Amy Beth

August 18, 2013

Cloth Diapering: The Why’s and What For’s

The decision to use cloth diapers was probably one of the first parenting decisions I ever made. Right off the bat, I decided to go the unconventional route. This perhaps should have been a warning of things to come. I think I knew of a few friends who had done it, so for some reason during that overwhelming time of preparing to BECOME A PARENT I decided to spend my time reading about diapers. Maybe that seemed simpler than childbirth or discipline. But whatever the reason, many of the advantages to using cloth diapers resonated with my aspirations to be some kind of earth-loving minimalist anti-establishment homestead-y type of person. I have not actually achieved any of those titles, but I do cloth diaper. So there’s that.

Why cloth?

First of all, why would someone choose to cloth diaper? Isn’t it a lot more work? And do mothers of new babies really need more work to do? My answers: not really, and definitely not. We have been using cloth diapers for a year and half. It’s such an ingrained part of our routine now that I rarely even think about the fact that we are doing something odd, and of all the new experiences that come with being a new parent, cloth diapering barely even registers on the radar of “difficult things.” So once you get over the fear that it might be a lot more work, there are actually a lot of reasons why you might choose to use cloth diapers on your new little bundle of joy.

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August 11, 2013

Because you’re waiting with bated breath (or, how to follow blogs)

Blogs are great. They are full of ideas and tips and inspiration. But keeping up on all of your favorite ones can be quite a chore sometimes. How do you know when one is updated? How can you keep from missing anything important? How can you make sure you never miss another post from Little Place Called Home? (I know that is of utmost importance to all of you.) Well, it turns out there are a lot of options.

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August 5, 2013

White Space


White space is a concept familiar to graphic designers. While some may see it as empty or wasted space, the good designer knows that white space can be used to get the eyes to rest on what is most important. It helps clarify and organize the message. It gives the brain room to process.


I’m learning that white space is not just a concept for design. It can be a concept for life. I’m trying to find places where more white space would be beneficial – such as on my calendar, in my home, in my writing. I want to have space to focus on what’s most important.

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July 8, 2013

Parmesan Tilapia

I’ve been working on simplifying our meals to make cooking at home easier, and therefore more frequent. One of the meals that has found a regular place on our table recently has been Parmesan Tilapia. It’s super quick, super easy, and super tasty.

It’s one of those recipes that’s so simple I don’t even use a recipe or measuring cups anymore. I just throw stuff in a bowl and call it a day. When you’re basically covering a piece of fish in Parmesan cheese there’s not much you can do wrong.

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June 24, 2013

A Spontaneous Garage Improvement

Every now and then a strange spirit overtakes me. There’s no way to predict when this will happen. It’s a rare cosmic occurance that only happens when my energy level, my schedule, the weather, and a build up of annoyance at the clutter in my house all align at just the right moment. When this happens I suddenly become possessed with the intense desire to do some major cleaning/purging/organizing. There’s no holding it back. This week the stars aligned and the cleaning spirit descended on the garage.

Since moving in to this house almost a year ago, the garage has been the place to stick everything we don’t have the time to deal with.

“Are we going to hang up these curtains?” “Eh…not today, just stick in them in the garage for now.”
“Where do you want to put these leftover decorations from the party?” “I don’t know. Just throw them in the garage.”
“Do we need to do something special to dispose of these toxic cleaning chemicals?” “Probably, just put them in the garage until we figure it out.”

You get the idea. Despite the fact that we have only been here a year and we never had more than a closet for extra storage space at our earlier apartments, we had managed to fill an entire garage. We couldn’t move around or find anything we needed. It was a problem.

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May 7, 2013

Adjusting Expectations

I’ve always struggled with unrealistic expectations. I’ll wake up on a Saturday convinced that I will get the whole house clean AND cook a healthy dinner from scratch AND do that craft I’ve been wanting to try AND take my baby to the park. A perfect Saturday.

But then it takes longer to get through breakfast than I had planned, and there are dishes I forgot about that need to be cleaned and then it’s already lunch time and I haven’t even taken a shower yet! Then my baby takes forever to take a nap and by the time he wakes up it’s time to think about dinner which we end up ordering and we’ve missed our chance to go to the park. My perfect Saturday has turned into a waste of a day.

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May 2, 2013

Project Simplify – That Put Off Project

This week’s [Project Simplify]( assignment was to tackle “that put off project”. You know, the one that’s been hanging around on the to do list for far too long.
My project was pretty simple: put away Christmas lights. That’s right, this had been on my to do list since January.

![Christmas lights at Christmas time](

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April 28, 2013

Project Simplify – The Piles

It was left ignored, rising higher and higher over time. Each new layer built precariously on top of the unstable structures below. It was so dense and tightly packed that the sun could not penetrate to the earth beneath. To look at it from a distance made you marvel at the mystery of what could be inside.

[Kowloon Walled City][1] was a modern marvel of organic urban living. Not organic as in non-toxic and good for you. Organic as in it seemed to have a life of it’s own. It was built on top of an ancient Chinese fortress in Hong Kong. During the British rule of Hong Kong, it was one area that was left outside of British control. But the Chinese government didn’t enforce control on it either. So for years it fell between the cracks, ignored by all organizations and regulators. It became a haven for people with shady job descriptions, or anyone who couldn’t make it in greater Hong Kong. Rent was cheap, it is is said that it was once the most densely populated area in the world, with 3,250,000 people per square mile. In order to fit all those people in such a small space building codes were grossly violated and homes were built one on top of the other and squeezed in between existing buildings until it became one massive interconnected structure.


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April 20, 2013

Project Simplify – That Pesky Closet

I’ve been a reader of Simple Mom for quite some time and now that I finally have a blog up and running, I decided to take part in the annual Project Simplify before-and-after posting fun.

Project Simplify on Simple Mom

Each week there is a different organizing or decluttering project to do around your home. It’s a way of channeling all that restless energy that’s been building up all winter. This week’s challenge was “that pesky closet.” While there are a few different closets in the house that could use a little help, I decided to focus on my closet, mainly because the challenge also happened to coincide with my church’s spring clothing drive.

So here are the before pictures. The clothes are kind of packed in there and I have some rather unsightly piles spilling out of my drawers onto the floor. Some of the things on the floor have been there for months…

![alt text]( “Title”)

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