Sanctuary

Calm Home, De-Clutter, De-Cluttering, Frugal Decor, Frugal Ideas, Home, Simple Home, Simplicity

A cluttered house shows a cluttered mind.

Or, something like that. And the #struggleisreal. I bounce back and forth from not giving a damn about the mess to a full-on nervous breakdown at the drop of a hat because of the clutter.

I’m a full-time working mom, etsy-preneur on the side, a wife, mother, and step-mom rolled into one. Most days I feel like I need a magical cape to do it all. Thank God I’m learning to let a lot of stuff go and accept the fact that I am an awesome mom, wife, employee, and creative just as I am and I don’t have to strive to be the best and do it all every, single day #reality.

However, when I’m talking about my living space it’s a struggle. I’m not striving for Pinterest Perfection, I just want to be able to walk around without stepping on toys or getting tangled up in a human-sized telescope that never gets used – or the dishes at least half clean; enough to keep the fruit flies away. All the while allowing the kids and adults alike to have fun and enjoy our home. If you have lived with more people than just yourself for any amount of time – like one minute +, you know that the two ideals collide something fierce.

So, I’ve come to realize that when I just can’t take it anymore, it is seriously time to declutter and clean up.

That’s about it.

Another thing I love to do to get my dopamine and seratonin pumpin’ is to rearrange a little bit while I clean up. It doesn’t take much and it also costs zero dollars to move a few pieces around or get rid of unused furniture.

Since I’m obsessed with looking at other people’s decluttering and home adventures, I wanted to share mine from this weekend.

BEFORE:

PicMonkey Collage1

A hot mess, but it’s OK because we have been busy with Halloween/Fall/Dance festivities. I can’t come up with an excuse about the telescope…it just needs to go. As does the highchair. You know, things that make someone like myself go insane.

AFTER:

PicMonkey Collage2

After only about an hour, my home was back in order and I felt like a bazillion bucks. Brought the coffee table back in (it was away for a year because of my baby learning to walk and I was always freaking out about her getting hurt, of course), I moved around a few furniture pieces and changed out a throw pillow and blankets, also cut some greenery off a tree because I need some nature inside after all this rain, and naturally, vacuumed the crumbs and wiped smudges down.

It just feels so much better to come home to a little sanctuary. I didn’t have to declutter as much this go around, but you best bet that those little McDonald happy meal toys, unused toys, and anything broken got put in the trash. It helped knock it back some!

How about you, is your decluttering efforts paying off? What little things to do you do around your house to create more of a haven space?

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Rise

Desires, Inspiration, Simplicity

rise

Why decide to rise?

Not for the reasons you might think.

In fact, these are the reasons that will make you sick & tired:

Do not rise out of obligation

Do not rise because of feared consequences.

Do not rise because you think being tough makes you smarter (it doesn’t).

-The Desire Map

Now that we got the reasons not to rise out of the way, let’s get on with the good stuff.

I have been a go-getter, a do-or-die kind of gal. Quitting is for losers. If you’re not first your last thinker. A wear myself into the ground swatting and fighting for all the wrong reasons.

Good intentions at the core, but some serious exhaustion with nothing to show as the result.

Years and years of this, y’all.

I’m not nearly afraid of quitting anymore. While I absolutely adore responsibility and doing what you say you are going to do (if it is serving you well), the things that don’t serve can fug off!

My new rise and shift is for the great life. It’s for ebb and flow. It’s for latching on to what’s speaking from my Soul and allowing a whole lot of grace to cover the process.

It’s true what is said about following your heart and desires above all. Because not every thought you have is the truth – but the heart is true all the time.

Right now I desire to be free and open. Not constrained. I need a little whim and not-so-seriousness in the every day.

I am wild and primal at heart afterall: with a body and mind that is God-Given for survival on this earth. My mind and heart is craving freedom from reliance to do what I need to do. I can do this. I was born to, actually.

I crave endlessly the wiggle room and peace of ME! Of me being able to take care of myself.

I want joy, resilience, and rest. I want sunrise without dread.

And friends, that’s what I will have because I have everything to gain from what my Soul is telling me.

will be listening this time. Because. My Soul is God and people, that’s where I want to go and what I want to touch in every moment of every day.

