In 2011 I started working my butt off to obtain a more minimal beauty routine. I was buying more beauty products than I was consuming and it just had to stop.
Now in 2015 I’m happy to finally be at a place where all of my beauty clutter is under control, I shop only when absolutely necessary rather than for fun, and when I do shop I buy used as often as possible. My wallet is happier and my clutter is significantly down.
Now I’m looking into other ways that I can live more minimally. Here are five tips I plan on trying out and I would love to encourage you to do the same.
5 Easy Ways to Live More Minimally and Sustainably:
Use resusable napkins instead of disposable
Most people do a load of laundry a week. Why not add in a few napkins to the load? Reusable napkins can be found very inexpensively at places like the Goodwill. This saves you money and produces less waste.
Plan out your meals
Meal planning is a sure-fire way to spend less at the grocery store, to be healthier, and to keep food you bought from expiring before you use it. On days that I haven’t planned out my food, I usually eat whatever is the quickest to make — which isn’t generally the healthier choice. Options like slow-cooker meals are also something I’d like to look into.
Start working out daily
This may not seem like a more minimal living tip but it really is. Taking care of your body will lead to less medical expenses and less emotional stress. How is working out easy? Well, start by taking a walk around the block. Walking my dog every morning brings me great joy and since I’ve started doing that I’ve made much more of an effort to work throughout the day.
Update your budget every morning
I’ve recently made changes to our family budget and that has kept spending done. However, I only update it every few days. Ideally I’d like to add updating the budget to my morning routine so that I always have an accurate picture of our finances — meaning I’ll be less likely to impulse buy.
Make your own cleaning supplies
Recently I made my own multi-purpose cleaner and it has rocked my world. I plan on looking into more all-natural DIY household products I can save money on. This will yield to more money in my pocket and less chemicals in my home.
For more Learning to Live Minimally tips, stay tuned to this blog. I truly do believe that happiness comes from within and not from things. I’m really happy to be closer to a more minimal home.
Best wishes to you all. I hope your week has been going well.
What are some easy ways that you use to minimize your waste? Share your suggestions with me and others in the comments.
Hi Kind Friends! Today I’m sharing with you a new podcast from the powerhouse behind The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth Craft (a producer and writer), have started Happier with Gretchen Rubin a new podcast airing every Wednesday. The premise is pretty obvious, it’s a podcast aimed at helping you become happier and gather good habits.
If you are my husband (Hi Chris!) you are probably really surprised that I am sharing with you info on a podcast. Despite having a podcast for a short lived amount of time last year and guest starring on a podcast last week, I rarely listen to podcasts. They are just too long. Which is odd because I can listen to a 32 hour Game of Thrones audiobook and marathon a whole TV show season in a day. I don’t get myself at times.
But despite all of that, I listen every week to Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Why? It’s short, too the point, and helpful. I learn something in every episode!
The Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast is under 25 minutes and is separated into a few small segments. My favorite segment is called “Try this at Home” where Gretchen and her sister give us an easy task that should help our overall happiness. Another section calls for Gretchen and Elizabeth to talk about their “Happiness Demerits” – moments where they could have chosen a happier choice but didn’t.
It’s a very interesting podcast that I look forward to listening.
As you know, I’m in a bit of a stressful situation right now. Being unemployed isn’t easy, even if you are lucky enough to have as supportive of a family as I do. To combat the stressors I’m feeling right now, I’ve added these five easy activities into my daily life.
A video sharing all five of my favorite stress relief tips:
5 Easy Ways to De-Stress:
Add more fitness (especially cardio) into your daily routine. My current stretching and yoga routine is from ElleFitActive.com.
Have some “me time.” Whatever it is that you like to do when there is extra time in the day, make it a priority to do no matter what. For me I like to do some all natural face masks, journaling, and reading.
Spend at least five minutes with nature every day. Take your pet on a walk around the block!
Take a nap. I always feel refreshed after my dreams take a wack at my problems.
Cuddle or hug whoever is available. The power of touch is monumental. If no one is around, a fuzzy blanket paired with a Netflix marathon will do.
Let me know in the comments how you combat stress. Unexpectedly talking about how I combat stress felt very stress relieving!
Hi Kind Friends! Today I am very happy to present to you a post I’ve been meaning to write forever. A few weeks ago… Whoa. It was actually in January. How did that happen? Anyway, in January I was attending the #USBloggersChat (every Thursday from 8-9 PM EST, hosted by @ChowDownUSA and @NatalesM) and the topic of blogger positivity and community came up.
When talking with these girls, Manpreet suggested we come up with a hashtag to use whenever us bloggers have something to be happy about. In response to that idea I came up with the name #BloggersCelebrate.
Blogging is a very saturated market, there is a blog for literally every niche you can imagine. Because of the stress to shine in such a big world, blogging can sometimes bring you down. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, to feel down about the numbers, to get discouraged, etc. Despite how you can feel down at times, blogging is a beautiful world. It’s a place where everyone and anyone can express themselves. I don’t know where I’d be without it.
