Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Should I Paint This Beautiful 1960s Retro Folding Chair? What Color? Let's Vote!

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It's been a while since I've had to decide whether or not I should paint something I've bought into the homestead! I hit up some yard sales and forked out $5.00 for this sturdy 1960s chair. It fit the era/vibe I'm channeling for my new soap business and it's the perfect easy-to-pack chair for outdoor markets where I'll sell my products. Very sturdy, too, which is hard to come by.

Behind the chair + Under the seat

This is where you come in. I'm tempted to leave the patina alone and leave this chair as-is. But it would really pop with some color on the rusted metal parts.


Should I paint it, or keep it as is? Let me know in the comments! What color should I paint it?

I think a bright metallic spray paint would be interesting versus the flat bright yellow, orange or red I tend to default to for painting furniture...
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Free E-Book: The Answers To Your Top Beginner Business and Reselling Questions


I get an e-mail asking questions about starting a business or questions related to reselling vintage every day. And I love them, keep asking! That means you're thinking about embarking on a dream and I love it when you go for it and live with passion.

Today I'm sharing a FREE E-Book with answers to your top small business and vintage reselling questions!

So how does one obtain this book of goodness? Join my e-mail newsletter and I will e-mail you a copy of this exclusive E-Book! My newsletter will go out Wednesdays Bi-Weekly and will have random helpful information for creatives, creative entrepreneurs, some business updates, and features from you!

 > > > JOIN THE NEWSLETTER HERE < < <


Perhaps more Yuko photos? Oh yes, there should be Yuko photos. If you look hard she even has a little pot-hat.

Anywho, the newsletter is alive now! Thanks in advance if you join and I hope you enjoy your delight free mini-books! I will update as more E-Books become available. My current plan is to have some mini ones that cost less and expansive at a higher price range for more so there's a nice selection available.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Last Look: Beach Bar, Kawaii Machines, Kitsch Shop, Flawless Green Tea Displays


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This concludes all the shots I've wanted to share from Japan! I took this trip almost immediately after leaving my day job to work full time. I was freshly heart-broken and trying to start a vintage shop that would eventually fall through. I was on the dream trip of a lifetime, getting paid while I was gone, embarking on a new self-employed adventure and had thousands and thousands in my savings account (I miss those days) but my heart was low the night my friend JR and I sat at that sea side bar/cafe in the first photo. We walked to the shore and I looked out at the horizon. I imagined Florida on the other side of the velvety sea. I literally flew across the globe, but couldn't outrun my heartache.

I was only in Okinawa for two weeks but we accomplished so much on the trip. No moment was wasted. If we weren't out exploring, we got a lot of horror movie classics under our belt at JR's apartment via his Apple TV. (There was a dizzying selection of horror on that thing, I was a happy camper.) Nothing but time will lift your spirits when you're depressed, but new experiences are transformative. Traveling to another country and experiencing the culture, or just letting yourself get lost in a new city will change your perspective on everything forever. That's just one reason I'm so passionate about it. Even when I fly a mere 2 hours or so to Puerto Rico, when I arrive back in my neighborhood I feel like I arrived home from another planet, everything's different.

Refresh your perspective. Even if it's traveling to another part of your neighborhood. Even if it's going to your unseen neighbor's back yard. It will make a difference.

I can't wait for another international trip, or hell, a trip across country (West Coast, I miss you) but there's still plenty to explore in Florida in the meantime! I need to see Mod Miami and we have a free water park ticket to use at West Palm Beach in the near future!

Random Update: I'm updating subpages, the about and FAQ pages are changed and will keep being updated throughout the weekend. I should be getting a new camera in the mail the new week or so as well! Can't wait! My old one died and I have tons of supplies waiting for DIY and informative posts waiting to go but haven't been able to finish them with my DSLR being dead!

