I’m Wearing Black Because it Makes Sense

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

There’s a lot of talk among aspiring minimalists and oodles of Pinterest examples of the Capsule Wardrobe. I’ve read up on it and have been inspired for a really long time to make my own capsules and ditch the excess.

It’s been a really positive experience so far, and even when I think I have my capsule perfect, something else sparks my interest and that’s OK, too.

Earlier this week, I got super excited and inspired by a post called Why I Wear the Same Thing Every Day and it’s like everything just clicked in my mind as far as my wardrobe goes.

It’s true, most of our well-known famous world-changers wear the same thing every day. They have their ‘signature look’ and keep their look simple and streamlined so that they can focus on important stuff, instead of wasting energy on the not-so-important daily decisions such as what they will be wearing that day.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s safe to say that our clothes is not all that important, huh?

If you had of asked me last year if I would have felt this way this year I would have looked at you like you had 6 heads.

I’m a girl that has always kept up with fashion, and have been proud that I dress a little different or outside the lines a bit. I don’t know why, really but I have a hunch that society and highschool may have planted some type of seed that our clothes are more important than anything.

So, many years and much debt and unhappiness in shopping and wasting money on clothing later:

I’ve adopted a capsule and a self-imposed work uniform.

Drumroll please….

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Yep, that’s a dark pair of jeans and a black shirt.

I showed how I broke up my capsule into work and weekend the other day.

It just so happens that I had (3) black shirts in my capsule/closet anyway so it makes sense to me that I’ll be wearing black mostly with my one pair of jeans. What? One pair? Yes.

And I have a few other shirts that I might rotate in. But then again, maybe not because just a simple black shirt seems pretty dang flawless to me. Black and dark colors are slimming and it’s classic. They don’t show dirt and smudges or nasty pit stains. It’s solid so there’s no question does this print go with that print. I mean, can this even be messed up or go wrong? I can’t imagine so.

Also, I figured I would have a work uniform hair do’ too, because why not? It’s just pinned back with bobby pins so I no longer will have to use heated products to style or fight humidity in this hellish Alabama summer heat.

This hairstyle is pretty much the easiest thing ever.

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After 3 days of wearing a black shirt and the same pair of dark jeans not one person in my sphere has commented. That tells me that even the closest of loved ones could care less about what I’m wearing.

They say to dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.

Well, my friends:

A Bachelor’s Degree in Business and 10 years of career hunting and climbing ladders and layoffs and playing office politics later, I can say without question that dressing for the job you want is paramount.

Which is why I am dressing simply and in jeans. Because if my job requires me to use my clothing as my leverage in life, then that’s no job I want at all.

That’s playing games and I don’t have time for that.

I’ve been there done that and thank God out of those situations.

My current job is a good one and I can dress like this if I want to.

And I do.

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?

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.

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.

Throw Pillows Be Gone

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

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It’s official.

I have had a seriously, unhealthy relationship with throw pillows over the years.

These pillows have multiplied. I’ve sewn some, bought some, and moved them to every house I’ve ever lived in.

And somehow, they always end up getting on my last nerve.

I mean, yes they are super adorable sometimes. But, we don’t actually use them.

Pretty much the only use for them is for ME to constantly pick up from the floor where they have been discarded several times a day.

To think, I have done this for years now.

I remember the last three times I have moved, I had to pack up several contractor garbage bags full of throw pillows alone. Why?

So, a last tribute to my throw pillows in the montage above.

I only have 4 now.

Two are on my couch and the other two serve as a “back” on my daughter’s rocking chair.

And these four are actually used and serve a purpose.

I’m excited to finally quit the title: The House Pillow Picker-Upper.

Now I can do something else worth while.

De-Cluttering: Jewelry

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

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Getting real about our clutter isn’t always easy. Sometimes our belongings have sat around unused so long that we don’t even realize it’s there.

I do things differently now when de-cluttering.

The answer is really simple:

I’m getting real about what I actually use regularly.

