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Thrift shopping



 Even the most anxious minimalist needs something from time to time, so shopping is unavoidable. And it is another opportunity to reflect on  how and if this act can affect the environment. I've been thinking a lot about the modern fashion industry and sustainable clothing so thrift stores look like a great option ( if not the only one) if you're trying to be a bit more caring about our Earth.
Thrift shopping is a great choice if you need clothes or electronics- the chances they will end up in landfills in Africa are getting lower, you've got a good quality for a funny price; technique and furniture can be purchased for the same reason and what makes these items worth buying is the fact that they are in the thrift store, which means the quality of them is typically higher. Plus some thrift shops are helping the local community!

Being a minimalist for me means to be a sustainable person, who has the real values, therefore, can make smart choices. Thus  zero waste movement and veganism are the logical parts of my life and thrift shopping. Second hand items do not harm animals, could be used by different people for different needs.
Please, let me know what do you think about shopping in terms of Earth care in the comments below.

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Food minimalism



As I was always a kind of a fruit/vegetable person and the idea of eating meat was driving me crazy, my diet was consisting mostly of plant-based foods. But yogurts and milk for coffee were still there. Only until I watched Earthlings. Eyes and mind opener. The horrible reality of men treating and abusing animals. Disgusting truth! The moment when you are ashamed to be called:"a human". I went vegan and now I can call myself a complete minimalist, following my expression that minimalism is a real freedom.
FOODS and DRINKS. My food is made from scratch. Being not a fan of cooking at all, after refusing eating animal products completely, I found a great pleasure in preparing healthy meals for my family. Learning about plant protein and its sources, about the great benefits of plant-based foods for your health might be very interesting. So our main foods are legumes, vegetables, and nuts. Instead of cow milk, I use soya milk - which I found absolutely delicious ( if vanilla is added).  Drinking planties of water, fresh juices, and herbal tea will keep your body healthy; eating dates, dry apricots, raisins, almonds, and walnuts will give you a lot of energy. 
JUNK. When I realized that I cannot eat animal foods anymore - the problem of chips, chocolate bars, and biscuits was solved - I simply do not buy them. No matter what! And when my daughter asks me why I do not eat ice cream anymore, I answer that I do not want it. Which is the truth. I do not want any of these anymore. 
SUPPLEMENTS. Long ago I was diagnosed with a lack of calcium and since then I am buying magnesium/calcium supplement. Even though almost all of group B vitamins could be found in these foods, B12 is the one the vegans could be suffering to get, so I am having it with my calcium as well. But, the irony is, I was doing it long ago before turning to veganism. So absolutely nothing is changed in my life concerning supplements. 

Minimalism is about reducing all that is unnecessary and turning to the real values, to the real freedom, and to the mindful choices
Are veganism and minimalism connected for you? Please, let me know in the comments below. 



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Mindful choices



Not a secret that our choices affect the others. And if we want this effect to be positive, our choices and decisions cannot be spontaneous, especially if we care about sustainability and our impact on the planet Earth. And to reduce this negative impact and depending on our values we might go zero waste or follow the minimalist lifestyle, both of them are about smart consumption and sustainability.
So how can we be sure our choices and decisions are mindful? I follow the list below:

  1. Educate yourself! In this era of internet and globalization, we have no right to stay blind or refuse to admit the problems our society/planet has. Here are some documentaries about: Fashion industryPlastic and its impact on our planet, animals and the way we treat them.
  2. GO vegan! Or at least try to consume less red meat and dairies, not only you will improve your health, but help to reduce carbon dioxide effect on global warming. Do not mention ethical reasons which were the most important for me to start eating just plant-based foods. 
  3. Buy sustainable clothing! The whole research about fashion industry with facts and tips you can find here.
  4. Go natural! Use natural products for your beauty routinehair washmouth hygiene and home cleaning.
  5. Spend your time with your family! Be an example for your children, explain why it is important to care. 
What are the choices you are proud of? Please, leave the comments below!

