Sunday, December 6, 2015

Let Go of Stuff, Hold on to Your Memories

Your stuff shouldn't be the equivalent of your memories. Yes, looking at a special tree ornament or a photo does spark memories that perhaps you haven't thought of for some time; and while you may not be quite at the level Brian and I are at (getting rid of almost all of our papers), you are certain to agree with us that hotel toiletries, old Christmas and Birthday cards, and childhood participation ribbons do not hold any particularly special memories anymore.

Think about a time in your life when you did lose your memories i.e. you lost your mind. Like when you computer crashed in college - buh bye to 5,457 photos of you and your friends - taking selfies before they were called selfies. Or how about when your phone was stolen - some contact numbers were never again retrieved. What about your car being broken in to: see ya later CDs, spare change and maybe even your wallet (along with your ID and more importantly your rewards member club cards). I'm sure most of us have experienced one of these three scenarios in some form. And when that happened you had to just get over it. Your 'memories' in the form of stuff were ripped from your forgetful or unlucky paws. Aw shucks.

Now think about how different it would have been if you could have just shrugged your shoulders and announced to the karmically cruel world: "meh. It was only some stuff, I've still got my memories." Because seriously, stuff can be replaced - your mind is here to stay (ignore extraneous circumstances like early onset dementia and Mad Cow disease).

So try it - let go of your stuff and hold on to your memories. This means not equivocating a cookie cutter to your grandma's cookies. You've got that correlation safely stored away in your brain - think it, say it, reminisce about it; but don't keep a cookie cutter that you never use. It takes up space and you waste time cleaning around it (or not, in which case I hope I never see what else you have in that junk drawer); time that could be spent talking about or to your grandma. If your grandma's anything like mine she would sternly scold you for wasting time not talking to her.

Maybe my rant has yet to convince you. Think of it in these terms: photo albums are nice, those letters you passed back and forth in class - so cute, yearbooks from first grade - even cuter; but do you look at these things? Do you take them out and have a feel good moment with your bottle of wine, and one or two friends with nothing better to do on their Saturday night? Or have they been sitting untouched in your parent's basement for uncounted years, only to continue to do so for eternity?

If you don't use it - lose it, you won't lose those memories.

Need not,

Sunday, November 22, 2015

3 Reasons Why You Don't Need Things

Recently, Brian brought up a good point. It's not just about having less, its about wanting less. It's not just about getting rid of stuff, you have to keep from reclaiming and regaining. And recently I've been noticing that I have stopped wanting things. Of course we still are bringing items in - we are American, after all - only a bit slower and in smaller numbers. It's mostly because the people around us are not minimalist, instead they are givers (kind and generous and loving givers, who we love).

Recently, I thought about why we think we, and perhaps you, don't need things and here's what I got:

Reason #1: You don't need things because they don't add to your purpose in life. Deep stuff, I know. Before we get too specific, think about what purposes in life usually look like; think Mother Theresa, Gandhi, or another selfless person who does good works in the world, like J.K. Rowling. Think, for a moment, about what purposes in life usually don't look like: that crazy cat lady on Hoarders, bankruptcy, or an overflowing storage unit. Those people who do good, don't do so because of the material possessions that they personally own. The items that fill their life are minimalized in order to better serve humanity. Told you it was deep.

Reason #2: How many things do you have that you don't use? If you don't use them and they don't make you happy, you don't need them.

Reason #3: The more things you have the more time you spend cleaning and organizing, sorting and maintaining. What a waste.

Instead of focusing on what you need and why you need it, and how to get it, think instead on what you can do, who you can do it with, and how come you aren't doing it right now! Never balk at things you can do for free, there is always merit in the company of others, regardless of how much money it will cost you, or not cost you. So go ahead, stop needing!

Need not,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Washing Your Hair

I am a minimalist hair care wearer. Is this a good thing? Honestly, I'm not quite sold... not quite yet. I'm definitely in a transitionary period. Trying to shampoo less, I tried a stint of the No 'Poo Method and received a failing grade (though I did give myself an A for effort), and I am too nervous to expand to any other options outside of an apple cider vinegar rinse. Regardless I forge on.

Researching in to it all I have come across these 5 reasons  of why you need to stop washing your hair.

Please, please, if you have any links or resources for where I can find more information, leave them in the comments section.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Washing Your Hair

  1. Chemicals!! So without getting too technical I would just like to summarize this study and say: the chemicals that are in shampoo and conditioner deposit themselves in your pores, are absorbed into your bloodstream, milling about healthy cells and then head to your liver which has to attempt to purge them along with the other toxins you are continually bombarding yourself with (like those in food and in the air). These chemicals can contribute to breast cancer, liver disease, asthma, and kidney abnormalities, among other ailments. Don't even try to give me the "everything causes cancer" excuse. Either you care about your health now or you care about it when you no longer have it. You decide.
  2. Moisture. Hair is designed to condition itself, that is good. Shampoo is designed to strip the dirt from your scalp and your hair cuticles, that is good, but it is also bad. Your hair has natural oils that are the best product money can't buy. It's like the breast milk of hair care - all natural and practically priceless. Stop letting them drip down the drain!
  3. Creativity. Hair styling is best done with dirty hair. I am always one to be adventurous, so skip the normal do you wear everyday and try something different! You might love the results, or it might just be a hat/headband day. (CONFESSION: I have naturally curly hair but a tip that you might want to try is curling 2nd day hair; instead of freshly washed and dried hair).
  4. If you color your hair you might just find less washing also equals dying your hair less often. No need to explain that one, right? Less dying equals more money in the bank - now that's being minimalist.
  5. Less heat and less grease. Washing less means blow drying less. Which any girl from 7th grade on knows how damaging our irons are. Less washing also means less greasy hair. Ridiculous you say? Nope, greasy hair becomes that way because of hair products. Don't believe me? Look at this gal or this mom. Or if you know a man with flowing locks you can ask him, they usually don't shampoo. Lucky them.
Not washing your hair doesn't always mean you can't get it wet - every so often skip the shampoo and just rinse. Furthermore, try using baby powder or dry shampoo. Think i'm being funny, there are, in fact, chemical free options for dry shampoo. But if you disagree please enlighten me. Lastly, try switching to shampoo and conditioners that don't contain parabens, SLS, and the like - I dare ya. (Easy to find! Search here or here).

