living lagom: a year in review - living lagom: a year in reviewThis post is long-ish.

Okay, it’s long. I’m covering a WHOLE year here!

However, if you want the Cliff Notes version, just skip to the end. I’ll understand.

For those sticking around, might I suggest you get comfortable with the beverage of your choice . . . and perhaps a biscuit or two (we’re still in holiday mode).

Let’s begin.

a year in the life of a lagomist

January: I kick off my disposable cup charity project! I mess up a few times that first month, but then get into the groove of things.

February: Hmm . . . nothing really going on in February. I swear things get more interesting.

March: Living Lagom launches! I make my debut onto the minimalist scene with little fanfare – seems fitting. I tell the world why I think lagom is the new less is more and to think of malls as museums.

April: I reveal that I wore the same two dresses to work for months without anyone noticing, that I only own two bowls and what I put in them, as well as my environmental sins. I share my special affection for green smoothies – please tell me you’ve tried one!

May: My 6 month work contract ends. I travel to London with only a carry-on, where I resist the temptation to purchase souvenirs, but still fall victim to some bad buys. Upon my return, I pack up my limited belongings and move from Toronto where I’ve lived for most of the last decade and head back to my hometown of Waterloo. My new residence for the summer will be a university dorm room.

June: I become a year older and try to high five myself in the process. I confess my addiction to sugar, which is nowhere near lagom. I write about how hard it was to give my mom’s belongings away after she passed.

July: I declare that starting with all the income I earn in 2012, I will donate 1 percent to charity for the rest of my days. No erasies. I speak of my love for my minimalist friend, baking soda and my non-minimalist sister, Lizzie. I share my feelings on the anniversary of my dad’s passing.

August: I renounce printers everywhere and proclaim that the key to decluttering involves just one box! Yeah, right. I make some new life decisions and share some old ones.

September: I find myself living with a non-minimalist (the aforementioned Lizzie). I proceed to scan my life away and tell you to not buy things that look good on you. I launch a series called, my lagom, which is about an area I’ve found lagom. First up: exercise!

October: I rejoice in my quirkiness, assert that a minimalista can be a fashionista and show you photos of my wardrobe. I write my favorite post to date that has nothing to do with minimalism. I give thanks.

November: I tell you about my other minimalist friend, mason jars. That I’ll never own just 100 things because I’m counter counter-culture. I get featured on miss minimalist. I share my lagom for make-up.

December: I unload my thoughts on greeting cards and gift giving. I ask for your help in picking a charity for my disposable cup fund (revealed below). I go to Toronto to meet The Minimalists – nice chaps. In a moment of inspiration (delusion?), I decide to chop off all of my hair!

And that’s the kind of year it’s been.

best of 2012

I’m going to be an AUNTIE!!! Which is a relief, since there was some question as to whether or not our family tree would continue. I’d like to thank my sister for taking one for the team!

You can expect a blog post in the following year on how I deal with the temptation to purchase cute little outfits.


You’re over half-way there! Don’t give up now! You might want to take a moment and stretch your legs. Maybe take a washroom break.

and the winner is . . .

The winner of my disposable cup charity fund is. . . World Wildlife Fund! Thank you to everyone that voted!

I’ve made a donation for a grand total of $60. My final count for the year was 55 cups used. However, December was double whammy month and I decided to round up for the heck of it.

that’s not all!

As mentioned, I also declared that starting in 2012, I would be donating 1 percent of my income to charity.

Here’s how I spread that 1 percent around:

  • I sponsored my friend who was doing a walk for Autism. In years past, I haven’t always sponsored my friends and co-workers when they were raising money. Having the 1 percent fund makes me more likely to do so . . . when it’s a cause that I also support.
  • I contributed to the local food bank. Normally, I like to pick out healthy food options myself and then put them into a charity dropbox. However, I couldn’t find one whenever I actually remembered, so I just donated money online. I’m sure they’ll know what best to do with it.
  • I donated money to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Aside: I don’t think hurricanes should have people’s names – maybe just a letter or number.
  • I bought the game Monopoly to donate to an Angel Tree. My sister used to make me play for hours when I was younger until I would eventually cheat or throw the board. I hope someone else can have those memories when they grow up.
  • I also bought children’s books! I picked a couple of my old favorites and some new titles.
  • I contemplated buying a goat through Plan Canada, but instead went with a mango tree, peanut butter and seeds. I don’t eat meat (except fish) anymore and I’m trying to avoid diary, so giving a goat didn’t make too much sense for me this year.
  • And finally, I contributed to Kiva for the first time! I “loaned” money to a woman in Jordan who runs a spice business. I picked her because it was the last day for her to get a loan and it was in the amount that I had to give. I hope I made her day. I won’t be getting repaid because I chose to dedicate the loan in the memory of my mom and dad. It was worth it.

