Make Room For What Matters

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Over time, our possessions and negligence to our priorities begin to pile up. The mile-high to-do list keeps growing. You never feel fulfilled or caught up. You burn out, become resentful, and think that you are stuck.

It’s human nature to want our homes to be organized, clean, and a complete haven from our busy lives. We want to come home to a refreshing environment where we can relax and enjoy ourselves and our family. If we use consumerism to battle anxiety, or go shopping as a hobby, we end up in debt: which makes us feel guilty. Not only that, we become self-appointed Stuff Managers. We have to organize, store, move, clean, and up-keep our belongings.

Just writing that last paragraph made me out of breath. Whew.

I am giving up being a Stuff Manager.

I want my home to be tidy, minimal, useful, and relaxing. My past spending habits and acquiring nature has taken it’s toll. My home is no longer my haven; it’s a never-ending to do list that exhausts me before I even walk in my door.

My goal is to keep and use what is beautiful and useful. Everything else must go. 

A few minutes ago I dropped off about 5 construction sized garbage bags and several 13 gallon garbage bags full of unused junk to a local donation center.

I left feeling lighter, clearer, and more positive.

Once we realize that what we buy and keep actually owns us, not the other way around, we can begin to carve out, remove, and make room for what really matters in life.

Don’t you just salivate thinking about a clean slate? What would you do with bare walls and clean cabinets?

I certainly wouldn’t go back to the thrift store and just buy something because it was cheap to fill up my walls again: I would display my favorite photos of my family with pride. I wouldn’t buy clothing just because it’s trendy or on sale trying to look like everyone else: I would buy only what fits and what I love. I wouldn’t use shopping to pass the time or to fulfill a void. I wouldn’t keep things just because I felt obligated to.

We don’t live in the past or future, we live in the here and now.

I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, so why am I keeping clothing and things that no longer suit my needs and wants?

Well, I am not anymore. I am living for today and am going to keep and use the things that represent who I am today.

In another 5 years, I am sure I will have to repeat the cycle. And that’s OK. I don’t want to be who I was last year. I want to be who I am today. That’s who I live for.

And, I’m not stocking up for the future, either. I do not need 5,000 paper plates just because they are on sale. I need 1 pack. If I need another pack in the future, I will just go get another pack then.

Living in the moment and for who you are today means letting go of guilt, fear, and worry. We can live lighter and more carefree enjoying what we have an who we are in this moment by keeping and doing the most important things.

That’s the way I will live.

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The Journey Is Worth It

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

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You know the drill. We buy a bazillion dollars worth of hair and make-up products all our lives and then wonder why our skin looks horrible, and our hair is thinning, bland, and falling out. It’s no secret that the products we buy are damaging, but we do it anyway because we think it’s no big deal.

Well, I had a turning point with my hair. A huge chunk broke off last month and I know I had to make a change in the products I was using. My face was broke out, red, and splotchy from all the creams and scrubs and medicines I was applying. To top it off- I was using Mr. Clean All Purpose Cleaner to clean house and it totally rusted my appliances and discolored my counter tops. If an ‘all purpose cleaner’ isn’t all purpose, then….I’m going green, baby.

This change is taking a while as I research and test products to arrive at a place where I love the items I buy and they actually work. It’s a process. If you have experienced the same type things I have and are looking for an alternative, experimenting and using less may be the answer.

It has been for me.

I am not an expert by any stretch. But, I have learned some things and I want to share.

  • No Poo/ Low Poo: I went no poo for a while, but have changed my process. I now only use natural shampoo, conditioner, and products. Unfortunately, I blow dry and flat iron my hair again. My wiley curls just wasn’t working out. Maybe one day I can be just as hardcore. However, I did learn that I will survive if I don’t wash my hair ever single day, and if my hair is curly and wild – so be it.
  • Natural Soap & Body Wash: I use Zum Bar soap and Burt’s Bees body wash. My skin is hydrated, dry-patch, and red bump free after a month! I thought there was no cure for my skin conditions (per dermatologists as well), but that’s just not the case. Apparently, regular chemical-filled soaps, body washes, and scrubs were destroying my skin.
  • Caveman Regimine Skincare: This is a miracle. I only wash my face with water and a baby soft wash cloth. No soap or creams or moisturizer touches it! I’ve been doing this for a while now and my blackheads are disappearing and not coming back, my red cheeks have nearly went away, and my skin glows.
  • Natural Makeup: This is still a work in progress, but currently I use Physicians Formula Organic CC Cream, and shimmer bronzer (or cinnamon) on my face. I’m phasing out my eye makeup and when it’s time to replenish it will be organic. I also use grapeseed oil on a cotton ball to remove my eye makeup.
  • No Sugar Diet: In a perfect world I would eat Paleo. That is my future wish, not my reality. However, I do not eat sugar – or when I do, it is minimal and natural occurring (like watermelon occasionally). This means lots of meats and veggies. Also hemp hearts and peanuts, almond milk, and coconut flour to name a few snacks and additions. Without a lot of carbs and eating foods of high protein, I am fully satisfied, full of energy, and get better sleep. It works for me.
  • Live With Less: I quit shopping to waste time. I evaluate every purchase and make sure it will be used and is in line with my core beliefs. I am paying of debt, so spending wildly is not an option.
  • Clearing Clutter: Getting rid of clutter and unused items in my home to make space for things that matter and brings me peace of mind.

