How Was Your February Declutter?

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We are now in the month of March. I have been actively decluttering/removing 1 item daily for the last 5 weeks. I have now arrived at the moment when I am starting to see the change. It’s much like the early hours of the morning when you can see a clear sky and just the tiniest rays of the sun climbing over the horizon. Like that. It gives me hope. It is also making me think. I have been doing this for more than 2 months. Many days, I remove more than 1 item. Some days, I only remove something small – like a broken ink pen. However, that should amount to minimum 80 items. How do we have that much stuff?! This set off a long time of self-reflection about what makes me purchase. (Another blog post entirely). But it’s something we should discuss!

I have set a schedule for myself. That one day, every week (until I am sorted through it all) I will go through 1 storage item. I have baskets, bags, boxes… I would like to be able to reduce these ‘storage solutions’ or use them for other clutter.  I do not have so many of these, but I do need to go through the contents. Perhaps I will discover my days’ items from here?

For the other 6 days, I will still be focusing on singular items each day. I read a comment which suggested focusing on categories. So, I think I will give this a try this month! (Thanks, ginger fluff!)

I would like to ask some of the awesome people who have been joining me in decluttering (either with this challenge, or on their own terms); How’s it going?

Through My Lens

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell 

Leggy Peggy

Elle Knowles

Ghost MNC

365 Days of New

Unexpected in Common Hours

Janet’s Writing Blog

Grubbing With Jess

Libby

The above listed are the bloggers that I am able to link to. I am happy to say that there are some incredible people here that have joined the challenge, which I am not able to link to. Please, let us know how you are doing!

I have found that doing this kind of challenge is ALWAYS better with friends! We keep each other accountable and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to get things done!

Who’s with me for the rest of March and April?!

-Mliae


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January Declutter Challenge Is Complete! Shall We Continue It?

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Good day, my peoples!

Firstly, the *feature photo is NOT of my home. This was a pic I sourced from Pixabay. (although at times, I have felt that this is my life)*

January is over and my January declutter challenge is past its conclusion date. This declutter challenge really got me motivated. I would actually like to continue the challenge on a month-by-month basis. Although I would really like to challenge myself and you, for all of 2019, that’s a big ask. I prefer having declutter buddies throughout this process as it somehow makes it so much easier. So, I think I will continue this challenge for February and I do hope you will continue with me!

For my last half of the January declutter, I purged 1 item a day (at least!). I realized early on in this challenge that paper clutter is my biggest problem. Bills (ooohhh…the bills!), Magazines (which I successfully managed to purge. Yay for me!) and books. I have always had a weakness for books. Everyone knows this, so I receive even more books. Occasionally, I get gifts of whatever some people manage to find at the used book shop for basically free. The problem with this is; Although people know I like to read, they have no idea what I like to read. I feel full of guilt to rid myself of gifts, so I keep them. I keep them all. This creates some spacial issues. (Also created the RBRC) Speaking the truth, I hate romance novels. I’m not a big vampyr fan, and research written in the 70’s is out of date many times over. So, I purged. This was my focus for the last 2 weeks. Purging my books and only my books. I gave away +2 full bags of books, then created 1 shelf for my ‘to-reads’ (Especially for the RBRC) and then I can pass these along (& hopefully the dictionary also!).

Looking at my shelves now feel so nice. A relief almost. It started me thinking about things. It’s strange how we spend so much time wanting items, but then when our homes are ‘full’ all we want to do is to clean it. How much time and energy of our lives do we actually invest into our possessions?  In my mind, it is quite much. This should be something we take into consideration when making future purchasing decisions. Because that book costs far more than the 10 cents someone paid for it. I was surprised to find that I had been dragging these books around with me for years. Why? How much of my mental and physical energy have I wasted on some junk that I won’t ever read? How much space has it taken in my small home? How much extra electric have I paid for these items to be there? (This is a big one when sorting the refrigerator) How many times have I dusted these useless items?

Now on to more important matters…. How was your January declutter challenge?

365 Days of New posted about her success with the January declutter Challenge and she has photos!

Janet’s Writing Blog posted about her success this month and drops a big hint that tells me maybe she continues with me?? 😀 😀

I am pinging some of the awesome people who joined in with not only this declutter challenge, but varying degrees of eliminating the junk, and I cannot wait to hear how it went!

Unexpected in Common Hours

Ghost MNC

Leggy Peggy

Saguren

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

Time in our lives is valuable. I hardly think that there is anyone out there who actually enjoys cleaning. So isn’t it time we surround ourselves only with the people, items and activities which we enjoy and let everything else go?

Let’s keep this decluttering train rolling! Who’s with me for February?