It may have been more beneficial if I had just donated a lump sum to a single cause, since I didn’t have a very large amount to contribute. But this way was fun for me, which makes me want to give more in the future!

I didn’t do any volunteer work this year. I want to change that for next year. But I was generous with my smiles and (mostly) held doors open for people.

cliff notes version

I started the year with long flowing hair, employed and living on my own in a small studio in Toronto.

I’m ending the year with untamed short hair, jobless and living with my sister in Waterloo.

Hmm . . . maybe you should go back and read the longer version.

in closing (finally) . . .

Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting this year! I appreciate YOU!

What’s in store for 2013? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve never been much of a speculator.

I will be giving myself a new challenge though . . . I’ll write all about it next week!

HaPpY NeW YeAr EvErYoNe!!!

P.S. I have “issues” with certain numbers. It’s part of my self-diagnosed OCD. One of those numbers is 13. Ugh, I can’t even type it without cringing. So for anyone out there who’s a bit of a nut like me, I feel your pain. Maybe we should just write 2010+3 instead. Ironically, I think it’s going to be the best year yet!

20 thoughts on “living lagom: a year in review

  1. Bethany@OurSoCalledLife

    Ha! I’m writing the first comment. Early bird gets the worm!

    First, you forgot something in June: meeting that incredibly brave and awesome sailor from Michigan, and reading all about her so-called life. ;-)

    Next, that post you wrote in October is also my favorite post that you’ve written.

    Thanks for supporting autism research. Beanie appreciates it.

    I love, love Kiva. We’re currently helping a family start a business in Uganda.

    Have a wonderful 2010+3!

  2. Pat

    You definitely have to write a September Film Fest post.And how you met so many different and great people..And the free Lindt chocolates and the high-fives to various celebrities..It goes on and on. Happy New Year Sandra..your peep.

  3. Carolyn

    I’ve learned to love 13! My anniversary is July 13 (we had the amphitheater in the park all afternoon ’cause nobody else wanted the date) and my darling daughter was born on April 13. Come to think of it, maybe 2013 will be MY YEAR! (My apologies; I see I’ve typed that number many times.)

    Thanks for the Year in Review — since I came aboard fairly recently, I see many things here to go back and enjoy. Have a wonderful New Year!

  4. living lagom Post author

    You’re killing me here Carolyn! Just kidding. I also have to learn to love that number, since my niece/nephew will be born next year. I don’t want the kid to develop a complex because of his/her auntie. Happy New Year to you!

  5. livingsimplyfree

    I too have a sugar addiction I am trying to break, I finally had to give up oatmeal as the only way I enjoy it is with tons of sugar in it.

    When my grandparents died, I found their will stated I could have anything in the house I wanted. It was my childhood home and I was so upset at losing them and my home that I used the excuse of our house fire the year previously to take some things. When I was ready to move on they all found new homes with the exception of two items. I’ve read that Native Americans have this tradition of making a pouch and filling it with little things for those they leave behind. Those things can be taken out and held when you are missing the person and at the end of the year you find you don’t need the reminders any more and toss it away. I’m considering putting something like that together for my family to have when I pass so they can get rid of the rest and move on.

    I did the opposite from you. I started with really really short hair and am now in the process of growing it out.

    Oh and I agree, I don’t think you can be a minimalist with a printer. I’m not any where as minimalist as some, but no printer here.

    I really have to go back and read all your previous posts as I’m pretty new here. Have a great New Year, (I won’t mention the number)

  6. living lagom Post author

    It’s funny, but I can eat oatmeal without adding sugar – as long as there are raisins or fruit in it.

    I like the idea of a pouch! You can even make it from your old clothes!

    You can be a minimalist and own a printer. I don’t think there are any rules. Some people still need them for whatever reason. It just didn’t make sense for me (and probably lots of other people), so off it went!

    Have a great New Year yourself! (Thanks for not writing the number.)

  7. Nicole

    Hi! discovered your website after reading your post on Miss Minimalist (mine was on a few weeks later!). Just wanted to tell you I’ve been loving your blog! Looking forward to more in the New Year!

  8. Brigitte

    It is nice to sit down and read something so real. I knew you were special when I met you and you continue to amaze me. Love reading your stuff…keep it real and keep it coming!

  9. living lagom Post author

    Thanks kid! After watching Julie & Julia in 2009, I said I would start a blog within a year. It took me almost another two years to actually do it. When we want something enough, we (eventually) make it happen.

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