Minimalism & Zero Waste | Carisa Hendrix | Award Winning Magician, Circus Stunt Girl & Fire Eater | Calgary & Edmonton

Minimalism & Zero Waste

Tossing my Loyalty & Membership Cards – Minimalism

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Blogs & Vlogs, Gismos & Gadgets, Minimalism & Zero Waste, Travel & Adventure 1 Comment

I’ve spent a lot of time today getting on top of my paper clutter by creating clear management systems for everything from mail to loyalty cards. This has been a huge relief and I want you to experience the same freedom I am now enjoying. All you need to get started is a smartphone and a couple of minutes.

Loyalty & Membership Cards

Stocard, Key Ring & UGO Wallet are the top three apps for lightening your wallet, they allow your to quickly and easily digitizing all your Loyalty and Membership cards. All three are avilable for android or IOS, all three are totally free and all three are currently sitting on my phone. Yes, that’s right, I downloaded all three apps and uploaded each and every one of my cards to get an idea of the quality of these three apps and to determine if there was one outlier in the bunch.

The answer is yes, after playing with all three and using them in stores I can definitively say that Stocard is the superior app. You can upload your cards at twice the speed of the other two with the impressive barcode reader, the interface is clean and simple and is has the largest database of shops.

Highly recommended!!!

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If you want more tips and tricks about minimalisum, travel, life hacks and more, join the “Tips & Tricks” mailing list. No spam, no ads and I’ll never sell your info.



Winter Sequin Look – How to Convert a Dress into a Skirt

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Fashion, Minimalism & Zero Waste, Random Fun Leave a comment

We all have those fantastic pieces in our collection that go constantly overlooked. Recently I’ve been attempting to sort through my clothes and part with anything that doesn’t fit my style or is a bit worn out. However, this practice has revealed a third category of neglected clothing, the tragically uncomfortable but insanely beautiful. Most of these are sequined, maybe it’s the magician or the children’s entertainer in me that craved sparkly garbage, but it can’t be helped.

I’ve had this amazing navy blue sequined dress for over a year now. I thrifted it in Reno and it was love at first sight, unfortunately, when I got it home the relationship became somewhat hostile. The tiny scratchy sequin which had been used in the garment combined with the cut of the dress to add up to a sort of cheese grater effect. It would scrap up my underarms and chest after an hour of wear, epic dress fail.

I see this in some of the sequined outfits to come out of the “fast fashion” industry all the time; built to look amazing on the rack but wears like a monk’s hair shirt. So toss it? No! The sparkle is just too amazing, it must be saved! What to do? Hmm…….Ahh!

With just a couple snips and a quick run through the serger this torture device is transformed into a stylish high-waisted skirt.

Simply measure and pin the best place for your cut, either on a dress form, against another high-waisted garment or right on your body. Zip the zipper down so you can still use it to fasten your new skirt, cut with very sharp fabric shears, turn inside out and surge the seam along the waist line. Stick up the new top of the zipper and tada! Skirt!

Paired with grays and blacks you can dress down the sparkle for everyday casual wear. I’ve added some layers to help make it winter-worthy and made this shirt a comfortable and elegant addition to my wardrobe.


5 Types of Persistent Clutter – Minimalism – It’s Just Me

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Art & Design, Blogs & Vlogs, Inspiration, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

Yay! Vlogging again!! This one is about the 5 Types of Persistent Clutter #Minimalism

In this video I wanted to talk about the different types of clutter that seem to haunt me.


Getting Ready For the 333 Challenge

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Blogs & Vlogs, Inspiration, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

Guest post for the 333 Challenge Website

Like many people, I’ve always wanted to pull off that casual, sleek and pulled together look. Glamorous friends have offered advice on creating looks or proper accessorizing, but I could never will myself to do the work. My overstuffed closet felt oppressive; too many choices and possible combinations. It was much easier to fall back on the same reliable comfy yoga pants and plain black tank tops.

During one lazy afternoon of web surfing, I came across the 333 challenge and a light went off in my mind. It played to my affinity for minimalism, my love of challenges, and my desire to improve my fashion sense or, at the very least, finally face my closet full of bad purchases.

I marked the start date on the calendar and started to work on my game plan.

I began preparing for this project 3 months in advance knowing it would take some effort and look for a few simple steps that would make my 333 Challenge easier to handle.

