Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tiny House Build on Tiny Podcast

I have been a tiny house enthusiast for some time. We considered building one in our backyard as a mother in law's cottage, but decided it was not the best plan for our particular situation. Plus it would basically add space to our already larger than necessary house which would add to the electricity and water bill. Really, what we would love to do is build one that is mobile, and be able to take vacations in it for now, and possibly retire off grid in it some day. Or as we like to playfully say, if the zombies ever strike, we'll have a mobile tiny home to live in.

Due to my interest in tiny homes, I have found some great websites but for today I'm going to focus in on one specifically, and that is Tiny r(E)volution. The man behind Tiny r(E)volution, Andrew Odom, has been pretty good about setting up an easy to use internet presence. He runs a blog/website, a community to chat about tiny houses on Facebook under the same name, and a 30 minute podcast which is like a perfect snack of goodness. I also really love their website which shows the process and budget the Odoms are using to build their own tiny home. You can find them at:

Today's Tiny r(E)v podcast can be found at  where he talked with the Schwarz brothers about their tiny house building project. They will be building a tiny off grid house and then taking it to Burning Man for the thousands of people there to look at and fall in love with. Their goal it seems, is not only to live off grid, but also to show other people how easy it is to build your own tiny home. You can check out their Kickstarter for the project at and remember you can contribute anything from $1 on up. I went for the $7 pledge for now and in thanks they will send me a bumper sticker which I will put on my recumbent trike since I don't drive. I promise to post a photo of that when the sticker arrives.

One of the reasons I was excited to hear about this, is that I have been considering starting a kickstarter project for a tiny home and garden. Actually, I have been bouncing this idea around with a local non profit for some time as an idea for their backyard. That may still happen at some point in the future, but then yesterday I ran across an ad on Craigslist of all places for a tiny plot of land right up the street from me in Laveen, AZ. It is 25 x 60 feet, and would be perfect to build a vertical aquaponics system for growing food to help cut down on the cosst of living, or perhaps set up as a community garden with a caretaker's cottage/tiny home on it. I will be taking a look at the property tomorrow to see if it would work for such a project. It sounds to me like it would be perfect for a Bare Simplicity test site on which I could work with neighbors and a local school to learn about aquaponics and vertical gardening, and living off grid. I will let you know if one of these tiny house projects gets off the ground and keep you updated here.

In the mean time, I wish the Schwarz brothers all the best on their project and thank you Andrew for introducing me to it! What I really love is their reasoning behind the project, which is the love of getting back to simplicity. I am looking forward to seeing how their Kickstarter project comes out! Because as they say at Tiny r(E)v, one can not only survive, but truly thrive in a tiny house.  And if you haven't checked them out yet, enjoy the podcast archives!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where I Come From

I know that I share political thoughts which may not be supported by all. Let me just say, I understand that you may not like the way I word things occasionally and I hope you will read my thoughts with an open mind. I am not setting out to offend, I am simply sharing my truth.

I am the grandchild of immigrants. My great grandparents moved here hoping for a better opportunity for their children just in time to put their kids through the great depression. They built their own home on a small island near San Fransisco, and my uncle lives in it today. Some of the people I am descended from may have moved here to escape famine. And recently I learned that some faced persecution because apparently they were not supposed to marry their spouse based on where they came from.  Irish people are after all dangerous, hot headed, criminals. (or such was the "common knowledge" of the day)

According to my parents I'm American, and some of my relatives are Italian, some are Welsh, some British, and some are German. I was told I did not have any Irish or Indigenous blood, but I was pretty sure we did. In the fourth grade I investigated on my own for a "Family Tree" school project, and my Father's Grandmother told me more than we'd ever known before. My family tree diagram is incomplete, but what I learned by speaking to my elders was life changing. Their knowledge and history shaped who I am.  Apparently my father's grandmother's family was indigenous to central California. I eventually met them at a family reunion, but my dad's mom denied we were all related because she could not bear the idea hat she had married someone who was not 100% white. (prejudice fries my brain)
My mother's family watched both their sons go off to war.  The irony of my grandfather and his brother being in the American army as German Americans is not lost to them, as during another particularly dark time, my mom's family had to take care of her neighbors' house while they were put in an internment camp for being Japanese. I was raised knowing that we must treat humans as humans no matter their differences because to not do so, can lead to horrific loss and cruelty. How, in just a few generations, have people seemed to forget so much!

