Vernacular Architecture in Kuala Lumpur

Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman,

Vernacular buildings can be described as common structures of ordinary purpose built by or with the owners using local materials and commonly known techniques. (1) One of the areas of Vernacular interest in Kuala Lumpur is the area of Kampung Baru. Kampung Baru is one metro stop from KL City Center and is also a short walk from the Medan Tuanku monorail stop at the Quill mall.

History of Kampung Baru

Before 1874, communities in Kuala Lumpur owned the land. Approvals for development were approved or permitted by the sultan or community leaders. The British, who were controlling many parts of Malaysia, introduced modern legislation, which was unfamiliar to the Malay people. Land system changes caused an influx of non-Malaysian groups and brought rapid urbanization. Native Malay groups started to leave the city. In 1899, 101.02 acres of land between the Klang River and Batu Road were set-aside for ethic Malays. The main purpose of creating this area, known as Kampong Baru was to protect the Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS). In 1974, Kampung Baru was expanded by 154.04 acres (non-MAS area) after the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur was established (2).

Every family that moved in was given a plot of land of not more than one acre each and asked to build their homes. The M.A.S. area was set aside to accommodate Malay farming, however, with urbanization the area developed into a housing area. Currently there are 1,355 lots owned by 5,300 people (3) Many vernacular Malay houses were built in the 1900’s and still stand.

The Area

Kampong Baru (KB), Kampung Baru, or Kampong Bharu means “New Village” and is located in central Kuala Lumpur (KL). Kampung Baru is one of the oldest residential areas in KL. The neighborhood features traditional one and two story wooden homes placed against the impressive backdrop of downtown Kuala Lumpur.

View from Kampang Baru
View from Kampang Baru

Elements of the Vernacular Malay House

Traditional Malaysian homes are basically post-and-beam structures using a framework of upright and horizontal beams. Malaysia is quite hot and has regular heavy rainfalls so houses were built on pillars for ventilation and protection from the rains as well as protection from creatures such as snakes. Pillars are often wooden but concrete is also common. The windows in traditional dwellings may be short, tall or punched windows that may be nearer to the floor to provide ventilation for those seated on the floor for meals or games. Commonly, windows use shutters and louvers for ventilation along with other decorative features to aid ventilation. Finally, vernacular structures in Kampong Bharu will have distinctive gabled roofs suited for the climate (again, ventilation) and the aesthetics of the time. (5)


Vernacular houses in Kampung Baru, may seem ordinary and will even reflect some modern elements as inhabitants adopt new building materials and new ways of life. Vernacular buildings evolve over time to live within the patterns of the local environment. These vernacular houses provide a link to our cultural heritage and the lives of the people who lived in and helped form the communities. (5)


Malaysian authorities may legally take control of land for public or private development in the interest of ‘economic development of Malaysia.’ (5)

Kampang Baru is an area of great interest to the government and developers as the land represents one of the last commercially undeveloped plots of land in the heart of the city. Some estimates place the value of the land at several billion dollars.

Additional Resources to Continue Learning


Part 1 – Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman (Chief Abu Seman’s House) in Kuala Lumpur

Part 2 – Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman (Chief Abu Seman’s House) in Kuala Lumpur

Courses on Vernacular Architecture

University of Hong Kong / (Archived Courses)
– The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia, Part 1
– Vernacular Architecture of Asia: Tradition, Modernity and Cultural Sustainability


  1. Rappaport 1969,
  2. Surviving Urban Renewal Program: Case Study of a Traditional Urban Village In Kuala Lumpur
  3. Kuala Lumpur’s Controversial Plan to Develop the Last of Its Low-Rise Villages
  4. JAABE vol.11 no.1 May 2012, Title: Modernization of the Vernacular Malay House, Seo Ryeung Ju, Page 97,
  5. 5 Reasons Why Vernacular Design is Better Design
  6. Village in the City: A view from Kuala Lumpur

Continue Reading

My Favorite Parenting Books and Resources

As parents, one of our greatest resources is a good book. My husband and I used to say that having kids is getting new roommates every 6 months to a year. Children may need entirely new wardrobes and shoes every few months, and about every 6 months to a year or so when you are not at all prepared (Surprise!), they enter new emotional territory. It is unnerving to be caught off guard and not know what happened to your little poopsie. Parents, books can save your sanity and fill you with love, patience and understanding.

