Thursday, May 31, 2012

What to Wear: on a picnic

What up! Today I'm back with another segment of What to Wear, the series where Jill and I show you what to wear for different occasions. The best part about dressing for a picnic was I ACTUALLY went on a picnic. I adore eating outdoors. If I have a choice between a patio and a indoor restaurant, I always pick the patio. If I have the choice of eating on my own deck or in the living room, I'm definitely choosing the deck. And, of course, if I have a choice between eating my lunch/dinner at home or as a picnic in the wilderness somewhere, I'm always going to choose a picnic. It's a total no-brainer.

In case you're wondering, on our picnic, we had bagels with cream cheese, cucumbers and smoked salmon. "Hello delicious! Get in my mouth." Those may or may not have been the words running through my mind as I took my first bite. Oh man. That bagel was SO good.

But I digress. I'm here to talk about my outfit not my dinner.

So, this is an outfit I would wear for a picnic in the park or somewhere accessible. Obviously I wouldn't be wearing sandals and a dress if we were hiking to our picnic spot. In that case I'd likely be in a pair of jean shorts and a T-shirt.

Luckily in this case we just walked across the street to a bench that we love. I remember when we first moved to Jasper we actually sat on that exact same bench (before we knew we'd be living across the street from it) and just stared at the mountains. So beautiful!
(In the photo on the right, I'm demonstrating my chipmunk face. That's what I would look like if I was hoarding ALL the nuts.)

Oh yeah! My outfit! 

Obviously, this outfit is all about the dress. I bought it two years ago and still find myself wearing it every couple of weeks. It's just so darn comfy and the pattern is amazing. I remember when I bought it, my friends said something along the lines of, "Surprise, surprise. Nicole picked up another earth-toned dress." I can't help it. I'm a bit of a wannabe hippy. I did grow up on the West Coast after all.

Head to toe:
Sunglasses: Ardene
Necklace: Thrifted
Dress: Urban Outfitters (I think?)
Belt: Bombshell
Cardigan: Thrifted (last week!)
Purse: Handmade by me (See yesterday's post.)
Sandals: Shoe Warehouse

What would you wear for a picnic? Do you have the perfect checkered red and white picnic-blanket-dress? I'm dying for one of those!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY: old placemat, new purse

Friends, I cannot even express to you how excited I am about this purse. It's the first thing I've made with my sewing machine that I'm actually full-on, super duper, out of control excited about! Now, I should admit that I've only made two other things: another purse and a cushion. But still. I'm just happy that I was motivated enough to sit down at the machine, re-learn how to thread the needle and put thread on a bobbin and then make something.

I'm also really excited that this purse was made from thrift finds that cost me less than a dollar! What you're looking at are two old placemats and a denim belt that has been folded over and sewn together to become the strap. I bought the placemats and the belt at the same time with intention of turning them into something, but I wasn't quite sure what, and then on Sunday, I sat down at the machine and the light bulb started flashing and sparking and shorting out with excitement when I came up with this idea.

I honestly had so little faith in my ability to pull this off that I didn't take step-by-step photos because I didn't think this little gem would ever make it on the ol' blog. My apologies. But just in case you're wondering how I made this ridiculously simple bag, here's a word heavy explanation.

1. Find two placemats that you adore.
2. Cut 1/3 off one of the mats.
3. Sew the top of that mat, so it has a seam rather than an a frayed edge.
4. Sew the two mats together so that the large one can fold over the small one.
5. Sew a strap, in my case an old denim belt, on the corner of each side of the purse.
6. Find an adorable button and sew it on the front.
7. Wear your lovely new bag!

Have you ever surprised yourself with a DIY project? Or have you turned any thrifted items into something new and amazing? If yes, please share!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A thrifty outfit and a six-year-old shirt

It feels like forever since my last outfit post, so I'm excited that this one has a few special elements, including two fantastic thrift finds: the scarf and the cardigan. If you ask me, both are equally awesome. And that's not just because they were only $1 each. Well, to be honest, that is definitely part of their awesomeness.

What is it about getting a steal that feels so damn good? I seriously get such a great high when I walk out of a thrift shop with 10 items for $10 or even $20. It's just the best. The cardigan is seriously perfect for my wardrobe. I own at least a dozen cardigans in all different colours, but none in sea foam. (Is that what you'd call that!??) I adore it and think it will be perfect for the spring and summer. The scarf on the other hand will be brilliant all year around and is a fantastic addition to my already over-sized scarf collection. I know I've promised to show it to all of you and I will get to it one day. It's just a matter of tidying it up first. It's kind of out of control at the moment.