So let’s celebrate. Whenever you experience a success, reach a milestone, write a blog post that really means a lot to you, get a new blog design, or just feel really good for a productive writing day – share it with other bloggers on Twitter and Instagram with #BloggersCelebrate. Lets all support each other by searching the hashtag frequently and sending encouraging message to each other.
One constant thing about life is that it can change or even end at any moment. Life is fragile, your strength doesn’t change that fact.
There have been some moments these past few days where I have felt powerless and hopeless. Said moments left me in an emotional state and this was the result.
This morning while I was walking my dog I found a butterfly. It was a beautiful orange and brown butterfly with a yellow body and cute small fuzzy antennas and feet. But it was struggling. There was a fairly large hole in its left wing, keeping it from flying for more than a few seconds.
Worried that a lizard or a cat would eat this injured creature, I pushed my dog back and gently picked up the butterfly – being careful not to touch its wings. It stayed still in my hands for a moment (probably scared to death) but then flopped off of my hand and onto the grass to try and escape me, pumping it’s wings for as long as it could.
I quickly rushed my dog upstairs, locked him in my bedroom, and then grabbed a tupperware from my kitchen and ran outside. I intended to catch this poor injured butterfly and leave it on my balcony with my plants. In these few seconds my mind jumped to a picture I saw on Tumblr once of a butterfly garden that leaves orange slices out because it tastes like candy to butterflies. I thought that would be wonderful to give this little injured sweetie while it either healed or passed away on its own terms.
But when I got downstairs with my hopeful tupperware trap in hand, the butterfly was nowhere to be seen. I was shattered. There was this little creature that I wanted to help and it was gone in under two minutes.
This literal butterfly was a figurative metaphor. At the time (crying my eyes out) it felt like the butterfly represented the scenario that has been causing me stress. This butterfly wasn’t going to live with my plants. It just made me feel worse.
A few hours later I realized the true meaning of my butterfly. It presented itself to me to show me that “life happens.” Some butterflies don’t need me and that’s okay. There are even butterflies I’m never going to meet and that just means they aren’t part of my path.
Life is fragile, sometimes I feel like I am too. But my hand will still be reaching out with my hopeful tupperware traps.
Hey Kind Friends! After reading a post on the blog From Roses on the little things she appreciates, I knew I had to jump on board and make a list of my own. The last time I made a long list of things like this was in 2011 with my 100 Reasons to Be Happy series. I think it’s about time to share more of my gratitudes. So without further ado…
20 Small Things to Appreciate
1. The way dogs wag their tales just because you smiled at them
2. The feeling of new clothing on your skin
3. The smell of fresh popped cinema popcorn
4. The feel of squishy paperback books (or is that just me?)
5. The beauty of great skin days
6. The feeling of accomplishment you get when a home cooked meal turns out better than you expected
7. The smile gained from getting a text from a lifelong friend
8. The happiness of discovering a new blog
9. The productivity a new desktop wallpaper brings
10. The fun of non-junk snail mail (it’s so rare!)
11. The replies you get on social media (you can help me with this happiness!)
12. The imagination of a child (hi mermaids!)
13. The nights spent cuddling and watching Netflix
14. The strange thoughts that pop into your mind while in the shower
15. The appreciative feeling you get when someone takes your advice
16. The rush of love you feel after a nice long phone call
17. The feel of a warm shower
18. The crispness of new sheets
19. The look of a full closet after laundry day
20. The quiet yet loud feeling of being engrossed in a book
Today I wanted to talk about something that I struggle with on and off, following my dreams. My favorite post ever on this blog is the one titled I’m Still Here – describing why I stopped doing what was expected of me as a beauty blogger and instead wrote and vlogged about what made me happiest. To my dismay, my view count went done after that content shift. It was hard for me at first but I knew that being myself was the most important thing I could ever do so I kept on trucking.
Then somewhere down the line I got lazy. I was still being myself but I wasn’t exactly working on improving my writing, my blog, or my videos anymore. I somehow got into maintenance mode. That wasn’t cool. How can I say that I want to be a writer/blogger/online creator if I’m not working on it every day? Time for a kick in the butt.
So here I am re-affirming my commitment. I’m slowly trying to clean up my blog, add in more features, regular content, while also trying to be more encouraging and engaging to other bloggers that are doing the same. This little slice on the net is important to me, it’s a little piece of heaven where I can always express myself.
Ultimately I want to be working from home every day – just talking to you, my Kind Friends. I love my job and the variety of work it give me but it isn’t my calling.
To my regular readers and commenters, you mean the world to me. Having you in my life has changed my life. You are important.
So here is a little guide I wrote for my day job on omghow and how I keep my dream going. Remember, everything worth doing takes time. The hardest battles are the most rewarding. I’m not giving up and you shouldn’t either.