Truly Memorial Buffalo Chicken Pizza

May 31, 2010 by

IMG_9287Happy Memorial Day everyone!

If you want a Memorial day you will remember, make this pizza.

IT. IS. AMAZING.

My wife gets all the credit for this one.  This was her idea.  She was recently dieting and was dreaming of all the wonderful things she would eat when she was finished.  This was one of those great ideas and it turned out better than we could have imagined.

This is super easy to make, and you simply  must make it.  Trust me on this one.

OK, lets get started.

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Do something nice for someone you don’t know this weekend

May 28, 2010 by

I hope everyone has an amazing Memorial day weekend spending time with friends and family.  While you are out this weekend take a moment to do something nice for someone you don’t know.  I guarantee it will make your weekend better.

On May 5th it’s Mukhtar’s, a bus-driver in Copenhagen, Birthday. In 2010 he had no idea that a large group of people had planned to celebrate him…

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Cutting the (phone) cord.

May 28, 2010 by

Do you have a cell phone?  Probably.

Does everyone in your family have a cell phone?  Probably.

Do you still have a home phone line too? Why?

I finally got rid of my landline phone when I realized I would never answer it because I knew it was a telemarketer.   I looked into VOIP alternatives to keep the homephone, but not pay the monthly bill.  I read some good reviews on Ooma (affiliate link) and almost bought it, but instead I just canceled my service and put all the phones in the closet.  And you know what?  I don’t miss it.  At all.

If you still have a homeline, ask yourself, “Do I need this?  Do I use this?”  PBS has a great article on some other VOIP alternatives, but think about it.  You may not even need a home phone at all.  Cancel the service and save yourself some money.

Ben…

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Minimalism is Contageous

May 27, 2010 by

One of my good friends Dave threatened to punch me in the nose the other day and I loved it.  This threat came in the form of a comment from him because I had gotten him addicted to looking up/researching/reading some minimalism blogs.   I know exactly how he feels, and he’s not going to like this post because I’m going to share with you a lot of great resources that inspire me.

I’m not a minimalist.  Not yet.  I don’t ever plan on reducing my possessions to less than 100 things, but that story is for another post.  I’m all about living a simple life (hence TrulySimple.com).  I’m big on reducing waste, eliminating clutter, and filing our lives up with those things that truly matter.  I love this stuff.  I love getting rid of crap I don’t need.  I love fixing or restoring something old and making it new and fresh again.  I love finding the simple way to do something and sharing that with others.  And its working.

People catch on to this stuff.  My friend Dave is hooked now.  I can tell.  My next door neighbor saw my garden and is now building his own.

People are tired of being busy.  They are tired of buying things they don’t need.  I believe people are searching for this simple life and its starting to catch on.

I’ve been on this path for a long time, but only recently have the flood gates opened up and I’ve been introduced to so many great people, blogs and resources that I was inspired to create TrulySimple.com.

I want to thank those people and introduce you to their great work:

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Ree is amazing.   Martha Stewart has nothing on her.  She lives in the middle of nowhere on a working cattle ranch, chasing her children around, taking amazing pictures and cooking some of the most amazing things you’ll ever see.  Her along with Jamie Oliver have inspired me to do the cooking part of TrulySimple.

All of her recipes look like the most amazing thing you’ll ever eat.  Be careful visiting her blog will cause you to spend hours there drooling.  Here is one her latest recipes I haven’t made yet, but it looks amazing and I will.

Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Work Week

I met Tim right when he first was launching his book several years ago at SXSW and loved what he had to say.  The simplicity of his ideas, such as putting off your dreams now due to what might happen someday.  I especially like how he details out how inexpensive living your dreams really are. I recommend reading 4 Hour Work Week as well.

Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity

World traveler, and entrepreneur, Chris shows and inspires many as to what can be done when you think outside the system.  He has a great writing style and some great ideas on how to achieve success doing what you love.  One thing I’ve really gotten out of his site is how to do a personal annual review of yourself. Also recommend reading his manifesto.

Tammy StrobelRowdy Kittens

Tammy writes about living a simple life and creating social change through simple living.  She is car-free and has some great posts on her site. One thing I love to do that she recently wrote about is exploring your own backyard.  Check it out.

