Monday Giveaway — All Three of Rowdy Kittens’ Simple Living eBooks!

by Katy on October 4, 2010 · 64 comments

It’s Monday here at The Non-Consumer Advocate, which must mean it’s time for another fantastic giveaway! This week’s giveaway is for not one, not two, but three eBooks written by Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens fame. (This is a $33 value.)

For those not in the know, Rowdy Kittens’ tagline of “Social change through simple living” is not just a catchphrase, but also a way of life for Tammy and her husband Logan. 100 possessions? No problem for these simple living enthusiasts, whose small Portland, Oregon apartment holds the essentials and not much else.

Today’s giveaway is for:


“Which is full of tips, tools, and strategies to help you create personal freedom through a very small business. Smalltopia is broken up into three sections: Philosophy, Business Essentials, and Case Studies. The ebook tells my personal story of escaping the rat race and the lessons I learned along the way.”

Simply Car Free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life

“Five years ago, we lived the “normal middle class” suburban lifestyle. We were newlyweds with flashy rings, living in a two-bedroom apartment, driving two cars, commuting long distances to work and living well beyond our means. The idea of living without a car didn’t seem possible.

By changing our perspective and planning small steps, we learned lessons that simplified our lives and got us out of debt. Going car-free was part of our downsizing process and was one of our first big goals toward living intentionally.”

Minimalist Health: How to Focus on the Essentials

“Your life is your message, so take care of yourself. You only get one body and one mind. Cultivate both, be happy and do good.”

To enter to win these eBooks, write a little something in the comments section about any change you are making, (or want to make) to live your life more simply. I can randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, October 6th at midnight PST. This contest is open to all, (not just U.S. residents) as I will e-mail the downloadable books to the lucky winner. (Woo-hoo, no post office trip for me!) Please enter only once.

Thank you very much to Ms. Strobel for providing these eBooks for one lucky Non-Consumer Advocate reader. Good luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen October 4, 2010 at 7:28 am

Recently, I got rid of half of my books – selling them, giving them to friends, putting them on the internet to exchange them for books I wanna have instead (my way of getting books for free). I also got rid of many clothes I didn’t wear anymore, due to many reasons.
And in 2009 I “got rid” of quite some friends, who – when I was having a personal crisis – proved that they were making fun of me or simply not accepting me anymore.

I wanna be free and light – thus I have to declutter my life.


Mrs Green October 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

Woohoo I love Tammy; is that enough for me to win?
No, ok then; changes I am making – well infact I made one this morning. On my personal email account I have just set up an autoresponder which says

“Thank you for your recent email. Due to high workload I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily Mondays to Fridays at 12pm GMT and 4pm GMT.

If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that
cannot wait until either 12pm or 4pm please contact me on xxxx (number changed to protect the innocent).

Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and
effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.

(thank you Tim Ferris for great idea) Check me out – no longer frittering life away on emails and this morning I sat in the S-U-N instead. Very nice it was too. x


Dave October 4, 2010 at 7:33 am

We’re planning, at the end of our current lease, to move some place downtown to help us live virtually car-free. Also Craigslisting things to clear out excess crap (and make a little extra $$).


Missy Lindley October 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

Maybe some of the “simple living” habits I’m trying to cultivate don’t seem that “simple”: gardening, knitting, canning; however, when I do these types of things, it causes me to slow down, concentrate, and be in the moment. And that, to me, is simple living at its core. My next endeavor will be to focus on not over-committing. I love to volunteer and be helpful, but then have less time to focus on simple living. I’m working to find that balance. It’s a constant dance.


tonilee monteparte October 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

I am so happy to run across these books! We have been thinking of shedding the rat race and trying to make a difference with our lives, in the hopes to do our share nfor the environment but still have an enriched life. I have always believed that thing happen for a reason…and finding your books right now is like a gift! Be help us to learn to live more minimally & healthy.

Thank you,
ToniLee and Robin


rePete October 4, 2010 at 7:46 am

My goal is to sell my car by the end of the month!


leslie October 4, 2010 at 7:53 am

I feel like a kid at school…”oooh oohh me me!!”

I am making a big change this month by particpating in the Hang ‘Em Dry challenge over at Crunchy Chicken. Line drying exclusively and loving it!!


