Be More With Less Update

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There are a few things that have been going on here at Be more with less that require an update. I also have a few great blog recommendations for you!

Zen Laundry – I am still hanging my clothes outside. It this August heat, the clothes are almost dry before I finish hanging them up! Any tips for air-drying towels? Mine always end up a little crunchy!

Monday is day 40 of my dairy free challenge – A little over a month ago I posted this anti-milk blog and committed to 40 days without dairy. The challenge was a breeze, although I haven’t noticed a ton of health benefits yet. I attribute this to one of two things. Either I wasn’t consuming enough dairy to begin with, or I haven’t been without long enough.

TV free – At the beginning of July, I canceled the cable and have been living a TV free life ever since. Now that it’s been more than a month, I can honestly say, that I can’t imagine going back. I don’t miss the cable bill. I don’t miss the wasted time and I don’t miss any of my favorite TV shows. We do watch movies as a family, but it is very deliberate and enjoyable instead of mindless and numbing.

My cosmetic obsession – I took a little heat for showing off my very un-minimalistic make-up collection. It has been just over a month since I pledged to not purchase any cosmetics and to stay away from make-up counters. I am happy to report, that even though we have a brand new Sephora in town, I have not stepped foot in the store. I haven’t perused any make-up counters, or websites and have not purchased a single thing.

Stop checking email – This has been the most challenging task for me. I typically start the week strong, only checking email two times a day and by the end of the week, I am peeking at my iphone several times a day. I am considering (although not committing)  turning off the email access on the iphone for a week or two to see if that helps.

The Chia Chronicles – I am still creating chia goodness in my kitchen with the help of Fuel Your Run the Tarahumara Way and will be posting more recipe reviews soon!

Car free day – At the end of June, I committed to drive less. Since then, one day a week, my car stays in the garage!

Fashion project – This week, Project 333 was born! Many of you want to join the challenge to go 3 months wearing only 33 items, including shoes, clothing and accessories. I am thinking about a way that we can all interact during this process sharing images, lists and tips. Stay tuned and suggestions are welcome!

My first interview – Hulbert Lee interviewed me for a minimalism series along with other minimalists that have inspired me. Even though Hulbert introduced me as a teenage mom instead of a mother of a teenager, I really enjoyed working with him!

If you have taken on any of these challenges, attempted a mini-mission or started a project of your own, please leave a comment!

Reading assignments from the blog world:


  1. says

    You should def turn off the email on the iPhone! I recently got rid of my smart phone and loving not having that nagging feeling that I can ‘plugin’ when ever I want.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Chris, You are so right. I thought I was strong enough to resist, but perhaps I need to completely unplug!

  2. buzz says

    “A little over a month ago I posted this anti-milk blog and committed to 40 days without dairy. The challenge was a breeze, although I haven’t noticed a ton of health benefits yet. I attribute this to one of two things. Either I wasn’t consuming enough dairy to begin with, or I haven’t been without long enough.”

    Is it not possible that the anti-dairy propaganda is overblown?

    • Courtney Carver says

      Hi Buzz! Thanks for your comment. That is a great question and I am sure that some people think that. I actually think that the pro-dairy propaganda is overblown. I stopped drinking milk and cut way back on all dairy in 2006 when I was diagnosed with MS. I think that diet change really contributed to my overall health and is a part of slowing my MS progression. Again, this is only MY opinion, and MY experience. Thanks for weighing in!

  3. says

    Courtney, you’ve been up to so much and seem really focused on your goals. That’s wonderful to see. Thank you for the great update, the kind mention and I look forward to exploring all of your great resources. Dairy free, I’ve got to get that part of my act together. Great inspiration!

  4. says

    I’m not sure how I found bemorewithless, but since I did a month or so ago, I’ve been enjoying what you post. I took the more with less challenge to a whole new level three years ago. I sent everything I owned off to auction, I quit my job, sold my house and moved to the Island of Roatan, in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Honduras. Now you are probably thinking, I must be rich to do that. Believe me I’m not! By North American standards I live well below the poverty-line…but that’s okay by me. I don’t need or want much stuff. To specifically compare what I mean to this posting the following is true for me. Laundry – my dryer is a line stretched out on my back porch. Anti-dairy – milk curdles very quickly with the heat here and I rarely can get the cheese I like. TV free – I admit I still watch some. My excuse is that’s how I learn Spanish, most every show has sub-titles. Cosmetics – None, impossible to keep it from running off my face, no need for skin cream, fragrances attract mosquitoes. Emails – Hanging on to that one, it’s my connection to “the real world.” Chia – Limited what can be purchased in grocery stores, following a recipe not so easy. Learning how to improvise with lots of free fruit and veg. Car – Can’t go very far, not a problem. Fashion project – 2 pairs of flip-flops, 3 shorts, 6 tank tops, 2 bathing suits, 2 sun dresses, a floppy hat, no watch, no jewelry (except wedding band)or accessories. Oh and one belt…I’ve lost weight eating mostly fruit and veggies. Waste to have more clothes than that on a tropical Island – they would just get moldy.

  5. says

    Courtney, thanks for sharing your progress on these projects! It’s always inspiring to hear where others are on their path. I’m trying to eat vegan now as well, and I’m loving it!

  6. says

    Hey Courtney — I’m glad to see that you are out there rocking it out with your goals! I know firsthand that setting goals and following through isn’t always EASY, but 95% of the time it’s definitely worth it. I am wondering why you don’t want to check email on your phone? I guess the question comes down to how often do you usually check it per day? Maybe you can keep the email option on — but permit yourself a certain time of day to check your emails.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Reggie, I really want to ONLY check email two times per day. I find that I am much more efficient and then when I do check my email, I can take the time to answer thoughtfully instead of spending the day reacting. When I check mail on my phone, I am ususally doing it to avoid doing something else!

