Saturday, April 30, 2011

Recipe: Crumbed Chicken

Crumbed Chicken - a Minimalist's version of the Chicken Schnitzel: without the oil

You need:
Chicken - thigh or drumsticks
Eggs (2)

1. Put eggs in a bowl. Beat a bit. Put breadcrumbs in another bowl.
2. Dunk chicken in egg, then breadcrumbs.
3. Bake in oven for about 45-60 min, at 180C. Until browned and crispy.
4. Serve with rice and steamed veggies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Essence of Minimalism

I think my friends think my Minimalism "hobby" is a bit quirky and a bit strange, and they shake their heads and say, "I don't know how you can own just three pairs of jeans!" They do humour me though ;)

I think for me, Minimalism is essentially, owning what you LOVE and ditching the rest.

I am not going to own 8 pairs of half decent jeans, that cost me $30 each and last two years. I would rather own TWO, that are a perfect fit, a bit expensive but good quality, and hopefully, will last 10-15 years.

I would like to state for a fact that I would like to only own TWO pairs of jeans, but due to a slight mishap, I now own three. I had two to start with, and one went missing, and for the life of me I couldn't find it anywhere! I came to the conclusion that it must have gone out with the bags of clothing that leave the house regularly for Anglicare. But one day, Husband couldn't close his tallboy drawer. There at the back, behind the drawers, the jeans were stuck. And so, now I own TWO pairs of blue jeans, plus one black pair.

LOVE what you own. Own what you LOVE. Good-bye to the rest!!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

When One is Enough - LBD

I wish I had the perfect Audrey Hepburn Little Black Dress - One.

Instead, I have Four.

Black Witchery puffy dress
This was bought at a sale. I have been quite happy with this dress. Easy to maintain. Simple. Flattering. I have worn it to a few weddings. The only thing is, as my body shape is changing after kids (sigh), I don't feel so comfortable wearing sleeveless. So I sort of need a cardigan.

George assymetrical dress
Also bought at a sale. Worn once. It's beautiful. Slinky and very well made. But for some reason, it just doesn't look good. And I bought it mostly because it was reduced a lot. George is a great brand. It was reduced from $300 to $80. But if I have only worn it once, it's not really a bargain, is it! I've decided to never buy at a sale rack again, but that's another post.

Turtleneck sleeveless dress
I bought this after having two babies when I felt like I had nothing to wear except horrible breastfeeding tops. And out of sheer desperation and lack of time, I bought it at a cheap shop having fit in the shopping between breastfeeding. $50. I still wear it occasionally.

Myer lace dress
I bought it for my brother-in-law's wedding. I love this dress. It's very Simple, comes down to the knee, and the lace is glamourous. I think this will be my One Dress.

Now what do I do with the other three...??


People give me Gifts. There are very generous people in my life. But how I wish they wouldn't! But I don't know how to explain politely that I don't need Stuff anymore.

I'm thinking of being very specific and asking for Experience Gifts.

Movie tickets
Theatre tickets
Opera tickets
Ballet tickets
Concert tickets
Plane tickets (!)
Lunch out at a restaurant
Voucher to a facial or massage
Hair treatment
Harbour bridge climb

When I survey the stuff around my house, a lot of it has been given to me. It's like other (well-meaning) people get to define what my house looks and feels like. I used to feel bad about this and hold on to a lot of things. But moving a few times (10 years of marriage = 6 houses), help to clarify what I really NEED and what I really LIKE. The rest can go.

Here are some present ideas for Kids:

Movie ticket
Lunch out at their favourite restaurant
Coffee date at the local cafe
Visit to the zoo
Visit to the farm
Ferry ride
Bike ride at Homebush Bicentennial Park
Bus trip into the city
Australian Museum
Powerhouse Museum
Maritime Museum
Botanical Gardens
Art Gallery of NSW
State Library
Sydney Observatory (There's a Lego Room there!!!) Lego fun at Sydney Observatory

One of my friends at church told me that her mum's gifts to her three boys is a Special Day out with Grandma. She doesn't give them Stuff. She doesn't give them Toys. She takes them out on a special trip, and takes photos on the trip, prints the photos and gives them to the boys as part of the Present. I LOVE this!!!

Link to another post: Byron's blog: Nothing New Under the Sun

*Picture: I can't wait till I can take my little girl (now 2) to the ballet. Maybe when she is 6.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Minimalist Wardrobe: clothing inventory

I'm doing an inventory of what I own. This is a good way for me to see what I actually use, and what I actually Need. I'm trying to re-train my brain. I have Enough. I don't need More. I don't need Variety. A few good quality items, in a few favourite colours will DO!!!

One way of re-training my brain is to stop looking at fashion magazines and to stop looking at advertising brochures. You don't really think you need anything until you see it! And it's only $30!! What a bargain! ;) It has also helped that I've stopped going to shopping centres.

Once I know how much I already have, and how Plenty that is...I will stop buying! Half the time, we don't know what we we double up on things, e.g I have 5 black tops. And half the time, we just wear our favourites. The 80/20 rule applies here. We only use 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. So I'm thinking of ditching the 80%, and use the remaining 100% of the time.

I have:

20 tops
6 pants (incl. 1 leggings)
3 shorts (incl. 1 exercise shorts)
2 skirts
12 jackets
5 cardigans
10 dresses
3 pyjamas
14 shoes (donated 2 since last post!!! woo!)
3 bags

That's 78 items. And really, that is a LOT. I've got to stop thinking I need more, that I need to keep up with...whatever! I will enjoy what I have, use what I have, and not waste what I have (which means donating what I don't use). I'm slowly working towards a proper Minimalist wardrobe. Slowly... :)