Ask & You Shall Receive

Minimalism, Thrifting

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Ask and you shall receive.

It’s been super hard for me to decide if I wanted to bring a rug back into my living room. I mean, I have to vacuum it y’all, and that ain’t cool. But, a few weeks ago, it became clear that we needed one because well, the floor is hard and we like to sit and play on it.

I refused to spend money on a new rug because they are outrageously priced. So, I’ve just been patiently waiting and praying to the rug gods that one would stumble my way.

And it finally did!

A massive, neutral, wool, handmade, solid, soft bottomed, deliciously perfect floor rug was found!

For free.

It is absolutely perfect and does the job fantastically.

Because I’m nosy, I found out to buy this new it’s around $700+.

This story sounds like it is about a rug, but it’s really about sticking to your guns, being patient, hoping, thinking, dreaming, holding out for greatness, leaving space to be filled with goodness: in all areas of our lives.

I’m always wanting something and going after and getting it that instant. That has served me well sometimes, but more often than not left me with half-assed decision based guilt.

And I have no room for that in my life anymore: from the non-serious stuff (a rug) to the hugely important stuff, my dreams and desired won’t be hurried and rushed. There will be space for growing, dreaming, and learning. Quality is welcome over quantity. Love is welcome over stuff. Freedom seeking always and working toward spreading my wings.

Thoughts after Major Clutter Purging

De-Clutter, De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

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My couch. Oh, how I love thee.

I’m coming off of my major de-cluttering high, and finally able to sit back and enjoy the hard work and results.

Over the last few months I’ve:

  • Got rid of carloads of wall art
  • Gave away baskets – this was a toughie because I’m a recovering basket hoarder
  • Donated an embarrassing amount of unused/ill fitting clothing

Giving away unused stuff has been exhilarating. I still am getting rid of stuff – it’s just not as intense as the beginning purges, mainly because I got rid of so much.

Going through this process has really put a lot of things and behaviors in perspective. Here are some thoughts that have come about:

  • No amount of stuff will make me happy
  • Chasing things put me in debt
  • My time is more important than my stuff
  • I hate cleaning up useless clutter, like, loathe
  • I’m tired of organizing: I just want it gone if it has no purpose
  • My home is a creative place and I want all our spaces used for things we love doing and making memories
  • Clutter causes me way too much anxiety and I’m tired of being stressed
  • I can change, if I want to

Those are just a few things that I’ve been focusing on.

Now, I have some extra space to enjoy the progress. I don’t have to be SO aggressive, only mindful with the remaining stuff.

My priorities are shifting and that drives me and makes me thrive. Although, I am sad that I’ve waited so long to change: it’s still never too late to start.

I’m going into this long weekend so, so thankful. It’s mine to enjoy – and I intend to!

Shop Second-Hand: Free People Twill Coat

Capsule Wardrobes, Minimalism, Second-Hand, Thrifting

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I’ve been on a roll second-hand shopping lately.

Since I decided to begin with a fresh slate with my capsule wardrobe, I have only included second-hand items in my recreation.

All the clothing that no longer serves me or fits properly is gone. I am treading that fine line between saving money, but also creating a capsule that suits my every day life and style.

Last week, I found a Marc Jacobs leather purse second-hand, and this week:

A new-with-the-tags Free People twill jacket!

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I’m obsessed with Free People clothing, except I can not afford it, nor will I pay out-of-pocket full price for new. That’s why I am super stoked to score this brand new soft, twill coat for winter. It fits like a glove, looks adorable, and is really warm.

Some poor soul paid $168ish, and I scored it for $19.99.

That’s a win in my book – great price, perfect fit, and suitable as my capsule winter coat.

Home is Where Your Soul Lives

De-Cluttering, Minimalism

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Pinterest has been the death of me. When it first launched I pinned no less than 9 billion pins on how I could re-do my living space. After so many attempts of DIY, failed crafts, and thousands of dollars – I gave up.

Sometimes giving up is the absolute best things we can do for our health and sanity; whether it’s bad habits, home decor, or trying to be someone we’re really not.