PJ October 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

On October 1 I put $100 in my wallet. This has to pay for all my expenses for the month beyond housing and utilities, gas for my car, and medical emergencies. This includes food, clothing, toothpaste, etc. If I spend, for instance, $85 this month, then on November 1 I will put $85 in my wallet for the month. My plan is to see how low I can get this monthly amount.


Mrs. Wookie October 4, 2010 at 8:10 am

We just moved from Virginia to California. And what’s a better motivation to purging? Unloading boxes. “When’s the last time I used this?” is the mantra. Now the local mission and animal rescue thrift shops will benefit from our ability to release. Not a bad way to help launch the CA economy.


Shannon October 4, 2010 at 8:13 am

We allow our kids, who are still pretty young (4 and 7) to do only one extracurricular activity at any given time, but it must be located in our own area, and nothing that meets on Sundays, because we like to spend that day either at home or going to a local hiking spot. We feel we want to do more than be our kids’ chauffeurs, plus we want them to enjoy exploring one thing a time, in depth, rather than be overwhelmed by too much.


Crafty Green Poet (Juliet Wilson) October 4, 2010 at 8:15 am

These look like brilliant books! I’m always looking for ways to simplify my life. I’m currently getting rid of CDs I never listen to and am trying to slim down my book collection. I have never had a car and have always lived quite frugally and simply, but there’s always more I can do


Heather October 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

This is right up my alley. I am trying to reclaim our “space” from our “stuff.” This weekend, I sold a chair we never use, and my old camera. I’m struggling with the smarty farty college books I never read. I may hold onto those for a bit longer. But everything else is fair game. Including the new husband’s old broken kegerator. He doesn’t even use it! It’s broken! Plus, he’s not a bachelor anymore!


Rachel October 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

we are cutting back on extra activities and making sure our time is spent together. sitting around the dinner table…eating together, playing cards, planning our time…whatever it can be to grow us a family while keeping it simple.

reading the other comments, i’m also now motivated to clear out the clutter. get down and dirty and just be done with it. i’ve kept every outfit my 3 year has ever worn, almost every toy…just in the event we had another baby. seems responsible, but then again…having zero room in the garage isn’t so good. 😀


Cyndel October 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

I am actually not buying anything at the moment if it isn’t edible. I haven’t been going to yard sales, discount stores, or Target. I’m really trying to not let the smaller apartment we just moved into get too crowded. I like having space, which is also why winning these e-books would be awesome! They don’t take up any of my shelf space!


Sue October 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

I honestly don’t have a lot of clutter, but what I do have I’m trying to repurpose or re-use — or regift. And like other commentors, I’m interested in knitting, cooking from scratch, gardening, and other “simple” stuff that may not be so simple at the outset — but truly declutters your life from “junk” once you get the hang of it all.


Kitty October 4, 2010 at 8:46 am

I am working my yarn “stash” into scarves and hats for shelters. Help reduce the tubs of yarn I picked up for cheap and help keep people warm this winter. I will donate through my senior center and make use of their excercise equipment and classes instead of spending money for those things elsewhere. And, as long as it isn’t ice covered, will walk there. It is 5 blocks away.


Jane October 4, 2010 at 8:47 am

My husband and I recently got rid of over 300 books. Some we sold at a used-book store, and the rest were donated to Goodwill and the public library. We are very careful about what we acquire now.


Jenniwaka October 4, 2010 at 9:15 am

I’m in the process of majorly downsizing my possessions with the self-imposed deadline of the upcoming birth of our first child. I plan on giving away lots of things for Christmas and on Freecycle.


Anne October 4, 2010 at 9:29 am

I recently got rid of a lot of books and am now looking all over our apartment in an effort to lose all the stuff that we don’t use regularly. It feels good to have more open space and not be bogged down!


Lisa October 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

My husband and I are building a small addition onto the front of our camper in the woods using 16″ cordwood we’ve cut ourselves for walls. Instead of concrete, we’re using dirt as filler between the logs. We’ll use tree limbs for rafters and salvaged tin from the property as roofing. It will house our wood stove that will be used for winter heating and cooking. Pretty much the only store bought elements we’ll be buying will be screws to attach the tin and enough silicone caulk to patch any nail holes. So far, the project is coming along quickly and looks fantastic!


Linda October 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

I am not buying anything except essentials. Like food and gas (I live too far away from everything). I go to the library for my books or buy from library book sale then donate them back. I buy clothes from thrift stores and yard sales mostly. I make due with what I have. I drive my cars until they die. They usually get 250K before we need to look for another one.

