Take a Chance, Make a Change

Capsule Wardrobes, Clarity, De-Cluttering, Debt, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simple Life, Simplicity, Yoga

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We have a chance to make numerous choices every, single day. There comes a point though, when maybe our auto-pilot life becomes comfortable. Boring, stagnant, and comfortable. We realize beneath it all something is lacking. Our joy has been squelched due to the day-to-day demands that we dictate to ourselves. We measure our worth based on checking off the to-do-list and then beating ourselves up when we simply can’t accomplish it all.

That’s a rut. It’s a tough one to admit to, and a stickler to dig out of.

That’s where I was just a few short months ago. I started running – not walking – in the opposite direction.

It was time to take a risk: I have to change and take some risks, here. 

This realization and admittance that I am in fact, not Super Woman was a little hard to come to grips with, but there was truth beneath the surface.

I don’t want to be Super Woman.

I don’t want to be living in chaos. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety. I want peace and joy.

The contrast between the two are pretty drastic.

That means I have to open my mind and try different solutions to my struggle.

Day by day, my slow changes are really easing my anxiety and happiness is finally creeping in. I do things a little differently now by:

  1. Getting rid of excess and clutter for clarity and less wasted time on organizing and picking up.
  2. Removing social media from my life so I can focus on myself and what’s important.
  3. Thinking positively by meditating and appreciating what I have and where I’m going.
  4. Letting go of other people’s behavior and my past.
  5. Changing daily chores: I hang clothes to dry, use less dishes and hand-wash when done, put things back where they belong, and let it go when I want to do something else.
  6. Eating well helps me feel energized and lose excess pounds.
  7. Paying off debt by getting my finances in order and stop useless spending.
  8. Daily Yoga helps my body stretch and tone as well as a great way to integrate balance in my life.
  9. Being conscious of my beauty routine where less is definitely more.
  10. Creating a capsule wardrobe so my style is consistent and less stressful when getting ready and wasting money filling the gaps for sake of fashion.

These 10 changes have taken time. I began slowly and deliberately and have really tried to understand myself and my past along the way. It’s been my saving grace in the stickabilty to a major life change like this one.

Knowing you need to make a change and then taking the plunge can be scary. But there is nothing to fear. You can always go back to the way things were before. I mean, what’s there to lose?

The Overwhelmed Life

Minimalism

Turns out I’d been running as fast as I could in the wrong direction. Oops. The stuff wasn’t doing its job: it wasn’t making me happy. In fact, the opposite was true: instead of happiness, I was faced with stress and discontent and anxiety. And massive, crippling debt. And, eventually, depression. I no longer had time for a life outside of work, often laboring 70–80 hours a week just to pay for the stuff that wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t have time for anything I wanted to do: no time to write, no time to read, no time to relax, no time for my closest relationships. I didn’t even have time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, to listen to their stories. I realized that I didn’t control my time, and thus I didn’t control my own life. It was a shocking realization.

That was from The Minimalist’s website.

This is the exact same place I was just a few months ago. My life was so overwhelming. I created a certain life where I was chasing dreams and thinking I was doing the right thing.

As it turns out, I too was running in the wrong direction to the point that my health has started suffering.

Thankfully, as the days go by I feel better. I can tell a change in my body and psyche.

It’s the un-doing of the massive life I created. The un-doing of unnecessary so my priorities can be at the forefront.

My simplifying process began just a few short months ago when I admitted to myself and to my closest relationships:

I am overwhelmed. I have made a lot of mistakes. I am in a hole that I don’t know how to dig out of. And most importantly…

I thought I was super woman, but I am not. 

Those words, that admittance, has forever changed me. It has sparked some major changes. These changes are slow and deliberate and they aren’t complete. But I am digging out. I am moving on and letting go slowly but surely.

My goal with this blog isn’t to share the ‘best’ way to live your life. It’s to share my journey, my experience and to let you know that if you find yourself in the same situation as I was; that we can change. We can alter our circumstances and be free to enjoy life. It doesn’t happen in a day, but it will happen. And to me, it’s absolutely WORTH IT.

A Random De-Cluttering Weekend

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism

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The de-cluttering process continued this weekend at my home. I didn’t set out to do a big purge like I have been doing, because I’ve already gotten rid of so much clutter.

It seems as though there are still so many useless items that I am still hanging onto, and I can’t ignore the fact that I want it removed.

My daughter likes to climb onto my bedside table onto the bed because she thinks it’s fun (even though she’s not supposed to, of course.) Her “ready, set, go….weeeeeeee!” as she jumps onto the bed is too much excitement for her to resist.