The Shopping Pause

Capsule Wardrobes, Debt, Minimalist Shopping, Second-Hand, Second-Hand Shopping, Simplicity, Thrift Shopping

The Shopping Pause is something that I have had to practice and learn over time in my simplifying journey. I like to think of it as smart, intentional, frugal, and fun. I have always been an impulse decision maker – and my shopping habits reflected that. It resulted in over-crowed closets, unhappiness in my wardrobe, buyers remorse, and debt.

Now, I shop for discounted items and second-hand.

This type of shopping took a while to get the hang of, but is perfect for my new lifestyle.

Today, I was on the hunt for a new pair of blue jeans. My current pair had a button that broke off and was not fixable. I wear blue jeans all the time and knew this was something that I needed back in my wardrobe.

So, I shopped online at Target and found a pair of blue jeans on clearance! Yay! It was only $10.00 so I thought, no harm done. Well, then Target required a $25 checkout for free shipping. So I spent over an hour trying to find enough things I ‘need’ to make up for the shipping cost.

My cart was upped to $28 just so I could get enough ‘stuff’ for my true mission which was originally one pair of discounted jeans.

I decided to use the Shopping Pause before checking out and getting the carted items. I let my account just sit until my lunchbreak without buying.

Then, I went up the road to a local thrift store. I told myself, that if I didn’t find a pair of jeans there, I would checkout my Target order when I got back.

On the way to the thrift shop, I realized just how pissed I am at Target anyway. I am currently trying to pay off my credit card and they charged me an interest fee of $25 just this past month. TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS out of the $30 I paid went to interest.

Fuming about that, but also excited to hunt down a new pair of jeans at the thrift store, I searched through the rack. In all of about 5 minutes I found a new pair of Silver Jeans for $7.99.

silver

I tried them on and they fit perfectly and had zero flaws. These bad-boys are $85 brand new at Buckle.

Needless to say, I checked out very happy and even more happy that I paused before rushing my order and getting items that I truly didn’t need.

Shopping second-hand is the number one way that I am paying off debt quickly and also fulfilling my capsule wardrobe. I like my stuff smart, simple, stylish, and nice – and I intend to keep it that way!

Thoughts after Major Clutter Purging

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

5

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!

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

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

KEY

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.

Start Over & Rebuild

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

1

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.

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.

2015-08-21

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.

You Have Permission

Clarity, Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

metanoia

As human beings we want to connect to others and use words to describe how we feel.

This is hard for me sometimes, because some things that I feel inside my heart are so profound that I can’t find the right words to bring it to life.

It doesn’t seem right to say that I’m just:

  • De-cluttering
  • Simplifying
  • Becoming minimalist
  • Going natural
  • Making room for priorities
  • Spending less
  • Saving more
  • Getting out of debt

and most of all

Living daily for who and what is most important in my life.

I found the word that describes my journey and I want to share because perhaps you feel it gyrating deep in your bones too.

METANOIA

We don’t have to be who we were yesterday. We don’t have to live on auto-pilot anymore. You have permission to let go, spread your wings, and be who your heart is telling you to be.

How-To and What to Expect with No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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We all have done experiments and changed our behaviors at some point or another. So, we know we can do it, it’s just a matter of doing it.

I’ve changed my behavior approximately 9,000,000,000 times in the last thirty-something years. Some of my changes stick, other’s don’t. We all change minute to minute throughout our lives, and that’s totally OK.

In recent posts I talked about my no/lo poo journey. This clearly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does to me. It’s something worth experimenting because:

  • I want to save money instead of wasting it on beauty products
  • I want to spend less time primping in the mornings
  • I want to be OK with my natural, authentic self

That’s really the main motives behind this.

A lot of other’s are experimenting with the switch to no/lo poo as well. This is why if your interest is peaked and you go to research, there is so much information available that, quite honestly, makes it seem intimidating.

That’s because what works for one person, doesn’t for another. One person has xyz result and not the other.

So you are kind of frozen not knowing where to start because you simply don’t know what to do and are afraid of the outcome.

What I personally didn’t read a lot of was the honest-to-God truth about what to expect when doing the switch. It made me very leery at first because I know good and dang well that not everyone who does it has that much success, right?

I mean, I have lived long enough to just know better.

And so have you, which is why you may be scared to even try it.

