in a bottle!  This new product from Living Proof, called ‘Night Cap’, has both simplified my hair routine down to one product and eliminated the need to blow dry or use a straightening iron.  I literally just wash my hair every 2-3 days, towel dry, and comb a few pumps of night cap into my hair, twirl pieces of it, or just twist it into a bun if your hair is long enough.  Then just fall asleep!  The next morning your hair is shinier, frizz free, full of body, with natural looking beachy waves!   Continue reading