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Halal food, veganism and animal rights


I live in Morocco, where Islam is an official religion and the laws of Quran are implemented in different areas of life. And food consumption is one of them. Probably, everyone heard a word "Halal", which means: " Religiously allowed" - the foods Muslims can eat and the way they should slaught cows, sheep, hens and the other animals except pigs and monkeys. 
The Islamic way of slaughtering has many rules - and one of the most important - the animal should be treated with a great respect! It has to be clean and healthy, it should not be hungry or thirsty, it shouldn't see the other animals being slaughtered in front of it, it shouldn't be scared or stressed and the butcher shouldn't sharpen the knife in front of the animal. And only when the prayer:"Bismillah" ( "In the name of God")  is said, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife.  
Theoretically, it is a very merciful way of killing animals for food, if I may use"merciful killing" expression. After watching Earthlings and American slaughterhouses from the inside, it is hard to be impressed, right? 
 Practically, I believe that all the rules might be followed only in private tiny farms or households, where once a year every family is obliged to slaughter a sheep due to the Quranic law in a day of Eid Al-Adha. Unfortunately, the mass food industry is not merciful at all - I was trying to find videos from Moroccan slaughterhouses but failed ( nevertheless it does not mean things are different there), instead I found some disturbing videos of slaughtering process from the Islamic countries or Halal slaughtering houses. Please, be aware, that these videos are really full of cruelty: this is about camel's slaughtering, this one is from Saudi Arabia and this one is from Turkish halal slaughterhouse.
I was a vegetarian for 8 years and due to my health issues ( I was pregnant and had a severe iron deficit), I started eating beef. Now I think, I should have tried to find an alternative. So not eating meat is easy for me. For some time I used to eat chicken because it was Halal even though it did not feel right for me somehow- like I am trying to trick myself. So I quit doing it as well. 
Dairy and eggs - I am in the process( still eat Gluten free cookies which contain them) and this understanding will help me to stop using those foods completely - this milk, which I am adding to my coffee in the morning is not meant for me - but for the baby cattle, that, was, probably removed from its mom, maybe even killed, for me to be able to use its food for my own consumption. 
I feel nothing but shame. That is why I consider myself unable to use animal products in my daily life for ethical reasons.
Animals are joy, not food!

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Minimalism and the relationships



 Being a minimalist for me means to be fully organized. Not only in your everyday tasks, but in your relationships with the others too. Unfortunately, this matter is not being taught in school, neither at home ( at least, I've never met a person, whose parents-grandparents-sisters-brothers-etc were able to explain how to build a relationship. Maximum what we can get is a long lecture about sexuality). We, especially women, believe that the others, particularly our men, have to understand our needs, wishes, and expectations after our single glance, hint or smile.
  Definitely, it does not work! It took me many years and a really hard work on my inner clutter to understand that the clearer and more transparent with our partner we are, the more effective and fruitful our relationship can be. 
  Being with someone is much harder than being alone. Stay in the same relationship for many years, having children, keep loving and respecting each other is truly one of the hardest tasks we would ever have, and since none taught us how to deal with it, the whole thing becomes a real challenge! 
  As I mentioned above, minimalism is about being organized, being clear with oneself and the other half, being able to express one's wishes and being able to take responsibility. Reading a lot of psychological literature, studying it and applying its principals in my own family made me come to the conclusions that:

  • being honest with myself and with my partner;
  • understand my needs and desires;
  • respect my own needs and desires and the needs and desires of my partner;
  • do not have a false expectation about my partner;
  • being realistic;
  • ARTICULATE my questions, desires, problems ( and this is the hardest part for women);
  • being grateful
can make your marriage much easier and smooth. Because being a minimalist does not mean to be dry and tough, it means to be clear, to use language, not hints and winks to communicate with the other half and try to discuss the problem when it just appears, in order not to keep negative emotions.

Minimalism is freedom!


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Minimalism for beginners. 5 baby steps.



