Dear Lo: I Want To Go Minimalist - Do I Have To Throw Everything Away?

Dear Lo: I Want To Go Minimalist - Do I Have To Throw Everything Away?

Now that minimalism is a growing trend, there are a lot of different messages out there about what minimalism actually is. Some people associate minimalism with stark white walls, others with having little to no possessions, and those that think it's about throwing everything away.

One of the questions I get the most is if being minimalist means you have to get rid of all of your belongings. And, for what minimalism means to me, I'm here to tell you no. Sure, that may end up being something you want to do at one point or another - or maybe not. But creating a minimal life or becoming a "minimalist" does not automatically equally throwing everything away.

How To Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

How To Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

For most of my life, I've never really been into clothes much. I enjoy wearing cute things but, a day full of shopping (in stores or online) has never really been my jam.

That being said, how in the hell did I accumulate so many clothes? I can truthfully say that over that years, I somehow had a lot of clothes in my possession - most of which I rarely wore. I'm the type of girl that finds those 2-3 pieces and wears them over & over again until they have a hole, and then continue to wear them until I must throw it away.

When I began my minimalist journey I knew right away that I wanted my closet to be as minimal as possible. Since I don't have a huge passion for clothes, I didn't want to spend a ton of mental energy on what I was going to wear.  I wanted to have nice pieces that complimented my body well and all relatively worked together but, I didn't want to have a lot of clothes.

5 Steps To Creating A Vision Board

5 Steps To Creating A Vision Board

I recently had a birthday and turned 31. I have no idea why 31 sounds so much older than 30 but, it does. And last year had a lot of ups and downs - it was definitely a year of change & growth. It was preparing me for whatever is coming my way in the future.

But I wanted to go into this next year with a vision & an intention. I wanted to really have an idea of how I wanted to feel this next year and what types of things I wanted to bring into my life.

When this happens, I turn to creating a vision board. A vision board is a place where you can get creative and put your ideas, dreams, goals, wishes & wants in one place. Then, you place your vision board somewhere that you'll see often so that you're continuously reminded of what you're wanting in life.

Easy Crispy Breakfast Potatoes

I’m cheers-ing my coffee to you, friend. How does some good ‘ol fashioned breakfast sound for you?

You know, the kind that has you drooling a bit. The soft scrambled eggs or the drippy yolk if you’re feeling wild. The freshly brewed coffee that fills the air. And, am I the only one that can be brought straight out of bed no matter the hour by the smell of bacon alone? Okay cool, glad I’m not alone. :)


But today, we’re talking potatoes. And, it’s up to you. You can call these hash browns, homefries or crispy potatoes but whatever you call them, they’re good. Like, you don’t really need to put ketchup or hot sauce all over them kind of good – but you totally can if you want to.

I’m a breakfast potato girl. I love the eggs, and I love the breakfast meats. But slide me a plate of warm, crispy & perfectly seasoned potatoes and you’ve got my heart. That’s where we’re going today. Straight to the potatoes.


And while we’re at it, no one said you ONLY have to have these for breakfast. Break the boundaries! Pair these up with a soup or a salad for lunch. Or how about swapping out the fries next to your burger and inserting these things?

Yep. I’m about it.


This recipe is:

  • Easy
  • Flavorful
  • Versatile

Did I mention easy?

So let’s start crisping already, okay?


Easy Crispy Breakfast Potatoes

(serves 2)


  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • salt & pepper to taste

(optional: red pepper flakes, seasoning salt)


  1. Chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes (you don’t want them so thick that they don’t cook all the way through)
  2. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet on medium-low heat (test that the oil is hot enough by sprinkling in water. If it sizzles, it’s ready!)
  3. Add in potatoes, season & stir.
  4. At this point, leave them be for a solid 4-5 minutes.
  5. Check and see if 2 or 3 cubes are crispy on one side. If not, don’t stir yet.
  6. By 5-6 minutes they should start to get crispy so, stir!
  7. Keep up this process (leaving them be, checking for crisp level, stirring) until crispy on all sides.
  8. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for meal prep!

There you have it, breakfast/lunch/dinner fiends. Don’t forget, I’m checkin’ for ya. If you make any of my recipes tag me on Instagram @lodownliving.

With gratitude,


One Pot Vegetable Ramen

During the colder months, I can’t get enough of comfort food. It’s the bowls of pasta, ladles of soup or creamy mashed potatoes that make me feel really warm inside. To this day, one of my favorite comfort foods is spaghetti and meatballs.


And of course, nothing compares to my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. Oh, my goodness. How is it that everything tastes 125% better when your Mom makes it? I hope that once I have a child all of Mom-ness will just magically appear within me. Because I swear, every ham sandwich, pudding cup, and glass off O.J. tasted better when I was a kid when it came from my Mom. And real talk now that I'm 30...not much has changed.


Another meal that I can remember us having around the house when I was younger was ramen noodles. That, I admittedly pronounced as RAY-MEN noodles up until like, yesterday. (LOL!) But I guess we got fancy and started calling it RAH-MEN...which, either way, tasted damn good back then.

But, now that I've been cooking on my own for a few years and have been remixing my childhood favorites as healthier meals - I think it's about time I tackled ramen. What do you say?


This meal is delicious. Let's just call it what it is. And the great thing about it is that there are so many options & variations you can use when you make it.

No dietary restrictions? Use the noodles from the ramen noodle packets!

On Whole30? Use spaghetti squash or zoodles!


Not a fan of kale? Substitute spinach!

Want some protein? Add in shredded chicken! Or shrimp!

See? I told you that you could crazy with this recipe. And crazy we will get, friends! Here we go.


One Pot Vegetable Ramen (Whole30 Friendly)


  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 4 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth (could use any broth here. For Whole30 - check your labels!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cup chopped kale (or spinach)
  • 1 cups shredded carrot
  • Noodle options:
    • 1 roasted spaghetti squash*
    • 1 spiralized zucchini/squash/sweet potato noodle *



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut squash in half
  • Scoop out the guts & toss
  • Drizzle with olive oil & season with salt & pepper
  • Place face down on a greased baking sheet
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash pulls away from shell easily


  1. Chop your garlic & ginger first.
  2. Then, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic and ginger.
  3. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Then add the broth & water.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the mushrooms, green onions, kale & carrots & salt to taste.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and the broth is flavorful.
  7. Add the ramen noodles, spaghetti squash or zoodles to the hot liquid and remove from the heat.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*These veggie based noodles hold a lot of water. Add them moments before eating to not water down the broth. If you choose to use the noodles from the packets you will want to stir a few times until they have softened in the broth. Approximately 3-4 minutes.

(adapted from Pinch of Yum)

Remember, if you make one of my recipes, be sure to tag me on Instagram with @lodownliving so I can see them!