Not convinced? Check out this in-depth article or this video. But really change your habits only if you want to! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We're moving!

Okay so we are not moving right this moment. But we would like to move out of our 1 bedroom, 775 square foot apartment eventually. like this year. please. And just like every other long-term-apartment-dweller we have a storage unit. (Confession: we are kind of ashamed).

No, our desk and bed are not in the storage unit; because no, this minimalism thing isn't just a fad. Let me remind you what it is: a way for us to reduce our consumption, declutter our lives, spend less time cleaning the mess that we have, and have more money for vacations. Regardless, a lot of the items we have gotten rid of we still technically have. Because, after all, it wouldn't make much sense to be 'minimalist' and to also contribute to the land fills (in a big way, current count of items is at 503 items). In fact because being minimalist includes saving money, we really feel strongly against just getting rid of everything. We are determined to at least try to sell items before they get donated, and hopefully not thrown away.

Of course all of our items aren't pure gold, people aren't scoping out our apartment through the slider doors, hoping and wishing that what they want most will be our next 'thing to get rid of'. And if they are, that's really creepy - and illegal. Get off our patio, you creeps! So Ebay, Plato's Closet, and Tradesy won't take all of our stuff. We get it, no big deal. Which is why we are saving the stuff for....
Cue fanfare. Not reinventing the wheel here folks, just stocking up for it. Because after all, you can't have a garage sale, without a garage. AND you can't sell things at a garage sale if they don't adequately fill up a driveway. SO we wait. and add more stuff to our poor storage.

CONFESSION(s): Also in storage: luggage (saving for that trip overseas or for an item later in the year), Christmas decorations (we only have two totes, I'd say that's pretty damn good), Christmas tree (don't be un-American, have a heart, the tree can stay. FOREVER), Snowboard and sled (Don't tell Haley and Ellie that I still own a snowboard, I haven't been on a winter trip with them in ever. As in I have never gone on even one trip to Whitefish. Insert guilt here). And a dolly and a four wheeler. Presto, change-o. Not too shabby! And before you get out those judg-ey looks, reflect on what you have in your possession. We live in under 1000 square feet of space. If you have more space, you most likely have more stuff. No matter what. (Well except if you are a minimalist also, and are doing it better than we are. In that case, kudos.)

So, come next spring there will be a great purge like you've never seen before. And if no one wants our stuff, we know there is an open garage door that will be waiting with a coupon and tax-redemption form to trade it for.

Need not,

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Second Biggest State Fair in the Country

As minimalists we are fairly good at minimalist-ing our life but the state fair is one event that is OFF LIMITS!

Confession: We don't do minimalism state fair style. We go nuts. We put our minimalism on a stick (for the day) and deep fry it. Boo-ya.

We eat as much as want (or can). We walk around for hours on end. We play carnival games until we win. until. we. win. We drink beer, mmmmmm specialty beers. We spend limitless amounts of money on said food and games. We educate ourselves in the eco-building (and the birthing barn). AND we have the time of our lives!!

This year I have successfully suckered my parents in to going -- excellent. So today, instead of dedicating my time to this wonderful blog, to entertain you wonderful readers, we will be at the state fair!!!


Josey & Brian

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Purge: clothing edition

Just when you thought we were winding down. We took Marie Kondo's advice and focused on one category: clothing. Don't worry mom's, we still have clothing, we aren't joining a nudist colony, and we are technically still clinically sane. BUT we did get rid of 20% of our closet.

Josey's purge: 24%
Brian's purge: 16%

Clothing is tough. Are you feeling like we have a lot of clothing - count yours, I dare ya.

How we did it:
  1. Do I wear this or have I worn it in a year?
  2. Does it fit? Am I delusional about how 'good' it fits me?
  3. Will I wear it ever? 
  4. Hey spouse, do you like how this looks on me?
  5. Do I need this?
That's it. Short and sweet. No room to shed tears... it's clothing. Brian was able to return items with tags still attached, and Josey sold to Plato's closet (again). Overall we got rid of 100 items and made $50. It took two excruciating days (tough decisions were made) and hopefully our items on consignment will bring in even more cash! 
Feeling courageous? We dare you to match our 20%. Comment below if you come close!

Need not,
Josey and Brian

P.S. This is just a start, without wasting perfectly good clothing, or being ridiculous, our first purge was fairly successful. Stay tuned for The Purge Part II.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Charleston Shuffle

We've done it again! Vacation on a dime! (CONFESSION: It actually cost more than 1, but less than 20,000 dimes) Of course we cheated a bit, it's allowed -- we got free lodging. We know what your thinking: you guys are wankers. We know just how lucky we are and devout that sliver of time every morning between dawn and sunrise to meditate on our karmic fortunes.

Even with a place to stay, vacations can really just run away with your wallet. You end up spending lavish amounts of money on things you normally wouldn't buy, food you don't even like eating, and excursions you didn't even take pictures at because you were too busy complaining about the lines and the fact that your wallet was empty.