This allows me to get rid of the mightusesomeday or ikindasortalikeit dilemmas.

Above is a pic of my current jewelry after a massive de-clutter. What you see are the pieces I actually have worn in the last year.

That’s all that made the cut. Everything else was donated.

There is no humongous box housing unwanted pieces, there is no massive wall display like I used to have showing off jewelry that was never worn. This is it.

And it works perfectly now, a few of my favorite earrings and 2 necklaces.

I can find everything so easy instead of digging through the clutter.

When we remove the excess and the unwanted or unused items, we can truly see the value in our favorite things. All the sudden, their beauty and worth begins to shine as all the noise is removed.

Item Placement that Makes Sense

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Simplicity

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The way we live truly is an art. We are all different and execute our days in the way we feel best. But what if we can execute more efficiently? What if we can use our time and resources even better?

Making better use of my space and time is another reason I am de-cluttering and really thinking about how and where my time is spent. My focus is not to fill every minute in my day with busyness; rather, I just want to spend it well.

I used this concept while I was de-cluttering my kitchen this weekend. I decided to move my food and dishes to a better placement that actually makes sense. It’s amazing where I put things just to put them when I first moved in. If it was a kitchen item, I just put it in a cabinet somewhere in the kitchen.

Now that I am really thinking about logistics: it doesn’t make sense to me and my movements.

So, I moved my canned good near the stove instead of the pantry. Now, that doesn’t seem logical offhand, but now – I can just reach up and grab some veggies right from the stove top.

Ahhh, now that makes better sense.

All of my bowls, cups, silverware, plates are now right above my dishwasher. All of them. This is so I just reach up or down to load and unload instead of all over the place in separate cabinets.

My pots and pans are below the stove so they are easy to grab.

Tonight, I plan on moving the kids snacks in an unfamiliar cabinet: down below. It was a space that used to house unused appliances. But when the kids snacks are moved to this space, they can just grab the food themselves instead of getting me to get it from up high in the pantry.

This is basic stuff I realize, but have you thought about where you are keeping your stuff?

I can say that, without a doubt, when I cooked dinner and cleaned up last night it took me almost half the time as it normally does by simple item placement in spots where I need them to be.

So, my challenge to you is: are you aggravated in a work space in your home? Could you set it up to benefit and assist you rather than work against you? I did, and am so glad.

T-Shirts: There’s 7 Days in a Week

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

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There are seven days in a week.

That fact is not going to change, so it makes me question why I have 14+ t-shirts in my closet. That would mean that I have to wear two or more t-shirts a day per week to wear them all. That really doesn’t make any sense considering I only wear a t-shirt right before bed and maybe on the weekend.

This discovery lets me know that I simply have too many t-shirts in my life.

So, it’s time to break-up.

Half of them are now gone and my closet thanks me.

What do you keep that doesn’t make any sense?

We run things, Things don’t run we

Free Spirit, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity, Yoga

I have this really amazing playlist I made for my yoga practice. It’s not ocean sounds and birds chirping like you would imagine (although, I love that too and need the zen sometimes as well). This particular list has songs like:

Radioactive

Boom Clap

Holla Back Girl

We Can’t Stop

I’m So Fancy

You know, just your basic ‘gettin’ into it’ music. Anyway, I am who I am and I like a little funk and pop while I fold into a pretzel sometimes.

In the middle of my side crow pose, We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus came on.

Now, what do me and Miley Cyrus have in common you may be wondering?! Not a damn thing. Except the lyric:

We run things, Things don’t run we

It hit me then that my things: whether it is my material possessions, stress, guilt, shame, fear, frustration, other people’s behaviors, finances: have all been ‘running’ me for far too long.

In truth, I AM THE ONE WHO RUNS THINGS, not the other way around. I am taking the power back to my center. I am taking control back over my heart and mind. I am choosing what I do and what I allow in.

This shifting is monumental and also necessary for change. 

So, thank you Miley for allowing me to get deeper into my poses, have some fun while I sweat, and reminding me that it is WE who run things.