Japan Posts: History | Kawaii | Mountaintop Vintage Shop | Signs | Highlights | ALL The Food | Cats | 100 Yen Stores

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Netlix Picks: Feminism in Action, Existential Crisis and the Smartest Comedy- Ever

Have you ever forced yourself to watch a movie that looked terrible only to be shocked by its depth of brilliance? Don't you love it when too-often derivative Hollywood surprises you? I take my movies and storytelling seriously because good writing can (1) reveal once hidden-to-you personal flaws and inspire improvement (2) make you laugh your woes away or (3) help you reflect on current societal problems. The following three recommendations help you do those things, in that order. These are unassuming recommendations that go much deeper than they look on the outside.

Bojack Horseman Season 2 


I've watched and read on the world's best animation from a young age and it's made me an obnoxious cartoon snob. That said, Bojack Horseman is one of best shows I have ever seen. I was sucked in from the first minutes and nearly binge-watched season 2 in one day!

Style: The sleek look mirrors our current trendy visual aesthetic. The quirky and clever animal designs allow for creative visual gags. The line and color work is beautiful and reminds me of underground comic art. Season 2 even takes the animation to another level with a moodier atmosphere and objectively beautiful night sky illustrations.

Themes: There's no other comedy (more like, dramedy) featuring adorable anthropomorphic animals with heart-crushing themes such as: the impossibility of happiness, burdens of privilege, the dark side of humanity, sexism in Hollywood, humanity's innate resistance to change, coping with depression, the results of emotional parental abuse, cognitive dissonance and global issues in modern America, reaching the age of stagnation: and much more!

Acting: Everyone nails the emotion and the humor. It's clear that all of the actors worked hard to fully develop these characters, it's rare to see this in western animation. Bojack should be an irredeemable ass-face, but he's written and acted so well that he's heartbreakingly tragic.

Writing: I appreciate season 2 for avoiding expectations. Bojack's love interests from season 1 return as full-fledged characters with arcs of their own, they're not reduced to one-dimensional pawns in the maddening sitcom game that drags romantic drama in an endless back-and-forth game. In that way, this show with anthropomorphic animal actors has more realistic human interaction than I've seen in any live-action sitcom!

The writing is so multi-layered and well-constructed that I notice new things with each viewing. Bojack Horseman mercilessly deconstructs typical sitcoms. (Which I loathe, loathe them so! All. Of. Them.)

Bojack as portrayed on his television show from the 90s

Bojack in reality. The Sads, all The Sads.

The protagonist, Bojack Horseman, was the star of a Full House-style 90s sitcom, "Horsing Around." Every show of its ilk had a single conflict/lesson that was neatly wrapped up in a bow at the end, there was always an answer. Bojack Horseman makes a point not to do this. The show fakes you out over and over again, leading you to your stereotypical aw sentimental-sitcom moments, them BAM- the writers stick their giant expensive Pentel fountain pens into your ears and fuck your mind! The conflicts don't wrap up conclusively because that is not how life works and Bojack himself is the prime example of that. He's a millionaire with a beautiful LA mansion but he's a depressed functional alcoholic. He continues to get second chances and new successes and none of that ever lifts the haze of his mental disorder. He only makes tiny steps towards improvement over time, just like we all do.

Conclusion: Bojack Horseman will help you see your flaws, because we all have the same ones. It's hard for all of us to confront and change the worst things about ourselves, and this show will inspire you to improve through showing the faults of our lead. You'll laugh, you'll cry. It's damn good entertainment.

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Hot Fuzz


Another trope-buster on the list, Hot Fuzz is the most clever comedy I've ever seen. It's a satire of the American cop buddy movie / explosion-filled summer blockbuster (my childhood favorites- hell, Robocop is my favorite movie) with hilarious writing and stand-out acting.

Plot Crunch: London constable Nicholas Angel is the best cop in the city, so good that he's sent away to Sanford, a peaceful English village because he's making all the other officers look bad! When murders (and laughs) start racking up, it's up to Angel and his inept new partner Danny to solve the crimes and save the day! With BOOM and YAY!