We avoided both spending all our money and being miserable about not doing anything, for fear of spending all our money. How? Easy. See our top four list of fun things to do in Charleston, South Carolina that cost nothing but your time and patience.
HINT: get a rental car through Costco - at a location away from the airport. We picked Alamo (they have a free shuttle to and from the airport) and paid less than $100 for the entire week - not to mention we could stop at Costco to fill it back up before returning at the end of the week - double whammo. CONFESSION: Even without a rental car you can still do most of these free things - remember good ol' public transportation?
  1.  Saturday FARMER'S MARKET at MARION SQUARE if your lucky there might be something like the Gay Pride Parade going on while your there - well not very likely as it just occurred and it most likely is an annual event.
  2.  FOLLY BEACH - if you walk allllll the way down the beach you'll be able to see the MORRIS ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE. Kind of on the way (but not really) is the ANGEL OAK TREE - well worth the diversion if you like trees. or nature. or living things. We like all of those things.
  3.  Personally-guided WALKING TOUR; you can read signs on the streets (reading is free), and learn about the Holy City. If you feel really adventurous try out your southern accent while reading the signs out loud. CONFESSION: I did this. 
  4.  SULLIVAN'S ISLAND AND ISLE OF PALMS: parking is tricky and seems a bit imposing but its the damn ocean, nobody owns the ocean. While at said 'unowned ocean' we saw: itty crabs, dolphins, and didn't get pooped on once by seagulls, not once.
Our top 5 things to do that do cost money:
  1. Middleton Place. AMAZING! This place is so breathtaking, it's hard not to get swept away to another time. I highly suggest visiting.
  2.  Palmetto Brewing Company. Take the trolley and then walk the rest of the way - visit when there's music for an extra rad experience. Not saying we're beer snobs, but they were the only beer we really liked in Charleston. Non-beer lovers - they sell 4 ounce flights and 8 ounce tasters, as well as the pint. Perfection.
  3. Patriot's Point. You'll need a few hours because this thing is massive. The USS Yorktown is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. DON'T pass it up. DO pace yourself and bring snacks. Fort Sumter also falls in this category, plus you take a ferry to get there (pssst. we saw dolphins while on the ferry ride. keep your eyes peeled.)
  4. You should be eating seafood and biscuits the whole time you are in Charleston. Great seafood suggestion: Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar, great biscuit suggestion: Callie's Hot Little Biscuit's (on King Street between Ann and Mary).
  5. Magnolia Gardens . If you do other gardens or plantations, do this one first; MUST check out the petting zoo!!
Follow these tips to spend less of your money:
  1. Go to the visitor center to buy your tickets. Bundle and save. Plus they know everything touristy there is to do in Charleston; you might say they're experts.
  2. Take the free trolley when it's to far to walk, and then walk. The trolley doesn't go everywhere in Charleston but it does make a wide enough loop to make walking everywhere totally feasible.
  3. Buy groceries and eat in. Not every meal has to be chef prepared - remember when you're at home and you use a stove - you can do that on vacation too. Or go to a bakery and buy donuts or something to have the next morning.
  4. Don't buy more groceries than you can eat. CONFESSION: You're allowed to go to the grocery store more than once while on vacation, especially if it saves you money (See photo above for our rationing techniques).
  5. Eat during happy hour. Drink during happy hour.
  6. Ask the locals where they like to go and only do things you can't do at home. While Brian and I were incredibly tempted to go to the aquarium (it was the shark shallows that tempted us so badly), the aquarium, no matter which state, is something a bit mundane. More exotic are the historical sites that Charleston has to offer. Compromise was made. Fort Sumter > Fingers to Fins with the Sharks. BUT we would encourage those of you with a bit bigger wallet to go touch the dang sharks, and then comment below how lame and uninteresting it was. please. please do this for us.
  7. A local told us very sternly, "Don't eat oysters in months not ending in 'R'". We went in August. No oysters for us. Heed the advice of locals - they live there, they know.
So that's it! We schooled Charleston with all the spareness and simplicity we could muster, and it was beautiful! Thank you to the kind patrons of the Holy City for enduring our coupon-cutting, 'no thanks we'll walk', 'when is your happy hour?' ways. And thank you Debra* for letting us stay at your house!

Need not,
Brian and Josey

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blog about blogs

Follow my blog with Bloglovin'
Sorry but this is just a must! If you like reading blogs (especially if you have a busy life) then check out Bloglovin' - they do the dirty work and tell you when new blog posts are up; plus it's super easy to search for new blogs.

Or don't follow my blog with Bloglovin', it is of no matter to me (CONFESSION: I would consider it an impertinence) (SECOND CONFESSION: I've been watching Pride & Prejudice all week on repeat... the disc is starting to skip)

Also for all of you European readers my apologies if the new information about cookies use is obnoxious. Google likes to track our every move, and we like to let them.

Now come back on Sunday for a real blog post, that is if you haven't gone into a romantically-inspired deeply and completely permeating swoon from Mr. Darcy's bewitching .gif!

Need not,

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hitting a Wall

Just because we are trying to be minimalists does not mean we are there yet. We aren't. we still have a lot of stuff - we think too much, our parents are concerned not enough. And even though we aren't there yet, we are feeling ourselves slow down in our pace of picking things that have got to go. Probably the hardest part: clothes. Here are some reminders for those of you trying to reduce along with us and feeling your motivation waning:
  1. Only keep the things that make you happy. Stop yourself from lying. You either are using something or not, it either makes you happy or you are literally torturing yourself in the place you call home.
  2. Only keep the things that are making you healthy. By this I am referring to the hoards of chemicals and lab-developed sugars that are hiding in your beauty products and foods. Make a commitment to yourself to put less importance on the things that are harming you and in doing so let them go!
  3. Sort by category. Try not to go room by room, especially since there are items in every room that belong to the same category.
  4. Don't let stuff in! Start saying no to things you don't need (or want), don't let your mother-in-law guilt you into taking things (this is true for both Brian and Josey, regardless they still love the moms).
Exhibit A
We have gotten rid of over 378 items. (CONFESSION: This is an estimate on the low side) And we are not discouraged yet. Not even close. In fact I feel so good when I open the fridge, pantry, closet, dresser, drawer/cabinet/door and see less! It makes me feel less anxious, less heavy, and all around less ridiculous!

Take for example the picture to your right, which we shall name exhibit A. Think you don't have a lot of things still lying around? Paper clips and push pins. We counted 540. That's five hundred and forty mother-loving' paper clips. On a daily basis we use 0 paper clips. Zero. What up with that? (I had to. See exhibit B.)

Exhibit B
While we won't be getting rid of any more big ticket items we are still committed to down sizing our 1 bedroom apartment to a manageable number of belongings (a number greater than 100 for the sake of worry-wart-moms everywhere.)

Need not,
Brian and Josey

P.S. we are getting rid of those paper clips. They count as 1 item.

P.P.S. Is Kenan Josey's long lost twin? Comment below!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Compost composure

Here it is: the end all, be all of compost blog posts!!

Mmmm, that sets expectations a bit too high.

Here's a compilation of how-to-composts and my thoughts on all this garbage.

The info graphic on the left came out during World War I, what are we stupid? We still haven't figured this whole food waste thing out? If you, like most Americans, completely fail at the 6 steps listed in the poster, don't fret. While we will be judging you, just as harshly as we judge ourselves, you can save yourself from a total ecological footprint meltdown.


Thought provoking. What comes to mind first: rotten banana peels, grass clippings, and gnats swarming over a moist, humid pile, shoved in the back of your yard - you use a 39 1/2 inch pole to stir it from afar; yet no matter how much you add to it it surprisingly does not take over your yard (unlike Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout).