I think that people forget that this country has in the past put people into camps merely based on their heritage, enslaved people, legislated some people are less human than others, and killed so many indigenous people. Some people seem to think we have overcome those things and can never backslide. Some seem to think no one has to fight for their rights anymore, because we should all be treated equally under the law. Some people are wrong.

Many of us are descended from immigrants who were not wanted here, and without whose immigration we would not have the lives we have today. Some of them did not follow the letter of the law when entering the country. Some of us are descended from slave owners and their slaves. Others of us are descended from indigenous people who were raped and taken away from their families and forced into marriage. Some people lost their entire families to atrocities committed right here in the US. These are the truths of our history. These truths leave scars that run deep. Generations of hurt need more than words to heal. How will we ever move forward if we do not pay attention to the past and learn from it.

In my life, it is time to simplify. The simple truth is that we are all human. No matter our differences, we are all human.

Home Made Shampoo/Body Wash Review

The shampoo and body wash I made lasted about 2 weeks. The one made of aloe, tea tree oil, xantham gum and olive oil did not make my hair oily as some expected. It acted much like a volumizer shampoo and I will be making some again. In the two weeks of use, I found the dry flaky patches of skin disappearing, and surprisingly, the red splotchy areas of my face seemed to be disappearing as well!

To test if the results were as wonderful as they seemed, I used up the rest of my store bought shampoo afterwards and compared results. It was a 90% natural store bought shampoo, but apparently the 10% non natural bit is really not something my body likes, because the dry flaky patches are returning, and so are the red splotches on my face.  I have to admit, I am very surprised. I remember saying to Patch. I may as well use this other stuff up before recycling the bottle. I didn't want to waste something we had already paid for in an effort to reduce, reuse, recycle. Because when you think about it, waste is not green. Besides, I told myself it was a pretty well made shampoo, it probably wouldn't be any different. But it was.

The xantham gum was completely unnecessary if you are OK with washing with a liquid and not a gel. However I set out to make a combination shampoo and body washing gel, because I wanted something which was similar to what I have been using for years, just healthier, less taxing on the environment, and lower cost. If you do not happen to have any on hand, make the aloe shampoo without it and I am sure you will find it just as wonderful since the only thing the xantham gum was used for was a natural thickening agent.

The body wash I made with the flax seeds in it was a bit of a disappointment. I didn't like the smell or the texture. A friend liked the smell, so perhaps I should have offered it to her. On an up note, it did seem to be helping my skin problems. I just didn't like the smell of rosemary when mixed with tea tree oil.

I will however be making the original recipe again and using it as a shampoo/body wash instead, which was really my goal anyway. I still have aloe left, and the other ingredients are all in the pantry, so I am looking forward to using it again. I will wash the old shampoo bottle and reuse it to hold my home made shampoo/body wash, as it came in a nice dark green bottle which will help protect the aloe shampoo/body wash from light.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cleaning House - A Change of Mindset

Every weekend Carlie seems to pick a project or two to do around the house. Sometimes I requests things of her, sometimes she comes up with them on her own. Recently, at my request, she moved something out of my room because it was not being used, and just took up space. But there were things that were propped against, on and under that thing which were suddenly exposed. The kittens decided it was a wonderful play ground, and mess escaped it's little nook and took over 3/4 of my bedroom. Every time I walked around my bedroom I thought, I should ask Carlie to help me organize that stuff. Some of it could be put away, other stuff was trash or could be donated. This past weekend, she took it on without being asked. I appreciate that about her. Sometimes she knows just what I'm needing help with before I even think to talk to her about it. Picking things up from the floor is difficult for me because it triggers my vertigo and I sometimes end up on the floor with whatever I was trying to pick up, but I would LIKE to be able to pick things up by myself, so i kept putting off asking for the help. I'm grateful my room is clean.

When I noticed it and thanked her, it also reminded me of some other things we'd been needing to discuss. We talked about how we really need to change our mindset about finances. Living more from the perspective Patch lives from, less from the one we tend to have, which is money in, money out. Instead, we plan to live on more of a budget. (and move towards living on a tighter budget) We also talked a bit about consumerism and changing our mindset to more of a what can we do/make ourselves, and do we really NEED that? We will see how it goes. Step by step!