Visual Style: I love the pristine, sleepy English village juxtaposed with an American shoot-em-up action film. Brilliant! The peaceful hamlet setting with the rapid fire fast editing punctuated with blaring bass and random over-the-top gore are hilariously incongruent. The style alone has you laughing before the brilliant writing gets you.

Themes:

Loosening up and Having Fun: As a fellow painful perfectionist, I enjoy the theme of the importance of loosening up, having fun, and finding fulfillment and balance outside of work.

Friendship can fulfill the needs of a romance: The main objective is to lampoon the action genre for laughs, but we get an unexpectedly touching message in the midst of the satire. One that's not stated in movies enough.  In a hilarious play on your typical action-cop-movie script, Angel's partner, Danny, acts out the tropes of both "the buddy-cop partner" and the "love interest". There are exchanges of stuffed animals, flowers, a (chaste) sleepover and even a play on the infamous "third-act break-up" seen below:

WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS NO MORE?! :(

There was originally a girlfriend character in the movie, but all of the girlfriend's lines are given to Danny. This isn't played up for laughs about homosexuality, it's played up for laughs because it's a trope-breaker. Angel suffers a break-up at the start of the film because he can't "turn off" his work persona, he's in perpetual cop-mode, to hilariously hyperbolic extremes. His ex says, "Until you find someone you care about more than your job, you won't switch-off." In the words of script writer Simon Pegg, Danny ends up being that person because that's where "the real romance was."

You don't need a romantic relationship to change your life. Partnerships at work and/or the relationships that blossom from them can fulfill the same emotion needs.

Writing: I notice new gags and clever details with every viewing. I love how this movie is a slow burn, the insanity creeps its way in, building and teasing, working you up to fireworks and explosions, like a slow-building humor-gasm! You start with chuckles put end with guffaws the sillier the scenarios get.

Acting: There are no joke misfires due to bad acting. Every single joke and performance is flawless. One of the unique things about this comedy is how much you believe in the two leads, Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman. There's an emotional connection there, and Angel's straight-faced indignation to the insanity going on around him is a huge part of the comedy.

Conclusion: I thoroughly enjoyed my recent re-watch and will enjoy more to come. Check this out out if you need a clever comedy to lighten your day. Bonus laugh: This is likely the only film that police officers appreciated for showing the realistic side of being a cop; loads of paperwork!

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Dredd


The "original" Dredd, Judge Dredd is a campy 90s favorite of mine, despite the cheese.  I still like Judge Dredd as a snapshot of the action movie cliques form my childhood, but it was a horrible adaptation of the dark comic book source material. At first glance the new adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic books, Dredd, looked generic, but this lean mean indie action film is best of its genre to come out since the 1980s Robocop. If you like good movies, you will love Dredd!

Plot Crunch: Judge Dredd a law enforcement agent for the police state Mega-City One (a dystopian, futuristic metropolis where 17,000 crimes happen daily) is tasked with training Anderson, a mutant with physic abilities. Training day ends up being a fight for survival when sadistic crime boss, Ma-ma, traps them inside of a gang-filled, futuristic housing complex.

Visual Style: One word I would use to describe the whole of Dredd is tight. You can tell the limited budget forced innovation because the script is so well-edited in a clipped make-every-world count way. The action takes place at a lightning pace in a claustrophobic environment. The entire film shows our leads fighting their way up the floors of a gang and crime ridden high-rise like Dante clambered his way through the levels of hell and it. is. tense. That lack of space and options is painfully tangible, you are on the edge of your seat and anxious. World building feels rushed, but this movie has artful visual flairs that give it a unique edge, with brilliant flashes of saturated color that contrast the dark, urban environment.

Themes

Fascism and America's Flawed Justice System: Americans often misconstrued Judge Dredd as your typical comic book hero, fighting for justice in the face of evil. But Judge Dredd is meant to be a cautionary tail, a personification of problematic elements of American media and politics, particularly in how crime's dealt with. Between the shoot-em-ups, Dredd is mainly a film about a failed system of justice that focuses on crime after it happens rather than the prevention that could happen by improving socioeconomic inequalities. Dredd's character arc is learning his blind loyalty to MegaCity One's bankrupt system is flawed.