Well, she pulled off the lamp and broke it yesterday.

That was my hint and reminder that this bedside table had only two purposes in my home:

  1. To display a lamp.
  2. My daughter to jump through the air

My thought process at this point was simple.

This table really doesn’t serve a true need, here because:

a. I have another lamp that would serve the same purpose in the same room.

b. My daughter is safer by not jumping through the air or getting in trouble for doing something she’s not supposed to do.

So, I’m donating the nightstand and the old window I was storing behind it.

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along with 2 other garbage bags full of random stuff I collected along the way from cleaning house this weekend.

I can’t deny, it feels so amazing to get rid of the excess. It’s a little scary at first, but day by day my home is easier to manage and I can gain more clarity on what’s important in my life.

Facebook Be Like…

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Minimalist

You know, I’ve deactivated my Facebook. It’s been almost a month and I don’t miss it. I do not plan on re-activating it anytime soon because:

Facebook Be Like… back in the day bringing all your photo albums and scrapbooks to your highschool and letting the entire student body look through them.

Ew. I would have never done that back then before Facebook was a thing. Why should I do that now?

I know the high school aged kids these days grew up with Facebook; but I didn’t. I actually remember the days when my private moments were private, or I could pick and choose easily who knew my life story.

I mean, that was a long time ago – but not that long. It was a simpler time with disposable cameras, landlines, and outside activities. It was a time when you worked for what you earned; everyone didn’t get a participation ribbon just for being there (hint: real life isn’t that way even today). It was the days of face-to-face contact and telephone conversations. I genuinely miss those days.

I’m not so sure I ever want to continue making my personal life available to everyone on my Facebook anymore. I want to grow my friendships offline like I used to- like we all used to.

While I am all about technology in moderation, I still must ask myself: why am I doing this? Why am I involved? What am I trying to gain or lose?

It’s all part of the process. Until then, social media off-grid I will be. The ones who are close know how to reach me; and the one’s who don’t? Well, they should be out of my business anyway.

Capsule Wardrobe: End of Month Re-Cap

Capsule Wardrobes, Minimalism, Minimalist

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I put together my summer capsule wardrobe a few weeks ago and I must say that it has really revolutionized the way I view my spending habits and closet.

I never counted up my items because I’m not a numbers girl and that wasn’t my focus when I created it. My focus was to de-clutter and get rid of clothes that I never wear and only leave my favorites.

But, I decided I wanted to count yesterday just cause I was curious.

I have 40 items in my capsule. I’ve included in mine:

  1. Daywear
  2. Pajamas
  3. Workout Gear
  4. Shoes

So, pretty much everything item-wise except undies.

What’s weird is that sometimes I still think it’s too much. I know that there are a few items in my closet I haven’t even worn once and I’m at the end of the month. Then, there are some items that I’ve repeated a good bit just cause I love them so much.

Perhaps, it’s time for the unused to be taken out of the capsule since it’s been 30 days and it hasn’t graced my body?

I considered moving it to another seasonal capsule, but would I even wear it then if I don’t wear it now? Probably not.

The key to a capsule: It can always be tweaked. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s yours and yours alone. You can have however many pieces you want and ‘count’ whatever items you want. It’s your thing, and no one else’s.

I am sure not to compare my capsule with others because that’s not my point at all. I just want to love my stuff and get rid of the excess, that’s all.

Although, I do love me some inspiration for others and love looking at their capsules as well! The concept is perfect and is a positive experience to help keep ourselves in check so as we aren’t so wasteful with our resources.

Financial Boss: Part 2

De-Cluttering, Financial Boss Series, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simplicity

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This is Part 2 of the Financial Boss series.

Within 24 hours I went from reactive to PROactive about telling my money where to go.

Because there are so many internet articles on how to budget, and how people deal with their personal finances, I want to tell a little bit about my history.

I opened up my own checking account when I was 19. Before then, I only made a little money at odd jobs and spent it all on clothes, of course. With time, my account would fill up with money, whether from work or from student loans through college. I never had a budget, I just knew I would be getting this much and could only spend so much.

This left my account empty for many, many years.

As I got older, I started working full-time and slowly began making more money, but also paying bills. I got a car, student loan debt, cell phone, gas, and insurance. I managed my bills the same as I always did: I received so much money a week, and owed so much money a month. I just knew not to spend more than I made.

Easy enough.