Hooray! Step by step I apply minimalism lifestyle to the all areas of my life - home, work, mind (this part is the hardest to work on).
During summer vacation, I organized my wardrobe and drawers and as I am a teacher it was really hard (all kinds of books and copies of exercises I used to work with, I want to work with, I might want to work with...) - everything will go to the school's drawer or in the trash bin (it's optional)! So much free space now, which I will not use at all - I want to breath freely!
I started using zero waste shampoo and Aleppo soap for a mouth hygiene. I stick to my natural cosmetics so amount of money I spend on these things is absolutely tiny, all of them last for a very long time plus my bathroom shelf is free! 
I started budgeting some time ago with a complete shopping ban and it feels great so far!
I was trying to compost (as zero waste is my goal) but I really failed the task - there are no public compost bins in Casablanca and my tiny balcony is not available for this purpose, anyhow my family is trying to reduce producing any trash.
So here are my 5 baby steps if you are interested in minimalism lifestyle and want to enjoy a free life:

1. Make a DECISION to change your lifestyle, behavior, mind;

2. Declutter your house;

3. Declutter your mind, here are some practical  pieces of advice, work on your negative emotions;

4. Start budgeting. This step is an absolute must and after 3 previously mentioned steps it applies to your new life style organically and easily. I like the way Dave Ramsey talks about money and budgeting and his system.

5. Go natural! Eat healthy food and use natural cosmetics (it is NOT EXPENSIVE). Shop locally, do it yourself or find an affordable alternative. Stores like Amazon propose a lot of natural cosmetic products so it shouldn't be a problem.



Using these tips you can change your life in a better way - they are easy to follow, interesting, useful.
Enjoy your way to freedom.

Minimalism is freedom!


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The Real Values



In a society where consumption became a cult and sustainability is just another smart word from the dictionary, we might be a bit lost with the core values of our lives. I mean, if we were asked what makes us happy, what gives us joy, what cures and nourishes us, what are we really grateful for...what would we answer and how much time would it take for us to do so?
I refused to believe that things and stuff would make me happy so I turned to minimalism - a lifestyle which I call "freedom" because it helped me to realize how much unnecessary belongings I possessed, how much time and money I spent purchasing them, even though some of them were never used. Freedom of stuff and of a desire to owe them!
The hardest was to declutter my mind - full of stupid patterns, which I acquired from my childhood: watching TV and series, where everyone looks great with a bottle of soda and a cigarette! Fear of changes, fear of responsibility...
I started to ask myself different questions, like:

  •   How will my choices affect the others?   
  •   How responsible are my choices?
  •   What affects my decisions?
  •   Is there any other way?
  •   Is it really what I want and need?
  •   Are my choices connected to my values?  
I started to revise my values and sustainability became one of the core values. Physical and psychological need to stop consuming made me interested in minimalism and zero waste lifestyle and their advantages. The beauty of simple things opened my eyes to the fashion industrycarbon dioxide effects and how can everyone make a difference refusing to use a private car and turning to a public transport, how soap bar can replace all the chemical cleaning products in a house etc, how you can be much happier with fewer things and how mindful choices change your life.

And what are your minimalist values? Please, share with me your comments below.







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How to buy sustainable clothing on a budget


 Even before "True Cost" - a documentary about the modern fashion industry and modern slavery, I was trying to buy smart and sustainably- second-hand clothes and shoes, but after my researchers about consumption and turning to the minimalist lifestyle I had no choice but to quit buying stuff at all. At least for some period of time.

The facts about clothes industry are horrible:
  •  it is the second largest polluter after oil;
  • it takes more than 5000 gallons of water to manufacture just a simple T-shirt and a pair of jeans;
  • there are 253 tons of textiles sent to landfill in Hong Kong daily according to Redress;
  • costumers throw away clothes and shoes approximately 70 pounds per person annually;
  • up to 95%  landfilled could be recycled.
If you are interested in more data, check it here and here.


Many fashion companies started promoting themselves as environmentally friendly, as they use recycled clothes for their new collections and these clothes could be recycled as well. Of course, there are plenty of benefits of recycling shoes and clothes, these are some of them:
  1. Recycling reduces waste in landfills;
  2. It reduces carbon footprints.
  3. Creates economic development around the world;
  4. Increases environmental awareness;
  5.  Converts waste products into new valuable and demanded products.
Sounds pretty optimistic, but there is still much work to be done and everyone can participate because we all have an impact.  