-Mliae

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay

Goodbye Junk. Hello Summer. Save $10 when you book online at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

I Am Not Posting The RBRC This Month

Hello all 🙂

I hope that you were able to find some relatable data from the Blog Following Experiment that I posted 2 days ago.

Due to all of the work/research/organizing I have spent my time on recently, I have been unable to get through an entire book (or one that is relevant more than in my own corner of the earth) this month. So, I am postponing the Recycled Book Reading Challenge until 1 March.

Please do feel free to link to your own RBRC posts so that I may link to them as well!

Thank you for understanding

-Mliae


Samsøe & Samsøe

January Declutter Challenge

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Hello all 🙂

First off, no, this is not my home. I sourced the feature photo via Pixabay. However, sometimes this is how it feels when you’re drowning in clutter. (Or when you initially combine households or add flatmates) We’ve ALL been there!

As I mentioned in my Happy New Year post, I have set forth a 31 day challenge for those who wish to join me, to discard one item every day for the month of January. Discard meaning: Give away, donate, sell, use up or toss. At the end of the month, you have successfully rid yourself of 31 items and at 1 item per day, hopefully no-one has gone into  a state of shock.

I actually love this challenge! I have been keeping a record of what I am able to discard daily. Sometimes it has been nothing more than an empty jar of daycream. However, since I only need 1 jar and not 3, this jar will not be replaced and therefore counts 😉 For the first half of this month I have managed to toss 2 chipped coffee mugs and several chipped/cracked plates plus 3 random salad bowl that go with nothing and usually find themselves being used for plants. I forced myself to go into the depths of my wardrobe (depths meaning: I love this, but it’s 3 sizes off what I wear and there’s no need to hang onto it in case I lose weight) and donated several beloved pieces for a Red Cross initiative. This wasn’t exactly easy. However, I think I have found my surprise nemesis. Books and magazines. It has come to my attention that I collect magazines. I never knew I collected them, but judging from the piles of years out of date publications – I’m a hoarder. Yikes! I pulled them out from every corner I had just managed to stuff them after reading. I flipped through them all to make sure I had indeed read it (yes – all of them), tore out any wow-me recipes and begrudgingly put them in the bin. There were a lot. And I am still finding them! As for the next half of this month, well, I will be doing that day-by-day.

As for the wonderful people who decided to join me, I’m linking to you and asking you: How’s it going?

Janet

365 Days of New

Ray

Unexpected in Common Hours

I would really love for anyone else who feels inspired to join us in the challenge, to join in! There are no requirements like reblogging or even posting about it yourself. Just 1 thing a day on the journey to a cleaner, simpler, happier lifestyle.

How are you controlling your clutter?

-Mliae
*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Happy New Year 2019!

Today is the first page of a 365 page book. Write it well, live it well!

As so many of us seem to make unrealistic goals for ourselves during the New Year, I would like for all of us to think in manageable steps, as opposed to grande schemes this year.

As I, personally, have been trying to manage the clutter in my life this past year, I would like to challenge you to a simple 1-month exercise in eliminating clutter with me.  Don’t panic, you will not find yourself in an empty room for February.

The challenge is this: to rid yourself of only 1 item every day for the 31 days of January. It can be anything. If you are a beauty hoarder like myself, if you have multiples of an item, which won’t be replaced after use, that item counts as well. (Example, I have lots of eyeshadow. Almost every container counts except for the last 3 – because I will replace them with 3 new ones.) Same goes with multiples of lotions, shampoos, etc – when the total tally is reduced. Clothing, accessories, housewares, random dishes. Every item counts. And at the end of the month, you will find yourself with 31 items of less stress, less cleaning time and less clutter.

Whatever you decide to do for the New Year, I hope that you find much success in your hopes and dreams this coming year!

Who’s in with me?

-Mliae

Happy Haul-idays! Save $10 when you book online at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Extreme Lifestyle Experiment: Update #1

Two weeks. It only took me two weeks to completely lose my mind. I’m still going on the challenge, but I’ve already had a major slip-up.

This is how its been going:

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On the first day, I thought I had some potatoes remaining in cold storage. Apparently not, as they had all sprouted in the bag. That wasn’t a great start, but I was able to get to the local store (which only sells local dried foods) and I was happily surprised to find a container of salmon paté so that what was my dinner.

The next day I went to the market where I was able to buy summer squash, small cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and local made habanero mayonnaise (yum!). I felt quite proud of myself and like, Yay I’m gonna do this! However I realized I had made one very large mistake. I embarked on this challenge to save money, to pay off some debt. But guess what! Eating local is expensive! The tomatoes and the mayonnaise each hit me for about €5. ‘OK,’ I thought to myself, ‘You’ve GOT to get this figured out’.

