Welcome to Our Minimalist Life (The Not So Juicy Backstory)

by | Jan 8, 2013 | 22 comments

Note: A long overdue update is coming soon!

The lowdown on our minimalist life. Here’s where you’ll find out all the important stuff. Like, why there’s a blender in our logo and what life was like before we decided to healthy up.

How it Started

In 2013 Ang gave a talk at TEDx Cape Town called: The less you own, the more you have.

To say it was well received would be an understatement. People were demanding selfies and autographs, it was crazy.

The idea landed.

People wanted to know more. We figured we’d share our message online and see if it really was an idea worth spreading.

This piece of interwebs real estate is the result. 🙂

What’s it About?

Mostly Mindful is a not so hardcore blog about minimalist living. Mostly. We also offer tips on how to declutter your life and we love banging on about the health benefits of eating a vegan diet.

Sometimes we’ll talk about frugal living, but not a lot. Because going out for coffee and smoothie bowls is fun.

We believe we can all make a difference if we’re mindful most of the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

It took a while, but we eventually realized that Jack Canfield’s notion that “99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze” doesn’t apply to absolutely every situation.

Sometimes, what we need is simply to cut ourselves a little slack and do the best we can. Because when we set the bar too high, we paralyze ourselves with fear and end up doing nothing at all.

Graham Hill’s talk about being a weekday vegetarian is a perfect example of someone who has embraced the concept of being mostly mindful. He’s recognized his limitations and figured out how to work within them and still achieve results.

Maybe eating a plant-based diet is too extreme for you too. Well then what about following Graham’s example or going meat-free on Mondays? It’s not just about what you eat though. There’s lots you can do to make a difference.

Here are five ways you can be mostly mindful, starting right now.

You’re welcome, we aim to please around here.

Who is Mostly Mindful?

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We’re Ang and Sporty. We fell in love the day after Independence Day in 1997 and haven’t looked back. We’ve been really fortunate in our relationship, because we’ve always been, if not on the same page, then at very least somewhere in the same book.

Back then (and for the 10 or so years that followed) we smoked too many cigarettes, drank way more tequila than we should have and subsisted on a steady diet of sugar, white bread and Frankfurters. Life was good.

11 Things You Might Not Know About Us

Sporty was never a sporty adult, but she was a top swimmer at school. She routinely took first place at galas in spite of her ridiculously long hair.

Ang did a great job of pretending to be sporty and once won a race at her school sports day. Her Mom was over the moon and bragged about this phenomenal accomplishment until Ang was well into her thirties.

Sporty wore her hair long —as in down to her bum long— until her last year of high school, when she finally got fed up and cut it off with a pair of pinking shears she’d ‘borrowed’ from her house-craft teacher.

Ang dressed like a boy when she was a kid. Back then we called it being a ‘tomboy’ and everyone laughed indulgently, convinced that she’d eventually outgrow her ‘phase’ and find a boy to marry. She stopped emulating Grace Jones in her choice of wardrobe, but marrying the boy never happened.

Sporty is a granny; her granddaughter is almost four and her grandson is coming up for two. She keeps insisting that this makes Ang a granny by default, but Ang insists that a) she’s far too young for the moniker and b) she’s far too young for the moniker.

Ang once had a relationship with a man and even went so far as to grow her hair into a shoulder-length bob and wear skirts during this time. Fortunately, this was one phase she did outgrow.

Sporty is the world’s über nerd when it comes to Excel. She loves it only slightly less than she loves Ang.

Ang once tried to go snowboarding in jeans. She didn’t realise that snow is actually wet, she just assumed it was white powder. Luckily a kind Samaritan stopped her just as she was about to plunge waist-deep into certain sogginess.

Sporty never liked coriander, peanut butter or avocado. Thanks to Ang, that’s all been rectified.

Ang has notoriously bad taste in music.

We tried house sitting as means to untether ourselves and avoid paying rent. But after seven months —four of which we spent hound-sitting in Oudtshoorn— we decided to settle down in the ‘burbs again.

Then the ‘burbs got too much for us and hightailed back to the city. We might even stay here a while, who knows.

What Do We Talk About?

This is where we pontificate ponder and expound on the many benefits of living with less, going vegan, reducing our carbon footprint, having shorter working hours and figuring out how to just let stuff go (physical, emotional, the whole bang shoot).

We may also, on the odd occasion, offer a tell all, no holds barred look at what goes on behind the scenes when we think no one is watching. Popcorn and tequila-laced green smoothies optional, but recommended.

The clue is in the name: Mostly Mindful. We’re not a couple of greenies living off the grid in a teepee somewhere in the middle of the Karoo, though by the way some people react to our car-less, stuff-less, plant-based approach to city living, you’d think we were.

Although, given that we save our composting waste, perhaps the hippie image folks have of us isn’t as far off the mark as we’d like to believe. (The photo at the top of the page probably doesn’t do much to dispel the myth, either.)

Okay fine, we’re hippies urban hippies.

Minimalist Living


If it’s a balanced, debt-free and uncluttered life you’re after, then downsizing your life will get you there lickety-split.

Most people are living stressed out lives because they own too much stuff, which is completely ironic since they were convinced the stuff would make them happier.

The guy on the TV said so, right?

Our need to ‘consume’ has consequences far beyond a cluttered house and inflated debt and stress levels however, it also affects our planet and all the living beings we share it with (animals and people alike).

Although we try not to be too hardcore in our approach, we do sometimes bandy about hippie-esque phrases like ‘sustainable living’ or yabba on about how our actions and decisions impact the world around us.

Case in point, the paragraph above.

That’s just how we roll. Sometimes. Mostly, though, we try to keep things light and conversational and have us a whole lot of fun.

Why Is There a Blender in Your Logo?

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Funny story that. So basically there are three main pillars we talk about here at Mostly Mindful. Minimalism is the main one and is depicted by the little house. The bicycle reflects our sustainability efforts. We sold our car in 2012 and have been indulging in the art of slow living ever since.

And then there’s our JTC Omni V Blender, or Blendobi, as he’s affectionately known in our house. You can read more about him in this post about deciding between a juice and a blender. When we were explaining our plant-based lifestyle —the third of our three pillars— to our designer, she decided that we absolutely had to feature Blendobi.

And that folks, is why there’s a blender in our logo.

Is More-Ish Even a Word?


For a lot of people minimalism is an off-putting word loaded with value judgements and negative connotations, so we’re making it our mission to set the record straight. Starting right now.

In short, we’re making minimalism more-ish. We’re making it more appealing, more fun, more doable, more everything, except more stuff.

Sure, there are those who get off on owning less than 100 things. If it floats their boat, we say kudos to them, but that’s not the kind of minimalism we’re referring to here.

What we’re talking about is an all-encompassing concept, an ethos that permeates every aspect of your life (not just your closet). As far as we’re concerned, minimalism is a means to a beginning.

Getting Started (or, Baby Steps)

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Getting started on this ‘less is more’ journey can seem daunting. Especially when you’re stressed, in debt and surrounded by clutter. Be gentle with yourself. Take it slow and steady. This is definitely one of those instances where channeling your inner tortoise (or baby elephant) is going to win you the race!

Next, you can choose your own minimalist adventure by a) heading to our Start Here page, b) checking out our Mostly Mindful FAQ page or c) just diving right in.

Our yawn-inducing, legalese-heavy Privacy page is also an option. You know, if you want a break from throwing sand in your eyes and watching tennis.

To mostly mindful infinity and beyond! 😉

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Watch Ang’s TEDx talk!

Who are Ang & Sporty?


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