Here are some of what I consider the best books on parenting:

Hold Onto Your Kids

Hold onto your kids

Hold onto your Kids helps us understand the significance of the parent-child relationship over the peer/child relationship. We learn why the parent relationship should be the primary relationship and how to retain that important attachment and trust. An important book full of insight and effective strategies for keeping and restoring the parent-child relationship.

Visit, Neufeld Institute for additional resources.


Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)

Protecting the Gift image
Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe, is probably the most important book that I read as a parent. I am so grateful for this book. I think of it regularly. Because of this book, I don’t obsess over all of the unlikely danger scenarios that other parents might worry about because of this authors fantastic work.

This book brings critical thinking to parenting fears. After reading Protecting the Gift, I feel like I’m prepared for the likely more probable risks as well as risks that are mostly unlikely. I would recommend this book to parents, guardians, and other caretakers. As an aside, though it offers no training in self defense, the principals or thinking that comes across in the book,  also made me enjoy this book as a martial artist – it just made sense to me.

No More Nagging, Nit-Picking, and Nudging

No more Nagging, Nit-Picking, & Nudging is perhaps a lesser known book but it shouldn’t be. If you have a preteen or teenager, this is your book. The author has a great deal of respect for teens and works to help us adults understand where their teens are at while giving us some fantastic tools for communication.

Communication and understanding seem to be a central focus in this book. Since I think communication is the make or break it feature of any relationship, I find this book extremely useful.

The First National Bank of Dad: The Best Way to Teach Kids About Money

First Bank of DadWe started giving our kids a decent allowance at age 3 because of this book. By age 6/7, my daughter was making sophisticated consumer choices with her allowance. Our son by age 6/7 was considering return on investment of his toy purchases. By merely having a reasonable allowance, our kids have at a young age been able to negotiate many economic positions from a state of plenty rather than from a state of want.

I rarely meet another parent who is in favor of a healthy allowance. Most parents I speak to are worried about creating a consumer driven child by giving their kids a decent bit of spending money regularly. From my experience, deprivation of cash does does not train economic intelligence.

Give your kids a decent allowance and allow them to make their mistakes now when financial mistakes are smaller and much easier to fix. This book continues to reward us.

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of ParentingRaising an Emotionally intelligent Child

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman is “about parenting with relationship in mind”. It’s as much about having healthy relationships as it is about parenting. I imagine that John Gottman would suggest that those two things are not separate topics. The book is accessible and full of effective strategies for creating and restoring the parent-child relationship. This book is great if your child is 2 or 42. I noticed that a DVD lecture copy was also available at my local library.

We learned about scaffolding from Dr. Gottman.

If you want to get a sense of Dr. Gottman’s work, search YouTube for the Gottman Institute. His talks are very enjoyable.

Additional Books

Do you favorite parenting resources? Add your comments below!

– Barbara de Briere

Continue Reading

Updated: Don’t pay in US Dollars when Booking Flights Abroad

Saved +5% on flights! Don't pay in US Dollars when Booking Flights Abroad

Savvy travelers already know that you’ll pay a premium if you pay with US Dollars (USD) when traveling abroad. If you haven’t experienced this yourself, you eventually will when you buy something from a local, international merchant. At check out, they may ask whether you’d like the convenience of paying in US Dollars, and avoid the hassle of credit card international transaction fees. The problem is, for a typical retail merchant (and we’ve seen this with small merchants as well as larger ones like Harrods in the UK), you’ll end up paying a significant premium if you pay in US dollars. The best solution is to pay in local currency and use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Even better, use a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and gives you 2% cash back.

What you may not realize is that this rule can also apply to online transactions as well.

When booking our recent flights though AirAsia, we would have paid $155.52 if we had paid in US Dollars.

Travel AirAsia Exchange Rate

Paying for the tickets in Malaysian Ringgits (AirAsia is a Malaysian company), cost 572 MYR or 147.14 USD.

Travel_AirAsia_Exchange_Rate_MYR Travel_AirAsia_Exchange_Rate_CC_Final

In summary, paying in USD would have incurred a 5.7% surcharge (155.52 – 147.14 / $147.14) = 8.38 / $147.14. Given that current bank interest rates are below 1%, a +5% savings can have significant impact over time, especially if you travel a lot.

BTW: We are loving They don’t appear to charge any fee when paying in USD, and Agoda uses the posted international exchange rates, much like a good credit card. Kudos to!