So these are some hacks about HOW TO BUY SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING on a budget:
  • Buy second hand! There are used clothes shops where you can find great deals with a little money, I had many purchases of absolutely new items from the last collections;
  • Use Facebook groups or local forum community groups to borrow, rent or buy used items;
  • Visit garage sales;
  • Check freecycle - a worldwide community of buyers and traders, where you can post your unwanted clothes and see if anyone around you wants them;
  • If you are buying a new item, purchase it only on sale and look for eco-friendly fabrics.
Let's be a bit more conscious about our environment and make smart choices.  


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Carless. Why do I refuse to own a car.


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It happens to me that people think I am a lunatic when I say I do not have a car. In the city where the tram is still developing ( 2 lines are functioning permanently) and the public buses are really bad and dangerous option due to people who use them and their behavior inside it might be weird not to own and do not want to own a car. Here I have to add that it is super easy to get one - as Credit Gratuit (free loan) advertising boards are everywhere and car companies do everything to make you believe you really need a vehicle. So my reasons not to buy it are not about money (even though I do not want to spend it on maintenance, insurance, and fuel all the time ).

Every day I go to work and back by taxi. It takes me 10 minutes if there are no traffic jams, it takes me an unlimited time when they are.The klaxons, the curses, spoiled mood...Welcome to the city center!

The more environmentally concerned I become, the less I buy, the less so-called necessary items I want to own and consume. And having an asthmatic child helps me to make smarter choices and be a carless is one of them. We all know that car pollutants cause long-term negative effects on the human health and the environment and they are absolutely harmful. Carbon dioxide is the one which causes allergies and staying deeply in lungs provokes all kinds of pneumonic problems including asthma; it is the major greenhouse gas which makes it the primary cause of the global warming, which as we know prompts extreme weather changes.

Of course, it is super cool and utopian wonderful if the government takes care about the carbon dioxide level reduction by providing and promoting green energy sources, but I strongly believe that each of us can make a difference by taking care of the environment. These things are easy to do by:


  • using public transportation;
  • eating less( or quit if possible ) red meat - livestock produces a large amount of methane which triggers global warming;
  • quitting dairy;
  • buy and eat local foods;
  • buy secondhand clothes and stuff;
  • using energy efficient appliances;
  • recycle, re-use, re-think before purchasing anything;
  • compost;
  • educate yourself with what is going on with our planet and how can you help.
Anyone can do something for our environment according to his/her interest and help the planet that hosts us to keep existing! 




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Soap bars in zero waste cleaning routine



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When you are trying to establish a zero waste home you start to quit your consumption habits in all the aspects of life. No need to say that almost all of us are stuck in them. We all know that this or that might be bad for our health and environment, but we need to make a DECISION to leave them for good. Here are some quick facts about the toxins in the house cleaning products, which might help you to stop using them.
Being environmentally concerned and having an asthmatic child make me think twice about what I use inside of my home to keep it clean and healthy. And of course, I do not want to cause any harm or waste.
My choice is a soap bar - Castile or made of Olive Oil ( and this is an option in Morocco). Not only it does not have aggressive and allergen agents, but also works in the best way you can probably imagine. So when you buy a soap bar, be sure you can use it for:
  • dishwashing;
  • laundry ( I try to wash my clothes with hands, but for the bed sheets I cut a piece of a bar and put it in the machine directly); 
  • washing the floor;
  • window cleaning;
  • dust and walls cleaning. 
About soap bars for your zero waste beauty routine and mouth care you can read here

No need to say you will save a lot of money, time and space!


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On consumption


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I never paid attention to any advertising until today. I took my time to listen and to think about what all these beautiful and healthy people are telling me. So during the next 3 minutes, I was assured I need:

  • conditioners - for red, black and white clothes ( all different brands);
  • some highly toxic liquid for the toilet promoted by a pretty lady with a bright smile and promising decollete;
  • shampoo ( at least 2 different types, but no one said it might contain SLS)
  • fast food delivery ( everyone is slim and fit in the video);
  • toothpaste. Makes your smile so bright that people around have to wear shades;
  • TVs, tablets, phones. 
Everything wrapped in plastic, bright and shiny. 