I was eating fresh berried from our bushes for breakfast. A good money saver, can’t get cheaper than free and it fit within my rules. My husband was kind enough to cook rice for a few meals (I can’t make rice…yes, it’s that bad!). Rice is also on my list, so we’re good there. Just fry some summer squash and call it a day. Hubby also made some slow cooker pea soup, which I really enjoy for some reason, so we ate a lot of that.

I did tell my husband that he didn’t have to do this challenge with me. I knew it was a major lifestyle change and I figure since he didn’t actually sign up for it, it wouldn’t be so nice to force him into it. He’s been really great trying to make meals which include things I can also have and then I only have to make whatever I want with it. However, it’s proved extremely challenging to sit there and watch the man eat bread or drink fizzy water without pulling sad puppy dog eyes.

I did manage to tell a couple friends what kind of crazy thing I had set for myself. I was invited to join on a berry picking trip. So this happened…

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I got a whole bucket! 🙂 This went promptly into a jam making session. I’m not so great at jam yet. It turns out kind of watery. But, this turned out really well (for me to eat, at least) and I’m looking forward to having it on cabbage casserole and hopefully some bread too (if I can ever figure out how to make it).

I managed to get some info on local farms that might sell directly to me.  I went, I bought, I  will go back! With this place I now have access to peas, cherry tomatoes (OMG – SOOOO GOOD!), kale, potato, onion, summer squash and turnip. This alone is enough variety to do some canning, eat fresh and make some soups for freezing.

And then it happened. About 1 week in and I got hungry. Not normal hungry, but eat the chair kind of hungry. I don’t actually understand what happened. I have been eating. Quite a bit, actually. But maybe not having all the instant food and whatever in it to make it instant, threw my body into some kind of withdrawal or something? I was so hungry. I would eat and snack and eat but I was still as hungry as if I hadn’t eaten anything. So weird.

So when I got together with a longtime friend of mine the other day, I went off my balance. I cheated. I cheated in a major kind of way. I ate restaurant food (which actually wasn’t outlawed if I was away from home) but then I did it like 2 more times in the span of 7 hours and I got whatever my little heart desired. She was horrified, I’m sure. I don’t feel embarrassed though, because she had been sufficiently warned. And then I shopped. I bought gas water, donuts, cheese bread, mini pizza. Which I kind of hate myself for now because it’s like I’m having to start all over again. I also wonder – how in the hell did people do this? Are we really so spoiled that I thought I was going to die after only 2 weeks?! Two weeks not of dieting, but of eating whatever I wanted, as long as it was locally sourced/made/grown. You know, one really wonders about these things. 50 years ago, eating like this was the norm. Now? Not even remotely normal. Areas are growing singular crops, instead of the formerly diversified ones, because most of those crops are going into the processed food we eat. People were satisfied eating locally. People knew what to do, how to make it work, how not to get bored, what to mix it with so as to maintain healthy systems. Us in modern day? Hah.

I finally got it together and worked up the nerve to try a bit of ‘baking’. Bread is far too complicated at this point, but I did find a fantastically simpler recipe for wheat tortillas. I will be posting the recipe at a later date. I made the tortillas today and it turned out well! Not so pretty, mind you. But they work. You can put stuff in them and they wrap. Best yet, I’m not the only person here who will eat them. Win!

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So that’s how that’s been going. What do you think, is a occasional fall down acceptable in a challenge like this?

I still feel like I’m in for the win though. My husband bet I wouldn’t last 2 days, and I beat that wager by a long distance. (Although he’ll try to argue that I’ve been begging for food gifts from him all along. Don’t believe a word he says about that…). This is harder. Much harder than I actually thought. I’m hungry and I’m cranky but there’s also some weird sense of pride that I feel. Like somehow anyone but me cares that I’m eating berries for breakfast instead of diet shakes. I feel like I’m doing something healthy and constructive for myself (and I know hubby is glad I’m at least trying to learn to cook something). And I feel like I’m doing something good for the local economy. Not just wasting money, but actually investing in something that local people have poured their backs into creating.

To be continued…

Any thoughts on this?

-Mliae

EXTREME Lifestyle Experiment…Can I Do It?

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Greetings all and thanks for stopping by! Today I’ve got a big one for you…

We just returned from our trip to the States, and it was so much fun! But now its down to business and I would like to discuss with you something I’ve been thinking about doing. I’d really like your input as to whether or not you think I have just completely lost my mind.