UPDATE: Save +20% on travel (AKA Dinner for 4)

Recent Booking using AirAsia Bangkok -> Ho Chi Min City

Here is the price we saw for each, depending on the currency we used for purchase:

Fare in USD = $47.80


Fare in Malaysian Ringgit = 166.45 or $41.78 USD


Fare in Thai Baht = 1390 or $39.56 USD


We booked in Thai Baht, and spent $8.24 less per ticket than if we had booked using Ringgets or USD. ( $8.24/$39.56 = 20.8% ). In this part of the world, 4 x $8.24 will buy us all a nice dinner!

I once asked my grandma why she bothered clipping a 10 cent coupon for a $1 dollar can of Campbell’s soup. It was only one dollar after all and I knew she wasn’t exactly strapped for cash. My question elicited an almost horrified response in her. My Grandma said, “If you can save 10% on every purchase, imagine that over a lifetime!”.


Barbara de Briere is a Writer, Technologist, Zero Waste Revivalist, and Worldschooler currently on a global adventure, mixing Health, Happiness, and Play with a bit of saving the world. Feel free to connect virtually via LinkedIn, Instagram, through or in person when you are abroad.

Continue Reading

De-clutter and Move Memorabilia Back Into Your Life

My grandma's 3 second art piece

What’s in that Memorabilia box (or multiple boxes) in your closet, basement, attic, storage, or all the above?

Bet you could barely mention a dozen things – out of how many?

We’ve managed to not only eliminate most of our Memorabilia boxes – we now we enjoy our favorite treasures on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Let me tell you how you can, too.

When we started downsizing, we treated our child hood memory boxes like everything else. We tried to achieve a 20% reduction every single time we purged an area (toolbox, room, closet, make-up bag).

We started by selling anything that had monetary value. We sold Star trek toys, a 50 yo GI Joe, 40 yo casino coins, and a gold graduation ring. There was more, but basically we turned the stuff that we were paying to store into cash. Our memorabilia was in our basement taking up square footage (not cheap in SF, LA or Seattle where we and our stuff lived) that we couldn’t use for play, so we were effectively paying to store these items we rarely reviewed and no longer used. [And the real kicker – we found that we could, if we wanted to, replace most of those items with identical, mint-condition versions that have been preserved by some wonderful collector somewhere in the world and for very little money.]

We donated the things that had no value or meaning, sold what was valuable, and scanned or photographed the rest. This didn’t happen all at once but rather over the course of 3 years. We still have a small amount to deal with before fully virtualized, but the question we keep asking ourselves is “Who really cares?”.

Last week is old news. Two years ago is ancient. Our phones are practically unusable after 2-3 years because the tech moves on quickly. What’s ahead seems so much more important to give our attention than the creations of our youth. We have two young kids that we are making memories with right now in SE Asia (thanks to downsizing!). Our ‘now’ and their ‘now’, our future and their future, are busy enough without bringing the past along on every journey.

Finally, this whole downsizing memorabilia was made easier with Apple TV. Our old photos and photographed physical memorabilia now randomly show up on our Apple TV screen saver – even in SE Asia since we brought our Apple TV with us! We see our memorabilia more now than we have in the past 30 years.

Enjoying our memorabilia has been great. What we love even more is knowing that we won’t be leaving a huge burden for our children. The valuables have been turned into cash and can now earn interest or be invested otherwise. Our fondest memories and meaningful moments are easy for them to take with them where ever they go because they are now bites and not bits. And the best of the best of us, is with them, fully available and ready to make new memories.

Continue Reading

Learning Resources for Self-Guided Kids

Homeschooling / Unschooling

I was so busy in school trying to keep up with the things I didn’t care about, that I didn’t have time to figure out what I did care about. This is one of the reasons that we chose to have our children learn from home.

Here are some of our resources. My kids have a link to this page for self-guided, interest based learning.


Animals Online

Animals YouTube

Art Apps

Art Online

Art YouTube / Vimeo


Astronomy YouTube

Automobiles Online

Aviation Online


Biology YouTube

Business / Entrepreneuring Online

Business / Entrepreneuring YouTube



Chemistry YouTube

Civics Online

Cooking YouTube

Design Online


Economics Online

Economics YouTube


Exercise / Health


French Online

French Youtube

Game Portals

  • FunBrain
  • Kizi – Kids web games
  • Gamequarium – Funky little site, but lots of games
  • Hooda Math Many games, including Ice Cream Truck for the budding entrepreneur
  • Whyville 100+ games (arts, science, etc.)