Yes, we are a society of consumers. Yes, we consume. But do we think about its impact on our planet and environment in general? According to WorldCentric and WorldWatch Institute we spend 15 billion dollars a year on perfumes while we need only 5 billion to educate all the population of Earth! it is not a problem for us ( now I am talking about Europe and States) to pay 17 billion dollars for pet food when 19 billion will eliminate hunger and malnutrition.  At the same time, one-third of the food is wasted annually, which is about 1,3 billion tonnes or  680billion$ in industrialized countries and 310billion$ in developing countries. To see more terrifying statistics you may check Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

So what can we start with to become a bit environmentally concerned: 

  1.  Get rid of your credit card, it will save you from an instant shopping;
  2.  Stop eating and drinking junk ( which is usually wrapped in plastic which average time to decompose is 450 years);
  3. Recycle;
  4. Buy second-hand clothes;
  5. Use natural shampoo;
  6. Use soap bars for mouth hygiene, as a face and body cleanser, for shaving, for washing dishes and clothes;
  7. Use soda and vinegar for house cleaning ( yes, and the toilet too);
  8. Stop impulsive shopping;
  9. Start budgeting;
  10. Purge your inner clutter;
  11. Revise your wardrobe - sell or donate everything you do not wear or like;
  12. Limit social networks;
  13. Educate yourself with documentaries about the food you eat: Earthlings; plastic and its impact: A Plastic Ocean; The True Cost - about fashion industry and clothes;
  14. Turn off the light when you are leaving the room. I might even turn off your computer after finishing reading this. 
Being responsible is an adult feature. And if we are old enough to have a computer and a credit card, we are old enough to take care of our planet. take the first step in your consumption free life and enjoy freedom!

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Emotional minimalism. How to deal with negative emotions.



Recently I had a very unpleasant situation with one bank, which made a mistake in my account so I did not get my monthly payment, plus when I was using their ATM machine with a card of the other bank, it took  money from my account but never gave it to me ( I am still waiting for the bank to send it to me back). I would like to add that it happened right at my daughter's birthday so I could not buy her a present. I had 25 EUROS left in my pocket. It was money for food. For 2 weeks.
No need to describe how angry I was. My always calm husband told me that that was exactly minimalism which I like so much. I replied that minimalism was a personal choice, no matter how much money you have or have not. And of course, if you are on a strict budget you will be a minimalist at least for some time.


Recently I was writing about inner clutter and how to purge it. But what if we have some negative experience right now, at the moment? How do we deal with negative emotions in terms of minimalism, which is not only about cleaning your closets but about getting rid of every unneeded thing?  And who needs negativity? So

HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE EMOTIONS:

Let it go! We are humans, not robots, and we have right to be angry for some time. What makes it wrong - to stick to your anger and to worry about the situation all over again. Sometimes it happens that you simply cannot do anything more - so do what you can, and live it to God! Let it go!

Find positive moments in your experience! For what instead of why! It is quite hard at the moment of anxiety to think about the advantages you can have after dealing with a bad experience. But believe it or not - there are always positive moments. Every situation is happening with us FOR SOME REASON and this reason is to make one's a  better person. So "why?"  has no sense, but "for what?" is reasonable. 

Run or work out! Anger is a very strong emotion, and to keep it locked inside is not good for your physical and mental health.  Adrenaline is pumping into your bloodstream, the heart is beating faster so blood is rushing to the muscles, which allows them to go harder. If you'll go running at this time, your lungs will open wider so the brain will have more oxygen. Make your body work instead of your mind being stuck with anger. 

Emotional minimalism is not about being cool and cold in every situation ( and for a person with a hot temper like me it's simply impossible), it is about being able and willing to be free from anxiety and negativity.  

Minimalism is freedom in all aspects of life!


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Eid Al-Adha in Casablanca. A non-Muslim experience.


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Time is running and only in a week my Moroccan Muslim Family and friends will celebrate one of the two biggest Islamic festivals- Eid Al-Adha! The first one is called Eid Al-Fitr, the day which marks the end of Ramadan - the fasting month; the second feast is Eid Al-Adha ( Eid Al-Kebir in Moroccan Arabic, which means "A Big Eid") - Feast of the Sacrifice.
So if you are like me, non-Muslims but would like to know a bit about this Islamic holiday, here are some facts:

1. Eid Al-Adha is celebrated worldwide by  1,8 billion Muslims on the tenth day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah - the twelveth and final month of the Islamic Lunar  Calendar.