As far as the rest of the outfit goes, I've had the top since my second year of undergrad, which means it's been in my closet for about six years now. (Holy. I hadn't thought of that until just now!) It's just too cute to get rid of and I find that one summer I'll forget about it and then the next I'll find it and be excited all over again. The little flowers on it are just so dainty and sweet. See, I'm swooning over it all over again.

The jeans are my new beloved skinny jeans from Forever 21. I wrote an entire post about my love for them, so if you feel need to learn more about how dear they are to me, check that out.

Ian always makes me laugh and then catches it on camera. I used to hate my scrunchy nose, teethy laughing face, but he's taught me to own it. So here I am owning it!
Top to bottom:
Sunglasses: Ardenes
Earrings: Ardenes
Scarf: Thrifted
Cardigan: Thirfted
Shirt: American Eagle
Jeans: Forever 21

Do you have any clothes that have been in your closet for years and years that you still wear?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jumping fail

On Saturday a few friends and I went to the Athabasca Glacier and while we were there, we of course took some jumping photos -- some that turned out nicely and others that didn't quite have the desired effect. OK. Fine. You caught me. I was the only who didn't achieve the desired effect. 

Who would have thunk glaciers covered in snow would be slippery?

It was my second time on the glacier. Although the last time was when I was 17, so it was almost like being there for the first time all over again. For those of you who haven't been (most of you, I would assume), when you get to the Icefields Centre they load you into a special snow coach and then you drive (slowly!) onto the glacier. Once there, you're allowed to get out and walk around on the ice.

The most interesting and scary thing about the glacier is that each year it recedes by two to three meters. In the last 125 years, it's receded by 1.5 kilometres! That's scary because glaciers are the largest reservoir of fresh water on earth. So as they recede, we are losing my favourite beverage!! Bad news bears. Currently the Athabasca Glacier is about six kilometres long and is measured to be between 90 and 300 metres thick (300-980 feet). Isn't that crazy! It's nearly 1,000 feet thick. That's about 200 of me!

Have any of you been on a glacier or fallen after a jumping photo?
(Please say yes to at least the second part!)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Salsa night


Tonight is salsa night. Now, I must admit my only knowledge of salsa has come from watching Baby learn the mambo 100 times in Dirty Dancing. So I have little faith that this evening is going to go well. I can't back out, though, because it's being organized by a group of my fantastic Mexican friends who would surely notice if I didn't show up.

In an attempt to save myself from great embarrassment I've been spending my morning watching helpful YouTube videos, like this one:

Wish me luck, and if you have any pointers, please feel free to share them!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A loss for words

Yesterday was a sad day that I still haven't overcome.

A girl I went to high school with passed away. Her dad, who was my science teacher, apparently found her in her apartment, after taking his granddaughter - her daughter - out for a walk. The rumours about her death are awful and the news stories are vague. But it honestly doesn't matter what happened because, either way, she's gone and now her daughter is without a mother.

Now, I don't want to misrepresent my friendship with this girl, she was two years younger than me and we didn't hang out. But having grown up in a rural town of 1,500 people, you know everyone and you feel a connection to everyone.

And because of that connection, her passing has really rocked me, and by the looks of my Facebook feed, it's rocked my entire hometown. I'm still at a loss for words. I don't know what to think or say. I just knew I couldn't write a happy-go-lucky post today and I felt like, for a change, I needed to post something real. That's not to say my positive posts are fake. It's just that they don't represent a whole picture of what my life is. I'm not always smiling. I'm not always in the garden, or fishing, or on top of a mountain. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I feel pain, and sometimes tragedies occur.

And yesterday, a tragedy occurred. A 24-year-old mother, with so much life left to live, passed away. My thoughts are with her dad right now and I'm sure everyone in my hometown is feeling the same way.

The only thing that gives me comfort is that I know everyone back home is rallying together to help in anyway they can. I guess that's the positive part of living in a small town; everyone knows you, everyone cares about you and everyone's willing to do whatever they can to help.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fancy-pants portrait

Oh my gosh, it's me in digital form!

Rachele beat me to the punch yesterday when she posted her fantastic portrait of me and two other wonderful lady-bloggers, but just in case you didn't see it there, I thought I best showcase her work here for all of you.