I’m no longer ashamed of giving up. As a matter of fact, I am proud to give up things that no longer serve me. There was a time that wasn’t the case at all. Loyal to a fault. But no more.

One of the things that de-cluttering my living space has taught me, is that it is vital for me to have my home cater to my needs and desires. Home is supposed to be a place of peace, creativity, and growth.

No matter how much we collect, or how much we obsess over the perfect ‘look’ what we are really trying to get is our desired feelings and a feeling is not a knickknack.

So, last week I decided to transform the dining room.

My family doesn’t dine at the dining room table: we eat in the living room making messes and hanging out. It works and that’s the way we like it. I don’t suspect we will start eating in the dining room surrounded by awkward conversations and manners; and I’m totally cool with that.

Instead, it’s now a place for me to practice my yoga. It’s a place for the girls to create, draw, and flip. My husband can use this area for his hobbies as well. It’s now deemed a fun-zone, instead of an everyone stay out of this little area for no good reason zone. Because, that doesn’t serve anyone.

Before, the table just sat there lonely. It was a catch-all for ebay sales, dirty clothes, and clutter:

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Then I moved some things around and just took away the fake notion that this was an eating space, when it really wasn’t.

It’s not fancy, Pinterest worthy, or expensive. It’s really not much different at all. But what’s changed is that it is inviting my family to just be in this little nook. It can be messy, quiet, creative, or left alone. It doesn’t matter, actually. What matters is that it isn’t off limits.

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My home is not a place that is off limits. It is  a place where our souls can mend, heal, and grow. Each space is an open invitation to live. All family members are different and we all mesh and clash in a messy beauty.

And when it gets too messy, we will clean it up – or maybe we won’t.

The thing is, striving for perfection isn’t happening anytime soon. What is happening is this moment, right now, the present: all day long, every day.

That’s where I want to live. That’s where I want my family to live. Everything else is unnecessary.

Our home is where our soul lives. It’s inside of us and we carry it every where we go. No amount of control, cleaning, scrubbing, or staging can change that. It’s time to get dirty, explore, and grow. It’s time to actually serve and live.

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

Clarity, De-Clutter, Gentle Change, Meditate, Meditation, Minimalism, Passion Statements, Positive Manifestation, Positive Thinking, Simplicity

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I have tried to de-bunk positive manifestation for years. I truly wanted to believe that we just ride the waves of life and drudge through even if it is by the hairs on our head. But there is something great to this positive-thinking and positive manifestation energy.

Have you noticed when you are down in the dumps, so many things seem to go wrong. The longer the negativity, the worse it seems. One small thing leads to another and before you know it, you can barely get out of bed in the morning. Forget having any motivation whatsoever for fear that the sky might actually fall.

I’ve had been in that state for a really long time. When I was younger, I recall constantly pulling inner strength from positivity. I would purposefully be positive even in the worst of situations. I felt good. Even thought there were trials and hard times, I was still on the up and had plenty of energy to deal with whatever came my way.

Over time, that positivity dwindled down to sub zero. I’m not sure where the turn happened. At that point,I was in the dumps, and literally every day was a struggle. It was like, every where I turned something went wrong. My life seemed like it was in mass chaos and over time, it beat me down – way down.

I gave up on being positive, because honestly, I didn’t have the strength for a single positive thought because I felt it would just be a waste of what mental and physical energy I had left.

One day, I felt that I had to make a change. My plan was to simplify my life so that I had that extra energy to express positivity again. I had to get my thoughts back. My luck had run out and there was only one way to turn: I would turn my life around and get rid of the negative roadblocks and replace it with positive manifestation.

Since there is no manual for a person to follow when changing mindset, I just had to wing it.

My life is no where near perfect now, but the simple changes made along with some serious positive thinking (even when I don’t feel like it) has made a huge difference.

