5 things: minimalist transitions

It’s a little more than 3 years since I decided to adopt a simpler, more minimal approach to life and consumption. I was already interested in green initiatives, but, naturally, this led to an increased interest in low waste, DIY, conscious consumerism, curated collections, and introspection. Like many, I started with a copy of Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and took off from there. The book really was life-changing, altering my philosophy on home, spending, and happiness in general. My initial goal in reading the book was to inspire my mom to change some of her own habits and overcome her fear of letting go, what I found was a new outlook that resulted in a happier, simpler me.

I filmed a few videos describing my early experience with “sparking joy” (I’ll be restarting that that series soon, re-titled “minimalist transitions”), but here are 5 things that facilitated the process and/or inspired me to think about what I consume.

5 things: minimalist transitions

the book

This is the book that started it all for me. I borrowed it from my library and learned so much, I wanted to share it with everyone. I still apply KonMari’s philosophy and strive to surround myself with things that spark joy — in life, work, and home.

KeepCup

I have a coffee habit, and while I’m still working on minimizing my use of disposables, this was a start. KeepCup has since become the cup du jour among the cool kids.

I am not a cool kid, just a posh nerd.

Fjallraven Kanken (classic and mini)

I have two of these – the classic in red and the mini in brick. I work at a university and I have a lot to carry. I also travel for work and love Swedish design. These bags hold EVERYTHING and don’t make my back hurt (joy all around); they also helped me re-evaluate what I carry, and learn that I value comfort and practicality above all. I wear a Kanken on most days and have gotten sooo much use out of them. Fun fact, I used my amazon reward points to purchase both of them. I paid $0 for each.

Lesson: use those credit rewards!

tieks

I’ve talked about these before (here, here, here, and here). These were the 1st big, well-researched fashion purchase I made after re-evaluating my spending and shopping habits. Purchasing a pair of $175 shoes is an investment and not one I made lightly. This purchase forced me to re-evaluate my relationship with fashion, and appreciate the quality and durability of well-made shoes. Two years on, my first pair is still one of my most-worn items.

Another happy side-effect, I was able to let go of all the shoes that made my feet hurt. I reach for tieks whenever I’m not wearing my Lotta’s (another purchase made for comfort and durability).

Note: I have the luxury of being able to afford these. This is a luxury that I did not have once upon a time, but one that I am aware of. Buying secondhand, quality items that live up to their value is always an option. Quality does not always = $$$.

project use it up

Not a thing, but a concept – “project use it up,” or tracking my empties, has resulted in a greater understanding of what I buy and use, which leads to fewer impulse buys and more selective purchases.

some thoughts…

Do you need these things to adopt a lower waste/minimalist philosophy? No. Do they help? Sometimes, but you can find your own joy sparking alternatives. The items listed are items that I love and appreciate for their style and purpose; they have a classic, timeless style and will serve me for years to come.

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minimalism: decluttering my bag collection

This is not the first time I’ve culled my bag collection, but it may be the most brutal. Though, perhaps not. These are bags I held on to the last time, because they were expensive or they had sentimental value or they might still come in handy. Except, I haven’t touched any of them in over a year (2-3 years for the last two). It’s time to stop holding on to things I don’t use.

I’m not sure if I’m going to try to sell these. I tried selling the pink one and it never sold. I haven’t the patience for ebay slow sales, so I may just donate.

bag declutter

bag declutter

bag declutter

bag declutter

video (and more): empties, decluttering, and birthday acquisitions

Firstly, a long overdue empties featuring a few items from Project Use it Up 🙂 (success!)

I also used up two fandom tea samples from Adagio Teas (decaf rooibos blends that were great for after dinner), and a pen(!). Being a pen hoarder, every pen is an accomplishment.

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And, since I was on vacation, I decided to give my closet and makeup collection another cull. The result, 1 bag of clothes (mostly winter and workwear) and a few products that were lackluster or caused irritation (or both).