Rachele is the keeper and writer and designer and Jill-of-all-trades over at The Nearsighted Owl. When I saw some of her portraits, I just knew I had to have one, so I hit up her Etsy shop and commissioned a piece. It was a super easy process. Once I purchased the portrait (which currently comes with a month of free advertising on her site!!) she sent me a survey to fill out about my style/look.

My only request was that she add a touch of green, as it is the most glorious of colours. I was so pleased to see that she not only took that and ran with it, she actually drew a scarf I have in my wardrobe. (She must have seen it in my "dinner with the girls" outfit post.)

Anyway, I don't have enough great things to say about working with Rachele. The product is awesome. She finished it within a couple of days and she also shared it with all of her friends over on her blog.

If you ask me, that's a pretty good deal.

Have you ever thought about getting a digital portrait? Or do you have one already? (If yes, please share! I'd love to see it.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Goggles on a mountain top

So remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about rappelling from a gondola during an evacuation training session? Well, on Monday, I finally made it all the way up to the top of the tramway and man was it gorgeous. The tram takes you more than 1,350 metres above sea level (just about to the top of Whistlers Mountain) so you can look out over various mountain ranges and the town of Jasper.

Now, although that was cool. The best part of our little adventure actually came when Ian took out his camera bag. Inside, he had three pairs of his war goggles (eBay finds!). There was a pair for me, a pair for him and a pair for his dad. The result is as follows:

Is that not the best?

Ian is known for his goofy photos of he and his friends and even his family. For Father's Day last year, he and I showed up to his parents' house wearing fake moustaches and two of his dad's old hats. You know, because imitation is the best form of flattery. So in the end we had Ian's mom and sister with them on as well and I took a fantastic family photo full of moustaches. So great! (I have it on my fridge, but not in digital form. My apologies!)

Do you have any funny family portraits?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I forgot the mint!

I can't believe I did this, but when I wrote my garden post, I forgot to mention the thing I'm most excited about: fresh mint, both spearmint and peppermint. I'll blame my forgetfulness on the fact that I was writing the post at midnight after two hard days of fishing, reading my book, gardening and hanging out with Ian's dad, who you'll remember from my men's footwear post last week.

But anyway, the mint! Why am I so excited about a herb that would remind most people of toothpaste, mouthwash or gum? Well, of course, it's because fresh mint is a very important ingredient in my favourite summer drink: mojitos!

Since buying the plants, which I have now transplanted into their own little pot (for fear that they would otherwise take over our entire patio garden), I have already had four fresh strawberry mojitos. By the end of this summer and by the time my plants die, I intend to have 100s more. I can't wait to be on the patio with my shades, my shorts, a tank top, a book and a mug full of the most refreshing beverage of all time.

*I would have beautiful photos of my delicious mojitos if I hadn't chugged them as if they were bottles of water  that I found after a trek through the dessert. Next time, I promise I'll do my best to resist the urge to demolish my drink, so you can all see how glorious it is/was in my new 25 cent mason jar mugs.

Until then, here's a photo that shows the size of our garden plot.  It ends a few inches past the seed tape. If all goes well, the tape will become carrots in the not so distant future!! And where Ian is standing will be full of peas and beans. I hope. I hope. I hope.

I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but our garden plot is part of a small community garden behind our apartment building. There are eight decent-sized plots that are given out on a first come, first served basis. And the best part is they're free! Oh, and they're right outside our door, so if we need something for dinner, we can just run out and grab it.

I can't wait to eat everything!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Praying for a green thumb

Oh man! The garden is officially in action and now I'm turbo stressed that none of my seeds will grow and the plants will just wilt and die. I gotta say, I don't think this gardening thing is for the faint of heart. There's just so much pressure. I know at this point it's kind of out of my hands, but I'm not dealing with that reality very well. I feel the urge to water like 10 times a day, although I know that will kill everything. I just hate being out of control. I just want to be able to ensure my garden becomes the envy of all of my neighbours. Is that so much to ask?

Now, you might be wondering what we've planted to create such envy. Well, the plants you see in the photos are broccoli and Brussels sprouts, or as my mom always called them, "green balls". And we also planted seeds for carrots, beans, peas, spinach and salad greens.

But that's not all we're growing. We actually got this really cool contraption for our deck so that we can grow herbs and tomatoes right outside our door. The coolest part about it is that the tomatoes grow upside down! Or they're supposed to anyway.