I am decluttering my house. I think really hard about what to bring into the house to see if we really need it. We just had a yard sale and whatever did not sell, we donated to the Boys and Girl’s Club.


connie October 4, 2010 at 10:27 am

I put something out for donation when something else comes in. I am working on two pesky closets. They are in my kids old rooms and have many items that I can donate. We also decided as a family to work harder on memories at holiday times and have less concern for gifts.


psmflowerlady/Tammy October 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

I have been working down my yarn stash for charity knitting. I’ve also been Freecycling bunches of stuff.


Sage Norbury October 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

I’m riding a bike to work. I found it in my neighbor’s trash and there was nothing wrong with it. They had just gotten a new one.

I’m using craigslist and freecycle to “de-crap” my house and life. The more that goes out, the better I feel.

I LOVE Rowdy Kittens and really really hope you choose me!


chppie October 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

We are also working on decluttering. I’m trying a “two things go out for one coming in” and also helping my daughters see the value of giving away or selling things they don’t use. I want to make better use of my freezer to have homemade ready to go meals for times when we just are coming in the door at dinner time. We haven’t yet worked on the simplifying of schedule but will get to it.


Cindy October 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

We are grocery shopping once a month and using the car as little as possible.


Dynelle October 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I’ve always loved to declutter, but I’m being much more ruthless now, especially where sentimental things are concerned. I have a hard time trying to save everything from the kids. . .and I have to ask myself, “If my mom had saved that, would I have wanted to be saddled with it?” Most of the time, the answer is. . . no. So I have to realize that what I’m saving is not for THEM, it’s for ME. And do I want all the clutter? Um. . . no. Gotta let it go.


renee October 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm

getting rid of the excess! we bought a much smaller house and slowly we have sold and donated away the excess belongings that have no meaning so we can focus on the things that matter to us 🙂


Jen October 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Avoiding shopping for fun. I only shop when I really need something.


Barbara Marlow October 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I really try to avoid dept. stores. If there is something I need, I write it on a list. I eventually find what I need at a yard sale or the GW store. = I grocery shop twice a month. Plan meals ahead of time. I try not to watch any of the “new” shows as it stresses me out if I miss them or get behind! I am working on decluttering my’s a slow, long process but I am not stressing over it!


sarah k. October 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I’m trying really hard to make most of my daily travel be on my own steam. I walk or bike as much as I can. It turns out this is pretty exhausting! I’m committed, and I love it so much that, today, when my daughter and son were not feeling well enough for school, I was more disappointed about the loss of my commute than the loss of my class! Luckily, my darling spouse took the day off, so I could do my thing!


Chris October 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I’m in the process of a significant downsize – I lived on a boat for five years a while back, and now am considering an extended bike tour. I’m living in a house and have become incredulous at how easily “stuff” piles up.


namastemama October 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm

We are in the process of going through the children’s clothes and not owning more than they can wear. We receive a lot of hand me down’s and I’ve told the family that we get them from that our children are very different sizes now and I have to store items for at least 2 years before my daughter can wear them! We got rid of whole drawers of clothes tonight. Plus all the cute stuff gets buried and never worn and she wore the same ugly green capris all summer. Isn’t there a rule that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Why not just own the 20%?


Sharron October 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Hi, Katie.

What a great give-away! Ironically, we are downsizing from a two car family to one car–not perfect but better by far. My daughter and I are going to try to share. Our city now has bike racks on certain buses, so hopefully I’ll be able to ride my bike part of the way and then catch a bus on some days. She’ll walk to school on others. IF we can sell the second car (which still has a loan balance) it will save us around $400 a month in payment, insurance, maintenance and gas. That’s a lot of cash, especially since we live on a very tight, single-parent budget.


Lynda October 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I grow a huge garden, can, dehydrate and freeze everything. I have chickens. I don’t buy any convience foods everything is made from scratch, including cheese. I only go to town every 3 months (I live 3 miles from town). I purged all of my Real Estate Agent clothes and now only have 3 pairs of shorts, 6 tee shirts, 2 flannel shirts, 2 pairs of comfy jeans, 2 pair of dress slacks, 2 white dressy shirts and one very nice cocktail outfit…2 pairs of hi-top sneakers, a pair of Uggs, Wellies and a pair of black heels…oh and undies and an old Harley Davidson Tee shirt for a nighty: THAT’S IT! I won’t be buying any new clothing for a very long time: I wear aprons everyday. I manage a Farmers Market and started a Community Garden…life is good.