Then, time went on and I switched careers, got married, had a baby, and bought a house along with more bills on top of my ‘early years’ bills. I continued making more money, but increasing the money that I owed by buying more stuff. At this point, my credit card debt was minimal, and if I ever used credit cards, I paid it off quick. I knew how much I made, how much I owed in fixed bills, and then I wouldn’t charge more than I could pay off quickly to credit cards.

Insert AWESOME credit score here.

I didn’t have a hardcore budget in place at this time. I just made sure I wasn’t going in the hole. This made it possible for me to pay all my bills on time, with just enough discretionary to get what I needed. However, no money was leftover at the end of the month and I had no idea where my money was going. But, I continued on in a reactive approach. My bills were autodrafted on time, and I just didn’t spend a lot on frivious things. Still, I had no idea where my money was going. I just knew I had zero at the end of the month and nothing to save.

Insert JOB LAYOFF here.

Oh man.

I got laid off last year. Since my finances were stretched to paycheck to paycheck I certainly couldn’t pay my bills. I don’t know if you are familiar with unemployment income…but it’s not enough to pay the basics such as a mortgage or car. It’s better than nothing or you would surely starve to death, but beware: if you have debt over $800 a month you are about to spiral down to a hot mess just like I did.

Insert CREDIT CARD purchases here.

Because I couldn’t afford diapers for my child.

Now, this is extreme and I don’t take fault for this part, but it changed the way I view my current expenses.

Insert TRASHED credit score here.

If we are not prepared for the worst, the government will not cover your expenses even if you live ‘modestly’ as I do. By modest I mean: a modest house, car, and insurance. Forget it.

So, I am now trying to pay off my debt, reduce my expenses, and find out ways to survive on my own should this ever happen again. Like, gardening, savaging and the like. Sounds extreme right? Well, not really.

What would you do if you lost your job? Or, if you stay home and husband/wife supports the fam, what would you do if he/she left?

It’s something to think about, for sure. I always put those thoughts out of my mind so I wouldn’t be scared about my future.

But if disaster strikes, we need to be prepared.

This is what inspired me to boss my money, instead of letting it take on a life of it’s own without my direction.

Part 3 will discuss my first steps in de-cluttering my wallet/credit cards and getting a game plan in order.

Financial Boss: Part 1

Clarity, Debt, Financial Boss Series, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simplicity

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It totally happened yesterday.

I am now in charge of my finances aka THE BOSS.

Financial advice is totally rampant on the internet because so many of us live reactive to our money.

I want to share with you how I went from reactive to proactive in 24 hours. Sounds to good to be true? Well, it is and it a’int. It was a long day yesterday getting my finances in order:

but I went to bed PROactively in charge of my money last night. 

I’m going to break up this explanation in parts because it is a little lengthy. I want to share my personal history and background and then tell you how my strategy changed drastically.

It’s not a magic potion or fix-all. It’s just a financially lazy, simple girl’s way of shaking up the way I do things and TELLING my money where to go.

You may be in the same place, but scared to make a change. It is kind of scary, but when you have your mind made up that you must do things differently, take risks, and are in an energetic, positive mental state: It can be done.

So, follow along if you want to hear about it. It’s time for change and it’s time to be the boss.

For starters:

That picture above was my stack of credit cards as of yesterday. Wow. Let’s just say that it has reduced drastically as of today, only 24 hours later.

What a Minimalists Makeup Routine May Look Like

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Natural Beauty

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We all have to define our simplifying journey for ourselves. Each of us are different. We have different passions, motives, and reasons. For me, I am simplifying many aspects of my life to create clarity and joy. My clutter, spending habits, and schedule are taking away the most valuable thing in my life:

Time to do what I love doing.

This lifestyle that I created is stealing away what I want most. It’s finally taking it’s toll on my health. I’m suffering from true, shameless burnout. My stress is the worst it’s ever been. My emotional and mental health is a struggle.

My de-cluttering efforts are paying off and I am finally thinking more clearly. It hasn’t happened over night. As a matter of fact, it’s taken me months of fierce, ruthless, savage change. It’s primal, and it’s serious.

There are small things I do that seem like no big deal. But when it’s all compiled into one day – it is a huge deal over time.

I’ve changed a bunch of things, and one of my favorite changes is my beauty routine.

A few things that have helped ease my dependency on commercial products are:

1. Caveman Regimine: I only wash my face with a baby rag and water. Facial washes were stripping my face of natural essentials leaving me clogged, rashy, reddened, and dry. Now my face does it’s on thing. My face thanks me, has cleared up, and I’m not wasting money on chemical filled products.

2. Natural Body Soap: For the same reason as my facial cleansing routine. My body was patchy, bumpy, and dry from body washes and chemical soaps. Now I use all natural goat milk soap. My skin has cleared and is moisturized naturally.