SO not quite exactly an image of wonder, but close. Here are the best ways to have compost composure:

1. As explained in the poster above: save what will keep and eat what will spoil. If you were subservient readers and watched the Just Eat It documentary mentioned in the last post then you probably picked up on one really good strategy to eat food before it spoils. Have a separate container in the fridge for foods that need to be eaten immediately and eat them immediately. Also ignore expiration and best buy dates. But if you didn't watch the documentary you think we are crazy for giving the latter suggestion so we'll just wait to expand on that one until after you watch it.
2. Make a compost. We suggest not using plastic or metal - that stuff leaches into the soil. I still wouldn't use plastic even if it's "BPA free". I just wouldn't. But I would use heat-treated, water- and weather-resistant wood.
3. Contain it! My grandparents have an open, nose-irritating compost hidden craftily behind their shed where the fences intersect. Cool. But wouldn't it be even nicer if your compost pile wasn't an eye-sore or more importantly a nose-sore for everyone to see or smell? We really like these ones:

4. Maintain your compost. The more you mix it the faster you will have useable soil! Also add brown compostable items like leaves and shredded paper to your grass clippings, green yard waste and food waste. Till and wait, till and wait.
5. Don't disrespect your garbage pile! Meat, breads, milk products, oils and diapers = a recipe for pest attractant. Iffy about what is and isn't okay? Check out these Compost Instructions.
6. Reuse your soil! Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op has a great instructional on how to tell if your compost is ready. Hint: it's brown and smells like dirt. Spread it around, use it in your garden, revel in your ingenuity. Look at you, being all mother-nature-ey, you go Glen Coco.

Questions about composting or need more information? Feel free to check out the info graphic below or leave questions in the comment section! Just eat it, but if your honestly too full, just compost it.

Need not,
Josey and Brian

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Just Eat It

Remember Nike's motto: Just Do It? Well this is the same thing, only instead of athleticism it has to do with wastefulness. And instead of being a large advertising ploy to get you to consume (athletic things) this is a giant wakeup call to stop consuming or at least to consume in the right way.

Just Eat It is an excellent documentary, the premise: two Canadians on a food rescue mission.
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. They pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. 
Bottom right photo Minnesotan Curt Sullivan
Fabulous right? I mean how embarrassing! Americans are literally throwing away the opportunity to eliminate hunger right here in our backyard.

See above for examples of squandering. See below for some of the unexpected consequences.

I won't give out any spoilers, because we think you should really watch this movie. Instead here are some food waste facts for our state (Minnesota, baby!!). Wish us luck (who knows what you might read next).

    Minnesota continually reaches the top of the charts for Fittest U.S. Cities (this one dates back to 1990!), best state for kids, top state for business, the BEST American state, not to mention that every year Minnesota vendors find something else to put on a stick. (CONFESSION: Brian and I definitely got side-tracked looking at new foods for 2015 at the fair. give in to you temptations here.) Despite all of those wonderful rankings we still have our share of garbage - and it stinks.
    Stuffed Meatloaf on a Stick: Coming This Fall!

    But wait! Don't be discouraged by the negative.
    There are plenty of good options, that we can all implement, to help minimize food waste and to keep good, edible food from going to waste.


    every.                    single.              time.
    • Challenge your grocery stores to sell ugly fruit! But first check out Silly, Saucy, Scary. Stores can sell these mangled marvels at a 30% discount but the point is force them to sell it! Hungry for more of this? Watch the damn video below! Josey cried a little (CONFESSION: it was nothing compared to her full-body-heaving-breakdown while watching Just Eat It. Please, for her sake at least, just eat it.)

    And let's not forget the programs that Minnesota already has in place:
    • St. Paul Public Elementary schools participates in a food recycling program that sends food waste to pig farms; they repurposed over 2 million pounds of food waste in the 2010-2011 school year.
    • Check out CafĂ© Latte's waste reduction success, they reduced their trash volume by 50% by using commercial composting.
    • Cub Foods and Seward Co-op donate to 360 Communities Food Shelf; Target, Lunds & Byerlys, Cub, General Mills, Whole Foods etc. are food donors to Second Harvest.
    • MSP Airport produces 10 tons a month of organic recycling including food waste and things like paper napkins; that's a 50% reduction in waste! Then they use the soil they make to upkeep the grounds. genius.
    • The MN State Fair produces nearly 40 tons of food waste, which is turned into nutrient-rich soil, during its 12 day run and 1.8 million attendance
    • And just in case you weren't feeling proud to be a Minnesotan quite yet, we shall now reveal the Mall of America's valiant green initiatives:
      • By converting parking garage lighting to LED technology MOA reduced electrical consumption by 7 million KWH annually
      • Wind powers two parking ramps and the Nickelodeon Universe
      • More than 60% of MOA waste is recycled; thats an average of 32,000 tons per year OR more than 18,000 cars in a landfill. 
        • More than 2,400 tons of food waste is sent to a local hog farm feeding more than 1 million hog meals annually
        • More than 4,000 pounds of biodiesel is produced per month by converting fat from restaurant fryers. That's enough to fuel a 53-foot semi truck from New York to Los Angeles five flippin' times
        • More then 100 tons of glass bottles are recycled each year - yup, that powers 3.5 homes running electricity 8 hours a day for 1 year.
      • MOA DOES NOT USE CENTRAL HEATING. I know this one is almost unbelievable. If you've never been to the Mall of America let me tell you, the temperature inside is never on your list of complaints, even when it's below zero outside. Inside the comfortable 70 degrees is maintained year-round by passive solar energy and heat from the store fixtures. We are so impressed.
    Okay so some of that has nothing to do with food waste and we were just bragging. We are still so impressed. In fact we feel as though we must do our part. Because after all part of being a minimalist is about reducing waste and that certainly includes food waste.

    We pledge to search out the ugly fruit, use reusable bags every time at the store AND stop wasting food.

    We'll be weighing any food we waste (so far we're scared to be the first one to throw something out - success?) and we will keep you updated! Wish us luck! (It worked well the first time so you must be some kind of wish granting gurus)

    We know you want to watch this documentary, like you are dying to see it. Have no fear! August 1st it will be playing on MSNBC at 5pm EST. Mark your calendars and get enlightened!

