I still want things.  The problem with deciding to simplify your life is all the new stuff you need to do it.  I really do want to get rid of the clutter that is continuing to weigh me down, but in order to really do it right, I'll probably need these.  And this.  Add both of those things to my Christmas list.  The second in red.  Of course a new yoga mat would help me maintain my serenity...ooh!  Never mind!  Thanks Mom!  I love it!  Still, in case that doesn't do it (serenity can be mighty hard to come by), some yoga clothes would probably help too.

See?  It doesn't end.  But that's not a long list, really.  And they're all things I need, right?  To simplify my life and all.  Of course when you add the thing I really, really want to the list, the thing that I'd need to take on a second job to pay for, then we really get down to the brass tacks of want and need.  Or, the black cameras of want and need.  Oh gosh I want that camera.  Give me long enough and I'll find a way to rationalize needing it.

Our kitchen/family room is in a five year old addition onto our Depression-Era house.  It has two sets of ginormous, gloriously tall French doors looking out onto the back yard.  Each door  had these wooden grids tacked over top of the glass to look like panes.  As with much with this addition (including the doors themselves), they weren't installed properly, and they rattled around like anything and crumbs and dust got trapped underneath.  So yesterday Neel did his weekly ritual of wiping dog paw and nose prints off the windows and POP!  Off came the grid from one of the doors.  Stealthily, he popped the other off, so that one of our ginormous, gloriously tall French doors was grid free. 
        Neel says, "Hey, look at this."
        Lauren says, "Ohh!"

So we take the grids off the other doors.  I swear, I can NOT believe the difference that the absence of those dinky little grids makes.  Every time I walk in our front door, I think the back door is open!  It feels like a whole new kitchen, and that fact alone almost prompted a discussion about our kitchen that I was very anxious to have.  A discussion in which I tell Neel the changes I want to make to said kitchen.  And I say almost because as soon as we started to talk we got interrupted by neighbor Paul who had some ideas about how to fix the improperly installed doors.  Which was good because neighbor Paul saved us some of the imaginary money that Neel was planning to spend on getting said doors fixed.  To my mind, this frees up that money (imaginary or not) to do the things I want to do.  Now these were not big changes like a new six burner gas stove, new counter tops and possibly a new sink...he already knows about those things.  These were changes more like this:

It's an elfa wall system from The Container Store.  I like the stove too.  We have glass encased cabinets on one side of our stove, and I'm pretty sure I want plain shelves on the other side.  (See Neel, I told you I'd have to tell you on the blog!)  And wouldn't all my new white dishes look pretty on those shelves?  It's all about simplification, baby.