I’ve been rolling over in my mind how to explain this, but there really isn’t a good way to do it that I can find. So, here it is: I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself – starting today (this morning actually, and day one sucked) that I will do a complete 180  degree turnaround and live off the land – or at least locally. In all honesty, even though I’ve put some stuff to grow (fingers crossed) I really only have red currants and rhubarb growing and I’m smart enough to know that there’s no way I can last 2 days with that. I’m also kicking off a year (or thereabouts) of a shopping ban. No clothes, accessories shopping for me! I’ll explain all in the following paragraph. Please hang with me because there’s a lot of info – as this is a YUGE challenge I’ve set for myself. I have no idea how long I’ll actually make it, but we’ll see!

This whole post is surely a bit disjointed, but I do want to get all the facts out there so you can call me on it later. 😉 My motivation is this: I’ve been trying to get our accounting together and I realized that we are spending 100’s of Euros more a month than we should be, at the market. I’ve been thinking alot about how spoiled we (as several generations) are. I’ve been paying more attention at the market and it has started to stun me how easily accessible everything is due to globalization. I mean, I think its only in the past 20 years or so that its become commonplace to find summer fruits in mid winter or autumn root vegetables in the spring. This is not natural. Anyway, things got me thinking about how our grandparents lived. Although they were able to import/export items, it was nowhere near the level we have today. They had to eat according to natural harvesting seasons and also with wars, economic depression and the ration card. Despite all of this, many of them managed to survive and become what is actually one of our healthiest, toughest and most stable generations of the 20th century. And then I look at myself. I have been learning 1-2 ways of planting or preserving every year. But in the grande scheme of things, I’ll be 70 before I can actually live off what I’ve learned. I can’t bake – not for anything. I can cook, but it’s not in the realm of deliciousness – so I’m usually the only one who will eat it. And I need to learn. I have a habit of purchasing ready-made or easy to prepare food.  But the more I look at it, the more I want to prioritize my spending. As I would prefer to be able to pay off my debt (Or at least pay it down somewhat). Creating a life which is more on the self-reliant sphere has catapulted my decision. That and the fact that I really need to learn how to do this. It’s sink or swim time. And I hope I don’t sink!

So here’s what I’m doing: I am living off what I can grow as much as possible and what I can source from local farms and local small business (live fish farm -? I think it exists?, greenhouses and a small shop which sources dried herbs from the area). I am allowing myself gifts. As in, I will not turn down birthday cake if someone gets it for me. (My husband hates this clause because he thinks I’ll be begging people to buy me food ‘gifts’…he may be correct, but lets hope not!) I know that I will need lots of help from friends and neighbors to help me learn and direct me to local farms where I can purchase food items (which will fun to explain, as they don’t even know this blog exists).

I am allowing myself some purchases at the market, as I cannot cook without some things. The items I am allowing myself are as follows:

  • varying wheat flours
  • oil
  • sugar
  • cheese (& maaayyyybbe milk if I need it for casserole, but I think I can do without)
  • eggs
  • yeast
  • dried beans/peas
  • mustard powder (I’m trying to perfect a mustard recipe for gifts)
  • coffee
  • tea
  • vinegar

If I cannot make the items I need with these ingredients, I don’t get it. I have to learn to make my own bread, pastry, pasta and sauces. I don’t feel like I’m cheating with these ingredients, because they are necessary and even the cowboys had access to these items. Besides, I can’t preserve without some of it. So there. *sticks out tongue and wags fingers in ears.

Part 2 of this challenge is that I am embarking on a shopping ban. 1 year if I can do it. I have enough. Ironically, I looked in my wardrobe today and have built up my wardrobe to exactly 30 items. I find it so weird that some people consider 30 items for a season, a minimalist challenge. How? My wardrobe looks so….full!

I don’t know why my mind is so set on this, as it seems like a mission to disaster for this spoiled city girl. But I am determined to make it work. I can tell you quite honestly that I am already seriously missing fruit and mineral water.  I know that I will have troubles, challenges and frustrating days. I will be logging everything so that you can share in this journey with me as much as possible. I plan to do a vlog series about it as well, but no promises because I have no idea how weird I’m going to get.

So that’s my deal. Any thoughts on the matter?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Re-launching the Recycled Book Reading Challenge!

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Hello 🙂

How is everyone today?

Today, I’m re-launching the Recycled Book Reading Challenge! I originally launched this challenge 2 years ago, and I was amazed at the results. The challenge originally ran for 1 year, but it kept going strong for at least a good 15 months! After a while, challenge posts began to dwindle down. I really love this challenge, and I want to keep it going. So…Here’s the new and improved RECYCLED BOOK READING CHALLENGE!