    Need not,
    Brian and Josey

    Monday, July 20, 2015

    Brian's Tip of the Week II

    I know you thought you'd never be so lucky, but here you are.

    Are you wearing your favorite pair of jeans right now? Oh you are (oh you aren't because it's summer). We all have one pair that we most favor - because the pockets are big enough, because they're clean. What ever it may be there are jeans in your closet (or on your floor) that you never wear. Maybe you put them on every once in a while with good intentions, but then end up swapping them for your favorite pair. That's okay dude, but you've got to get rid of some jeans. Especially the ones you don't wear.

    So go. Right now. To your closet and be honest with yourself. Donate the pair you never wear. (Hopefully it's more than one, that means you aren't lying to yourself.) Alright I'll let you keep two pairs, but the rest have to go. Instead of a tip, this is actually more like a rule.

    Need not,

    Sunday, July 12, 2015

    Old Fashioned Laundry

    how Pioneers did thems warshing
    Congratulations... to us! We've survived one year of laundry minimalism. Brian and I have successfully mastered part II of Old Fashioned Laundering. Have no idea what I'm talking about?

    Part I: Wash
    Part II: Dry

    Part I may never be conquered, mainly because unlike the pioneers we don't use scrubbing boards. But we have switched to using all natural detergent. After a not so pleasant experimental stage using washing soda and baking soda and vinegar and essential oils we have settled for letting someone else make the detergent. What we're using (see image on right, buy it here), its ingredients: Saponified 100% coconut oil, sodium borate, sodium bicarbonate, pure essential oils and vegetable glycerin.

    Chemical free is the way to be! While I don't intend to spout that one brand of nature-made detergent is better than the other, we really like this one because it makes our house smell like lavender. The whole damn thing smells zum clean. This is made possible because we hang dry our laundry (unless we are feeling lazy and like rich people). Yup. Monday is washing day, break out the clothes line. I can feeling the grass roots getting stronger. Hence, we have declared complete independence from our 20th century dryer contraption thingy. All hail hard work!

    Not so quick explanation: Last summer after returning from our vacation at the lake we proceeded to wash said lake clothing. A week or so later I was looking at our energy bill and holy cow. lots of warshing = lots of money. Like think in terms of a doubling our bill. The worst equation I've ever seen. Called up the energy company man and he said it most likely was from our dryer use. In other words using our dryer doubled our bill. Even worser equation. lots of drying = 2x moneys. WHHHHAAAA?? Yeah, that's what I said too. Our solution = boycott dryer use. But in order to give you unbiased facts our bill has fluctuated just as inconsistently as it did the year before (sorry but I have a degree in sociology and using the dryer is not mutually exclusive with energy bill, of course there are other factors that affect the bill like heat use, oven use, outside temperature blah. blah. blah.) But the point is we can now call ourselves: minimalist part II launderers. And no, that title can't be shortened. I tried and it just doesn't work.

    Need not,
    Brian and Josey

    Sunday, July 5, 2015

    How (or perhaps why) I haven't bought deodorant since last year

    Crazy right? I know. You thought sleeping on the floor was nuts, but now this! Fortunately for you, and more specifically for people that have to be around me, having not bought deodorant in the last year does not mean I haven't been wearing it, at least not everyday.

    I made the plunge away from commercial deodorant after reading one too many articles about aluminum, parabens, and propylene glycol, I decided to get back to the basics. While WebMD would have us believe that "There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant use increases cancer risk," (Ted S. Gansler, MD, MBA), I am not so easily tricked. I went to college. That's just one doc, and one resource. Without getting too technical here's a few things I found on the anti-deodorant side of things. Be forewarned, I looked up what specifically in deodorant contributes to health concerns because I totally believe in not smelling like you slept in an alleyway.
    • Parabens. They mimic estrogen and can increase human breast tumor cells to grow and proliferate in vitro.
    • An earlier age of breast cancer diagnoses is related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving
    • Also found on the page are a list of other chemicals that even with low-dose exposure have negative effects. This includes BPA (found in plastics), alkyl phenols (found in hair products and cleaning agents), and rBGH (found in dairy products), amongst others. I think it's good to know the negative side of those hard-to-pronounce-ingredients. They aren't just chemicals, they have crazy effects on our bodies. If there are 1,000 pores or so per square inch, and an average armpit takes up, uh... um... 10 square inches? That's like 10,000 pores. Each one can become clogged by chemicals, which is bad. I repeat, clogged pores equals bad news. 
    I think that with all of the experience I have in hospice, exposed to young women with cancer, I'd like to think that I am terribly motivated to follow healthy habits. Many of those women are actually big supporters of alternative deodorant, so it can't hurt to try. 
    Last fall I quit deodorant. I'm not proud of it. okay. I am actually. And during winter coconut oil was my friend. However, we are not in winter and my sweat glands are done hibernating. So I've been investigating 'all natural' deodorants and here is my review:
     LuckyVitamin sent me TWO! free samples of Tom's Naturally Dry and I was more than happy to oblige. CONFESSION: my skin is not the same color as white deodorant, using it always turns out to be a failed covert operation. I did like the scent and the overall texture but half way through the day my pits start to rev their engines with a flaming vengeance. This means white clumps in my skin creases and I still stink. So attractive. Unfortunately I will not be trying this scent again, but I may be tempted to try a different type of Tom's in the future, like Long Lasting.
    Three Comforts Sample Jasmine Deodorant - my mom's own concoction. Lucky for me my mom makes bath and beauty products and decided to give deodorant a try. While this was simply a tester and is a work in progress, I did like that it has amazing ingredients, like baking soda and jasmine. Also a little goes a long way, it went on easily and actually lasted most of the day. She's still working on the formula so if you are interested let her know here or see the other items she sells here. Otherwise I will keep you posted.
    My first attempt at all-natural deodorant was actually some stuff that I bought at Whole Foods - Herbal Clear 24 Hour Natural Sport Deodorant - that came 'highly' recommended. Of course this just means that the sales girl was reading the same label that I was looking at and figuring that because it said 'sport' and 'all natural', it was exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately it smelled a little to manly for my taste (uh, for my smelling?). The positive it contains tea tree oil, the negative it didn't really work and contained a few too many hard to pronounce (but supposedly safe) ingredients - this includes propylene glycol.
    So I'm almost out of the Tom's and NEED deodorant. Seriously, I can go without in the winter, but now that the temperature is heating up, I think it's only fair to mankind to keep up with my personal hygiene (even if I am trying to be a minimalist). I've heard great things about Primal Pit Paste, plus the name insinuates that it will be both lacking in chemicals and strong enough to handle my sweaty pockets. Any suggestions out there!? I know some people have tried just essential oils, but working in hospice we aren't allowed to wear scents... the amount of oils I would need would be noticeable, even if your 90. Please help! One last CONFESSION: To be honest I didn't try the stuff in the last photo, that spray on stuff, I just wanted 3 pictures. 

