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As the year winds down, I’ve been taking some time to actually sit and read the blogs I really enjoy. One of these is Sheena’s blog the little red house.

Sheena’s site is like a breath of fresh air. It’s sweet and peaceful and funny and always such a joy.

Sheena recently put up a post called 11 Things. The post is about how a site called Reverb 10 has inspired her to reflect about 2010 … and 2011. On Reverb 10, on December 11th, the prompt was put out to consider 11 things you don’t need in 2011.

I was so inspired by Sheena’s list that I decided to make up a list of my own.

Here are 11 things I don’t need in 2011:

11. Television. While I don’t think I will ever completely give up watching television, I’ve come to realize that I spend a lot of time watching television simply because I’m bored. I won’t be able to give up watching certain things like hockey or Nigella Lawson food shows, but I can give up a lot of other time-sucking television programs. So that’s what I’m going to do!

10. Gossip. I like to think of myself as a good person but I’m human and I’m guilty of gossip. As I get older, I find that I feel worse and worse when I spend time talking about others because let’s face it, gossip is never positive. The time I spend gossiping I could be spending doing so many things that are more fulfilling. Gossip just makes you feel empty. If I don’t have anything positive to say, I’m going to try my best to not say anything at all.

9. Paper. My house is full of paper. Unopened envelopes. Recipe clippings. Magazines. Wrapping paper. Enough. I’m going to resolve to make 2011 a year of less paper.

8. Saying no. I say no a lot. It’s not a problem if you’re saying no to bad things but I say no to a lot of good things because sometimes I get nervous or scared of change. I’m starting to wonder if I’ve missed some really good opportunities because of the word “no”. I don’t want to look back and say that I lived a life of fear. In 2011, less no and more yes.

7. Store-bought cookies. Here’s my dirty little secret: as much as I like to bake, I haven’t baked nearly as much as I would have liked in 2010. Because cookies are my most favourite, I’ve been buying them an awful lot. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on a package of cookies? Not pretty. I don’t need to put that stuff in my body. Less store-bought cookies. More homemade goodies.

6. Wasting food. Lately I’ve noticed is that we waste a lot of food. At the grocery store, we seem to have the best of intentions. That cauliflower was supposed to turn into the most delicious gratin and that romanesque … well … I don’t remember what I was going to do with it. And the same goes for the sardines packed in salt and the specialty mustard that cost … well … lets not talk about how much it cost. The fact is that almost all of this stuff ends up in the food bin. What a terrible, terrible waste! No more. In 2011, I’m going to try to be more realistic at the grocery store.

5. Food magazines. I think I could probably start my own magazine stand. Seriously. Do I really need all these magazines? What’s the point of buying them if I’m just going to toss them out a year later never having even read them? This is just more wastefulness on my part. It’s going to be tough, I’m not going to lie. But in 2011 I don’t need to buy all these magazines!

4. Being embarrased by the Leafs. I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. End of story. I can’t change that and no matter how bad they are I don’t want to change that. I’m an old-school kind of girl. I’m loyal to the end. So you know what … go ahead and make fun. Laugh. Crack all the Leafs’ jokes you want. They’re my team and I’m not embarrassed to say that. In fact, I am liberating myself from embarrassment. My name is Cream Puff and I love the Leafs! There!

3. Lattes from that famous coffee shop … you know the one. A few weeks ago, in the middle of the afternoon, I went out to the local famous coffee shop and bought a latte with a double shot of espresso. You know how much it cost? $4.04. Do you have any idea how much milk I can buy with $4.04?! I’m not cheap and like everyone I like the occasional treat, but really … $4.04?! I’m starting to realize that if I ever want to achieve certain goals in life, like my very own AGA, I’m going to have to start being a bit more financially prudent. And lattes that cost $4.04 a pop do not fall into that category. I think in 2011 I’m going to focus on becoming the best home barista possible and forego the purchased lattes!

2. Bad doughnuts. Where have all the good doughnuts gone? Now that I have this book, I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I’ll just make them myself (Based on the photo at the top of the post you thought I was going to say I didn’t need more doughnuts … ha … fooled ya!).

1. Cookbooks. It was pretty hard for me to write that. Cookbooks. I love cookbooks. This year, however, a suspicion that I’ve had for a long time has begun to transform into more of a certainty. While I buy some cookbooks because I genuinely want them and will use them, I also buy an awful lot of cookbooks just to make myself feel better and I don’t think that’s good. I think I should be getting to the source of the issue and resolving that, rather than buying something to gloss over whatever the problem is. Sometimes it’s something as basic as a stressful day at work. But sometimes it’s other things and I end up with piles and piles of cookbooks everywhere. The fact is while I may have had a moment of pleasure when I purchased those books, those piles aren’t making me happy at all. In 2011, less cookbook buying and more figuring out what’s bothering me when I get the urge to buy a cookbook to make myself feel better.

Take some time and consider the 11 things you don’t need in your life in 2011. Time to make a clean start. Go for it!

Ciao!