Geography Apps

Geography Online

Geography YouTube

Geology YouTube

Health Online


History YouTube / Vimeo


Languages – Other


Marine Biology


Math YouTube



Music YouTube & Vimeo


Parkour FreeRunning, Movement, Art du Déplacement




Physics YouTube


  • Pickpockets Psychology of personal space and misdirection


Science YouTube

Technology / Coding / Programming

Technology Online




Writing YouTube

Continue Reading

My Favorite Homeschooling and Unschooling Books and Resources

Homeschooling. Unschooling. Worldschooling. Is there an app for that? No. It would be awesome if there were, but until there is, parents who decide to homeschool will have to figure it out as we go. Our children are our best teachers, after that, we look to other parents and area experts who have gone before us and took the time to share their wisdom.

Here are some of my favorite books and resources on homeschooling:

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

Free To LearnDevelopmental psychologist Peter Gray is a hero in the world of homeschooling and unschooling. I had heard complaints of pressured, miserable, uninspired kids years before even having kids. I personally knew how negatively Standardized testing had impacted both students and teachers. When my child went to Pre-K, common core, race to the top learning demands were already happening alongside very little play. It felt like, if we complained about the system, we looked like a bunch of demanding, helicopter parents.

Peter Gray gave concerned parents a voice backed up by research, reason and compassion.  I for one am so grateful.

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

Project Based HomeschoolingFree To Learn
I wish I had read this book much earlier in our homeschooling journey – like when my kids were aged 3 or 4. Starting out as a homeschooling parent, I assumed I needed to teach my children. I quickly learned, with the help this and many great books, that my kids don’t need or want me to teach them. Learning to scaffold, assist, and mentor my children has produced far greater results for them. This books helps parents understand how to provide support to the child in their interests and projects without taking over or cutting off creativity and learning.

Family Math (Equals Series)

Family MathFamily Math
Math IS FUN! especially when children learn math through play. I learned of Family Math through the folks at Math for Love, creators of Prime Climb, a fantastic game – highly recommend!. There are many great games in the book for all levels and many only require dice or pen and paper. My son grew up playing ‘Math’ and has no fear when it comes to math. We play games from Family Math at restaurants, practices, long journeys. You can play a game a day and figure out which games you love most. Though you shouldn’t need it, YouTube is always there if you want a human to explain the rules.

A few good math games and hangman is all you need to make any restaurant visit a success!

The Brainy Bunch: College Ready by Age Twelve

The Brainy BunchThe Brainy Bunch

As parents of 10 kids, the Hardings couldn’t do it all or afford it all and yet each of their kids was able to discover what mattered to them and enjoy vastly different careers / passions. The Brainy Bunch, by Mona Lisa and Kip Harding shares the Harding’s personal experience of homeschooling and helping their 10 children find and follow their passions. The book is written with a particularly strong Christian POV which may feel distracting even if you come from a Christian background. If you can get past that aspect, there is much to glean from the book about simplifying homeschooling, parenting and helping children run with their interests.

Additional Books


Education Resources

Continue Reading

Spanking: Our kids Point Of View

Hanging with my people in San Francisco
– Me and the little dudes

We don’t spank. We can’t conceive of an occasion where spanking would have benefited us or one of our children or affected positive change.

I was with our two kids, as I am every day since we homeschool. Together we three tried to remember some of their BIGGER faux pas. A nail polish spill on the couch was one such unfortunate incident; one kid hitting the other was another, and they both agreed running in parking lots was also not a good idea. We laughed together at their mistakes and/or poor judgment and we pondered if *any* of those would warrant spanking as punishment in their opinion. Our littles are well aware that some parents spank and one of our kids was even spanked by a relative once in a store.

The nail polish on the couch was an accident that needed no punishment as the child was plenty mortified. Luckily it cleaned up brilliantly. Had it not, well then shame on us parents for A) buying nice things before the kids could take care of nice things or B) not laying a tarp on the floor and covering all furniture with plastic to preserve the nice things because we insist on having nice things.

In the case of one child hitting the other, the older child that was being hit by the younger sibling said she would probably stop letting us parents know she was being hit if she knew her sibling would be spanked as a result of her telling on him. She wanted him to stop, but did not want to make him sad or feel pain. BTW: Younger brother did stop hitting and older sister stopped pinching. It didn’t take long but it did take communication (not yelling). Both kids needed to learn the words (tools/resources) needed to express their emotions and they needed time to process their emotions before they reacted – a constant struggle, even for some adults I know. Our kids grow their inner dialogue from us, their guides. It seemed like forever, but our kids soon began to express their emotions verbally rather than physically.