By the way, I finally took the Pinterest plunge. Here's my Pinterest:

Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY Almond Extract

Apparently it is really easy to make your own Almond Extract. Or vanilla, orange, lemon, etc. For today I started with Almond because I had everything to make it. I may try orange as well, and promise to share the process if I do. This can be a money saver over time, because it's much cheaper to make your own than buy the good stuff, and actually also comes out cheaper than the dollar store variety. (not to mention it is supposed to be much more delicious) If this turns out the way I hope, I might put some in recycled extract bottles to trade with neighbors for fresh fruits and veggies from their gardens.

Here are some helpful links I found:

I happened to have vodka left over from a party we made jello shots for, so I used that, but apparently you can use rum or brandy for Almond or Vanilla extracts. I guess you could use them for orange and lemon as well, but they are not recommended for orange. Probably because it is a light flavor and might be overwhelmed by the rum or brandy. Vodka is a cleaner flavor, and by far the cheapest, so that's what I went with for now. I will probably try a bit of brandy and rum based extracts in the future. This is my first time doing this, I will post in a couple months or so with information about how it went.

1 cup Vodka
8 raw, peeled, chopped or roughly ground almonds
1 bottle (preferably with dark brown glass, but any bottle will do)
1 paper bag (if you can't find a dark brown glass bottle, this keeps the light out)

Roughly chop or grind 8 raw almonds
Place in bottle or jar (I used an old peanut butter jar we had cleaned)
Poor 1 cup (8 oz) Vodka into jar over almonds
Tightly seal jar
Shake and place in a cool dark place (paper bag in the pantry)

Mark the date and type of extract on the paper bag or jar, this will help you remember when it will be ready
Almonds can apparently be whole if they are peeled
Make sure whatever alcohol you use covers whatever ingredient you are extracting flavor from to prevent mold
You can filter the extract through a coffee filter when it is done to remove the bits of almond, vanilla, orange peel, etc. But some directions did not include this step
I am told this stuff will last forever. If you're a Prepper, this might be a good skill to have for later trade

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Simplifying My Life

Some people have asked me why the blog "Bare Simplicity" and my introductory post to this blog may answer your questions, but in case it does not, let me try to sum it up briefly. I feel that I have bought into a lifestyle over the years which has not always brought me the joy and peace that I want in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I am generally happy. I have a loving family, pets we enjoy, and a neighborhood that is working to build community, unlike many these days which are just groupings of people who don't even wave as they pass on the street. But I find that many parts of the American Dream we have clung to do not fit me and my family as well as we expected. Our eyes were too big for our tummy.

I'm not complaining oh woe is me, I have too much. I have simply realized that some things are not a necessary part of having a happy life. And sometimes trying to keep those things means we spend money on things we don't need just to fill our too big "McMansion" as some have come to call the suburban cookie cutter homes we've been sold. Sometimes we find ourselves lacking the funds to pay our bills. We are living outside our means, which is truly not sustainable.

Rather than dreaming of some day when are no longer running like rats in a maze to reach some dream other people say we should have, we have decided to start paring down NOW. To simplify our lives. I highly recommend the above link, it was what inspired me to realize that although in some ways we had already started doing so, there is so much more that we can do right now in this moment to simplify our lives, and so I started this blog to keep track of the steps we are taking along the way.

Recently I came across a link which also sums it up pretty well for those who don't want to read through The Simpler Way Report: The shorter read would be 21 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Big House, Big Solar

The landlord has decided to splurge for solar from I'm all for it, but a bit concerned by how long it's been taking to work through the process. There has been form after form, and then just as it was "all set" and they had come over to confirm the set up we'd planned online, the state changed the process and we feel like we're starting all over again. They sent us this peppy "Go Solar" bumper sticker as if to keep our interest despite Arizona government doing it's best to discourage us.

One thing I've noticed is that it takes a TON of solar panels to run our home. In fact, even with a huge space on the roof, there is no way our landlord could fill it with enough panels to offset things. Well, she's certainly going to try, they'll be putting up a huge amount of panels. This is another time I wish we'd opted for buying the perfect property with trees, weather to grow our own food, a creek and a tiny home or two on the property instead of renting a gigantic home in a suburban setting. Yes, I dream of living a hobbit's life.

But part of my current attempt to simplify my life is about living in the moment. And dreaming of what may be is not doing that. The reality of the situation is that in this moment, we are living in the suburbs, in south west phoenix on the edge of Laveen, AZ surrounded by farms and ranches. It's beautiful here, and I have some wonderful neighbors. And the landlord supports our goal to live in a way that is less taxing on the world we live in, so that's a good start. Once these solar panels are installed, our electric bill will go down a bit, and we can put that little bit into savings towards our own little someday home. Plus, it's less taxing on the environment. So I guess we should chear, "Go, Solar!"