3. Makeup: If I could have all the money spent on makeup I would be sitting pretty. Perhaps I believed what the commercials told me about makeup making me more beautiful? Maybe I just bought new products because I felt like I deserved it? Regardless, it’s expensive and wastes good space and time. I got rid of all the products that I rarely used and now I keep the essentials.

1. Bronzer

2. Bronzer Brush

3. Mascara

4. Eyeliner: I only wear on special occasions, not everyday anymore.

My makeup routine is a drastic change from the past. I got rid of concealers, fake lashes, colored eye shadows, eyeliner shades, foundation and an eyelash curler.

I realize now that the bronzer highlights just enough and mascara opens my eyes and it’s all I really need for every day wear. No one else has commented on my makeup change. It takes me 1 minute to do my makeup now.

It’s easy, cheap, and I feel ‘done’ enough for work and still feel good about myself.

When I run out of my current stash, I am going to replace with more natural ingredients. I feel this will help further reduce redness and dryness with a little time.

It works. The more time I have in the morning to watch the sunrise and meditate, or do a little yoga before work, the better. I can do that instead of using my face as a canvas. Simplifying my beauty routine has changed my mornings. Less stress, and more time to ease into my day.

One Item Favorite: Living Room Wall Art

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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I seriously donated numerous SUV car loads of wall art to the donation center a few weeks ago. Yes, car loads of wall art.

My de-cluttering process has been a complicated one over the last few years. I would de-clutter, and within weeks be right back where I started. This time is different because I am very deliberate and intentional.

Several years ago, I got into thrift shopping and refurbing my home decor. It interested me and I had the time to piddle with it. I would bring home carloads of frames, pictures, knick knacks and then refurb. For some reason, even if the decor didn’t work for a space; I felt obligated to use it.

I can’t really explain why, I just did. Now, I don’t think that way. I will only use what I love and that is all. The rest is just clutter, unfinished projects, and the notion that we must use every, single thing we have ever brought home in our home, somewhere.

The old me felt that way. The new me, not so much.

After many carloads of taking down all the wall art invisible obligations, I kept my favorites.

The photo above shows the one piece of art that I am in love with. It doesn’t need partners surrounding it to distract, or other pieces I feel obligated to hang up for no real reason. Those old items are no longer welcome in my home. They are gone.

What’s left is a statement piece and that is all.

So, one last tribute to my obligated, wall art attempts in the past. As you can see, it never felt right to me. I kept changing it trying to make it ‘work.’ But it never did because I didn’t love it.

Now, my single artwork makes me happy and the only obligation I have now is to enjoy its beauty all by itself.

Here’s the wall art pastlife. So happy to not have to obsess over it anymore:

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Obligatory family photos. I never loved the frames. What I do love is squishing and kissing on my baby girls real face.

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Obligatory chalkboard frames when I went overboard putting chalk on everything thanks to Pinterest. And the ‘must’ initial that has to be displayed in a home, thanks to Pinterest. Oh, and that’s my favorite snack: melted-cheese-on-a-plate as I call it.

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And again, repainting, trying to find inspiration in quotes, and yet again: more basket storage.

See, I realize now that I have been a stuff manager. Constantly moving my stuff around all the while collecting. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving home design, but for me personally, I’m tired of trying to be like everyone else. I want to spend time doing things I love in a clean, uncluttered home.

That’s where I am today. So my favorite piece of art, thank you. Thank you for sitting so simply alone on my wall. You work perfectly now and I can be free from my imaginary obligatory clutter presentations.

I can now sit on my couch and relax.

Sneaky Beauty Items

De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Minimalist

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I found these beauty items in my purse. I didn’t even know they were in there.

Sneaky.

It’s impressive how our stuff sneaks in on us when we’re not paying attention.

I’ve already simplified my beauty routine drastically and will continue to do so. Translation: these items are not invited to my new simplified party. I had to throw them away.

There was a time when I would think it was such a waste to through away perfectly good items. I mean, it IS a waste to buy it in the first place if you aren’t going to use it.

I bought these beauty items because I was bored, anxious, self-conscious, and wanting to slather products on my face to be more beautiful because as women we are told we have to pile on the makeup and spend copious amounts of money to be pretty.

That’s such a load of crap.

I do still wear makeup but only a little tiny bit. And it’s natural.

And that’s what I will continue to do.

I’m removing the unused excess and these items are pointless, useless, and are created and bought for really no good reason at all. It’s time for them to go!

Maybe one day, I won’t have to carry a purse at all!