  7. says

    Hi Courtney, I enjoyed reading this update of yours, and thanks for making that correction for me too. :) Teenage mom… mother of a teenager… they’re all the same… right? Haha just kidding. Have a good weekend!

  8. says

    Love this update, Courtney! Thanks for the link love. I am totally joining you with the driving less mission next week. You’d think working from home now that I could drive even less than that … but I end up running errands or finding a reason to get out everyday.

    Next week – two days in park. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Melissa, I love your writing and am glad to share it with my readers. Let me know how the “drive less” mission goes!

  9. says

    I loved reading this. You have such energy and passion regarding what matters to you and it is really inspiring to take note of all the amazing changes you are making. Bravo! :)

  10. says

    Hi Courtney,
    this is my first visit to your lovely site. i found you thru the alist club. i think i have a favorite new place to visit. i’m off to read some more. but i wanted to congratulate you on all you have accomplished.
    sooo exciting. i’m working on simplifying my cluttered life/studio… gosh it’s hard to let go of art supplies though. i love them. :)

    so happy to have found you. xxo, kim

    • Courtney Carver says

      Kim, I know just what you mean about art supplies. I recently let go of all my text books from Art School that I had been holding onto for 20 years! I’m glad you found my site through the A-List Club! I will check out your site and I am sure we will connect in the forums as well.

  11. says

    I just found your blog via twitter #minimalist. I’ve just started on my journey and am having so much fun! I have given away nearly all my clothes. (I can now name every clothing item I own by memory without looking :) ) I have only been actively getting rid of stuff for just over a week, but already feel lighter, happier and can think clearer. It’s fantastic.

    Oh, and I haven’t watched tv for a few years. I don’t know how I ever had the time now.

    Anyway….I came to say that here in New Zealand it’s normal to air dry our washing…some people use a dryer in winter though. Anyway…to prevent crunchy towels, you can give them a scrunch mid drying process i.e. move them around a bit. Or, you can add a little vinegar to the rinse cycle. It’s a natural softener.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Wow Embejo, Congrats on making big strides. Thanks for the towel recommendation. I am going to try the mid-dry scrunch. Crazy questions but do the clothes smell like vinegar if you use it in the rinse section?

  12. says

    Hi, Courtney. What’s great about this post is your transparency — sharing not only what you’re doing to walk the talk, but keeping it real with updates. Wonderful authenticity in action! (And a good reminder to all of us :))

    Thanks for the mention. I’m so glad to have you as a reader of The New Pursuit and that you find enough value to share! Be well!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Bill, Thanks for your kind comment. I am glad to include you and hope we will continue to collaborate.

  13. says

    Hi Courtney. I was diagnosed with MS myself 10 years ago. I’m really into the diet aspect now and follow the one suggested by Prof George Jelinek (search for him and you’ll find him). He writes persuasively and talks about the toxicity of the proteins in cows’ milk to the human nervous system, so I think you are doing exactly the right thing ! I’ve been following his suggested diet (dairy free) for 18 months and whilst I’ve had one relapse, I can really feel the difference – and I’ve lost 2 stone ! I wish I had the courage you have shown on your blogs. If you can do all that you do, I’m sure you can manage not to eat dairy produce ! Maybe it is out of proportion. Maybe it isn’t. I know I don’t want to be sitting in a wheel chair in 5 years time though, thinking “well, I can’t walk anymore … but at least I can still eat cheese …”. Why risk it, if you see what I mean ! :-)

    • Courtney Carver says

      Matthew! I completely understand. Changing diet is the best way to see quick health results but often the most challenging step! You will have to check out my MS blog at I have some great recipe recommendations there. Thanks for the encouraging comment!

  14. says

    Hi! Love your site!

    I recently pared down my wardrobe to a grand total of 20 items of clothing, plus 2 sets of gym clothes, 2 swimsuits, 3 winter coverings (long coat, jacket, cape), and a small box of accessories (scarves, hair accessories, jewelry). I have really worked to make everything mix-and-matchable. OH, and shoes are down to the following: Winter snow boots; dress boots; heels; flats (both black); 2 pair of sandals; sneakers; flip flops. I am about to move to a much smaller place, have already spent a significant amount of time living out of a carry-on while on the road through Europe and Asia, as well as six months traveling across the US with my sons. So….I think I may have this mix of clothing just right. So…it is do-able! We’ll see how I feel six months from now. I DID make sure I only kept high-quality clothing that can stand up to a lot of washing without fading, etc. I think that is the most important element to a limited wardrobe.

    I am also about to embark on a minimalist kitchen experiment. My site for it is officially launching at the end of the week at I have already eliminated most kitchen gadgets (successfully!). Now in this experiment, I am going to go 30 days with only 30 food items in my kitchen (coffee, spices, everything included!!!). The goal is to get great variety, nutritious meals, and a simple, stream-lined kitchen/shopping trip (and cutting expenses, unhealthy food, etc, in the process). I’m pretty excited about the prospect. I’m inviting others to join me. The site will be set up so they can post their own blog entries, and I hope they include their 30 food items list, recipes they find successful, and how they feel about this process. I’m SO curious to see how the experiment turns out. Maybe you would even like to join in :-) While the site is launching at the end of this week, the experiment itself begins in October, giving everyone enough time to eat through what is in their kitchen now, and to prepare their 30 things list.

    Anyhow, keep us posted on the wardrobe challenge….I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes :-)

    Again, thanks for the great site!
    Create an amazing day for yourself,
    Laura Saba

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Laura. These are great points and I look forward to checking out your kitchen experiment!