Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Benefits of Decluttering


1 \ SPEND LESS & SAVE MORE

When you intentionally live with less, it's so much easier to not be tempted into buying any and everything. Before I decided to live a minimal lifestyle over a year ago, I spent ridiculous amounts of money on things that oftentimes never got used. I would even ask for specific presents, thinking "oh, this might be nice to have", only to have it become a dust collector. Not only was I wasting my money (& space), but I was asking others to waste theirs as well.

Now, before purchasing anything I ask myself "Is this something I really need? Will I actually use this?" and more often than not, the answer is no.


2 \ SPEND LESS TIME CLEANING

Cleaning has never been easier since I started decluttering over a year ago. For me, less stuff equals less stuff that I have to dust or wipe down, or move out of the way so that I can wipe down the surface that it's sitting on. Getting rid of bigger furniture pieces and keeping as much off the floor as possible has made it so much easier when it's time to vacuum... and if you're a pug owner, it's always time to vacuum.  I love that I'm not constantly having to move things around to vacuum around or underneath them. And because there's not a lot of "junk" everywhere, my place tends to look nice & tidy, even if it's not particularly clean.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Soothe Experience: In-home Massage, No Murder

I don't really remember how I came across the Soothe app, nobody told me about it, but I've had it downloaded on my phone in a holding pattern for a few weeks now. I had been really wanting to try it because I've been in desperate need of a massage but I'm someone who hates doing anything that requires me to schedule an appointment in advance. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it, not when you can fit me in because then I probably won't even be in the mood anymore. 

The only reason I was really hesitating to try Soothe is because I didn't want to invite a stranger into my house and then get murdered. Because how much would that suck?

Soothe: A review of the Soothe in-home massage app

But at this point I was getting desperate. I have a bad back in general, which is what comes from being a lazy girl all your life. But on this day in particular, it was day 3 of not being able to turn my head after waking up one morning with a lot of tension in my upper back and neck. I had just came home from grocery shopping and after carrying 5 bags up 3 flights of stairs by myself, because again... lazy girl, my shoulder was now starting to throb. So, I said eff it, I busted out the app (which kinda didn't work for me, I ended up having to switch to the desktop version), scheduled my first appointment for an hour later (the earliest you can have someone show up), and waited. I figured if I got murdered, well at least my neck and shoulder wouldn't hurt anymore.

But honestly, I wasn't worried. I had already done my research prior, which included reading other online reviews and reading everything on the Soothe website, which assured me that the "Soothe therapists are all licensed, background-checked, and thoroughly vetted", their words, not mine.

I was more worried about whether the therapist would be okay with me leaving my socks on, because my feet hadn't seen a pedicure since last summer. Not cute. I also had to pull my epilator out at the last minute and do a very quick leg hair removal when I realized that my legs were still sporting their winter coat. Even less cute.


The actual massage was pretty amazing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Minimalist Inspiration

Like many people I turn to the Internet for inspiration when I need it, one of my favorite sources being YouTube. I especially enjoy watching videos, or sometimes just listening, as the last part of my day. It helps me unwind right before sleep. You may or may not already be familiar with them, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

My Top 5 Favorite Youtube Channels for Minimalist InspirationJENNY MUSTARD

Jenny is one of my favorite content creators on YouTube, Minimalist or not. Besides the fact that I love her aesthetic, she is extremely pleasant, and very likable. Her videos tend to focus around her vegan and minimalist lifestyle, and I especially enjoy watching her Sunday Breakfast video series that she films with her partner, David.

Also, fun fact: At the end of each of her Sunday Breakfast videos, she and David would do a quick Japanese stretching routine, so I commented one day that they should try out the Korean version. And she actually read my comment and took my suggestion.  And I think it's the cutest thing ever.




Friday, April 22, 2016

Is It Okay to Throw Out Yearbooks & Photos?

Yes

It is more than okay to get rid of anything that doesn't bring you any value. I don't believe in keeping items out of obligation or guilt or just in case.


Is it okay to throw out old yearbooks and photo albums when decluttering?



If something no longer is useful to you and keeping it around only adds clutter into your life, whether mental, or visual or hidden-away-in-a-storage-closet-for-no-reason, you should get rid of it. But I'm not you, so you should do whatever feels right for you. There is no right or wrong.

But for me, getting rid of both yearbooks and photos is pretty much a no brainer. I've actually wanted to do it for over a year now, but have been making very slow progress for reasons.

Starting with yearbooks, this was a very easy decision for me. 

I actually got rid of my college yearbooks a few years back, by donating them to the Goodwill. My picture was not in a single one of the yearbooks, so I honestly don't know why I even had them. Actually, I know why. It's because they handed them out for free. I now know that just because something is free, does not mean you need to take it. 

My grade 1 - 12 yearbooks were a slightly different story, because they did have some sentimental value. But not enough for me to want to keep each book.  They definitely served their value over the past 26 or so years, from the time I received that first yearbook and got my first signature in it. I've flipped through each book countless times, rereading messages from friends, circling their pictures and highlighting their names, drawing hearts next to crushes and crossing out the faces of people I didn't like.

But as I went through each book today, and reread those messages, I could barely put faces to names. As for the boys with hearts drawn next to them, I couldn't remember why I had ever liked them. Or why I didn't like the people with big X's drawn on their faces.