And then on top of the hanging tomatoes there is a little spot to put your herbs. We planted thyme, basil, tarragon, dill, parsley and chives. The dill and tomatoes were looking pretty hard done by on Saturday night, just hours after we planted them, but by Sunday evening they were looking happy and healthy again, much to my relief. Once Ian pointed out the tomatoes were back to their healthy broad, leafy selves I spent the whole night staring out the patio door at them. I just can't wait to see the first tomato grow.  

**I'll take a better picture of our patio garden for my next update. I just realized now that there isn't a shot of the whole contraption so you can see both the tomatoes and the herb garden.

How is everyone else doing with their gardens? Are they growing beautifully? Have you killed anything? Have you eaten anything you've grown?

Give me all the nitty gritty details. Oh! And if you have any advice for a novice garden, don't be shy to share it. I could use all the help I can get!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

At this time last year: May

I started this looking back series last month after I found myself continuously wondering what I was doing last year. And after looking through my iPhoto events, I decided that this should be a regular Gypsy in Jasper feature because there are just so many photos and adventures that I never did share on my blog.

Like this goofy adventure Ian and I went on just as the ice was beginning to melt on Great Slave Lake. We climbed up to our favourite spot, called Tin Can Hill, and read smutty harlequin romance novels to each other while drinking beer. (That's definitely our kind of evening!)

And then there was my cabin adventure. This was an awesome weekend. The ice on the lake was melting so there was a couple of inches of water on top. So when we took the Skidoos out, there were huge sprays of ice cold water flying up around us, as if we were water skiing. Needless to say, I ended up getting off the Skidoo with a soaking wet ass. Good times all around.

Then once the snow had melted, I orchestrated a Yellowknife's Next Top Model photoshoot with a group of my girlfriends. I had been eying this old mining equipment down by the boat launch in Yellowknife for months just waiting for the snow to melt because I knew it would be a brilliant place to take photos. So once the temperatures rose, I got the girls together, grabbed my tripod and went nuts.

Oh yeah! And then there was the time I won a historical costume contest for dressing up as the first teacher in Yellowknife, Mildred Hall. That I actually blogged about because it was pretty epic, both  my costume and the event.

May was also the month that I got to interview Buffalo Joe McBryan, the owner of Buffalo Airways (the company that the show Ice Pilots is about). It was a pretty awesome interview. Joe is incredibly hilarious and sharp. I think we ended up talking and drinking coffee for a good three hours, and half of that time he spent interviewing me.

And since I'm talking about work now, in May I also took the photo that won me an Alberta Weekly Newspaper Award for spot news and I also live blogged the federal election from the liberal camp.

Blog, blog, blog. (Man I miss my long hair!!)

Anyway, although I could go on, I think I'll wrap this up by saying, Yellowknife is awesome, especially when May rolls around and you can finally shed your parka. When I look back on these photos and memories, I'm amazed by how many awesome things I was able to do last year. I hope that next year when I look back on May 2012, I'll feel the same way.

I guess I better start making some memories!!

What were you doing at this time last year? Is this month shaping up to be a memorable one?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Update: simply living

Well guys, I've made it a whole week without overstepping my two-hour computer limit. I was close on Wednesday night, but as soon as I realized I was about to check my Facebook feed for the 500th time, while simultaneously refreshing my Twitter feed, I gave my head a shake, shut my laptop, grabbed myself a tall glass of bathroom water (the coldest water in the house!) and curled up with my book.

I'm feeling pretty awesome about staying true to my goal and I've actually done a lot in the last week.
I went to the hot springs, bid on and bought a mountain bike at an auction, ate the year's first cup of frozen yogurt, barbecued, played poker with some friends (and lost horribly!), tilled the garden, went fishing, sat on a patio drinking beer and eating pizza and I saw Fred Eaglesmith play.

And that was just the weekend.

This week, I've been out to see a movie (Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp - hubba hubba), I volunteered at a new thrift store in town, I wrote my friend a letter, I bought plants for our garden (tomatoes, mint, dill and chives to go along with all of our seeds), I finished watching the first season of Game of Thrones and I housed a couple of Ian's friends for a night. Oh! And I also made epic Rice Krispie squares with peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch.