The ‘rules’ are simple. Mostly all of us have a bookshelf sitting there full of old favourites which are collecting dust. Do we want to read them? Of course! Do we ever? Uummmm…Nope. This challenge is designed specifically to make use of that which we already have. Free, simple, and a motivator. Here’s what you do:

  • Try to dust off an old friend and read it that month. Just 1 book.
  • Write a post about the book you read on the 1st of every month.
  • Challenge 1 friend by pinging them in your post. This isn’t required, but….the more the merrier!
  • Either pingback to this post or drop your post link in the comment section (of either this post, or my most recent RBRC post – I will see it.)
  • I will link to your post on my upcoming RBRC post on the 1st of every month.
  • Also, as a bonus, if you decide to IG your challenge with the #recycledbookreadingchallenge hashtag, I will share your post & tag you on IG 😉
  • This challenge is for 12 months, but really, just hang in there as long as you can.

It’s really that simple! Read before you Kondo-ize your bookshelf! LOLz.

Who’s with me?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

The Minimalist Closet: An Intro

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Hello there 🙂

This is my closet. You’ve seen this pic a few times, especially after I decided to keep only my natural fibre or sustainable clothing options.

I’ve decided to start a new experiment series regarding the minimalist wardrobe.

I browse the internet… A LOT. I’ve noticed that minimalism and the capsule wardrobe have garnered a ton of attention as the new trend. I hate to admit it, but I have to laugh when reading about the ‘French Wardrobe’ or the 33 items for 3 months – trend. You see, in my mind, it seems to be more a case of people wanting what they don’t have (i.e.; time, space, clean lines, easy decisions) than a case of really taking stock of what they have and using it to its full potential. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be more so than not. People who have, want less. People who have not, want more. Welcome to the vicious cycle called Trends in Consumerism.

I live in Europe. It’s true that the storage space is minimal here, and also that the clothes cost a small fortune. (Especially when you have mentally/physically or age-wise outgrown H&M and all the other fast fashion warehouses.) It’s also true that basics need to be of good quality, since you will get the most wear out of them & that trendy items should be kept to a minimum. (The rules to the French Capsule Wardrobe state that you can buy unlimited basic, but purchase only 5 trendy items per fashion season: Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter) This seems normal. I’m not sure who is able to buy an entire wardrobe of items every few months. (Basics or not) I go months without buying anything sometimes, but I guess that’s because I have more pressing financial priorities. I have a difficult time with refraining from purchases sometimes because I go ga-ga over items that are different. If the sleeves are different on an otherwise normal cashmere sweater or silk blouse, it will be mine. Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurrence when it means the item in question must also be 100% natural fabric. Unfortunately, there are 2 such items at the moment which are waiting patiently for my purchase. Hmmmm….

I see people going all Mari Kondo crazed. No, I have not read the book. Yes, I do know how to fold. How could I not, after spending the years of my youth working in retail? (Whew! Sure am glad to be done with that job…) I’m sure that Kondo is a wiz at what she does. But, I mean really, do you only have things in your home that ‘spark joy’? My cleaning supplies do not overjoy me when I hold them. It’s more of an ‘Uggghhhh…do I have to?’ My empty nondescript flower pots in storage don’t make me smile. But they are a necessary part of my life when spring comes for sprouting. The piles of bills, tax forms and papers on my desk don’t make me happy, but I would be S.O.L. without them. I think its the same with your wardrobe. Of course, we NEED to have things that make us happy, feel sexy, feel great! But wouldn’t we be missing something if that’s all we had? I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I could wear what I felt best in all day, every day – I totally would! But if I’m going to drop 100€+ on a pair of trousers, you better believe I won’t be wearing them to clean the house, run the dog, or netflix & chill with my guy. I’m going to wear the shittiest uniform I own to clean, sweats to run, and something pretty – yet at least mildly comfortable to hang in with babes. However, I do get the basic premise of Kondo’s method, and I agree. She is correct in that if you love the items you own (clothes, for our purposes) then you will be happy in your space. You will take care of your special items, and you will get the maximum amount of wear out of an item that makes you happy when you slip into it. Absolutely! I always say that I would rather have 5 items of clothing that make me feel Ah-Mazing instead of 20 that are ‘Meh’. The fact remains though, that most of us aren’t models. We have active and demanding daily lives and we need clothes that can cater to that aspect of us. So the question (1 of many) is: How do we make this work with a ‘minimalist wardrobe’.

I like this post by Susie Faux, who’s been an advocate of the Capsule Wardrobe for the past 30 years. She outlines the practical reasons why a Capsule Wardrobe is recommended and does not lay out rules.

I have to use the term ‘Minimalist’ or ‘French Capsule’ wardrobe loosely here. For our purposes, there are no rules except for one. I’m not going to count my sweaters and then deny myself a few faves because somewhere someone said I should only have 2. Not gonna happen. Although, speaking the truth, it seems that the internet is telling me that my wardrobe – the one I have now, IS a minimalist wardrobe. How did this happen?