For perspective: In October 2013 the incarceration rate of the United State of America was the highest in the world at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. The US represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population. and it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners. (Source.) That's 1 in 110 adults that were in prison. (Source.)

Gender in Action Movies: So much feminism in this one!  Dredd's superior, partner and nemesis in this film are all women. No reference is made to their genders in-film. Dredd respects his partner/trainee with zero reference to her being a petite young woman. The villain of the movie, Ma-Ma, is feared, respected, and equally gender neutral save for her name. In a lesser movie, Dredd's partner would become his love interest. Not a whiff of it here, refreshingly. Anderson wears boxy, realistic, practical riot gear, not a skin-tight, sexy jumpsuit. Both Dredd and Anderson encounter trouble and rescue each other, Anderson is never a damsel in distress. There's are some interesting scenes that have to be deliberately constructed to punish audience members that want needless T&A and/or sexual violence with their violent action films. The former being denied even with obvious opportunities arise and the latter being shown in a condemning way that removes the fetish- and makes you feel ashamed if you have it! You'll know what I mean when you see it, it's a brilliant scene.

The differences are vast and he still never calls attention to gender even once in the film.

Writing: Excellent for the reasons stated above. I appreciate the somber characters and relative lack of humor in this movie. I appreciate the Anderson and Dredd's dynamic, Anderson's the hero who stands up to fascism in the end, and she permanently changes Dredd's perspective. The infallible veteran street judge realizes he was wrong, that he still had something to learn. The Rookie's idealistic innocence about justice is permanently shattered.

Acting: Karl Urban only has the lower half of his face and voice to work with, and he sells it. Dredd never smiles, jokes, or laughs: he's as serious as cancer. His voice is stern and humorless, but he doesn't sound like an action clique the way Stalone's Dredd does. There's a bit of a robotic read the recalls Robocop; highly appropriate considering the similarities in the films/characters, but he still sounds fallible and human. Just a cop trying to do his job, ignorant that he's complicit in fascist regime.

Writer Alex Garland compares Dredd's development to the slow movement of a glacier. "You look a year later and something actually shifted!" It's a credit to Urban that you sense these minuscule, nearly imperceptible changes in Dredd as the film progresses:


Olivia Thirlby is a bit distractingly (hypnotically, even) pretty in the part of Dredd's partner:

On second thought, the bright lips and hair fit the saturated color motif of the film. But still...

I know the make-up's required for filming but the amount distracts me and doesn't seem to fit the character, action chicks usually have a natural you-can't-tell-they're-wearing make-up look a-la Michelle Rodriguez. But maybe that was intentional, her youthful, fresh-faced look belies her skill as an officer. She's a small, attractive young woman, she looks like she should be protected, but she kicks ass and takes name all on her first day of the job. Thirlby gives Anderson competence and empathy. Lena Heady's Ma-Ma avoids stereotypes as well, she's not an over-the-top scenery-chewing villain. She's vicious, yet understated.

Conclusion: Watching Dredd is almost surreal, you keep expecting the cliques of a shoot-em-up violent action film and they don't happen! You can sense the budget issues, but Dredd is a smart, intense movie from a talented writer and director.

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I had to get those movie thoughts off my chest, I've been pecking away at this article (and pushing this one back on the editorial calendar) since July! That said, I may need to save my hobbiest movie thoughts for film blogs that will have me before they take over here! Anyway, I'd still LOVE to hear any recommendations you have for me or movie chat with my fellow nerds, so e-mail me or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram with any thoughts. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Frugal Tips: Saving + Budgeting for Indie Business, Creative Entrepreneurs, and You!

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Cutting costs and living frugally is an essential part of being a creative entrepreneur, or really, just living in general. You can't predict the future, it's essential to have money put away for emergencies. When you're a freelancer, there's up-and-downs, and having savings and an extremely low cost of living has bailed me out many times! I was going to write another post on how I keep expenses super-low (rent, transportation, and utilities is under $400 total) but as I was writing, I feel like I've covered nearly everything in a variety of posts throughout the year, so I'm sharing those instead!