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

  1. Change Mindset: This is sneaky because doing it for one day will not give you the immediate results you so need. It takes time. Be forgiving of yourself and allow plenty of grace. When you know you must change your thought pattern and admit to yourself that you need to switch thinking: that’s the first step. Begin by saying out loud a mantra like; “I am a positive thinker” “Today will be an amazing day” “I will laugh at my trials and enjoy this day” “I am successful.” Don’t discount the cheesiness. It’s important.
  2. Remove Distractions: This takes time, but begin removing things that bring you down. For instance: I deactivated my Facebook, I created an entirely new Pinterest account for complete inspiration and positivity, I no longer watch the news or depressing topics, I’ve added yoga to my day instead of scrolling online. You are what you eat: food as well as what you take in every day. Replace negativity with positivity, and with time you will reap the benefit.
  3. De-Clutter: If you have possessions in your home that are no longer serving you, it will take it’s toll. The less you have, the less you have to maintain. Begin getting rid of things that you don’t believe useful or beautiful. Start with one room at a time; or if that’s too much, one drawer at a time. Make it a positive experience. Thank every item you get rid of for serving you at one time or another and then let go. For instance: I got rid of my craft supplies and sewing machine because I felt guilty for not making time for crafting. The truth was, I didn’t want to make the time and didn’t want to spend time that way any more. I had fun in years past, but it’s not me anymore. Now, I only keep hobbies and items that serve me today, not Yesterday’s-Me or Future-Me.
  4. Reconnect: Reconnect with your spirituality or relationships that you may have been neglecting. Pray, meditate, or phone a long lost friend. Focusing on others and spirituality will give you a deeper sense of life and remind you of your values and priorities
  5. Time Out: Take a time out every day for yourself. It may be brief at first, but clear distractions and spend time getting to know your hopes and dreams again. Breathe. Rest. Focus.
  6. Passion Statement: Create a passion statement where you bring your priorities to life. Be clear on what is important to you. Begin getting rid of people or things that is blocking your way so you can get down to the good stuff.
  7. Fuel: Fuel up on good food, good rest, and good memories. Give your body a good rest and fuel to do good work. Not taking care of yourself is a sure way to get down and sickly. Begin by making choices that benefit you instead of take away.
  8. Be That Person: Probably most important of all actually be true to yourself and behave in accordance. You want to eat better? Eat better today. You want to be a runner? Run. You want to write? Start a blog. You want to be positive? Think and intake positivity.

It’s easy to get down on ourselves, but making better choices that benefit us each and every day pay off in the end. If you would like to change your mindset, start right now. Stick with it until it becomes a habit and you see your past negative self dwindle away.

Second-Hand Score

Debt, Minimalism, Minimalist, Second-Hand, Thrifting

Human beings are hunters and gatherers. Although we have a lot of luxuries, and conveniences now, that primal instinct seems to flair every now and again. We have a true need to compete, mark territory, gather, store, and stock up. But, there is a fine line between enjoying what you need and going overboard.

My focus is simplifying my life. I spent the last decade climbing the corporate ladder, acquiring, and following the American Dream only to find that true happiness is not found that way. It’s the undoing of excess and focusing on the important things in life that is bringing me pure joy.

There are times, of course, that I need to acquire something new. But, I don’t want to break the bank because I am also paying off debt and spending less. My definition of minimalism isn’t doing without or counting items so much as it is about clearing the unnecessary to make room for importance.

This brings me to shopping second-hand for new items that I need or for things that I need to replace in my current stash. The reasons that I love shopping second-hand are pretty much endless, but I have a few reasons that make me passionate about turning someone else’s trash into my treasure.

  1. Second Chance Life: It is a beautiful thing knowing that an item someone else discarded can be used by me! I can bring that item to life again in a new and different way.

2. Saving Money: Purchasing something new from a store is going to have one hellacious mark-up price. Buying second hand is a severely discounted price for a used item.

3. Environmentally Friendly: A thrifted item can be saved from the landfill. We can choose to use what is already in circulation over something new.

4. Creativity: Second-hand items are a great way to explore style and fashion for less.

5. Charity: A lot of thrift shops donate to help the greater good.

6. Working Conditions: Just because you buy something from a clean, well-lit, fancy store doesn’t mean that the item came from that same environment. Sheltering yourself from the truth doesn’t mean it is OK.