After some over thinking a came to 5 reasonable steps to do it right; Minimize, Set your wardrobe staples, Choose a few flattering and versatile feature pieces, Play dress up, Fill in the gaps.

Minimize – Clean out your closet and drawers

Going through a massive closet of clothing and picking only 33 items to be faithful to for 3 months is overwhelming. That’s why I decided it would be best to minimize first. I figured it would put me in the right mind set, clear away the distracting visual and mental clutter and give me a better sense of what I had to work with.

I was further convinced of the minimize step by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, in which she mentions a paradox. Although she had fewer actual items after cleaning out her closet, and giving away 3 giant bags of clothing, it felt as if she had more since all the remaining items were things she would actually wear.

Here’s how to do it
Get 2 bags and a couple boxes. One bag will be for throw aways and one for give aways. The boxes are for things you want to keep but won’t wear, for example, seasonal items or things kept for sentimental value alone. Give yourself a good day to go over every sweater and gown, then go over it again.

There are lots of hanging organizers and other tools created to help you clean your closet, but I found that good music and a good mood were the most useful.

Tip: Don’t know were to start? Try taking out all the frayed, ripped or otherwise worn out items and toss them first, or if they hold sentimental value put them in storage. Items with their original tags or rarely worn are next up for scrutiny, if you’ve never worn it you probably never will. By this point you should be on a roll, just keep up the momentum and you’ll be done in no time.

Staples – Get set up with the fashion basics

Fashion staples are the items you build your wardrobe around. Although these items will be slightly different for everyone (for example, I work from home so I don’t need much in the way of office clothes) there are a few pieces most experts recommend.

From my research combing over fashion magazines, style guides and the advice of well dressed friends, the following are the most recommended fashion staples.

  • Cashmere / knit sweater
  • White button-up
  • Black / white camisole
  • Fitted T-shirt
  • A-line skirt
  • Black knee high day-to-night skirt
  • Fitting jeans
  • Versatile black dress pants
  • Black leggings – not to be worn as pants but under dresses and skirts
  • Sophisticated belt
  • Wide belt
  • Pashmina
  • Versatile fitted blazer
  • LBD – little back dress
  • Sun dress
  • Boots
  • Flats
  • Heels

Keep in mind that these items should fit your body shape, be comfortable and well built. They will get the most wear so don’t skimp on quality.

Tip: Try to identifying what activities you will be doing in your clothes. This will make it much easier to identify which staples fit best for you. Whether it’s business lunches or art galas your lifestyle should impact your clothing choices.

Choose a few feature pieces – Setting your style

The staples only make up the base of your wardrobe, you’ll still need to choose some feature pieces to the add personality and flare that makes fashion fun. These can be accessories, scarves, apparel, anything you like.

Choosing more versatile, flattering pieces will serve better for this project. I combed through my wardrobe and found a few items that reflected my personality and fit really well and make a mental note of these before starting on the next step.

Play dress up – Creating different look

I recommend you employ the help of an honest fashion wise friend who will tell you which things don’t fit right or should return to their proper era. If you decide to do this step on your own try to be honest with yourself; either way you will need a full length mirror and a good sense of humor.

Put on an outfit as if you are on your way out the door then ask yourself “is this the look I’m after?” Consider the colors, do they match? Consider the pattern, are there too many? Try swapping out items, adding accessories and, most importantly, have fun with it.

Here are some hard and fast rules I used to get started:

  • White and black go with everything, except too much of themselves, for example, black sweater, black leggings, black shoes, back belt is too much black, but make the leggings and belt another color and it’s classy.
  • Patterned items are best worn with solid ones and vice versa, for example, try wearing a patterned skirt with a solid colored shirt, preferably a color present in the pattern.
  • Tight items are best worn with loose ones and vice versa, for example, what looks better? A tight tee and leggings? or a tight tee and an a-line skirt?
  • Trying to match colors that are a bit off is no good, for example, a bright red and a slightly more washed our red or a slightly yellowish green and a slightly bluish green. Fashion should look deliberate, either the colors are exactly the same or they are different and complimentary.
  • Avoid visible panty line by wearing boy short underwear or a thong under tighter bottoms.
  • Silver or Gold, avoid mixing. There are ways to mix silver and gold jewelry in one look, but it required a far better eye than I have so I decided to stick to silver for the 33 challenge. How should you decide? In a nut shell, gold works better with warm colors, silver with cold or brighter colors.