2. The central figure of celebration is Prophet Abraham ( Ibrahim in Arabic), whose story we can find in the Bible's Old Testament or Torah. The prophet was about to sacrifice his son Ismail as he believed it was a divine order from God, but God sent a ram to be sacrificed instead. As a reward for loyalty, strong belief and being ready to fulfill His will, God gave Abraham another son Isaac. So the sheep sacrifice symbolizes the loyalty and obedience of the prophet.

3. Eid Al-Adha marks the end of Hajj - one of five Islamic "musts" ( if they can afford it) - pilgrimage to Mecca - a holy place for Muslims in Saudi Arabia.  The other four pillars that are  mandatory in Islam:
  • Shahada ( Creed);
  • Salat ( Prayer);
  • Zakat ( Charity);
  • Sawm ( Fasting). 


4. At the day of the Feast, which begins with a prayer a sheep or a goat ( and my neighbors even manage to purchase a cow for this reason!) must be slaughtered according to Islamic Halal standards ( of course, ONLY if a family can afford purchasing an animal). The meat has to be divided into three parts - one part for you and your family consumption, the second one - for your friends and neighbors, the third one is for poor people in need.

5. It is time for people to dress their best outfits, visit family and friends and to eat! The celebrations usually last for 3 or 4 days, which I  appreciate very much- another few days off!

Even though Casablanca and its population are growing with a speed of light, there are still some nonurbanized places where on a piece of land you can find sheep or goats walking around, eating grass. At this period of time, like a week before Eid, there are plenty of so-called "Sheep hotels" where people can leave purchased sheep and the "owner of the hotel" will take care of it - feeding, cleaning, and entertaining sheep is on him for as much as 5 EUROS a day! There is only one bad thing about it - the smell! Especially when you're passing by or "the hotel" is too close or even in your block building! Actually, in my case, it is right next to the block's door, so if sheep are staying there for 4-5 days the smell in the corridors is a bit specific.

The place where people can buy ans leave their sheep

And the last but not the least is the way people greet each other during the days of celebration - Eid Mubarak - A Blessed Holiday ( if you need a translation).


Enjoy your time whatever you are! Salaam Alaykum!

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Minimalist beauty tips: Aleppo soap.

   
                                                 

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One of the best decisions of my life was to stop using market/pharmaceutical ( even very expensive) cosmetics and stick to nature and what it can give us!

The most practical thing in my minimalist zero waste beauty routine is Aleppo soap! Purchased from Turkey ( after all these horrible things in Syria company moved there, even though it was functioning perfectly since 1975), Organic and Halal certified this soap bar is made of olive oil and laurel oil, which is responsible for the antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-itching power of the soap. 
It can be used for babies washing, face and body cleaning, as a face mask, as shaving cream, self-hygiene product and shampoo ( I use Moroccan Ghassoul for my hair wash, because after soap usage it is very soft and I prefer it to be a bit harsh  so you can read about it here) and instead of the toilet paper (wash with it).

I purchased Aleppo soap in a bag. So when I do not use it, I keep it there.

Aleppo soap is essential in minimalist zero waste beauty routine, It solves a lot of body/face care problems plus can be used for teeth cleaning and mouth hygiene! Naturally, beautifully and easy! 

How do I brush teeth with Aleppo soap?

Apply it on the wet toothbrush and clean your teeth for a minute or two. Thanks to laurel oil it kills all the bacterias and a bad smell.  As I have some gums problem ( bleeding) I use clove oil after.

Not only have I saved a lot of money by stopping buying and consuming chemical products, saved the space in my bathroom, but I got a great satisfaction with my natural care products. 