My latest and greatest thrifted find

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A Marc Jacobs purse! Some poor soul paid full retail price for this, which was around $400.00. I scored it for $3.99.

It’s super cute and has a lot of life left in it. It is replacing my old, broken Fossil purse that I have been using the last few years. This Marc Jacobs purse is mine to now use up to it’s fullest potential.

While I am not completely against buying new, I do feel it’s important to shop smart for yourself, buying only what you need in the greatest of quality possible for the least amount of cost and heartache.

Start Over & Rebuild

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity, Sugar-Free Recipes

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Life’s experiences, choices, and decisions all have a way of compacting over time. One decision leads to the next, and so forth. It can become really heavy with time if we do not let go of some of the past, so that way we may grow and adapt as we age.

Some choices in letting go may bring up a tinge of guilt; perhaps you feel obligated to hang on to a relationship or item just because you spent time or money on it at some point. But, if you are in a rut, or are feeling weighed down by life in general, it may be time to let it go.

If something or someone is holding you back and no longer serving you, it’s OK to start over and begin anew. That is the beauty of growing, adapting, and changing. It is totally natural to begin fresh.

If you have met your match and feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders, it may be time to shake it up a bit.

How to let go and start fresh

  1. Meditate: I’m not talking about sitting on a pillow with incense. I’m talking about getting some time to yourself to really inspect your insides and heart. You need to calm the outside world and internal noise long enough to really admit where you are and what you would like to change. This doesn’t have to happen in one day. As a matter of fact, it may take a really long time. But, if you are wanting the weight of the world lifted, you must put yourself first for a while and get clear on your mission.

2. Be Honest: Admit that you are not on the path you would like to be on. It’s OK, we all have been there a million times. Just because we are on one path doesn’t mean we have to stick with it if it’s no longer doing any good. Admitting that you are not happy with your current state is the best way to motivate change.

3. Dream: Having hopes and dreams can get lost in the chaos of a busy life. We get in that rut or that grind for so long taking care of families, jobs, chores, and children until we are buried under the dirt. It’s time to dig out and dig out fast. Give yourself permission to dream of where you want to be. It is reality that you can be that person if you begin dreaming again. Start a dream board, star gaze, focus on your desires with absolutely no guilt whatsoever for a change.

4. Start: Perhaps the scariest step of all, but when you get clear on the path you want to explore, and let go of extra baggage weighing you down – start. It doesn’t matter where you start because there is no perfect solution. Once you begin and have success, you may tackle the next obstacle.

5. Journey: Change doesn’t have to be drudgery. Plan to set yourself up for success. Start a blog or journal. Invite creative vibes and exploration in your journey. Call it an experiment. Write a book. You are free to change as many times as you wish. Welcome failure, that’s where you learn the most. And if you do fail (and probably will), keep going. Your only competition is YOU. The one looking back in the mirror. It’s not your friends, spouse, parents, or children competing with you. You owe it to yourself to have a little fun in life and be that person you want to be.

I wanted to talk about this because I have attempted change a million times in the past and failed. Then I let guilt get to me. I felt like I was letting everyone down. But, with a little grace and practice mixed with some perseverance and humor, change can be welcomed and fun. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious.

So, if you were wanting to make a change today – you know, that little voice that is saying disappointing things in  your ear all day every day? Tell it to hush and get to work.

It’s a new day, today. Seize it. And you know what? Tomorrow will be a fresh start too. That is the biggest gift of sunrise. A new day to change, make a difference, to love, and to enjoy. And when you lie down at night, take a breath, let it all go and start again tomorrow.

Don’t Cling: Let it Go

Free Spirit, Letting Go, Minimalism

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We all have so much that we have acquired: people, possessions, experiences, memories – and sometimes we feel like we own it all. Once we have it, it’s ours and we are responsible for it forever.

Perhaps it is our ancient, primal survival tactic of hoarding, hunting, and gathering, or maybe it’s just that it’s hard to let go sometimes.