Working out these different combinations now will help you get a good idea of the types of looks you can build out of your wardrobe which will save you the 30 minutes of trying different things everyday that makes most of us decide not bother at all. You’ll know what works and you’ll be able to spot any holes in you wardrobe for the next step.

Fill in the Gaps

After all these steps you might notice there are a few missing things, for example, when I finished the final outfits and had decided to keep my favorite patterned pants in circulation, I thought it would be nice to have an orange shirt to wear with it to bring out the orange in the pattern.

Make of list of the remaining items you need and remember to stay focused. It’s easy to get distracted and end up seduced into buying a dress and 2 shirts that won’t fit into your 33 items and will go unworn for the next 3 months.

In the three months it took me to get ready for this challenge I went through each of these steps a few times. Now when I look into my single drawer of expertly folded clothes I feel proud and excited, more organized and even a little more successful.

My 333 List

  1. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top, Black
  2. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top, Orange
  3. Shirt – Tank Top, White
  4. Shirt – Long Sleeve Knit Top, Horizontal Striped Black and Grey
  5. Shirt – Solid Red Fitted T-shirt
  6. Shirt – Patterned Yellow Fitted T-shirt
  7. Shirt – Patterned Black & White T-shirt
  8. Shirt – White Buttoned Down Top
  9. Pants – Fitted Dark Jeans
  10. Pants – Black Dress Pants
  11. Pants – Black & Orange Flare Bottom
  12. Pants – Black and Blue Flare Bottom
  13. Skirt – Long, Black
  14. Skirt – Short, Red Striped
  15. Skirt – Medium length A-line, Grey
  16. Dress – Pink and White Sun
  17. Dress – Little, Black
  18. Shoes – Brown Moccasin Stye Winter Boots
  19. Shoes – Walking Shoes, Grey
  20. Shoes – Heeled Boots
  21. Long Brown Coat
  22. Gray Wrap Sweater
  23. Sun Glasses
  24. Belt –  Wide, Black
  25. Hip Sack – Blue
  26. Bag – Messenger Style, Orange
  27. Shell – White Lace
  28. Shrug – Ballet Style, Black
  29. Gloves
  30. Knit Hat
  31. Jewelry – Earrings Dangling & Feathered
  32. Jewelry – Red Circle Necklace
  33. Jewelry – Amber Pendant Necklace

Spring Clean Like a Minimalist – The 100 Thing Challenge

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Minimalism & Zero Waste 2 Comments

Spring cleaning is trending on Twitter which means the nice weather is just around the corner. I have a deep love for the spring scrub and purge ritual that stems from childhood. Working together as a family to de-clutter and downsize, wash and scrub is a cherished memory. Opening all the windows and doors to get the staleness of winter out and bring in the smell of spring always gave me the satisfying feeling of a fresh start.

People just need to reboot now and again and have a chance to feel free and clear of all that built up mental and physical junk. In high school and college, the semester breaks cut your educational career into manageable chunks and I think we can use spring cleaning as a way to break our lives up in the same way. Every year around this time I make a big deal of getting everything under control; laundry, home repairs, the closets, the fridge, everything.

This year I thought, why not shake things up, why not do something a little more interesting, fun, and introspective? Why not narrow my personal things down to 100 items and get rid of the rest?

The idea first came to me from the Zen Habits article on the 100 items challenge, which sparked my interest and sent me on a wild Google search for others who had challenged themselves to this practice in radical minimalism. Low and behold, Dave Bruno, the originator of the idea, had written a book on the topic. In the spirit of minimalism, I bought the Kindle version and started to read.

I love the idea of the 100 Thing Challenge and want to try it out for myself, so I will. As of the end of this month, I will own no more that 100 items. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be narrowing my worldly possessions down to the bare essentials. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing yourself I recommend you check out Dave Bruno’s wonderful book The 100 Thing Challenge

How I plan to explore this challenge:

  • Read Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge book
  • Find & read other books and resources about the human relationship with stuff, consumerism, minimalism, and hoarding
  • Go through my things and reduce to 100 items
  • Check up on my 100 items periodically to see how I’m doing
  • Explore the effects on my life and my happiness

Resources for this article:
Dave’s original post that inspired his later book
The Times‘ Article About the 100 Thing Challenge
The Zen Habits‘ blog article


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