I know keeping a low overhead allows me to be super flexible, I can take the freelance jobs I want and go to school. And really, life is fun this way! When you're frugal you're resourceful, and you learn useful new skills (baking bread, using tools, etc.) along the way. Besides, we should spend less on what we don't need, so we can spend more on fun stuff, like traveling, or business investments!

The Envelope Budgeting Method

How I Do Household and Small Business Budgeting

30 Cheap Bastard Ways That I Save Hundreds Every Year


Furnishing Your House or Apartment- For Free

10 Frugal Business Start-Up Tips

How to Eat Raw Vegan on The Cheap

New Year Pantry Purge Challenge

The Loudmouth Lifestyle and Thrift Core's 10 Tips for Early Entrepreneur Money Pains


Let me know if you still want The Super Duper Cheapskate (working title, ha!) post, I've yet to share how deep the rabbit hole goes! And of course, I'd love to read any tips you have in the comments, whether it be for business or home. You can never have enough help in this department!

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Friday, September 18, 2015

St. Augustine Weekend Stay: Lighthouse Exploration, Pizza and Beach Cruising


Last Sunday and Monday we enjoyed a lovely Inn stay at St. Augustine. I need to branch out to other cities (I've yet to stay in nearby Fernandina Beach) but I just can't stay away from St. Augustine, I adore it and visit every chance I get- yet I still haven't explored all it has to offer. This time we visited the city's iconic lighthouse.


I am horribly afraid of heights but thought it wouldn't be so bad to climb the 10th tallest lighthouse in the USA. Surely wouldn't be so bad, right?


And it wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for...


The see-through spiral staircase of doom! I walked down these stairs with a death grip on the rails, I hated that you could see through them to the bottom of the tower! And to think, lighthouse keepers had to literally run up and down the stairs with heavy equipment all day every day!


The view at the top was beautiful...and terrifying! I kept against the wall and away from the railing but eventually inched my way to the rail.


Scary.


The lighthouse keeper's family home was turned into a charming museum. It was fun to explore that after escaping the horrors of the stairwell!


By the by, before the light house we had to stop by a sports bar so AJ could watch the Jaguars game so we shared a veggie pizza and I wrote tons of business notes in my notebook. I brainstormed some ideas for holistic travel kits I need to make, hmmm! I like how the St. Augustine Mellow Mushroom had Alligators and Conquistador murals.


We stayed at the Jaybird Inn again, we love that it has bicycles for rent! We biked around the beach taking in the beautiful quirky homes and sights. I need to get a bike rack so we can have a whole-day St. Augustine biking adventure, I love this beautiful old city!

*Everything shot with my phone, camera is on the fritz.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

28 Before 29: A Simple List of Random Goals to Accomplish Before my 29th Birthday

It's that arbitrary number list part of the year again! I love to make a list of goals to accomplish before my birthday; any trick to inspire immediacy is welcome! The big thing I've learned from the last couple of year's lists... I was making life lists! I try to do everything at once and make things happen now and it creates dissatisfaction.  Now I understand not to pile on too much, and that the big goals in life will happen with small steps over time. And that's fine!


All that said, here are the 28 things I want to accomplish before I turn 29 on October 16th. 

Health Goals

1. Get out of the apartment once a day. 
2. Drink 1 green smoothie (berries or fruit/leafy greens) a day 
3. Eat 1 salad a day (Ideas here & here)
4. Take your vitamins every day
5. Consume the rest of the supplements
6. Create a healthy wake-up routine 
7. Create a healthy wind-down routine 
8. Finish 2 books

Apartment Goals

9. Finally get the donation boxes out!
10. Dust and wipe clean the whole place, ceiling to floors
11. Sweep and mop under fridge, stove, beds, everywhere
12. Hang our bikes in the hallway with hooks
13. Finishing sorting and re-hanging wall art
14. Finally finish all arranging, put up the finishing touches

I live in one of the most charming neighborhoods in the USA and don't use it. Time to change that. Of course I love shooting the kitties while I'm out.