Edit: Added a graphic about solar funding in the US 6/11 that Nancy LaPlaca posted to her FB.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Homemade Shampoo/Body Wash - Second Try

During my recent exploration into home made shampoo/body wash, I discovered that one could include Chamomile or Rosemary and that it would probably be good for my particular hair and skin type, as well as smelling nice.  The aloe shampoo with olive oil and tea tree oil was wonderful for my hair and scalp. I am uncertain yet how it will affect my skin. That will take more time and use to find out. One thing that I did not like about the previous recipe was that the xanthum gum I used to thicken it was very difficult to mix in. I probably should have added it to the blender and allowed it to be mixed in at that stage instead of adding it after the tea tree oil. As it was, it clumped up and I had to work pretty hard to get it to mix in. In the end I settled for a less gel like substance and just moved the clumps out of the way when pouring the shampoo/body wash into my hand.

Unfortunately I also just found this site: which explained that since I am allergic to ragweed I might have problems with Chamomile. Since I am currently sick with a stomach virus, I do not want to possibly make it worse with tea. I don't think it could harm me in shampoo as I've drunk Chamomile tea before, but I still thought better safe than sorry, I'd hate to make my skin itch worse than it already does.

So instead, I have stuck to just Rosemary which should add a nice scent and be healing and rejuvenating to my skin. Here is some information about traditional uses of Rosemary and it's essential oils: Please make note of any possible adverse reactions before using this. I'm not a doctor and not trying to give out advice, just sharing what I learn along the way. From what I've read, if you have oily hair and/or skin, you can reduce the olive oil and the rosemary should have a good effect.

I am looking forward to seeing how this works out. It was very easy to make, and I happened to have aloe gel from the garden already blended and left over from the previous version of Shampoo/Body Wash, so I thought I further experimentation would be fun. I will try this next time I shower and let you know how it turns out. I had hoped that the flax seed will thicken it up a bit and possibly be useful in exfoliation, but not clump like the xanthum gum did in the previous efforts. Unfortunately, although it seemed to at first, it did not hold up well in the blender. It does have exfoliating properties tho, so I'm happy with that. I added 1 teaspoon of Xanthum Gum instead, and that worked much better in the end as a thickener.

1/4 cup rosemary
1/2 cup distilled water
1/2 cup aloe gel
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (optional)
3 drops tea tree oil

Brew a mug of 1/2 cup distilled water with 1/4 cup rosemary. To do this put the rosemary directly into the mug of water, put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then let it steep until cool. Strain the rosemary out with a fine strainer, and then put all the ingredients except the tea tree oil in the blender.  Blend until frothy, then check for lumps.  Pour into shampoo bottle, add 2 drops of tea tree oil, and shake well. 

- You will probably have to blend a couple of times until no chunks remain if you are starting directly from an aloe leaf. 
- See 2 blog entries earlier for how to harvest aloe
- Store in a cool dark place 
- Use organic ingredients whenever possible
- I just didn't feel comfortable putting a substance I wouldn't eat into the blender. It will be washed later, but still, I'm finicky that way. This is the only reason I added the tea tree oil later. Please let me know if you find other ways that work better for you.
- Shake well before each use 

Homemade Shampoo/Body Wash - First Try

Shampoo/Body Wash
Yes, I have decided to take the step towards using simple ingredients we already have in our pantry to mix up a batch of natural, homemade shampoo and body wash. Since I have so many allergies and chemicals seem to effect me more than your average bear, it is actually surprising to me that it didn't occur to me before now to try making my own shampoo. Well, it occurred to me, but like many things I assumed it was too difficult an undertaking and outside my budget. Actually, it turns out I already have many ingredients that can be used to wash my hair. I found many sites with recipes for home made shampoo. Some include soap, others do not, and most can be used as a combination shampoo and body wash. I am going to go for a soap free gel like option, because I do not like the film soaps leave on my body, and I already have dry skin. Instead I will be attempting to make a cleansing yet moisture rich concoction. After reading many sites such as this one:  ...and many personal blogs such as this one: seems to me that a mixture of aloe vera, olive oil, and tea tree oil would probably be a good start.

