July 2016 Budget Review

For the past couple months I have just felt so unmotivated. Keeping the house looking half decent and putting dinner on the table are pretty much all I’ve been able to accomplish. But about two weeks ago, something just hit me. Like a ton of bricks. All of sudden, I realized I was just wasting my time. I was wasting all the opportunity that was presented to me. Not even just considering the fact that I have been lucky enough to stay home full-time with my children instead of going into work, I am an able-bodied human being with a creative mind and a good amount of privilege. Why am I not taking advantage of everything that is just sitting right in front of me? And when I say, it hit me like a ton of bricks, I mean, I physically felt it. When the realization came to me, I just started weeping. I was completely alone, but I felt embarassed and disappointed in myself for allowing such a long period of stagnation to go on.

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Creating a Year-Round, Minimalist Wardrobe

As I’ve slowly witted down my wardrobe from 2 overly packed closet rods about half of 1 neatly organized closet rod, I’ve become less interested in rotating out my wardrobe each season and more interested in having one cohesive wardrobe that works year-round. Even during the periods I was fully committed to a capsule wardrobe, I was still thinking about how all these seasonal wardrobes worked together. My spring/summer items were bright, almost neon, at times, in contrast with my fall/winter pieces that were more neutrals and jewel tones. And during the transitional periods, I just didn’t know what to do. Should I just hang up everything I own or should I select a transitional capsule? Does that mean I’m technically going to have 4 extra capsules a year? It really just began to feel like a lot of unneccessary thought was going into these capsules, when a year-round wardrobe was really the solution. Just thinking about having everything I own hanging nicely next to each other in my closet makes my heart happy.

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Making Time for Quick Cleans

As I sit here writing this post, my home is currently clean. Like actually clean. Like everything is orderly and put away. There might be a pile a boxes on the counter waiting to be dropped off at USPS, but, overall, things are looking pretty damn clean. And why is this worth mentioning? Because today just felt so much easier than it usually does. My day was pretty usual. Woke up before 5am for barre, had a yummy breakfast, showered and dressed, woke up and fed the twins, played in their room while a contractor cleaned our chimney, went to the grocery store, made lunch, played a bit, and put them down for a nap. If this were any other day, the beginning of nap time means me collapsing on the couch with a bag of snack food while simultaneously watching Netflix, reading blogs on my laptop, and checking Instagram on my cell phone. This goes on for an hour or so while I contemplate the chores I’ve been putting off and stress about everything I have to do. It feels nearly impossible to lift myself off the couch and pry my iPhone from my hands just so I can accomplish SOMETHING before nap time ends.

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Minimal Summer Beauty Ritual

My first foray into the world of intentional purchases began with beauty products quite a few years ago. If the brand advertised themselves to be “green” or “natural” (I’m looking at you, Tarte and OGX) I was immediately interested. I had no idea that the personal care industry is barely regulated, thus these descriptions meant nothing. Fast forward to present day when I have a much better grasp on what it means to purchase safer, cleaner personal care products. It has been over six months since I shared with you my current beauty ritual, so here’s an update:

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30 Days of Less Screens Recap

Happy August, folks! I’m kicking off this month with a quick recap of the 30 Days of Less Screens challenge I completed from June 17th-July 18th.

Of all the self-imposed challenges I have completed, this was, by far, the most difficult. To recap, I challenged myself to complete the following during the 30 day period:

  • no social media
  • limited TV
  • limited cell phone
  • limited computer
  • more blogging

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June 2016 Budget Review

Better late than never, right? I have been deeply entrenched in this 30 Days of Less Screens challenge, and, therefore, just realized that I had not posted a budget review for June yet! I have really had to focus on being intentional with my screen time which has led to a bit of a break from my computer all together. I wouldn’t say that the challenge has been successful so far. I’ll leave the details on this whole debacle to another post.

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30 Days of Less Screens

I have spent the better part of the last two years primarily focused on one goal – making my life intentional. It started first with culling my wardrobe, then editing out unsafe, potentially toxic products from my personal care regime. Eating healthier was next, then getting regular exercise. But discovering the concept of minimalism and learning to live with less has been the most beneficial step in my goal towards living intentionally. When I removed shopping as a hobby and stress reliever, there was another habit that took its place – social media and the endless stream of entertainment available online. It has been apparent to me for a while that I spend too much time staring at screens. I’ve made futile attempts to schedule time for social media, but I keep finding myself picking up my phone to scroll through Instagram or Facebook.

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Your Capsule Wardrobe Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect

Part of the excitement of starting my very first capsule wardrobe back in fall/winter 2013 was the idea that this carefully curated wardrobe would be so much better than what I was usually faced with as I got dressed each morning. It seemed like a much easier way to finally reach that goal of the Instagram-worthy closet. And in the beginning it was more about the aesthetics of my capsule than it was the functionality. I chose everything from my wardrobe that was season appropriate and then pared that down according to how well everything matched together. Which seemed like a good start. But I was forgetting to address if these pieces fit my needs. And for a while that worked. It was really easy to just over dress for work every day.

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May 2016 Budget Review

Let’s cut right to the chase, people. The month of May (and into June) has not been easy. Things could always be worse, but I’ve had a lot on my plate. Which has made it very difficult for me to find the time to sit down to write this post. I don’t want to throw a pity party by detailing everything. Long story short – Emma had a seizure, we bought a house (WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOME!!!!), the house has had some unexpected repairs, and everyone (me and the twins) currently have hand, foot, and mouth disease. I’m hoping things will have calmed down by next week so I can get back to having some semblance of a blogging schedule, but, for now, please forgive the super sporadic posts!

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April 2016 Budget Review

For a bit, I questioned if I would ever get around to writing this month’s budget review. This month has already been a bit of a whirlwind as we’re in the middle of buying a house. I never understood why people have 2 months between an accepted offer and close until now. The mortgage paperwork is one thing. But the process of getting a home inspection, radon testing, termite inspection, septic inspection, etc. then negotiating work to be done, then waiting for work to be completed, then RE-inspecting, then going back to the seller’s like engineers should never own a home because y’all think you’re professional electricians, plumbers, and carpenters when you’re NOT. Can you tell I’m frustrated? YouTube and HGTV has led everyone to believe they can do anything when really we should leave some things to the professionals. Respect the craft, y’all.

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