    Need not,

    Oh good, you're still reading. To be fair Dr. Ted Gansler encourages us to seek more proven techniques for preventing cancer: eat right, exercise and limit alcohol consumption. Because after all our bodies do have the ability to detox on their own if we give them the right fuel and the right tools. That is all.

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    LuckyVitamin Plug

    CONFESSION: this post is overly enthusiastic and contains no pictures.

    Looking for an easy way to research healthy, reliable, and trustworthy products for your life? Also interested in purchasing those products without forfeiting all of your hard-earned-cash? LuckyVitamin is not only the answer, but holds all the answers - and is willing to share. LuckyVitamin has an easy to use website, giving the consumer the ability to make informed health decisions. This family-based company is all about 'spreading the wellness' and I'm hooked.

    My favorite features on
    1. Shop By: Specialty. It won't be long before everyone has heard of the perilous evils of parabens, paraffins and phthalates, but until then it's nice to have the option to easily search for products that don't contain them.

    2. Shop By: Ingredient. I recently searched for Turmeric containing products after reading the Luckyblog post "7 Reasons Everyone Needs a Turmeric Supplement". My mom takes the anti-inflammatory supplement and swears by it, claiming her arthritic pain stays at bay as long as she includes Turmeric in her daily vitamin regimen.

    3. LuckyBlog. While it's quickly becoming commonplace for business to have their own blog, not all of them actually regularly post or post quality content. LuckyBlog posts easy-to-understand health information and as if that's not enough LuckyVitamin also has a Health Library, for those of us with insatiable curiosities.

    When it comes to buying products like Zum Laundry Soap or Nutiva Hemp Protein, LuckyVitamin is my number one stop, and I know my body (and my wallet) will be thankful. That is all.

    Need not,
    Josey and Brian

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    Book Review

    Many of our fine friends have suggested the international bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Brian and I have dutifully read it. There are a few tips and tricks within the pages of Marie Kondo's book, but overall no earth shattering secrets were revealed. We really feel as though the minimalist community online has been such a great resource, but do appreciate what we learned from Kondo. Here are our favorite quotes and how we intend to implement them (or how we've already started living by their rule).
    "The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not "things" but a means for conveying someone's feelings."
    Quite some time ago Brian impressed on me the idea that instead of things as gifts he would rather get a piece of paper with a promise to spend time together. So instead of asking for material gifts we now include a short list that includes things we can do with the people we love. Most recent 'thing to do' gift received: River cruise (ooohh aaahhh). Most recent 'thing to do' gift given: Twin's game (yay!), they lost (boo!).
    "No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important." 

    This, I feel, is a great motivator when it comes to tackling our precious mementos. How do you decide which family heirlooms to keep, which to give up, which to pass on to your children (and their children and their children's children) and which to pass on to Goodwill? Seriously. how do you decide?

    "Does this spark joy?"

    My coworker Kirsten gave me in to this simple piece of advice earlier this year and it really works well, especially when it comes to clothes. Does this make me happy? If it doesn't, then why do you have it?
    "By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process the past."
    Kondo tends to anthropomorphize a lot (CONFESSION: this word is not part of my vocabulary, I looked it up, you can look it up here) and this quote lends itself to the more sensitive side of her KonMari method, however it is true, and it does work. Don't let sentimental items, papers especially, sit in storage, go through them and decide whether or not you can let them go. Kondo says this will help to process the past and then we can let go of clutter and move on to clutter-free!

    Interestingly enough I stumbled upon this blog post by Leo Babauta that touches on the same topics. He says that the objects that make up our clutter are crutches that we depend on for various reasons; for excitement, for holding on to the past, for love and for security. If I take anything away from Kondo and from Babauta it's that I should redefine what happiness is, what it looks like, and what evokes it. And the way I want it to look has nothing to do with a closet full of shoes or a bookshelf full of doodads. It has everything to do with the people around me and the things we do together.

    Need not,
    Brian and Josey

    We got our copy from the library, but if you feel like you need your own copy click here for Kondo's website.

    Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Minimalist Attitudes

    While becoming minimalist (great blog by the way) has been easy when it comes to living in our little sheltered apartment bubble, as soon as we open our big mouths around other people about the way we live, people start to squirm. I don't think its that they are uncomfortable per se. I really think that it just gets people to start thinking. While we hope that people don't view our exultations as judgmental we understand that they might feel, well, judged.

    Just because we sleep on the floor - doesn't mean you have to. And just because we no longer are slaves to the xfinity/comcast cable conglomerate doesn't mean that you should feel bad that you are. Seriously, this is the type of living that makes us happy, but your type of living might and should look different and that is great. Especially if you are happy living it!

    And that brings us to a few simple words of encouragement:
    1. If you own something and it doesn't make you happy, don't own it anymore
    2. Start small, we started with one item a week and now we've been decluttering and de-owning for half a year. yowser.
    3. Always ask yourself, "Do I really need this?"
    4. Confucius says, "It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop."
    5. Josey's CONFESSION: It helps to do it with someone who will support and encourage you along the way, even when other's think you might need a psychological intervention or more stuff.
    Other minimalists' have had to defend the lifestyle from those that see it as too radical, too frugal, and too anti-economy. We just hope that you will (read our blog and) live life the way you want to and don't feel like our lack of stuff is a way for us to judge you or your stuff. Leave comments below if you have questions on how we cope or need another one of my amazing 'Tip of the Week' tips to help you out.

    Need not,

    Monday, June 8, 2015

    Brian's Tip of the Week!