The only rule I am giving myself for the next 12 months is that whatever I buy needs to be:

– 100% natural fabric (I’ve already done this for more than the past year & I love it)

– Of good quality

– Something that fits the size I actually am

– Versatile

– Well researched & thoughtfully considered (So…no impulse buys)

– An investment. Ie; Something that I can see myself using for the next 5 years.

So, to get to the point, I’m taking on this challenge for the next 12 months. I will be posting regularly about my wardrobe, my progress, my insanity and my purchases. I do hope you will follow the journey with me.

Have any of you tried any of the minimalist wardrobe challenges? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Bartending For Dummies, mini edition! #challenge

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Hello all 🙂

It’s that time again, time for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge! This was a good one and a very fast read, especially since it fits in the palm of my hand. I will be keeping this one in the kitchen for reference when entertaining! 😉

This is my first ‘For Dummies’ book and I was surprised at how they are able to take it back to the most basics of the basics. Like…what is a wine opener. Surprisingly informative, it actually explains the process. Interesting…

The pocket sized book covers everything from tools and basics to a few frequently requested drink recipes like Rusty Nail, Irish Coffee, John Collins and even the famous James Bond Martini! (Verrryyyyyy coooolll!)

I picked up this little guy years ago for about 0.05 and I’ve never even looked at it. Now that I have, I’ll be flipping through it on a more regular basis.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, click on the link and start dusting off those old books! When you link your post back to me, I will link to it in my following challenge post. Thanks for reading!

What are you reading?

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Ghost Stories of the Old South by Edrick Thay

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Hi there 🙂

I’m late. It’s been a bit difficult to do much reading during all of the wedding chaos and the honeymoon. However, I was able to get my little grubbies on this new-old treasure!

We were surprised with a honeymoon in the Southern United States. And it was awesome! (I have been waiting for pictures to come in, to share with you) As you can well imagine, there are lots of spooky old plantation homes there and ALOT of history! So I was really excited to see this book and read through some of the stories before having to return it to its rightful owner.

This book is a collection of ghost stories from Tennessee to Mississippi, written in short story form. Ranging from the mundane to the gruesome, this book would be a fun one from pre-teen to adult. Its also a great addition to those late-night ghost tours!

If you would like to join our Recycled Book Reading Challenge, please do! You can find out what its all about by clicking the link.

I would like to link to another great recycled book reading challenge post from this month at www.teleportingweena.wordpress.com the post can by read by clicking here.

What are you reading?

-Mliae

Is it Possible to NOT Lie?

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Hi there,

Today I got Busted. With a capital B, for ‘lying’. Not outright lying, or pathological lying, but white-lie lying. And when I tried to defend myself, the reply I received was ‘you lie all the time about this stuff’. I was gobsmacked. I mean…REALLY?! I’ve always considered myself a rather straight forward person, with no time for lies or games. So how did this happen?

I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this after this discussion. This is how my lying evolved. You see, I used to be brutally honest. Like Tourettes – type, couldn’t stop myself, HAD to say what I thought. I’d been raised better than that, but I didn’t have time for bullshit. Better to just say it and get it out there. Surprisingly, I had many friends and they just accepted it as part of my personality. Although I know for a fact that there were many hurt feelings left in my wake of honesty. It was only after I began traveling to far-flung countries and cultures around the world, that I learned that this was not a good practice. Asia is what finally cured me of my brutal honesty. I learned, that in the culture, people elude to what it is they are trying to say. People are supposed to be able to pick up on the body language clues as well as inflection and understand exactly what was being said. But you never…EVER say it straight. It is insulting and does not allow for the person – sometimes victim – to save face. And that, is just not acceptable. Especially in any kind of business context. How was I so stupid? This point, my friends, is where the little white lies began.

  • ‘How are you?’ ‘Lovely’.
  • ‘What do you think of this dish?’ ‘Delicious.’
  • ‘Our schedule for tomorrow is…(7 solid hours of events I don’t want to attend) Does that suit you?’ ‘Absolutely, can’t wait’
  • ‘Does my butt look big?’ ‘Nope, you’ve got a great ass’
  • ‘I will pick you up at 6 in the morning…ok?’ ‘Perfect!’