Beth October 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm

In an effort to really pare down our belongings to essentials, we’ve drastically cut down our shopping. Any item that we really need to buy goes on a list organized by date. After 30 days, if we still need it, we’ll buy it. So far, the only item that looks like it will indeed be purchased is a new computer! We’ve saved tons of money, plus we have way more free time. I’ve read three books in the time it used to take me to read one — and by the way, I’ve been eyeing Tammy’s books for awhile! Thank you for the opportunity.


Carrie October 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

For me shopping can be stressful with 2 small children in tow and an hour drive to the next town. I’m simplifying our life by needing to shop less. I’m making laundry soap, using rags instead of papertowels, baking/cooking/canning/gardening/hanging laundry to dry.
My latest is trying to make children’s clothing/pillows/etc out of clothes that would be destined for Goodwill. Definitely all more time consuming at home, but not as stressful as shopping. I need to continue to declutter my home and would love to get some e-books instead of buying more books that need a shelf….


Kristen October 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

It’s recently occured to me that the reason I can’t get anything done is all the junk piled up in my apartment. After years of never living in one place for more than a year at a time through my student days and a few years after, once I settled into a more long-term situation the junk just started piling up, and now I have three years’ worth of crap in my apartment. It doesn’t help that I live in Japan where there aren’t many options for selling or even giving away used stuff (especially clothes), and it’s difficult and costly to throw away more than regular household trash. But I’ve finally become fed up, and so I’m going through things with a vengeance, and although I hate to throw away perfectly wearable clothes, etc., the only other option is allowing them to take over my life, so no mercy. I’ve sold what I can sell, and given away what people are willing to take, so the rest just has to go.


Bec October 5, 2010 at 1:13 am

For the whole of this year we have been waging war on our stuff; we’ve made progress but we’re not winning yet. We live in a small house with not enough room for everything so the battle continues!


Ben October 5, 2010 at 1:52 am

I am actively working towards getting a job closer to home so that I downsize from a 2 car family to a 1 car family.


Jenn H October 5, 2010 at 3:50 am

My latest change to make a simpler life was this weekend when I signed up for a CSA share. That will provide pretty much all of our food from the week from local farms & I don’t have to go to the grocery store any more. Win!


Cyndi October 5, 2010 at 4:37 am

We realized this weekend that our current car will be the last we buy, so I’m interested in reading that book.


Barb October 5, 2010 at 6:03 am

Now that summer in Phoenix is winding down, I’m riding my bike to work again.


Tracey H October 5, 2010 at 6:25 am

Neat books (first time I’ve heard of them–thanks). Gosh, where to start? I’m decluttering, but I have to really sit down and schedule a time every day to do a little bit so I don’t get overwhelmed. I do Freecycle a lot of stuff and send my old clothing to Goodwill. I need to start living/eating out of my pantry instead of buying more and more food. I’m thinking next year I’ll see if can stop buying anything except essentials. It’s just a matter of getting my husband and adult daughter (who lives with us) on board, too.


Christine S October 5, 2010 at 7:19 am

Hubby and I are starting a craigslist pile of things we haven’t used, even if we intended to originally. Never sold on craigslist before but hope to make a little money while getting rid of dust collectors!


SomethingMore October 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

We recently moved to a town that is much more biking friendly with lots of trails and bike lanes. I now bike/walk to the library (a very frequent occurance!), downtown or to pick up a few groceries!


Jennifer October 5, 2010 at 7:43 am

We are trying to say no whenever we can. Those commitments, even just once a month, can really add up to a time drain and make life more stressful.


DJ October 5, 2010 at 7:43 am

I’ve only recently discovered this blog and have found it very interesting. I started decluttering several years ago and find it is never ending. Like others getting my husband on board has been difficult but I think we are making progress. My university age daughter is starting to catch on nicely. She recently bought a second hand chair that we will try and recover together. I would like to learn how to can my own tomatoes from the garden. Right now I am experimenting with a crock pot that we were given as a wedding gift years ago. Thanks for the opportunity to try and win these books.