The point is, now that I'm in my 30's these were no longer memories that I was holding on to or felt the need to refer back to from time to time. The yearbooks were no longer needed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Whole (Foods) New World



When I first moved to Atlanta, I lived within a 2 miles radius of two Popeyes, Taco Bell, Checkers, and McDonalds amongst others. And I fully took advantage of the easy access and ate fast food for basically every meal. In my then 25 years, I had never thought about nutrition, eating clean, or just my health in general. I've always been on the slim side and had never had any real medical issues, and well, I kinda thought I was invincible. I was stupid.

I remember one day I was telling a friend of mine that I had to go to Walmart to get a few groceries, and he looked at me with a face of shock. Why on earth would I grocery shop at Walmart? I better start going to Whole Foods. Honestly, I didn't even know what Whole Foods was. I'd never heard of it before. And it still took me a couple of years before I stepped foot in one, but as soon as I did I remembered that conversation and knew exactly what he was talking about.

But this isn't about Whole Foods. It's about eating whole foods, eating clean and treating your body right. Now I'm no expert and I'm not perfect. I'm not a vegan. Or even a vegetarian. And I still eat some less than stellar foods from time to time, because that's life.  But I'm much more conscious about what I put in and on my body.

I'm now 33, and I don't remember the exact day or even year, but I'd say it's been at least 5 years since I stopped eating fast food. But it took a very awkward trip to the doctor to take that first step. Still, I'm thankful for that embarrassing memory, because now I rarely buy packaged foods, cook most of my meals and juice regularly. My overall health has improved, I sleep better, look better and just feel better in general.

I still need to figure out how to incorporate regular exercise into my routine, because even though I've made many positive changes over the years, a lazy girl still lives here.

Every day I'm living a little better than I was the day before. What changes have you made lately?

PS. I'd love to hear from you in the comments! Also, follow me on BlogLovin to stay updated on future content. <3

Monday, April 18, 2016

Natural Deodorants Pt 1: Why So Difficult?


I have seriously been struggling to find a natural deodorant that actually works for me. I've tried a few over the last couple of years and none of them keep me smelling fresh on a hot day. Currently, I'm using the Lavanila Vanilla Coconut deodorant which I thought was really nice, until it got remotely warm one day and my underarms were all like "Oh, you thought we weren't going to stink? Nope".

Natural Deodorants: If I didn't smell so good, would you still hug me? I've tried the Toms brand,  Primal Pit Paste and several hand made versions on Etsy (only Crunchy Betty's version comes to mind right now).

And I know a lot of the aforementioned brands work for so many others, so is it just me?  Maybe I just stink. Although, I hope not, cause that's not cool. I mean, my Mom doesn't wear deodorant at all, what the heck!

I'm going to keep trying to find that natural deodorant that is just right for me, and hopefully soon, because summer is coming. And I really don't want to have to break out the Secret stick.


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PS. I'd love to hear from you in the comments, tell me your natural deodorant favorites (I'm desperate, seriously)! Also, follow me on BlogLovin to stay updated on future content. <3

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How I Earn an Extra $600 per month by Dog Sitting

Sometime last year, I needed a last minute sitter for Tyson. You know Tyson, he's only the sweetest old man pug puppy in the world. And so after some google searching for local dog boarding, I came across Rover. If you're unfamiliar, it's basically in-home dog boarding (and more) by locals in your area. 

Think AirBnB for dogs.

I never liked the thought of kennel boarding or having Tyson around a lot of strange dogs, or having to impose on friends, so this service was a perfect solution and I quickly became a client.
After using the service as a client for a few months, I decided to sign up as a dog sitter on Rover. 

I love dogs, and I knew I was just the type of sitter I would want to hire to watch my own boy, so it was a no-brainer. Plus, I've been wanting to bulk up my savings account, so win-win. Within days of signing up and creating my own sitter profile, I already had my first client.

make money dog sitting with rover

In just one month I made $593. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Where Have I been?


Where have I been? Nowhere, really. And am I a minimalist yet?

Yeah, pretty much.


I went missing from this blog for over a year, but I'll admit I don't really have a whole lot to report back. At least I don't think I do. I did keep up with moving towards a more minimalist lifestyle, and am very happy with how I've progressed over the past year. My life feels lighter and cleaner with less distractions.

I've gotten rid of so much of stuff, most of it the first couple of months. And I don't miss any of it. Well, except that one time I needed a can opener and realized I had taken mine to goodwill. Did I replace it? Nope. I borrowed one from the local pizza place for a few minutes and after that decided not to buy anything that comes in a can anymore.

Along with ridding my life of unnecessary clutter, I've also done a lot of research on zero-waste and how much trash we are producing, especially in the U.S. So, I've been trying to do my part to reduce my waste. I don't aspire to be zero-waste, but I definitely have taken a lot of tips and tricks from those who do live that particular lifestyle. Currently, I've gotten down to taking my trash out less than twice a month, and it's a small can. It may not seem like much, but I'm proud of my efforts.

I know I still have a ways to go, with both my minimalist journey and creating less waste but I'm okay with that. Because change takes time, and every little bit helps.

Oh yeah, and my eyebrows still haven't grown back yet.

PS. I'd love to hear from you in the comments! What have you been up to lately? Also, follow me on BlogLovin to stay updated on future content. <3