You can fill in the rest. We all do it. Which brings me to the question of….why? If we all tell the same lies, then we all know when someone is telling the same lies to us, which takes away from the ‘I’ll soften the blow’ basis of the whole idea in the first place. So why do we perpetuate these little white lies when nobody is falling for the bullshit anyway? I mean, come on. I know that when I ask my fiancé if my butt looks ok in a pair of pants, exactly what he will say. (Well ok, not always. He knows it’s a trap & avoids it as much as possible). But when he does reply, I know that he wishes to avoid my incessant follow-up questions so much, that he will tell me exactly what I want to hear. And THAT is what this is all about. We lie to avoid hurt feelings and conflict. (As a general rule. There are some folks who just lie for…well, for themselves I guess).

My next question is: If I don’t want to hurt people with the brutal truth, and I don’t want to lie…where is the line? I think the line is tact. But tact seems to be that part between colours on the colour wheel where the shades blend in with each other. So where is the line between tact and lying? At what point do you pull yourself back?

And what about lying by omission? I mean, ok. I understand that it is absolutely wrong if you forget to tell your SO that you slept with someone else. That’s just straight out lying. But, well… I have a nicolette habit. It’s awful for me, I know. But I’m not smoking cause that’s 1000 times worse. My fiancé knows that in stressful situations I run for the gum. But he forgot about it after a time, and when he found some I had stashed away, he was really upset about it. This is the best kind of example I can give for what I mean. I didn’t see the problem, because I hadn’t told him I wasn’t doing it, so therefore wasn’t lying. And I think it ridiculous to report that I am purchasing it, as I don’t give a full report of everything I purchase, basically …ever. Same with clothes. I see something pretty, I buy it, I hang it, I pay my other bills. So why does it matter? But I digress. I think he felt like I had allowed him to believe that I wasn’t taking it anymore because the whole subject just kind of died in the wind, as most subjects do. And because I had them tucked away, not just laying out on the table, I can see that he thought he was being deceived somehow. So what is the thing here? When does just doing what you do and not thinking it important enough to mention, turn into lying by omission? At what point and how do you know? Help me out here, because I am at a loss.

I’ve really been thinking about this so I’ve decided to challenge myself, and you too, if you’re up for it, to NOT lie. No whoppers – pathological ‘I’m a detective, I work for the CIA, no I’m a policeman’ lies (not a problem for me, but maybe for some people), no lying by omission – i.e.; just not telling someone something (this will be difficult for me because I have a tendency to just do whatever I decide to do and more times than not, don’t bother telling anyone about it because I feel it’s not a big thing if I bought a new shirt, or left to go somewhere for awhile.), no conflict avoidance lies – i.e.; telling someone whatever it is they need to hear to just make. it. stop. No little white lies either. (Eeeek! This will be so hard, and I’ve already got a list of friends I’ll probably loose.) No lying on Cv’s or credit applications either, folks. (This happens a surprising amount. You know who you are.)

I would love for you to share any advice or thoughts you have on the matter because my questions are genuine. If I’m trying not to lie, and I’d like to maintain my relationships with friends, family and a lover who gets the brunt of my opinions…how do I do it?

Who’s with me?

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Wicked by Paul Jennings & Morris Gleitzma

Hi guys 🙂

Again, I am late on this. My apologies, I did last months so late that my brain just skipped right over the 1st of this month!

So, this is my Recycled Book Reading Challenge book for this month: Wicked by Paul Jennings & Morris Gleitzma.

Even though this is primarily a children’s book, its still a lot of fun. Not to mention being an easy read. This particular edition has all 6 books inside. Since you kind of have to read all the books in the series to really ‘get it’ I was happy that this is what I found myself with after a trip to the second hand store.

The store does get pretty ‘trippy’, but what do you expect from a fun and serious book made for kids? The bottom line is: Step-families suck.

This is a cute book and I would recommend it for young readers. Especially those who find themselves in blended families.

Would you like to join the recycled book reading challenge? If so, please do! We would love to have you. The challenge can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge! Hitman: Enemy Within

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I am sooooo late posting this, this month. My apologies! The holidays carried me away and I just could not complete the book in time. My apologies!

My read for the month of December (and part of January) is Hitman: Enemy Within by William Dietz. I am not sure how I found myself with this little treasure to begin with, but I dusted it off from the hidden depths of my bookshelf and decided to give it a read.

Here’s a quick summary:

A competitor in the assassin game decides to take out the ICA (International Contract Agency) and their top assassin, Agent 47. Agent 47 was trained from birth and is not playing around. Agent 47 is a loner (of course) and takes the task to hand to find the persons in charge of sharing information with the ICA’s competitors. He travels far and wide to get what he needs, and an interesting side not of all of this is his glaringly obvious fascination with food & culture. Which is kind of fun, I must admit. I will leave you to figure out the rest.

This is a good, suspenseful, hitman adventure story. Although this is not my typical favourite sit, read & relax type of book…I really liked it! I’m unsure if there is a move based on it. But if there isn’t, there very easily could be.