This is just another area of my life that I have been living almost on remote by a set of pre-programmed habits. And as I have been looking at my life and trying to be more mindful of my actions, I have started to notice where I spend my time, energy, money, etc. does not always mesh with my goals and intentions. Some things that I do habitually are directly opposing to the way I want to live.   It has also been interesting to notice what I have been putting into my body without even thinking of it. Did you know that the skin is our largest organ? And it soaks things in much like other parts of our body, in a form of osmosis. So we are actually taking in our environments more than one might normally consider. It has occurred to me, that all the chemicals, preservatives and allergens hiding out in my shampoo and body wash are being applied to the largest organ of my body on a regular basis. Let's face it, this seems like a bad idea. But it's one that was so ingrained in my behavior that it took me a while to really consider changing it.

I remember a psychology proffesor saying that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action expecting different results. Change is good. We do not always think so, but I am finding it to be more than a cliche. And so today I set about researching and mixing up my first batch of home made shampoo. Here is the recipe I have decided on for my first batch. I decided to use an old medicine bottle which I have cleaned out because it has a darker plastic which will help protect the ingredients from light and hopefully help them to not spoil as quickly, and because the bottle I had planned to use was accidentally put in the recycling and I didn't feel like digging through old dog food cans to retrieve it. I also am choosing to make a smaller batch both because this is a first attempt, and because I do worry that the aloe will spoil if I mix too large of a batch. Next time I will try steeping Rosemary to add to it as I believe it will be helpful to my skin type which is mixed oily and dry with acne.

1 Cup Aloe For Blender
1 Teaspoon Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
1/4 cup Organic Aloe Vera Gel

Foamy Aloe Gel - After Blending
In blender, mix the gelatinous insides of about 1/2 leaf from an Aloe plant, or enough to create 1/4 cup Aloe gel with 1 teaspoon of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Pour into shampoo bottle of your choosing, add 2 drops tea tree oil, close lid tightly, and shake to mix.

- This will be very watery and not like normal shampoo consistency. I mixed in 1/4 teaspoon of Xantham Gum into mine and it gave it a more gel like consistency. (Guar Gum or ground Flax Seeds would probably work as well, I'll try Flax in the future and let you know)
- One can of course, alter ingredients to make shampoo that is more specific to your hair and skin type. That is what I have done here. I chose to mix ingredients which I believe will be of the most benefit to my skin and hair in their current state. I also went with ingredients we happened to already have on hand. Other ingredients I plan to try in the future are baking soda for exfoliation, apple cider vinegar for it's cleansing properties, almond oil or sesame oil in place of olive oil for moisture, chamomile tea, and rosemary. But since this was a first effort, I thought it best to keep things as simple as possible.
- I have been warned to be careful about getting essential oils such as Tea Tree Oil directly on the skin unless mixed with another natural oil like jojoba, almond, unflavored sesame, or olive oils.
- I have chosen to stick with organic versions of ingredients, and home grown whenever possible in an effort to stay away from chemical pesticides and the like.
- Keep in a dark cool place to extend the life of the product

Please let me know if you make your own natural shampoo and/or body wash, and what ingredients you use! I always enjoy hearing others ideas. None of the entries on this blog are intended as medical advice, and I am new to making my own hair and body care products, so I have much to learn. I hope you enjoy reading about the process along the way. Here is another helpful link I found about how much tea tree oil is recommended to mix into one's shampoo and why: Since I already have used tea tree oil, I know that I am not hyper sensitive to it, and chose 2 drops for the whole container of shampoo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Aloe - our first large harvest.

Transplanted Aloe Plant
When we first planted our backyard, we included an aloe vera plant which has now added 4 more. Usually I only pull a leaf off if it has problems or if I have a sun burn. And this is the only use I thought it had, so one leaf at a time seemed the best way to harvest aloe without harming the plant. After all, we do not want to harvest so much that the plant dies off.  But when we created a path through the overgrown succulents, we discovered the 4 hidden aloe plants beneath. Carlie transplanted the aloe to better spots around the yard, and harvested a bunch while doing so. She asked me to look up how to harvest aloe, and it was super easy. So simple, I thought I would share about it here.