I like to remind myself of the changes I am making and the progress I’ve made so far. Sometimes it seems like there is so much I need to change that it’s overwhelming. I didn’t make all these changes in one day. It has been phased over time and have allowed myself plenty of space to make mistakes, start again, and to experiment. I am having fun and enjoying the ride.

Are there things you want to get rid of to make space for more of what you want? What’s your motivation and how are you getting back to your authentic self?

Lucky Vitamin

Essential Oils, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Natural Beauty

I don’t know anyone in my real life that is searching for a more natural, simplistic lifestyle. This is why I love blogging so much and meeting like-minded individuals! It’s such a relief. Normally, when I tell my fam or friends what I am doing I get blank stares or weird comments. I think it’s just because it’s a little different. No harm done.

Anyway, it’s hard to find natural products where I live. I mean, there are holistic stores here and there and a Whole Foods but it’s many miles away and just very inconvenient. The inconvenience has stopped me from living like this, but not any more. This year, my mantra has been ‘no more excuses’ and I am trying my best to live up to it.

I spent over 3 hours this morning searching online for products that I have learned to love so I can order when I want. You may be in the same boat with your location, so I wanted to share.

Website: LuckyVitamin. Use coupon code 5OFF49GS205 (through July 2015) for $5 and you get free shipping on $50 orders.

1. Natural Hair Products: Sure, WalMart has Burt’s Bee’s but did you know their shampoo/conditioner ranks a 4 on the scale of hazards? Look, that’s better than most, but I want the least hazardous rating I can find. I ordered Andalou Naturals shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray. They rank at a 2 on the hazard scale.

2. EWG Skin Deep Database: This database shows the hazard/chemical rating for cosmetics and products. I used this site to determine the safety of Andalou hair products to make my decision.

3. Hemp Hearts: My new fav snack ever. They have them!

4. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil + Glass Spray Bottle: I plan on mixing a little skin moisturizer up with a new essential oil. Supposed to smell sweet and floral and does wonders for stress and it’s an aphrodisiac!

5. Eco Nuts: This is all natural soap nuts that I will be using to wash clothes. One box is equivalent to 100 loads of laundry. It’s safe, sudsy and natural and has been used for centuries! I am so excited!

After researching and trying to order from Amazon, Vitamin Life, and Lucky Vitamin: the Lucky Vitamin got my order.

Vitamin Life didn’t offer free shipping, and neither did Amazon. Amazon was actually going to charge $25 in shipping for the same items.

Lucky Vitaman though? Had all the items I wanted, a $5 off coupon and free shipping since I ordered $50 worth of items.

If you are looking for a convenient place to find your hippy stuff – check it out!

Natural Soap: Reasons Why I Use It

Essential Oils, Free Spirit, Minimalism, Natural Beauty

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That’s our pet goat, Sally. Isn’t she adorbs?

I’ve recently changed a lot of my beauty routines over from conventional to natural:

  • No ‘Poo: I quit using shampoo & conditioner; now it’s water only and natural cleansers
  • Caveman Skincare: I wash my face with water only
  • Make-Up: I only use organic CC cream and mascara {currently transitioning to only organic}

The results are really amazing and I feel much better with my choices. I can let go of my past mistakes, and make better choices moving forward that really benefits my skin, beauty, and life.

I’m also after a simple life where I focus on what truly matters so I can do meaningful work, live peacefully and light, and love with all my heart and soul.

Freeing up my obsession and constant ‘messing-with’ of my hair, make-up, body will allow me to live the passionate, hippyish life that I am after.