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Creating a minimalist zero waste wardrobe

                                                          
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All you need or will need for the next year is already there in your wardrobe. This rule works in 99,9 cases. But except items you really need and use, there might be tons of clutter, unused pretty things or unused ugly stuff which you have no idea how and why came into your life. Probably you are too sentimental to get rid of them immediately or you postpone this decision for years.
To organize my minimalist zero waste wardrobe I needed 1 hour! And a DECISION that I want and need changes in my life! Something you do not wear for more than 6 months - in a box; something too small or too big - in a box; something that reminds you of something or someone - take a picture of it and...in a box! (Here I have an exception- I kept a costume of my daughter, she was baptized in. I have no exceptions for myself). It is up to you what to do with this box - either donate it or sell everything. Just do it as soon as possible! Great feeling! Freedom!
Zero waste lifestyle is simply and logically connected to minimalism. Because once you get rid of clutter in your closet and your head ( what is inner clutter you can read here) you won't want to be a regular consumer anymore. And this is what zero waste movement and minimalism are about - stop consuming, be satisfied with what you already have, and own only things you really need!
Minimalism is freedom! 
Zero waste is a beauty of life!
A dress is a present, a shirt is from SALE, a necklace SECOND HAND 
TopShop coat and Nike shoes all SECOND-HAND 

I banned shopping for a year ( about it read here) but before doing it I used to buy ONLY on SALE or SECOND-HAND items! First of all, I couldn't force myself to pay huge amounts for clothes which I liked, but which is just pieces of tailored fabric in my mind so I was waiting for sales and used to buy my desirable things 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 times cheaper; second-hand clothes are great, not only because they are much-much cheaper, but because it is a very logical choice for me - it is always a win-win cooperation, I help you to get rid of your clutter, you help me with my needs! After I use clothes and do not need them anymore - I donate or use them for house cleaning. 
Talking about lingerie - I buy it on sale.

Zara SECOND HAND ( absolutely new) shoes

When you understand and realize that consuming is a clutter itself, you will not return to it! Because after experiencing complete freedom of minimalism and pure beauty of a zero waste lifestyle, you will become a different person! Checked!
Minimalism is freedom!


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Minimalist wardrobe : why and how?



If you Google "Minimalist wardrobe" you'll see a lot of articles about how many items you have to have,how to mix them together and what are the essentials. It is always up to you either to follow the instructions or to try and build your minimalist wardrobe by yourself.  My motto is :"Minimalism is freedom!", which means I want to be free in my choice how much clothes I own but this number has to be limited by "not much". Because tons of clothes which were never worn, morning sufferings of I-have-nothing-to-wear, instant shopping are nothing else than clutter which minimalism is fighting against. So the idea of limited wardrobe is very simple - to make you free from "extras" and to help you to realize what is really important.
Let's check some practical advantages why you have to own a minimalist wardrobe.

WHY?

More time to live your life ( you do not spend hours in front of the mirror, especially in the morning, laundry takes less time as well);

More money ( if you drop buying things at least for a year, you'll see a very good result on your account);

Your closet will be organized and uncluttered;

You will stop ( if you did not stop yet) instant shopping;

Easy to pack and travel;

Satisfaction! I really do not know how it works, but I am absolutely satisfied with my minimalist wardrobe. Recently I banned shopping for a year ( how and why you can read here)  and it feels great! 


My style is very simple - I like wearing knee-long dresses with black leggings and black shoes. Plus I am an allergic to the Sun so I always wear long sleeves. All the peaces work with each other easily and could be interchangeable.



Knowing your own preferences and figure you might start building a minimalist wardrobe any time. 

HOW?

Easily. 

Declutter - get rid of items you haven't worn for the last year (or more);

Define your style and colors which suit you ( minimalist wardrobe is nor just black, white and grey); 

Combine, experiment, enjoy! 

Having a minimalist wardrobe does not make your look boring! Just like having 10000 pieces of clothes does not you stylish! It's about being satisfied with what you already have and be able to enjoy it!


Minimalism is freedom!

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Hooray! Liebster award nomination!

It was a great surprise and pleasure to be nominated for Liebster award by Jenn Hinkle the creator of  www.jennfashion.com ( please check her post here) and following the rules I'll answer Jenn's questions and present my beautiful nominees, so let's go!

WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING? 
I like writing and sharing my experience, probably I think I have something to say. Once I did something extraordinary - I left my family and a good job and moved to Morocco, where I am trying to live a minimalist life (with the influence of local culture), travel and love.

WHAT KIND OF BLOGS DO YOU ENJOY READING?
I like blogs about minimalism ( of course), zero waste lifestyle, travels and everything that inspires me ( depending on my mood these things might vary).

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGER?
I like Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists and Ariana from Paris To Go.