Career Goals

15. Completely re-fresh my portfolios/resumes
16. Land one more fulfilling income source
17. New profiles on career sites + make contribution schedule
18. Take new portraits
19. Create work-day hours
20. Completely finish our new product formulations
21. Make and submit at least one pitch
22. Current product well-branded photos done
23. Finish my current client's Etsy shops 
24. Catalog done!
25. One month buffer of blog posts, done!

Etc

26. Make a home cleaning schedule 
27. Visit a pumpkin patch
28. Have a pumpkin carving gathering with horror movies
29. One more mini-trip somewhere...looks like Virginia right now. 



I like my birthday goal photos to include a photo of myself, so here's a webcam shot of me as I put the finishing touches on the post. It's 12:22 AM, I'm listening to a super informative video about the amazing disco anthem It's Raining Men (of course! his Me and Mrs. Jones one is excellent, too), drinking a delicious leftover organic fall chai tea cordial someone shared with us in Flower Essence class tonight and...nearly burning AJ's (vegan) grilled cheese sammich, aaah! (I saved it. I had to scrape the scorched crumbs off mine earlier...) I just asked AJ one for fun-thing I should do before my 29th birthday. He suggests two things I can't publish here because (a) parents read and (b) illegal.

I ask again and he says "Grow a vegetable."  I just cover my face with my hands and laugh.*

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Funny thought, if I make it to loftier decades like my sixties of seventies will that be seventy things I have to do before the next birthday? :) Haha. This will be my final one of these list of goals before a birthday.

*You can grow microgreens in such time, but not any vegetable I know of. I should grow some microgreens before the 16th though, why the hell not? We need all the veg!
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Monday, September 14, 2015

KonMari Method FAQ and Results: Dealing with Roommates / Family + Other Pitfalls

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I wanted to conclude the KonMari method posting with a home tour, but unfortunately, my home isn't 100% ready yet! (And secondarily, the shot in the post is the last one my camera could take before it stopped working entirely.) When I rushed to complete the whole method in three days some things slipped through the cracks; towels that were in the wash, my boxes hidden on the boyfriend's side of the closet, and boxes that were in the car, mostly. So I still have a little bit to purge and I'm trying to figure out where some things will fit. My storage situation is stacked to the brim, even owning so little, it would be tough to bring in anything new without investing in storage situations.


Even with the glitches, this method is still life changing! My apartment is so clean and clear and it makes me so happy and inspired! I've been working better knowing exactly where every single item is and wasting less time. I've been so adamant to work with the new changes that it's hard to stop to do anything

FAQS for the KonMari Method

1) What if every single item I have sparks joy? You'll hone the skill and realize that's probably not true. But if every item in a category does "spark joy" she says, keep it! But you still have to take it all out, hold each item, and put each item back in an organized way.

2) Do you REALLY have to take every single item out and put it in front of you? Yes! Vital. Divide into smaller sub-categories if you must and take as long as you need.

3) What about my roommate's and/or family's mess? Only focus on your own mess. When they see you cleaning, they will naturally start to tackle their own mess. When your stuff is in order, their mess will bother you less. Talk to them about trying the method once you've finished your own.

For the record, AJ is an extreme minimalist that owns next-to nothing and I simply went through his small amount of stuff (only AFTER finishing the method on my things) and put it all away according to the KonMari method and he's really happy with the results. It helped him find stuff he couldn't find in a while because most of his stuff was in two garbage bags and a couple of boxes in the closet!

4) What about kids? Depending on the age, do the method with them. If they're very young, slowly get them accustomed to putting away their own things when they're done so the habit will be lifelong.

5) Okay, so...she talks to her objects? Marie describes her coming-home routine. She greets her house. She puts every item in her purse in their home along with her work clothes, thanking them for the job well done. The anthropomorphized objects are a big part of her concept and it's not unusual when you realize she was a shinto shrine maiden.