Since changing my hair, facial skincare, and make-up routine, it’s only natural that my body soap would be next.

I’ve had horrible, bodily skin my whole life. It’s patchy, ruddy, and has patches of red bumps. It also dries out super fast, but then moisturizer inflames my dry skin even worse. I’ve been diagnosed with dermatitis where dermatologists basically give you a topical ointment and tell you to rub down in it several times a day until it’s gone. Well, it doesn’t go away.

So, since I’ve had success with the natural approach to hair and my face, I switch to an all natural, goat’s milk, soap bar.

It’s amazing.

I’m using Indigo Wild’s Zumbar. It’s made from goat’s milk, natural ingredients, and essential oils. My skin is improving, it’s:

  • Smooth
  • Moisturized
  • Less flaky
  • Fewer red patches

All within a few weeks.

I also use Burt’s Bees Grapefruit body wash in the morning. It has a refreshing scent and sometimes I just want to use my pouf.

It’s really just a simple change and a better choice for overall skincare. The natural soaps smell delicious and are less harsh on the skin – all while cleaning just as well {or better, even} than the chemically-filled ones.

There comes a time when we do the same thing over and over and get the same sucky results. This is the turning point when we can open our mind and try some new things. The natural approach leaves nothing to be lost; only improved.

Meditation: How to Begin

Clarity, Essential Oils, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

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This is one of my favorite meditation spots.

Meditation has done wonders for me over the last few months. More than exercise, therapists, or medication ever thought about.

It’s powerful because you take back control of your thoughts. It helps bring you back to center and allows you to explore your authentic self.

Life has a way of becoming hectic, wild, chaotic, busy…if we let it.

If you are at your wit’s end and don’t know what else to do, like I was not too long ago, it’s time to try something else.

How to meditate:

This is something that you will discover for yourself because there are tons of different ways people do it. It’s not just for Yogi’s or Buddhists. It’s also for you.

Just like everything else, it takes practice and patience. It also takes mindfulness and the willingness to try something new.

Here is how I started out:

  • 2 minutes: I made it a priority to sit with myself for a minimum of 2 minutes every day. Normally this was in the bathtub where I could relax after kids were in bed.
  • After some time, I then became mindful of meditation: driving down the road, sitting on the porch, drinking coffee, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • I welcomed my thoughts. Let’s be real, they don’t stop. Our minds go and go and are constantly chattering. I simply observed and then watched them float away like a balloon.

I try to meditate every, single day. I don’t put a time limit on it, I just do it. I make a point to be mindful, to be quite, and to look within.

You don’t need a fancy room or pillow to meditate.

It’s just a simple exercise that you can do to quieten your thoughts and gain clarity.

My recommendations:

  • Quiet room: bathtub, bedroom, on the road; anywhere with little distraction
  • Peaceful music: nature sounds, slow tunes with no words
  • Start with deep breathing. Take your time and take long, deep breaths. Focus on the in and out
  • Watch your thoughts. They will be there, but after a little time and with a little breathing they will become less and less
  • Essential oil: Sometimes I like to add a little ambiance to the experience. Frankincense brings a little woodsy aromatherapy and helps me focus
  • Let go of guilt. Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a few minutes throughout the day to ease anxiety and get to know yourself again
  • Stay with it. You may feel tempted to procrastinate feeling like you are ‘wasting time’ just sitting and breathing. When I first started out my thoughts were all the same: “I really should be doing the dishes” “I’m missing my favorite show” “I have to fold laundry” “Hmm. I’d really like to re-decorate this room” Sit with these thoughts and let them go. They will pass and you can remain calm and realize that these thoughts are not urgent. They will come back later, I promise.

After meditating, you will be able to attack your tasks, family, and self with a calmer attitude. You will learn what is most important to you. You will be able to let go of anxiety. You will regain control of your thought patterns.

Isn’t it time to take back control of our thoughts and life so we can live in a meaningful way?

How can we know which path to take among all the mental chatter, busyness, and chaos?

Meditation will help settle this so we can move in the right direction and live from our heart.

No ‘Poo Journey: Bobby Pins are a Hippy Girl’s Best Friend

No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo

Remember that time you prayed your whole life for full bodied, naturally curly hair that you could just roll out of bed, scrunch, and go about your day?

And then you went no ‘poo and actually got your wish, but you now have absolutely no idea how to keep your new ‘curly girl’ full-bodied hair tame?

Oh, right. That was me.

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A few bobby pins with sections of hair pinned all over will just have to do for now.