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However, as it was my birthday on Tuesday, I did receive some newness, and made a few additions to my summer wardrobe.

Presents from the boy, new teas and a teapet (also Adagio), new treats, 1 tank, 1 blouse, 1 long-sleeve tee, a flashy necklace for flashy days, and a pair of strappy Crocs (my version of rain boots for work days).

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Also, a travel size lippie from Milk makeup in O.G. Red (love it!), a tissue mask, and my birthday gift from Sephora; plus, a tube of Kosas lipstick in Royal (these feel so soft and nourishing, with brilliant color).

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ttfn!

sparking joy: scaling back on beauty and skincare

I have the flu! Which means I had a lot of time to sort through my bedroom and make some decisions. This is a fairly small declutter, but after the last two rounds of decluttering, I am down to those items I thought stood a chance. They didn’t, but I sometimes I find it better to wait than to live with regret.

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I was going to film a video, but these items are not revolutionary, so a post will suffice. I also tossed my empties. I was in the mood to purge and decided I could live without sharing my thoughts on mediocre products.

pictured from left to right:

top row

  • hair clips (assorted): My scalp reacted to these. Not sure if it’s the material or the tiny metal parts, but it was no bueno.
  • Honest Beauty creme foundation in Linen: I never really loved this. I thought about returning it at first, but decided to work with it instead. I found that the best application was skin to skin, patted on with fingers and blended with a brush, but the overall experience was mediocre and often patchy. I used it as a concealer more than a foundation, and now it’s well past the best by stage and I hit pan long ago. Tossed.
  • Hurraw balms in cherry and earl grey: They dried my lips. Did not moisturize at all.
  • elf lip stain: It’s ok, but it dries my lips the more I apply it.
  • Whole Foods dry skin hand lotion in vanilla amber: I like these lotions, but this scent is a little to heady for me.
  • Hourglass mineral veil: This was a sample and I’m unlikely to ever use it. Toss.
  • Assorted brushes: I have too many and I don’t use any of these regularly. Toss.

bottom row

  • Assorted samples: Red Apple lipstick, Buxom eyeshadow, Kjaer Weis eye shadow. These were nice, glad I sampled rather than purchased.
  • hair stick: like the clips, there’s just something about the material that doesn’t jive with my sensitive scalp.
  • Bare Minerals eye shadow (pink and smokey gray), Honey Bee Gardens shadow in Chai: I hate loose shadows. I don’t know why I even try.
  • Pixi shadow palette in gold: I like the colors, but the pigmentation is kind of weak. Replaced with an elf palette that works much better.
  • OPI gold matte polish: I like a nice gold for the holidays, but I’m not crazy about this formula.
  • Red Apple Lipstick in Audrey, Nars lipstick in Fast Ride: Audrey is past it’s use by and the formula went off. It smells really strong and feels slicker than before, and the color seems to be darker than when I purchased it. Fast Ride is nice, but it looks too much like Glossier Jam, and I like Jam better.
  • Elate lip to cheek color: This came in a Petit Vour box. The color is ok, but I hate that it smells like lemongrass and the packaging may be eco, but it just feels cheap.
  • Sephora lip liner: I never use lip liner.
  • Honey Bee Gardens eye liner in gunmetal(?); Pacifica eyeliner in jet: The HBG has glitter in it. Glitter! No good for my eyes. I like the Pacifica, but I prefer the brown.
  • Johnson’s bedtime lotion: An experiment for my nighttime migraines. Fail.
  • Marc Jacobs’ Dot: I like MJ scents, but Dot is a little to warm and cloying for me. I’m a Daisy girl, at best.

video: scent collection and project use up my stuff

No video last week because life was a whirl…

This week, I’m reviewing my scents and analyzing my current collection. Two of the scents mentioned are part of my “project use it up“, so those will be in constant rotation during the coming month. My plan to is to use up what I have, cull what I don’t wear, and curate a minimalist scent wardrobe to match my mood. Baby steps. This is an edited collection and one that will be curated with time.

video: the promised closet tour…

I said I would do it and I have… a realistic, no tidying, no hiding peek inside my closet.

