Welcome to the newest edition of my “Monthly Updates“! Like I suspected, July was a busy month… and yep – August is going to be no different! It feels like there are never enough weekends in the summer to have a good balance between working around the house on projects, and enjoying the nice weather. I did manage to do a bit of planting around the house (in addition to our other larger projects), so I’ve included those details at the end. Learn a bit more about me today, won’t you!?
Accomplished in July:
- “Finished” all our major backyard projects
- Attended the Haven Conference in Atlanta
- Visited my family
In July I had also tried to implement a spending limit of 100$ per week. And while I did successfully stay within my budget for the first week or so, once I started travelling – it threw everything off balance. Does that happen to you? You have a nice budget, and then you need to do something out of the ordinary (off your usual schedule) and suddenly your budget gets out of whack? Especially when you are travelling, because some expenses seem to creep up on you out of nowhere (30$ to check luggage – eek!).
Can I let you in on a little secret? In August I’m also planning a trip to Miami! Yay so exciting :) I’ve wanted to go to Miami for a few years now, and I’m really trying to get all my travels in before I “settle down” and start having kids. Whoa whoa! It’s not happening anytime soon, so don’t get your hopes up! I just have a bit of extra time off in the summer from work, so it seems like a good time to go. Now or never right?
Anyways! The reason I bring up this trip is not so you’ll be all like “Oh man, this lady travels a lot!” or something, but to say that I’ll also be trying to stick to a budget while I’m on vacation as well. Usually, when I’m on vacation I go all out (okay, not actually – but I do spend a bit more for things because I’m in the “vacation mindset”). Do you know what I mean? You can’t really save money while on vacation if you’re eating all your meals in restaurants and spending your days doing activities and shopping (which describes my usual vacations). But this time, I’ll only bring a certain amount of money, and will have to split it up for each of the days I am there. Wish me luck!
And yes, I did refer to myself as a “lady” but I’m not sure if that’s the best description!
Okay, now on to the list of items I’ve removed and added to our house in order to work towards a more minimalist lifestyle. Keep in mind this does not include the Husband’s things. I honestly think he has a bigger shopping/spending habit than me… but let’s not get into that :)
Items Removed in July:
- 2 pairs of shoes
- Shoe racks
- Winter Tires (from my old car)
- Various clothing items (several bags!)
- All unused picture frames (over 20 of these!)
Items Added in July:
- 2 new-to-me pairs of shoes
- Bottles of nail polish
- A new sweater
- A new dress
- Lots of Haven swag
I still have a good chunk of clothes to get rid of since doing my large purge earlier this year. I’ve heard that it is more freeing if you just get rid of your stuff right away, rather than let it linger around the house. But I was trying to sell what I can so I can try and get a bit of money back before I donated anything. I’ve also heard the argument: you’ve already spent money on items you don’t want/need, so you’re not losing any more money by donating them – it’s already gone.
Okay, before I show some (sad) pictures of my planting efforts this month – I encourage you to read the blog article: The Year I Embraced Minimalism and Completed a Yearlong Shopping Ban by Cait Flanders. I had found the link via another blog I follow (Rambling Renovators) and this post is a bit longer, so plan your time accordingly. Basically, she managed to get rid of over 50% of her stuff and NOT bring in anything extra! I hope to get to a point close to that one day – although I don’t know if I could give up splurging on drinks every now and then (her ban also included not buying coffee).
So let’s look at some small things I did around the yard during the month of July:
I have a few planters/pots in our front yard that I wanted to fill. I had gotten two little cute dark purple-ish plants that I was planning on using in our big planters, but they were a bit small for those so I put them in orange pots and sat them on our front landscaped area in between the now-huge hostas.
At the same time, there was a tall fern growing along the fence at the back of our yard (I think the back neighbours have some planted in their yard). So I figured – why not take it out and use it to fill the empty pots in the front yard?
We have two shorter planters that sit on either side of the garage door, and the fern would add nice height and colour contrast against the brick. Problem was, I didn’t actually pull the plant from its roots, and only got a few pieces of the stem.
Needless to say, they died a couple of weeks later. Sad.
Then I noticed we had some plants growing in our eavestroughs. Seriously? I can’t get a plant to grow in a pot but they can grow themselves along fences and on roofs apparently?
Now, I have no idea what these “plants” are, probably grass? But most likely weeds (which seem to grow in abundance in our yard). Either way, taking them out forced me to actually climb on a ladder and look at our eavestroughs. Yep. Gross. I should probably clean these, right? The water doesn’t really drain well in this spot (where the “plants” happened to take root) so I figured it was clogged somewhere. Well that’s a project for another day (and another pair of gloves).
So I figured: hey plants, if you can grow on the roof, you can grow in a pot! We’ll see how this goes… Also, notice the impatiens to the left (amongst the weeds of course)? We had a hanging planter above this area last year with impatiens, and I guess maybe some seeds fell down in this spot and they grew. SERIOUSLY!? Impatiens are an annual plant, and they managed to grow themselves again where I didn’t need them? If my gutter plants don’t work out, I think I’ll try transplanting the impatiens… but by then it will probably be autumn :(
As you can probably tell, I do not have a green thumb. 75% of our garden beds look good because my Mom comes to visit and weeds everything and plants new plants. The other 25% is nature just doing its thing. I would like to try and salvage those purple plants (the ones in the orange pots) because they are “supposed” to be perennials. Am I supposed to bring them in my house during winter? What about the ones in the huge planters near our back deck? Can I put them in the garage or should I leave them out? So many questions…
Anyways, I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed reading this latest insight into my life, and I invite you to share a bit about your plans for the upcoming month/end of summer. Did you read the full overview post about our backyard “reveal”? Do you know which next outdoor project we’ll be tackling (the side yard or the front walkway?). Guess you’ll just have to wait and see :)