Minimalism Challenge

by simplylife on April 1, 2015

For the past several months, my husband and I have been attempting to live a slightly more minimalist lifestyle.  This looks different for every person, family, situation, etc.  For us, it currently means to have less “stuff,” to live more intentionally, and to focus on what truly gives our lives meaning.


Each month, we have had a different “minimalist goal.”  For example, one month we restricted our “screen time,” and another month we restricted the number of ingredients per meal.  There was one challenge that has had the most impact on both of us.  For one month, we each got rid of one thing in our home everyday, and could not replace it (for example, I couldn’t get rid of one scarf with the plan of getting another).  We kept a running list of the items as we discarded them, which really helped to remember the items and the end of the month.  Some items were big, and some very small (physically and sentimentally).


In the end, we were both stretching and searching for more items, which was the most impactful part of the challenge.  If forced us both to go through cabinets and drawers we hadn’t seen the back of in far too long.  At the end of the month, we both felt like we knew everything that was in our little apartment, and where it was.


This challenge has also made it significantly easier to now get rid of things “on a rolling basis.”  For example, if I’m cooking and notice an old set of measuring spoons that I haven’t used in months, but never got rid of because they didn’t take up much space and it was just easier to leave them, I now throw them into our ongoing “giveaway bin” without a moment’s hesitation.

I can honestly say I don’t miss a single item we discarded that month (and can’t remember most of them!).

We’re both excited to continuing learning how to live with less!


Ogunquit, Maine

by simplylife on June 10, 2014

One of my favorite things about living in New England is all the places accessible by just a short drive!


We recently took our first trip to Ogunquit, Maine.  It was less than a 2 hour drive, and I’m pretty sure it has quickly become my new favorite place in New England!


The town of Ogunquit was quaint and charming, the people were friendly, and the views along the shore were just breathtaking!


~Where is your favorite beach?


Roasted Salmon Salad

by simplylife on May 28, 2014

I have a confession.

One of my favorite foods to eat is salmon.  Yet, you may not be able to find a single recipe with salmon on my blog.

While I constantly hear how “easy and simple” it is to cook, I’ve always been intimated to bring it into my own kitchen.


Until recently.  There was fresh salmon on sale at Whole Foods, the warm weather was nudging me to prepare a salad, and my husband said he would help  if when I needed it.

So we brought home our fresh salmon and I prepared it as simply as possible:  1) rub salmon with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper; 2) roast in oven with skin-side facing up.

I’m so glad I tried this!  The recipe was so easy to follow (I know, I know- of course it was! 😉 ), and it made the perfect light meal on a warm spring night.

Roasted Salmon Salad

by Simply Life

Keywords: roast appetizer salad entree seafood leafy greens spring summer

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1/2 pound salmon filet
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cucumber, quartered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Dressing of choice


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a baking rack atop the baking sheet.

2. Rub salmon with 2 tbs. olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Brush baking rack with remaining olive oil. Place salmon skin-side up on baking rack and roast for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Let cook slightly, then break into large pieces.

3. Toss remaining ingredients together. Top with cooked salmon. Serve and enjoy!

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And while salmon may be an ingredient that rarely finds its way into our kitchen, one staple that we never go without is some type of nut butter.  So when I was contacted by PB Crave to try their peanut butters, I was definitely looking forward to it!

I was sent their Razzle Dazzle, Cookie Nookie, Coco Bananas and Choco Choco peanut butter.  I am very impressed with their unique flavor combinations!  Their peanut butters are also gluten and cholesterol-free.


I couldn’t wait to dig into the Cookie Nookie flavor!  Peanuts, honey and chocolate are definitely a winning combination for me, and this did not disappoint!



~What food(s) are you intimidated to cook?


How We Live Simply

by simplylife on May 12, 2014


It’s something my husband and I are constantly striving for in our lives.  In the foods we eat, the items we own and they way we live.  Though we’re still far from where we’d like to be, here are a few things we have found that have helped to create simple living:

  • Get rid of something old whenever we bring home something new.  If I really need a new pair of running shoes, it must mean it’s time to get rid of the last pair.  I used to want to hold onto items in case of “what if” scenarios, but really, how many times do you lose a pair of running shoes and are relieved to know you’ve held onto that other pair that no longer supported your soles?  This rule not only applies to shoes, but shirts, coats, scarves, accessories, etc.


  • After I wear (and wash) an item, I hang it back up on the far left side of the closet.  I used to have my closet organized by the type of clothing (sweaters, blouses, etc.), but I find that I would still reach for the same handful of items, so having them close together hasn’t made much of a difference.  It has, however, made it much more obvious which items I’m not wearing and can easily say goodbye to (almost the entire right half of my closet!).


  • If we’re going to buy something decorative, we try to also makes sure it could serve a purpose.  For example, baskets in different shapes and colors look nice, while also helping us stay organized!


One of the ways I strive for simplicity is on the nutrition label of the foods I’m buying.  So when I had the chance to try Taste Nirvana I was very excited.  The ingredient list on their Real Coconut Water: Natural Coconut Water & Coconut Pulp.  Doesn’t get simpler than that!

Every Taste Nirvana product is originally from Thailand and their production process is based in Thailand as well. The coconuts in Thailand grow in the perfect weather and soil condition which makes their products unique.  Part of their mission is to “provide the most authentic and real food experiences in which the country of origins intended” and to educate their customers of history and culture of the food they make.  Also, Taste Nirvana products are packaged with recyclable glass bottles and BPA free cans. They offer Real Coconut Water, Real Coconut Pulp, Real Coco Aloe and Real Coconut Water with Thai Chili Extract in addition to a coffee line and some other food products.

While I must admit, I’m simply not much of a coconut water fan, I did enjoy the slightly sweet and refreshing taste of the Real Coconut Water.


~What are things you do to live simply?


Whole Wheat Blackberry Ricotta Scones


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Basmati and Black Rice with Chickpeas, Raisins and Fried Onions


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Pasta with Goat Cheese and Asparagus


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Broccoli Rice Bowl with Poached Egg


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Pappardelle Pasta with Artichokes and Olives


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Mushroom Machego Lasagna for Two


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