Caveman Skincare

Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Natural Beauty, Simplicity

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A lot of us have spent so much time and energy on over-the-counter and medicated facial cleanser. We scrub, exfoliate, moisturize; wear clay masks, apply toners and astringent, and pop zits.

If you are like me, then all of this started as a pre-teen when acne was running wild and it was cool to start using beauty products and makeup.

I’m in my thirties and the question still remains:

Why do I still have crazy skin and what can I purchase and do to make it go away?

It seems like I have tried everything imaginable and nothing is making it any better.

I had a turning point after I was using a combination of facial exfoliation, medicated facial wash, charcoal mask and makeup: my face broke out unbelievably and my cheeks turned beet red and very sore.

That’s when I made the decision.

It’s time to do something drastically different.

Then, I stumbled upon the Caveman Regimen in skincare. It really doesn’t get any more simple:

  • Wash your face with water only
  • Or, don’t wash it at all

I opt for the washing my face with water only and a baby soft rag.

After only 3 weeks, my skin has totally cleared up and my oils have regulated. Also, my black and whiteheads came out on their own. I will admit: it was disgusting but so amazing at the same time. After the first week, I looked in the mirror and they all made their way to the surface. If I hadn’t been in such shock, I would have taken a picture because it was wild; gross, but awesome at the same time. I’ve been trying for years to get them all out: biore strips, exfoliation, mashing. Well, they are gone now and haven’t returned. I’m sold and lo and behold my body is doing what it is meant to do. All on it’s own.

Why make the switch?

  • Conventional facial cleansers have chemicals and medication that may simply be way too strong for your face. They also can be stripping you of natural oils causing you to dry out and break out
  • You have tried every product on the market all your life and nothing is working
  • You want to save money. Water only is free!
  • You want to simplify your beauty routine
  • You want clear skin
  • You want to trust your body. The body is a machine made to cleans, heal, and grow all on it’s own. It doesn’t need our help with products. It already knows what to do if we just let go and allow it to do what it’s designed to do.

It’s really not as scary or gross as it sounds. It’s actually very beautiful and skin is allowed to heal naturally – which, is what your body is trying to do in the first place before we take it upon ourselves to slather and scrub it raw.

What to expect after making the switch from conventional to caveman:

  • Few days of transition. My skin was very oily and felt weird for a few days. I wasn’t used to water only and I had the strong desire to go back to my products. But, I held strong and am so glad I did. After a few days (depending on the person), your skin will begin to regulate and you can continue water only washing until it becomes your new norm.
  • You will realize that you have been spending way too much time and money on facial cleansers. Haven’t you heard that companies know that you will have to keep coming back for more? You try it: skin dries out, you buy moisturizer. You break out: you buy acne cream. You use makeup to cover acne: cycle starts over and continues.
  • You simplify your routine. I spend my mornings meditating, working on blog posts, yoga, and sipping coffee instead of slathering makeup on top of makeup to conceal my blemishes. Now, I put a little organic CC cream on my face and do something else.
  • It becomes the norm. After a few weeks, you quit thinking about your face. You don’t reach for cleansers in the bathtub. Oils regulate and skin clears. Ah. So nice.

Am I going to continue with caveman skincare?

Without a doubt.

The results can’t be denied. I wanted:

  • Simplified beauty routine
  • To save money
  • Clear skin

I now have all three.

It’s healthier and my skin is happier. Much, much happier.

How to Pack Light for Less Stressful Travels

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Sometimes traveling and packing can seem overwhelming. There is washing clothes, cleaning house, buying products to take, making sure everyone in the fam has what they need, considering the weather and an outfit to match each and every possible scenario. Just thinking about it is enough to cause a stress-out.

Over time, I have tried to minimize the way I pack for getaways and I have recently came up with a philosophy that works perfectly when I have a hard time deciding what to do.

It’s the Half Philosophy.

Whether it be laundry, packing, grocery shopping, my closet, what I purchase, or what I think about…I just cut it back to half to bring in some equilibrium and free up some space.

Why packing light invites peace and freedom during travels:

  • Less to lug around
  • Freedom to spend time at the destination instead of worrying about stuff
  • Fewer thoughts put into wardrobe choices
  • Less stuff to unpack and wash when returning home

All four of those bullets is enough for me to pack lighter. I have learned plenty of stressful lessons in the past. Traveling becomes less daunting when you realize you don’t need as much to bring with you while away.