I am happy to report, that I have since gone in for another round of decluttering and sorted through the show situation, and removed some of the items that I was unlikely to wear, some seasonal pieces, pants, and one of the two cocktails dresses that I mention in the video.

Just living and learning.

video: personal style, does it spark joy?

I completely forgot to upload a cover for this video… so the question is, make it live now or later? I choose now…

I cut my hair! And started thinking about how much my style has changed over the years. Just some thoughts and musings on style and curating a personal look.

I’ll upload a cover tonight, so all my rambling may be irrelevant in a few hours… so it goes. One of my goals this year is to learn to add music to videos and improve the quality… not sure when I’m going to find the time for that but CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Mental Health Monday: social media purge

Daisy

Hi all! I’ve been toying with new ideas for the year and I thought it might be nice to do an occasional mental health Monday post, just a little peek into what I do to stay grounded and find meaning.

I recently made the decision to shut down my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. I found that I got very little pleasure from them and more anxiety than not. LinkedIn, in particular, was a waste and a nuisance. I rarely used it, but I was constantly receiving messages about security breaches. The thought that they couldn’t get their shiz together to secure my account was a deal-breaker after the umpteenth password change.

The election drama was a large part of my decision to quit Facebook. The amount of fake news and poor insight being promoted just made the choice all the easier. Since quitting, I’ve felt a sense of ease that I haven’t felt in a while. I don’t need to make excuses for not returning someone’s add request and I don’t have to censor my views and opinions because I might upset someone I know or work with… ain’t no time for that.

I’ve also started limiting my time on twitter. I love the sense of community among aspiring and new writers, but there are too many battles to be fought and I just don’t feel like getting into it. Cutting back and spending time on actual writing, blogging, and video-making brings me much more joy.

I love Instagram and it’s become my platform of choice for browsing. I regularly declutter my follows and try to curate my feed, but I much prefer the visual pretties over the storm of angry text. Pinterest, still good.

Overall, I’m pleased with the direction I’m taking and am less bogged down by other people’s opinions.

Try it for a few days, unplug and see how you feel. Let me know how it goes 🙂

the view from Sunday: outings and adulting

It’s been a good weekend, which feels like a good change. I did some adult things and some silly things, including:

  • Opening a secondary savings account for experiences and thrills, rather than the big life events.
  • Brunch at ikea, because pancakes and things. Not all of which were entirely necessary, but I can handle it.
  • Cleaning. Lots of cleaning.
  • Writing. And worrying about said writing.
  • Running. Yes, I did it again 🙂
  • Reading trashy reads, because they are the best.

Now, we have ginger snaps

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Old plants in new “pots” (really a mug)

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And kitties begging for treats

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life: giving thanks

2016 has been a shitty year. Personally, politically, it’s been an all-around mess. So when I think of giving thanks, I have to think a little harder to find the joy I’ve been missing… whether they’ve been subsumed by loss, pain, or stress, the good times have been there, I just need to shine a light on them.

After mulling it over for a few days, I realized I’m grateful for:

  1. Surviving what could’ve been a tragic car wreck with little more than a ruined car and a few scratches.
  2. The briefest of vacations with the boy, but a vacation nonetheless.
  3. Two healthy, well-adjusted cats. After a few hiccups, they’re getting along and experiencing no more poopy drama.
  4. Minimalism. Because it’s made me appreciate what I have, what I can afford, and what I can live without.
  5. YouTube! A silly one, but I started making videos as a way to force myself to use my camera and learn some Premiere basics. Now, I’m hooked and it’s my preferred form of “reality” entertainment. Plus, I’ve learned so much.

There’s so much more, but I will reserve those for my year-end recap. In the meantime, have a happy holiday!