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:

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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:

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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?

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.

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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!

Gut-Fear

Gentle Change, Gut-Fear, Meditation

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That little gut-burn of fear we all know so well, can be fuel. It can also paralyze us into a rut that seems insurmountable. I’ve worked on both sides of fear for many years and have learned some things to be true:

  1. Harnessing that gut-fear takes courage
  2. When used as fuel, gut-fear makes opportunities seem endless
  3. Power can be scary, but that’s the best place to live and make decisions from
  4. Failure is possible, but not taking risk is even worse than failing
  5. Little gut-fear triumphs add up to some serious, miraculous change for the better

I work from places of complacency and fear, both. Sometimes I don’t feel like going with my gut for whatever reason. If I rock along in this state for too long, I paralyze and get stuck. Life feels ‘off.’ Negative energy attracts to me. My mind will tell me that going with my gut will be too much effort and it’s just not worth it. After a while, this causes me burnout and frustration.

When I take the time to notice that gut-fear for what it is, and use it for the positive, I feel powerful. I make clear, conscious choices. I take risks. I have that hard conversation: I stop behaviors that bother me: I don’t take any shit: I do new things: I create: I sleep better: I have more energy.

I am vowing to make more choices from the positive gut-fear. I will sit with it, listen to it, and let my intuition guide me. There is no need to fight the fear. It’s part of life and it will always be there, for all of us. It’s primal. It’s part of living. Why should it be the enemy?

I have been meditating on my fears for a while now and looked them all directly in the face. One by one, I realize that it is my internal energy, my heart, my soul speaking to me. If it is a fear that repeats and continues, I know that my intuition is speaking and I must listen.

We all have intuition for a reason, no matter how big or small.

I want to move forward listening to my center. I need that connection to myself. That’s where we should live from.

We are enough just as we are today. We are bigger than our negative thoughts or fears. Let’s harness them, listen to what it’s really telling us, and act.

Shop with Common Sense

Money

Hold up.

This blog is my place to discuss how I’m simplifying, changing, growing, and working to live more deliberate instead of desperate lifestyle.

It’s not really a thrifting or money saving blog, however I am absolutely living more frugally and paying off debt to become a better version of myself.

I don’t coupon or shop with a lot of hacks. I have tried that and it was more work than it was worth, so my solution has been pretty dang simple:

Shop with common sense.

Yep, that’s it and it has been proving to work out nicely.

Here is a stellar example that just blew my mind: tea tree oil

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There it sits at $14.99.

Well, I just wasn’t going to pay that for hair oil anyway so I just moved right along.

I rounded the corner looking to see if there was a natural dry shampoo because I am almost out.

What do you know? Right there in the ethnic section was tea tree oil

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And it was $2.79.

Am I losing my mind and going crazy? That is a MAJOR, MASSIVE, INCREDIBLE price difference. We aren’t just talking about a buck or two.

So, if my scalp gets itchy I know what to do.

Ask & You Shall Receive

Minimalism, Thrifting

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Ask and you shall receive.

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

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

And it finally did!

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

For free.

It is absolutely perfect and does the job fantastically.

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

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

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

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

Shop Second-Hand: Free People Twill Coat

Capsule Wardrobes, Minimalism, Second-Hand, Thrifting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

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

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

Second-Hand Score

Debt, Minimalism, Minimalist, Second-Hand, Thrifting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My latest and greatest thrifted find

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

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

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

Start Over & Rebuild

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

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

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

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

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

How to let go and start fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Cling: Let it Go

Free Spirit, Letting Go, Minimalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

love, relaxation and fun.

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

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