If you would like to join my Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can click here for the challenge rules. Love to have you with us and everyone is welcome!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Sandstorm by Michael Asher

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This book was passed along to me by a friend of mine after he finished reading it. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for awhile, so I thought it would be a great pick for November’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge.

This book is set in the Sahara, during the 50’s. It is a bit cliché – the whole honor, nomadic wanderer, loyalty, betrayal in the desert thing. But it is a good book…so far…for a few days of chilling out.

However, I must be honest. I was unable to complete this book before todays challenge deadline. So it is difficult for me to share an accurate assessment. I’m not exactly sure why…maybe the tiredness. But I just couldn’t get into it as an adventure book, which I generally get so involved in, I can’t put them down. But by the time I got about 100 pages in, it started to seem a bit…easy to guess where it was going. I did try to finish it, but it just didn’t hold my attention. I’ll be passing this one along. I guess now I understand why it was given to me 😉

I’m loving reading your challenge posts!

-Mliae

A Bejeweled Blitz Experiment

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Hi everyone 🙂

Please allow me to start off by stating that I am not a gamer. I play Bejeweled Blitz when I’m like- waiting in a reception hall or bored to tears. I don’t play online or compete against friends. It’s just a thing. Recently, I’ve noticed that they have introduced all sorts of ways to get coins and new jewels to play with, in addition to the daily challenges, and so I just got so curious that I’ve decided to do a little experiment.

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As you can see, I had accrued 6,780,950 coins. But my curiosity is this: With all of the extra ways to get coins and gems, how long would it take from zero, and how many coins could I get by just playing the daily challenge, using free spins, watching ads, and using the free mystery box – while only playing the free gems that I had won – without playing extra games or purchasing boosts or additional coins. So this is what I’m out to prove. (And hopefully figure out some other stuff on the way). I’m sure that PopCap Games has a lucky gamer who actually receives a paycheck for these things, but I had to see for myself.

This is the most absurd thing to do, but…curiosity killed the cat, I guess. So, I’ll be playing away all of my 6 million+ coins until I reach zero, and then starting from there with only the freebies and not spending any coins along the way. I will check in with updates periodically and we’ll see where this takes us. I mean…what the hell, its just a game, right?

Any bets on how this goes?

-Mliae

Recycled Book Reading Challenge!

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I’ve really been wishing to create a reading challenge that I hope many people will join. I’m not a book blogger, but I do enjoy reading and reporting. All books are important, each in their own way. I guess you can assume that since I’m all over the map in life, my tastes in books is a bit erratic as well. So, I don’t stick to one form of literature…I like everything!

Book clubs and running out to purchase the newest hot item on the shelf has a tendency to get expensive after awhile, so I would like to focus on used or ‘recycled’ books. Remember that library book you bought for 10 cents? Or the second hand store find for 25 cents? Those are the ones about which I’m speaking. We all have them…some, like me, have a closet full just waiting to be read.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Beginning once the challenge is accepted, pick an old find, dust it off, take a good photo and start reading.
  • If you would to tag some fellow bloggers, which you think might enjoy the challenge…feel free to spread the joy!
  • On the 1st day of every month for the next 12 months, post a review of the book, commentary, joke, or opinion (complete with photo).
  • Please include in the post a ping back to the challenge or challenger
  • Link to your book post on this comment section, and announce our next months book

What do you think? 12 recycled books of your choosing, in 12 months?

Please share, link, repost, reblog or pass along…The more, the merrier!

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

One Lovely Blog Award

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A big fat THANK YOU to Chape, one of the coolest bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of connecting to in the blogosphere, for nominating lifexperiment blog for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Rules:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and includes a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and leave a comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Facts about me:

  1. I go nuts when I can’t travel
  2. I follow the theory ‘If my dog doesn’t like you, I don’t like you’
  3. Summer is my hands-down favorite time of year
  4. I’m a work-a-holic because I love what I do
  5. I am deadly to plants (despite my best efforts)
  6. I don’t drink fizzy drinks
  7. I adore stand-up comedy 😉

My Lovely Blog Nominees:

  1. Can I put it on my face
  2. Mrs.Strawberry Blonde
  3. Alkeisvoima
  4. Be Like Water
  5. The Book Blogger
  6. Peace Love and Bliss Balls
  7. Abigailirozuru
  8. Colin
  9. Lisa Pomerantzster
  10. Roos Ruse
  11. Fresh Cut KY
  12. IMPREINT official
  13. Sunshine and teacups
  14. Glam meets Girl
  15. Perfect the Days

Thank you to Chape and all the bloggers I nominated for posting great content!