New Foot Path June 2012
I am not a gardening expert, chef, or health food expert, so I am not making any recommendations here for how others should do things. There are other sites for that. What I am doing on this blog is sharing my own steps towards simplifying my own life. In this case, we have grown our own aloe, so why not learn how to harvest it rather than buying it in the store. This also means it has no added chemicals or preservatives, which means it may not last that long. We will see. But we felt it was worth a try. Using products with chemicals and preservatives has been pointed to as possibly linked to my health problems. I would do just about anything to continue healing, so this is a logical next step for me.  Living simply may look very different for other people. I invite you to share your own experiences.

1/3 of our Aloe and the sap seeping out
There are several parts to an aloe leaf. There is the skin or rind, the sap which is a reddish yellow liquid between the rind and the interior, and what we call the gel, or the center of the leaf. I am told the sap can act as a laxative, so we avoided that part.

Carlie was the one who came up with this idea, and asked me to research how to harvest aloe and what we can use it for. So I did the research, she did the harvesting, and now I'm writing the blog entry with photographs I took. Teamwork!

First Carlie cut the thickest leaves from the base of the large aloe plant. Then she placed them in our large spaghetti pot (at about a 45 degree angle) so that the sap would drain out or at least collect along the cut portion of the leaf. We were tired, so we left it over night but I'm told it only needs to sit there for 15-30 minutes.

Removing Ends
Then, she found a container we could put it in. We wanted an air tight container that wouldn't let light in, but since we had a lot of aloe, she chose one that does let light in, and placed it in a paper bag afterwards. She cut off both ends of the leaf, then the sides, and filleted it like a fish. Good thing she's had to fillet a lot of fish! The trick is to cut slightly below the rind so that any sap left between the rind and gel is removed, but so that you retain the most amount of the gel. Articles we read recommended using a spoon to push the gell off the bottom rind, but she chose to cut both rinds off instead.

Here is some information about the uses of Aloe plant. and this article about wound healing was very interesting as well:

Removing Rind
Recently a doctor recommended I use aloe on some scars that were healing from a surgery, but when I tried this, the area swelled and itched. The gel we'd bought had other things mixed in such as preservatives, so I will be trying again with pure aloe from our garden, and we'll see if I have the same reaction. I had never had that reaction to aloe in the past, but I had always bought 100% aloe from health food stores.  We will see if the organic 100% pure version works.

If you live near us and would like some, please let me know because we harvested way more than we can use ourselves, and I have no idea how long it will last in it's current state. I may mix some up as a combination body wash and shampoo since my current body wash is almost out, and we've been thinking switching away from chemical versions would be a good idea. We will see how that goes since I'm allergic to so many things but aloe did not come up as an allergy or food intolerance, I am hoping it is something I can use! Crossing my fingers in hope on that one. If it works out, I will share the shampoo/body wash recipe  in a future blog entry.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Introduction - A Simpler Life

For the last several years I have read about, researched, and dreamed of living a simpler life.  Of finding a more peaceful way to live. When I discuss this with Patch and Carlie we always come back to the dream of having a piece of land that is all ours and on which we could have a home that we owned in full. Sure this is still a possibility, but our current situation is not leading us in that direction. Instead I am caught in a culture of consumerism. If the bookcase breaks, we buy another one and that leads to noticing the chairs that no longer match, etc. etc. If I continue living this way it leads away from ever being satisfied with life.

I would like to be happy with my life the way it is, but this always seems like something to work on or something to do when Patch and Carlie retire. Sometimes it just seems impossible and like a dream that would fly out of sight at any moment. It somehow felt daunting to face the current reality of how we live. How strange that living more simply seemed to be more difficult than it should be. Or maybe I was making it more difficult than it has to be.

Recently, a friend noticed my posts on Facebook about tiny homes, tiny living, living green, and the like, and gave me a link to the Simpler Way Report:

Between reading this report and reading about others who had simplified their own lives it became clear that anyone can begin simplifying their lives at any time. One does not have to start over and live in a tiny off grid home in order to live in more harmony with the planet and with oneself.  In fact this, like anything, simplifying can be started immediately, and accomplished in baby steps. Wouldn't it be better to start living simply now?

I have found that blogging about better health through food and cooking has helped to empower me and motivates me to live a healthier life. So blogging about our adventures towards simpler living seemed like a good idea. Bare Simplicity is a place where I will bare my secret hopes and desires. More importantly it is where I will share the real life steps I take towards simpler living, as I take them. I hope you enjoy this blog as it continues to evolve. Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation! I look forward to hearing from like minded people and making friends as we continue on this grand adventure.