Everett Bogue, Far Beyond The Stars

Everett shows how easy it is to live with a minimal amount of “things” and how to get the most out of that lifestyle.  His blog inspires others to look at the minimalist lifestyle.  One of my favorite posts of his explores Leo Babauta’s post on society re imagined.

Ashley AmbirgeThe Middle Finger Project

Ashley does what I love and questions everything.  The status quo, the American dream, its all up in the air and up for debate with The Middle Finger Project.  One of the posts I really liked on her blog was about proving that you are not a robot.  Well worth the read.

Leo Babauta, ZenHabitsMnmlist

Leo is truly amazing.  His Zen Habits blog has some amazing posts, but its his Mnmlist site that truly inspires me. His recent posts on society re-imagined struck a deep chord with me on ideas I’ve been thinking about for way too long and have not yet put into action.   I will have some of these ideas put into writing soon and hopefully into action as well.  Part 2 of his society re-imagined is a good follow up.  Please please please read those two posts and think about them.

Leo also provides a good list of links to check out.

I hope you will take a minute out of your busy day, take a deep breath, and read something good from one of those authors.

I hope they inspire you as they have inspired me.  Sorry Dave…

Ben…

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A TrulySimple Garden – building the raised beds, dirt, water, and planting the seeds

May 25, 2010 by

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This post is continuing from Part 1 of Building a Truly Simple Garden

Previously I talked about why I got rid of my front lawn and put in a garden.  I showed the beginning of that process.  In this post I’m going to talk about the building of the raised beds, the dirt, the watering and planting the seeds.

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Here you can see the making of one.  Each box is made from a 4×4 post sunk into the ground 12-18 inches with concrete and the sides are made up of cedar fence boards.  I dug up the old sprinkler system from the lawn and put a line into each box so it would be auto-watering, but more on that in a bit.  The bottom of each box has a layer of wire mesh to keep the gophers out, and the cardboard boxes you see there are to keep the grass/weeds from growing up into the garden.

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I left one end open to help get the wheelbarrows of dirt into them for filling.  Make sure when building your boxes you leave enough room in between for a wheelbarrow or lawnmower etc.  I have enough room, but wish I had a bit more for turning and steering the wheelbarrow.

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I got the dirt for the boxes off of Craigslist.  It was “free” dirt, you only have to pay delivery.  I got both topsoil and compost for the boxes.  I ended up with 15 yards of compost and 10 yards of dirt.  Total delivery cost me $250.   I felt they were a little low and to give me a little extra oomph, I bough some good gardening soil from Home Depot to fill in the top layer.

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25 yards is a lot of dirt to move, but I only had to do it once.  The boxes are now done, except for the sides and corners.  You can see from the first picture I finished those off with more cedar fencing boards.

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As mentioned earlier each box has a water line run to it.  I put a valve on each box so I could shut off or limit the water to each box if needed. To water the boxes I am using a soaker hose.  I was going to run drip irrigation, but to buy all of the different lines, hoses, adapters, and fittings would have cost a lot more and would have taken a lot more time, so I went with simple and easy and just bought a single soaker hose for each box.

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The first soaker hose I bought from Harbor Freight was a cloth mesh and it did not give me all the water I wanted so I ended up returning those and replacing them with a rubber style soaker hose from Home Depot.  These were $9.99 each.

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You can see that style hose picture here.  I simply ran the house around the box and programmed the sprinkler system to water the vegetables for a few minutes 3 times a week.

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For planting the vegetables, I planted everything from seed.  I have a lot to learn in this respect, as I see the garden now overgrowing like crazy, but thats what this project is about; learning something new.  As mentioned in my $3 dollar garden post, I got most of my seeds from the 99 Cent store.  Guess how much?  Only 25 Cents per pack!  I bought a ton of seeds and walked out there spending only a few bucks.

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Everything I planted was from seed, except for some garlic which I had in my fridge that was ready to grow.   I did do some research on companion gardening, and determine which plants like to grow with other plants and which combinations to avoid.

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And thats that.   So far everything has worked out.  My garlic is almost ready to harvest.  I’ve eaten a couple of salads from my lettuce already and I’m totally loving the learning experience.

I’m also loving the feedback from family, friends, and new friends to the site who have told me they are not building a garden.  Thank you for all the feedback.  It truly inspires me.

Ben…

If you’ve got a garden, send me pictures and I’ll put them up on the site.

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