How to apply the half philosophy and pack less:

  • Pack as you normally would starting out (if you are a first-timer). You will learn to pack less and less each trip in the future if you apply this as the norm
  • Let it sit in your suitcase and extra bags for a day or even a few hours
  • Come back to it with a fresh eye before your leave
  • Analyze your items: think about the weather, where you are planning on going, which events are a must
  • Unpack half, leaving only the necessities

My recent pack in photos:

unnamedI started out thoughtfully believing that I had packed just what I needed. It wasn’t overbearing and was fairly light to begin with. I let it sit for a day.

When I came back to it and began moving my stuff around I realized that it was entirely too much for the lax weekend getaway that I would be traveling.

I unpacked half leaving a few causal, comfy outfits and only one extra pair of shoes (besides the ones I would be wearing). Everything was versatile, mix and match, and comfy.

Then, I switched over to a smaller duffle shoulder bag, rolled up my outfits, and was ready to go!

But, did you have enough while you were away?

Yes. I had plenty. I was comfy, cute, and went about my business as usual. I even had an outfit that I didn’t even wear and swimsuit that didn’t get used.

When I returned home, I dumped my dirty clothes directly into the washing machine, barely taking up a load and put away my clean clothes.

I was unpacked and had laundry clean within an hour of returning home.

When we analyze our necessities, take what we need an discard the rest, we can enjoy our time in the present without stressing over all our ‘stuff’ and ‘work’ required in taking care of our stuff.

Moving on From Mistakes

Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

In our busy, chaotic lives we sometimes forget to pay attention to the lesson in our mistakes. We are inherently reactionary to our to-do lists, family, kids, jobs…life. When we get to the point when we are so overwhelmed, we make mistakes. Our clear-thinking self disappears. Life become autopilot. Living with the aftermath of our past mistakes simply becomes the norm.

Some may think that we have to live and thrive in our mistakes, but I say we are afraid to own up to them, practice change, focus on the present, and become our best self.

We are afraid that…

  • we are out of control of our choices
  • we have to much to do to follow our heart
  • we can’t beat addiction
  • we are stuck in our ‘ways’
  • we can’t be better

This is bologna! Our minds constantly cloud us with negativity and criticism. So much so that we actual believe it.

It’s true. We all have made mistakes, after all we are human. The point is in the lesson in how we react to our mistakes and if we move forward in a positive way.

How to let go and learn from mistakes

Own up to it: You made a mistake. You are in debt. You are addicted. You are not happy with your situation and lifestyle. Well, that was yesterday. Each day we are given the gift of a clean slate. You actually do have a choice in what you do with your life today. Get busy acknowledging what happened and get serious about letting it go and starting over each and every day.

Create a passion statementIt’s so important to know your heart. What are your passions and musts in life. Not what you wish you could be – who are you? Who are you right this instant. You are compassionate, eager, skillful, useful, and beautiful. When you create a passion statement of your priorities you can better hone in and focus on what you want out of life.

Meditate: Sit in quiet with your thoughts hippily. It’s not as wacko as it sounds. Sit still and breathe. You won’t stop your thoughts at first. Just acknowledge them without getting sucked into the drama. See them for what it is. It’s chatter; not truth. Watch them float away into the sky, letting go. Be gentle with yourself. Breathe deeply. Do this until you are finished or until you fall asleep. The more you practice the better it is to control the negative thoughts.

Focus on your heart: This is where I missed the mark so many times. I do things so as to not disappoint people. I totally deplete myself trying to take care of everyone else. There is a time and place for that but it is vital to take care of yourself. Listen to your heart. Are you living the life you are supposed to? Or have you gotten so caught up in the mess that you have forgotten who you are? It’s time to get that happy person back. You and everyone else in your life deserves you. The real you.

Forgive yourself: Let go of the guilt that you are carrying from your mistakes. If it was a harsh word, an angry look, going in debt, feeling like you aren’t measuring up to others…let. it. go. The guilt being carried is as heavy as the mistake itself. Ask for forgiveness. Get a game plan to get out of debt. Focus on you. Do something nice for others. Eat a home cooked meal. Get extra sleep. Change up your routine. You are only human and you have lots to offer. Don’t lose that feeling sorry for yourself, worrying, or feeling guilty.

There are many other ways to move on but take the gentle approach. Take care of yourself for once. Do something fun. Let go. Rest.

I know that I have carried guilt and the feeling of not measuring up for long enough. It is another reason I am on a hippy, carefree, simplified journey. It’s time to be light. It’s time to give back. It’s time to be authentic and celebrate the here in now. Life is way to short.