It honestly feels so good to be able to list off all of those things (and to eat the delicious Rice Krispie squares). Had I not made this goal and joined the Simplicity Project, I'd likely only be able to say I did a handful of activities, along with a lot of staring at my computer screen.
Have you-all done anything to simplify your lives lately? If not and you're feeling like a little simplicity could do you good, why not join the project?

Be sure to let me know if you do!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What to Wear: to a rock concert

It's been two weeks already, and you know what that means! It's time for another segment of What to Wear with me, the Jasper Gypsy, and Jill of Jilly BeansTALK.

I suggested this occasion for What to Wear and I have to admit I regretted it once it came to getting dressed and taking photos. My style doesn't really fit a rock concert, or what I assume people wear to rock concerts.

Actually, I think I would have come up with something much more fitting had I been putting this post together when I was 17. You see, at that time I was goth. Yup! You read that right. I was goth. Or maybe I was punk. Whatever the hell I was, my style included a dog collar made for an actual dog. I also had short spiky hair that was a different colour every month or two. I was a mess. Although, at the time I thought I looked pretty bad-ass.

So anyway, I channeled my younger-self for this outfit, while also trying to be my 25-year-old self. So, without further ado, here's what I would wear to a rock concert now that I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser.

Ian decided, since I was reliving my bad-ass past, that I should look like a bad-ass. So he told me to quit it with the usual fashion blogger poses and instead, he had me throwing kicks in the living room. But that wasn't quite enough, since I was still smiling, so he told me to look tough. Well, after seeing my "tough" face, I'm not sure I'd scare anyone away with my kicks. I kind of look like an incredibly clumsy drunk sailor. I guess I'll have to work on the whole being tough thing.

From head to toe:
Earrings: Claires (like seven years ago!) 
Scarf: Ardenes 
Shirt: Bluenotes 
Shorts: Warehouse One 
Tights: Value Village Halloween collection
Shoes: Ardenes

These lightening bolt earrings were a staple in my wardrobe when I was 18. I thought they went with EVERYTHING. I called/call them my 80s rocker earrings. These days, I only pull them out when I'm going to a show, but I still love them. They're like a little piece of my bad-ass, younger self.

Do you have a certain accessory or piece of clothing that you always wear to a concert?

Be sure to check out what Jill put together. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm dying to. And don't forget to come back on May 31 to see What to Wear for a weekend picnic!

Also, if you're new around these here parts, you can see my previous What to Wear outfits by clicking the Outfits tab at the top. Thanks for popping by!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Special request from a cool dude: men's footwear

I received an email from Ian's dad yesterday requesting that I branch out from my usual girly posts and instead reach out to the other 49 per cent of the population with a post just for the dudes.

"I love your new blog format," he wrote. "I only have one concern: the lack of attention to men's footwear fashions. This leaves 49% of the population wandering the interwebs looking for the inspiration to kick off their joggers, runners, court shoes, work boots, sandals(uggh), cowboy boots, etc., and get cool. I think you could be a real trend setter if you started an occasional article (if that's what you call them in the blogosphere) on men's footwear fashions. I've enclosed a photo of my latest acquisition to get you off on the right foot. Don't tell Ian about the pun."

OK, now ladies and gents, if you're not at this moment swooning over Ian's dad, thinking he is clearly the absolute best, take a look at his new kicks:

About them he wrote, "I've wanted saddle shoes since I first read Archie comics and now, at 65, I've finally got a pair. And blue, too!"

So in honour of Mike and his new Archie-inspired shoes, I've compiled some photos of the most cutting-edge men's footwear currently on the market, beginning with these beauties called Rush Hour Shoes.

Are those not the coolest? I might have to make my own. I have a pair of shoes just crying out for some trees and toy cars.

Oh look! I picked another pair that you can make yourself. I actually think these are really awesome. They were made by the blogger over at The Words of Okat. He used his own feet as inspiration and used acrylic paint to recreate them on his shoes. Too cool. Somehow I don't think they're quite what Mike was looking for, though. So I'll stop there with the silly shoes and move on to some men's shoes that are actually fashionable and available for purchase.
I LOVE boat shoes and I especially love these colourful ones from Timberland's 2012 spring/summer collection. They're a classic with a fun twist.

Now how gorgeous are these Aston Martin driving shoes!? I particularly love the ones on the right. I think it's the red laces with the rich colours that does it for me. They're just a really classy looking shoe. I haven't looked at the price, because I fear what it might be, but considering they're made specifically for driving an Aston Martin, I assume they're ludicrously expensive.

