New & Noteworthy (September 2017)

One of my favorite creator topics is monthly favorites, especially when it’s coming from people who don’t share a ton of products often. It can be so fun to hear about the things they’re loving. So while I can’t see myself posting about my favorites every month, I definitely would like to start a series that focuses on the new and noteworthy that has added value to my life. There’s no set number, it could be products, documentaries, concepts, etc. Just anything that I’ve recently been introduced to or experiencing that I feel like sharing. So here are my current recommendations:

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Updating an All-Seasons Capsule Wardrobe

A little over a year ago, I did a little bit of fantasizing about the future of my wardrobe. I have been practicing a seasonal wardrobe since fall 2013, and while I enjoyed how seasonal capsules had helped me find my style, edit out the unloved pieces, and simplify getting dressed in the morning, I thought I was ready to start creativing a more cohesive wardrobe that could be utilized year-round with minimal pieces.

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Living a Rich Life

Adopting a more intentional lifestyle has altered my ideals in a multitude of ways. But on a day to day basis, when things might get chaotic, I sometimes wonder how much my life has really changed since becoming a minimalist. For some perspective, I started thinking about the things that I valued ten years ago. Specifically the things that I did that made me feel like I was living a luxurious life.

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The Best “Thing” About Memories…Is Making Them

I was a year and a half into my minimalism journey when I was finally able to pare down the items I was holding on to for nostalgic purposes. You know, those things you don’t use, but you keep because seeing it evokes fond memories. Often these are trinkets  without large monetary value that you might keep in a small (or large) box. These things are not necessarily viewed as useful or essential, but they are often the most difficult to part with.

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There’s No Guide for this Phase of Minimalism

Since Big Brother (Alphabet) is always watching and my internet history isn’t varied, I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations for minimalism-themed articles and videos on social media. Titles like “The Best White Decor for Your Minimalist Apartment”, “12 Things for Decluttering Your Closet”, and “The Five Coffee Accessories Every Minimalist Needs”.

When I see these types of articles, it reminds me that the vast majority of people still view minimalism in one manner. And that would be what I refer to as phase 1.

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3 Zero Waste Products, 15 Uses

I used to be a bit of a beauty product hoarder back in the day. If I saw something new, and I had the money to purchase it (or even when I didn’t), it was immediately in my shopping cart, regardless of if I had 3-4 similar products like it at home. It was rare that I completely finished a bottle of anything before tossing it and/or moving on to try something new. Now that my collection of personal care products is carefully curated, I wait until I have little to nothing left of a particular product before making a replacement purchase. Which often leads to a few days without something and a chance to experiment with a DIY version. In some cases, I stick with my DIY substitute and don’t look back. With two solid years of beauty product alchemy under my belt, I’ve discussed 3 homemade products that can be used separately or together to meet 15 different beauty needs. This is not often heard in the world of minimalism, but…..bring on the multi-tasking!

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April 2017 Budget Review

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to my little hyggekrog on the internet. I’m glad to be back after my customary month-long hiatus 😂 Real talk, the kids + school have consumed a lot of my attention lately. I’m not complaining; I’m always grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home with my children. And I’m just as grateful for the opportunity to get a “do-over” with college. Graduation photos from old co-workers are flooding my social media feeds, and I’m LOVING it. Seeing people I knew when they were freshies, proudly wearing their cap and gown, surrounded by orange and blue makes me swell with happiness. And it also provides me with some much-needed motivation. If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I’ll have the potential to parade myself about to “Pomp and Circumstance” in spring 2020. Luckily (or unluckily) it’s finals week for me right now so I’ll get a chance to be a bit more present on Lauren, Etc. during the break next week. Now onto the budget review!

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Luxury, Routines, and Being a SAHM

Lately I’ve been exploring the idea of making my life a bit more luxurious. Wearing clothing that makes me feel fancy. Taking the time to do a “no makeup” makeup look. Adding a few cute accessories to dress up a simple top and bottom. Enjoying a hot coffee while skimming the newspaper. Drinking a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Then I wake up and a remember, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and it’s not possible to do all these things.

I’m going to wear clothing that is comfortable, skip the lipstick and mascara, ditch the accessories that get in the way when I pick up a kid or two, and just hope that today’s the day I get to finish my coffee before it’s cold. And forget enjoying a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Instead I’m just bribing the kids with tortilla chips and Netflix shows in hopes that they to stay out of the kitchen for two seconds so I don’t burn someone when I open the oven or stir a pot. There is definitely nothing luxurious about this situation.

But then I remember…..these are all things I did when I was working full-time. I wore cute clothing, my coffee was never room temperature, and I felt fabulous. How was I doing all of these things less than 20 months ago, and now I struggle to wear a bracelet everyday?!?!

Because I had established a routine. So I’m taking the knowledge from my days as working mom to develop a better routine for myself. When everything is simple, it immediately becomes easier.

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Are You Worthy of Your Possessions?

The home renovation bug has bit my husband and I, and we’ve been spending a lot of time planning and executing projects lately because of it. As someone who prescribes to the idea of only owning what I need and what will truly improve my life, home projects, both small and large, can sometimes be a conundrum. I have to constantly ask myself if these changes are worth the time, money, and effort. Will I enjoy these changes for the foreseeable future or will I be yearning for something new next season?

Another question I find myself asking is “am I worthy of what I already have?” If I look around my home, feel overwhelmed by the clutter, and think “I can’t wait until we’ve changed the cabinet color in the kitchen”, then it’s not the cabinet color that needs to change; it’s me.

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February 2017 Budget Review

I’m always excited to sit down for another monthly budget review, as it gives me a good opportunity to reflect on the changes in my life since my last review. This past February, I’ve continued to be really focused on wellness and gratitude. I’ve been doing some journaling, keeping up a plant-based diet with more fruits and veggies, drinking (and eating) less caffeine (less chocolate), meditating, spending less time on social media (weekends offline!), and intentionally being more in the moment not just with my husband and children, but when I’m alone. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit my best friend in San Diego, spend time with family in north Florida, and connect more with friends living locally. And did I mention I turned 30 this past month? Growing older is an experience I have come to cherish so deeply as not everyone gets the opportunity to witness so many seasons and changes. It has also taught me how to balance being prepared for the future and still live in the moment, in terms of wellness choices, intentionality, and finances. I’m a ridiculously lucky, privileged woman, and I hope to continue to live in a way that shows my gratitude for my life, gives more to others, and provides inspiration. So I’ll start right here by giving you a peek into my family’s pocket-book in hopes that it helps others to be inspired to get a better understanding of their own finances.

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