    (CONFESSION: I am bad at blogging when I go on vacation)

    Maybe you have plateaued, I know our items last week were weak: deck of playing cards and an old tea tin. riveting. So how do you get over the hump and find more items to get rid of, without being ridiculous and getting rid of items you actually need? Brian drew inspiration from a book he's reading, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. And while the title of the book is anything but minimal there are some great pointers to be found in this short book. So without further ado we give you...
    Start with one category. Brian suggests clothes, shoes, coffee mugs or books. Instead of going room by room, sorting like a crazy person, feeling as though your items keep multiplying, finding piles of stuff you never knew you had, even though the people at Arc know you by name. You'll find items of the same category in practically every room of your house, so gathering all the same items and then sorting through them tends to be more efficient.

    Example: clothes - maybe you have some in storage (seasonally sorted) and maybe you've got a front closet, a bedroom closet, and any number of dressers. Gather and conquer.
    Example number 2: mugs. Laura is to blame for this suggestion. Because let's be honest, how many mugs does one girl need? How many wonders can one cabinet hold? Okay. focus. Perhaps if you only use one coffee cup per day, and you do the dishes once a week - you should max out at 7 mugs. However, challenge yourself further. Maybe, you can rinse your coffee cup out after each use, and then you technically only need one coffee mug. period. Mind blown.
    Example letter C: gift bags. oooh curve ball. All of your gift wrapping paraphernalia should be collected in one general area. This includes all tissue paper, bows, ribbons, packages, boxes or bags.. you know what I mean. Start using this stuff up. Do not buy until you have used up your supply of gift giving container holder wrapperses.

    Good luck!

    Need not,
    Brian and Josey

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Does not rhyme with Mike Wazowski

    New shoes are nice. They are clean, they fit snuggly, everybody notices that they are new, and compliments you. (CONFESSION: Compliments are the best). But as I was walking to the gym today I felt myself in a little bit of a consumerism bind. I've had my gym shoes for longer than most, about 8 years. I desperately want a new pair, not because they have holes, or are dirty or run down. Nope I want new shoes because I live in America, the land of the free-to-buy-new-shoes-before-the-old-ones-are-used-up. This is a major dilemma, you know, for the minimalism part of my conscious. This is also a major bummer.

    Why should I give in to these deviant temptations? And why should I get rid of perfectly good shoes, that I bought and paid for, that I have yet to use up?

    TOMS is one company that is attempting to shed some light on the shoes issue. Started in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie (does not rhyme with Mike Wazowski) with a pretty simple business model: One for One, which expands past just shoes. I am sure your familiar with the company (otherwise click here) and the point of this all is...

    ...the point is...

    Kudo's to Lee Hughes.
    You really used those up.
    ...well the point is I don't need new gym shoes, although I may want new gym shoes. The point is minimalism isn't just about giving stuff up, its also about giving up getting stuff. Giving up getting stuff. Give it up already!

    Right now while I am sitting here lamenting my shoe non-issue approximately 300 million children and 1.5 billion adults in the world don't have shoes, let alone a dilemma about whether or not they should buy new shoes. Why do I need to over consume? Why can't I be satiated with the pair that I have now!? I am by no means preaching that you wonderful, kind, readers should stop reading, package up all of your shoes and ship them to an impoverished country. Please, don't do that (at least not before researching where to send them: Soles4Soles). I am merely trying to justify not buying new gym shoes. Because I simply don't need them.

    Meanwhile Brian literally wears his shoes out - you have to be able to see toes through duct tape repair patches before they can be relinquished. Thinking I won't go that far, but I know I can use up my gym shoes a lot more before even thinking about new ones.

    Need not,

    Sunday, May 17, 2015

    Consumerism Temptations

    It seems as though everywhere we go there are temptations. Eat more, spend more, buy more - more, more, more. Of course we all give in to temptation, and often times we have guilty feelings buying things even though not all purchases are unnecessary or excessive. You've got to pay your bills, buy food to eat, and it's not crazy to want something to entertain ourselves with. BUT being a minimalist it seems as though a simple outing to Target or the grocery store has turned into a hellish errand invented to really mess with our determination.

    It is important to separate a good deal from a great deal.
    Something might be on sale, but could it still be found cheaper elsewhere? Our new favorite online 'elsewhere': Lucky Vitamin. (Hint: check out the "Shop by: Specialty" to find items that won't contribute to carcinogens - what a great perk!).

    Is it even really a sale?
    Okay so you know how Kohl's gives you that dollar amount on the receipt - "You Saved $54.95" which is meant to make you feel good, but in all honesty seems like a bunch of baloney (see "Pricing for Idiots"). In my mind any clothing bought should be $1 (yes - you heard right - see previous blog My Mid-winter Wardrobe Update) and should be recycled (motivation for buying used clothing found here).

    Know how to really spot the outrageous deals.
    Target for instance and their clearance stickers (see: How To Shop Target Clearance). My new goal is to wait it out until the non-necessary clearance item is 70% off or better... if the item is still there (waiting ever so patiently for me to give in), then I win! I get to buy said non-necessary item and keep most of my money the store was trying to take from me in the form of markups.

    And although it might truly be on sale, and for a very cheap price - do I actually need it? It's important to stick to our lists, replace the items you use, and really be a conscious consumer, and most of all - keep the receipt in case of buyers remorse (CONFESSION: this happens to me often).

    Anyways, it's Sunday so it's time to go gather our item(s) for the week - what are you getting rid of today?

    Need not,

    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    House hunting

    Josey and I have been roughing it for the last five years; at least that's how she describes our living arrangements. Unable to put paint on the walls, blast loud techno music late at night, and park closer than 20 feet to our front door - all #FirstWorldProblems... But the economics of it all forces me to agree that we should start seriously house hunting - only problem is this minimalist movement that we've started for ourselves. It makes it really hard to want to buy bigger.

    We know the location we desire, the schools that we feel would be good for our future unborn children, and the commutes that we are willing to make, as well as the amount of money we want to invest - what we are feeling stumped on -- how big is too big? For some people that answer comes easily (Go Big Or Go Home!); but for us we aren't so convinced. We feel more than comfortable in our one bedroom apartment, in fact wouldn't feel stressed out if we went smaller - after all we only use our bedroom for sleeping, practically never sit at our dining room table but instead use it for other functions, and feel as though our galley kitchen has one to many empty cupboards to desire an upsize.