Serena October 5, 2010 at 8:44 am

I love the Rowdy Kittens blog, too! I’m decluttering my 1-bedroom apartment by listing extra kitchen appliances on Craigslist and giving away some of my old but still nice work clothes to Goodwill. I’m also making an effort to not buy items with a ton of packaging so I’m not taking out bags and bags of garbage anymore. I also don’t clean using harsh chemicals, but use regular dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar. I feel better about not contributing to the world’s trash problem and using more natural cleaning products around my two cats!


MP October 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

The biggest change has been my mindset. Not having a steady income for a while now, I’d been feeling deprived because I couldn’t go buy things. Reading your blog and others like it made me question why I wanted to buy an item. And almost everytime it wasn’t because I needed it, but because I wanted to get rid of the feeling of lack. Now, I’m feeling much more peaceful and like I have enough.


Melissa October 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

I am slowly trying to simplify my office so that when I work from home (lesson planning for a class I teach), I don’t just end up with piles of stuff all over the desk and perhaps some other people in the house can use this space as well. What a revolutionary idea, I know.


els October 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Since this week, I have two dogs. This has a large effect on simplifying my life: in stead of shopping in weekends or watching TV every evening, I am walking my lovely dogs!



Ann October 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

We are a single income now because my husband’s plant was closed. We are trying to live more simple and finding we don’t need all the stuff we used to spend our money on. Because of this new mindset, we think he can work at a job at about 60% on his old salary. This means less stress for him and he can find something more rewarding even if it pays less.


Deb October 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Lately I have been cutting back on how much time I spend on the computer :o) and also trying to not watch any television. My sister and I are also planning some life changes that will put us in the same city, where we can share a house, and which is somewhere I will no longer need a car.


Mrs. B October 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Well…with two kids in college we are downsizing. They are in community college and we are living in a very small apartment. I am the biggest holdout of them all but I am working on it. Craigslist is my new best friend so is goodwill and freecycle. Nothing comes in without something going out.

Thanks for keeping your blog alive…you are helping so many of us.


Gila October 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I am trying, trying, trying to declutter. I did a major purge a few months back (4 bags of books to Bookmans, 10 bags to goodwill – Craigslist doesn’t work well here in Tucson, but I felt good about it all going to a good cause), but now I look around the house, and it’s still full of clutter. I can’t figure out what else can go. Some of this comes from living with a 5 year old who likes to collect “treasure” and some of it is mindset. Maybe these books can help me?


Kat C October 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I am trying to maintain a “tidy” email inbox by liberally using the delete button! It’s a work in progress.


Maddie October 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I have way way to much stuff. One thing I am doing to simplify is if one item comes in the house then two items have to go. It is slow but is helping.


Stacey October 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I am working on cleaning out my closets. I do love my clothes, but I’ve been trying very hard to pick out some pieces every few weeks that I’m never ever going to wear again, and give them away.


Jessica October 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I am always trying to streamline and get rid of classroom clutter (I teach kinder and first grade). I find that students really do better in an environment that is simple and clutter-free.


Neetika October 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm

the changes i am making to simply my life are many. for instance i do carpool as often as i can. i am aiming to reduce to personal possesions to 100 items. if i recieve any gift i try to pass that on to someone else. i frequently go to collection centers to donate my stuff. we also organize a christmas carnival for the villagers (it’s like a jumbo garage sale where unwanted things from the household are sold at nominal prices). and i love to declutter and love the minnimalist look for a house.


mumturner October 6, 2010 at 5:04 am

i would like to thin down my belongings.i cant seem to get my house tidy and less belongings would mean less stuff to find homes someone else would get the benefit and if i donate to charity(thrift in usa) shops , i also benefit charity as well;.we are moving house soon and i really dont want to ship it all over to the new house


Kathy October 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

I’ve been trying to live more simply for several years, but after losing a fairly new job last year, I seriously searched out ways to simplify even more. We try to eat fewer over-processed foods–DH has learned to make bread, and I do more cooking from scratch. (Unfortunately, our garden project resulted in only about four weeks of lovely tomatoes and nothing else). I’ve searched out simpler, healthier alternatives to skin care and household cleaners. Once I found a new job, my mom gave me several like-new outfits for every season which she was purging from her wardrobe. No need to go shopping! I’m wearing her black, white, and red plaid blazer today and feeling tres chic!


Donna October 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

We recently became a single income family after the company I worked for closed it’s doors. Since then we have been downsizing our belongings and spending more time together as a family. We are also learning that we are more content to take bicycle rides in our city and explore new parks where the kids can play.


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