Shinto is an ancient Japanese belief system where, putting it reductively, "god" is more of a moving energy forced shared by all people and things, even down to intimate objects. And this makes sense for a culture with scarce resources; you would treasure what you have, even to a reverent level.

It's also genius in the sense that it would program your brain's reticular activating system (RAS, the system responsible for the 'thing at the back of your mind' feeling) to take care of your possessions and put them away neatly when you're done. I wish more people would approach that with an open mind, it can work. And it's not more or less unusual that the dominant religion of North America to an outsider.


Any Glitches with the Method?


  • You really have to do the whole thing exactly like it says for it to work well. I left some things out so there was still a bit of clutter I had to take care of, those items didn't have a home
  • Bringing in new stuff can be a bit of a pain because I have to find new homes in the already stuffed storage baskets I have. All the more inspiration to limit new things as much as possible, right? I just get lots of it because I work in an herbalism studio so I get plants here, lotions there, etc.
  • I still have to work up the will power to put stuff away immediately when I'm done with it, my forever problem, but for the most part is SO much easier because I know exactly where it all goes. I noticed things I didn't put away where things I missed that didn't have a home for the most part.
Something that resonated with me... 

I love a passionate, determined personality, and Marie's childhood spent decluttering resonated with me. I wasn't as tenacious as she was, she spent her whole childhood, nearly every free moment, organizing, but I did spent a lot of time on it from a young age. I arranged and re-arranged family members' and my own things, and tried to help friends with their rooms, noting with frustration, that everyone's spaces would always return to an unorganized state over time. (I even arranged-and-re-arranged when I played with my toys. The toys were cleaning!)

Unexpected Results:

The Book claims many people get a "flatter tummy" or basically, lose weight, after they use the method and tidy their house. I still weigh the same but BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I can definitely see I've lost body fat and my appetite has decreased. I'm not saying it's good to decrease your appetite and I'm not saying this method magically did that. BUT I can see how being less stressed (a real result of being tidy) would increase appetite-spiking cortisol levels. And the process of picking things that "sparks joy" helps you practice gratefulness, making you more satisfied with what you eat. And less likely to keep going after you're full or have had what you needed.

I was grazing too much and not feeling satisfied with the food, but now I am eating what I need but feeling satisfied with it. It's not about vanity but about gratitude.

I can't wait settle the final few boxes that evaded me and share a home tour! Anyone have more questions about the method? Anyone try it for themselves? Let me know in the comments!
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Exploring Nakijin-Jo: Peaceful Historic Sights and Castles in Okinawa, Japan

I've shared a lot from my trip to Japan, I can't help it, I was so excited that my photos were not destroyed like I thought they were! One thing I haven't shared yet was a look at some of the beautiful historic sights on the island. I wasn't on the mainland so I didn't get to visit the shrine after shrine in cities like Kyoto, but Okinawa's castles were fascinating, exploring one is a peaceful way to spend the day, especially when visiting the tropical island during the mild fall months. Too bad I didn't visit this one, Nakijin-Jo, when the Hikan cherries are in bloom (Jan-Feb), these ruins are famous for them! Imagine the bare trees lining walk ways below filled with vibrant pink blossoms!


Construction of this castle went from the 13th to the 15th century. It was originally the palacial residence if the Ryukyuan kingdom governor. The strategic location on a lone hill (surrounded by natural defenses like a river, cliffs, and a deep valley) helped it double as a impenetrable fortress. It's currently in ruins, though a little reconstruction took place in the 1960s. I can't tell yet (I need to compare photos to ones from Google because a lot of the site name are written in characters I can't read), but I believe JR and I went to every major historic sight on the island! This one was one of my favorites.

/Comments Off  I couldn't throwing in one cat, this crazy cat lady is tempted to do a cats-around-the-world series. I shoot them wherever I go. The silver tabby above, so beautiful.
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