As for running in the parking lot, spanking will do nothing to help a young child hear if he/she is deeply consumed in thought. Children are terrible at processing information while they’re deep in thought – but sometimes, so are adults. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Teach them as best you can, then stick glue-close to them and allow them to be in their thoughts while knowing that they are protected. Protect them as if you were their personal angel (You Are). DO NOT trust drivers unconditionally just because of laws. Drivers call, text, are blinded by the sun, are in a bad moods, are late, stressed, or tired. It is up to us to stay right next to our tiny imaginative people.

Adults aren’t always right. Kids aren’t always wrong. We are open, honest and respectful to our children and they interact with us similarly at their level. It’s not perfect, but our boy and girl are unafraid, confident and independent.

Our kids have spectacular ideas, make wonderful contributions and question everything (okay, that part is sometimes annoying). Our guys trust us, knowing that we have never lied to them, but that doesn’t mean they stop questioning. As a family, we talk through opportunities that impact their lives: job, moves, trips, education, large purchases. Kids are capable of so much more than they are given credit for – they’re clever, loving, tolerant, and forgiving especially when shown love, respect, tolerance, and forgiveness.


Continue Reading

Car Free and Care Free

After 5 years of dreaming about about not owning car, we sold our car. It was exciting and slightly unnerving as neither me nor my spouse had been without a car since age 16.

The timing felt right to sell our car. Ride services were widely available and affordable. Our kids were older (7 & 9) and more willing to walk and I was more comfortable relying on public transportation to meet the needs of our homeschooling schedule.

I figured that being without a car would limit the activities that we would be able to do, and in a great way it did. Having a car meant that any class, play-date, trip or activity was a possibility. Not owning a car helped us focus our time, attention and cash on the experiences that mattered most.

Good Bye Jeep
– Saying Goodbye To Our Jeep Cherokee!

Beyond the benefit of focus, we also spend less money! No surprises there. Our Jeep was 13 years old and in fantastic shape. We owed nothing on it and put around 1.5k into the car annually for maintenance, tires and repairs. In San Francisco, our Jeep was running us ~$10,800 annually (mostly depreciated) with driving only 5,000 miles a year. According to AAA, the average cost to own a car in the U.S. in 2015 was $8,698 and $10,624 for an SUV annually based on 15,ooo miles year.

We calculated, based on our commitments, that we could use Uber or Lyft 70 times a month and still spend less over owning a car.

We started walking, scootering and running more. We planned our days around the people we wanted to spend time with doing the things that we absolutely loved. We got used to taking the bus, BART and Muni and that turned out to be immensely helpful. Using public or available transportation is second nature to us now and that will come in handy in few weeks when we set off on our first nomad adventures.

SF Muni Ride
Transportainment! Headed to Ballet Class. First Time using the San Francisco Muni.

Continue Reading

Air Travel Checklist

Our favorite traveler, shopper, day trip bag and transition piece from strollers and backpacks.

Checklist: In Advance of Leaving for Longterm Travel

Unscheduled tasks prior vacation departure:

  • Take out the recycling, compost and landfill.
  • Eat, prepare or freeze refrigerated food including milk, yogurt, juice, fruits and veggies which can be used in juices on return.
  • Freeze refrigerator food for return (milk, meats, soups, cut up fruits and veggies for blender drinks or soups)
  • Hide jewelry and/or any valuable items
  • Move cars (If your city tickets cars that aren’t moved regularly or for street sweeping, etc.)
  • If taking a laptop, move any files you want available via desktop (movies, docs, spreadsheets)
  • Notify neighbors for mail pick-up and/or keeping an eye out for suspicious activity
  • If traveling internationally, turn off roaming and get a local SIM card or switch to international provider.
  • Acquire a Bank card that doesn’t charge ATM fees.
  • Check which of your credit cards charge No Foreign Transaction Fee.
  • Provide dates of travel to Credit Card companies.
  • Lock sheds, washrooms, back houses, etc.
  • For those bills that are not paid electronically, make sure to send advance payment.