IF SOMEONE APPROACHED YOU TO WRITE A BOOK BASED ON YOUR BLOG WOULD YOU DO IT, AND WHAT WOULD YOU CALL IT? 
I would do it and think about the name for it for months...How about  "1000 and 1days of minimalism in Morocco.".

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE POSTS TO WRITE?
I love to write about zero waste beauty routine mixing it with Moroccan beauty tips!

It's time to present these amazing ladies:
1. Viveena Rodrigues and www.mysnapshotstories.com A beautiful lady from India who lives in Paris and shares her mind-boggling pictures and stories in the travel blog.

2. Lisa Utley and www.travelogblogger.wordpress.com Have you ever been in Asia? With Lisa's informative posts and awesome pictures, you can visit Asia sitting in your chair and simply reading her blog! If you decide to go- you will definitely know what to do and where to go!

3.Navneet Sachdev and www.glamadventuress.wordpress.com. An interesting blog about travels, fashion, and lifestyle! Navneet's article:"Top 10 reasons to travel" might make you run pack your bags and go to the airport! Do not forget your passport and have a nice trip!

4. Asif Iqbal and his www.bloggersea.com. Very practical and informative blog about technology, money, and blogging. Check the article:" 20 Money Making Apps Thant Pay Your Money" or " Top 10 Niche Ideas That Generate Traffic and Money" where you can find some very good piece of advice for your own blog.

5. Amanda Preston and www.mylovelycrazylife.com Amazingly beautiful and inspiring blog about adoption, parenting, home and even some practical blogging tips from Amanda -  mom and adoptive parent of 8 kids! Bravo, Amanda!

Congratulations, Ladies, and gentleman!  Please prepare yourself to answer my 5 questions and nominate 5 different bloggers! Please do not forget to include the link to this blog in your article. So here is what I am interested in:

1. What inspires you most of all?
2. One extraordinary thing you did in your life?
3. What do you do when you are angry?
4. If you could have anything you want what would you choose?
5. Continue the phrase: " If I were you, I..."

Thank you guys, have fun!
Love, peace and Salam Alaykum!




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A minimalist life : things to leave behind


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A great deal is if you managed to accept all the minimalist ideas and apply them in your life once and for good. It wasn't like this with me - step by step I was trying to get rid of "extras" including my inner clutter ( what is it you can read here here ), actually there is still so much to work to do so I keep doing it.

For me minimalism and budgeting just like zero waste life style are interrelated, so If you're practicing one, you will naturally stick to the other. So the next tips would be appropriate for any of those. If you want to reach a real freedom, which minimalism is , you absolutely need to leave behind:

BAD HABITS ( smoking, drinking, using drugs, shopping addiction, overeating or whatever else you have). Everyone knows that it's bad but keep doing it justifying oneself. I used to get rid of my stress or negative emotions buying dresses  which I never ever wore after. Firstly I limited myself on money - 25 EUROS was the maximum amount I could spend on one item, then I banned shopping for a whole year ( how and why you can read here)! I am absolutely happy with my decision! No addiction is another step to freedom!

CREDIT CARD. Evil itself. Spending bank's money is easy and fun, especially when you see all those happy faces from the bill boards, proposing you tiny percentage and a lot of extra services! Come, take, spend, enjoy the life! And keep consuming! 
So if it is hard for you to pay all the amount of money you owe the bank at once, try to reduce all the spending you have to be able to pay not a minimal monthly payment, but at least twice bigger. And never take the card with you anymore! Once you closed the account, cut the card and forget about it!

DISCUSSING PEOPLE or/and JUDGING THE OTHERS. Even if everyone does it, mind your business. Everything that other people do should not and actually does not concern us. Gossips, rumors, whisperers are dirt, which should be rubbed from our everyday life. Probably everyone knows that : " There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor ?" James 4:12. Nothing to add. 

TRYING TO BE ALWAYS RIGHT. Of course we can argue or explain our point of view, but try to force the others to accept your and only your rightness is just ridiculous. Respect the others is to respect yourself! And simple communication is something that is worth trying.



Are there any things you left behind which I did not mention? Please, be free to share them and simply be free! 

Because minimalism is freedom!

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