I'm kind of a fairweather fan of Converse shoes. But these ones, well, they're just lovely. I love the distressed look, the laces and the zig-zag stitching. They look less hipster than their usual sneakers. (Although I'm sure the hipsters will take them over in no time.)

Last but not least, I adore these hikers from Veras' 2012 fall/winter collection. I especially like the blue low-top sneaker style hikers.

Well, there you have it, my first-ever fashion post for dudes.

Are there any other guys out there, aside from Mike, who would like me to start a weekly or monthly fashion feature for men? Or are there any ladies out there who want some help dressing their boyfriends/husbands? Let me know!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Story time

Elk rule this town. Not only are they everywhere, they don’t care if you’re there too. They’ll walk right past you or stop in the middle of the road right in front of your car. And sometimes, they’ll even swim across the Athabasca River and kick you out of your fishing spot. Last weekend, I saw a herd of elk do all of those things within a 10-minute time frame.

We were out fishing, enjoying the sunshine when we saw six elk walking toward a popular hiking trail. They were on the opposite side of the river, though, so we didn’t pay much attention to what they were up to, aside from watching them walk right past a group of raft operators who were waiting for one of their boats to arrive. One elk was literally within four feet of the people as he walked toward the bridge to cross the river.

He was coming to our side.

He nearly made it too, but before he could, a huge tour bus rolled up. For a couple of minutes, the bus and the elk had a stand off on that bridge, neither of them moving an inch.

To our relief, the bus ultimately won by slowly inching forward until the elk ran back to where he came from. That didn’t deter him, though. He and his buddies found another route across the river.
They swam, and when they arrived on our side, they literally forced us out of our fishing spot by grunting and kicking up dirt. Rather than fighting a losing battle for our territory, we slowly gathered our backpacks and fishing rods and got the hell out of Dodge.

So far, that has been my closest encounter with a herd of elk. I see them on a daily basis, often just walking around town or hanging out on the seniors’ home lawn, but generally I can maintain a comfortable distance by crossing the street. I must say, I like them much better when they're not stealing my fishing spot.

But then again, this park is as much, if not more, for them than it is for people. And it wouldn’t be quite as magical if you didn’t have those close encounters.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Simplifying my life

Welcome to the first of what I assume will be many posts dedicated streamlining my day-to-day life.

Now, I have to say, I'm pretty good at this already. I try to do as many little things to make my everyday as simple as possible, but there are always new ways to improve - as I was reminded by Kristin over at As Luck Would Have It.

You see, Kristin has come up with this brilliant and inspiring idea. It's called the Simplicity Project. Basically, her goal is to simplify her life through small changes that will infinitely improve her day-to-day living. But the thing is, she doesn't just want to improve her own life, she wants all of her blogging buddies to simplify theirs as well. So, of course, I've hopped on board the simplicity train and I'm screaming "full steam ahead."

For Kristin, this project is about simplifying her wardrobe, workspace, food, beauty routine and health.

For me, it's about simplifying my downtime. To do that, my plan is to cut down on my interwebs usage. I've decided, in an effort to simplify and de-stressify my life, I'm going to do things that don't revolve around a screen and a keyboard. So instead of coming home from work, eating dinner and spending the rest of the night refreshing my Twitter feed, I'm going to come home, eat dinner and head out into my brand new garden. Or, I'm going to come home, eat dinner and read a book on my patio with a cup of tea. Or, I'm going to come home, eat dinner and then go for a hike or a walk or a bike ride.

Image source.
(Motivating words to keep me on track!)

Basically, my goal is to just going to keep my laptop closed. In order to make this work, I think I need to a) plan after work and weekend activities, b) commit, like REALLY commit, to only two hours of computer time per night, c) use those two hours wisely, so I'm not tempted to go over and d) just live my flippin' life by fully engaging in the three-dimensional world for a change. It's scary, I know. But it just has to be done.

My brain needs it. My body needs it. My soul needs it. And my computer, which is currently suffering from some sort of disease brought on by me being a total technophobe, it needs it too.

So, wish me luck and be sure to check out what all of the other simplifiers are up to. And if you're in need of some simplification, join the project. The more the merrier!

**Proof that I'm trying: I'm spending my first weekend with limited computer time hitting up a bike auction (fingers crossed I find one!), going for a dip in the hot springs, fishing, seeing Fred Eaglesmith perform and, if I have time, tilling my garden. Not a bad first effort, right?