    So how do we know what square footage will satiate our minimalism needs in the present, but allow for maximum sanity in the future (with an unknown number of unborn children). I think we are leaning towards the 1950s average house size, and we're hoping that going smaller, going sustainable and green, will lower our eco footprint (mind you ours is still a two earths per person). Certainly buying a house is no joke - it's a huge investment and even huger commitment. I think for right now it's one that we need to research a little bit more, and don't worry parents a tiny house on wheels is not on our wish list (at least not for our first house!).

    Need not,

    Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Liebster Award

    Say what!? We've been recognized! Thank you Jessica from The Reinvention of Jessica for this nomination of sorts. Apparently the Liebster Award, well, "It's more like a pay-it-forward blog recognition chain letter thing." - But we are so incredibly excited and love pay-it-forward-related-things! (Shout out to Students Today, Leaders Forever). 

    Please check out her blog but here are a few excerpts that we love especially:
    "While I was waiting in that hellish line (and all the lines were hellish), Dennis and Jack walked around and got some food and enjoyed themselves.  They did some science experiments thanks to Mad Science (side note - I used to be a mad scientist and this company is amaze-balls), intently watched bigger kids play in the water bubbles, and found the best steak fries I've ever had in my entire life - I mean, I like potato wedges, but somehow these tasted like steak, like literally meaty, juicy steak.  I don't know what else they did, but they had fun.  And I waited in line."
     "I hear about this mythical act of "putting your baby down to sleep," but I think it's just that, a myth.  I'm just as likely to come across a unicorn as putting Jack down to sleep. "
    "I drank the kool-aid, ya'll.  As part of my 2015 goals, I promised myself I'd keep a day planner for the entire year, and I found one, and I'm already in deep.  Like, really really deep.  If you haven't already heard of Erin Condren Life Planners, then you might've been living under a rock because she has something of a cult following in the blogosphere.  And I have joined the cult, yo.  I bought the planner, joined the Facebook groups, watched the YouTube videos, and have stocked up on washi tape, stickers, and pens. You see, there are people out there who decorate their planners.  And I don't mean just using color coded pens and a few cute calendar appointment stickers.  I mean fucking DECORATE their planners, like, with scrapbooking supplies and stickers, and washi tape.  Works of Art!!!" 
    yup. you should check it out lol. So thank you Jessica of The Reinvention of Jessica, we feel so motivated to blog like crazy, that and Laura Berg needs something to do at Everett's 3 am feedings.

               Here are the rules:
    1. Thank the nominating blogger
    2. Nominate blogs that are new and/or have small followings.
    3. Answer questions from the nominating blogger
    4. Tell your readers random facts about yourself
    5. Give your nominees questions to answer
    Part of the pay-it-forwardness includes passing it on, duh. Our nominations - and one reason why you should check out their blog (CONFESSION: I may have written the wrong blog name. I'm sorry. Brian and I are new to blogging):
    1. Big Fat Greek Odyssey  - if you want to know what Greece really looks like.
    2. Bringing Home The - amazing recipes using non traditional ingredients. fresh, fresh, baby.
    3. Slow Your Home - sincerely trying to hold back the jealousy.
    4. I Might Have a Glass of Beer - it's about beer. enough said.
    5. Notes of Desert Rose Style - fashion in Dubai, so exotic!
    6. Hey Luchie! - amazing cartoonist
    7. Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Blog - for bikers, ahoy!
    8. Reluctant Food Blogger - currently brewing their own alcohol. brave and innovative. 
    9. Childes at Heart - a crazy, wonderful mom and how she keeps a handle on it all.
    10. Enlightened Mama - partial to this one, a great blog informing us about life, living, and birth!
    11. Reinventing the Wheel - MIT bike geeks. smart and aerodynamic. 
    The answers to Jessica's questions:

    How long have you been blogging? 
    We've been blogging for four, wondrous months.
    You have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world.  Where do you go? 
    New Zealand! In fact we are planning on going there for our anniversary next year.
    What's your guilty pleasure? 
    Josey: A Barre class
     Brian: a big bowl -er- a box of cereal

    What's your favorite blog post you've ever written? 
    This is like asking Ryan Gosling to pick his favorite meme. 
    But who are we kidding, Josey: Okay but why are we doing this? Brian: The Big Reveal
    Who is your favorite fictional character?
     Josey: Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) Brian: Ben Affleck as Doug MacRay (The Town)
    Werewolves, vampires, or zombies? 
    Zombies! We still can't get over the season finale of Walking Dead
    What is your favorite movie quote? 
    "Hakuna Matata"

    If you could live in any fictional world (from any book, TV show, or movie), which one would you choose?  Why? 
    Josey: Harry Potter. duh. I mean don't be riddikulus. 
    What's your favorite comfort food? 
    Brian: cold pizza. Josey: rice krispie treats.
    Who would play you in a movie about your life? 
    A young Brian - Channing Tatum (am I right Pi Phis?); a more aged Brian - Gerard Butler. 
    How do you handle writer's block? 
    We brain storm - or we post a list of top 10 list.

    Our random facts:
    1. Brian rides a bike to work
    2. Josey is superbly clumsy
    3. We love plants and think you can never have enough
    4. Four-in-One: We're like an old couple we like... antiquing, 
    5. ... watching documentaries, 
    6. ... completing the crossword (on Mondays), and
    7. ... sleeping for 10 hours every night.
    8. Brian's wedding ring is made of Tungsten 
    9. We can't stand paying so much for cable
    10. Brian runs hot and Josey runs cold - so one of us is either shivering or sweating at any given moment
    11. Josey hasn't grown taller since 8th grade. dang. Brian, however, is most likely still growing.
    Here are the rules for the newly nominated bloggers:
    1. Thank the nominating blogger (which is us!)
    2. Nominate 6 blogs that are new and/or have small followings.
    3. Answer 7 questions from the nominating blogger (which is us!)
    4. Tell your readers 8 random facts about yourself
    5. Give your nominees 9 questions to answer (Your 7 questions are below)
    Confused? Here's more rules [you'll notice I took the liberty of picking numbers between 5 and 11]
    1. What country are you from?
    2. What's your favorite thing about American culture?
    3. If you win the lottery, let's say $400 million, will you share it with anyone? Who?
    4. How do you feel about cheese?
    5. What's your favorite sport to watch?
    6. Channing Tatum or Gerard Butler?
    7. Crossword puzzle question (I'm stuck on this one, among others): 10 letters - Language introduced in 1995.
    Well that's quite enough for now!
    Need not,
    Josey and Brian