How to start and what to expect:

Decision: You have to want to do this. It’s different from what you’ve always done. Years worth of sudsing up with commercial shampoo has created an exhilarating showering experience every, single day of your life for as long as you have known. If you go no ‘poo – you will not have this experience. You won’t be using shampoo so there won’t be any sudsing or bottled scents wafting in the shower any more.

If you decide to plunge, can you handle it? I mean, it sounds silly but seriously? Can you handle it?

If you are stuck in your decision process and just can’t make up your mind but still want to try it, there’s only one thing to do at this point:

Say eff-it and do it.

Get in the shower and don’t wash your hair.

Expectations: Please don’t expect to fall in love with your hair on this day. It’s going to feel grimy and oily and unmanageable. That’s because you aren’t used to having hair unwashed. Your hair is in shock because it’s actually being left alone for the first time in your life. It’s wanting to run free and roam the meadows.

Let it.

Just like any other change, getting used to unwashed hair takes time. It’s going to feel weird like you ‘forgot something’ and it’s not going to feel the same. You may feel self conscious because you are rocking some unwashed locks.

Don’t expect to style it the same way. At first, it would be wise to have a plan B on styling that day. For me, I twist it back with some bobby pins and go about my business.

After a few days of not washing your hair, don’t be surprised if you realize that you have never gotten to know your hair at all. It’s like a strangers head of hair and you will not know how to deal with it. Again, have a plan B until you figure it out – and you will, and I will too.

For some people, the unwashed hair stays oily for a week and for others months. You will not know how your hair will do until you try it.

Don’t be surprised if no one else on Earth even notices that you aren’t washing your hair. That will be a lightbulb moment when you realize you have been stressing over getting ‘perfect hair’ and no one else has ever cared but you.

Get excited that you will feel free and rebellious like a child that isn’t minding over-bearing adults. It’s like you are getting away with something you aren’t supposed to do. Because, after all, doesn’t everybody over-wash their hair? Doesn’t everybody continue to make commercial shampoo companies super rich while we spend hours a week primping in front of a mirror and spending oodles of our hard earned money unnecessarily?

No. Not everybody.

Don’t be surprised that after not washing your hair for several days that you start to love your natural self and question why you have ever put that kind of time in effort into your hair. You may question why you’ve been manipulating circumstances so much that you have totally ruined a perfectly good set of hair by constantly messing with it.

You may even realize that you are wild and free at heart and it’s not your problem if other people have an issue with what you do with your hair.

Best of all, you may just learn to love your beautiful, primal, loving, gorgeous, authentic self and just be happy with the way things are un-controlled.

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And sometimes, having crazy hair – don’t care is the best way to have it after all. Wild and free. Rebellious and empowered. Loved and loving.

Don’t Stress: No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Minimalist, Natural Beauty, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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I was really reluctant to ‘go there’ today with a no ‘poo post, but I do want to talk about it, so here I am.

Several months ago I toyed around with the no ‘poo buzz.

I updated my journey when I started this blog explaining the benefits of ditching commercial shampoo. After doing it for a while, I had to adjust to the transition because my hair would take a life of it’s on every, single day. Between the smell of hair – yep, it doesn’t stink, but hair smells like hair – and my fight with heated tools, I gave in and started washing my hair every day.

Although I felt it necessary to clean my hair everyday, I have continued using all natural shampoo and conditioner (store bought). In my dreams I would be using the baking soda and ACV rinse but I’m not there yet.

So, I’ve been doing that in the meantime until this past weekend.

It’s been 4 days since I have washed my hair, at all. Not even water, people! (I feel like I have to add here that I have bathed my body with soap).

It wasn’t intentional. I was swimming, playing with my daughter, lounging around, designing on my etsy shop, and shooting guns at the hunting club to bond with my Boo.

I figured that since I was so free-spirited that I wouldn’t worry with my hair.

Lo and behold:

It is not oily. It is not dry. It is not nasty.

I’m thinking that it has finally transitioned over time by using all natural shampoo and conditioner.

So, this post isn’t a how-to guide, it’s to inspire!

If my crazy hair can eventually transition, anyone’s can. Everyone’s hair is different and there are so many ways to no/lo poo. It’s about sticking with it, not stressing, and focusing on something else in the meantime.

As of now, I’m just gonna rock along until I have to wash it. It also helps I have a new self-imposed work uniform hair style. Until then:

No poo it is…again!