Category Archives: Simple

K.I.S.S: Love it or Get Rid of it (part 3)

As I’ve mentioned before (here and here) I’ve been trying to trim down our worldly possessions bit by bit every week. I’m selling some of our stuff on ebay, having a farewell fire sale on Etsy, giving a lot to charity and throwing out the bare minimum.

It was a bit of a crap weekend here, Sparky had to work and the kids and I are still a bit under the weather, but I did manage to clean out my wardrobe and swap over my summer clothes for my winter ones. (Our wardrobes are on the small side and I keep a box of seasonal stuff, to make sure I have enough room. Annoying but necessary. Plus it forces me to go through my clothes and shoes twice a year.)

I have a fairly decent amount of clothes and shoes for Vinnies, as well as a heap of maternity clothes I’m lending to my sister-in-law. It’s so nice to be able to see the bottom of my wardrobe again, and not have to shove millions of coathangers aside whenever I want to see what clothes I have.

Bonus: I was going to give this skirt to charity too, but the fabric is too pretty and I think I’m going to try and use it in some as yet undefined craft project. (I’ll add it to the pile of unfinished projects now, shall I?)

Brooke x

Trove’s Farewell Fire Sale over on Etsy

 As you now know, I’ve been making a move towards a simpler life these past twelve months. This has been a move that came about initially from a massive case of burnout while running my jewellery business, Trove.

In July last year I was at the absolute end of my wits trying to juggle work plus being a full-time mum plus running the house and managing a big renovation/extension plus being pregnant. I came to a point where I realised I was not committed fully to anything, and that I needed to make a massive shift in the way I was living.

Fast forward to now and I’m a fair way along that path, still hurdling obstacles but at least I have a clear goal in mind.

I’ve been slowly clearing our home of extraneous objects and things that have been weighing us down, but up until now I hadn’t been able to open a few of the boxes in our storeroom. They hold the last of my Trove stock (around 300 pieces) and I think I was subconciously holding on to them, as selling them off would be to finally admit defeat.

But I’ve made a shift lately and I know that I need to clear the decks completely so I can keep moving forward, so here’s my opportunity to you and anyone you may know who loves beautiful, handmade jewellery – at a CRACKING discount no less.

Over the next few days I’ll be listing the rest of my Trove stock for sale on Etsy, and there is nothing over $20AUD. My retail prices used to range from $35 – $90, so this is seriously good shopping.

Go on, tell your friends, your mum, your kids and your work friends to pop on over to the shop. It’ll be worth their while!

Rings $35 $10

Earrings $55 $18

Necklaces $66 $20

Statement Necklaces $79 $20

Neckplates $79 $20

Earrings $55 $15

Studs $40 $10

Necklaces $60 $15

Things I Have Learnt

So I was struck down with a super nasty tummy bug on Friday (hence the radio silence) and spent a fair bit of the weekend looking after Isy, who also got sick, and tackling a hefty mound of gross laundry after I recovered. Fun, you say? Of course!

Despite the yick-factor, we actually had a really nice weekend. The weather was delicious on Sunday, which meant lots of outdoors, plus getting through a heap of tiny projects we’ve never gotten around to since moving back in post-renovation. Things like hanging curtains in the kids’ rooms, putting some bits and pieces up on the walls of the living room, fixing the laundry shelf. You know, really exciting stuff.

Things I learnt on the weekend, in no particular order:

– After rubbishing castile soap as a shampoo, I am now having to eat my words, as I’ve discovered it is the best shampoo going for my short short hair. It kind of makes it feel like salty beach hair and not 100% clean, which is good when my hair is short because super clean hair = boofy = hair helmet. My apologies, Dr Bronner.

– There is no such thing as an ill-timed Christmas party.

– Never underestimate how many people are searching the Google for a 160cm Salomon Snowboard. (Hi guys!)

– Even though meatballs and bolegnaise have virtually the same ingredients, meatballs win. Every time.

– Using craft leftovers for more craft is ridiculously satisfying.

– A paper crown could well make someone’s day.

– Sweet peas are incredibly easy to grow (so far). Plus, I shouldn’t underestimate how good gardening is for the soul.

– A liberal spray with vinegar and water will get rid of unpleasant smells.

– Pretty things on the wall make me happy. Even more so when some of them have been made by me and Isy.

Meat-Free Monday coming up shortly!

Hey There, Distraction. Thanks for kicking my arse.

I whipped into my studio/storeroom just after the kids went to sleep, with all intentions of posting a quick, easy chocolate-chip cookie recipe to help use up your extra Easter eggs (cause if you’re anything like us, they’re still coming out the wazoo and any pleasure gained from eating them has been replaced with a bloated self-loathing. No? Oh, it’s just me then. Carry on.) But I got sucked down the internet rabbit-hole and found myself reading my old jewellery business blog, Trove.

I honestly haven’t given it too much thought since we closed the business down last year (a move I in no way regret. The timing was just bad for us to have such a big, involved business.) but reading over the journey Sparky and I (and Isy for some of it) have taken did make me feel…funny. I remember so many late nights, so many books scrawled with plans and calculations and figures and collections and sketches and logos, so many big big dreams. I don’t think I realised until just now just how close we were to making those dreams a reality.

But that’s the only bad thing about dreams becoming reality: the reality part.

The long, long hours, the crappy pay, the time spent away from the kids and Sparky, the hundreds of hours of stress and guilt.

Life is a constant see-saw balancing act, where you need to give and take to keep the overall balance there. Sometimes you tip one way, other times you lean in the opposite direction. Sometimes you even feel stable and balanced.

For us, Trove pushed the balance too far in one direction and made it really difficult to tip back. So, when I read about the excitement and promise that was in our business, I need to remind myself that this quest for a simple(r) life means there’s plenty of time for everything, just not at the same time.

*And here ends today’s diary entry.

Continue on for a delicious choc-chip cookie recipe, that allows you to use up your extra Easter eggs…

You’ll need: 

125g butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup SR flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (I often use muesli if I’m out of oats)
1 cup choc bits or chopped up Easter eggs
a handful of sultanas

1. Melt butter and peanut butter over medium heat. Once combined, transfer to a large bowl and cool for five minutes.

2. Add brown sugar and egg, mix well. Add flours, oats, chocolate and sultanas. Mix well to combine.

3. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls, place on baking paper lined trays and flatten slightly with a fork.

4. Cook in preheated oven (180C) for 10-12 minutes or until golden. (By around 12 minutes they tend to go quite hard and crunchy. 10 or 11 minutes leaves them chewy.)

Delish, and calorie free when consumed for breakfast. (Not that I ate two.)

K.I.S.S: Love it or get rid of it (part 2)

My efforts to simplify and declutter are slowly paying off, as I’ve sold a few things on ebay already. It’s so nice to get a bit of cash for clutter, but it’s even nicer to see the back of the extra stuff we’ve accumulated over the years.

This week I need to get cracking though, and try and offload some more. Here’s what I have lined up to go:

  • ladies 160cm Salomon snowboard
  • ladies Salomon bindings
  • ladies Vans snowboard boots 
  • ladies Dakine ski mittens
  • 3 x snowboard pants
  • tonnes of jewellery-making bits and bobs

There’s a saying about only making space in your home for things that are either functional or beautiful, and while I think that level of extreme decluttering is a bit far-fetched for us right now, I like the idea behind it. I sometimes feel so tied down by our stuff (and we really don’t have a huge amount by today’s standards) and wonder how people think past generations got by without six of everything?

Personal storage facilities are a new invention – they’ve only been around for the past 20 years or so. Before that, we could just, you know, fit our stuff in our houses. Crazy, right?