The story continues…

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the 4rd Wednesday in February…
Skip making your bed in the morning to get an extra minute of sleep.

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“Freedom in Flexibility”

The concept of “freedom in flexibility” came up this week in the blog-o-sphere and I just have to comment.  This blog post over at Small Notebook really resonates with the SillySimple lifestyle.  There is freedom in simplifying,  being strategic about your possessions, your entanglements, and your emotional ties.  I am not suggesting having NO emotional ties is a positive thing, but you just don’t have to collect things/people/activities that don’t make you happy.

As the SillySimple family continues our relocation project, the concept of creating flexibility through simplifying is really top of mind.  Through this move so far we have established our priorities, the things that we are willing to fight for– and let the other stuff go without a hassle.  Is it always going to be this way?  Maybe not, but everyone has goals, right?

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Frugal living and dough… bread dough that is.

One of the hardest parts of our current relocation from the mid-west to the east coast, is the sticker shock.  Luckily we started searching online before we actually went apartment hunting because our response was something like “OMG!! Are these people for real?  They want how much for a 1-bedroom apartment?!”.  It took us a few days to come to terms with the new price point.  After that I spent the next few days reworking the family budget with the idea that if apartments cost twice as much as they did in our old home, everything will cost twice as much in our new one.

With that sticker shock in mind I have set out to make my family’s silly simple life that much more frugal.  Do not get me wrong, leading a silly simple life is a great way to save money and really appreciate the things you have.  I am talking now about FRUGAL, as in count the pennies before you leave the counter frugal.

One of the things that I have noticed recently is that bread in my local grocery store is expensive, and getting more expensive by the day.  Is it inflation?  Is it the location?   Or maybe it is just a weird paranoia.  To combat the rise in cost and to make sure that we are still getting delicious, healthy bread, I have been investigating alternative sources.

Option 1:  Buy it Frozen

I have been experimenting with this tactic first.  For me, the cost is ~$1.00 pfor a regular-sized wheat loaf when bought in frozen packages of 3-5 (or 0.75 each for white bread). The prep time is a little bit long (you have to allow the bread to thaw in the fridge for about 10 hours, then let it rise on the counter top for another 3-4 hours before baking).

Pros: Bread at about a 50-70% savings over the commercial brands of similar quality and density (is it just me or does density signal quality in bread?)

Cons: You need to start planning at least a full day before you need the bread as it needs to thaw, rise AND bake.  Plus you don’t have control over the ingredients.

Here is a photo of my frozen bread fresh out of the oven

Option 2:  Make your Own

This is the next step into the bread production world for me.  It is going to need to wait until we get all settled and relocated into our new abode.  I can’t wait to try this recipe, which while not 100% whole wheat, does promise to be “dense”, and also doesn’t require a decade of prep work, or wrists the size of 2×4′s just to get the kneeding done.

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the 3rd Wednesday in February…

It’s OK to take turns doing the dishes…

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the 2nd Wednesday in February…
It is ok to only own just one really good knife.

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The dreaded… Relocation… The Simple Way…

My small family (my husband and I) are in the process of relocating to a whole other state (more on that later).  It is for some really, really great reasons, and we are doing this with great hope for the future.

The process of relocating?  It is hard… there is this whole in-between stage where you are talking to movers, and living in two states at the same time.  It can start to wear on you after a while.  Here are some easy, simple, free (or almost free) tools that my husband and I have found useful over the last few months:

1)  Skype:  This has been a great tool as my my family and friends becomes increasingly more geographically dispersed.  We have used it for years during holidays and family get togethers, and now that my husband and I are separated during the week by a few hundred miles it is a terrific tool for keeping in touch.  I think that too much non-verbal communication is lost over the phone, and video chat helps to fix that.

2) Google Docs :  Need to talk about numbers and things, but aren’t in the same space?  this is the tool for you, it is great that you can both be looking at the same document live AND make changes.

3)  Kayak:  Need to buy plane tickets?  This is my favorite source for a quick summary of the best web prices out there right now.  You can  filter by time, number of stops, and see which websites really have the best deals.  Seems like the airline websites have the best deals on airfare, at least they have for the routes I have been flying.

4)  Groupon:  Is a surprisingly great way to explore new things in your new home town, without breaking the bank.  Simply give them your email address, and which locations you are interested in, and they will send you a new deal every day that you can either participate in, or pass– no obligation.

5) A Really Great Travel Bag:  I thought I was being ridiculous when this whole process started, but I ended up at Target in the bag section buying a really great travel bag.  It is just small enough that I don’t have to gate check it when I fly on my puddle jumpers every weekend.  It has lots of pockets to keep me organized, as well as a padded compartment for a lap top… what more could a relo girl want?

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