Day of Departure

  • Lock fridge panel of Ice cube maker in case Ice cube maker breaks in absence
  • Turn off Ice Cube Maker to prevent overflow
  • Consider lowering the water heater temperature
  • Set alarms
  • Unplug specific electronics (computers, external hard drives)
  • Test Security Cameras and point towards entrances
  • Turn off the heat or air conditioning
  • Lock windows and latches
  • Water plants

24-hours before departure

  • E-Check In and/or seat upgrade

Carry-on luggage packing if traveling with a toddler / baby

  • Change of outfits for parents and children
  • Pacifiers (if needed), lollipops or such for landing / take-off
  • A dozen small toys tied with ribbon, books, stuffies.
  • Bottle if needed

Carry-on luggage packing if traveling with kids

  • Change of top, pants or both if needed
  • Lollipops, xylitol gum or such for landing / take-off
  • iPad or E-book device (if not phone or laptop or actual book)
  • Laptop with movies on local drive
  • Refillable bottle (Kleen Canteen)
  • Sandwiches and snacks
  • Headphones
  • Lipgloss, moisturizer and hand sanitizer
  • Nissan Thermos. Fill thermos at your favorite airport coffee shop. Instead of having coffee on the plane at breakfast after 12 hours, you will be having amazing coffee for breakfast. Additional Bonus: An awesome Thermos will keep your water cold in hot countries!

Items to Remember

  • Corkscrew / bottle opener without knife
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Socks in carry on or kit if you need remove shoes at TSA and cold feet on plane
  • Bathing suits
  • Nissan Thermos
  • Reusable water containers (2)
  • Domestic: Reusable Bags, bulk shopping containers and small paper bags. Stainless Steel Straws and maybe reusable silverware. I use plastic (in this one case) to-go containers due to weight (.04 tare compared to up to 2 lb tare) and compactness for travel.
  • International: Stainless steel straws, reusable bags

Continue Reading

My Favorite Minimalism Books and Resources

When we decided to make the dramatic change from big house to empty big house (Every visitor: “Are you moving?”), there were a few books that helped us design our newly underdesigned life.

Here are some of what I consider the best books on embodying the life of a minimalist:

Better Basics for the Home:
Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living

Better Basics

Better Basics for the Home is a wonderfully researched and thorough book. Recipes include Household products, skincare, health and wellness, and more, so much more. I referred to this book often for inspiration. You don’t even have to always stick to the recipes, as you start to intuitively understand what items address certain needs or problems.

If you are trying to live more sustainably, spend less money, or cut down on the chemicals and toxins found in many commercial products, this book is for you. You will be surprised to find out how many products you no longer need because you can make it better and for MUCH less.

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste

I discovered this book when I was drowning in to-do’s and schedules. I was just barely keeping up with a 5 yo, a 7yo and my spouse, all high functioning, active people. A storm was coming, and no amount of careful planning and kanbans was going to stop it. When I stumbled upon Bea’s story, I realized my problem was not my inability to project plan, it was stuff. Stuff was burning me out – keeping me from my sport, my kids and unscheduled time.

This book helped me change the way we shopped, created, and lived. We spend thousands less a year because we’ve taken the same steps that Bea took to reduce our own footprint.  This book is a must if you want more time in your life and/or if you want to reduce spending.

The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution (Process Self-Reliance Series)

Zero Waste Home

I love this book. The recipes chapter is so simple and pure. If you want to have a closer relationship to your food and wish to simplify your life and your thinking, this book will provide support and inspiration.

I remember thinking how beautiful and perfect this book was when I read it. The Natural Kitchen has a place in my Minimalist library.

See Goodreads for other reviews.

The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means

Cheapskate Next Door

My very first minimalist spending, recycle, save-the-world and your money book! Though it’s not aimed at the minimalist market, I think this book should be read as it is a spend less book.

And if you’re wondering how to get your kids on board with responsible spending and ownership, Jeff Yeager does a great job of showing you what could work.

I read this book 9 years ago, and year-after-year, I continue to be influenced by this book.

Minimalist Cooking

Minimalist Finance

Minimalist Websites

Here are a several sites that helped my family on our journey toward right-sizing, minimalism, and zero waste.

The Minimalists created the popular Minimalism Game Their 20/20 Rule changed me ( Getting Rid of Just-in-Case Items: 20 Dollars, 20 Minutes )

Zero Waste Home This website (and book) started it all for my family. This site covers every area of the home and life from clothes, meals, kitchen tools, memorabilia. Highly recommend.

Be More with Less – simplicity is love

Miss Minimalist

Becoming Minimalist

Home – My Plastic-free Life Getting rid of most all of our plastic jump-started our transition to minimalism.

Minimalist Baker – Simple Food, Simply Delicious Learning to make great food with less ingredients – Simplifying the kitchen.

Exile Lifestyle, By Colin Wright – Minimalist Traveler with You Tube videos as well.

Trash is for Tossers Living simply and creating very little trash.

Continue Reading