It is hard, but for us to grow we need to understand that we must let go of yesterday.

We have permission to move on, learn, release, and grow.

We only have so much energy so we better not cling to everything. We must choose where our time, focus, and energy go wisely because we certainly can’t do it all.

Today, I will not cling to negative energy, drama, excuses, or mind games. My emotional well-being is on a pedestal as far as I’m concerned. I will choose not to be involved. My energy is saved for more important matters such as

love, relaxation and fun.

And it’s true: we can’t lose what we don’t cling to. Cling to the important, unmovable things that are seen and unseen. Let all that doesn’t truly matter go into the breeze.

Tell it thank you. That it served it’s purpose and it’s time to let go. Then move on.

Multi-Season Capsule Wardrobe: A Clean Slate

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Sometimes along our journey we have what I like to call a good problem to have. Those are the best types of problems even though they require a little finagling to work around.

You see, I’ve been living with less since the beginning of the year. Slowly but surely, I am weeding out the unnecessary so that I may enjoy the best of the best.  Three of my simplifying focuses have collided and require attention:

  • Weight Loss
  • Capsule Wardrobe
  • Spending less

The good news is that I have lost 40 pounds! The bad is that all of my clothing in my current summer capsule no longer fit. I’ve been donating my clothing throughout this last year: got down to the bare bones, created a capsule and now, I have worn them as long as I can. In an effort to spend less, I have been enjoying my clothes and wearing them as long as possible. But it got to the point where I was overall frumpy. My capsule wasn’t cohesive enough to be practical, and my clothes were swallowing me whole.

Since my solution is not to gain the weight back, I had to dip into my ‘spending less’ focus.

This is a good problem and I handled it the best way possible by getting rid of the majority of my current too-big frumpy clothes, starting over, and most of all:

buying second-hand.

This has allowed me to stay in line with all that I am trying to accomplish.

I spent $80.00 total and now have a complete, cohesive, workable, multi-season capsule wardrobe.

I present to you my new multi-season capsule wardrobe! I plan on this carrying over into fall by adding a few pieces here and there to battle the cooler weather in the near future.

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I am really excited about this capsule. It shows my personality along with a palette that is a neutral, with just enough detail and color to not be so monotone and boring. It is also easily functional throughout most of the seasons; only needing to add warmer pieces when needed.

Last night I felt so free letting go of the old me. I was able to rid myself of the clothing that no longer served me with absolutely no hesitation. I kept a few pieces that I love and added new second-hand pieces giving those thrifted items a new and fabulous second life!

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation and rules. It is about functionality and loving what you have. It’s also about spending wisely and being your best self. It’s OK to edit your life – clothing, relationships, hobbies, careers – as a matter of fact, it’s imperative because human beings are ever-changing.

What’s important is knowing that it’s OK to let go to the past. You have no obligation to keep everything you have ever acquired.

Welcome a clean slate.

You have permission to start over however many times you wish so that you may fully live, enjoy, and love all that was meant for pure joy.

How Will You Spend Your One Life?

Free Spirit, Minimalism

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How would you answer the question:

“So, tell me how you plan to spend this one beautiful-crazy life of yours?”

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life. The question is: how are you going to spend it?

For the last 30ish years of my life, I’ve never really given this question serious thought because I’ve been spending my time on auto-pilot and following the crowd.

For reasons unknown, when we meet a stranger we don’t really want to know anything more about them than where it is they work and where they rank on the status scale.

Well, we all have the ability to just show up at a job and work the cog in the wheel now don’t we? All of us can just jump in line and go with the crowd.

It doesn’t really set us apart much more than the actual name of the company you work for.

The question should really be deeper:

How are you going to spend this one life of yours?

Are you going to spend it behind a computer screen? Are you going to continue going to your auto-pilot job to stay afloat? Will you continue to dread your alarm clock and traffic and stress?

Or, can you realize that today is a clean slate? We can change directions and go after what are heart is telling us to do.

You don’t have to do the same thing you did yesterday. You can be someone new: that someone that you always wanted to be. That can be you. That can be me, too.